Arrow: Less Batman Stuff, Please

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k4tzm4n

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Edited By k4tzm4n  Moderator

Dear Arrow,

Season 3's overall story feels a bit unfocused at times, but it still has several strengths and I'm so anxious to see how it'll end. You've done an amazing job redeeming Thea and Laurel, Matt Nable is killing it (both literally and figuratively) as Ra's al Ghul, Vinnie Jones'Brick was good fun, and the crossover with Flash was so full of awesome. To be brutally honest, there's a lot of issues with this season (sorry, I still can't get over how easily Oliver recovered), but one thing has many of us concerned about the show's future: the frequent parallels to Batman's story. At times, this show almost feels like "The Dark Emerald Archer Knight." Look, I totally get it. Batman has this rich mythos that's packed with interesting characters and Green Arrow's rogues gallery has been, well, to call it "lackluster" would be putting it nicely. But now that the show's a success and it has established a fan base, how about you delve deep into Oliver's universe and do what you can to flesh those characters out instead of pulling from Batman's world? It's not like there's a lack of good Green Arrow stories out there to draw from, after all.

*There's obviously spoilers in here.*

"You're goddamn right." -Bruce 'I'm Batman and you're not' Wayne

Here's the thing: no matter who you select as the big bad (okay, assuming it's not someone like Condiment King), odds are we're going to tune in and hope for the best. You could use Bane in the next season -- a direction that myself and many others wouldn't be happy with -- and the fact is a majority of us would still watch and hope it's excellent. Ra's al Ghul's inclusion gives us a better look at what the CW-verse has to offer and you've done a great job capturing the iconic villain's presence. It may not be the direction many of us wanted, but it's been an entertaining storyline and it fits well with Malcolm Merlyn. However, the latest twist was a real shocker and my knee-jerk reaction was a very negative one. Ra's al Ghul wants Arrow to become his replacement? I don't think this is a good idea. Not at all. That's one hell of an offer -- one which I don't believe Oliver has earned.

"You're nitpicking. Ra's al Ghul doesn't have to be just Batman's villain and he's brought other people under his wing before. Stop hating, hater." You're right (there was no need for name calling, though), he has and he's certainly fought other heroes before. He's even appeared in GREEN ARROW/BLACK CANARY. But his offer to Oliver doesn't feel justified. I get the reasoning behind it but I don't think it's enough. Oliver's driven, willing to face impossible odds to save what he holds close to him, he lasted longer than most did in combat with Ra's (despite showing zero technique in the fight), and he came back from the impossible just to take on Ra's again. Countless people fear the Demon's Head, yet Ollie went back for more. And when faced with death, Mr. Queen didn't break down or beg to be saved; he kept calm and simply asked that Ra's would spare John Diggle, a.k.a. the guy who deserves more of the spotlight.

Oliver's strong, driven and has potential -- that's why Ra's thinks he'll be a good replacement. I have the audacity to disagree with Ra's decision. Arrow is lacking a few of the qualities that made characters like Batman or Bane impressive to the Demon's Head. Where's the brilliant mind? The exceptional display of tactics? Oliver's plan was to assault Ra's head-on and hope for the best. If anything, he should be viewed as stubborn and foolish enough not to realize when he's in over his head. "Batman doesn't exist in this world and Oliver could be the best person he's come across." Leading the League of Assassins takes more than being a good combatant. Oliver continues to make foolish, brash and even stubborn decisions in the show and that's something Ra's al Ghul shouldn't be oblivious to. How does no one under him offer the potential to one day take his place? We obviously haven't seen everyone who's part of the League of Assassins. I would understand if Ra's wanted Oliver to join the group, but to offer the highest position possible right away? It just doesn't feel earned and as of right now, there's no logical reason why Ra's would rush to find a replacement. The man has been around since at least the mid-1800s and we know he's still enjoying dips in something that has the same properties as a Lazarus Pit. I understand Ra's respecting Oliver and seeing potential in him, but immediately making that kind of offer? It's tough to swallow.

"Her? You want HER to appear instead of me? -tt-"

According to TVLine, this season's finale will reveal "a major, formidable, fierce new foe for Oliver, and his reign of terror will continue well into Season 4." I would love for this to be a lesser-known or doing some major work to flesh out someone from Oliver's history. Remember how they totally wasted Constantine Drakon in the first episode? Maybe his brother was away in Central City, developed above average speed when the particle accelerator accident occurred, and now he has returned to Starling City with one thing in mind: revenge. He even teams-up with Deathstroke in the comic! There's so much potential for epicness there. Or maybe Onomatopoeia will get an extended arc as he eludes Arrow's sights and kills more and more people? None of the heroes are safe. Well, except for Arrow because his fight with Ra's proved he can apparently survive just about anything. This fiend could even cut off one of Roy's arms and the team at S.T.A.R Labs could build a replacement. Or maybe Count Vertigo will get the revamp and depth he deserves instead of being a plot device and way too much like Scarecrow?

The big bad is very unlikely to be any of those characters because the site claims the cast and crew of Arrow are referring to this upcoming fiend as "Damian Dark." Seeing as the current story involves the League of Assassins and it'll introduce the next main villain, it's easy to assume this means Damian Wayne. That's right, Bruce Wayne's son. They may not be able to show Batman in this series (or at least that's what I've heard), but that doesn't mean they can't have a gazillion strong nods to him and his world. Oliver getting the offer would surely piss Damian off and this could introduce Ra's other daughter, Talia. As much as I love Damian, I sincerely hope this isn't the path they're taking.

Thankfully, it hasn't been confirmed that Damian Wayne will be the next villain, and this leaves us thinking about other options. Why not Emiko Queen? Yeah, the report said "he," but if they're using an alias, maybe the "he" is there to throw us off even more? I'm probably stretching things here, but she's similar to Damian and started off as a villain. Originally siding with Komodo before becoming a hero, this character would offer readers of the comic some major fan service and bring the team a new dynamic. She could be this badass the League of Assassins have been relentlessly training. And yes, she could still technically be Komodo's daughter. Another possibility is Connor (Hawke), but that seems very unlikely considering he's living with his mother over in Central City. They could work around that, but it doesn't seem probable.

TVLine updated its report with a candidate that seems way more likely and is something I'd definitely embrace: a lesser-known named Damien Darhk. I'm all for this because it's focusing on a different part of the CW-verse (H.I.V.E.), can generate more material with John Diggle and the Suicide Squad, and gives the show a chance to sell audiences on a character that barely anyone knows. The show already has dedicated fans, so they don't need to show their take on A-listers at this point. They can incorporate lesser-knowns and it isn't a risk for them (unlike Beware the Batman), so that's exactly what they should do. Fingers crossed it'll be Emiko or Damien and not Bruce's son. I still love you, little dude, but you don't need to steal the spotlight in this show.

No Caption Provided

Arrow could make Joker the villain in the fourth season and honestly, I'd still watch. I'd think it's a shameless and ridiculous direction, but I'd still want to see how it's handled and what it means for the characters I've grown to care about. The point is, this show needs to embrace Oliver's world and it has built a strong enough following so it can develop characters the general audience -- and even some comic fans -- haven't heard of and it wouldn't be a dangerous move. It needs to take a look at Oliver Queen's history and embrace all of that mythos with open arms; not pull from big parts of Batman's story. This is Arrow, not the Green Crusader or the Dark Green Knight. I love many of Batman's stories, but I don't want to watch Arrow and think he's taking part in what is clearly another character's tale. An episode shouldn't leave me feeling like this is Oliver Queen in a Batman story and I know many of you feel the same way about the latest twist. For the most part, the show has done a good job bringing in more of his characters and he has more than enough content to make this feel like it's his story as we move forward. Over the past couple of years, Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino, and Marcelo Maiolo showed us it is possible to create a modern Green Arrow story that's big, compelling and exciting. I have faith you can also do the same with Oliver Queen's world, Arrow. I was so happy you gave Brick three episodes and now it's time to give another one of the Emerald Archer's villains the spotlight in Season 4. They deserve it. If their comic book versions aren't interesting enough, then that just gives you even more freedom to reinvent them and make them awesome. That should be a challenge you'd want to accept, right?

I know this article is being pretty harsh on the show, but I view it as tough love. I enjoy watching new episodes on Wednesday nights and I want nothing but the best for Oliver. I'm glad they've taken big steps to improve the supporting cast and I really hope we see even more of that in Season 4. I just hope it'll begin to feel more like his story and not remind us of Bruce Wayne's adventures. Using Damian Wayne for Season 4 is a step in the wrong direction and I say that as someone who can't get enough of the character in the comics. (Read Tomasi and Gleason'sBATMAN AND ROBIN, people.) The Flash is only in its first season and they've already done plenty to celebrate the Scarlet Speedster's history. I mean, they've already introduced a Gorilla with telepathic abilities! How crazy is that? We'd love for you to do the same in the next season. Take what makes Ollie's story unique and run with that. Use Ra's to get the Batman parallels out of your system and then show us something new or at least something that's clearly pulling from one of Oliver's many great stories. We're all rooting for you, Arrow.

Sincerely,

A fan who'd love for Oliver to start be called "Green Arrow" in Season 4 and to have him lighten up just a wee bit. Pretty please?

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EarthsMightiest

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pingclang

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#2  Edited By pingclang

This is why I quit tuning in. It's got a following and people love it but it isn't for me. I think they should have just done a Batman series to tell these kinds of stories. People are begging for a Batman show, shouldn't they give it to them? I don't even like Bats and know better. A true GA show would be a bit more light hearted and Ollie would be hilariously rude to people. He doesn't share his opinions nearly enough. I get what they wanted to do but it never felt like GA to me.

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Teerack

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Arrow is a great punisher show.

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Mrnoital

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when they say he's being offered leader of the League of Assassins, I just mentally replace that with leader of the Outsiders

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dan12456

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#7  Edited By dan12456

I think it's pretty obvious Damian Dark doesn't refer in anyway to Damian Wayne. There is nothing about any of the reports suggesting it. Just bizarre speculation tacked on that makes absolutely zero sense. I'm honestly shocked anyone is still talking about it. It has about as much credibility as me saying Darkseid is next years villain. (No offence to you Greg, you're just obviously responding to something that's going all around the internet, I just don't know how this caught on to begin with)

I'm 100% sure they are referring to Damien Darhk as you mention. He has much more obvious links to the show. And Greg Ramsay said we get into HIVE in a big way in season 4, but we might see a glimpse before the end of season 3, so I'm sure that links to this report.

Edit: Also Slade's wife was in the whole Damien Darhk Titans arc, so I'm sure that's something they would love to bring in as well.

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brinkthemoviemyfavoritemovie

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You're wrong. This is literally only a problem with a relatively small group of hardcore comic nerds. The show is excellent and there's nothing wrong with it - the ratings don't lie.

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longbowhunter

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This is why I quit tuning in. It's got a following and people love it but it isn't for me. I think they should have just done a Batman series to tell these kinds of stories. People are begging for a Batman show, shouldn't they give it to them? I don't even like Bats and know better. A true GA show would be a bit more light hearted and Ollie would be hilariously rude to people. He doesn't share his opinions nearly enough. I get what they wanted to do but it never felt like GA to me.

Well said. I like the show for what it is but Stephen Amell doesn't play an Oliver Queen I recognize.

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greenarrowfan12

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@pingclang said:

This is why I quit tuning in. It's got a following and people love it but it isn't for me. I think they should have just done a Batman series to tell these kinds of stories. People are begging for a Batman show, shouldn't they give it to them? I don't even like Bats and know better. A true GA show would be a bit more light hearted and Ollie would be hilariously rude to people. He doesn't share his opinions nearly enough. I get what they wanted to do but it never felt like GA to me.

Well said. I like the show for what it is but Stephen Amell doesn't play an Oliver Queen I recognize.

Loading Video...

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BigL

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Totally agreed. Also, great headline

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k4tzm4n

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#12  Edited By k4tzm4n  Moderator

@wardishy: *e-high-five*

@mrnoital said:

when they say he's being offered leader of the League of Assassins, I just mentally replace that with leader of the Outsiders

Ha. I'd LOVE to see them get into something similar to that story in Season 5 or 6. I'm sure they could find a way to build up to their equivalent of it.

@brinkthemoviemyfavoritemovie said:

You're wrong. This is literally only a problem with a relatively small group of hardcore comic nerds. The show is excellent and there's nothing wrong with it - the ratings don't lie.

The article doesn't imply the show will suffer a loss in ratings/quality if they don't stray away from Batman related stuff. I even say twice I'd still tune in and hope for the best if they continue down this path. The point is to say why I'd like them to put more faith in the titular character's history and not draw from other heroes. It's elaborating about a personal criticism, not a warning that the show will fail if it doesn't do what I'd like it to do.

And you sincerely believe there's nothing wrong with the show? To each their own, I guess.

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pingclang

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#13  Edited By pingclang

@longbowhunter: Yeah. Arnell is decent actor but I feel the writing gives him none of Ollie's qualities.

@greenarrowfan12: I love that video. Really wish they would stretch that into a feature length release.

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greenarrowfan12

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@longbowhunter: Yeah. Arnell is decent actor but I feel the writing gives him none of Ollie's qualities.

@greenarrowfan12: I love that video. Really wish they would stretch that into a feature length release.

I could an outriders wars or long bow hunters movie.

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Jonny_Anonymous

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The dark tone doesn't come from Batman. It comes from Green Arrow: Year One and Longbow Hunters.

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k4tzm4n

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#16  Edited By k4tzm4n  Moderator

@jonny_anonymous said:

The dark tone doesn't come from Batman. It comes from Green Arrow: Year One and Longbow Hunters.

The article has literally nothing to do with the tone. I don't see it being discussed in the comments, either?

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longbowhunter

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@pingclang: Agreed. I think Amell could pull off a snarkier, left leaning Oliver Queen. But that's not the character being written for him.

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Mrnoital

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@k4tzm4n: I'd love it so much, but even if they took an easy/lazy out, and made the Outsiders and League connected somehow, I'd still be satisfied

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pingclang

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@jonny_anonymous: Those are dark stories but the character was still in tact unlike the show.

@greenarrowfan12: Even better. Outsiders would rock!

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sonofodin25

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I think for Season 4 Arrow should do a time jump with a more light-hearted Oliver, a Black Canary that actually knows how to fight, Arsenal fighting crime on his own, and Thea as the Mia Deerdan Speedy. The show should be renamed Green Arrow and it should be a light reboot of the show that makes it closer to the comics Green Arrow and less like a wanna-be Batman show.

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Jonny_Anonymous

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@pingclang: Not really. In Longbow Hunters he was an "urban hunter".

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SynCig

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AGREED!!! I thought they'd grow throughout the series and differentiate him more and more as time went on but it's the opposite. The Ollie we saw in season one was not much like Batman at all. Now he is the Emerald Knight, Green Batman. It has worn on me way too much. It's lazy writing and I'm quite sick of it. Plus, it doesn't help that this season has been pretty bad overall which leaves me more time to nit-pick at various things. It's easier to ignore when the episodes are good.

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2cool4fun

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I just want to see less Batman characters, like ffs, GA has his own bad guys.

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jayc1324

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Nicely written. I've only seen some episodes of arrow here and there but I have noticed a lot of batman influences. Batman is great and its cool to take influences from him but it'd be better if they showed how green arrow was cool by himself.

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SupBatz

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Well written. A month ago, I would probably fight against this article. Despite the tonal similarities, I do think that Arrow makes itself distinct enough that it's not Batman. But the latest development with Ra's al Ghul (whose inclusion this season I haven't minded up to this point) has also left a bad taste in my mouth. It's too direct a Batman story, and DEFINITELY feels unearned by Ollie.

I don't think there's really any doubt that next season's villain will be the HIVE. Damian Dark is about as obvious a clue as you can give (and Damian Wayne would make absolutely no sense).

Hopefully, next season will not have much Batman influence and will allow Ollie to continue to grow out of his shadow.

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UltimateSMfan

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Excellent write up @k4tzm4n! Started to write this long comment and then realized it was pretty moot because you touched on everything concerning my thoughts on this particular aspect of the show. Hit the nail right on the head :)

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Jonny_Anonymous

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@k4tzm4n: Because it gets brought up in the 20 different threads about it on here

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ccraft

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The "Batman" stuff never really bothered me, I have lost interest in keeping up with Arrow, but not because of that.

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Wait, so what I have been watching for the past three years isn't Batman having a green coloured, bow-and-arrow themed personality crisis?! #LiesMyParentsToldMe. Excellent article k4tzm4n.

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#32  Edited By Rag_man

Personally I find Stephen Amell IRL, that I've see on interviews and panels, is more like Oliver Queen than when he acts like Oliver Queen on TV. God. I wish they'd write him to lighten up on the show and stop trying to channel Batman, and please please grow out that van dyke already, don't wax it or anything just keep it scruffy...It is iconic to Green Arrow, more Beard = more Bada$$.

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Lurkero

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Nice article.

The problem is, the basics of Green Arrow and Batman meld so well that either character could be switched and wouldn't be much different. I still enjoy watching Arrow as a whole, but Olivers character is starting to fall apart. It's likely because the writers want to take the show in multiple directions and therefore cannot make Oliver focus.

I didn't like the scene with Ra's and Oliver because it said to the audience, "Oliver is really great" without anything backing it up. As the article mentioned, Oliver is a failure in many ways that do not fit the theme of the League. It makes no sense for Ra's to commend Oliver when there are plenty of better candidates. Hell, the fact that Merlyn has survived this long after leaving the League should give him a candidacy for League leader. That guy knows how to manipulate.

I also thought it was insulting to Nyssa for Ra's to ignore her for the throne. Nyssa knows how to get stuff done.

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Sachmoo

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#34  Edited By Sachmoo

I only have a problem with the stories thus far. I don't care that Ra's wanting Ollie to take over the mantle akins to Batman mythos, like the article said, it just feels stupid. If ra's has been keeping tabs on Ollie since day one of the yacht 'accident', he could gather Ollie has extreme determination along with other stellar qualities. He could also gather that he struggles to even keep his own small group under control, let alone the whole league of assassins.

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@2cool4fun said:

I just want to see less Batman characters, like ffs, GA has his own bad guys.

The writers have ruined GA villains (Constantine Drakon, Vertigo, Komodo, Isabel Rochev and the Brick)

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dan12456

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@rag_man: That's actually true! Stephen Amell is very Oliver Queen like in real life.

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Zarathos_No_Daimaoh

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Forget Damien Dark/Wayne .. Like i kept saying there is too much Batman content and villains features , and not enough Arrow mythos . You can easily draw a comparison with Flash , wich in its sophomore season already got basically half of his greatest rogues in place , while still having tons of cameos and other villains from the DC world poppin' in .

So many seasons of Arrow , and we've got what ? Mostly Merlyn all tied to Ras al ghul , and barely recognizeable foes ...

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MICKEY-MOUSE

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If Damian Wayne is the season 4 villain, I might just stop watching. I don't feel the need to whore myself out when we have DD & other super hero shows coming out.

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deactivated-5c901e667a76c

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I think that one of the reasons for making Arrow so Batman-esque is that Batman has more mass appeal than Green Arrow.

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Overall, I do agree with everything you said. 99% of the time Ammell is pretending to be so "grim" and "dark" that I swear he and the writers are intentionally writing for Bruce Wayne rather than Oliver Queen.

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brinkthemoviemyfavoritemovie

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@k4tzm4n: You're missing the whole point of the comment which I said in the first place, which is that the vast, vast majority of people don't notice or care about this, or would just plain disagree with you. Again, it's just that you're wrong.

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Saren

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The dark tone doesn't come from Batman. It comes from Green Arrow: Year One and Longbow Hunters.

And Longbow Hunters comes from a long list of dark and gritty late 80's comics inspired by the success of TDKR.

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k4tzm4n

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#43  Edited By k4tzm4n  Moderator

@brinkthemoviemyfavoritemovie said:

@k4tzm4n: You're missing the whole point of the comment which I said in the first place, which is that the vast, vast majority of people don't notice or care about this, or would just plain disagree with you. Again, it's just that you're wrong.

Except I never said or meant to imply a vast majority of viewers share my concern. I said "many." Based on reactions via social media, I do consider it to be a good amount of people who aren't pleased with that development or think it's drawing too strong of a parallel to Batman's story. Do "most" of the viewers share this concern? Probably not and that's not something I ever meant to imply. If you think the article implied otherwise, well, this is obviously me clarifying for you because that was never the objective of the piece.

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Frozen

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#44  Edited By Frozen

So many Arrow fans in denial; salt. Salt everywhere. I'm glad Ktzm finally made this.

Interesting, that more people are willing to agree that it's Batman-esque now. Even fans of the show.

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Jonny_Anonymous

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@saren said:

@jonny_anonymous said:

The dark tone doesn't come from Batman. It comes from Green Arrow: Year One and Longbow Hunters.

And Longbow Hunters comes from a long list of dark and gritty late 80's comics inspired by the success of TDKR.

And that in turn after Miller's Daredevil run

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Gracetrack

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Spot on, K4. Spot on. :)

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Saren

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@saren said:

@jonny_anonymous said:

The dark tone doesn't come from Batman. It comes from Green Arrow: Year One and Longbow Hunters.

And Longbow Hunters comes from a long list of dark and gritty late 80's comics inspired by the success of TDKR.

And that in turn after Miller's Daredevil run

So Arrow's tone is a knockoff of two characters instead of just one?

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Jonny_Anonymous

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@saren said:

@jonny_anonymous said:

@saren said:

@jonny_anonymous said:

The dark tone doesn't come from Batman. It comes from Green Arrow: Year One and Longbow Hunters.

And Longbow Hunters comes from a long list of dark and gritty late 80's comics inspired by the success of TDKR.

And that in turn after Miller's Daredevil run

So Arrow's tone is a knockoff of two characters instead of just one?

Last time I checked you can't "own" a tone.

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k4tzm4n

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#49 k4tzm4n  Moderator

Spot on, K4. Spot on. :)

@jayc1324 said:

Nicely written. I've only seen some episodes of arrow here and there but I have noticed a lot of batman influences. Batman is great and its cool to take influences from him but it'd be better if they showed how green arrow was cool by himself.

@supbatz said:

Well written. A month ago, I would probably fight against this article. Despite the tonal similarities, I do think that Arrow makes itself distinct enough that it's not Batman. But the latest development with Ra's al Ghul (whose inclusion this season I haven't minded up to this point) has also left a bad taste in my mouth. It's too direct a Batman story, and DEFINITELY feels unearned by Ollie.

I don't think there's really any doubt that next season's villain will be the HIVE. Damian Dark is about as obvious a clue as you can give (and Damian Wayne would make absolutely no sense).

Hopefully, next season will not have much Batman influence and will allow Ollie to continue to grow out of his shadow.

Excellent write up @k4tzm4n! Started to write this long comment and then realized it was pretty moot because you touched on everything concerning my thoughts on this particular aspect of the show. Hit the nail right on the head :)

@lurkero said:

Nice article.

The problem is, the basics of Green Arrow and Batman meld so well that either character could be switched and wouldn't be much different. I still enjoy watching Arrow as a whole, but Olivers character is starting to fall apart. It's likely because the writers want to take the show in multiple directions and therefore cannot make Oliver focus.

I didn't like the scene with Ra's and Oliver because it said to the audience, "Oliver is really great" without anything backing it up. As the article mentioned, Oliver is a failure in many ways that do not fit the theme of the League. It makes no sense for Ra's to commend Oliver when there are plenty of better candidates. Hell, the fact that Merlyn has survived this long after leaving the League should give him a candidacy for League leader. That guy knows how to manipulate.

I also thought it was insulting to Nyssa for Ra's to ignore her for the throne. Nyssa knows how to get stuff done.

Overall, I do agree with everything you said. 99% of the time Ammell is pretending to be so "grim" and "dark" that I swear he and the writers are intentionally writing for Bruce Wayne rather than Oliver Queen.

Thanks, everyone.

@ccraft said:

The "Batman" stuff never really bothered me, I have lost interest in keeping up with Arrow, but not because of that.

I was mostly fine with it as well, but the latest twist? Not so much.

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@saren said:

@jonny_anonymous said:

@saren said:

@jonny_anonymous said:

The dark tone doesn't come from Batman. It comes from Green Arrow: Year One and Longbow Hunters.

And Longbow Hunters comes from a long list of dark and gritty late 80's comics inspired by the success of TDKR.

And that in turn after Miller's Daredevil run

So Arrow's tone is a knockoff of two characters instead of just one?

Last time I checked you can't "own" a tone.

And yet, when people think about dark and gritty comic books, it's not Captain Carrot that springs to mind, is it?

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