Will The New Vigilantes On ‘Arrow’ Season 5 Address The ‘Show’s Sidekick Problem?

We last saw . It was an ambiguous ending, designed to have us wondering where the show could go next. To increase our anticipation for the return of their superhero shows, the CW have released synopsis’s for all four of them, detailing what we can expect from the upcoming seasons. Among them, is the synopsis for Season 5 of Arrow.

Check it out below:

Newly appointed Mayor Oliver Queen finds himself challenged as he fights on two fronts for the future of Star City. With Diggle back in the military and Thea adamant about hanging up her hood as Speedy, Team Green Arrow is down to just Oliver and Felicity – but they’re no longer the only vigilantes in town. Green Arrow’s public defeat of Damien Darhk at the end of Season Four has inspired a new crop of masked heroes to step up and defend the city, though their painful inexperience makes them obstacles, rather than allies, in the field. The arrival of a deadly new adversary will force Oliver to confront questions about his own legacy, both as mayor and as the Green Arrow.

While it will certainly be an interesting dynamic this season, especially with the major changes that have taken place since the end of Season 4, there’s something about this synopsis that’s quite concerning. And that is the apparent utilization of the new vigilantes.

Does Arrow Have A Sidekick Problem?

Team Arrow: Arsenal, Spartan and Black Canary.

Team Arrow: Arsenal, Spartan and Black Canary.

In order to address what I mean, I feel it’s necessary to look back at Arrow‘s previous seasons. Over the past few years, Arrow has had a tendency to bring in new heroes and instead of exploring them as characters, they are immediately reduced to sidekicks, getting swallowed up by the overall storyline.

When Arsenal joined the Arrow in the fight against criminals, it felt like we watching history. It was like Batman teaming up with Robin for the first time. Arsenal was the Arrow’s crafty sidekick, who had experience and knowledge of how things worked on the streets — and that’s exactly what we wanted from him. Even having Diggle going out into battle beside them was cool.

However, when Laurel became Black Canary, things changed. Despite , she would no longer make her own choices or go out on her own missions. There is no Green Arrow without Black Canary — in the comics, she’s a strong badass woman who takes care of her own business — the city is big enough for two heroes. However, on Arrow — despite a strong performance from Katie Cassidy — this comic book icon was reduced to a mere sidekick. The same would happen when Thea became Speedy.

Now, from the synopsis, I am beginning to think that these new vigilantes are looking less like intriguing supporting characters and more like extra manpower brought in for the sake of it, just so they can have a Team Arrow 2.0, before they inevitably bring back the original team.

Lack Of An Origin Story

Wild Dog will arrive on "Arrow."

Wild Dog will arrive on “Arrow.”

I get that the show is called Arrow and that it should be about the Green Arrow’s origins. And it was. But from , it appears that these new vigilantes aren’t even going to get a chance to grow up on their own. They won’t get to make their own mistakes, learn how to fend for themselves or really grow into their own fighting styles. From the synopsis, it sounds like they will have already taken up crimefighting and not very well — so we won’t see their origin stories. Undoubtedly, they will need the Green Arrow’s guidance. And this is a complete contrast to the way the characters have been portrayed in other media.

Arrow had a real chance to bring in a battle hardened vigilante with Wild Dog who wasn’t afraid to what was necessary. — worthy of Seasons 1 and 2 of Arrow. In fact, when we first heard that the character was cast, we drew comparisons to . Imagining the dynamic between the vengeful vigilante and the emerald hero was enough to give me goosebumps. But by the looks of things, we’re not really going to see a violent, remorseless vigilante wreaking havoc on the streets of Star City. Instead, it appears like he may just become another member of Team Arrow 2.0.

Beloved: Artemis in “Young Justice”.

Furthermore, Artemis was one of the standout characters from the . And we know that Madison McLaughlin will be returning following her Season 4 appearance as the fraudulent Black Canary in the controversial “Canary Cry” episode to portray the green archer. So while I commend Arrow on it’s originality for her origin story, I have a feeling we might not get to see her do much more on her own.

The Wild Cards


On the other hand, the Season 5 synopsis does not reveal any information about the newest series regular: Vigilante. We do know that Josh Segarra will be portraying Adrian Chase, the city’s newest District Attorney. We also know that in the comic books, . So the good news is the trailer doesn’t appear to have “sidekicked” Vigilante. Much like Wild Dog, Vigilante has a troubled past and has seen his fair share of tragedy. The creative team have a golden opportunity to bring this rich character in with a tremendously deep and dark storyline. Among all the new characters, it might be Vigilante who stands out. I would hate to see another great hero just become backup to the Green Arrow.

Furthermore, in the trailer we see a more serious Curtis asking for Oliver’s help. This is actually a great move, because we know that at some point during Season 5, Curtis will live up to his comic book reputation and become Mr. Terrific. This sets the character apart from the rest and pushes him in the right direction. Since his introduction, it looked as if Curtis had been “sidekicked” not to the Green Arrow but to Felicity. Although they had some incredibly funny moments, the show didn’t need another Felicity — she is quite simply, one of a kind. So having a backup technological genius was just a waste of character development. Now that we know Curtis is destined for a more serious, crime-fighting career, things are looking up for at least some of the Star City vigilantes.

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With all that in mind, it’s definitely going to be an intriguing year on Arrow. Will they suffer from previous mistakes by having too many heroes and too many Team Arrow fight scenes, or have they truly taken a step in the right direction by adding more vigilantes? Whatever happens, citizens of Star City can rest assured knowing that their city seems to have an infinite supply of heroes to save them.

Are you happy to see more vigilantes on Arrow? Do you think the show will reduce them to sidekicks or allow them to become the heroes they are destined to be? Let us know in the comments!

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