6 DC Characters I’d Like to See on ‘Arrow’

Even though they couldn’t make a Justice League movie to save their own asses, DC Comics has mastered bringing its superheroes to the small screen. They’ve got a robust and popular direct-to-DVD animated market, decades worth of quality cartoons and some of the best live action superhero television shows of all time. Smallville got 10 seasons out of the early years of Clark Kent. That’s very impressive.

Now they’re going to try again for another hit with Arrow on the CW.

Because apparently ‘Green’ is a 4-letter word

Ostensibly based on the character Green Arrow, somebody somewhere decided to drop the whole ‘Green’ part of his name. Not cool enough for modern audiences, I guess? Didn’t seem to hurt when Green Arrow was a major character on Smallville. Anyway, color coordination aside, Arrow is going to be a gritty, urban show about a street-level vigilante fighting crime. The previews have looked pretty awesome so far, and I’m excited. I’m even more excited about all of the superhero cameos the show is going to feature.

So being the comic book geek that I am, I started thinking about what characters I’d like to see appear on Arrow. There is one ground rule through, established by the producers themselves: no powers. With that ground rule in place, here are the 6 DC characters I’d like to see cameo in Arrow.


6. Onomatopoeia


Kevin Smith is bad at comics

Green Arrow doesn’t really have a lot of memorable villains. There is no Joker-caliber bad guy to have in the show. The only one who comes close is Merlyn, who’s just an evil archer, and he’s already cast as a main character. This is probably why Arrow is bringing in guys like Deadshot and Deathstroke to be villains, because Green Arrow just doesn’t have many quality villains of his own – but he does have Onomatopoeia! Weird name, but potentially badass villain. Onomatopoeia is a remorseless killing machine with a fascinating and funny gimmick. He’s clearly got a great look, which could easily be reproduced in live action, and his gimmick it that he only speaks in sound effects like “bang” or “tick tock” or whatever. Find a creepy enough actor, and Onomatopoeia could be a real threat and a really fun character. He’s just wacky enough to be entertaining, but deadly enough to not be a joke.


5. Penguin


Frank Reynolds the super-villain

If Green Arrow can’t really use his own villains, then borrow some famous villains from other heroes! Batman has a ton of great, realistic villains who don’t have super-powers. And of them all, one that I think could be shopped out to a hero like Green Arrow is the Penguin. The Penguin is fantastic in the role of evil businessman or even a political figure, like in Batman Returns. The Penguin is disgusting and greedy, but at the same time he has the intelligence, ruthlessness and the class to actually succeed. Downplay his grotesque look – though not completely – and Oswald Cobblepot could easily pass for a normal person without any strange penguin powers. He doesn’t have to eat fish heads and live in the sewer. Penguin could be a badass, vicious mob boss/businessman with a lot of star power.


4. The Flying Graysons


Batman isn’t everything

Did you know that when Warner Bros. was searching for a new superhero show to replace Smallville (prior to settling on Arrow), they were considering a show called ‘The Graysons’ that would be about a young Dick Grayson and his life with the circus? It’s true! I don’t think they ever made a pilot, but they were still considering a show based around The Flying Graysons – and now is their chance to see how it would work! Nobody ever said Robin could only appear alongside Batman. Have Arrow meet Dick Grayson when he’s still a member of Haley’s Circus, when his parents are still alive. Circuses are a great place to set an episode of TV, especially for a superhero whose main skill is similar to a circus act. Maybe Ollie meets and gets some lessons from some great circus archer while he’s there. And then teams up with Richard and Mary Grayson, and their young son Dick, to solve a crime, or whatever the Arrow episodes are going to be about.

Plus, should Arrow ever get around to doing a Batman episode, there would already be a rapport in place between Arrow and Robin. That would be an absolutely perfect call back opportunity…despite the immense tragedy of the kid’s parents dying!


3. Oracle


Hot, nerdy redheads make the world go ’round

Allow me to let you guys in on a little secret: computers are the future. Even today, 17 years after the genre-defining flick Hackers, computer wizardry is still a go-to choice for action and adventure. And it would only make sense for Arrow to use computers in some way, opening the door for a mysterious and suspiciously helpful hacker that goes by the handle ‘Oracle’. Whenever Arrow needs to look up something online or track a criminal, this Oracle keeps popping up and supplying him with the information. It’s like she’s watching him through the Internet. Who is hiding behind the glowing green computer mask of Oracle? Well, of course, we all know that it’s Barbara Gordon, former Batgirl and all around Internet mastermind. But Ollie wouldn’t know that, not in the beginning at least. Oracle could be an ongoing storyline, a supporting character that appears mysteriously from time to time until Ollie is finally ready to meet Barbara. If the whole Batgirl/Commissioner Gordon thing is too complicated legally, there’s no need to go into it. Barbara can just be this cute redhead who helps out superheroes with information and access. And the wheelchair is a definite must.

What’s also a must? The Birds of Prey, of course! We already know that Huntress and Black Canary are going to be in Arrow, so teaming them up with Oracle would absolutely have to happen. And nobody will mention that previous Birds of Prey show.


2. Blue Beetle


Jaime Reyes who?

Arrow does not have to be a show that focuses only on the grim and gritty, an examination of the darkness inherent in being a mask vigilante. Sometimes a little levity is necessary in a world like that. And I don’t think any character would better fit the combination of realistic and comedic than the second Blue Beetle, Ted Kord. Not only does Ted not have super-powers, but all of his crime-fighting is gadget-based, making him very similar to Green Arrow in that regard. The two would be great foils for each other, comparing and contrasting their different approaches to crime fighting. Not that Blue Beetle’s episodes or appearances should be goofy, mind you. I think comedic superhero characters work best when they’re the only comedian in a room full of everybody being serious, and Arrow definitely looks like a show where everybody’s going to be super serious. Plus I think they could make a really awesome, grittier costume, complete with big yellow goggles.

I see Blue Beetle as an occasional ally to Arrow, a reoccurring guest star that appears once or twice a season to lend a hand and a bit of humor to otherwise grim episodes. Picture Bruce Campbell’s Autolycus from Hercules the Legendary Journeys, a popular character that would pop up every now and then and make any episode in which he appeared something special. Blue Beetle could be Arrow’s Autolycus.


1. Speedy


Green Arrow Jr.

I love sidekicks. Heck, I managed to find a way to include Robin on this list. Well the time has come, in this age of irony and flipped expectations, to take a realistic, serious look at superhero sidekicks. They are no longer the silly, tights wearing 10-year-old boys of yesteryear. Now is the time to tell a real story about when a superhero takes on a partner. Why do they do it? What does it add to the crime-fighting? What does it take away? Do they get along? We all know bickering and butting heads can be entertaining. I think Green Arrow’s sidekick Speedy would be an awesome addition to Arrow, though not something that would happen right away. Maybe save him for season 2…and do something about that name. Considering what we’ve seen of Arrow so far, I think giving him a partner would be a fun story to explore. Why would he take on a partner? What does Ollie think about his partner? Does he like Speedy? Or does he just put up with his sidekick out of some kind of obligation? How does a sidekick help or hurt a superhero? These are all questions that can be explored in a real emotional, dramatic fashion.

And the best part about Speedy is that he’s not a perfect sidekick. Robin is the idealized sidekick, the perfect partner to Batman. But Speedy is a black sheep. He’s got an attitude, he’s something of a punk, and there was that dramatic and ground-breaking heroin-addiction storyline back in the early 1970s. In the current New 52, Speedy and Green Arrow are estranged, with some as of yet unknown event ending their partnership. There’s a lot of storytelling potential in taking on a sidekick…and then what happens when that sidekick doesn’t work out.

Out of all the possible DC characters to appear in Arrow, I really hope they tell a story about Green Arrow’s sidekick.

Someone actually wanted to reuse the name ‘Speedy’

And personally, I’d choose Roy Harper over Mia Dearden, though I’m sure the young, blonde, street-smart female is much more appealing for a TV audience than just another dude. Mia could work as Speedy, to be sure. But she would forever be pigeon-holed in the role of young female sidekick, subservient to Green Arrow. With Roy Harper, you’d have a bit more drama available as the two alpha males (Ollie and Roy) butt heads over superheroing. Not that Mia couldn’t butt heads with Ollie, but any sexual tension between a male hero and a female sidekick would sour the storytelling potential in taking on a partner. And nobody wants to watch TV for sexual tension! In an ideal sidekick storyline, I’d want them to work more with a bromance than a romance.


Honorable Mention: Rush


Lex Luthor, Voldemort, Darth Vader, Rush

Who is Rush, you ask? Why, he’s only the greatest new character find of the 21st century! And the greatest new super-villain of the New 52 reboot! He may have only appeared in three issues of the new Green Arrow series, and may have gotten his ass kicked, and may have been based around a silly gimmick like airing his superhero fights on Youtube, but Rush was freakin’ awesome! Just look at that costume, with it’s red coat and that manly bare chest. And talk about a hairstyle, it’s sure to be all the rage with kids these days. Put Rush on the screen and we’re talking instant Emmys, maybe even some Oscars.

I may have said earlier that Green Arrow doesn’t have a Joker-level villain, but perhaps I was wrong. Green Arrow has Rush. And if Arrow plays its cards right, the viewing public could have Rush as well.


That’s my list, what do you guys think? Are you looking forward to Arrow as much as I am? What heroes or villains would you like to see on the new show? Let me know in the comments!

About Sean Ian Mills

Hello, this is Sean, the Henchman-4-Hire! By day I am a mild-mannered newspaper reporter in Central New York, and by the rest of the day I'm a pretty big geek when it comes to video games, comic books, movies, cartoons and more.

Posted on August 29, 2012, in Comics, DC, Lists of Six! and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. All your ideas are great, but some of them are hard to be taken on screen. For example, Onomatopoeia is a character that only a few directors could take on screen without giving him a campy touch.
    Besides, filling “Arrow” with Gotham characters would make the public think “Arrow is a B – series Batman”… but, as you wrote, borrowing supporting characters from other series is inevitable, because the comic book doesn’t offer many of them.
    The producers said the supporting characters of the show won’t have any superpowers: it’s a bad sign, in my opinion. It’s a way to say “We won’t spend a cent in special effects”, and, when you make a super hero series without any digital support, it usually ends up having a cheap touch.
    Great post! : )

    • I don’t think they said no to super powers as a means to cut down on the special effects budget. I think they’re just trying to create a specific tone/style of the show. They want it to feel like it takes place in the real world as opposed to one where aliens and amazons and super-powers exist. I’m sure they’re going to use some CGI to do Arrow’s various skill shots with the bow.

  2. Smallville was one of my favorite shows; I just have a hard time seeing Arrow being successful. I just don’t think he’s as popular. If they have the right writers and don’t jazz Arrow up too much as a hero and more like a normal person, it may do well.

    • That’s a good point. I don’t think I’d ever considered that Smallville’s success was based on Superman’s popularity. I’ve always chalked it up to a well made show and general superheroics.

  3. I assume Oliver Queen runs a business in this. So I want Lexcorp, Wayne Industries, and Kord Industrial all included. If they make up any new competing companies when they have 3 great ones right there, then I’ll be ticked. Dagget is fine too.

    I also want other characters to appear as non-powered versions of themselves. Like have Matt Hagen be a famous actor in this world. And Dr. Fries and Dr. Hugo are well-known scientists.

    Cheshire and Prometheus would be nice too. They’re kinda Green Arrow specific rogues. I don’t think Prometheus has any super powers. I think he just has a computer in his head. Still he’s a pretty cool villain created in the 90’s. And it is neat to see 90’s costumes get updated for the 21st century. There are plenty examples of earlier era costumes getting updated for the 21st century. Hawkeye being the best example. But even though the 90’s weren’t that long ago, costume tastes have changed dramatically. A good example of a 90’s character getting a 21st century costume change is Superboy. A bad example is Harley Quinn. A medium example is Carnage whereas although his “costume” hasn’t changed, his appearance has. But that’s mostly due to improved art techniquies with computers. His costume now looks more random with the black on red instead of the 90’s when it often looked like he had specific “patterns” on his skin. Anyways, the point is that Prometheus had pouches, shoulder pads, and a weird-looking cape, which were all standard 90’s garb. So I think some neat things could be done to modernize a fairly modern character. Also I think maybe the helmet was pretty cool and should be kept.

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