I don’t remember where I heard it, but when comparing DC comic book characters to Marvel, the biggest difference is DC characters wear capes and Marvel’s don’t. Now, it’s not the only difference, but it does show how anachronistic they’ve become. DC characters for the most part are older than Marvel by a few decades in many cases, solidifying the time period which they were created. Case in point, until a recent company wide reboot bringing with it many character redesigns, Superman has historically worn his underwear on the outside. Many jokes have been made about this over the years but there was a reason for this. Strong men of the 1920’s and 30’s wore their under on the outside, or only underwear. It was this design that was echoed in Superman to show that he was strong.
With this in mind, it’s easy to see the different eras which these characters were created. Evolution has been forced upon many of them to bring them kicking and screaming into the modern day. One of these latest efforts is Green Arrow, on the new WB show Arrow. Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) is based on Robin Hood, and is almost as old as Superman and Batman, debuting in 1941. He was original created as an analogue to Batman, albiet with a bow (billionaire super martial artist). Eventually to differentiate the character from Batman, he was given very left-wing view (I’d love to see how they’d work that into the show).
In what is somewhat a return to form, the new show Arrow follows the template established by the recent series of Batman movies, specifically Batman Begins. The only difference being that Oliver kills. It’s inconceivable for a character whose primary weapon is a bow to not actually kill, especially considering to keep everything grounded in reality he’s not using trick arrows like his comic book counterpart has for decades.
Billionaire returns home after being declared dead for years with expert fighting skills. As he acclimates himself back to normal life he creates an identity to fight crime at night and restore his city. To keep up the ruse he acts like the stereotypical drunk playboy everyone expects him to be, much to the chagrin to those close to him. For technical skills out of his wheel house, he leverages tech support from his family’s company using outrageous lies as to why he needs the information. Was I talking about Batman or Arrow?
If it’s not broken don’t fix it. The Batman formula has proven to work, and considering how off limits Batman is from a TV perspective, Green Arrow was the next best thing. Except it’s confusing whether they’re embracing the characters comic book roots or not. On the show he’s only known as the hood, not the titular Arrow, and definitely not Green Arrow. Conversely, you have uber badass assassin Deathstroke, or China White (in a horrible wig), as recurring villains.
I’m not saying this a bad show. It’s just not appointment TV, at least not for me. I enjoy checking in every week, but I have no idea what they’re trying to accomplish at some points.
What’s your favorite comic book turned TV show? Rather I talk about something else? Comment or tweet!