Friday, 20 March 2015

Smallville: Arrow

I see why someone thought that the Arrow TV series had spun off from the Smallville TV series. Smallville Season Six introduces Oliver Queen over two episodes, then introduces him as the Green Arrow in an episode called "Arrow." He disguises his face not with a mask but with dark glasses that do the job properly. He has credible trick arrows and an arrow-line that resembles the bat-line. His equipment is made of an untraceable alloy. Such questions were never asked in the original comics.

His line between right and wrong is drawn in a different place from either Clark's or Wayne's - although we have not met the Gotham City vigilante yet. The Luthors are still playing devious games and Lex is still not trusting Lionel. Lex thinks that Lionel is fooling the Kents, which cannot be true.

I first encountered Green Arrow in a comic book in the period 1956-1960 when I was at boarding school in Scotland. That story was set in a jungle so, generalizing from a single instance, I thought that the jungle was GA's habitual environment. Then I learned that he had an urban environment where he really was "just Batman with arrows" as Roy Thomas had Robin say to Speedy at an All-Star Squadron meeting.

The Smallville Green Arrow does not catch bank robbers - or hospitalize them, like Frank Miller's Batman - but steals expensive jewellery that had been bought on the black market. Thus, he makes his own moral judgments about breaking the law - and is in fact a thief. Like Kent and Wayne in Miller's Dark Knight, Clark and Ollie disagree but keep each others' secrets. The spirit of Watchmen still haunts superheroes.

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