An Open Letter To The Producers Of “ARROW” – How NOT To Screw It Up!

The CW has started casting for a new series based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow, entitled ARROW (You can see the casting details and character descriptions here). When it was first announced, it was going to be a spin off of SMALLVILLE, and now it’s not.

Whenever I hear of an adaption from comic books to live action TV, I get a little worried. So I present a request to the producers of ARROW on how not to screw it up.


Anyone who knows me, knows I wasn’t the biggest fan of SMALLVILLE. The first couple of seasons weren’t that bad, but when the producers found out that they couldn’t introduce Batman, they chose Green Arrow instead. This kind of made sense, because if you trace back Green Arrow’s creation, you’ll find out he was a Batman knock off. But what we got on SMALLVILLE was just a mess.

Now I understand that when you adapt a comic book to TV, some changes need to be made, but the changes made for SMALLVILLE were so bad, the heart of the character wasn’t there at all. It was so painfully obvious that it was a Batman rip-off, done really half-assed. Hell, for most of SMALLVILLE, he barely used the damn bow in the first place.

So here’s what needs to be done so Green Arrow doesn’t get screwed up again, like he was in SMALLVILLE.

  • No Pleather Costume –  The design of the costume wasn’t all that bad. But the use of shiny leather, vinyl, or whatever it was, just plain sucked. Leather does work for GA, but not shiny. Look at the comic book mini series GREEN ARROW: THE LONGBOW HUNTERS as a sort of guide. You don’t need to use all the elements, but the rough, dark green dyed leather really works. It really gives him that Robin Hood feel that was the inspiration of the rebirth of the character.
  • Add A Quiver– Another thing about the costume that bugged me was the

    This is not a quiver. This is just a long pocket.

    lack of a quiver. There was just a long pocket in the back of his costume, that could  hold maybe 3 to 4 arrows. How the heck is he supposed to fight crime with only 3 to 4 arrows? A quiver just makes more sense.

  • Limit Trick Arrows – I’m not saying I don’t want to see the trick arrow, but something like a boxing glove arrow is going to look pretty damn goofy on the screen. You can simulate the same effect with a blunt arrow, or one with like a golf ball on it. The taser arrow they used in SMALLVILLE showed how goofy some of the trick arrows can be.
  • World’s Greatest Archer – In the DC Universe, GA is the greatest archer they have. When comic legend and writer Denny O’Neil wrote a couple of GA issues back in the 80’s, he used Zen philosophy to explain how GA is able to hit just about any target. He just “made the shot happen.” That really shows what a badass he is. When he was on SMALLVILLE, they had him use a telescopic sight. This drove me up a frigging wall. The audience already accepted Clark Kent had super powers, why couldn’t they accept that GA was the greatest archer? No sights!!
  • No Crossbow– As well as the use of a sight, the fact he used a handheld
    No crossbows! He's a damn archer!

    No crossbows! He's a damn archer!

    crossbow, made me want to scream. Any idiot can use a handheld crossbow. It takes real skill to use a bow & arrow. Again this goes back to making him a bad ass.

  • Lose The Urban Myth – The urban myth superhero has been done to death. It’s really old and I can’t stand it. Now in the series GA doesn’t need to be buddy-buddy with the cops, but he should be seen so people know that he’s out there watching over the city. They need to know that this is his city and his rules.
  • Heart Of A Hunter – At the very core of it all, GA is a hunter. This is how his GA’s personality should be portrayed. Hunting down the villains to the ends of the Earth. Looking like he’s willing to kill if necessary.
  • Ladykiller – The other part of GA personality is he’s a huge ladies man. We need to see him sleep around. GA is a slut. There’s no way to sugarcoat it. It’s an important part of him.
  • What’s In A Name – OK, the main character is Green Arrow. So call the show GREEN ARROW. I’m sorry but ARROW just sound really freaking stupid. Are you embarrassed of the character? If you aren’t going to call the show by the main character’s name, they just don’t bother.
  • Keep Him Grounded – Green Arrow doesn’t have super powers, so no super powered villains in the show. Set it in some type of real world setting, where people can think that this almost can be real. Nuff said!
  • Villains – GA does have some villains of his own. Mind you their not as well known as say Batman’s or Superman’s. But there are some interesting ones that can be introduced. You already have Merlyn as one of the main characters, so that’s a good start. Others could be Cupid, Shado, League of Assassins, and Drakon.
  • Sorry Roy!

    No Sidekicks – As much as love Roy, Connor, and Mia, I feel that including them in the TV will be a “jump the shark” moment. Best just to keep them out of it.

  • Cheesy Effects – One of the (many) things that bugged me about SMALLVILLE was the lousy production value. I get that doing Superman is a huge undertaking for a limited budget for a TV show, but GA isn’t Superman. GA is a character that can be in reality. So just watch that production value.

So there you have it. How to make the Green Arrow TV show a really great show.

To the producers, if you have any questions, I am available for consulting on the project.

You know where to find me.

Brian Isaacs - Executive Editor / Publisher

About Brian Isaacs - Executive Editor / Publisher

An avid comic collector/reader for over 40 years and self-proclaimed professor of comicology, Brian original started up the site Pendragon's Post to share his voice. Well that voice has been shared, and evolved into The Fanboy Factor. Brian is an advocate for remembering comic roots, and that we don't forget what was created in the past, and encourage everyone to read it as well. When not swimming in geek culture, he can be seen corrupting..introducing his young son to comics, much to his wife's chagrin.