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There's nothing like the anticipation of catching the next episode of your favorite show. For me, that's Arrow, a show I begrudgingly watched for the sake of coverage but ended up obsessing over. Like NSYNC-in-1998 obsessed. If you're unfamiliar, the CW series tells Green Arrow's origin story, tracking his life from the shipwreck that turned him from pretty billionaire Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) into a killing machine. His mission? Cleaning up his hometown of Starling City.
Like any deranged fan, I googled the hell out of the show's backstory looking for a fix, but I quickly lost patience trying to answer my questions and feed my own speculation. Rather than wasting time skimming Green Arrow's Wikipedia pages—let alone, you know, reading the comics—I decided to consult my best resource: contributing writer and comic book aficionado Jason Serafino. He's a Green Arrow fan who's not only read all the books, but happily watches Arrow and co-signs the series. Which means he was happy to speculate with me about the potential of Olicity, the coming of Red Arrow, WTF is going to happen to Laurel Lance, and all this Ra's al Ghul talk.
If you haven't watched the series, I suggest you stop reading here and start watching it on Netflix. There are a ton of spoilers ahead. After all, the title reads: A Comic Book Nerd Answers an "Arrow" Fan's Burning Questions.
Tara: So, the fact that the show goes back and forth between the island and Starling City, is that a characteristic of the original?
Jason: Green Arrow's island origins weren't harped upon too much in the early comics. In the '80s, DC began revealing more, then in the 2000s, Andy Diggle wrote a miniseries called Green Arrow: Year One, which had a huge influence on the tone of Arrow's island portions. The plot is different in a lot of ways, but the look and feel are spot-on.
The show's main storyline based in the present is taken mainly from a period in the comics by writer Mike Grell. He introduced the hooded look without the mask. He also took away the Green Arrow's goofy trick arrows and replaced them with more traditional weapons. Also, if you hate the fact that he's not called Green Arrow on the show, that's all Grell's doing. These comics came out in a time during the late '80s when every superhero was getting darker and more realistic, and the tone of Arrow fits that.
Does it bother you that he's not called Green Arrow?
Not personally. My favorite Green Arrow stories had been the Mike Grell ones, so I knew what they were going for. Plus, Arrow premiered just a year after the Green Lantern and Green Hornet both bombed, and no one wanted to be associated with that. I totally get that.
How has does Felicity Smoak's (Emily Bett Rickards) involvement in the comics differ on the show?
The only resemblance to the comics is in her name, really. She was a girlfriend of Firestorm, who, with any luck, we'll never see on the show. This was during the '80s and she had mostly been forgotten. The show has taken a lot of liberties with these characters, but Felicity is probably the one character they actually improved upon from the original books.
I'm assuming there was no Olicity in the comics. How likely do you think it is for producers to go H.A.M. with an Ollie/Felicity pairing now that it's become a fan-favorite?
I'm not even sure if Felicity and Green Arrow were ever in the same issue as each other in the comics. However, the Felicity/Ollie dynamic in the show is perfect. It brings in such a different audience than what they were intending. Felicity really took off and has a cult following, so I think they'll keep that chemistry going for as long as possible.
It may bother the purists, but they've already changed so much about Ollie's love life that it doesn't matter at this point. The potential romances with Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) and the Black Canary/Sarah Lance (Caity Lotz) just can't keep up. I wouldn't be surprised if their romance is a big season two cliffhanger.
Considering Black Canary is Sarah Lance, is there still a chance that Laurel Lance will be a hero herself?
I think Laurel becoming a hero is out of the question at this point. She seems to be getting pushed more to the side recently, and I think a lot of that has to do with the unexpected popularity of Felicity. My theory is that Laurel might not even make it out of this season alive.
Does Oliver Queen's muscle man Diggle (David Ramsey) have a superhero destiny?
Diggle was a character created just for the show, named after Green Arrow: Year One writer Andy Diggle. They actually introduced him into the comics recently after the show launched, but I think he'll stay just as he is: awesome.
What's up with Ollie calling his sister Thea (Willa Holland) "Speedy"? Do you think that's a hint?
At first I thought the Speedy nickname was just a nod to the comics, especially since Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) was the original Speedy. But then it was revealed that Moira's (Susanna Thompson) maiden name is Dearden. In the comics, there is a character named Mia Dearden, who is the second Speedy. It's possible that's hinting at something.
And now that Roy is all 'roided up, do you think Red Arrow will become a thing by the end of the season?
He'll definitely become Red Arrow/Arsenal sooner or later. The Roy/Thea relationship could eventually evolve into a vigilante team-up. Both Red Arrow/Arsenal and the female Speedy existed simultaneously in the comics, so there is precedent for that.
What's the deal with Sin (Bex Taylor-Klaus) and Black Canary? Is it possible that Thea and Roy will team up with them too?
Both Sin and Black Canary are radically different in the comics. Canary acts as a surrogate mother to Sin in the books, who is much younger than she is on the show. Here, it's more of a sister relationship. I could see Sin, Canary, Roy, and Thea continuing to work together, but it won't last long. That would be a lot of characters to keep track of, and Roy and Thea are much more important. Eventually, I think Sin and Canary will be written out of the show after the Brother Blood story gets wrapped up.
How is the reveal that Thea is Malcolm Merlyn's (John Barrowman) daughter going to fuck shit up in the future?
Thea being Malcolm's daughter is going to be bad for everyone. The League of Assassins will want her. Ra's al Ghul has been mentioned by name already, and the network already cast Ra's' daughter, Nyssa (Katrina Law), in the show. So family brawls seem to be ahead in season two.
What does all this Ra's al Ghul stuff mean and how could Nyssa change the game?
Ra's al Ghul is a crazed eco-terrorist from the comics who usually spends his time trying to cleanse the world of its ills. He was played by Liam Neeson in Batman Begins and is a complete madman. Talia is his more famous daughter, played by Marion Cotillard in The Dark Knight Rises, but Nyssa is another of his heirs. She's been depicted as more overtly evil than Talia in the books as well. Her appearance would likely usher in an eventual fight between Ollie and Ra's, which would be nirvana for comic geeks.
Compiled by Tara Aquino (@t_akino)