I'm Glad That Arrow Ended

The CW channel’s Arrow series is more than just a smash hit. For the past eight years, the show has been the cornerstone of it’s DC television universe. It has garnered both negative and positive reactions and has ushered in a whole new generation of fans of the titular green hooded hero. But now that the show has ended after it’s eighth season, how did it fare to the masses of DC obsessed fanatics, including myself? 

I hated it. But most didn't, and I understand why. 

I started watching Arrow because of all the reasons everyone else did. The character of Oliver Queen is such a fun one, with hidden depths and fantastic storylines, and is totally compelling enough to have his own series. The show also came at a time when everyone was starving for quality DC content—we were just ecstatic to be given a morsel of something that was not Batman. The actors were good, too! Some fans were apprehensive since it was going to be on the CW, but many of us were reminded of how epic Smallville was and accepted that Arrow was going to have it’s own share of relationship drama but that's not always a bad thing. 

I was disappointed from the first season at how stoic and brusque Oliver Queen was. Stephen Amell did a great job portraying the particular nuances of the show’s storylines. However, the storylines seemed to be very similar to old Batman stories. Fans of the series started to affectionately call it names like Arrow Bat and his character Oliver Wayne. As the seasons went on it started to feel more like Batman lite instead of Green Arrow. 

One character in particular caused an already divisive fanbase to fracture: Felicity Smoak. 

Smoak, portrayed by beautiful actress Emily Bett Rickards, seemed to be very similar to Chloe Sullivan from Smallville. Both characters were petite blonde women who married Oliver Queen, who were not originally in the comics, and who were both exceptional hackers. Both characters were snippy wise cracking nerds who became integral to the storyline and both were polarizing figures to their respective fandoms. 

In fact, personally, I don’t like Felicity Smoak, and I certainly did not enjoy how the show prioritized her over a traditional fan favorite like Black Canary. The show’s Black Canary storyline is a little complicated but one that fans of the character would definitely enjoy if you can get over the splitting of Dinah Lance and Black Canary or the fridging of the Dinah substitute ‘Laurel’. Laurel Lance is set aside in favor of Felicity-heavy plot lines and only comes back around when the writers need to make Oliver angst more. 

I don't want to see an Oliver Queen without a Dinah Lance. I'm just not interested in seeing either of those characters marry anyone different. It would be jarring to see Superman marry someone who wasn't Lois Lane, wouldn't it?

If you’ve read a measure of Green Arrow comics then you’d know that each writer certainly tends to portray the hero a bit differently. But I never thought of him as a Bruce Wayne pastiche despite the glaring similarities. My favorite incarnation of the hero was in the Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams run where Green Arrow and Green Lantern clash because of political and social ideologies. Other runs of the character have him goofy and young at heart. I also saw Oliver as a man who knew how to laugh and have fun, but also as someone who understood his own privilege in the world and worked to fix it from the top. Arrow’s version of Oliver is at times almost unbearable to watch. He is broody, angry, and completely full of trauma. 

I’m not happy that fans of the show are going to have to go without, but I am happy that Oliver Queen as a character is free for DC to play with on the big screen. Maybe one day I’ll get that classic buddy cop film with Green Lantern and Green Arrow where they take on social justice issues. Maybe I won’t, but It makes me feel better knowing that now the possibility is even greater. I know and understand the importance of Arrow in terms of the newly dubbed Arrowverse. I get it. He is that universe’s pioneer and led the DC/CW revolution and Amell himself is very handsome and very charismatic. As a fan of DC and of the Green Arrow comics, I have to say I was strongly disappointed with the direction the series took. I don’t even recommend it to people. 

I think Arrow can be enjoyed by itself, without any real connection to the comics. That becomes difficult when you start inserting all of the other Justice League heroes into the story via the famous CW crossovers. It's hard to see that Oliver as the Oliver of the comics when he's standing right next to The Flash and Supergirl.