Arrow fans have been speculating for some time about the possibility of seeing Hal Jordan (a.k.a. Green Lantern) join the DC-TV verse on the CW, and today producer Marc Guggenheim added a little more fuel to that particular fire.
The image, captioned "Production art for Arrow Season 4" shows Coast City in all it's sunny glory. The info at the bottom right of the image tells us that this is going to appear in the first episode of the new season (airing in October), and that this is a billboard ad for the city.
Coast City and the Green Lantern
Comic book and Green Lantern fans know that Coast City is the home of Hal Jordan, and that the slogan on the poster - "In brightest day, In blackest night" - is lifted directly from the oath of the Green Lantern Corps (which wraps up with the words "no evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil's might, beware my power, Green Lantern's light!"). It's a clear nod to the character, although my guess is that this is just for the fans, rather than a direct link. After all, even if Hal was in Coast City and already had his ring... how and why would he put half of his oath on a billboard?!
As for the rest of the slogan - "Come to Coast City when money's tight" - what could that be referencing? A few weeks ago, TVLine reported that Oliver's flashbacks for this season would be taking place starting in Coast City, before moving to an undisclosed location. Guggenheim told TVLine: "I feel like we have our best flashback story ever." which suggests that there is going to be a lot more going on here than we saw in Hong Kong in season three.
Coast City Flashbacks
If Oliver is headed to Coast City after the events in Hong Kong, it would make sense if he chose the city because it is advertised as somewhere to make easy money. At that time, he would be broke and unwilling to return home and declare himself alive (obviously, as we saw him come back to Starling in Season 1!). Heading to somewhere nearby, somewhere that he could make some money and get back on his feet seems like a logical choice.
As we saw in the Season 3 finale, Oliver parts ways with Tatsu and Maseo in Hong Kong, and while he heads back to the US, he's still processing everything that has happened to him. We see a ship named 'Triton's Daughter' that is headed to Coast City, but it remains to be seen whether or not he intentionally chose Coast City, or if this was simply the first ship headed near home.
Will Hal Jordan Appear?
As for meeting Hal Jordan while there, the jury is still out. Marc Guggenheim previously told The Hollywood Reporter that adding Green Lantern to the CW comic-verse is unlikely, courtesy of the recently announced Green Lantern Corps movie in the works. However, the possibility still isn't off the table, and Guggenheim also said that it would be great to have him on the show.
Suicide Squad has made multiple appearances in Arrow (even if Harley Quinn was only teased in the show), and we know that The Flash is joining the DCEU despite being the star of his own TV series as well. While Marvel has an interconnected TV and Movie universe, preventing any doubles from making an appearance, DC has made it very clear that their universes are quite separate. On top of this, the Green Lantern movie is reportedly titled "Green Lantern Corps," which would suggest that we are going to see more than the straightforward Hal Jordan story (which was already made into film in the 2011 flop starring Ryan Reynolds). If the film focuses on the corps as a whole, it might be easier to have a separate Hal Jordan arc in the Arrow-Flash universe.
Stephen Amell himself also hinted at the possibility, when at SDCC he mentioned to Den of Geek that while in Coast City he would "meet an old friend". Could this be referring to Hal Jordan, or is this more likely to be the appearance of a favorite existing character in the flashbacks?
So Many Easter Eggs
This isn't the first hint of a possible Green Lantern in the series, either. We've seen Ferris Air (employer of Hal Jordan and his late father) mentioned numerous times (the airfield, the company, the jets), including a particularly telling reference in episode 22 of The Flash: "Rogue Air". In this episode, Ferris Air was not only mentioned, but it was revealed that they closed down in Central City "after one of their test pilots went missing." If that's not about Hal Jordan....
We've also seen Coast City appear before, albeit briefly, as Barry Allen ran there to pick up some takeout pizza in episode 19: "Who Is Harrison Wells?" This may seem like just another Easter egg, but it also serves to suggest that Coast City is geographically relatively close by. Barry may be able to run out for pizza from anywhere he wants, but he chose this pizza specifically because he said it was "the best in the west." For him to know that, presumably he has had it before, and unless he's been speeding around tasting every pizza in the USA, that means that he's passed through Coast City before. Given that some of the characters in Central City are also named as being from Coast City, it all adds up to a location near both Central and Starling.
While Easter eggs are sometimes just there for the fun of it, it seems unlikely that the writers would go to the trouble of making Coast City and Ferris Air such a big presence in the background if we weren't going to see something come of it. The interconnected shows (including upcoming Legends of Tomorrow) don't shy away from elements of fantasy (including superpowers, alternate universes, resurrection and time travel), so the inclusion of alien guardians isn't that big of a stretch. Green Lantern would also continue the trend of bringing more of the Justice League members to the small screen, and expanding the TV-verse to include more of the major cities in the DC comic verse.
I would love to see Green Lantern become the next spin off series for the CW, and with Guggenheim shining the spotlight on Coast City, that may just be on the cards.
Arrow returns to the CW October 7th