Disclaimer: This concept began brewing in my mind from the moment Flash mentioned that Earth 2’s Arrow was Robert Queen. Since then, Floyd Lawton has appeared as an incompetent Central City detective, and Laurel Lance is set to debut as Black Siren. As this is merely a fun “What if” scenario and has no bearing on canon, I will continue with my original ideas with nothing but the prompt "Robert Queen survived and became a vigilante, Oliver died"
Potential Spoilers for DC's Earth 2 comics, and Arrow ahead.
What I enjoyed most about DC Comics’ New 52 Earth 2 comic is that it both allowed experimentation with established characters due to it’s nature as an alternate world, and it allowed those characters to be given the spotlight after the Trinity’s death at the beginning of the comic. So naturally when we got a little reference to Robert Queen being ousted as the Hood of Earth 2 on the Flash, my mind began racing with the possibilities of what else is different in the Arrow side of the world over on Earth 2.
I am aware that given Jamey Sheridan who plays Robert Queen is 64 years old, a series is unlikely. Though Earth 2 Arrow would be a much more interesting comic than the ones showing us the happenings between seasons, where they do things like kill off the only regular Suicide Squad member not already snatched up by the movie (Bronze Tiger) or start an important character arc like Helana Bertinelli's redemption.
First, the flashbacks. Since the beginning, the flashbacks have been an integral part of Arrow. They show us the transformation of Oliver Queen from carefree playboy to ruthless vigilante. At their best, the flashbacks were a highlight of the show. At their worst, they are an extra bathroom break, and continuity shredder. Love them or loathe them, flashbacks are a part of Arrow’s DNA. So much so that after the 5 years of flashbacks are up, Season 6 might feel like a soft reboot at times without the random cuts to the past.
First off, the obvious change. In 2007, Robert Queen’s yacht, The Queen’s Gambit went down in a storm somewhere in the North China sea leaving him, his son Oliver, and Oliver’s girlfriend Dinah Laurel Lance presumed dead. In truth, Robert survived and washed up on an island where mourning gets in the way of survival until Yao-Fei stumbles upon him. Yao-Fei and his daughter Shado are secretive, but aid Robert in surviving on the island.
After some rudimentary archery and hunting lessons, Robert begins gaining their trust and learns that the island is home to a ruthless Triad Boss called China White. He learns that China White has kidnapped dozens of people and enslaved them on her poppy farms. The father and daughter decide to introduce Robert to Billy Wintergreen, a special forces soldier who was betrayed by his partner, Slade Wilson in their mission to eliminate China White. The three begin training Robert to be their fourth soldier with the ultimate mission of liberating the slaves. Robert spends months with Yao-Fei, Shado, and Wintergreen, training in hand to hand combat, martial arts, stealth, and even a degree of herbalism.
Despite his advanced age, Robert finds that he has begun to feel better than he has in his entire life. Yao-Fei reveals a legend that a well of holy water runs under the island, infecting it’s plant life, giving the medicinal properties of the plants an amplified effect, including the poppy. After months of training, the four lay siege to China White’s camp. Wintergreen and Shado discover that Slade Wilson has become enhanced by Mirikuru, a super soldier drug that the Japanese developed on the island during World War II. They also learn that the drug is developed using the legendary waters Yao-Fei mentioned, also allowing the crop to grow in the harsh environment in a fraction of the time. Wintergreen and Shado are able to defeat the enhanced Slade and Wintergreen executes him. Robert, though capable, is bested by China White who also injures Yao-Fei before fleeing. Wintergreen salvages a map of the island before the facility self destructs. With the slaves liberated, the four decide to chase China White, lest she escape the island.
In 2012, Robert Queen returns to Star City in secret. His survival is not made known to the public, and he only reveals himself to his best friend, Walter Steele after interrogating him to make sure he hasn’t been corrupted. Revealing to Walter the basic plan of the Undertaking: destroy the glades, Walter agrees to aid in Robert’s vigilante crusade becoming the Hood’s first ally. Having no assets, he is entirely dependent on Walter’s access of Merlyn Global resources, as the company's Vice President. Robert learns that after is death, his wife Moira married Malcolm Merlyn and their companies merged. With no personal life in the way, Robert plans his crusade day and night, investigating just how far Merlyn’s Undertaking has progressed in the last few years.
Discovering that Moira and Malcolm have indoctrinated Thea into a fiercely loyal acolyte, Robert steps up his war on some of the co-conspirators, learning anything he can about how Malcolm plans to destroy the glades, having been stranded before the specifics of their Undertaking were developed.
During his crusade, Robert comes across two fellow vigilantes, Black Canary and Wildcat who he occasionally teams up with. He also discovers their identities, Dinah Drake, and Ted Grant Sr. Dinah, having divorced her husband and developed a violent streak took to vigilantism after meeting Ted Grant, a former small time boxer who was also driven to vigilantism after the death of his own son, Ted Jr who refused to throw his first big fight. Also a begrudging ally is Police Lieutenant, Andy Diggle, who has earned the ire of Police Commissioner & ally to Malcolm, Brian Nudocerdo. Occasionally there to help are ARGUS Agents, Floyd Lawton and Nyssa Raatko who are hunting an assassin called Deadshot, revealed to be Andy’s brother, John.
Malcolm Merlyn's conspiracy has no shortage of colorful and powerful members, including the top crime bosses in Star City. Chiefest amongst them is Werner Zytle, a Vlatavan exile and heir to her throne who was promised his birthright via a revolution funded by Merlyn. Other crime bosses include: Ricardo Diaz Sr, the man who had Ted Grant Jr murdered, Constantine Drakon, and William Tockman.
Robert’s search for Malcolm Merlyn’s means to destroy the glades is put on hold once he gains intel from another conspirator, Daniel Brickwell, who reveals to Robert in exchange for immunity, that Moira Queen hired him to murder Rebecca Merlyn. Robert reveals this information to Tommy Merlyn, Malcolm’s drunk playboy son who spiraled into a deep drug and alcohol fueled depression after the deaths of Oliver, his best friend, and Robert, a man who was a better father than his real one. Tommy, being the black sheep in the dark of his family’s terror plot, calls Moira out on the murder which causes infighting between the Merlyn family.
Moira is revealed to be the mastermind, using Rebecca’s death to eliminate her competition, and motivate Malcolm to take action against the crime ridden glades, where a stray bullet led to the miscarriage of Moira and Malcolm’s second child. Thea, restrains Tommy while Moira and Malcolm battle, and the location of a device that will cause a localized earthquake is revealed. Moira gets the upper hand and murders Malcolm in the heat of the moment. The Hood and co arrive just as Moira activates the device that will level the glades. Thea takes out Wildcat with ease, but Black Canary holds her own. Robert and Moira fight to a standstill while Walter, who was listening to a bug Robert planted on Tommy is able to disarm the device, but not before a significant amount of damage occurs.
Robert finally defeats Moira who in light of defeat realizes she’s killed Malcolm. She says a trigger word that snaps Thea out of her trance, and then commits suicide before she can face justice for her crimes.
In the aftermath, Tommy reveals all to ARGUS, who arrest numerous of the co-conspirators, including Thea. Wildcat and Black Canary go their own way, electing to operate on their own. Walter takes over what is left of Merlyn Global and begins to rebuild, setting aside a private lab for Robert to operate from. Tommy, having disowned his family, and company receives an offer from Robert, who reveals himself as the Hood. He offers to train Tommy to do good in exchange for Tommy’s sobering up.
Jamey Sheridan as Robert Queen/The Hood
Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen
Colin Salmon as Walter Steele
Willa Holland as Thea Queen/Arsenal
Collin Donnell as Tommy Merlyn
Eugene Byrd as Andy Diggle
Alex Kingston as Dinah Drake/Black Canary
Jimmy Smits as Ted Grant Sr/Wildcat
John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn/The Dark Archer
Byron Mann as Yao-Fei
Celina Jade as Shado
Dustin Clare as Billy Wintergreen
Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson
Kelly Hu as China White
Chad L. Coleman as Daniel Brickwell
Katrina Law as Agent Nyssa Raatko
Michael Rowe as Agent Floyd Lawton
David Ramsey as John Diggle/Deadshot
And that's my crude pitch for Earth 2 Arrow Season 1. If you read this and found yourself wondering about characters like Lyla Michaels, Roy Harper, and Quentin Lance, or wondering about the different fates of other characters...stay tuned. I'm drafting up Season 2.