Last night, the first episode of Arrow premiered on The CW—and whether you’re a comic book fan or simply an interested newcomer, we hope you found it as entertaining as we did. However, if you happen to be a fan of comics and a fan of Green Arrow in specific, you likely found yourself jumping on top of your coffee table and shouting “Bulls-eye!” as soon as the episode ended. (Or maybe that was just us. Note to self: Ikea coffee tables are not built to support the weight of excited fanboys.)
In all seriousness (and with the obligatory bulls-eye joke out of the way), Arrow did a great job balancing its love for the fans with making sure not to alienate those unfamiliar with the character. And if that first episode set the standard for the tone for the show moving forward, there's a few reasons we're pretty excited for what's to come. In fact, we can think of at least 5.2 Reasons to Look Forward to the First Season of Arrow!
But before we get into them, a warning for those of you time-shifters who haven't yet watched the premiere...there be spoilers ahead! So go watch the episode and then come back and read this column.
1. References Galore
The first episode alone contained a number of references for sharp-eyed and eared comic book fans. The biggest three of course came from the appearance of a certain villainous mask, the name Tommy Merlyn, and Ollie's sister's nickname of Speedy—but more on those a little later. More obscure references came in the form of some other names comic fans might recognize: Ollie's bodyguard Diggle (most likely after writer Andy Diggle who penned the critically acclaimed GREEN ARROW: YEAR ONE), Judge Grell (after writer and artist Mike Grell, arguably the most influential Green Arrow writer in comic history), and Adam Hunt's security head Drakon.
Those muscles actor Stephen Amell displayed during the training sequence are obviously not just for show, as he was bouncing off walls, jumping across roofs and arrowing the heck out of baddies. But what got us really ecstatic was the quick peek at Ollie's arsenal. We saw him use standard arrows regularly, but Oliver also put to use a grappling hook as well during last night's episode. Hopefully we'll get to see more inventive arrows as the show continues (no word yet on the boxing glove arrow).
3. Green Arrow/Black Canary
The ending of the episode confirmed something a few of us have been wondering for a while: is that or is that not Dinah Lance? Originally, actress Katie Cassidy was credited as Laurel Lance, but not we know for sure that her full name is in fact Dinah "Laurel" Lance. We also know she dated Oliver, he cheated on her (which also happened in the comics), and she enjoys "saving the world." Could Black Canary be in the show's future?
4. Upcoming Characters
Speaking of other comic book characters possibly arriving in the show's future, it's already been confirmed that both Deadshot and the Huntress will be appearing (which, in a pair of words, is totally awesome), but Tommy Merlyn and Ollie's sister Thea raised a few eyebrows. Merlyn is one of Green Arrow's most central villains, so we're left wondering if Ollie's best friend might be walking a dark path in the near future. Meanwhile Thea's nickname and her apparent drug addiction both point to Green Arrow's comic book sidekick. Incidentally, we loved the explanation of the nickname Speedy.
5. Deathstroke's Mask
When Oliver left the island at the beginning of the episode, the camera lingered briefly on a mask—one that comic fans recognized as belonging to the incredibly popular DC villain Deathstroke. This of course very much leaves us wondering HOLY CRAP WHAT HAPPENED ON THAT ISLAND?!
5.1 Arrow’s as Dangerous with his Hands as his Bow
5.2 Why, Hello there, Ladies