‘Arrow’ Season 1 Details: Black Canary, Bludhaven, and Speedy

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arrow season 1 oliver Arrow Season 1 Details: Black Canary, Bludhaven, and Speedy

In a world where many of DC Comics’ most popular characters have struggled to make it to screens both big and small, freshman drama Arrow has been a pleasant surprise, earning solid ratings for The CW and the respect of fans.

Now, with season 2 already confirmed, the show’s cast and crew are beginning to make plans for the future, and Saturday night they took to the stage at PaleyFest to share some of those plans, discuss the source material, and explain why they are taking it slow with both Black Canary and Speedy.

Executive Producer Greg Berlanti on why they wanted to make a show about Oliver Queen and the story of the Green Arrow:

“In a movie you do an origin story and it’s the first 20 minutes of the film. But in a series, in this instance it’s the island, you get to tell that over multiple years”.

arrow season 1 deathstroke Arrow Season 1 Details: Black Canary, Bludhaven, and Speedy

Serving as the lush and hazardous homebase for Oliver Queen’s tortuous journey of self discovery and transformation, the island flashbacks have been vital to the characters transformation, according to series star Stephen Amell, who explained how the island scenes have helped to shape the character:

“I always knew that eventually, at a certain point, my spine would begin to form — so to speak — and I think that we saw that in episode 14 when we actually took some time — “The Odysey” — and we spent more time on the island than we did in the present day for that episode.” said Amell.

Though producer Marc Guggenheim named Mike Grell’s “The Longbow Hunters” and Andy Diggle and Jock’s “Green Arrow: Year One” as comics that were an inspiration, producer Andrew Kreisberg made it clear that the show aims to tell its own side of Oliver Queen’s story.

“Sometimes comic book adaptations, sometimes there’s a little too much fidelity to the source material and there’s not enough alchemy in translating it.” Said Kreisberg before Guggenheim mumbled “Watchmen” to the crowd’s delight.

While carving their own path away from the comic may be a priority, according to EW, the PaleyFest panel revealed that Oliver will travel to Blüdhaven, with Kreisberg saying: “Nightwing will not be there, unfortunately. He’s out of town that week.” before adding: “There are two cities that we’ll probably never go to. You can probably figure out which ones those are.

“Never say never” said one of the panelists off camera, prompting Kreisberg to say that such a decision was “up to Geoff”, referring to producer and DC’s Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, who moderated the discussion.

arrow cw1 Arrow Season 1 Details: Black Canary, Bludhaven, and Speedy

When asked about Roy Harper’s comic alter-ego, Speedy, and Laurel Lance’s alter-ego, The Black Canary, Guggenheim talked about Oliver’s five year long struggle to become a “killing machine” and that while other characters’ transformations wouldn’t “take as long,” they still had to “honor the reality of that.

Guggenheim added: “the evolution has to be earned. It has to be real. The inciting incidents that may or may not turn someone into a vigilante have to have dramatic reality to them, first and foremost.

Guggenheim later said that we will see more of Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) in coming episodes, and that: “We’ll get so see some glimmers of where his potential could be.

While some may gripe at the show’s glacial pace on matters pertaining to Black Canary, their lack of commitment with regard to Speedy and their unwillingness to open up the DC Universe floodgates, it’s hard to argue with the final product. Arrow is a ratings hit for The CW and it seems like they’re dedicated to the world that they have created in a very mature and thoughtful way.

arrow season 1 oliver laurel Arrow Season 1 Details: Black Canary, Bludhaven, and Speedy

Because of that, Greg Berlanti, Geoff Johns, Andrew Greisberg, and Marc Guggenheim don’t seem like they are about to be pressured into stunt moves, and it’s hard to argue that fast tracking the godspark that transforms these civilian characters into vigilante compatriots would be anything less than that.

With only Man of Steel and a cloud of idle speculation and indecision coming down the pike from DC and Warner Bros., it’s hard to knock a show that is standing out for its gritty and mature take on a beloved character, even if that character is, at times, unrecognizable. Right now, fans will have to decide whether or not they’re willing to wait for Laurel (Katie Cassidy) and Roy to grow into their heroism, or if  you want Arrow to hurry up and add a few more costumed do-gooders to its roster so it seems a bit more like the Green Arrow that you know and love.

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Arrow airs Wednesday @8pm on The CW

Sources: EW, Hulu

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  1. I watched that paleyfest panel on hulu, very interesting. And i like that they are taking their time developing those characters. I would rather have a season or two with Arrow being the main big hero, then down the line start adding to the roster.

    Arrow finally returns next week!

  2. I want Nightwing. I don’t care if its tv or film, I just want Nightwing to show up on screen. Maybe in the Batman reboot.

    • +1

      • +2

    • +3

  3. It’s nice to know their not gonna rush character development. Hopefully they stuck to that.

    Nightwing would be awesome! I want this adaption in justice league though so the next batman movie he should already be established and have Tim drake as his robin if nightwing were to show up in this show.

    I would also like mentions of metropolis and Gotham but no visits.

    • i would love to see nightwing but the people who have made this show have a no-super power rule so black canary getting powers i doubt that will ever happen slade wilson aka death stroke the terminator in the comics he gets body upgrades, but the way this show is going it does not seem like it is in the same timeline as supes/bats, other than that i still love the show!

      • No need of super powers… afaik the 1st black canary was a woman dressed like a sl*t doing martial arts.

        Also, they could solve that issue with tech, as if she had a device in the neckbelt (much like navy seals pick voice from the trhoat vibration not by a mouth-mic thing) distorting/maplifying her voice to a point of breaking crystal/making bad guys lose stability/ protecting ears, giving her a close combat edge.

    • Version of Young Justice in this show…

  4. would love to see a nightwing in an ep or a cameo

  5. Many of us want Nightwing, but unfortunately we won’t see him anytime soon. Maybe in season 3 if the show runners are feeling generous. Right now I’ll be happy just to see Speedy / Arsenal, although it may clutters the screen with another bow-and-arrow wielder, what with there being the Dark Archer already.

    Speaking about Black Canary, I personally don’t want her in this iteration of GA. A nod could be acceptable, like perhaps sometime in the future Laurel becomes a respected attorney and gains the nickname “Black Canary”. But like mentioned in the article, should they decide to include the superheroine Black Canary, the transformation must happened realistically, not shoehorned just because there has to be Black Canary in GA story.

  6. No!!!! i want to see visits from other D,C characters . Bruce Wayne, night-wing., flash, why not . it would shake things up a bit . very awesome too.

  7. The show should just stay where its at n not rush into things like how it took 10 years for Clark to become Superman

  8. I am pretty picky about what I watch, but I have to admit this show is mildly entertaining, and I have been following it and will continue to do so.

    You know what I want to see from DC? A series or movie featuring the team-up of Dr. fate (Kent Nelson) and Hourman (Rex Tyler). Buddies and team-mates in the early comics, great chemistry and back-stories, cool costumes, a definite hit waiting to be made. They fought such villains as the Psycho Pirate and Solomon Grundy in the comics. How about them fighting someone like The Time Commander on the screen?

  9. I just want olicity to happen and I dont want him with laurel she is so one sided while Felicity can deal and is deep…and hotter

  10. I can’t wait for this season to be over so I can buy it lol. I still haven’t watched an episode yet but I am stoked to start. I can’t justify the $2 per episode when it will cost $30 for the entire season. I think Ill wait.

  11. At least show Oliver reading the Daily Planet or doing business with scientists at STAR Labs. All of this grounded-in-reality bs is making my stomach hurt. Thanks Nolan.

    • Business deal with Wayne Enterprises or something. Come on, throw us a bone here!

  12. This a very good show. I was pleasantly surprised

  13. the cw really needs to give dick grayson his own show .. could either call it grayson or bludhaven.. batman would not have to be involed and they could touch on guys we would probably never see in a batman movie ..
    could also touch on guys we would never see in the mos franchise …

  14. Excellent show, these guys get it. They know what they’re doing. The show and it’s characters are all progressing nicely, no need to rush anything or hurry things.

    In all of the DC landscape, this show,IMO, is the one bright spot. JL is a mess, GL was a mess, Batman ended badly, and is now in a state of unknown flux, and MOS is an unknown at this point. Arrow on the other hand, is steady and strong and growing stronger.

    Perhaps it would be wise of WB/DC to sit down with these show runners and pick there brains a bit. Maybe these guys should have a say in the WB/DC movie universe? Either way, if I were WB, I would seek out the men responsible for the only good thing they have going, and start there.

  15. So slow character development that much? at this pace Oliver will have shown his identity to everyone in the city. He needs someone who is already a vigilante to help guide him i.e. nightwing sent by batman.
    I just feel if they turn everyone into heroes then it will turn into the corny parts of smallville.

  16. I could see Laurel using the Black Canary name as an alias so her father won’t know who’s feeding Green Arrow the information she gives on the latest criminal cases, plus it won’t wreck her career as a lawyer, what with the confidentiality agreements and such.

  17. I would prefer to keep Bats & Nightwing out of this series. Arrow doesn’t need them, it’s doing just fine without them. Arrow can stand on its own.

    • Having Batman in it might weaken the character and show that they need the more famous hero as a crutch to boost ratings instead of letting Green Arrow stand up on his own.

      Nightwing…same sort of thing I guess but everyone outside of regular comic book reading won’t have heard of him. Throwing his former alter ego’s name out there for recognition would cheapen him too.

  18. I am fine that they are not choosing to rush this and have the focus not be on Arrow. I like that there is mention and easter eggs of the Dc Universe popping up here and there. I feel Oliver would finally use the alias Green Arrow when he is the full fledged, wise-cracking, smart ass archer we all know and love. What I like about the show is the juxtaposition between two character journeys taken ultimately by the same character.

    Its a great compare contrast as one story sees him becoming less selfish but due to becoming this warrior and the horrors it brings as he succumbs to killing and such while the other sees the warrior that while more compassionate is disconnect from the world and has this internalized conflict that drives him–he must move on from this pain and anger which would then allow him to connect to others and help make him a hero. It is a story that makes sense in the context of the series and should not be rushed.

    I do like the world building with characters and events occurring inspired by the source material. I would like them to expand and maybe introduce concept of the meta-gene but all in the context that is the show of how the vigilante becomes the Green Arrow.

  19. I would LOVE to see my favorite DC character Nightwing be a part of this but I wish they never do it. If they put him in the show it will mess up the timeline, how could Robin be Nightwing if Oliver isn’t Green Arrow yet. A robin appearance would be amazing since he is the first sidekick and the youngest one, so he could appear like a 15 year old. Also Roy Harper is in the picture, he cant be Speedy before Dick is Robin. So I vote for a Bruce Wayne appearance or better yet a Robin appearance. (Robin doesn’t even need a costume, he can just be a cameo as an unknown boy with dark sunglasses sent by the dark knight himself)

    • Or possibly a “hey Oliver, wanna go out, I hear the circus is in town”, “Circus? They still have those?”, “Yeah, The Amazing Graysons are the main attraction though, nobody goes for the clowns any more”, “…..Yeah, I’ll pass, I think I have something to attend to, club business”.

      • Haha! That’s a good one. Really, they should do something like that, it wouldn’t hurt the show and it will make us love it more than we do now.

  20. Never thought of this til now, but what if thea and roy started dating, and thea is then killed and he takes her nickname ‘Speedy’ and joins oliver.

  21. First I agree with the slowness of the Black Canary and Speedy thing, especially Black Canary. And as you see in this Roy is a little older, so it would not be out of the question for him to go straight to Arsenal. Maybe create some unique weapons for him so we don’t have so many Bows and Arrows flying around. Plus I like it when shows like this go outside the traditional, it makes them different.

    Now for the thing with Nightwing. Having him as a guest star, could work. But while Nightwing is one of my favorite hero’s (I like him even better than Batman) I think they should bring him in later…like in season 5. And here is an idea, in Smallville they brought in characters to create the Justice League, way back in the Day Green Arrow and Speedy were members of a team called Seven Soldiers of Victory (Green Arrow, Speedy, Crimson Avenger, Star Spangled Kid, Stripe, Shining Knight, Vigilante) . All were non-super-powered, the closest thing they had to a power being was Shining Knight, who had magic armor and a flying horse. I say they bring in several vigilante types characters and they eventually form a team. Nightwing could easily be part of that, maybe have Dick and Roy have some sort of connection to each other to give the whole Titans thing a nod. And you could introduce each of these characters through a long period of time. I think they jumped to fast into the whole JL thing in Smallville. And Green Arrow was my favorite in that(although I like Stephen Amell’s Ollie a lot better)Also keep in mind that you have Slade in this already, and Deathstroke and Nightwing have a history that goes a lot further back than Green Arrow and Deathstroke. So truthfully I am seeing a lot a connections already (Deathstroke, Bludhaven, Roy) to the Nightwing character, so I think they should introduce him eventually.

    • Another thing I just thought of with Dick Grayson, The Court of Owls story, they could do something like that, but where Dick actually becomes a Talon, and its Roy who ends up saving him (due to a past friendship somewhere in the past) and later he we see him as Nightwing and with a new version of the Seven Soliders of Vistory (change the name to…that sounds a little too 50′s)

  22. I don’t really see y dey can’t include super powered characters or something, aw do u guys plan on explaining canary? Plus, isn’t d whole story supposed to b connected?? GA, speedy, canary, Bruce, Dick and every other character we love DC for??

  23. I wish to see Jade Nguyen / Chesire in Arrow sometimes soon. Obviously not in 2nd season. I don’t care when. Just bring Jade :D

  24. Olicity Forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Someone give Oliver a smack to the face. Open your eyes man, look at the signs.

  25. While it might be nice to see Nightwing, those of us that have been reading the comics also know that he is a recent addition to the Bat-family. GA was around in the days of the original JLA, Nightwing was not around but Dick was there as the original Robin.

  26. Okay her name is Black CANARY as in “sonic song”. “No powers” rule is another way of saying FX are too expensive to keep up. Which is ridiculous considering the run Smallville had. Zero excitement for a BC without the sonic scream. She had great stories in JLU and I especially liked how she typically did not rely on her scream. Hey opera singers can shatter glass with their voices; maybe she’s just a few steps beyond that. Easily explained.