This year saw the debut of a new superheroes series for CW called Arrow, based on Green Arrow. With Smallville’s end last year, the network decided to fill the void with another superhero series and they found one with this show. This series does not take place in Smallville and it’s a different take on the character. Obviously influenced by the Batman Dark Knight trilogy, the producers decided to go for the realism so they didn’t want any DCU characters with powers and go for ones without any powers. It’s an aspect of the DCU that they’re most interest in. There was lots of buzz and hype surrounding Arrow and when it aired, it became a smash.
We are in the middle of Arrow’s first season where the hook of the story is that Oliver Queen’s father died and gave him the List of people who have failed the city. After spending 5 years on the island, Oliver finally comes back and re-integrates himself with society and create a vigilante persona to go after the people in the list while protecting his loved ones. That was the hook of the show. It was clear that this version of Green Arrow is a lot darker, yet nascent than Justin Hartley’s version which is more established. We also have his love interest in Dinah Laurel Lance, an attorney whose sister also died with Oliver’s father and she’s angry with Oliver for what happened to her. There is Tommy Merlyn, Oliver’s best friend who is in a relationship with Dinah. Oliver’s family consists of his stepfather Walter Steel, his mother Moira Queen, his sister Thea, his bodyguard John Diggle, tech expert Felicity Smoak, and Dinah’s father Detective Quentin Lance, who vows to take down Green Arrow at any cost.
Throughout the first half of the season, Oliver came across as hypocritical yet still hasn’t learned anything as the only thing that mattered was the list until the last few episodes. It took several things to wake him up such as Diggle keeping him on the straight and narrow, the Huntress’ extreme vengeance without regard for innocent people, and the effect his activities have on other people. Both Dinah and Thea were antagonistic towards him, but Dinah learned about what happened to Oliver at the island while Thea still hasn’t. While they were setting up foundations of Oliver and Dinah’s relationship, they were pulling off a Smallville trick of will they/ won’t they with he and Thea. Now Oliver discovers that someone has created the List and not his father. The revelations applied to other characters such as Moira sabotaging the yacht that killed both Oliver’s father and Dinah’s sister, Walter knowing about the List, Diggle knowing Clark’s secret, and Felicity not celebrating Christmas because of her religious beliefs.
The show has island flashbacks and the producers stated that we will be seeing these throughout the series. This I can understand since Oliver spent 5 years and a lot has happened in those 5 years that they intend to reveal. Yao Fei is the main character of these flashbacks as he was the one who taught Oliver archery and how to fight.The one thing that drew viewers and comic book fans is the plethora of DCU characters. While Smallville waited until the 4th season to introduce other DCU characters, this did right off the bat such as Deathstroke, China White, Deadshot, Royal Flush Gang, Yao Fei, Tommy’s father Malcolm Merlyn, and Helena Bertinelli aka The Huntress. This is part of the producers’ plan to introduce non-powered DCU characters and we will get more when the second half of the season airs with Count Vertigo and Firefly.
So far, the first half of the season has drawn high ratings for CW and has gotten lots of positive reviews. It is a great first half of the season so far as it has the potential to fill the void left by Smallville. I look forward to the second half of the season.