It was announced earlier in the week that #Arrow will be returning to The CW for a sixth season. While #TheFlash, #Supergirl and #LegendsOfTomorrow were also renewed, it was this Arrow news that really got me excited.
Arrow was, of course, the show that started everything in terms of the CW's superhero renaissance. (While Smallville was also a CW show, it remained a standalone and never evolved into the connected universe Arrow has become.) Now we have four shows working together in harmony that cross over on a regular basis — including such events as the massive #HeroesVsAliens event last month. Between the DCEU and DCTV, I think it's safe to say that the Arrowverse is winning!
Despite a couple of iffy seasons, Season 5 has really brought the show back to its best. By returning it to a more grounded style, the producers have certainly delivered (it's almost like they listened to me!).
Arrow Season 6 certainly has the potential to be just as great, if not better. Here's why:
Freedom From Flashbacks
Love them or loathe them, the flashbacks to Oliver's time away from Star City have been an essential part of Arrow's storytelling. Looking back at Oliver's adventures on Lian Yu, in Hong Kong and Russia, we see his development from playboy billionaire to trained killer.
But as we all know, he was only away for five years, meaning that after this season, we will have caught up to the Oliver Queen we meet at the beginning of Season 1.
Essentially, the flashbacks are a five-year origin story — and as such, the writers imagined Arrow as a five-year show. So where will we go from here? Finally, Oliver's origin will be complete and there will be no more flashbacks (probably). This has been a much-maligned element of the show, with many complaining that the flashbacks simply get in the way. Other complaints include the lack of peril, because we knew that Oliver would survive his trials.
I'd have to say in Season 4 I totally agreed — they were such a drag — but before that, they added a lot of backstory to show us how Oliver became the man he is.
It might not be the end of the flashbacks entirely, but the producers will certainly think differently about them now. Marc Guggenheim, an executive producer on the show, commented on this:
"I think, going forward, flashbacks are still a part of the show and we’ve seen in plenty of episodes we’ve done non-island, non-Russia flashbacks with Felicity…and we’re doing that again on 5.13, we’re going to flashback to Renee’s period before he was Wild Dog. That’s a tool in our toolbox. I don’t think we have an expectation to do a flashback every single episode of Season 6, but again, it’s part and parcel of the show and we’ll just continue going on the way we are."
One example in Season 5 of a different type of flashback was in the mid-season finale, What We Leave Behind, which essentially showed us a lost episode of Season 1. This was interesting as it gave us a clear juxtaposition of Oliver's character between the killer he was and the hero he has become.
The Classic Green Arrow Look?
Stephen Amell has been a big part of Arrow's success due to his portrayal of Oliver Queen. Over the five seasons, he has successfully portrayed so many different sides of Oliver, proving that he is a much more complex character than we realize. Whether it is the fun-loving playboy or the vengeance-filled Hood, we have seen a huge variety in Oliver's character.
Hell, in one Season 5 episode Oliver shows the playboy, the Green Arrow, the Bratva trainee and current Oliver Queen. There are many layers to Oliver Queen.
But Stephen Amell is also very good at interacting with his fans. He has said for years that as long as he plays Oliver Queen, the character will not have the goatee he sports in the comics. All of his costumes on the show so far have been hooded archers rather than the Robin Hood-esque costume the classic Green Arrow wore. But then he remembered a tweet he posted last year. Perhaps there's hope that we can see the classic Green Arrow costume brought to life on screen.
Personally, I reckon we can take Amell quite literally here. I don't think we'll see him sporting the Robin Hood guise on the show, unless it's some sort of Easter egg for the fans. I can see him turning up on the first day of filming in a fancy dress costume similar to the classic Green Arrow. Fans won't miss out on this though because of his extremely active social media presence — he's on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram all the time.
We Could See Superman Again...And Other DC Characters
It was a big deal when Superman made his appearance at the start of Supergirl Season 2, mainly due to many fans thinking the producers of the #DCEU wouldn't allow it to happen. But Tyler Hoechlin's performance was praised, so why can't more big name superheroes appear in the Arrowverse?
There have been some allusions to the Green Lantern across all five seasons of Arrow, but it was David Ramsey (Diggle) who offered a more intriguing suggestion:
"I think for sure Bruce Wayne [could appear]. Like, I would love to see these two billionaires — well, are you still a billionaire? Math is hard. You should be, you totally should be. I would love to see these two guys at a table together just like 'sup Bruce,' 'sup Oliver,' you know what I mean? And duke it out, like no utility belt, no arrows, just hand to hand, man."
Speaking at a Wizard World Q&A, Ramsey even suggested he would like Bruce Wayne to be played by Ben Affleck. There's already been comparisons with Oliver Queen and Batman, and Gotham definitely exists on Supergirl's Earth, so why couldn't he exist on Earth-1?
Plus, Constantine has been commissioned for a series on CW Seed and Vixen made a live-action appearance in Arrow Season 4, so the Arrowverse will continue to grow. The possibilities are truly exciting!
Anyone who watched the #HeroesVsAliens crossover will tell you that it was excellent. Many would also argue that it was better than the DCEU films. One thing it definitely did was whet the appetite for more. They've already established that it'll now be much easier for Supergirl to travel from her Earth to Earth-1 and that she will be involved in a musical crossover with The Flash.
Aside from that, there's the small matter of the crossover event later this year. There's probably a huge number of stories that can be adapted for it, but maybe the latest could come from Oliver Queen looking for Kryptonite. Stephen Amell has speculated that Oliver is already looking for the substance:
"I think Oliver has definitely researched Kryptonite, for sure. Like Kryptonite, and how do I take away his super-speed? I might need to waste these guys at some point, and I'm going to have to have my bag of tricks."
We all know that Oliver Queen is a very resourceful man who has beaten many foes that he arguably shouldn't have, due to his lack of actual superpowers. It totally makes sense that he would try to defend himself against an attack from Kryptonians. Perhaps this creates friction amongst the Arrowverse heroes?
Arrow Season 6 promises to be very exciting. The current season has already set a very high bar in terms of quality. I, for one, hope that the producers keep aiming higher and higher.
What do you want to see in Arrow Season 6? Let me know in the comments!