*This post contains spoilers about Arrow*


To understand my point of view for this article, full disclosure, I’m not what you would consider a traditional comic book fan. I grew up watching G.I. Joe, Transformers, Masters of the Universe, Thundercats, etc. This was the extent of my childhood memories of heroism and superheroes.

Arrow changed all that for me. I’m now reading comic books, buying Funkos and action figures, paying a hell of a lot of money to attend panels and conventions.

Back in September 2012, I saw ads for an upcoming television series called, Arrow. You remember the promos of a shirtless Stephen Amell in TV spots and billboards? How on earth could any of us forget? No really, the man resembled a Greek God and rocked a serious…six…eight pack? Of course we were going to watch this pilot. Wild horses couldn’t keep me and my friends away. We didn’t know anything about the Green Arrow. We had no clue that this was a comic book show. All we knew that we wanted to see was more of this guy.


Arrow Season 1 poster


Unfortunately, while the pilot was compelling and chock-full of action, it simply wasn’t enough to earn my investment in the show overall. I remember wondering why this guy, returning from all of this trauma, came home to a bunch of people that either I didn’t like or they didn’t like him. There was so much vitriol and hatred. It was uncomfortable. The voice-overs did nothing to help. That was my cue to exit stage right.

Many weeks later, I get a call from my Nana (you heard me, my Nana) asking if I was watching a show called Arrow? I told her about my initial response to it, but she wouldn’t shut up about it. We’ll discuss my Nana’s weird fixation on Stephen Amell some other time. Finally, season one: episode five, I decided to catch the show. Subtle changes had been made, so I went back and binged it that weekend. I was hooked. John Diggle and Felicity Smoak breathed a life into this show that remains inexplicable.

It wasn’t until the season one hiatus that I couldn’t take it anymore, I had to learn more about this show. I spent all hiatus researching, reading, acclimating myself with the Green Arrow mythos, chatting about Arrow on social media, and reading anything I could get my hands on from cast interviews, spoilers and message board discussions. I suppose you could say I was officially a Green Arrow fan.

As I delved into various Green Arrow mythos, I realized something that many fans have failed to comprehend even today. My big revelation? While Arrow borrowed certain material from comic book runs such as ‘Year One’, the television show was very much its own iteration. It was intoxicating in its own right. I didn’t always understand the comic book version of Oliver Queen. Which was fine, because I also had difficulty understanding and empathizing with Arrow’s Oliver Queen occasionally. The difference is, Arrow had Diggle and Felicity there to help me understand Oliver Queen.

Oliver Diggle Felicity


After being a fan of Arrow, now hurdling to the finish line of its fourth season, I wanted to take a moment to explain some of the confusion I feel when reading the comments and thoughts of some comic book fans of Green Arrow for the past four years when discussing Arrow.

One of the biggest sources of frustration while interacting on social media about Arrow, is the lack of respect shown to the Green Arrow as a hero. This is found predominantly within the comic book community. It’s as if some have entered Arrow wearing comic book filtered goggles that prevent you from fully experiencing the show, because you’re too busy waiting for the exact stories, moments, and scenes from various Green Arrow books to occur.You know the type I’m talking about.

“That’s not the way it happened in the comics…”

“Well in the comics…”

While I understand that in most Green Arrow comic book runs, the Green Arrow is considerably older, with dramatic facial hair and a girlfriend 20 years his junior that apparently has martial art skills that surpassed his own and a meta-human to boot, that is not the world that exists on Arrow. It never has been. Not at the show’s creation. And most certainly not now when we’re entering into the fifth season renewal.




Which brings us the elephant in the room. There has been a lot of online outrage from the comic book community over the killing of the Black Canary this week on Arrow. In all honesty, I don’t get it. This was never a joint titled show and the show runners never intended it to be. Laurel Lance was never going to be the comic book Black Canary that was a meta-human and better at martial arts than Oliver Queen on Arrow. Her story was never setup to be that at its inception. That was an unrealistic expectation to place on the show when her hero journey didn’t even begin until season three of the show.


Arrow -- "Midnight City" -- Image AR311A_0230b -- Pictured: Katie Cassidy as Black Canary -- Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


These two characters could have co-existed on the same show for the duration of Arrow’s run. But that required fans, ALL fans to face a few truths about Arrow.

  • Arrow is its own iteration.
  • Laurel Lance on Arrow as Black Canary was never going to live up to comic book Dinah.
  • Oliver Queen is never going to be in green tights, a pimp hat with a feather, a goatee and in his mid-forties on Arrow.
  • Thea Queen never existed in the comic books.
  • Moira Queen LIVED and EXISTED on Arrow.
  • Sara Lance was the first Black Canary, yes – she was. Deal with it. Carary, Black Canary, whatever. Sara wasn’t in the comic books. As if mother/daughter sharing would’ve been better.
  • Arrow’s relationship between Green Arrow and Black Canary was NEVER (even from day one) like their comic book counterparts.
  • Black Canary has never been in any Green Arrow origin story.
  • Being selective in your canon demands is a waste of everyone’s time. WHICH CANON?! Which book?

There are simply certain things from comic books that would never translate on TV. Arrow has taken a hard stance to never show the sexual assault or even so much as perceived rape of a woman. For example, they were never going to show Shado raping Oliver Queen and creating a child.

Comic book runs tell stories during a period when topics are ripe in society and reflect what readers would be interested in seeing what’s reflected within them. But the fact is, comic books date too far back for some of that source material to ever be appropriate on a television medium with diverse viewers.

Selective canonical demands on the series have weighed it down for four seasons. It is because of those unrealistic demands that Arrow attempts to incorporate them often to their own detriment.

I had a debate with a comic book “purist” this season that claimed Daredevil was such a raw, grounded show and that Arrow basically sucked. Oddly enough, I can’t stop laughing at those claims because it was the demands by fans to move away from those elements that brought powers, mysticism, and meta-humans on a show that once prided itself on being grounded in reality.

These are things that should have stayed on The Flash. Changing the very fabric of Arrow’s DNA to include powers and mysticism, hasn’t improved the quality of entertainment the show once had. Oliver no longer gets bloodied or badly bruised. Stephen’s physicality and athleticism gets wasted more because stunts have to be over the top for optics now instead of bare knuckled blow by blow brawls of seasons passed.


arrow s01e05-400-takedown2-sg


I’ve watched as fans continued to push for Batman elements like Ra’s Al Ghul to appear on Arrow. It was a question asked on Stephen Amell’s Facebook for years. Arrow finally submits, and enter complaints about “stealing” characters from Batman, or complaints over the poor portrayal of Ra’s. Let’s not even go there with those asking for Batman and Superman to come on Arrow. As if that would ever happen. It’s all just exhausting. The show really can’t win.

With each attempt to incorporate elements within Arrow that would appease comic book fans, Green Arrow himself gets more and more lost along the way. Why is Malcolm Merlyn still alive? His presence and Oliver’s continued symbiotic relationship with him does him no favors. In addition to the Ra’s Al Ghul’s, the Leagues of Assassins, etc – Arrow also managed to spend, not one season, but three seasons telling various Black Canary stories. Season two – Sara – Black Canary, Season three, Laurel – Black Canary, Season four, Sara back as Canary/Black Canary, White Canary…whatever, all while still evolving Laurel as Black Canary.

Pointing this out is not to say Arrow has been perfect, it’s just as flawed as any other show can be. But somewhere along the way, some fans have forgotten that Arrow is about the journey of Green Arrow. So if you’re insisting you can’t tell a story about Green Arrow without having a Black Canary, you haven’t been paying attention. I find that particularly infuriating simply because that implies Green Arrow isn’t worthy of transferring over to mainstream just as Batman, Superman, the Flash, etc in his own right.

Not only is it an insult to him as a superhero, but the insult is being levied by the very genre that his story derives from. It’s like saying Batman can’t have a show without Robin, Superman can’t have a movie without Lois, Captain America can’t stand on his own without Bucky Barnes. Can Barbara Gordon exist without the aid of Black Canary, Huntress, or Batman? The answer to all of these examples is, YES. A resounding YES. Because superhero stories are not about co-dependency in order to be heroic!


Green Arrow gif


I’m not sure what you’ve read in ANY Green Arrow story or iteration that gave you the impression that the Green Arrow as a hero requires the presence of Black Canary to be worthy of having his story told in a mainstream media like television, but that’s the most misguided misconception I’ve ever heard. To make such a foolish proclamation completely disregards everything Arrow has shown since the pilot. This is the story of the Green Arrow. If you didn’t come for that, you’re no better than the romance shippers many of you claim are ruining the show for wanting and enjoying….wait for it, a romance on a superhero show. You’re essentially a shipper yourself demanding that Green Arrow can’t exist without Black Canary. That’s called shipping, dear. Own it.

Arrow has spent four years cultivating and attempting to make a Black Canary that works and embodies what is needed to capture upwards of 3 million viewers weekly, just like the Green Arrow himself. Let me repeat that, Arrow requires Black Canary and every single character to do their part to sustain the 3 million viewers on average that tune in to Arrow. On the BEST run of any Green Arrow & Black Canary title, subscribers never reach beyond 60K readers that pay for the content. On a bad run, that number has been known to drop to 16K comic book subscribers.

Looking at you Black Canary’s recent solo run.

If you seriously think a multi-million dollar TV medium is going to cater to the whims of 65K people and not tell a compelling story that 3+ million people will tune in for weekly, you’re sadly mistaken. Arrow doesn’t owe you that. This show owes nothing to source material that has so many runs and books, no one can decide what you people are saying when you use the word “canon”.

At this point, I’ll never believe Black Canary and Green Arrow could not have existed on the same show into the final curtain call if not for the demands from some that selective comic book canon be honored. No one asked for actual story outside of romance to make her more viable on Arrow. No one made it a priority to develop a fanbase for the actress that would grant her more buzz, news articles, or the chance to be viewed with anything short of vague indifference or apathy by the general viewing audience. So the outcry now is especially confusing. If you came for the story of the Green Arrow, that is and always will be the story being told. If you came to Arrow to see the Green Arrow & Black Canary show, you won’t find it on Arrow. But you will find the journey of Oliver Queen as he continues his evolution as the Green Arrow. A hero in his own right. No appendages required.




It’s a new day for Arrow. A chance to finally unburden themselves with things of the past. If all goes well, syndication is just around the corner. And I couldn’t be happier for the cast and crew that remains and worked hard to get to this point. Meritocracy is alive and well again.

I’ll leave you with a piece of advice. If you’re really here to watch Oliver Queen’s journey as Green Arrow, watch the story that’s being told on screen each week and try not to place your unrealistic expectations of a canon that doesn’t exist in their world.

Until next time, be good to one another.


3373f0ed-7438-4f6e-a954-3adcce4b16cfAnetris Armstead is a wife, mother of three sons and a former US Marine. Her love of television and film is second only to the love of her family. A firm believer that a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon can fix most things, she’s the fiercest fangirl on the block and a bonafide Blerd who enjoys shows like Arrow, Agents of SHIELD, The Americans and Agent Carter.

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  • Hervé St-Louis (ComicBookBin)

    What you do not consider is that fans are not pissed at Arrow because of Laurel. They are pissed because Black Canary in this show has been treated as an object for Green Arrow from day one. She has been an appendage and not the autonomous character that she is. Black Canary as a character came into her own independently of Green Arrow. Her first 20 years as a character was without him. She joined the Justice Society on her own ‘before’ Wonder Woman technically became a member (WW was the JSA’s secretary). Black Canary is the best well-known and viable original female super heroine at DC. She was not someone’s clone or sidekick. In fact, she took over the series of the character she was introduced in (Johnny Thunder). She became the second female in the Justice League. It is only after having started there, that some writer saddled her with Green Arrow.

    So fans are pissed because a perfectly viable character has been treated as a sidekick of Gren Arrow and as you remarkably put it, allegorically, as his 20 year-old junior girlfriend. They are pissed off because once, Black Canary who had her own TV show almost a decade ahead of Arrow, was featured as his sidekick. A useless sidekick. She was designed to fail and be a failure. And fans like me are pissed. Not because of a violation of cannon. We are pissed because Black Canary is her own character and was a cheap appendage in Arrow. Your article does not really consider this.

    • Mer

      So then – why are so many fans only pissed NOW? Yes, I agree (as someone who DOES know the comic mythos and is very familiar with the various iterations of canon) that Arrow did not do Black Canary justice. But I have two points here: 1. Why did they have to? This show was NOT about Black Canary, it was about Oliver Queen. and 2. This has been a problem since the start. Whatever the reasons – the character of Laurel Lance/Black Canary on Arrow hasn’t worked. From the start. So yes, there are some who have acknowledged this all along, but most of the vitriol now is from fans who HERALDED this character. Perhaps if there had been a more well organized response asking to improve this character from the start things would have been different. But there wasn’t, and they aren’t. The show called Arrow, about Oliver Queen, killed off a character who is not the titular character. The end.

      • suzyque

        This is so on point! I have tried for 4 seasons to connect with this character. I really wanted to! But for some reason (writing, acting, chemistry — I’m not sure), she never clicked. So the uproar over how this last episode disrespected her is so confusing to me. I think Laurel fans are right in a way; it WAS disrespectful (having her use her last breaths to declare her love for Oliver and give Olicity her blessing instead of sharing a moment with her father was a strange decision by the writers), but it’s par for the course. She’s always been written poorly. Where was the uproar from her in season 1-3, when she oscillated between being a damsel in distress to a kickass master of self defense (often in the same episode)? I feel like some Laurel fans are trying to see the character they always *wished* she was, instead of what we’ve been shown onscreen. It’s just like all those Arrow fans (and podcasters/aftershow hosts) who whine endlessly about the fact that the show was better in season 2. Maybe… but that’s not what it is anymore. Debating the pros and cons of what we’re seeing onscreen is fun; debating what’s in reality vs what’s in some fans’ imaginations is not.

        • anapaulajk

          The last words from Laurel to Oliver was Katie Cassidy’s idea and desire! The writers only did what she asked to do.

      • Tree Trunks is my homegirl

        It’s insane to think that an online fan campaign to keep the character on the show SHOULD work, as you’ve suggested. That’s not how storytelling works. Essentially you’re admitting that the only reason Olicity happened is because there was a vocal fanbase.

        And besides if you are somehow under the impression people just started complaining about how Black Canary – or all the other women – are treated on Arrow this week I can assure you that time is needed outside of your echo chamber.

    • Rita

      This already proves that you had a preconception about who Black Canary should be before even watching Arrow. So, this is about canon. They can do what they want about the characters they write. They can then write them off the show if they feel like they’ve reached their full potential. They can write them off the show if they don’t know how to write them anymore. They can write them off the show if their death serves a greater purpose than having them on the show. They decide what is good and what is bad for the show. Your only decision is to keep watching or just stop.

      In the arrow verse, Black Canary is a sidekick. Because Laurel Lance is not the main character and she was never safe because of who she was in the comics and certainly not because of her role in the show. She was a sidekick, just like Diggle, Thea and Felicity. You’re about 4 seasons late if you’re gonna be pissed about her relevancy. This was one of the points you missed in the article.

    • What I see here is yet another comic fan who is ignoring the canon of the show in favor of the canon of the comics. It’s true, Laurel on Arrow was NOT who Black Canary is in the comics. Not even close. That was frustrating to a lot of people. That you are frustrated she was treated as an object since day one further proves it. That’s not who Black Canary is! But that’s who she was on this show. This is a recent development, it’s not Olicity’s fault… It’s just how this show was created. And it didn’t work. So now the show is doing the only responsible and getting rid of this element in the show. The Black Canary lives on and will always live on in the comics.

      If this show had been called “Arrow & Canary” then maybe this outrage would have some basis. But this has always been just “Arrow” and it is the story of Oliver Queen. There is nothing in that title that says Black Canary needs to have a place in his origin story. She wasn’t there when he became Green Arrow in the comics so why would you expect her to be there now? They tried to integrate her, but because of a lack of chemistry and about a dozen other valid reasons, the interpretation didn’t sell. The audience didn’t buy it. If you ask me, this death came at least three seasons too late. The longer it went on with her there, the more it gave folks like you the hope that they would turn things around for the character.

      • realarrowfan

        Well, you can go off yourself. I literally cannot go anywhere without seeing you posting your bullcrap all over the web. Seriously, take an arrow and stab it in your abdomen.

        • Charming. That you can’t discuss without resorting to insults and death wish taunts tells me a lot about you and completely undermines whatever argument you may have had in the first place.

          • Hervé St-Louis (ComicBookBin)

            The post above should not have been deleted. The owner of the site shoud have verified the IP address and sent it off to the Disqus. By the deleting the post, the response from Callistawolf make it look as if I had written the deleted comment. I did not have anything to do with the deleted post. I research this stuff scholarly. It is easy to figure out who this person was, but only if the evidence is not deleted…

            To respond to Callistawolf, David Taylor put it best in his blog. Comic book fans are not asking for comic book storylines to be repeated word for word in adaptations. But some adaptations are wrong. In the strategic intellectual property plan designed by DC Comics, Black Canary is one of those characters identified as being franchise-worthy and important for the publisher. The comic book fans that many like to dismiss are aware of that. They understand the value and importance of Black Canary for DC. I mean, Marvel copied her with not one but two characters, Black Widow and Micking Bird.

            After the dark 1980s and early 1990s, the character was saved from the abominal treatment she had received from the Green Arrow comic. Gail Simone was important in restoring Black Canary to prominence.

            The Arrow show just threw all of this away. Since the Grell years, every writer has been careful with not writing Black Canary as an appendage of Green Arrow, even when she was a guest star or a supporting character. Even in animation, the sense of equality between the characters has been maintained. It is only in Arrow that somehow, it’s okay to cherry-pick elements from the characters.

            Black Canary is a character that has potential for her own movie or series. She really is the most important original female character after Wonder Woman at DC Comics. Batgirl, Supergirl, Zatanna, Hawkgirl, Catwoman, Harley Quinn, Powergirl, are all great but all derivatives.

            I don’t understand the enthusiasm for killing the character when she could have been sent off elsewhere, like Roy Harper. She did not need to die. The worse tropes about female heroines were repeated with her death. She was one of the women-in-fridge that had survived and overcome her abuse by male writers. The TV show destroyed years of rebuilding using the worse kind of death for a viable female character. And what surprises me the most is that is is female fans who defend the death of Black Canary the most.

            You can dismiss comic book fans as old foggeys who can’t let go of canon, but be aware that these annoying foggeys are brutally aware of comic and storytelling history and stories where every independent female character was transformed into a woman-in-a-refrigerator. I complain because I don’t want the stories about the characters I like to go back to these dark ages to please a few newer fans.

          • I know it wasn’t you that sent that awful message, for what it’s worth.

            I understand what you’re saying and I *get it*, I really do. I have mad respect for Black Canary in the comics, probably more than I do for the Green Arrow because she really is THAT impressive of a character. It’s part of why Arrow’s interpretation of her was frustrating for me. I felt Sara came closest to it, she came to the show in s2 as a fully formed hero, able to fight alongside Oliver but ultimately her own being, her own *hero*. But as Arrow wrote her, LL was only ever an instrument in Oliver’s backstory. It was difficult to see how she’d ever overcome that. The rushed way they handled her evolution to Black Canary (including killing off the more accepted with fans Sara Lance to achieve it) didn’t help matters and I think only exacerbated things.

            LL’s character was ruined long before she was killed off on the show. I hesitate to say I’m glad she died, because she honestly had become a character I didn’t really care one way or another about in the last 20 or so episodes), but I’m relieved for the show. Because I felt it was dragging the creativity of the show down to continue to fail with this character.

            I won’t get into the BTS rumors I’ve heard around this casting change, but I think those are probably more likely to explain the death of LL than any purposeful disrespect to comic fans. I think that’s just an unfortunate side effect. I don’t think those things could have ever been overcome in the show, unfortunately. I felt, given all the circumstances, that LL was given as respectful a sendoff as possible. She got a lot more due than a lot of characters that have been killed off on this show so far. And we’ll see her influence extend on the show possibly well into next season and beyond.

            I understand not wanting to take two steps back for this character and other characters like her. It’s a touchy thing. But I also do believe that Arrow exists in its own canon. It’s based on the comics, but not a strict retelling. The showrunners keep telling us this and I feel a lot of comic fans aren’t understanding this. They’re writing their own interpretation and, unfortunately, that interpretation no longer includes this character. The good news is that with comics, she will never *truly* die. She will rise again and again and again in many different continuities going forward. This character deserves, some day, to have an on-screen portrayal that will do her justice.

            Anyhow, I’m sorry and thank you for the discussion.

      • rlyGreenbehindtheears

        I think some people might be upset because they see it as “fridging”. To be honest, as a die-hard Black Canary fan (who actually loved that solo run! Please give it a shot, it was very good!) I actually have never been able to watch Arrow, because like you said- she just…isn’t Black Canary. How can someone who spars with Cass Cain be shown as a sidekick to an archer? The clips where Arrow lectures her on fighting just gall me.

        But on the other hand, I think the death of any female character in a show can sometimes feel like the writers disposing of them for male angst purposes. I’m not an arrow fan, but I do watch Flash, and if Iris West died…I’m not sure I would be watching anymore. Not because I need her and Flash to be together, but because Iris is one of two leading ladies on that show. I don’t want to watch flash cry over her, that’s been done, that’s gross and boring. I want to watch Iris blossom and grow as a character in her own right.

        I personally was kind of glad Canary is gone from Arrow, because I really, really hate their interpretation of her, and I’m glad it’s over and out of my tags. but I understand why fans are upset about her death, too. And I understand why other people might see her as a tiring plot drag that should have died long ago. People get attached to TV shows and Characters, and there are a lot of strong feelings involved. I don’t know if anyone is really wrong, it’s just a matter of opinion.

    • George

      I understand were you coming from with your post but for me raises a few questions.
      I’m not a huge comic book black canary fan but not even once during her time on the show i recognized her as a legit BC. I’ll even go as far as to say i do not recognize this version on Arrow as BC at all, giving Laurel a suit and a mask doesn’t magically transform her into the BC i’m familiar with and you seen to be too. Sara was a much better approximation to the character, in my opinion, but she was killed for Laurel.
      I must say part of the reason i never bought Laurel as BC might have to do with the actress, i think she was miscast, KC doesn’t come across as someone very physical and for me her actions scenes always fall flat
      You’re right when you say in the show BC was treated as a sidekick, by the way everyone else also is, but that was something bound to happen on a show about Oliver Queen, it’s not an ensemble show, it’s his show. Having said that and after reading your post i would say your expectations for what was a supporting character on an Arrow show where a bit high, no problem in that, mine for my favorite characters always are and most times i crash and burn.
      Baffles me her fans are now pissed when for years all i saw from that part of the fandom was negativity about the show, never advocating for the eps to do better with her character, just hating on everyone and everything else or asking for her to be Oliver’s love interest, again that’s not what BC is about is it? i guess is too late now.
      You should take in consideration Arrow eps are set on telling Oliver Queen’s story and his story alone, others just revolve around him, and will be used in whatever way the eps see fit to progress his story.
      The way i see it either you, i and everyone else accept that and enjoy the show for what it is, or move on. Have a nice day

      • lovelyivy

        Exactly this! Laurel as written never worked on the show. She was an ADA with a death wish, not Dinah Lance. The time to get upset about it was way back in S1, not now.

    • Lee Tennant

      “They are pissed because Black Canary in this show has been treated as an object for Green Arrow from day one.”

      And yet the argument “but Black Canary, comic canon” is precisely this. It’s treating the character as an Arrow romantic placeholder rather than someone with her own story. While I dislike how the character was killed off – this was one of the worst written episodes of this show and the silly mysticism stuff is choking this show to death – it’s actually the most respect the writers have shown her. They’re finally treating her and the character as a character in her own right rather than the necessary canon love interest they’re forced to keep around because “comics!”.

      I agree with the author of this piece. Until they give us a halfway decent show about a female superhero then we have to accept this show is about Green Arrow and nobody else. And it’s disrespectful to the character of Canary to insist she be given plot armour because she’s the canon love interest.

    • Veneta

      That is why Sara Lance is more Black Canary than her sister ever was. If they had kept her on Arrow, the show should have done justice to the character and the fans would have received a real compelling bad ass character, who was written well and as a main lead, equal and even sometimes stronger than GA. The proof is on Legends of Tomorrow now, where she is the best super hero character from all the Arrowverse and the reason this show exists.

  • lovelyivy

    Laurel has been a problem for this show since S1. The actress never had good chemistry with pretty much anyone on the show. They finally got around to making her Black Canary, but at the expense of the much, much, much more interesting (both character-wise and actor-wise) original Black Canary. And honestly, the very idea that the Assistant DA should be suiting up and fighting crime after six months of boxing lessons was always ridiculous. At least Thea had an unscrupulous Assassin Daddy to use performance enhancers on her and use League of Assassin training methods to explain her leap into badassness.

    Even this last season, at her best Laurel has just been ok. Inoffensive.This is someone who really should die if she tries to go toe to toe with pretty much anyone else on the show. The show couldn’t make her work. The actress couldn’t make her work. I’m glad she’s gone and maybe the show can spend time developing some of the other characters on this way too big show now.

  • Taurian Films

    If an argument begins “well in the comics” then any statement after that does not need to be paid any attention. They are two different thing, comics and TV. I’m a comic book geek first, but I accept that we are looking at two different things.

    I am glad Laurel is dead. Not because I don’t like the actress or something ridiculously personal like that. I just think from Day One she was a piss poorly written character. They knew she was on the show to be the Black Canary and spun their wheels with her until they needed to kickstart her nitrous fueled race to the mask. Sara to me is the one true Canary. Always will be.

    In the aftermath of Laurel’s death, I am praying to every single god I know in the world, that they do not make Felicity into the next Canary. It’s just horrible enough of an idea for them to put forth.

    On your brief point of the action scenes, wow have they taken a MAJOR step back in the last couple seasons. Outside of the one episode James Bamford directed the action has taken a major step down from what it was the first two season. Not sure why that is. But that is on my list of priorities to fix. Repairing the damage done to Felicity as a character is on my list of priorities.

    Death of Laurel, not so much now or will it ever be.

    • Hi, I don’t think you ever have to worry about Felicity suiting up on Arrow. Per Arrow’s Executive Producer, Marc Guggenheim, Felicity will never suit up while he’s there. Which is something rather disconcerting to be honest. Does Felicity HAVE to suit up? Of course not. She’s Felicity. Do I like it that a show runner is making definitive statements. No, would be putting it mildly. Out of all the ridiculous events that have occurred on Arrow under the guise of “cos comics”, suiting up Felicity is the one the illicits a “never” out of you? On a show that continues to pride itself on “never saying never”? And she happens to be a STEM character of genius intellect, just like her male counterparts Ray, Curtis, Barry, Cisco. Yeah. That seems logical.

      • Taurian Films

        They can suit her up all they want to. I wouldn’t like it, but I’d run with it. Now if they suit her up as the next BC, then I would rage.

        • Frankly, that particular character has been ruined by each iteration. It’s time for Arrow to let it die. Bring in more interesting characters. Black canary as an assassin was never going to be viewed as a hero any more than black canary as a blackmailing ADA that calls her cop dad to get out of a DUI. In my honest opinion.

          • Taurian Films

            I say give me the Renee Montoya Question!

      • Olicityalamode

        I think its because it always has been and always will be fundamentally not in her character to do that. Felicity is one of their original creations and I think they have a pretty strong grasp of how they want to characterize her throughout the series.

  • David Taylor 2

    I dealt with this same issue, but the problem is not *solely* rooted in the comics. But that’s still the crux of it.


  • Kate

    Fantastic article with a nice serving of truth tea. The OTT reaction to Laurel’s death just because she was in the comics has made me roll my eyes too many times the last few days. She was nothing in the show. They ruined her story from the start and that was because they cast Katie Cassidy and it just got worse from there. Arrow will more than thrive without Laurel. In fact, it’s beyond time this happened. I’d go as far to say that the show started going downhill as soon as it had to force Laurel into the Black Canary role from Season 3 onwards. She never worked. Let’s move on.

    • Jon-Luke Willemsen

      Are you trying to tell me that it’s Katie’s fault that the writing was bad?

      • Kate

        Not at all. But Katie was miscast. She was never believable as BC. She never had any chemistry with Stephen Amell. She just failed on every level. The writing definitely didn’t help.

        • Diego Arias


        • prettyflower

          I totally agree with everything you are saying!

  • olicityfannowaitimsane

    This just goes to show how little olishitty 12-year-old girls know about stuff like storytelling, plot, well-written characters, or anything that’s important in a halfway decent tv show. Congratulations, you people have driven it into the ground. Yet another thing Tumblrinas have ruined for the rest of us.

    • Olicityalamode

      Name calling… check.
      Patronizing…. check.
      Tumblr reference…. check.
      Blaming writing/casting issues on a ship… check.
      No sense of rationality or original thought… check.

      You must be one of those crazy Laurel stans people talk so much about.

    • Ero

      Sounds like somebody needs a juice box and a nap.

    • Kat

      Go back to reddit where you belong. It’s plagued with sexism and misogyny. You’d like it there.

    • Lee Tennant

      I happen to be 40 and never touched Tumblr. I’m a writer myself and I think that a) Oliver and Felicity is the heart of the show and b) the decision to break from canon and not have Oliver end up with Laurel was hands down the best decision they made. Because that relationship was not working.

      But sure, categorise everyone who doesn’t agree with you as a 12-year-old girl. And then ask yourself why you consider the opinion of young women so worthless.

  • Hamza Knight Smoak

    Sweetheart you really haven’t fucking read the comics if you are the person that wrote that article. Green Arrow was not at all popular to begin with. Roy Harper and Dinah Lance made his comics noticeable to read in the first place. Green Arrow was significant by Dinah Lance and Roy Harper and the fact that they are gone and dead from the TV Show is utterly disrespectful. And honey, that is not being a shipper, it’s called being a true comic book fan. We don’t want Laurel/Oliver, we just find it retarded how they could kill off a iconic female superhero from the DC Universe. Arrow overall, has made female characters that aren’t riding a man’s dick, sidelined as characters. Moira, Amanda Waller, Laurel, and Sara have in common? They all weren’t attached to a penis for the their final episodes. Arrow’s mentality is if a female isn’t being a man’s bitch, they aren’t worth to write about. I mean I’m honestly betting on Thea to die next season since she broke it off with Roy last and the new guy hasn’t been appearing for like a couple episodes. Other than her, Felicity is the only female character left. And honey, she’s been riding Oliver’s dick since Season 3. That’s the only reason why they kept her on the show, to please the people that wanted her to be Oliver’s bitch. The Olicity Shippers are celebrating the death of post-alcoholic, abused, and strong woman, how are we worse than that bitch? You are just as bad as satan himself if you actually believe this shit, own it.

  • So according to the baseline thought in this blog I can make a movie called Harry Potter, and the main character can be Bruce Wayne at Hogwarts as Batman because I am telling my own Harry Potter mythos. Additionally, the Black Canary is the final straw in removing every character who has fought alongside Green Arrow. Roy Harper-gone, Huntress-gone, Black Canary-gone, Artemis- nowhere to be heard of, Connor Hawke-Diggle’s son…say what, Shado…dead? Thea is a close representation of a combo of Mia Dearden and Emiko which is cool. It’s just not Green Arrow, it’s Felicity and Friends with a really dark friend who likes to fight criminals at night. Also, plenty of people get excited to see comic adaptation, like seeing Daredevil changed on the roof with Punisher was scene by scene out of Welcome Back, Frank and people loved it. Or like when The Flash ran back through the timestream and saw his Mom and spoke with her out of Flashpoint. Those were awesome. Plus the idea of making stories from the comics because it is boring is ludicrous, when every big movie makes the screen adaptation of a book, Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games, Divergent, Insurgent, The Giver, The Great Gatsby, Captain America Winter Soldier, Age of Ultron.

    • First off, I’m not even sure how you thought it would be appropriate to come to a site represented by people of color and refer to John Diggle as somone’s “dark friend”. What the heck is that about?

      “Additionally, the Black Canary is the final straw in removing every character who has fought alongside Green Arrow. Roy Harper-gone, Huntress-gone, Black Canary-gone, Artemis- nowhere to be heard of, Connor Hawke-Diggle’s son…say what, Shado…dead? Thea is a close representation of a combo of Mia Dearden and Emiko which is cool.”

      This is hilarious to me. The Huntress on Arrow was/is a villain. Perfect example of you bringing in your comic book expectations over to Arrow and completely ignoring what they actually did with her. Artemis? Who are you to tell this show when, if, or who to bring on a show of their creation? “Connor Hawke-Diggle’s son” – And yet they still gave Oliver another son. One that wasn’t the product of rape. They made Connor Hawke the Green Arrow’s predecessor. Who cares that it wasn’t Oliver’s son? It was to honor John Diggle’s role in his life, like or not. Diggle matters. Felicity matters. And they’ve each had their story arcs and storylines sidelined for three years while Arrow kept giving two different Black Canary iterations a chance to work. Thea has been given two seasons of story focus. So to be upset that ARROW is actually finally granting stories to ARROW characters and not wasting anymore time on story after story for whom you deem are appropriate comicbok characters, means the show is evolving and finally writing for the characters that haven’t had it. So if they had to backburn the Black Canary for once to finally tell stories for other characters that have worked for the show and earned their place on Arrow for four years, fine by me.

      The fact that she’s now dead, honestly, is a clear message that Arrow was sick of the entitlement from comicbook fans making demands for more and more for a character that is not and never will be the show’s main protagonist. Frankly, I hope they keep defying comicbok fans expectations. Maybe then y’all can shut the heck up telling everyone what’s SUPPOSED to happen.

      • Hahah you tried to make me racist that is funny, dark referring to emotional mentality. Reading for comprehension is an important factor not just race baiting. Secondly, Connor wasn’t a child of rape, I guess because GA had sex with an Asian African woman in the 60s you would infer that? Third you still have not made any argument as to support your stance that comic book fans did not make this show a success. Fourth, Huntress again is an ally in the comics and another woman butchered in the writing because she was no longer having sex with Oliver. What really can be seen again is that the show is more about who is dating who then the multiple and powerful social justice stories that occurred in Green Arrow’s most powerful story arcs and why the character is beloved. You haven’t exemplified any nuance of understanding it isn’t about shot by shot imagery it is the misunderstanding of who Oliver Queen, Laurel Lance and Roy Harper really are. That is why the death of Black Canary was so important. But then again you stated you watched the show and read a few issues of comics from the last three years. Again, my point is you like Arrow which is nothing like the Green Arrow and is a gross bastardization of an iconic character who represents so much more. For example in the comics his understanding of Martin Luther King Jr’s ethics, economic injustice and social ills are what made him a beautiful character who was well respected. On the CW he is an inconsistent and ill equipped leader who needs Felicity to tell him what to do. Not the same. And that is why fans of the comic are angered.

        • Sam

          You do realise that GA had a child with Shado that was the product of rape, right? And he wasn’t Connor. His name was Robert Queen. Wow, a comic book fan who doesn’t know his comic book history. LMAO run along fool.

          • Tree Trunks is my homegirl

            Ok maybe let’s get into ad hominems. It looks pretty clear to me that he was responding to Carlybabe’s post where she appeared to conflate the two different children.

          • Batsgrayson

            Robert Tomonago, actually. Don’t pretend you didn’t just google it.

            And he is right Connor’s mom, Sandra Hawke, is Asian African.

          • Actually Shado raped Oliver and the story was retconned in New 52 where Robert loved Shado and had Emiko. Yeah I never read comics, and additionally different story that shows Oliver was the one wronged.

  • Anon

    Just wanted to point out to everyone crying about Roy, he’s gone because Colton wanted to leave. He didn’t want to be tied to a show anymore. That’s not on the writers. They could’ve killed him but they didn’t, he’s still alive and can and will come back. I miss him too but his absence is not some conspiracy by the writers to take any character from the comics off the screen. Stuff just happens BTS that can’t be controlled. Something you may want to consider with why your fave is gone.

    Also this post is disgusting. I don’t even know where to begin, it’s so gross and wrong. Not even going to bother trying to rebut it because I can already tell you won’t listen to anything anyone else says. Way to keep it classy.

    • Lee Tennant

      Accusing the writers of misogyny while calling the author patronising and derogatory names because of her gender? Gobsmacking.

  • Tree Trunks is my homegirl

    I’m sorry, did you seriously post an article written by this woman? I’m pretty disappointed with this site. I think it’s really only fair that anyone who reads it knows a little more about Stiletto Royalty before they read this article. People can do their own research, but I can provide some heads up to everyone that she is a very vocal & very active Olicity shipper and that certain show runners have had… complex interactions with her.

    The fact that Black Canary is GA’s long term love interest in the canon is the LEAST of the issues most people have had with the way she died on the show. It’s easily the most definitive fridging of a woman on the show, and to a very storied character within and outside of the show.

    As for the article itself, the problems Arrow has are its own and have very little to do with incorporating the canon.

    • drst

      #1 someone being an Olicity shipper doesn’t mean they aren’t allowed to post or have opinions. You didn’t have to read it if you hate the ship so much and shame on you for acting like you have the right to say people shouldn’t even be published on websites because you disagree with them. Who do you think you are?

      #2 This wasn’t a fridging. Fridging is when a female character is killed for the sole reason of propelling the main male character’s arc. Shado and Moira were both fridged for the sake of Oliver’s manpain. Sara was fridged for Laurel’s pain and her arc as well as for Oliver’s, actually, and the same is true of Tommy’s death.

      Laurel was killed off because her arc was complete. She had chosen her purpose in the world, as Black Canary, after earning her place as a full partner on the team all season. There was nowhere else for her character to go. Her death is not solely for the sake of Oliver’s manpain, it will impact everyone on the show significantly. And it wraps up a character who has been a drag on the main arc of the show for several years.

      • Tree Trunks is my honegirl

        1- Being an Olicity shipper does not disqualify one from having an opinion. BGN printing an article from THIS shipper is disappointing. Look her up. Form your own opinion but it’s not a reach when I say she’s considered toxic even amongst her own fandom. No one is taking about what the web site is allowed to do and I never mentioned my opinion of Olicity. You can scapegoat and project but that does not make you correct. Clearly your bias towards the relationship is clouding the issues for you.

        2- This is absolutely a fridging. Her being the ADA or Black Canary had no bearing on how or why she was killed. She’s killed because Diggle made a mistake – so she’s a prop. She’s killed because of what her father did – so she’s a prop. And her death emotionally motivates the lead – so she’s a prop. Out of all the many fridgings on the show, this is easily the worst.
        She was killed to motivate storylines and it had nothing to do with her. How can this possibly be anymore of a fridging?

        To say there was nowhere else for her to go is silly – Oliver became a vigilante 4 seasons ago, he still pumps out stories. Felicity & Diggle have gone through little to no story changes the entire show, they still pump out stories. Considering the slow introduced a story for her THS episode – DA vs BC – that was not resolved, clearly there were stories. And she’s a superhero lawyer – her character has been the premise for a dozen tv shows. Her becoming the Black Canary wasn’t the end of the story anymore than Oliver calling himself Green Arrow was.

        Come on now.

  • WuTown

    Let’s start my opinion with the fact that I have never read a GA comic or any other comic with Black Canary. So everything what I’m going to criticize is about Arrow’s version of BC.

    To be honest in the first season I didn’t like Laurel.
    Well it’s more that I didn’t like her storyline in that season. Because as far as I remember she HAD almost NO storyline.
    I felt she was mostly there because she was in the comics and as a prop for the Oliver-Tommy-Laurel-triangle. But I had hope for her character, because some scenes showed that she could be an amazing one.
    Those were the scenes where she had her own agency. When she had scenes with her father, did her job and when she stood up for what was right.
    Those scenes hinted at the development she could have to turn into the Black Canary.

    It changed in season 2. I really began to like her. Her actions, struggles and feelings felt real and she became a great character. the relationships she had with the others in the show and how they developed showed her own development.
    When Sara appeared as the Canary I wasn’t disappointed or something like that I thought it was a great way of setting up Laurel’s change to become the Superhero she was meant to be. It also could have given her a more fleshed out relationship to her sister.
    I thought Sara as the Canary was also a good idea, because it changed the lore a little bit and could give BC a great origin story.
    I could accept Sara’s death, because even though she was fridged, she was not only fridged for manpain, but also for a woman. Her sister.

    In season 3 Laurel and Diggle were some of the only things that kept me interested in the show and Laurel joined Diggle as my favourite character.

    Because of that I was quite angry that this season she had almost nothing to do. It seemed as if the writers didn’t know what to do with her even though she just started out as a superhero.

    That’s one of the reasons her death made me angry. They had an amazing character with endless possibilities for her own arcs, but at the same time the writers didn’t know what to do with her. As if they only knew how to write storylines for her involving man and romance and as soon as Olicity became a thing was unnessary.
    How could that happen?
    I don’t understand.

    And before anyone says: you’re just anti-olicity. etc:

    NO! That’s wrong.

    In season 1 and 2 I loved that pairing. Oliver and Felicity had really cute interactions. I still read fanfics involving this pairing.
    And I never liked Oliver and Laurel together. I just never felt any kind of chemistry between them.
    But as many others I really began to dislike Felicity and Olicity on the show, because it seems it is the only thing that happens now. It is almost all the time about the relationship between Oliver and Felicity and that’s so not what Arrow should be about.
    It’s called ARROW. it’s a SUPERHERO show (with a little romance) not a ROMANCE show (with a little superhero stuff in the background).

    Back to Laurel. I and many others are angry not because they changed or disregarded the comic lore.
    We are angry because they had a great character, did nothing with her although there were alot of possibilities, killed her to further manpain and killed her at the START of her being a superhero.
    We are angry not because she died, but because she died at the beginning of her story.
    We are angry because she didn’t die in a fight, standing up for what’s right or protecting anyone. We are angry because her death was cheap and only happened to further manpain.
    We are angry not because Dhark killed her, but because he killed her as if she wasn’t a threat. He didn’t kill her because she threatened his plans or because she was dangerous, but as a punishment for her father, a side character who already lost his daughters two times.

    We are angry because Laurel Lance deserved better.

    • Sam

      Why are you even bringing Olicity or Felicity into this? That’s just a relationship which worked better with the actors’ chemistry. It has nothing to do with Laurel who was a failure since DAY 1. Stop shifting the blame to everyone else but Laurel and Katie Cassidy, who was severely miscast. She wasn’t a great character. She didn’t die at the beginning of her story. She was 4 years into it and she still sucked ass. This death was a long time coming. Laurel had been slowly dying since the Pilot and they finally pulled the plug. Now we can move on to the what the show is really about GREEN ARROW. I’m sick of you BC fans thinking it’s a joint show. It’s not.

  • Imagino

    The show has mishandled Laurel since season 3, and her transformation into Black Canary was done poorly. I (and I think a lot of other fans) wouldn’t have a problem with them killing her if the show earned it, but it hasn’t.

    But none of that matters because she’s not really dead :). She’s set to appear on Vixen (which is canon) but when they met on Arrow there was no indication they knew each other, so that must take place in the future. Which means our Pretty Bird is still alive, and the whole “this death is permanent” thing was a troll. She whispered something to Oliver before her “death” and we know from the flashbacks Oliver can make someone appear dead. She was fine, doctors had cleared her, then she just dies? Not buying it for a second.

    • Imagino

      Also, back when he was asked if the death was a fakeout Guggenheim said “that’s not how we roll”, when in reality anyone who watches the show knows thats exactly how this show rolls (Sarah’s been “dead” twice, Slade was dead, Oliver survived a sword through the chest and a fall off a cliff, Thea survived a sword through the chest, etc) so I feel like that was a little hint to fans that of course she’ll be back. They haven’t killed off a major friendly character since Moira.

  • Batsgrayson

    I came in to this article expecting, at least, a pondered opinion piece. Needless to say I has wrong.
    First of all, I completely understand that the TV show is its own iteration. No one expects it to be a carbon copy of the comics, nor to copy its storylines. What people expect the most is that they respect them and respect the history of the characters that came before the show’s conception. Smallville did it, Supergirl does it, Daredevil excels at it, so does Jessica Jones and also does the Flash.
    Ever since Arrow began I’ve been a strong believer that Black Canary shouldn’t have been on the show, or if she had to be at least introduce her in later seasons like Lois Lane on Smallville. But she was on the show, so what fans could hope now was good writing. Spoiler: It didn’t happen. Laurel has been treated like absolute crap by the writers, she was sidelined, she went through and Trauma Conga Line most of season 2. She was villainized by the other character on the show for making decisions and asserting judgements that Oliver himself made beforehand. She could never win. It sucked for BC fans. Now for the past two season Laurel had been growing has a character, she became the Black Canary and started getting more involved with the main plot, a lot of her previous haters started to like her. She was Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.
    Then Arrow decides to kill her off, in a truly disgusting manner, for the further man pain of Oliver and her dad, echoing almost the infamous Killing Joke. Laurel was fridged.
    Now, a few more things:
    1. “It’s as if some have entered Arrow wearing comic book filtered goggles that prevent you from fully experiencing the show” Fans will always come with expectations to shows like this. That doesn’t mean they should’t just accept every change that comes blindly.
    2. “I didn’t always understand the comic book version of Oliver Queen.I didn’t always understand the comic book version of Oliver Queen” You don’t like comic book Oliver, fine. But that doesn’t mean other people wouldn’t. The fact is that the show never tried to portrait that character, instead it delivered a one note Bruce Wayne.
    3. “Thea Queen never existed in the comic books” No, she just stole the spot light of Mia Dearden an HIV+ teenage girl. Right now, Oliver is the only character with a comic book counter part, the rest of the cast are a bunch of OC’s. Diggle being the best of them.
    4. The fact that the show can’t utilize GA villains is pretty telling that the show runners wanted to do a Batman show. They turned Count Vertigo into a lesser Joker and later on a bad Scarecrow. But Arrow has been steeling villains left and right from other franchises, like the Teen Titans, Brother Blood, Deathstroke and Hive.
    5. Felicity Smoak is cheap knock off of Barbara Gordon, without the depth or character development. Also, Helena Bertinelli a Batfam member was turned it to a villain and a love interest. Dear God.
    5. “It’s like saying Batman can’t have a show without Robin, Superman can’t have a movie without Lois, Captain America can’t stand on his own without Bucky Barnes. Can Barbara Gordon exist without the aid of Black Canary, Huntress, or Batman?” Yikes. Robin has appeared in every Batman piece of media except the Nolan films. Lois has appeared in very Superman film. Bucky was in both Cap movies, along with marvel cartoons. If the Birds of Prey exist, yeah Dinah and Helena are there with Babs. And Barbara wouldn’t be Batgirl without Batman existing, nor Dick Grayson would be Robin.
    6. “Let me repeat that, Arrow requires Black Canary and every single character to do their part to sustain the 3 million viewers on average that tune in to Arrow. On the BEST run of any Green Arrow & Black Canary title, subscribers never reach beyond 60K readers that pay for the content. On a bad run, that number has been known to drop to 16K comic book subscribers.
    Looking at you Black Canary’s recent solo run.” This where I see you have no idea what you are saying. So what, Batman sells about 100k per month, that doesn’t mean he isn’t marketable. The comic book market is very different than TV marked, in no instance should they be compared. Also, do you know who wrote that disastrous monstrosity of the GA & BC? Andrew Kreisberg. And the latest BC solo failed because it had crappy writing and a concept that didn’t please most fans of Dinah.

    Please educate yourself before you make these statements.

  • Shelby Fox

    People are upset about how Laurel’s Black Canary Arc was handled, and we expected better instead, we got a shitty Season 3 ruined by shippers who wanted more Olicity. Do you know why people disliked Season 3? Because it was shit. We wanted Ra’s Al Ghul, but we didn’t want Arrow to copy Batman’s Heir to the demon story line. That whole story line was a poor man’s Batman and even i can admit that, and now, the show is just getting better with Laurel developing more, and they kill her off so we can get more Olicity happy hour moments. I started watching this show for the excellent cast, not just Arrow. I don’t have any expectations. I just want to watch a good show, and the writer’s continue to keep fucking up.

    • drst

      You listed like 5 expectations you had of the show and of season 3 in the same paragraph you tried to claim you have no expectations, you realize that, right?

  • Multiverse

    How about you write an article about how John Diggle is treated as the token black guy and largely there to be a cheerleader of Olicity ship. Or how about you write about how your precious white nerd girl Felicity is responsible for a lot of female characters being murdered, humiliated or thrown away in this show

  • Multiverse

    (Arrow changed all that for me. I’m now reading comic books, buying Funkos and action figures, paying a hell of a lot of money to attend panels and conventions.)

    Oh yeah if it wasnt for long time comic book fans, you wouldnt have had the privilege to know this show, there would be no Arrow without loyal comic book fans. SO RESPECT.

    Anetris Armstead? LOL what, now it makes sense.

  • Tevin Giles

    I find it interesting that a woman who writes for Black Girl Need would write this article without discussing Black Canary as a symbol of feminism and a great hero in her own right. I was disappointed that the basis of this article was “It’s not the comics.” Personally I a m disgusted by how sexist the death was and that Arrow took an iconic female superhero who in multiple universes LEAD the Justice League and was a peer of Superman and Batman and made her a sidekick and a side piece. How does that not bother every woman!?

    • You really thought a Black Girl Nerd would write an article championing a white feminist stance on the value of black canary when Amanda Waller, the only black woman on Arrow, more embraced and beloved in blerd culture, was just shot in the head and none of you had shit to say about it? That’s cute. Don’t go clutching your feminist pearls now. Too late.

  • Apollo1

    How about you write an article about how John Diggle is treated as the token black guy and largely there to be a cheerleader of Olicity ship. Or how about you write about how your precious white nerd girl Felicity is responsible for a lot of female characters being murdered, humiliated or thrown away in this show

    Anetris Armstead -Attention, This woman is a bully to Katie Cassidy and misogynistic to Laurel Lance/Black Canary. Im dissapointed BGN

    Arrow changed all that for me. I’m now reading comic books, buying Funkos and action figures, paying a hell of a lot of money to attend panels and conventions.)Oh yeah if it wasnt for long time comic book fans, you wouldnt have had the privilege to know this show, there would be no Arrow without loyal comic book fans. SO RESPECT. Yes comics have less fans, comics have to be paid. TV is free! You think you can silence me, will see…

  • WuTown

    I only brought Olicity into this because a lot of others brought it into this first. Some were people who say it’s good that she died becauise that way the comic canon can’t get between the pairing and others who said the opposite that Laurel only died because of this pairing.

    And I think I said enough about Laurel and why I thought it was a bad decision to kill her.
    Her character never could reach her potential because the writers never really knew what to do with her if it involved anything other than her relationships.
    The reason why other superhero shows (Daredevil, Agents of Shields, Legend of tommorow…) work is because the side characters have their own little sideplots. What was the last one for Laurel? IMO it was training to be BC and then nothing.
    I didn’t want for her to be another main character but a little more sideplot than “I’ll check with the DA’s office” would have been nice.
    That could have been achieved by her status as BC. I mean how long has she been that? Around a year maybe? Less?
    Storytelling wise she was at the beginning of the story, of her own and overall.
    She wasn’t like Moira who had a great and meaningful death and was storytelling eise in a position to die, because she didn’t have anything more really meaningful to give to the story.
    BC had things to give to the overall story

  • Di A.


    As a fellow comicbook fan and Arrow fan I applaud you for this very thorough very analytical piece. I share every one of your opinion and let’s be real here: what you said needs to be said and repeated until it gets through some people’s heads.

    Also, “comicbook purists” who whine about romance and whatever are doing it solely because it’s not GA/BC, then again, guess what, we GOT GA/BC with Sara and Oliver in season 2. If Geoff Johns himself publically referred to Sara Lance as Black Canary then that’s what she is, regardless of what they called her on the show. Yet that’s not enough for some people. Oh well.
    This show’s problem isn’t “not being enough of a comicbook”. There are plenty storylines that are from the comics. Plenty of elements that are taken from there. I can name about a dozen off the top of my head. The problem is, like you so aptly said, people’s very selective acknowledgement of its content and the ignoring of anything that doesn’t fit their agenda.

  • Multiverse


  • Lelouch VI

    You start this off by saying “I have never been known as what you call a traditional comic book fan” Sorry but to me that automatically invalidates your opinion because you came into the show not knowing at all and that’s why you can’t see how disrespectful it is. Say what you want about Arrow being it’s own iteration but face it, the Black Canary has been a prominent feature in the Green Arrow mythos for the longest and the way Marc Guggenheim treated her was atrocious. Was she a better fighter than Oliver? No because let’s face it, Oliver’s fighting skills in the show are beyond unrealistic and what I mean by unrealistic is this, he literally had no fighting skills upon arriving to the island trains with Slade Wilson, Shado and Yao Fei for a bit over a year yet somehow he’s a match for League of Assassin trained people. We know this from the flashbacks because so far Oliver has no trained at all since that initial time. He didn’t train in China and he’s not training now either yet he comes back as this pseudo ninja. Laurel who has an initial background in self defense, trains with Wildcat and then trains with Nyssa(a member of said league that Oliver is somehow on par with)is somehow unbelievable to some. But no one calls Oliver out on the BS(let alone how he goes from getting beat by Merlyn to somehow being the only one who can fight and beat him but whatever) Anyway before I get further sidetracked one of the main reasons a lot of us are pissed off is not simply because they killed the Black Canary(though that’s the principle offence) it’s because they had already killed a Canary before making this redundant and it reeks of bad writing. Not only that but like most people have said, the only reason they killed her was to further Guggeheim’s and the soap opera tumblr fangirls(and some fanboys) love of the “Olicity” initiative. I mean look at all of the other people they could have killed but didn’t. Do you know who should have been dead that makes sense from a story standpoint and not just “shock value” Felicity “Hi I’m Marc Guggeheim’s Mary Sue” freaking Smoak that’s who. Not Donna cause no one cares about her. Not Quentin because it would have been far too obvious. Not Diggle because people would say the show was racist and everyone loves Diggle plus Legends already confirmed his survival. Not Thea because she’s the only blood relative Oliver has left other than his son and that’s the only reason Merlyn is still around. Speaking of Merlyn he should have died last season. Not Laurel because the death of a Canary in the show literally has been done to death(no pun intended) Can’t be Curtis or his husband because Barry doesn’t know them. That leaves the Mary Sue who’s only role in the Arrow-verse is one of fan-fiction. But nope what do they do, they go right back to redundancy for supposed “shock value” Not only that but as I said earlier, they killed her simply to push the “olicity” initiative back to the forefront again because that’s all this season has been about, 75% Olicity garbage, 25% about Darhk and 5% other stuff. They removed the only potential threat to that relationship and Guggenheim can claim what he wants because facts state otherwise

  • Lelouch VI

    Also three questions and a statement make this entire article irrelevant. If We don’t need Black Canary why introduce the character in the first place? Why have Laurel suit up at all? And finally if the Black Canary isn’t needed why are they trying to pass on the mantle to(rumor has it) that blonde IT girl who slept her way to prominence that everyone has to pander to for reasons. If the Black Canary wasn’t needed then by all accounts they never should have introduced the Lance family in the first place

  • drst

    I have to laugh at all the folks in the comments ignoring the basic point of the article and then using their supposed knowledge of the comics like it makes them right by default. The point, you missed it.

    Laurel never worked on the show. They tried multiple angles and storylines, but the writing and acting and character never seemed to gel. The only time she ever shined was as Sara’s big sister and as a legal justice warrior, IMO, and the second one left her mostly out of the main arc of the show so it was untenable. I’m glad S4 has shown her as a full member of the team and she had some heroic moments and they brought her overall arc to a sense of closure (which is why this is not a fridging – fridged female characters don’t get to make choices or go out content with their purpose in the world). So while I’m sad I’m good with her going and very curious as to how Oliver is going to cope with the rest of his team going all Wild Bunch while he has to try to be the calm and collected one this time even as he’s grieving.

    I REALLY hope the show gets back to a more grounded reality next season. One of the things I loved about the first season was how committed they were to keeping it realistic and the lack of fantastical elements. I don’t mind it on the Flash but that is and always will be an inferior show in terms of writing and character development, and the goofiness of magic and whatever belongs there. It doesn’t belong on Arrow.

    I want S5 to have a big bad that’s just a person, not the unstoppable magical powered invulnerable monologuing supervillain bs we’ve gotten for three seasons now, while the flashbacks are Bratva!Oliver going to his darkest and coldest place, to contrast with Oliver being Mayor and Green Arrow in the present.

  • Tree Trunks is my homegirl

    Huh? Who’s none of you? Are you somehow under the impression that no one in the fandom complained about how Amanda Waller was killed? Plenty of ‘us’ complained loudly and most of us can admit that the issues with this death are directly related to that one.

    Besides, why does one exclude the other? Just because Waller’s ending was garbage doesn’t mean Laurel’s wasn’t. It just means the show has a pattern of garbage behavior towards its female characters – which I would think BNG would have a larger interest in that whether or not the canon matters from comic to TV show. So yeah some of us are a little surprised that THIS is the features article this site has about the death.

    Just because you didn’t like the character doesn’t mean she wasn’t fridged. It’s a little disconcerting that you’d not only accept mysoginy towards characters you don’t like but that you’d actively defend it.

    Let’s say it again for those in the back – violating the canon relationship is not what was problematic about Laurel’s death.

  • The irony of Laurel fans coming into this article and continuing in their inability to focus the conversation on debating their favorite character is not lost in anyone. Said behavior is exactly what always made her irrelevant on the series, even in the end.

    • Tree Trunks is my homegirl

      So now you’re just not reading the comments, but substituting straw men yourself? Saves time I guess… but doesn’t particularly contribute to the discussion.

  • DTHalliday

    I have honestly never understood the hate for Laurel Lance on ARROW. I thought her arc as Black Canary was well handled…she wasn’t perfect. She didn’t spent 5 years on an island forced to survive like Oliver Queen. She wasn’t trained by super-soldiers and assassins. She was not a government agent. Where Oliver had little choice in becoming the Arrow (which is perfectly valid in the Hero’s Journey structure this show has adopted; the hero is either chosen or choses…he was chosen), Laurel CHOSE to become Black Canary. Where Oliver’s mentors found him, she had to seek out hers. Where Oliver projects a facade of steely perfection, Laural endures even after failure. I find that journey very compelling.

    Heroes do not need to be perfect, particularly in something like ARROW. We are defined by our flaws and weaknesses and how we overcome them. Oliver has his pride and martyrdom; he sees everyone elses mistakes and tries to take all burdens onto himself. Laurel had her inexperience. Everyone told her NOT to be a hero, and she endured. She fought on. If fell she got back up. Most of the criticism I’ve seen for Laurel comes from the fact that they gave her all the mistakes and fumbles in order to create problems for Oliver (this is called Comic Relief; comic relief isn’t telling jokes to relieve tension, it’s a character whose purpose is to create problems for the protagonist). For whatever reason some viewers judge Oliver’s mistakes as trials to be endured and overcome, but all of Laurel’s mistakes as a sign of whackness.

    Honestly, the smartest thing the show ever did for the character was to abandon the comic book as a blue-print for their relationship. Laurel became a much more engaging character when she was serving her own story rather than serving Olivers. My personal feelings about her death on the show and my distaste for it is not because I ever wanted Oliver and Laurel to end up together like in the comics (Laurel standing in for Dinah), but because they took away all of the agency they’d given her in her dying moments.

    Laurel Lance did not die in service of her own story…she dies, like so so MANY women in fiction…to serve Oliver’s. She died, helplessly frozen, unable to fight back, for Oliver’s pathos. She was not afforded a heroic sacrifice…she was fridged to give Oliver a reason to kill Damien Darhk. Her death is no different than Amanda Waller’s earlier this season…a plot contrivence. A punks death for the sake of serving another character’s story.

    Laurel’s death doesn’t bother me because she was in the comics…the show departed any courting of canon long ago, and frankly…the cast is bloated; they needed to trim some fat. The reason it bothers me because it’s what this show, and comics and most other mediums of storytelling, does to women. They are sacrifices for the stories of men. Laurel, who fought hard for her agency, spent her last moments being stripped of it. She didn’t jump in front of a bullet for Arrow. Darhk could have killed ARROW HIMSELF in the moment! She could have died SAVING him…gone out the hero she desperately fought to be…instead she was made to feel helpless, small, and weak to punish her father and Oliver. That is not original or shocking…that’s a cliche. The oldest and grossest.

    Maybe people would have respected Laurel Lance more if the writers had respected her at all. Instead she’s another woman dead to make a man cry, and that is infuriating.

  • Mary Dickmann

    Wow, this article sums up exactly how I feel, this is Arrow not Green Arrow from the comics. They can tell their story how they want. I always said even before the theory was brought up in “The Flash” this is like an alternate universe they don’t have to and shouldn’t follow the universe in the comic books. This is their own story to tell.

  • Rita

    Funny but isn’t Laurel’s crappy decision to stay behind in s1 during the undertaking was what caused Tommy’s death? Isn’t the whole reason Sara died was because Laurel had to take the BC mantle? Didn’t Diggle get a long personal storyline involving his brother that’s entertwined with the main arc this season and didn’t Felicity literally take a bullet for Sara, was the first person to support Laurel as BC, went to comfort Thea when she lost Roy and Oliver? Meanwhile, in your own little world, Felicity caused MULTIPLE women’s deaths??????????? Felicity and Laurel existed in the same universe just fine. Oliver and Felicity were together for a long time while Laurel was alive, you know why? Two independant entities. Good ol’ misogyny is responsible for making you think there should be a quota for female characters on screen. Take a seat.

  • Canary

    Can I just counter by asking how many people would be pissed if they killed Hermione in the movies?

  • Diego Arias

    Agree with you 100%. Besides the main problem was always Laurel (not the actress) but the character who could never find the place that deserves BC

  • Patroclus

    It’s not so much the death of Laurel as the culmination of two seasons of frustration. They’ve treated none of the characters well, Waller, Deathstroke, Ra’s… But to extend that disrespect towards a staple GA veteran like Canary?

    They did TWO canaries, left BOTH of them to rot in story wastelands, and flounder with zero screentime, all so what, we can spend 50% of every single episode in a Felicity /Olicity melodrama scenario? Oliciter pandering?

    If the series had started down that road from the pilot, nobody would be complaining now, but the deviation into this nonsensical 2 season long arc of endgame status confirmation is bizarre. A once well received comic-book adaptation is now almost universally synonymous with “some shipper shit.”

    Nobody wanted “Arrow and Canary”, we just have a problem with writers who are willing to destroy their fanbase and annihilate all attempts at plot and character integrity to change their show into “Felicity, featuring Arrow, with some other background people…”

  • Veneta

    The Arrow show did great job with Sara Lance as the Black Canary and Caity Lotz was a perfect cast. They gave her compelling story written as a lead character, she was very strong and powerful character that inspires, but also human and flawed as the male lead. She kicked ass but also was sweet and gentle and cared for people around her.
    She had her own story and a fight, her own enemies and a dark background, which was interesting to see on screen also as flashbacks. She stood next to Oliver Queen with the same charisma and was quite enigmatic.
    The show should have kept her longer and I am sure that she could have had her transformation to Black Canary a long side with Oliver becoming Green Arrow and it would have been a good story to tell.
    The thing is that Sara Lance never stole from Oliver’s story, she complimented it and made it rich, she made his character more interesting, because for some people it is more interesting to have a bad ass male lead with a bad ass female lead next to him fighting together. Their action scenes were amazing, and they had great chemistry as well. She was not some regular love interest to whom he had to prove himself, apologize all the time or change, she was not also a girl that needed to be saved or a character that was just there for the love drama. She was independent, equally interesting character written as a lead. So the Arrow show lost a lot when they killed her. But now there is a whole show that her character thrives.
    But she can have her own show as far as I am concerned.
    Anyway I don’t mind if Arrow brings in another kick ass female character in s5. Laurel and Thea were not that impressive and juts part of the team. I am still interested in the idea to see Green Arrow partner up with a powerful female character on the field. The big team idea full of nerd and teenagers is boring.

  • I really appreciate this post! I have friends who are very into this show, but I watched the pilot, and like you, was really not engaged. Since then I’ve started watching Flash with my kids, and have been curious about Arrow again through all the little crossovers that have happened. Well, let’s be honest. I’ve been curious about Felicity, mostly. Your post convinced me that getting past the pilot may yield a better result. Time to give Arrow another chance.

  • rosie1843

    Actually, I thought Stephen Arnell had better chemistry with Katie Cassidy than he ever did with the actress who portrays Felicity. The problem is that fans could not deal with Laurel’s anger at Oliver at the beginning of the series . . . or the fact that she had a romance with someone other than Oliver. Worse, Laurel went into an emotional downturn over Tommy Merlyn’s death, which made fans dislike her even more. Laurel wasn’t all about Oliver Queen and the fans couldn’t deal it. So when the show added Felicity Smoak, who was all about Oliver, the fangirls swooned over the idea of Olicity and showrunner Marc Guggenheim decided to make Felicity the female lead and slowly shove Laurel to the background.

  • Slade’s biggest fan

    I agree with you for the most part, but there is something you might not realize. The show takes place 10 years before the Justice League is created, hence the reason all the characters in these shows are younger than there comic book counter part. Oliver in the show is in his 30s vs the comic him being in hjs 40s. The Flash is in his 20s vs the comic book him being in his 30s. The show is supposed to be leading up to a Justice League show, and seeing we have every character but Wonder Woman and Batman, it’s easy to say that’s we aren’t far off. Now with that being said, I do agree this isn’t going to be like the comics. Oliver will never be this witty, joking, hero, he will always be this dark, gloomy, vigilante. I also don’t think he will end up with Laurel, which just because she’s dead doesn’t mean anything.

  • rosie1843

    I liked Laurel Lance very much. I liked the idea of Laurel Lance as the Black Canary.

    Laurel was a problem because Marc Guggenheim has a problem with the character. Why? I don’t know. Felicity is a bigger problem. She makes a great Girl Friday or tech assistance. As Oliver Queen’s main squeeze . . . I think she sucks.

  • rosie1843

    I have always liked Laurel. I liked her when she was a decent woman. I liked her when she was having emotional problems in the first half of Season 2. And it was a thrilled to watch her overcome her demons to become the Black Canary. I really saw no reason to kill her off. In fact, I found it very unnecessary. But alas . . . it happened. No wonder the show went into a decline when Marc Guggenheim pushed Laurel into the background and over-emphasized Olicity.