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DC Comics, Inc. is an American comic book publisher. It is notable as one of the largest as well as most popular comic book publishers today. DC Comics produces material featuring a large number of well-known characters, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Arrow, and others.

DC Comics owns the rights to Green Arrow, Flash, etc. and so has power over Arrow, The Flash, Constantine, Supergirl, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Vixen and Freedom Fighters: The Ray, allowing the showrunners to use only particular characters on the shows.

Comic book tie-ins published

Series Year(s) Issues
Arrow 2012–2013 12
Arrow: Season 2.5 2014–2015 12
The Flash: Season Zero 2014–2015 12
Arrow: The Dark Archer 2016 12
Adventures of Supergirl 2016 13

Elements from DC Universe brought into Arrowverse

Main article: Allusions to the DC Universe

General impact of the Arrowverse in DC Comics and other media

In Green Arrow #0 (2012), which is an origin story set five years in the past, Tommy Merlyn is introduced as Oliver's best friend. The character is an original creation of the TV show's writers, while also being partly inspired by the comic book character, Merlyn. His introduction into the mainstream comics came a month after the character's official appearance on the TV show. In that particular issue, during the hostage crisis on a Pacific Ocean oil rig that resulted in Oliver shipwrecking on the island, Tommy is caught in an explosion and is thought to have been killed. In the present day at a monastery on a pacific island, a badly burned Tommy, branded as the "Mystery Patient", awakens from his coma. The character subsequently makes cameo flashback appearances in both Green Arrow #26 and Secret Origins #4 (2014).

In Green Arrow #25 (January, 2014), titled "The Prodigal", which takes place six years in the past, Moira Queen makes her debut in the New 52. In this issue, the character's history is noticeably revised by writer, Jeff Lemire, to be on par with the most recent version of the character in Arrow, which was the first to feature the character prominently. Elements like, Moira outliving her husband, running the family's company and knowing her son's secret life, which were featured for the first time on the show, were added to the comic book canon (prior to the New 52 both Moira and her husband were killed by lions in a safari in Africa when Oliver was just a child). As it was later revealed in Green Arrow #28 (April, 2014), Moira passed away from an illness during Oliver's first years as a vigilante. This is similar to the show, where Moira died during the second year of Oliver being The Arrow, though the cause of her death there was different.

The drug, "Vertigo", that is originated from Arrow is featured in the out-of-continuity digital series, Smallville Special: Titans, when Rose Wilson uses it on Mia Dearden a.k.a. Speedy, Green Arrow's protégée, during a battle.

In Green Arrow #18, a new character named, Emiko "Emi" Queen, was introduced as the half-sister of Oliver Queen and his eventual partner, Red Arrow. The idea of Oliver having a sibling as a sidekick was introduced a year earlier, when Thea Queen was introduced on Arrow also as Oliver's half-sister. Even though Thea uses the name "Speedy" on the show, Red Arrow was the alias she initially wanted to use too.

On Green Arrow #24, John Diggle, an original character created exclusively for the TV show, made his debut in the comics, on the main Green Arrow title during writer Jeff Lemire's run on the series.[1]

“...I have to say, I really liked it, and especially Diggle is the breakout of that show, I think. So I knew if I could bring in some elements, I wanted to bring in Diggle.” Lemire said after watching Arrow. “...You know, it's a great character, and it serves a real purpose in that mythology. He has a real role. He's someone who grounds Oliver Queen. He's a mentor and a partner and all of these things. So he has a real place within that mythology. I hope, if I'm doing my job well enough, that he'll become indispensable to the comic universe as well.” Lemire added. The writer also elaborated on the characters differences and similarities with his TV counterpart: “...I wanted the character to be the same character, and just the situations are different. So Diggle's military background and his relationship with his brother and the loss of his brother are two things that really define that character. So I felt like those were two things that I needed to bring into the comic book universe as well. The circumstances around his brother's death are obviously different, but that's something that ties into who he is and what's motivating him in the comic as well.” “We always wanted Diggle to become...something that could live on beyond the show.” Andrew Kreisberg mentioned during his initial discussions with Lemire.

Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg and writer Ben Sokolowski were tapped to take over DC's Green Arrow comic, beginning with issue #35, a six-chaptered storyline titled, "Kingdom"[2]:

“We really want to bring the old-school Oliver Queen voice back to the character.” Sokolowski said. “In other words, the opinionated, liberal Robin Hood-esque hero that has fallen through the cracks a bit, both in the comics and TV models.” “Some of our favorite Arrow characters will feature prominently in the comic.” Sokolowski said. “Though they may not necessarily be clones of their TV personas. I think our goal with this comic is to make it an echo of the TV series.” As for Oliver Queen, “I think the version Ben and I are going for now is an amalgamation of the TV version and his comic book persona.” Kreisberg said.

Kreisberg also noted that he and Sokolowski approached DC about writing the comic: “We thought there was a real opportunity here not to do another adaptation of the TV show, but infuse the comic world of Oliver Queen with some of the stronger elements of the show.” he said.

In the epilogue of issue #35, the first issue of the new run, Felicity Smoak made her debut in the New 52 continuity. The character was not the original version, who debuted in Firestorm #23 (1984), but the revamped version of the comic book character, who debuted in the first season of the TV series (2012). With the previously introduced John Diggle, Kreisberg and Sokolowski established the new status quo of Team Arrow, using exactly the same characters as on the show. Both Diggle and Smoak were used prominently in that run.

On issues #36 and #37 (2015), Tommy Merlyn reappeared, for the first time under the alias of the mercenary archer, "Merlyn", in the New 52 continuity. He is employed by John King to retrieve his daughter, Mia Dearden, for him. This brings him at a direct conflict with Green Arrow, whom he later confronts. The two men fight each other, with Tommy being nearly a match for Green Arrow. During their confrontation. Tommy recognizes that his opponent is actually his old friend, Oliver and decides to retreat. Even though Tommy was eventually used as a red herring on the TV show and the character who ended up being the show's version of Merlyn was his father, he remained as the mainstream version of the character in the comic books up until before the DC Rebirth relaunch.

The main antagonist of the "Kingdom" story arc is a new character named, John King, who displays many similarities with an Arrow character, Malcolm Merlyn:

  1. Both characters are initially presented as successful businessmen with nefarious secret plans. This is evident especially during Malcolm's appearances in the first season of the show.
  2. They are both the biological fathers of Mia Dearden in their respective continuities; Thea Dearden Queen is Arrow's version of that character.
  3. John's last name is also a reference to "Arthur King", the real name of Merlyn in the comics.
  4. King is depicted in the comics with the likeness of actor, John Barrowman, who portrays Malcolm on the show. King's first name could also be a nod to the actor.

Kreisberg and Sokolowski's run ended with issue #40, which was the conclusion of the "Kingdom" storyline. However, elements from the TV series were removed from the comic book after that issue, including both characters of Diggle and Smoak.

Felicity Smoak also appeared in the out-of-continuity digital series, DC Bombshells, which takes place in an alternate history version of World War II. There, the character was once again modeled after Arrow's re-imagined version, while also her Jewish heritage was denoted.

In the miniseries, Superman: American Alien, which is an out-of-continuity revisioned take on Superman's origin, Jimmy Olsen is introduced as an African-American character. The character's race was changed for the first time in the Supergirl TV series.

Following DC Rebirth, the Supergirl comic book series was relaunched with its seventh volume borrowing several elements from the TV series. Writer of the series, Steve Orlando, had this to say about the connection to the TV series[3]:

“I think it’s very important to sync up with the show, but also that’s a bit of a trick question, because the show has done so well for the very reason that it truly understands the tone of the best Supergirl comics. So it’s a bit of a circle: hope, positivity, inspiration. These things run through the show, fuel the tone, but they’re right from the comics. Individual details may vary. Characters may vary. But the heart of the show is the heart of the comics, it’s what makes Supergirl unique, and getting that right is our obligation across all mediums.”

“...We’re moving her to National City. We’re connecting her to Cat Grant in a new way. We’re connecting her to her human parents, the Danvers, in a new way. She’s working for the DEO, which is led by Cameron Chase. Kara’s at the DEO to further her main goal and objective—understanding humans.” Orlando said regarding the adapted elements from the TV show.[4]

In the new comic book series, Kara uses as her civilian identity the name "Kara Danvers", which originated from the show. Her adoptive parents are also established as Jeremiah and Eliza Danvers and her hometown is National City. Her and the Danvers family's connection to the D.E.O. is also part of the series, as her parents both work there as agents along with her, though the organization is ran by Cameron Chase instead of Hank Henshaw. Cat Grant and her company, in which Kara becomes an intern, are also included in the series. One major difference from the TV show though is that in the comic book series, Kara is depicted as a sixteen-year old teenager instead of a young adult in her early to mid-twenties.

Some elements from the show, like her civilian name and her adoptive family, were also incorporated in the out-of-continuity limited series, Supergirl: Being Super.

In 2017, DC comics released a new Justice League of America series (vol.5), as part of its DC Rebirth. The book's main roster included characters, who have pivotal roles in the several TV shows that are part of "Arrowverse." Excluding Batman and Lobo, the rest of the cast is:

  1. Black Canary, whose several different versions appear as main characters on Arrow. Though, it's specifically the Dinah Drake version that appears in the comic book.
  2. The Atom, who is a main character on DC's Legends of Tomorrow. However, it's the Ryan Choi version that appears in the comic book.
  3. Vixen, who is the protagonist of the Vixen animated series, as well as, a version of her is a main character on DC's Legends of Tomorrow.
  4. Frost (formerly known as Killer Frost), who is a main character on The Flash.
  5. The Ray, who is going to be the protagonist of the Freedom Fighters: The Ray animated series.

The relaunch of the Green Arrow title as part of DC Rebirth, written by Benjamin Percy, brought the character of John Diggle back. John made his reappearance in the second issue of the sixth volume, and has been part of the title since then. Green Arrow's costume was also redesigned to resemble the one wore by the character on Arrow, specifically the one that was first featured in the 4th season of the show.

In the 14th issue of Green Arrow (vol. 6), Malcolm Merlyn is introduced as the mysterious archer trying to frame Green Arrow for his own crimes. In previous issues, Oliver suspects that the mysterious "arrow killer" is his childhood friend, Tommy Merlyn, whom he previously briefly encountered. However it is revealed that the impostor is Malcolm Merlyn, the original Dark Archer, member of the League of Assassins and Tommy's father. In subsequent issues, Oliver's history with the Merlyn family, Malcolm's antagonism with Robert Queen and his romantic interest on Moira Queen, all elements first featured on Arrow, were also introduced.

The character of Wild Dog was also begun to be associated with Green Arrow, in-part because of Wild Dog's appearances on Arrow. The cover of Green Arrow: Rebirth #1, which came out on June 1st, 2016, featured a group of characters, sporting attires similar to that of Wild Dog, though the group was only mentioned in the issue as the "Wild Dog Militia." On October, 2016, Wild Dog was introduced as a new character for the fifth season of Arrow, though instead of the comic book character, Jack Wheeler, the character on the show was an original creation, named Rene Ramirez. In Green Arrow vol.6, #18 (May, 2017), the Wild Dog Militia was officially introduced as enemies of Green Arrow, inspired by Wheeler. Before the sixth volume of Green Arrow and the fifth season of Arrow, Wild Dog and Green Arrow only met once, briefly in a alternate continuity, in the Infinite Crisis storyline.

Elements from the Arrowverse brought into DC Comics

Characters

Original characters
Character Revamps

Locations

Notes:

  1. Even though on Arrow, Malcolm is the actual and only adaptation of Merlyn/Dark Archer, in the comics both he and Tommy share that moniker.

Elements from the Arrowverse brought into other media

Film

  • Actress Kiersey Clemons, was cast in the role of Iris West, to appear in the films Justice League (2017) and The Flash as part of the DC Extended Universe. But her appearance in the former was later cut from the theatrical release. This will be the second time Iris is depicted as an African-American woman, as the first one is in The Flash TV series, played by actress Candice Patton.

Video Games

  • A Green Arrow skin based on Arrow's Oliver Queen appears in the 2013 video game Injustice: Gods Among Us. The playable skin was given as a bonus reward to the first 5000 voters of Injustice's promotional Battle Arena competition, but was later released as a free download. Stephen Amell also provides the voice-over for that particular skin.
  • In NYCC 2014, TT Games announced an Arrow-themed DLC pack for the upcoming video game LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham that will include Stephen Amell once again voicing Oliver Queen.[5] Besides Arrow's version of Green Arrow, other playable characters from the show, who were included in the game are: Roy Harper, Canary, Slade Wilson, John Diggle, Felicity Smoak, Huntress and Malcolm Merlyn.
  • LEGO Dimensions featured S.T.A.R. Labs as an easter egg that can only be found exclusively in the fifth level of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them story pack. However, the player must have the Tardis from the Doctor Who level pack in order to access it.[6]
  • Another Arrowverse easter egg in LEGO Dimensions includes the comic book version of Green Arrow making several references when interacting with each character.
  • The interaction with The Doctor makes a joke to Captain Jack Harkness because he and Malcolm Merlyn look the same. John Barrowman previously played Harkness on Doctor Who and its spin-off Torchwood.
  • Felicity Smoak was possibly referenced in the interaction with Shaggy due to her skill being similar to Velma.
  • Green Arrow mentions Big Belly Burger in his interaction with Homer Simpson.

Merchandise

  • Just before the first season finale of the show DC Collectibles released an ARROW Oliver Queen Statue, based on the likeness of actor Stephen Amell and available for purchase in specialty stores,[7] as well as an Oliver Queen vs. Deathstroke (Bill Wintergreen) action figure Two Pack Set.
  • On SDCC 2014, DC debuted new series of ARROW figures of Oliver Queen (Arrow and flashback-Oliver), The Canary and Deathstroke, as well as a lone Barry Allen figure based on the FLASH TV series.[8]
  • On May 4, 2015, DC Collectibles revealed a new Black Canary (Laurel Lance) figure, as part of the new Arrow TV Series 7" line.[9] Additional figures are these of: Arrow (Season 3), Arsenal, Dark Archer (and Malcolm Merlyn), John Diggle, Felicity Smoak and Deadshot, while a Starling City Police badge has also been released.[10]
  • Action figures based on THE FLASH TV show were also released including: Flash, Reverse-Flash, Captain Cold, Heat Wave, along with a Central City Police badge and a Reverse-Flash ring.[10]
  • A helmet of Doctor Fate statue from the Constantine TV series was also released.[11]
  • Since May 2015, Funko released a toy line of super-deformed figurines, Pop! Vinyl and Dorbz that aremodeled after various characters from Arrow, The Flash and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.
  • On July 20, 2015, Funko released a toy line of figurines, ReAction Figures, modeled after various characters from Arrow and The Flash.
  • LEGO released exclusive minifgures of Arsenal, The Atom, and Vixen in 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively as part of a raffle at San Diego Comic Con.

Miscellaneous

  • On October, 2012 the Facebook page of Arrow released seven custom-illustrated character bio cards for each of the main characters of the first season (Oliver, Thea, Tommy, Quentin, Diggle, Laurel and Moira), which were created by comic book artist Omar Francia (Legends of the Dark Knight) to celebrate the series premiere. Francia also penciled three issues of the first volume of the Arrow comic book tie-in series. On October, 2013 in anticipation for the show's second season premiere, Francia created three additional character bio cards for that season's new main characters (Felicity, Roy and Slade).[12]
  • The one-shot special Harley Quinn Invades Comic-Con International: San Diego features an appearance of Arrow star Stephen Amell, one of many real life people associated with DC Comics who are used in the issue as Easter Eggs. In the comic book Amell, who is wearing a green tie and jacket, attends the convention and while he is interviewed and answers questions for his fans, he is approached by Harley Quinn who seemingly wants his autograph but at the end she passes him by and pushes him down, revealing that the people she wants an autograph from actually are Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, the character's creators.
  • To celebrate Comic Con International 2014, TV Guide Magazine and Warner Bros. Television are teaming up for a special issue. The magazine features an exclusive Flash comic, titled "60 Seconds in the Life of Barry Allen", created by DC Entertainment and written by series executive producers Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti with DC chief creative officer Geoff Johns.[13]
  • On November 11, 2014 Warner Bros. and DC released a series of custom-illustrated character bio cards for each of the main characters of the first season (Barry, Iris, Eddie, Joe, Cisco, Caitlin and Wells) of The Flash, which were created by comic book artist Ivan Reis (Justice League, Green Lantern, Aquaman).[14]

Gallery

Logos

In-show logos

See also

References

  1. 'ARROW: JOHN DIGGLE MAKES HIS COMIC BOOK DEBUT - IGN
  2. 2.0 2.1 ‘Arrow’ writers to pen DC’s ‘Green Arrow’ comic, include Felicity Smoak - Hypable
  3. Steve Orlando on “Supergirl,” Synergy Between the Show and the Comic, and What Makes Kara So Special - Multiversity Comics
  4. Kara's Back: Steve Orlando Takes Supergirl to New Heights - DC Comics
  5. Green Loontern, Jim Lee, Conan O'Brien and "Arrow" DLC Come to "Lego Batman 3" - Comic Book Resources
  6. LEGO Dimensions CW's The Flash Easter Egg Mini Level (Chapter 5 of Fantastic Beasts) - YouTube
  7. DC Collectibles' ARROW Statue Hits Shelves Just in Time for Show's Season Finale - DC Comics
  8. SDCC 2014: DC Debuts New Arrow and Arkham Knight Collectibles - IGN
  9. DC Collectibles Arrow TV Series 7" Laurel Lance As Black Canary Figure Revealed - Toy News International
  10. 10.0 10.1 DC Comics FULL NOVEMBER 2015 Solicitations - Newsarama
  11. DC COLLECTIBLES Group Solicits (October 2015) - DC Comics
  12. Arrow Character Bios - Arrow - Facebook
  13. First Look: TV Guide Magazine and Warner Bros. Team Up for Comic-Con Special Edition - TV Guide
  14. The CW Releases THE FLASH Season One Character Cards - Newsarama.com