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Arrow: Comic to TV Character Guide Part 1

Posted on the 20 May 2013 by House Of Geekery @houseofgeekery

I’m still a little surprised that Arrow  ever happened. I can remember a time when Dick Grayson and Aquaman were both being developed as CW (WB at the time) tv shows, just as Birds of Prey was getting cancelled.I’m still waiting for Syfy’s Booster Gold tv show if they can ever get that up and running. Not holding my breath though. 

Anyways, I won’t even bother filling you in on Ollie himself. The gist is pretty spot on. Party-hard playboy washes up on an island, learns to survive, and then puts those new skills to good use protecting his city. This Ollie isn’t quite as political or humorous as the Ollie from the pre-New-52 comics, but Stephen Amell really grew into the role.

What interests me as an avid comic reader, is when they do one of these shows and embrace that huge catalog of heroes and villains DC has to offer instead of just making up their own. Cameos are abound in Arrow, which has made reference to the Gotham adjacent city Bludhaven that was home to Bat-protege, Nightwing, for so long, as well as an earthquake machine in the finale which shares its name (The Markov Device) with a certain earth-moving superhero (Brion Markov, aka Geo-Force). I decided to write up a guide to the characters and how they compare to their comic counterparts for those less-informed on the comics because the TV show really is overflowing with references. 

This will be much more helpful if you watched the show, especially because there will be SPOILERS


Moira Queen

Moira is the matriarch of the Queen family with invested interest in keeping her family together and her late husband’s shadowy dealings in the shadows. Her allegiance should still be questioned, but so far, she seems to be working with the bad guys just to get out from under their thumb. In the comics though, Moira was killed very early in Ollie’s life. She was mauled by wild animals while on safari in Africa, and Ollie blames himself for not being able to protect her even though he was just a child.


Thea Queen/Speedy

Thea is Ollie’s made-for-television little sister, nicknamed Speedy for how she used to try and keep up with her older brother. It is no coincidence that Speedy is also the name of Ollie’s sidekicks, first by Roy Harper at his youngest and then Mia Dearden, which also not coincidentally rhymes with Thea.


Laurel Lance/Dinah Lance

Laurel is Ollie’s ex-girlfriend with a grudge. She is a hot shot do-gooder lawyer, who has been vocal not only about her distaste about the vigilante (although she came around fast) but also fishnets (sacrilege?). This will come as a shock since she is the television stand in for Black Canary, the fishnet clad vigilante girlfriend of Green Arrow in the comics, except without the scream or the badassery.


Felicity Smoak

Felicity is a computer expert working for Queen Industries who gets enlisted in Ollie’s crusade for good. She’s skeptical at first, but she shares an agenda with at least one of Ollie’s. In the comics, she is a little older though. She managed a software company and was step mother to young hero, Firestorm.


Yao Fei

Yao Fei is a former member of the Chinese military imprisoned for deserting on an island penal colony,  the same island that Ollie was shipwrecked on. Fei is first person to help Ollie on the island get back on his feet and prepared for the castaway lifestyle. In the comics, Yao Fei is a member of the Great Ten, the premiere Chinese superhero team, all of whom have mouthful names. Fei’s was “Accomplished Perfect Physician.”


Edward Fyers

Fyers is the leader of a mercenary unit working on the island on a plan to destabilize China, but they need Yao Fei’s help. Naturally, Ollie gets in the way. In the comics, Eddie Fyers was a CIA agent who bumped heads with Green Arrow on a number of occasions, but eventually became an ally, so much so that when Ollie “died,” Fyers took in his son, Connor, until Ollie was resurrected. Considering what happened in the finale, I don’t see that happening on the tv show.


Slade Wilson

Slade Wilson is a SIS agent sent to the island to rescue Yao Fei and find out what seedy elements Edward Fyers was up to. He is eventually captured and has his partner turned against him. He is hiding and surviving when he comes across Ollie doing the same thing. So the 2 team up. Most people know him though as Deathstroke, the ruthless one-eyed mercenary who wears a very iconic two-toned mask. In the series, Slade has the mask, but doesn’t wear it. His partner wears an identical one though.



Shado is the daughter of Yao Fei who is being held by Fyers to leverage Fei into helping them. Ollie and Slade end up rescuing her, and she trains Ollie how to use a bow and arrow. In the comics, Shado is a killer who crosses paths more than once with Ollie as either an antagonist or a lover.


Billy Wintergreen

Wintergreen is Slade’s partner and presumably another SIS agent. He is dressed in Deathstroke’s classic garb, but hasn’t spoken or shown his face yet. He kind of has a Jason Voorhees thing going on right now. In the comics, he was much older than Slade. He was essentially Slade’s version of Alfred except much more action oriented.



Huntress is the daughter of a Star City mobster. When she finds out her father had her fiance killed, she decided to take vengeance on him and his business as a masked hero with Ollie’s help. Eventually, her anger gets the best of her and blurs the line between hero and villain a hell of a lot more than Ollie does. The character in the comics has 2 different (and unfortunately valid) origins. In one she is the daughter of Batman and Catwoman, and the other she is more in line with the Huntress of the series. The big difference, though, is the death of her father (a Gotham City mobster) is what sends her on a Batman like quest to stop all crime.


Roy Harper

Roy Harper is a reluctant drug dealer and thief  who sees his life of crime as an act of desperation just to get by than anything bad intentioned. After mugging Thea, Thea gets all googly-eyed over him and tries to change him. Roy already wants to change though, and he sees the vigilante life being his only way out. In the comics, Roy was Ollie’s first sidekick, but he was never a street-wise orphan. He was actually raised on an Indian reservation after the death of his forest ranger father.


Dark Archer/Merlyn

When I first read they were casting a so-called Merlyn with a 20-something peer of Ollie’s, I had my doubts. Merlyn in the comics is supposed to be much older than Ollie, a former trickshooter that inspired Ollie to pick up a bow in the first place (at least in one origin). To have him be his old yuppie drinking buddy kind of sucks. Luckily, the real Merlyn, or the Dark Archer as they have been calling him, turned out to be the father have the 20-something playboy. He was played by John Barrowman, a Dr. Who alum, who filled 2 roles: the fancyman business tycoon turned criminal organizer and the morally superior terrorist who knows what’s best for his city even if they don’t agree. If this was Batman Begins, it would be as if Falcone and Ra’s were the same guy.

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