[SPOILERS for Arrow season 3 ahead.]
Last we saw Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) at the end of Arrow Season 3, he was hanging up the hood along with the 'Arrow' moniker and driving off into the sunset with Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards). While we weren't sure what the future held for Ollie, the promise of a peaceful life with Felicity was fleeting at best.
With Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) now in charge of the League of Assassins and the mysterious Damien Darhk just beginning to make his presence known, multiple threats are looming on the horizon. Nonetheless, star Stephen Amell has been coy about the prospect of Oliver Queen returning to vigilantism in Arrow season four.
In the third season, Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) outed himself as the Arrow, sacrificing his freedom to secure Oliver's and attempting to atone for events in the second season. Amell affirms that Oliver will be honoring that sacrifice, retiring his current vigilante persona permanently. Of course, that's not to say he won't simply adopt a new one (see below).
During the Warner Bros. Television panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2015, Oliver Queen's new costume was revealed (see above). The new look features a sleeker piece of form-fitting, sleeveless armor on the torso, with shoulder pads and a pair of gauntlets. Though still a departure from the iconic Green Arrow costume, this updated costume brings the show's look more in line with the comics, as you may note by comparing the Arrow TV show outfit design with its comic book predecessor:
The new suit was designed by costume designer Maya Mani, who has designed quite a few costumes for the series - including, Arsenal, Black Canary and A.T.O.M. Mani's work has also been seen in The Flash and will appear in the upcoming DC's Legends of Tomorrow - another show set in the CW's Arrow/Flash DC shared television universe.
Attendees at the SDCC 2015 Warner Bros. Panel were also treated to a highlight reel, recapping the events of Arrow season 3 and setting the stage for the upcoming season. You can watch the full video below:
While there's still no word yet on why Oliver has to don the new costume (or who makes it for him while he's on vacation), the new look might be a factor in season 4's lighter tone.
Bringing the costume more in line with its comic book counterpart might be the first step in reintroducing Oliver Queen as Green Arrow. In the comics, though he has his dark moments, Oliver is more of a swashbuckling charmer than a brooding Batman clone. It would be nice to see Arrow incorporate some of those characteristics in the upcoming season. Here's hoping he sports the goatee, too.
Arrow season four premieres on October 7th, 2015 on The CW.