Plans for Felicity to remain the human face of Arrow in Season 6 and beyond may have gone up in Smoak this week when producer Marc Guggenheim revealed new concept art for DC's Legends of Tomorrow. Draped in a purple hood and coat, this new version of Emily Bett Rickards's character will star in an alternate world created by the Legion of Doom; one where new heroes must rise to protect the city after the likes of Oliver Queen are written out of reality.
After supporting Team Arrow for years on the tech front, Overwatch will finally suit up in the episode 'Doomworld' and try her luck at fighting crime head-on. Felicity's new look shares the same streamlined approach that designers Maya Mani and Andy Poon created for Vixen, White Canary and more, complete with technological enhancements that look admittedly badass on the former hacker.
Whether it turns out that this alternate version of Felicity Smoak embodies a new version of the Huntress, Black Canary or a different character entirely, we wouldn't be surprised if controversy hits The CW following this decision. Sure, Emily Bett Rickards is only supposed to wear the mask in one episode for now, but the #Arrowverse is full of surprises.
Twitter Takes Aim At Superhero Felicity
Felicity Smoak remains a fan favorite character, despite drawing criticism for her role in the 'Olicity' saga. The idea of seeing this original member of Team Arrow finally step out from behind her keyboard and don a mask has shook fans in a big way, polarizing opinions online.
However, even those who praised the decision were quick to remind others that Emily Bett Rickard kicks ass with or without a mask, leaping to Felicity's defence before detractors can suggest the character can't cope without one.
So far, this alternate version of Felicity is only scheduled to appear in one episode of The CW's ever-expanding Arrowverse. However, if this version of Felicity proves popular, then there's every chance that she could be written into Season 6 of #Arrow too.
Does Felicity Smoak Need To Wear A Mask In Season 6 Of 'Arrow?
On the one hand, there's something undeniably exciting about the idea of Felicity joining Oliver in the field, adding levity to Arrow's more brutal street-level scenes. Using technological enhancements to tip fights in her favor, Felicity could become a surprisingly powerful addition to Green Arrow's squad.
The problem with giving Felicity a mask in Season 6 of Arrow is that the show already has a rotating door of cast members who have been roped in to wear spandex. As one of the only non-costumed regulars on Arrow, Felicity lends the show a uniquely human voice that would be sorely missed if she too leapt into the fray. Hell, even Diggle was given a "costume" and the unnecessary codename Spartan. Don't take Smoak away from us too.
There's also the ongoing issue of how The CW has already used Felicity to co-opt popular heroines in the past. Overwatch has always been similar to Barbara Gordon's Oracle in many ways, so when Arrow decided to temporarily paralyse her, the similarities between Felicity and Barbara felt too on the nose. If this new concept art if anything to go by, then it appears Legends of Tomorrow may now follow a similar route, using Felicity as a thinly veiled version of the Huntress... despite featuring this heroine before, way back in Season 1 of Arrow.
What If Felicity Became A Villain In Season 6?
Critics of Felicity may argue that she was responsible for Oliver's downfall years ago, but Season 5 has already begun to take Smoak down a darker path. The former hacker's involvement with the shady Helix organisation has already led Felicity to make some morally dubious decisions. What if Season 6 turns our quirky heroine into someone that the Green Arrow needs to fight in order to protect his city?
Rather than simply follow the tired 'novice superhero' trope that we've seen explored time and time again on Arrow, it would be far more interesting to utilize Felicity as a vigilante who initially operates away from Team Arrow, outside of Oliver's knowledge. As Felicity continues to work for Helix, some of her actions could ultimately lead to conflict between her and Oliver, both figuratively and perhaps even physically.
While it's unlikely that Arrow would ever take this approach, it would be fascinating to see the show continue to explore more morally grey areas in this manner. Oliver's internal struggle with the concept of killing has become a key draw for Arrow, but it's time now for the network's flagship superhero show to look elsewhere for these kind of story lines and the key could very well lie with Felicity.
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Check out a promo for 'Doomworld' in the clip below:
Will this new version of Felicity on #LegendsofTomorrow provide a fascinating glimpse into the future of Arrow or are The CW simply pandering to the Smoak obsessives online? Either way, there's a strong chance that this may not be the last we've seen of Felicity as a superhero... or even a super villain for that matter.
Would you like to see Felicity fight as a vigilante in Season 6 of Arrow?
(Poll Image Credit: The CW)