The CW’s “Arrow” did a skillful job in its first season of courting both superhero and non-superhero audiences alike with its adaptation of the “Green Arrow” comic books. It introduced enough characters from the mythology to keep comic fans happy, while minimizing the more outlandish aspects of the character. For instance, Oliver Queen’s costumed alter ego was never referred to as Green Arrow, or even Arrow. He was always “The Hood.” But it appears that may be changing in the new season.
With “Arrow” the top-rated drama on the CW, the show’s executive producers Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti all apparently feel more comfortable about embracing Queen’s comic book roots. In a sizzle reel of footage from the upcoming second season of “Arrow,” Queen (played by Stephen Amell) tells his trusted bodyguard Diggle (David Ramsey) that he doesn’t want to be called “The Hood” anymore.
“What do you want to be called?” Diggle responds.
Cue significant close-up of a green arrowhead.
The fans were certainly eating it up at the show’s Comic-Con panel on Saturday, a far cry from the status the show enjoyed at the convention just a year ago, before it had premiered.
“Last year I could walk the floor,” Amell said. “Not so much this year.”
Still, the show’s success does take one source of stress away from Amell: “Last year, people said to me, ‘We hope your show doesn’t suck, because we really want to like it.'”
That’s not as much of a concern this year, as fans were invested enough to attempt to suggest their own relationships between characters on the show. Would Felicity Smoak (played by Emily Bett Rickards) hook up with Oliver or Diggle? Fans were divided, much to the bewilderment of the performers on stage.
“I had to learn a bunch of new terms [when I joined the cast],” Rickards said. “The term ‘shipping’ wasn’t in my vocabulary before.” (It refers to the push by fans to have beloved characters get into a relationship.)
Kreisberg revealed that the new season picks up five months after the events of the first season’s finale, which saw mass destruction visited upon Starling City, and that there would be a surprising character returning to the series.
Enter John Barrowman.
Barrowman, who played the villain Malcolm Merlyn in the first season, apparently died in the finale, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Though producers were coy as to exactly how Barrowman’s character would return to the series.
“I would be more than happy to come back,” Barrowman said. “If I’m being invited back, it’s more than the 50th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’s’ ever done for me, I’ll tell you that much.”
Barrowman, who played Capt. Jack Harkness on both “Doctor Who” and the spinoff series “Torchwood” had hoped to be asked back for the 50th anniversary special for the BBC character, but that hasn’t happened.
Guggenheim also teased other DC Universe characters appearing in the new season, including Black Canary (Caity Lotz), Brother Blood (Kevin Alejandro) and Bronze Tiger (Michael Jai White).
As if to acknowledge the increasing connection to the title character’s comic book origins, the second season premiere is titled “City of Heroes.”
– Patrick Kevin Day | @patrickkevinday
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