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Differences of The CW Arrow and Green Arrow Comics

by Char|November 4, 2012|in Best & Worst Lists, News|

Differences of The CW Arrow and Green Arrow Comics

I’ve been hooked before and I’m still now watching TV shows. I’ve been following all the espionage and mind blogging shows like Alias, Prison Break and 24. I finished the 10 long year-running of Friends. And now, there are new additions to my list of TV show; The Vampire Diaries on its fourth season, Walking Dead on its third season, and new shows like Beauty and the Beast and Arrow.

Arrow is actually making me insane. This show makes me even buying my first digital comics and read about the history of Arrow or in the comics world, Green Arrow.

Arrow is developed by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg. It is based on the fictional character Green Arrow, a superhero who appears in comic books published by DC Comics. Green Arrow’s alter ego Oliver Queen is played by Stephen Amell and Black Canary, her love interest is played by Katie Cassidy. It already showed four exciting episodes and I get more curious how it is similar or different from comics. So, I researched and bought comics, to prove this. It seems that there are more differences than similar to the adapted TV show.

Here’s the Top 10 list of differences of The CW’s Arrow and Green Arrow of DC comics.

Differences of The CW Arrow and Green Arrow Comics

1 of 10

Thea (Oliver’s sister)

While Oliver never had a sibling in the comics, Thea's nickname, "Speedy," has a deep connection to the comics — the alter-ego of Green Arrow's longtime male sidekick, Roy Harper. Speedy was one of the first characters in comics — especially superhero — to be written as a drug addict. In the comics, after helping form the Teen Titans, Roy Harper joined a band and got addicted to heroin. Arrow nods to that when Oliver later mentions that the nickname is doubly fitting after he catches her hiding cocaine and pills.
Thea can also be compared Mia Dearden who is the second and current Speedy. She is a young girl adopted by Oliver Queen who rescued her from a life on the streets as a prostitute.

Starling City and Star City

In Comics, the Star City is what Oliver Queen wants to save. In the series, they called it differently, Starling City – which is kind of more lame than the original in comics. But what we see on TV is in Vancouver, Canada.

Status in the City

Green Arrow first appeared in More Fun Comics #73 in 1941. His name is Oliver Queen, and he’s a billionaire who formerly served as the mayor of Star City. In The CW’s Arrow, Oliver Queen is known as billionaire playboy, who always shows up in parties and ditching ladies. He’s more popular as son of Robert Queen, the billionaire owner of Queen Industries.


There are quite few times that they shut down and revived the story of Green Arrow in DC comics. One thing we’re sure about is that he’s a billionaire. However, in Green Arrow (1983) Issue #1, he lost his fortune and gained from inheritance from his old friend Abigail Horton. In The CW’s Arrow, Oliver Queen is even richer than when he left off the city 5 years ago.

Getting into the Island

The pilot of Arrow by The CW is very interesting because of its flashbacks that make us so curious about. The major ones were the days when Oliver and his Dad were stranded in the middle of the ocean. His Dad did an admission on how he wronged the city and asking his son to bring back whatever has been taken away from the rich and the powerful. In comics, what brought Oliver to the island is kinda lame to be honest. He fell off a yacht and clinging for flotation to a movie prop, washed ashore onto a deserted island.

Dinah “Laurel” Lance/Black Canary

Laurel is widely used name for what Katie Cassidy is playing. Laurel’s really name is Dinah Lance, who is known as Black Canary and love interest of Green Arrow in comics. In The CW’s Arrow, Laurel is Oliver Queen’s ex-girlfriend, who was mad with him for cheating on her with her sister, who also died during the disaster happened in the ocean. But eventually, Laurel will also team up with Green Arrow, as she is starting to show some fighting skills and interest in saving and helping the innocents by being a district attorney. However, we’re not able to hear her scream on this show. It was reported that Black Canary's sonic scream was taken away in that series, making her a brawler who occasionally fought at his side. Also, her father is working as a detective for the Starling City Police Department, wherein in comics, he is a private detective working in Gotham City, formerly an officer in the Gotham City Police Department. His wife was Dinah Drake, the Golden Age vigilante Black Canary.

Mission: Save the City

In the comics, various versions had Oliver end up on an island, whether accidental or due to an attack, but they often failed at making the reason for him returning to fight injustice a justified one beyond selfishness. It just popped out that suddenly a billionaire like Oliver decided to save the city by being a mayor during the day and a Green Arrow at night. What The CW’s Arrow does is add tragedy to Oliver's yacht ride. People he loves die in the process and his father is ultimately responsible for giving Oliver his mission. He has the list of people that he needs to give lessons and get back what were taken from the people of the city.

Oliver’s friend, Tommy

Tommy Merlyn (played by Colin Donnell), a character and rival archer to Oliver in the comics, here is a friend to Oliver though he has an evil streak that includes drugging girls at nightclubs. In the earlier comics, Merlyn was an archer who inspired Oliver to take up the sport, even going head to head and besting Oliver before vanishing. When he returned, it was revealed he had been training with the League of Assassins, which is the comic book version of Ra's Al Ghul's League of Shadows from Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy

Oliver Queen’s parents

It was only in 1995 wherein Oliver’s parents passed by to one of the Green Arrow Annuals written by Grell. It was mentioned that Oliver’s dad Robert and mom Moira took him on safari at a young age. They tried to teach him to use a bow and arrow, but he hesitated in using it to kill animals. Later on that trip, his parents are attacked by lions and killed because Oliver hesitates in saving them. This is really different on The CW’s Arrow and the approach is more appealing than what happened in comics. His dad Robert gave him a mission while his mom is kind of hiding something that she always meets a mysterious guy who’s worried that a Robin Hood in Starling city is targeting a list of people that jeopardize and expose their group.

Physical features

You really can tell the difference between Stephen Amell’s character as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow and what we can see from the comics. In comics, although it was broadly identified that he used to be a billionaire playboy, he looks not even close to be called handsome. In most of the illustrations, he has a very light yellow hair with disturbing goatee. In the show, he’s amazingly handsome with body to die for. Well, that’s actually one of the reasons why The CW’s Arrow is the most talked TV show today – not only by the comic book fans, so as the girls who admired Stephen Amell.


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