I see the division in the Arrow fandom. It’s not unusual, I have seen it in shows from Big Bang Theory (The Priah vs Penny camps) to Walking Dead (not as familiar with this because I am not a fan myself, but my Dad is. I listen to my Dads complaints and I see a lot of the fan “camps” argue online.) More often than not, these issues eventually work out themselves.
In Arrow the last two seasons, “the war between camps” has gotten very very bitter. In this series of articles I am going to try and address both sides of the big debate. And perhaps help put in a better light what might be happening, by looking carefully at the source material of many of the story lines over the past four season, as well as looking at each of the debates (including Olicity versus GA/BC) and characters, with an unbiased view. At the end of each article, I will give my more biased thoughts in a summary called “Final Thoughts” The point of this article is not to make you see my point of view, but to evaluate the source material available and encourage you to research on your own, to get a “big picture” view of the series as a whole, not just Episode by Episode or Season by Season. First we have to look at the timeline, which is crucial to understanding the relationship to the show and comics and how they interact.
On September 7. 2011 the first issue Green Arrow Vol.5 was published as part of the New 52. Team Arrow at the time consisted of Oliver Queen/ Green Arrow, Naomi Singh a computer Hacker/ security and surveillance, and Jax an Engineer at Q-Core who designed the Trick Arrows and gadgets. The early stories of the New 52 Green Arrow focused on “third tier meta-human criminals” for the most part. The relationships were kept at a professional level. As Oliver tried to run Q-Core by day and continually “fought” with CEO of Queen Industries Emerson, by night he fought crime as the Green Arrow. (I admittedly don’t know much about the storylines prior to issue 17 since I only read the Midas Touch trade paperback.)
Just a little over four months later, January 12, 2012 CW began developing the TV series we all know now as Arrow.
The Pilot Production began in March of 2012. The comic was more or less going on its way, again I have not yet read issues 7-16, so there is a ten issue gap I know little about except for what I read on DC Database. If you want you can read it here http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Oliver_Queen_(Prime_Earth), but I didn’t see anything (as I can tell) that relates to the TV series, except for a few bits and pieces that tie into his past. At this time Ollie was also a member of Justice League America, a sort of American government version of Justice League, where he worked for ARGUS and Amanda Waller, (in the flashbacks in Season Three and Four, Ollie is working for Argus).
By the time of the Arrow Series Premiere on October 10, 2012, the Arrow comic was on its 14th issue, a little over a year into its run. By Arrow’s mid-season hiatus, The Green Arrow comics were moving into its more popular run with Writer Jeff Lemire and artist Andrea Sorrentino. It is during this run that influences the TV show in its next two seasons, as well as the TV Show influencing the comic. The comic introduced its version of Diggle, which was a bit darker than his TV counterpart (at least prior to the Season 4 “everyone goes into the darkness” theme). We will go more into that later.
By the time Season Two rolled around, with the Green Arrow Deathstroke feud that began with Identity Crisis (when Ollie stabbed Slade in his bad eye with an arrow) and played out during the One year Later storyline after Infinite Crisis. We will examine these much deeper in later articles. In the Comics the Outsiders War storyline that had been built up the last six months was hitting a peak. The show and comics both influenced each a lot during this period, with Diggle being introduced more or less in Issue 24. A month after the end of Season 2, Lemire and Sorrentino left the book, and the show began to really influence the comic in the Kingdom storyline, that has Felicity and Diggle joining the cast in place of his former team, and Merlyn making his first full appearance, (warning spoilers) but it isn’t Malcolm, it is Tommy Merlyn. This series also debuts Mia Dearden, who we all know is Thea in the comic (Thea Dearden Queen). Another spin is Emiko Lacriox (Queen) who turns out to be Olivers half sister, who I suspect adds a bit to the mix of Theas character, something we will dig deeper into.
Season 3 begins as The Kingdom is winding down. (I have not read The Kingdom Trade yet so I’m not sure aside from knowing Felicity and Diggle are on the team, and the introduction of Mia what really happens. So that storyline will not factor in much with my evaluation.)
At the time of this writing Season 4 has just ended. And I am not up to date on what is going on in the comics since I prefer to read the trades, and not the single issues. However I do know enough about the characters I will be evaluating and the plots to be able to give everyone a better understanding of the show and the characters.
Final Thoughts: My main objective of this article as stated is to give an objective view on the source material and how it is related to the comics, I do not expect nor do I want the reader to just accept my thoughts, but encourage them to dig into the story on their own. Think of it as a journalistic investigation into the Arrow Series. By doing this I do hope to bring some of the “camps” to more middle ground, and allow us as fans to be more united in what we love about the show and less about what we hate…and who we hate on the show. I encourage a dialogue on my articles in the comments. If the first few articles go well, I will continue to write more.