Arrow S2E1: “City of Heroes” – REVIEW

City of Heroes

The last season of Arrow finished with a bang or more like a quake. Part of a devious plan, “The Undertaking” put into place by Malcolm Merlyn/The Dark Archer and a group of businessmen to level the Glades section of Starling City. The plan was partially successful despite Oliver Queen/The Hood/Arrow, Felicity Smoak, Detective Quentin Lance, and John Diggle’s efforts. It left Moira Queen incarcerated, the Glades in shambles, and Malcolm and his son Tommy dead along with over 500 civilians.

Within the first couple minutes we find out that Oliver Queen has blamed himself for not saving his best friend Tommy or the 500 other some odd dead people in the glades. And so like any emo 14 year-old who just broke up with his girlfriend or full grown super-hero, he exiles himself to his room to listen to Morrissey. Or in this case the island where he originally found himself spiritually and emotionally, Lian-Yu. And like any best friend or sidekick would, Felicity and Diggle venture to the island to shake him out of his funk. They’re all like dude everything sux now without you around. And they’re right. But Ollie is all like, hey I’m coming back but only as Oliver Queen guys not the Hood!

So non-Hood-Ollie returns to Starling City to find the Glades a mess. A new player, Isabel Rochev has purchased 40% of Queen Consolidated and is looking to purchase the last 10% to gain control of the company. A group called the Hoods co-opted Oliver’s look and are running around killing rich people. His mother, Moira is locked up in Iron Heights. Laurel Lance has taken a job at the DAs office and she has a new . Her father Quentin Lance has been demoted to a beat cop. Oliver’s sister Thea has been running his nightclub with Roy Harper which is above his “Arrow Cave” unbeknownst to them. Also, Roy is running around playing Hood Jr. in the Glades, which doesn’t make Thea very happy.

So Ollie comes back and takes care of all this stuff and by becoming the Hood again. The one difference is he won’t kill anymore. The show highlights this theme nicely with the fashbacks to the island that lead up to the first time he takes a life. The Hoods aptly illustrate how his mission can be skewed and taken off course. He decides he needs a new identiy and he stares at the Arrow.

It’s an okay jumping on point for new viewers. Definitely a strong start to the new season.


Below are notes and Easter eggs that will provide insight and connections to the comics that may spoil some future twists if you are not a comic book reader.

The news story on the TV screen when Ollie returns to Starling City gives us a hint of the character  who will be coming to Arrow. The line, “In Central City, S.T.A.R. Labs’s particle accelerator will be finished by Christmas, ” is a nice way to set the stage for The Flash. S.T.A.R. Labs is a research facility that first appeared in Superman vol. 1 #246 (December 1971). It stands for Scientific and Technological Advanced Research. Barry Allen (The Flash) is a forensic scientist from Central City that gets struck by lighting while being dowsed in chemicals. This accident gives him the the power of super-speed. It think changing the chemicals to a particle accelerator is a good way to update the origin of Barry Allen. Barry first appeared in Showcase #4 (Oct. 1956),

It’s also funny that Channel 52 where the news stories are being played is the name of the two page teaser comic in the back of DC Comics teasing what is to come in their new books.


Isabel Rochev played by the sexy Summer Glau comes straight from Green Arrow comic books. She was created by J.T. Krul and Diogenes Neves and first appears in Green Arrow vol. 4 #1 (August 2010). She is an adversary to Ollie’s that goes by the name of Queen. Born in Siberia, she lived a life of servitude in a diamond mine. When Oliver Queen’s father came to her village, she was inspired by the man, who she saw as a symbol of one’s inner power. She found him a great source of inspiration and vowed to make something of herself and rise from her humble status as a slave girl. She achieved this goal years later by purchasing stocks of Queen Industries and taking control of the company. This should be interesting.

In the last scene of the episode, Roy is fighting some street thugs in the Glades. He says he just ate a Big Belly Burger. This is a fast food restaurant in DC Comics that first Adventures of Superman#441 (June, 1988). He is helped out by a surprise vigilante. She is supposed to be the Black Canary. This is a big twist. The only Black Canary characters in the comic are Laurel and her mother. This must be a new take on the character. I’m looking forward to seeing more of her.

Written by Dave Tomko. Check out Dave’s site,