Check out the latest ties between the tv show and the comics!
While we provided a pretty comprehensive recap of Arrow’s pilot episode last night, but there were plenty of easter eggs and references to the comic book that we didn’t touch upon. Luckily Arrow Annotations is here to help, providing some additional notes and background info from last night’s episode. While there's not nearly as much to cover this week, the Arrow writers still threw plenty of little easter eggs for readers. Arrow spoilers follow!
Helena Bertinelli - Oliver's new love interest and foil is a relatively popular comic book character known as the Huntress. In the comics, Helena Bertinelli is the daughter of a mob boss who goes a mission of vengeance in Gotham City after her family is killed by a rival mob. Although she's initially seen as violent and unpredictable, Helena eventually becomes an ally of Batman and a member of the all-female Birds of Prey team. The Huntress is also briefly a member of the Justice League, although she is kicked out after attempting to kill an incapacitated villain.
However, the Huntress wasn't always Helena Bertinelli. The character was originally conceived as the daughter of an alternate universe's Batman and Catwoman in 1977. Created by Paul Levitz and Joe Staton, Helena Wayne took up the mantle of the Huntress after her mother was killed in action. Helena Wayne was a mainstay in the alternate universe "Earth 2" comics, joining Infinity Inc (a team made up of the sons and daughters of Golden Age heroes) and appearing in a number of backup stories in the Wonder Woman series. Helena Wayne was killed during DC's continuity-rebooting event Crisis on Infinite Earth.
Four years later, Helena was reinvented as the daughter of a mob boss seen in Arrow. The Huntress stayed that way all the way up until last year, where DC once again decided to reboot its continuity. In the current continuity, Helena again became the daughter of an alternate universe's Batman and Catwoman, but became trapped in the "main" DC universe along with Power Girl (her world's version of Supergirl) while chasing an intergalactic general who had ravaged their world and killed the bulk of their world's heroes. The Huntress can currently be found in the series' World's Finest.
Geoff Johns - Muse of Fire was written by Geoff Johns, DC Comics' chief creative officer. Johns began his career under Richard Donner, the director of the first two Superman films. He eventually made his way into comics where he became popular for "unraveling" messy continuities for several of DC's characters. Johns had popular runs on Hawkman, The Flash, and Justice Society of America before rebooting the Green Lantern franchise. While he made several controversial changes and expansions to the Green Lantern mythos, Johns' helped mold Green Lantern into one of DC's top-selling franchises and led to the character being featured in the abysmal 2011 Green Lantern film (which was written by Arrow co-creators Marc Guggenheim and Greg Berlanti). Currently, Geoff Johns writes Aquaman, Green Lantern and DC's top-selling Justice League series.
In addition to his comic book resume, Johns also has experience with writing superheroes for television. He's written several episodes of Smallville (where he introduced the Legion of Superheroes, the Justice Society of America, and Booster Gold to the show), an episode of Justice League Unlimited (which featured Hawkman), and multiple episodes of the Blade television show (in which the main villain shares a last name with Johns' frequent collaborator Ethan Van Sciver).
Frank Bertinelli - Frank Bertinelli appears in the comics (briefly) as Franco Bertinelli, where he is gunned down by the Mandragora crime family. In the series Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood, it's revealed that Franco isn't her actual father, but is instead Santo Cassamento.
Nick Salvati - To the best of my knowledge, Salvati is a new character created for the television show. However, my Google-fu shows that there is a Linda Salvati who works as a creative director for Warner Bros. in LA in the consumer products department. It's a bit of a long shot, but as the writer of the episode is Geoff Johns, the CCO of DC Comics who works with other divisions at WB, there's at least a small chance the two are related.
On an entirely different note, Salvati was played by Tahmoh Penikett. Penikett appeared twice on Smallville (as different characters) and will be appearing in the new Man of Steel movie as "Henry Ackerdson", an alias once used by the villain Metallo.
Michael Staton - Helena's dead fiance shares a last name with Joe Stanton, who helped create both the original and rebooted versions of the Huntress. Staton was a prolific artist for DC in the 1970s and 1980s, won an Eisner in 1998 and is currently the illustrator of the Dick Tracy daily newstrip.
Helena's cross - Crosses have often been incorporated into the Huntress's outfit since she was revamped in 1989. During the early part of her career, she wore a cross around her neck, but eventually it became incorporated into her costume as a white cross "built" into the fabric.
So that’s all the comic book references for this week, or at least the ones I caught. Join us next week as we break down Arrow’s ties to the comics!