Arrow star Stephen Amell is hoping to see a funnier and more socially conscious version of his character next season, bringing the superhero back to his comic roots. On the path from source material to adaptation, many comic characters lose defining traits in an effort to fit them into a specific vision. When Arrow premiered, the character was redesigned to even more closely resemble Batman, especially Christopher Nolan's version. But while the Emerald Archer originally aped a lot of the Dark Knight's backstory, the dawn of the '70s saw a more socially conscious version of the hero.
So far, not much of the past few decades of comics source material has made its way onto Arrow. While Oliver started out in a crusade against corrupt members of the 1 percent, he's since been more focused on battling his inner demons than fighting injustice and social inequality. And following the potentially catastrophic events of the season 5 finale, Oliver and any remaining heroes will likely have to deal with a lot of tension and fallout. But rather than season 6 seeing Oliver sink further into darkness, the star of the show is hoping the tragic events on Lian Yu will serve as a rebirth for the hero.
Cinema Blend was on hand during a panel with Amell at Heroes and Villains Fan Fest in Portland this weekend, and he discussed what he hopes is Oliver's takeaway from the events of the finale.
"I've said that it's very, very important that if Oliver doesn't take away lessons from Season 5 and doesn't keep doing the things that have led to this catastrophic event, the character stops being interesting to me. So I hope that part of that, in Season 6 and if we have seasons beyond that, I hope that part of that is we get back to a lot of the tenets that people recognize from the comics. And that of course is humor and a socially conscious, slightly liberal superhero."
While the idea of a more liberal and humorous hero might rub some the wrong way, Amell is actually echoing a concern Green Arrow fans have had since the beginning. Though many feel fiction shouldn't take sides on social and political issues, the minds behind Green Arrow threw that out the window decades ago.
In 1970, Oliver was paired up with Green Lantern for one of DC's best arcs to date. In it, the duo essentially traveled the country fighting social woes and defending the little people. All the while, they argued about politics and ideology. Oliver's transition, spearheaded by writer Dennis O'Neil, would see some of the character's most defining stories—including the infamous arc where Speedy gets addicted to heroin. Some of it was laughable, heavy-handed, and tone deaf by today's standards, but it marked an important turning point in comics and Green Arrow's character.
Amell's mention of the events of the finale impacting Oliver are also important, as superhero shows often throw out bombastic scenarios only to push them aside. Let's not forget this is the show that detonated a nuclear bomb in the U.S., destroying an entire city, and there seemed to be virtually no governmental response or outcry from citizens. Hopefully, the more personal devastation in the finale won't be so easily swept under the rug.
Arrow season 6 premieres Thursday, October 12 on The CW.
Source: Cinema Blend
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