Arrow is coming back this week. Season three was polarizing to many fans, with its endless plot twists and its epic craziness—but we love plot twists and epic craziness. They’re the very essence of comics! And in that spirit, here are ten totally awesome Green Arrow comics plots that Arrow should tackle.
10. The Panopticon
This is a very recent Green Arrow story, and one of the goriest. It involves a robot meant to help police departments deal with high-crime areas by assessing crime, moving to intervene, and dealing fatally with those who resist too much.
How could that possibly go wrong?
Basically, this storyline is the best way to get Oliver Queen fighting a tentacle monster. Moreover, there’s a predator-prey theme going on in this comic that would make for great, or at least entertaining, visuals. One person gets ripped apart by a wolf. And just when you think the big bad designer of the robot is going to escape—bam! Orca. That’s how you finish a villain off.
9. Ollie’s Best Friend Hal
Oliver Queen has many friends. What he lacks is a superhero friend, which is a shame—because comics has provided Ollie with a friend for decades. We all know who Hal Jordan is, and since DC won’t be putting him in movies for a while, why not put him on the TV show? He and Ollie have laughed together, cried together, gotten drunk together, and fought each other when they turned evil. Sure, we haven’t seen him on the show before, but someone needs to star in the flashbacks this year.
This Kevin-Smith-created character has just the right mix of creepy and bizarre. He’s a masked villain who makes a habit of killing vigilantes. There’s no explanation as to why he does this, because he doesn’t talk. He only makes the sound effect of whatever is happening at the moment. On screen this could either be scary or silly, but either way it would be entertaining.
7. Ollie Gets Kidnapped By Amazons
According to the show’s producers, magic is going to be front and center this season. Sounds good to me. In the comics, Amazons kidnapped Ollie on his wedding night while his other enemies got a shape-shifting metahuman to take his place and attack his bride, Black Canary, who “killed” him and then kept him in a cryogenic coffin—you know what, it doesn’t matter. What matters is the visuals. An island of Amazons is often interpreted as an island of pretty ladies, but it shouldn’t be. Stephen Amell is, according to the internet six foot one. So what the show needs to do is get every six foot two and above actress in Hollywood (Okay, who are we kidding? In Canada.) so they can circle him and yell things like, “Death to the man! Death by snu snu!”
6. The Horse Man
This is a pretty old story that few people will remember. It’s from Mike Grell’s run on Green Arrow during the 1980s. A sex worker is brutally murdered, around the time a mysterious biker rolls into town. Ollie at first thinks the biker did it, but actually, the biker is bent on revenge. It seems the girl was on the run because she got screwed over by a self-serving cop. The biker and Ollie, dispatch the people who killed her and bust up a trafficking organization. After that orgy of blood, redeemed, the biker resumes his former life . . . a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Am I recommending this solely as an effort to get the show to acknowledge its rich Canadian heritage? Sure. Don’t be ashamed, Arrow! This is who you are! I mean, Stephen Amell played a mountie! You can’t run from it. Embrace it.
5. Attack of the Fanfic Writer
Marianne is an infamous character in Green Arrow history. She was a cheerfully homeless waif who Ollie saved from the streets. After living in the house that Ollie and Dinah shared for a few months, Marianne and Ollie shared a kiss. Debate rages about who initiated the kiss and whose fault it was, but it resulted in Dinah leaving Ollie for good and Ollie being established as a dirty cheater. That’s not why Marianne should be in the series.
She should be in the series because she wrote unbearably flowery stories of her travels. Stories that described her as a maiden from a far-away kingdom and Ollie as her “champion,” and added sentences like, “And she couldn’t help wondering if he could be as tender in love as he was terrible in battle.” I’m not saying anyone cold even tolerate it for more than an episode or two, but it makes a nice chance from, “My name is Oliver Queen.”
4. Archer’s Quest
The weakest part of the last season, by far, was the flashbacks. And while some flashback sequences are worth a watch, too many of them are only entertaining because of the atrocious wigs. Perhaps the show can reinvigorate the conceit by mixing it up a little and having Ollie go down memory lane with a traveling companion. In “Archer’s Quest,” Ollie gets together with his former sidekick, Roy Harper, and they jet around the world, finding little mementos from the past, like Ollie’s old Justice League of America membership certificate. Along the way we learn things about Ollie’s past in a quick manner, with a lot of humor thrown in. Ollie roughs up Catman and stomps around the old Arrowcave denying that he was trying to be like Batman.
3. Cissie King-Jones
Comics are many things. They’re an artistic medium that’s gaining popularity in the mainstream and also coming into their own as an art form. They’re a way to express our culture’s ideals, through stark iconography.
Plus they’re total soap operas. And if there’s one rule when it comes to soap operas, it’s that there are never ever enough secret babies. Bonnie King was an early female superhero analog known as Miss Arrowette. Cissie King-Jones is her daughter, and most creators kept the door open on her being Ollie’s daughter as well. Bonnie King became something of a Stage Mom for Superheroes, pressuring her daughter into becoming a teen superhero, an Olympic archer, and a beauty queen simultaneously. She eventually retires as a superhero, once she’s removed from the control of her mother, and when crises come (as they always do in comics) chooses to be a medical volunteer rather than a fighter. This makes her both a unique character in comics—in which most characters have to fight their loved ones to keep up with their superhero activities—and a character with the potential for both a lot of comedy and a lot of drama.
2. Sidekicks Bonding
In this storyline, Roy Harper, the original speedy, and Connor Hawke, the temporary Green Arrow, spend an issue going out, talking, and having fun. Yes, they stumble upon and foil a crime—because it’s comics, and in comics the ten feet around any given superhero is the most crime-ridden area on Earth—but mostly they develop a relationship.
Arrow characters rarely get to do that. Each episode has two different plots, a current plot and a flashback, both of which are focused on Ollie. The remaining time usually centers on love stories, and revealing which characters have kids they never knew about. It would be great to devote an episode to two supporting characters who don’t have much of a relationship having fun and finding common ground. Any two who don’t get along would be great. Maybe it could be Dig and Laurel. Maybe Lyla and Felicity. Any two characters who don’t have a rapport could use an episode to stretch their legs.
1. Bidding on the Old Arrowmobile
This is a quick one-off story that never stops being fun to read over. Mia, Ollie’s Speedy-of-the-moment, finds the old Arrowmobile online. She engages in a bidding war with a guy called “The Scavenger,” only to be outbid by someone called Fledermaus. Yup, it’s Batman. He gives them the car, and Mia and Ollie go to collect it, only to be chased down the highway by the Scavenger.
This storyline is purely an excuse, though. What I want is a full on Mad-Max-Arrow mash-up episode that gets our heroes in an episode-long car chase. Ollie and Thea speeding down the road in an old car. Dig going off-road in a motorcycle, or maybe embracing his military roots with a humvee, Laurel making do in a Prius, and Felicity pedaling away in one of those gyro copters from Mad Max 2.
They are awaited in Valhalla!