The CW looking to DC Comics Character for New Series Pilot

Posted: January 13, 2012 in Comics News, TV/Movie News
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

For you comic-based tv program fans out there, there’s a lot of buzz in the air today. The CW, the network that has brought us such delights as Birds of Prey, Supernatural, and Smallville, has announced that they are in negotiations for a new DC-inspired tv series. This news has tickled my fancy, in particular, because it involves one of my favorite characters of all time. Can you guess who he is? Here’s some hints:

  • He is a VERY wealthy man
  • He is from a city that exists only in the DC Universe
  • He is 100% human, with no special powers
  • He is incredibly skilled, and a master fighter in most known fighting styles
  • He is a purported womanizer
  • He’s had multiple sidekicks, his first having been adopted as his ward
  • He’s been a member of both the Justice League and the Outsiders

Have you guessed? Of course you have! It is none other than….

Green Arrow

Of course he isn't a Batman-clone... He's in green, and has blonde hair!

Oliver “Green Arrow” Queen. Who thought I was going to say Bruce Wayne? More than a few, I’ll bet. Despite what the nay-sayers will have you believe, Oliver Queen is not a Bruce Wayne clone. Though they share many similarities, the differences between the two that have been developed over the last 20 years have truly transformed Ollie into an amazing character in his own right. With a passion for Robin Hood type antics, the Green Arrow has made a name for himself to be a constant paradox. He is rich, but he spouts the evils of corporate America. He is a hero, but he’s broke more women’s hearts than Elvis. He is as complex as they get, but still remaining brave and noble.

At this point, all we know is about the series, to be named simply “Arrow”, is to be loosely based on Oliver Queen. The CW has also confirmed that this will not be a spin-off from Smallville, so do not expect a similar storyline as we saw in that series. No actor has yet been confirmed to play the Green Archer, though there are reports that Justin Hartley, who played Oliver on The CW’s Smallville, is not involved in this new project. According to Deadline, the network is negotiating a pilot to be developed by Greg Berlanti (Green Lantern, No Ordinary Family, Eli Stone), Marc Guggenheim (Green Lantern, FlashForward, Eli Stone), and Andrew Kreisberg (Fringe, Warehouse 13, Eli Stone). Having seen the quality work on most of their past projects (The jury is still out on Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern) I think this team can put together a great pilot.

I thought the Aquaman pilot, co-wrote by Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar, was great too, but The CW didn’t pick that up either. For those that were not fortunate enough to see this pilot, it featured Justin Hartley as Arthur Curry discovering his Atlantean roots. That was mostly due to the time of flux the network was in at the time, as The CW was a new entity following the merger of The WB and UPN, but it still proves my point that a good pilot does not guarantee a green light for a series. Check that Aquaman pilot out here, if you enjoy a good youtube show.



So what does all this mean to Green Arrow fans? The short answer is that it is far too early to tell. With so few details, we can’t make much speculation yet as to what they’re going for. BUT, maybe we can make a few assumptions based on what we know.

The words “loosely based on” make me think they’re going to change things enough that it won’t be the same Oliver we’ve always known and loved. Though it won’t follow a Smallville type storyline, I think we can expect a Smallville type change from the original story. A good friend of mine and I have watched every Smallville episode, and we both have a love/hate relationship with it. Though we love the show and the fact that a modern take on Superman was done, and experienced moderate success (10 seasons is an impressive milestone, even if the series jumped the shark years earlier). But, we obviously seethed bitter remorse from the depths of our souls everytime they diverted some minute detail even ever so slightly from the comics. We’ve also coined a term for the Universe that Smallville found itself in: Earth-R.

For those that know DC Comics (and most comics in general) there are several universes at play at all times, and stories seem to pop up from any of them at any given time. For us, the Earth-R Universe is best to be taken with a grain of salt. It gets the core-ideas down, but some other things just aren’t the way they are supposed to be. Earth-R, for those that are intrigued to figure it out, stands for Earth-Ridiculous. As in, Lex Luthor slept with his sister? Ridiculous! Pa Kent dies before Clark even becomes Superman? Ridiculous! Pete Ross is an African American? Ridiculous! I think you’re starting to get the idea. For all intents and purposes, I’m thinking “Arrow” will need to be thought of in this light.

"He's my...? And I'm his...? Oh... Well this explains a lot..."

With any luck we will see the main story-point, however. Roy Harper (Speedy/Arsenal/Red Arrow) would have to make an appearance, if not a permanent series regular (hopefully with two arms, and no cats). It would also be best to showcase Oliver’s one true love, Black Canary, as a series regular. And, with any logic at all, the main character will be in green, and use arrows. Would that be too much to ask? I don’t think so. But then again, Earth-R has a way of really getting to a character.

What do you think? Could this be a great opportunity to introduce Oliver to the small screen? Will it be rushed and detrimental to the progress of all comic-based tv programming? Let us know in the comments below!

  1. I am very excited for Arrow to be on the CW (along with maybe Deadman on CW and Booster Gold on SyFy). I will say, Earth-R is a ridiculous term for Smallville. I myself am a die-hard Smallville fan, and after reading your article, I felt the need to correct you. 1. Lex and Tess never slept together. That is never once said or even implied to on screen. The only thing even remotely close to that is that Tess said she loved Lex, but that was before she knew he was her brother. 2. Pa Kent died before Clark became Superman in 3 other instances outside of Smallville. In the Silver Age, in the Christopher Reeve Superman films, and in the New 52 of DC Comics. So, that point is also invalid (especially since it was Pa in the Finale of Smallville who sent Clark out to become Superman). and 3. This is the only point you were correct on. Pete Ross has never been African-American in the comics, BUT as we must all remember, the Smallville Universe is an Elseworld’s!!! Not everything is suppose to be the same. Look at the DCAU, or the Aquaman pilot, or even Nolan’s Batman movies! All of these things were inspired by the source materials, but if they were exactly like them, it would be boring. Anyway, I do not mean to sound like a jerk at all, but when Smallville is bashed for no reason (as it often is), I feel the need to defend it. Thanks for listening, or I guess it would be reading.

    • martelljt says:

      Firstly, I’d like to thank you for your enthusiasm for Smallville. It truly was a great show, and not enough people realize it. Secondly, I’d like to address your rebuttals:

      Tess did not sleep with Lex: It is never explicitly said that they slept together or had a romantic relationship. But certain episodes did elude to its possibility or likelihood. One such episode is Episode 13 of Season 8. In this episode, Tess is speaking to a lackey, letting him know she has a tape of him committing a murder, and then he says the following: “Yeah. But, that footage is nothing compared to the memorable moments I saw. Lex was nice enough to let me catch some of your, uh… highlights. I’ll make sure a few of them make it into your obituary.” Maybe you can make the argument that it doesn’t mean the sex she was having on camera was with Lex, thought it sounded to me like it did. However, combined with happenings in Season 8’s episode 5. Oliver and Tess are arguing, and in the heat of the moment, Oliver tells Tess that she seems to be obsessing way too much over finding Lex, and maybe he’s more than just a mentor to her. Tess in turn does not deny this, thought she is obviously quite angry. Still no explicit confirmation that they did it, but it DOES allude to it.

      Pa Kent was dead before Clark became Superman: In the current accepted canon when that episode was aired, as well as when the series ended, Pa Kent died during the Brainiac storyline just prior to the New Krypton storyline. Any past or future versions of his death can’t count toward his death in Smallville, as none of those things were canon at the time. The way he died, and the timeframe for him dying do not make sense in relation to actual Superman mythology, and neither does the initial “Lana was saved, so Jonathan must die instead” explanation. Further, the new 52 version has BOTH Pa and Ma Kent as deceased prior to the existence of Superman, and is a terrible change that has come from this reboot. But, since both parents are dead, this also does not match the Smallville happenings.

      Smallville should be treated as an Elseworlds: Yes, this is it exactly. But as we have been explained in several DC encyclopedias, and in actually DC stories, each Elseworlds story has its own universe in the multiverse. We also know that we only know of a handful of these worlds at this time. Therefore, Smallville exists in its very own multiverse Universe, the one belonging to what my friend and I have dubbed Earth-R. We dub it Earth-R because things are very close to Earth-1 happenings, characters, and details, BUT, it differs in just the smallest ways, that are very noticeable to those of us that follow the comics closely, as well as the tv show. Pete Ross’s miraculous skin change for one. Most Elseworlds put the characters into completely different settings and circumstances from what they are used to. Example: Victorian Batman, Superman as the Frankenstein Monster, Batman as a vampire, etc. But in Earth-R, we are seeing a world very close to Earth-1, with the same technology, places, and times. But, we have some small things that just don’t happen like they should. For example: Clark meeting countless DC Characters before he meets Bruce or Diana. And don’t even get me started on Impulse’s mashed up history.

      This all happens because they tried to take 75 years of DC history and smush it into a format that would work for television. I’m quite certain that when they introduced Tess, they had no intention of her being Lex’s sister. More than likely, she was modeled after Lex’s bodyguard/driver Mercy Graves from the cartoon/comics. However, when the opportunity presented itself to make Tess this long lost sister, they went in that direction and said damn the consequences. They also did this when they introduced Jimmy Olsen the first. They realized people were not taking to this incarnation of Superman’s Pal, so they thought up a way to get rid of him, but still leave room to start over, hence Jimmy Jr. standing by his grave with a camera. This show, on occasion, did what they could to deal with plotlines and characters that were either unpopular with viewers or that were creating problems with continuity or timelines. Sometimes it would work, and other times it would be apparent they rushed the decision. This is the fate of all TV Series, as they have to re-think on the fly. Smallville definitely did not end in the same manner that was envisioned when they first wrote the pilot, and many of their characters ended up somewhere different then they thought they would. Tess was never meant to be a Luthor, and so her sexual history with Lex would not have mattered in that event, which is why there were certain instances that pointed to possible sexual encounters. But then they made him her brother, so what once seemed like possible work-ethic violation, became potential incest.

      As for you sounding like a jerk, not at all! I love a good comic-related debate, and more than anything love to go through my own understanding of the comics with a fine tooth comb. Please post your new rebuttals to my above points, as I can tell you share my passion for these matters, and love a mile long post to sort through.

      • Thank you so much for your response to me! I do love debating about certain comic book genres or media, and Smallville is my favorite television show, so thanks for allowing this to go on.

        I don’t really have much more to say about the Lex and Tess thing, mainly because you summed it up nicely. I personally don’t think they ever slept together, because (if you follow the continuity of Seasons 5-8) at the time Lex found Tess (which would have been shortly after the 2nd meteor shower from Commencement/Arrival), he was already interested in Lana (and you can argue that they weren’t “seeing each other” until after Reckoning, but either way) and later married her. So, my thought is, that she was a lot like Mercy is to Lex in the comics, but obviously, we hadn’t seen her on screen, or she was located somewhere else, because as we see in Season 8’s Power, Tess was responsible for Lana leaving Smallville in Season 7’s finale Arctic. So, I do not think that they slept together, mainly because of Lex’s feelings for Lana.

        Yes, you are right about Jonathan Kent dying during the “Brainiac” storyline in Action Comics. I agree with that. However, as you stated later, “This all happens because they tried to take 75 years of DC history and smush it into a format that would work for television.” Which, by the way, is a statement I agree with, and supports my original response, but you are right as well. And yes, it was my mistake, in the New 52, BOTH of the Kent’s are dead, forgive me for that.

        Now, onto the next paragraph (lol), I agree that “Earth-R” (which I will refer to as Earth-SV as I like to call it) is very similar to Earth-1 of the Silver Age (or New Earth of the Modern Age) but does slightly change. One of these changes is Pete Ross’s skin color. Something that I think, doesn’t really matter to either of us, because it’s still Pete Ross! Other changes like Clark meeting other heroes (Oliver, A.C., Dinah, Victor, Bart, etc.) before Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince, isn’t really that far of a stretch. In Silver Age Superboy comics, Clark met Oliver Queen and Arthur Curry before he was even Superman. Also, the argument can be made that since John Jones was on Earth before even Kal-El was, that Clark (in the comics) could have met the Martian Manhunter years before he became Superman. And, if it’s all right with you, I would like to briefly give my thoughts on Smallville’s Bart Allen. My thought on this character is simple, I believe that Bart is Earth-SV’s response to Barry Allen. Here is my evidence: 1. Bart is short for Bartholomew, as is Barry (also, a kid Clark’s age wouldn’t call himself Barry when he could call himself Bart, in my opinion). 2. Although he had fake ID’s with the names of all 4 Flash’s, he does wear Barry Allen’s Flash logo on his backpack and his Impulse uniform. 3. The only reason (according to the writers and producers) that they didn’t call him “The Flash”, was because of the legal rights to the character, therefore, they called him “Impulse” (just like they called Clark “The Blur” until he fulfilled his destiny, just like Bart as Impulse). 4. Bart is referred to as “Flash” in Stiletto. and 5. All the characters on Smallville are becoming heroes in their own time just like Clark is on the show. This is apparent when Aquaman comes back with his new wife Mera in the Season 10 episode Patriot.

        Please send me your responses to these matters sir.

        • martelljt says:

          Sorry for taking so long to get back to you! Been a hectic week at The Nerd Lair!

          Yup, as for whether or not they’ve ever actually slept together, it’s definitely a split between it could have happened, and it didn’t happen. The continuity between when she came around and Lana already being on the scene does fit nicely, but Lex isn’t exactly the most virtuous guy, especially not at this point.
          As for things like changing a character’s gender, you’re right in that it doesn’t affect the storyline, but it changes the feel for someone that followed the comics religiously. Obviously a tv show needs to make changes so they can keep it acceptable for tv and appeal to a wider audience, but some changes make no sense at all.

          Clark meeting the JSA, and an early incarnation of the JLA, and even forming his own team, cannot make sense when looking at the comic continuity. As for meeting heroes before the big three get together, some can happen. Oliver can happen, Dinah can happen, Martian Manhunter can happen. Impulse and Cyborg cannot happen. Zatanna cannot happen. Jaime Reyes cannot happen, especially before Ted Kord dawns a mask. All of these heroes did not start hero-ing until YEARS after Clark. Bit yet, here they are in Smallville, starting years before their time, and with the exception of Bart, are all roughly Clark’s age, which also does not compute.

          Now, Bart Allen. In the show, they remove the Flash persona confusion, by making him somewhat of a con-boy with several fake ID’s, including Jay Gerrick, Barry Allen, and Wally West (All of these are characters of the comics who have gone by The Flash in the DC Universe). So presumably, these people do not exist in “Earth-R”, and Bart (no last name that I ever remember being used) is the only Flash Speedster. BUT WAIT… when Clark discovers the JSA of old and their story, Jay Gerrick is there, obviously representing the Flash persona. Ugh… Earth-R…. Earth-Ridiculous… Formerly someone who existed as only a fake ID, and BAM… now he’s a real guy, and he’s just like the one from the comics. In the comics, the best thing about Impulse is his legacy and his family’s importance, but the show removes it completely. I’d have rather seen Clark meeting The Flash as Barry, then him meeting Bart later with the explanation that Bart is his Grandson, and how it’s possible being that it’s complicated. ALSO, make note that Bart’s code name was originally Impulse when he was fighting on Young Justice alongside Robin, Superboy, and Wonder Girl. Yet, Clark, in the comics, never went by The Blur. He later re-named himself Kid-Flash when he joined the Teen Titans, and became The Flash when Wally disappeared for a while and he himself was rapidly aged temporarily. So Bart Allen in the comics actually was The Flash for a little while. And yes, Barry Allen’s real name is Bartholomew, BUT, it still wouldn’t make sense to have him as Bart in Smallville, because Barry’s never gone by Impulse, and he did not gain his powers until adulthood. Plus, Barry Allen is supposed to be the same age as Clark.

          And as for Mr. Arthur Curry, he met Mera way too soon. He should have had Garth palling around with him way before Mera. BUT, I ama glad we got to see him and Mera together.

          So my main point about Earth-R still holds true throughout these arguments: Earth-R is very close the Earth-1. Similar characters, setting, era of time, powers, and names/locations. BUT, so so so so so many of the little details are vastly different. And for someone who reads the comics religiously, they are details that glare in your face when changes are made to them. I love that they brought in more of the DC Universe into Smallville toward the end, and wish they would have done so from the beginning. And the changes do not make Smallville less of a show, but it still makes me grown an mumble “Earth-R” to myself when I see these changes.

          • Yeah, you are not wrong about that between Tess and Lex, but I think the main difference is that Lex actually loved Lana (although he had a funny way of showing it…), so I don’t have any thoughts or suspicions of him sleeping with Tess. I could be dead wrong, but in this situation, I don’t think so.

            Yes, I do see your point about him meeting the JSA, JLA, and other heroes before he was Superman. I understand that. However, as I said before, some characters were ok to do that with, Oliver, Arthur, J’onn, Dinah, and (in my opinion) Bart! Now, again, I do the the DC Comics history of Bart Allen, Barry Allen, Wally West, and Jay Garrick, BUT since Smallville differs in small ways from the normal comics continuity, I still believe that the Bart Allen (also, they mention on several occasions that Bart’s last name is Allen) is Earth-SV’s equivalent of Barry Allen. Now, you are right, Bart Allen (in the DCU) 1st went by the code-name Impulse, then Kid-Flash, and later Flash before going back to Kid-Flash, but as you also mentioned, Clark (in the DCU) NEVER went by “The Blur”! So my thought is, that Bart’s Impulse persona is his version of Clark’s Blur persona, because as I said earlier with my Aquaman example, all of these heroes are still becoming heroes, they aren’t at their full potential yet! As for Jay Garrick being The Flash in the Smallville continuity, I think that that’s a good thing for Bart, because then he has someone like himself to look up to, much like Jay and Barry in the DCU. Also, Barry Allen is a few years younger than Clark Kent in the comics, so it works on Smallville.

            As for your closing paragraph, I cannot argue with you there. The main changes are minor and easy to get around, but your only bothered by them if you don’t realize that it’s a modern take on the Superman and DC Comics legend taking place on a parallel Earth. This is what I remind myself of when watching Smallville as normally I am a DC purist and hate changes (like the New 52), but I am warming up to new things. Which I guess is a good thing.

  2. Peter says:

    lol! Loved The Dark Knight reference. And by the way The Dark Knight Rising is definitely going to rock!

    Nolan, you’ve changed things… forever! There is no going back. You see to them (Hollywood) you’re just a geek… like me! -maniacal laughter-

  3. Peter says:

    Thanks for the clarification. Though I guess you must be displeased that Lawrence Fishburne will be taking the role of Perry White in the upcoming Superman movie ‘Man of Steel’. I’m not thrilled either because I love being faithful to the source material but I just hope the movie rocks anyway because Bryan Singer’s ‘Superman Returns’ really sucked. Cheers.

    • martelljt says:

      Oh man… Don’t even get me started there. Fishburne is a great actor. His work on CSI is by far some of my favorite, and The Matrix would have been far less without him. But Perry White!? I can’t picture Lawrence Fishburne saying “Great Caesar’s ghost” without seriously doubting my will to live. It just doesn’t work, when you know that the back of your head is saying, that’s Robbie from Spider-Man’s office, not Perry White. Now that role I think would be absolutely perfect for Fishburne. He’d bring the right amount of humility to offset J Jonah Jamieson’s overall crappy attitude. I do hope the movie is great, because you’re right. Singer’s Superman was not great. I didn’t hate it enough to jump off a bridge at the ruination of Superman, but I was not pleased. A good Superman movie is exactly what we need. I’m not overly confident it will be the movie we deserve, but I do hope it’s the movie we need.

  4. Peter says:

    I noticed out of your Earth R grievances the one that seemed to grate on you the most was Pete Ross being an African American since you were so kind to post a pic with a stupid joke tagged below. I’m black and I am also a puritan (I am a big James Bond fan but I will never support a black actor no matter how cool he is e.g Idris Elba, taking his role) and a contunuity freak so I don’t believe in anything being ‘loosely based’ unless it is done very well e.g the Bourne movies. I was enjoying your article until the vaguely racist comments you made so you instead get a big ‘F’! Which means f*** off.

    • martelljt says:

      To clarify, the below commentor is talking about the fact that I think it’s ridiculous to have an African American actor playing a character that is show to be Caucasian, blonde-haired and blue eyed. I don’t think it’s racist to think this was poor casting. An African American actor can be every bit as qualified to play any role that a Caucasian actor can do, but in what world would someone cast an African American man to play Superman? Or Batman? Or, for the other side, why would anyone pick a Caucasian to play John Stewart? Or Steele? Or Luke Cage? Or Jefferson Pierce? Some casting choices don’t make sense, and this was one of them. It’s something Smallville did frequently. If they would have chosen a Caucasian man to play Victor Stone, I would have every bit as upset, and that example would be here instead.

      As for the photo, I used a photo of Pete Ross on the show Smallville, and had the caption as “Like what happened to Michael Jackson, but in reverse.” To clarify here, this is not, nor was it ever meant to be a racist joke. This is a Michael Jackson joke. He was a pretty odd guy, and this had nothing to do with his race. This had to do with him being an odd guy, that went from being very African American, to looking not African American at all. Medical condition or not, it happened. No racist intent, or appreciation for racism. Racism sucks, and so does taking something the wrong way. That being said, I can appreciate someone being offended by something, so the photo’s been removed, to be replaced with another. Thanks for reading in any case, and I hope you continue to read and enjoy!

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