In the wake of Green Arrow #36, many have been left asking whether recent events are showing that the comicbook series is cutting ties with The CW show, Arrow. While there has been no official connection made between the two, many elements of the show have been introduced into the comic world, presumably to broaden their appeal, with Arrow writers Andrew Kreisberg and Ben Sokolowski being brought on to write six issues.
Rebooted with the rest of the DC Comics Universe in The New 52 Initiative, the new Green Arrow series has largely been without an overarching story from the start. Within the first seven issues, the book’s creative team was changed three times, and it wasn’t until Green Arrow #17 – which saw Jeff Lemire take over at the helm – that a cohesive vision developed. Lemire’s run was critically acclaimed, however many Green Arrow fans didn’t like the liberties that he took with classic characters or the way in which elements of the Arrowverse were introduced.
Fans and critics alike were eventually satisfied with the changes brought on in the DC Rebirth Initiative, which returned Green Arrow to its roots, reintroducing classic elements that the New 52 version lacked, such as Oliver Queen’s romance with Black Canary, and his partnership with Roy Harper. The new series also introduced other elements from Arrow, such as a more villainous Moira Queen, and a more fatherly Malcolm Merlyn.
However, these overlaps between the two worlds seem to be coming to an end, as one of the latest issues, Green Arrow #36, ends with Emiko Queen (Oliver’s half-sister) sacrificing her life to save Oliver.
In the Rebirth reality, Oliver’s father, Robert Queen, was part of The Outsiders, a secret organisation composed of various clans. Whilst searching for a mystic Arrow totem, Robert had an affair with assassin Shado (who isn’t the same character that appears in the Arrow show, sharing only the same name). Together they had a daughter, Emiko, who was then abducted by Robert’s protégé, Komodo and raised to hate the Queen Family. Eventually she learned of her heritage, and joined her half-brother as the Red Arrow.
Emiko’s character and confusing backstory has turned away many Arrow fans. She was introduced by Jeff Lemire as a parallel to Thea Queen, however it was when Benjamin Percy took over that Emiko’s character developed further than simply being “rebellious” and “murderous.” Another point that was made by a number of fans, was that the character seemed to just be a rip-off of most recent Robin, Damian Wayne, who was also raise by assassins to kill the hero who he would eventually fight alongside.
The death of Emiko means that relatively few elements of the TV show remain in the comicbook universe. Moira is still alive and more than willing to kill her son, unlike her Arrow counterpart, who only joined Malcolm Merlyn in order to protect her family. Tommy Merlyn, who was introduced in Green Arrow #0 as a foe for Oliver (before her appeared as a villain in Crisis on Earth-X) is still on the run. And John Diggle, a traitor to Team Arrow, is still at large.
Now, we can only wait and wonder whether these elements will also be removed.
Green Arrow #36 is out now.