With the second season hitting TV screens, now is the perfect time to catch up with “Arrow: The Complete First Season.” All 23 episodes and some nice special features are included in this collection. Following up in the footsteps of “Smallville,” this introduces viewers to another DC character. However, Green Arrow has a much darker outlook on crime fighting and a shadier past than the Man of Steel.
Arrogant billionaire playboy Oliver Queen accompanies his father on a boating trip aboard their luxury yacht. After the ship sinks and everyone on board dies, he’s left to fend for himself for five years on a remote island. While there, he encounters a deadly band of mercenaries setting up for an attack. He partners up with another castaway who teaches him the art of war with a bow and arrow. Upon his rescue, Oliver returns to his home with a renewed passion in life. He will rid the city of its criminal elements using his newfound skills as a vigilante archer.
If you’re expecting “Smallville” going into “Arrow,” you need to get that out of your head right now. It’s much darker and rooted in realism. Where Clark Kent had issues with offing villains, Green Arrow doesn’t think twice. He’s closer to Batman than Superman in attitude, although the Dark Knight doesn’t believe in killing either. That’s probably why they decided to re-cast the lead character and steer as far away from the Oliver Queen and hero we saw in the sci-fi and fantasy-heavy “Smallville.”
You won’t find any meteor freaks or meta-humans in “Arrow,” either. The villains and other heroes Arrow runs into are all rooted in reality. Think Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” Trilogy versus Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel.”
“Arrow” takes some time building up, but the wait pays off. It’s a slow-burning drama with characters the writers flesh out enough that you actually care about them. Some of those characters will be familiar to viewers who follow the comic book. We get appearances by the Huntress, Deadshot, Deathstroke, Roy rperH
Harper and Laurel Lance. To comic book geeks, it’s common knowledge that Harper becomes Speedy/Red Arrow/Arsenal and Lance takes on the alter ego known as Black Canary. It’s treats like these that give hardcore fans a lot to smile about.
“Arrow: The Complete First Season” is not rated. I would give it a PG-13 rating because of adult situations, violence, and language. It’s a prime-time TV show on a major network, but it still dives into a some mature content children don’t need to see.
The show is presented in 1080p High-Definition 16×9 (1.78:1) and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Dolby Digital. The picture is clean and crisp, even though much of it is blanketed in darkness. The surround sound brings the streets of Starling City and the jungles of the island to vivid life.
There are some exciting special features included for “Arrow: The Complete First Season.” Three featurettes explore what happens behind-the-scenes of the show. They’re entitled “‘Arrow’ Comes Alive!,” “‘Arrow:’ Fight School/Stunt School,” and “‘Arrow:’ Cast and Creative Team at the 2013 Paleyfest.” It also contains unaired scenes and a gag reel.
“Arrow: The Complete First Season” isn’t only for comic book fans. The writers for the show do a great job establishing characters and a universe that anyone can enjoy. It’s a slow-burning drama with enough action, mystery, and suspense to keep audiences coming back for more. Although it gets off to a slow start because of character development, “Arrow” successfully picks up and ultimately pays off with a great second and third act.
“Arrow: The Complete First Season” is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and as a Digital Download.
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
“Arrow” Puts DC Comics’ Emerald Archer in the Limelight
“Necessary Evil: Super-Villains of DC Comics” Celebrates Our Hero’s Archenemies
Four DC Comics Artist and Writer Collections You Must Own