Podzilla 1985

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"Arrow" Premiere. Green Arrow gets the spotlight




 
After playing 2nd string for years, Green Arrow is finally getting his shot(pun very much intended) in the form of his own TV series. 

                                                 
“Arrow” premiered last night on the CW and I’ve been relatively excited to see it for months since seeing the first footage. So I figured, “Hey, there’s this blog. I saw the pilot. I have thoughts. Why not think those thoughts and let my brain send signals to my fingers that make them type those thought signals into a blog post?!” So that was my very complicated thought process.

A little background for you first as DC isn’t as good at exposing the average person to their characters that aren’t Superman and Batman as Marvel is.
Green Arrow is Oliver Queen. Oliver Queen inherited lots of money. Ollie has no powers. Though he is really, really, good with a bow…and fighting…and being a loudmouth liberal.  He’s basically Batman minus the childhood trauma, brooding, had a fantastic goatee at one time and is actually written as a guy without powers.
Excuse me while I sit back and smirk smugly at that last part…


Okay, done. 

                                                                 See, look at that fantastic goatee!

Back when he was first created, he was even more like Batman. He had the Arrow cave, the Arrowplane, and even a ward named Speedy.
Regardless of his similarities, I’m a fan. I like the Robin Hood meets Batman thing he’s got going.
But as a fan, I can completely understand that DC may have been hesitant to try and do anything with the character that puts him in the spotlight and draws attention to any similarities to arguably their most popular character.
So now here we are. He’s appeared in the Justice League animated series, Smallville, Justice League Heroes for the PS2, DCUO, and so forth. While he’s gotten his moments in the past, now all focus is on him.           

                                              

 
When the first footage popped up, a lot of fans, myself included, had the same thought: “That looked pretty cool but I really hope they’re not trying to make him Bruce Wayne level serious.” He came off as very broody and there was this kind of Batman Begins kind of feel.  That’s what I was looking for when I watched the pilot. The question in my head was, “Are they going to try to appeal to the popularity of the recent Nolan Batman trilogy by going dark with it?” 
(Author's note: After writing this entry, I read an interview w/ the show runners that said they were actually going for a Nolan-verse Batman tone. So I guess that's that)

I missed it airing live so I watched it on the CW app for iPhone. Handy little thing that let me catch the Supernatural premiere the other day. 

                                                    

Verdict: Not bad.

Now this isn’t really a review(ignore that part where I said “Verdict: Not bad” a few seconds ago)…just…thoughts.
I went into it fully accepting that this isn’t the comics. They may take liberties, and they did, with a few of the characters.
It was pretty much the setup I expected. Oliver, has been living on an island for 5 years, presumed dead, after the boat he and his dad were on sank. He was the only survivor. It’s made obvious he’s become skilled there. Catching the attention of a fishing boat, he makes his way home to Starling City(Star City in the comics).
His mom has moved on and remarried. His sister, coincidentally nicknamed “Speedy” is getting into drugs. His ex, revealed to be named Dinah Lance(Black Canary’s real name in the comics) hates him for not only cheating with her sister, but also taking her out on the boat that sank.
The whole “disappearing for years and returning” thing did FEEL very Batman Begins to me. So I’m thinking a lot of people might draw that conclusion.
I won’t go into all the details but like any good superhero origin, we see him set up a “home base” for training, creating weapons, and the like in his dad’s old abandoned factory. Use his skills against a group of would be kidnappers. Pretend he hasn’t changed and is still a spoiled rich party guy. And attempt to coerce money from a corrupt businessman, who of course refuses to release the money by the deadline, causing Oliver to have to get it by force.
Okay…maybe all of those things aren’t part of “any good superhero origin”, but you get the point.
There was plenty of info left teased to hook people in for the next episode. I’m curious to know what all took place while he was living on the island. What was the significance of the little book with the names in it, including the corrupt businessman? What shady stuff was his dad into? Why was Deathstroke’s mask shown on the island and why did it seem ripped? 

                                                 

There’s some good stuff here for fans.
My only concern was that I really hope he’ll move on from his current serious Bruce Wayne psychological state and become more lighthearted and cocky like Oliver Queen should be. Bruce uses his trauma to fuel his vigilantism. Ollie moves on mentally and he becomes more socially conscious.
I have to ask myself, is it smarter for them to try and capture some of Batman’s popularity by making Green Arrow more dark and serious? I don’t want that to happen, but I’m not running the show. I don’t think it’s necessary but I know how “cool” dark things are these days. 

Anyway, I liked it. It's at least worth giving a shot.
There supposedly won't be ANY superpowered characters whatsoever. As in, if they bring in another DC character w/ powers, they'll find a way to change them up to fit into their grounded universe.

It’s a good start. Let’s see where they go with it.
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