One of the biggest issues of being a comics fan is the embarrassment factor.  Not my person embarrassment, I got past that in about the 10th grade, but the embarrassment of the creators and adaptors of the work I love.  For instance, when Paul Levitz took over the retro-booted Legion a few years ago, his first order of business was shuffling Matter-Eater Lad, Bouncing Boy and others (whose renaissance was part of the reason that the new Legion was interesting in the first place, BTW) off-screen so he could rehash the same three romances and feature a sociopathic killer as the new Best Legionnaire Ever.  Even the Marvel Studios adaptations aren’t immune to the effect (witness Thor’s helmet never ever appearing in Avengers), but the strangest case of comic-book phobia to my mind is the CW’s decision to adapt Green Arrow while never calling him Green Arrow.  Changing a silly costume, avoiding problematic story elements or modernizing stories I can understand, but I can’t think of any good reason why they’d be leery of a color, which leads us to today’s formerly-verdant query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) initially numbered the naming dichotomy among the reasons not to watch ‘Arrow’, asking: What might be the problem with calling the TV Oliver Queen character by his comic name, Green Arrow?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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9 Comments

  1. Alisha
    April 16, 2015 at 11:53 am — Reply

    It might seem a bit on the cheesy side. I know plenty of non comic fans that enjoy the series, but before it began they would roll their eyes when I said the series was based on Green Arrow. It might not be a problem for you or I, but for non fans it might seem a bit too silly to take the character seriously.

  2. April 16, 2015 at 11:58 am — Reply

    I think Warners, especially since the Nolan Batman, has been especially embarrassed by the goofier aspects of superheroes, maybe as a result of the high camp of ‘Batman and Robin’. Arrow premiered the same year Dark Knight Rises came out and I think that whole idea of ‘This must all be very, very serious’ (TM) was still in full effect. Even in Man of Steel, I think Superman was only named once, maybe twice in the WHOLE FILM. They even shied away from calling Ollie, ‘The Arrow’ for a long time on the show. Since Flash has come along and shown that full on embracing of those elements can work, I think that attitude may be shifting, at least for the TV stuff anyway. See the Ray/ATOM subplot on the Arrow this season for more of that approach.

    • Malone_hasco
      April 16, 2015 at 3:19 pm — Reply

      This is exactly how I feel about this. Warner really needs to get over their embarrasment and realize its just as silly, if not even sillier to avoid using their real superhero names.

  3. Rome
    April 16, 2015 at 12:52 pm — Reply

    I imagine the dropping of “green” is likely due to the existence of other properties like “Green Hornet” and “Green Latern” which had less than stellar fan reactions to their recent on-screen adaptations. I imagine the producers are looking to keep a very safe distance from confusing the non-comics public that these might be at all related.

  4. AceOfDymonds
    April 16, 2015 at 3:41 pm — Reply

    I’m pretty sure the idea is that the show is exploring his evolution into becoming the full-blown “Green Arrow”: for the first season (season-and-a-half?) he was “The Hood”, now he’s moved on to being “The Arrow”. I think Oliver actually being the “Green Arrow” is the endgame for the five-year arc.

    • April 16, 2015 at 9:09 pm — Reply

      He battles ninjas. His own past, his own family, his own loves. Is pushed past the limits of human endurance, the weight of his city heavy upon his shoulders. In the end, though, it shall be worth it, worth it for gaining the respect he deserves to be able to add “Green” to his superhero name.
      If there’s hope for him, there’s hope for all of us.

    • April 17, 2015 at 9:11 am — Reply

      After finally catching this week’s episode, and some the questions and problems it poses for Ollie and Company for the remainder of the season, I think you may really be onto something with the evolution from Grim Dark Hood to Green Arrow.

  5. Bill
    April 17, 2015 at 10:16 am — Reply

    Is there a reason why the Arrow was green in his original comic issues? Why not a red, blue, or taupe arrow? Without a particular reason for green, I feel like the succinct, direct title of “Arrow” gives us all the same information about the character as “Green Arrow,” but without limiting our color palate.

    • April 17, 2015 at 8:40 pm — Reply

      Centaur Publications that had an archer character known as The Arrow introduced in 1938. Green Arrow would come along in 1941. The Green Archer was a movie serial character that inspired the creation of Green Arrow.

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