A DC-TV Primer: the CW Network’s superhero lineup
From Wikipedia (as I said before, if they are going to do the work FOR me …):
CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR SEASONS ONE through FOUR
The series follows Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), billionaire playboy of Starling City, who spends five years shipwrecked on the mysterious island of Lian Yu.
SEASON ONE: Upon his return to Starling City, he is reunited with his mother, Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson), his sister, Thea Queen (Willa Holland), and his friend, Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell). The first season focuses on Oliver rekindling his relationships and spending his nights hunting down and sometimes killing wealthy criminals as a hooded vigilante, following a list of names he discovered in a notebook belonging to his father. He uncovers Malcolm Merlyn’s (John Barrowman) conspiracy to destroy “The Glades”, a poorer section of the city that has become overridden with crime. John Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) assist Oliver in his crusade. Oliver also reconnects with ex-girlfriend, Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), who is still angry over his role in her sister’s presumed death. The first season features flashbacks to Oliver’s time on the island, and how it changed him; flashbacks in subsequent seasons continue to show how Oliver spent his time and gains the skill-set that shapes him into the vigilante he is.
SEASON TWO: Oliver has vowed to stop crime without killing criminals. His family and allies come under attack from Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett), a man from Oliver’s time on the island who returns to destroy everything important to Oliver. Oliver accepts aspiring vigilante Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) as his protégé, and begins to receive assistance from Laurel’s father, Detective Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne). Oliver also gains another ally; a mysterious woman in black, who is eventually revealed to be Laurel’s sister, Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), who survived her ordeal at sea after the yacht sank. In flashbacks, Oliver continues his time on the island with Slade, Sara, and Shado Fei, and depicts how Oliver’s animosity with Slade started.
SEASON THREE: Arrow has become a public hero in Starling City following Slade Wilson’s defeat. Queen Consolidated is sold to wealthy businessman, scientist and aspiring hero Ray Palmer (Superman Returns’ Brandon Routh – watching him on this show makes me wish his Superman movie was more successful and we would have seen more of him). Oliver struggles to bring his family back together, an old enemy returns, and Oliver becomes embroiled in a conflict with Ra’s al Ghul (excellently played by Matthew Nable). After a tragic event and a rocky start, Laurel sets out to follow in Sara’s footsteps as the Black Canary. John Diggle struggles with his new role as a family man, as Oliver no longer wants John in the field after the birth of his daughter, while Felicity Smoak begins a new career as Vice President of Palmer Technologies (formerly Queen Consolidated). In flashbacks, Oliver is forced to work for Amanda Waller in Hong Kong alongside Maseo and Tatsu Yamashiro, and to stop corrupt general Matthew Shrieve from unleashing the Alpha-Omega, which Ra’s al Ghul eventually acquires in the present.
SEASON FOUR: the Arrow becomes “Green Arrow”. He and his allies fight against the terrorist organization H.I.V.E., headed by Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), who is attacking Star City (formerly Starling City). John Diggle is concerned with finding H.I.V.E. and learning the reason for the murder of his brother, Andy (Eugene Byrd), who is later discovered to be alive and a H.I.V.E. soldier. Thea joins the team under the alias “Speedy”, but must learn to control herself while fighting, as she now has a blood-lust that may never be fully quenched as a side effect of the Lazarus Pit. Laurel struggles to bring Sara back after learning of Thea’s resurrection from the Pit. Oliver decides to run for mayor. Despite having found happiness with Felicity (now CEO of Palmer Technologies) and planning to propose to her, Oliver discovers that he is the biological father to a boy he unknowingly conceived nine years previously with a former lover, Samantha Clayton (Anna Hopkins). This discovery destabilizes his relationship with Felicity, his life as the Green Arrow, and his mayoral campaign. Oliver ultimately discovers that Damien plans on detonating nuclear weapons and ruling a new world over the Earth’s ashes. In flashbacks, Oliver is forced by Amanda Waller to infiltrate the organization known as Shadowspire, befriends a prisoner Taiana, and has his first encounter with the mystical idol that is eventually acquired by Darhk.
A review and critique of the characters, the actors who portray them and the plots will come next time…
Original Material Copyright 2016 Michael Curry
Characters mentioned and their images are copyright their respective holders. Thanks to DC Comics, the CW Network and Berlanti Productions and the actors portrayed for the use of their images.
I also thank the original creators of all characters mentioned, whether or not they have been properly compensated (gratmens during the credits aside).