In the comic books, Oliver Queen was romantically linked with Laurel Lance, and viewers expected that coupling to materialize in Arrow. However, the writers chose a different path for both Laurel and Oliver, and with the death of the Black Canary, more than a few feathers have been ruffled.
Yes, the romance happened in the comics, but, as we all know, everything that happens in the comics doesn't always happen onscreen. In fact, most of Oliver's entire back story has been changed from the comics. Here are just four examples that, had they been incorporated into the series, would have changed it completely.
4. Oliver's Parents Were Mauled By Lions, And He Was Adopted By His Uncle
Because Oliver had accidentally killed an animal before, he hesitated when his parents were being mauled. When his parents died, Oliver changed — and not for the better. As we all know, Arrow created a new background for Oliver, one in which is father committed suicide to save him and his mother went to prison before being killed by Slade Wilson. He was raised in a home where lies were as normal as the affairs. Discovering the truth after he became an adult tarnished how he saw his parents, stripping away all of the happy memories. We were witnesses to his suffering.
3. Oliver Adopted Roy Harper, And Roy Became Speedy Instead of Arsenal
As we all know, Thea Queen, Oliver's sister did not exist in the comics. Yet she becomes Speedy in this Universe. In this Arrow, Roy Harper is not Oliver's adopted son, and both Oliver and Sara taught him to use a bow and arrow. In reviewing the episodes that brought us to Thea being Speedy and Roy being Arsenal, we would have missed out on some fantastic storytelling if the writers had gone the way of the comic books. I believe it's important that Oliver has Thea in his life; she is his last connection to home, the one final memory of his childhood. Even though he learned some hard truths about his parents, Oliver is reminded of the happiness he had when he looks at Thea.
2. Oliver Has A Son, Robert Queen, As A Result of Being Raped By Shado
He didn't have a dalliance with Shado on Lian Yu; he was sexually assaulted while he was injured. Incorporating that into the storyline would have changed Oliver dramatically. In the comics, Shado was an assassin instead of the woman who helped Oliver survive on the island. The writers for Arrow chose to make her an ally instead of an enemy, using her as the impetus to pit Oliver against Slade Wilson. Had the storyline gone the way of the comics, we would not have had the awesomeness of Season 2! How can we ever forget watching Oliver bring Roy back to life or the way he systematically took down the challenges Slade threw in his path? And we can't forget Oliver and his team working alongside the League of Assassins for that final, soldiers vs. heroes battle! Season 2 was pure gold!
1. Oliver Didn't Come Back To Starling City And Start Killing
In the comics, Oliver worked alongside Speedy and the two used non-lethal means to take down the villains. When Oliver accidentally killed someone, he was devastated to the point of temporarily giving up his hero mantle. Without its hero, Starling City would have been crushed under the boots of people like Malcolm Merlyn, The Triad, and the Count! How different would Season 1 have been without the Hood, who didn't hesitate to put an arrow in anyone threatening to harm his city?
Just as the writers of Smallville took Oliver Queen down a different path, so too have the writers of Arrow. They have chosen a unique storyline that keeps us guessing from week to week, and the differences have made the show a success. Yes, in the comic books Oliver Queen shared a destiny with Black Canary, but that hero also lived a vastly different life.
This Green Arrow was tortured and made to kill for five years. He saw his father commit suicide and learned his mother was aligned with Malcolm Merlyn, a partnership that resulted in the death of over 500 people. He dropped bodies left and right when he returned to Starling City, recruited John Diggle as his partner, and reunited with his little sister. All in all, this Green Arrow is different, and that should be OK. He didn't have the same past as the other Oliver Queen, why should he have the same future?