From billionaire playboy to cast away, to hardened vigilante, to superhero, to finally Star City mayor, CW’s Arrow has seen Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen evolve over his five-year journey. However, regarding the distinction between the televised take on the Green Arrow character – which has been likened to that of Batman – and the classic Neal Adams and Denny O’Neil treatment on the page, the 36-year-old actor would like to see Season 6 narrow that difference.
At his panel at this past weekend’s Heroes and Villains Fan Fest, Amell stated, “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.”
Originally a clean-shaven, Robin Hood-esque character during his 1940s inception with similar aesthetic elements as Batman (i.e., Arrow Cave, Arrow Car, Arrow Plane, etc.), O’Neil and Adams took Oliver Queen in a different direction in the late 60s and through the early 70s. Their take on Queen had him grow a goatee, lose his fortune, and become an intense leftist social crusader. During their classic run on Green Lantern/Green Arrow, the emerald archer formed a brotherly bond with Hal Jordan on a road trip to rediscover America by tackling real-life issues such as drug abuse, Aboriginal rights, and corporate America. This trend was followed by Mike Zeck in Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters, an initial inspiration of Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim’s conception of Arrow.
While Amell’s portrayal has seen him take a hard line on drug abuse in season 1 with his sister Thea (played by Willa Holland) – originally Roy Harper in the comics – and tackle the political arena years later as mayor, it would be intriguing to see the televised Oliver try and implement social change with the bow similar to his newsprint version.
Amell added, “The comics version, he has some really interesting qualities that make him unique, and I hope we get to explore more of those.”
The sixth season of Arrow will debut October 12th on the CW.