Check out what ties Arrow has to the comic in this new weekly column.
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. Arrow Spoilers follow!
Oliver Queen’s Origin– Any annotation of Arrow needs to begin with the main character. Arrow’s Oliver Queen is a grittier version of Green Arrow, the Robin Hood-esque archer with an emphasis on social crusading. Arrow takes the bulk of Queen’s origin straight out of the comic: he learned to brandish a bow after being stranded on an island after a boat accident. There are some differences, however. For instance, Queen’s father isn’t involved with inspiring Queen’s quest for social justice. Also, the island isn’t named Leeonyou (Mandarin for Purgatory) in the comics, it’s named Starfish Island because it’s shaped like a starfish.
That Orange and Black Mask – The mask briefly seen fastened to a pole on the beach on Leeonyou Island? That belongs to Deathstroke, DC’s most popular eyepatched assassin. Deathstroke and Green Arrow have a rivalry stemming back to the 2004 event Identity Crisis, in which Arrow shot Deathstroke in his empty eyesocket with an arrow. Typically, he’s not associated with Green Arrow’s origin, though. More importantly, the mask also hints that Ollie might not have been alone during his five year stay on the island.
Starling City – Starling City is based off Star City, Green Arrow’s traditional home and base of operations. Star City is a California city that’s had a rough time due to its association with Green Arrow. Twice the city’s been nearly destroyed by enemies of Ollie, although the second time a giant forest shaped like a star ended up magically growing from the ruins.
Moira Queen – Moira is a character in the comics, although she isn’t alive to see her son become a superhero. In the comics, she gets eaten by lions during a safari when Oliver was a child. Oliver blames himself for her death as he didn’t man up and fight off the lions with weapons laying around. According to DC’s Wikipedia site, she makes a mean chili.
Walter Steele – Walter Steele is a newer addition to Green Arrow’s mythology, having been brought into the comics during DC’s New 52 relaunch. He’s the current CEO of Queen Industries, although there’s not much else to say about him.
Thea Queen – Thea, Ollie’s sister, is a new character not seen in the comics, but she does shares a nickname with an important part of the Green Arrow mythos. “Speedy” is the nickname used by Roy Harper, Ollie’s sidekick and ward. Roy and Thea only seem to have one thing in common (at least at the moment): they both have drug abuse issues. Roy’s issues are most famously chronicled in Green Lantern #85-86, an award-winning story that focused on Roy’s drug issues. Roy got clean but relapsed after his daughter was killed. In the less-popular Rise of Arsenal series, Roy ends up cradling a dead cat while under the influence of drugs, thinking it’s his daughter.
Laurel Lance – Dinah “Laurel” Lance is more popularly known as the Black Canary, a blonde bombshell of a superhero with a supersonic scream. She and Ollie have had an on and off again relationship since the 1980’s, and has married and divorced the superhero at least once. Dinah’s not a lawyer in the comics, but a florist, but she has been depicted as a brunette at times.
Tommy Merlyn – It appears that Tommy is a new take on Merlyn, a rival archer of Green Arrow. Originally, the character was inspired by Green Arrow to become an archer and defeats him in an archery contest during his first appearance. He resurfaces later as a villain. In the New 52, Tommy Merlyn is shown to be a friend of Ollie, but is caught in an oil rig explosion while being held as a captive of the villain Iron Eagle.
Diggle – Another new character, although he shares his last name with Andy Diggle, the writer of the popular Green Arrow: Year One story from which Arrow took much of its tone and attitude. In that story, Ollie does have a bodyguard named Hackett, who betrays him leading to Ollie being stranded on an island.
Factory Headquarters – Surprisingly, Ollie did have his own version of the Batcave during his early years as superhero. Green Arrow originally shared a lot of similarities with Batman, including an Arrowplane and a villainous clown nemesis. Ollie’s headquarters in the abandoned factory seems to hearken back to the Arrowcave days.
Constantine Drakon – Adam Hunt’s head of security is another Green Arrow nemesis, a martial art specialist who crucifies Green Arrow with his own arrows during his first appearance. Drakon has done some brutal things to Ollie and his friends, cutting Roy Harper’s throat during an appearance and killing one of Ollie’s girlfriends.
Trick Arrows – Ollie’s trick arrows make a brief appearance in the episode, specifically his remote hacking arrow. Ollie’s used a variety of trick arrows ranging from explosives to boxing glove arrows to everything in between. The arrow used by Ollie to rob Adam Hunt has appeared at least once in the comics, although it was used to remotely control a vehicle, if I recall correctly.
Larry Lance – Dinah’s detective father with a grudge against Queen has briefly appeared in comic books. There’s not much known about the character, other than that he’s a detective and former cop.
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!