DC Comics builds small-screen superhero empire

The modern-day Robin Hood returns, and he’s on the hunt for more people who have failed his city.

DC Comics superhero Green Arrow made his television debut in 2012 in The  CW’s “Arrow” as billionaire partier Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) returning home after five years on a mysterious island, resolved to rid his city of crime. Equipped with a bow and arrows, he hunts down rich criminals and coerces them into returning their ill-gotten money to those they had taken advantage of.

In the past, DC concentrated its filmmaking on more popular heroes, like Superman and Batman, leaving the comparably small-time Green Arrow to take on television. DC will expand this approach Tuesday with the premiere of “The Flash,” a spin-off series. It will follow Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) as he discovers he has gained superpowers after a chemical explosion in a laboratory.

This crossover with “Arrow” and “The Flash” will be a milestone for DC. With these two shows sharing a universe and airing at the same time slot just one day apart, fans can expect DC to attempt to build a television superhero empire comparable to Marvel’s movie empire. In the last five years, there have been 28 superhero movies, 17 of which are associated with Marvel.

While Marvel has the upper hand in the movie industry, DC is still attempting to make its mark. A film starring its two biggest heroes, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” is set to hit theaters soon. How successful this endeavor will be after the failure of “The Green Lantern” a few years ago remains to be seen.

However, while DC devotes full-length films to more well-known heroes, Green Arrow will continue his quest on the small screen.

Season three will show how Queen and his alter ego, the Arrow, have grown since the beginning of the first season, especially in his refusal to kill the criminals he meets. Oliver himself has grown as a person and appears more willing to let people into his inner circle. This is demonstrated through the growth of Team Arrow, which has gone from one person to more than four.

An added bonus to this personal growth is the possibility of romance. Many fans have been longing to see Queen and his technology genius Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) enter a relationship. Since he has dated nearly every other girl on the show for at least some period of time, the romantic tension for “Olicity” has grown. Fans can expect to be pleased as the third season will open with Queen and Smoak going on a first date. However, Amell said that the date will go “horribly.”

Fans are also promised new super heroes, including the Atom, who will play a part in a love triangle with Oliver and Felicity. Additionally, supervillian Ra’s al Ghul will make an appearance sometime before the winter break as the new antagonist, following Deathstroke from last season.

While DC prepares for its long-term goals, viewers should shift their attention to the small screen and watch what could be the beginning of a DC television empire. While the Flash, the more well-known of the two heroes, will attract new viewers, fans of “Arrow” should feel proud to be part of what could be a new era in coalescing television.

“The Flash” will premiere 8 p.m. on Tuesday and “Arrow” season three will premiere 8 p.m. Wednesday on CW. The crossover will occur during the eighth episodes of both series.


Featured image courtesy of the CW.