Arrowverse Couch Club, July Book Club: Arrow (2012) #1-6

Welcome to the first full month of the hiatus!..I know it’s not really exciting, but there’s still a lot of potential here. Yes, it’s certainly going to be difficult in waiting another five months for the Arrowverse to return, but thanks to DC Universe, we’ve got plenty of material to keep us busy until then. This month, we’re kicking off our first book club discussion with the first six issues of Arrow, the tie-in comic to the show that started it all. As with previous meetings, I’ve included some discussion questions to kick things off, but feel free to include any observations you had while reading. And since it’ll be another month before our next meeting instead of another week, don’t worry if you haven’t gotten around to reading the issues yet. Feel free to take your time and join us whenever you’re ready!

  • Had you read any comics connected to the Arrowverse before this? Why or why not?
  • How accurately do you feel these issues represented the tone of season 1 of Arrow?
  • What were some of the standout moments/elements in these opening issues?
  • Some of these issues featured notably more blood and violence than the CW could ever get away with showing. Should the comic have toned this down to better match the show, or did you think this element worked for the stories these issues were telling?
  • With names like Mike Grell and Jorge Jimenez, there were certainly some marquee artists working on these opening issues. What did you think of the artwork?

And in some big Arrowverse news from this past month…

  • We got official confirmation that instead of recasting Kate Kane, Batwoman will be bringing in a completely new character to don the mantle, as Kate will go missing early in season 2. Given the circumstances of Ruby Rose’s departure, do you think this will be the right move, or should the show have ultimately just recast Kate to continue her story?
  • Now that Hartley Sawyer has been fired from The Flash, would you rather see Ralph be recasted or simply written off?
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I remember reading The Dark Archer and a few issues of Adventures of Supergirl before, but I can’t say I remember either book that well, so it doesn’t really feel like it. For a while now, I’ve just been fixated on reading new comics that come out every week, and that’s sort of given me some tunnel vision in terms of going back and reading other stuff. Of course having DCU has definitely helped a lot in terms of reading titles I had wanted to for a while but just never got to, and this is no exception

Well considering the first issue was basically just a mission statement for Oliver, I’d say pretty accurately. While all the backstories and conspiracies may have seemed complicated at the time, all the metahumans, magic, aliens and cosmic crises we’ve gotten in the Arrowverse in the years since Arrow’s freshman season now make that seem a lot more simplistic, and there’s something refreshing about revisiting that material now

The issues that stuck out the most to me were the ones focusing on China White’s backstory and how Moira discovered the Queen’s Gambit had been sabotaged. I’ve always had a certain fascination w/ China White, if only because she’s one of the few characters, let alone villains, who was on the show for its entire run. One problem I did have w/ her character is that she never really felt too developed, but this issue definitely helped shed some light on that lack of a backstory. Granted, there’s only so much they could fit in a single digital comic, but for the limited space the writers had, I think they did a solid job. Whenever I go back to watch Arrow and see her pop up again, I’ll definitely be thinking of the cold look on her face as she watched her parents die right in front of her, which I feel will enhance my enjoyment of her character and the show overall.

I also never realized that it was the comic which actually showed how Moira discovered the Queen’s Gambit had been sabotaged. It’s certainly been a while since I saw season 1, and I just misremembered that happening on the show. It served as a solid reminder that not only is there still a lot of untapped backstory to uncover in these comics, but that I also really need to go back and rewatch these shows. If only I had enough free time…

I’m kind of conflicted with this. On the one hand, I feel like these books should provide an accurate representation of what the show is like. There are obviously going to be some inherent differences between watching a show and reading a comic, but I still feel like accuracy beyond just continuity is an important factor to take into consideration. I feel like if somebody reads this book before watching Arrow, they might think it’s a show w/ more blood and violence than a typical network would be able to show. This could either turn them off to watching it, or make them disappointed when checking it out if that factor was a positive for them.

That said, I also realized that the amount of people who’d see the comic before the show is probably miniscule compared to the other way around. The comic ultimately would’ve been provided to give existing fans more story to take in and also possibly spark an interest in reading other books that DC produces. At the end of the day, Arrow remains the grittiest and most violent show in the Arrowverse, so I guess it’s actually kind of appropriate that the book gets to showcase that in some areas just a little more than the CW was

Getting someone like Grell was definitely a cool move that must’ve given the book, and the show, by proxy, more legitimacy at the time. Not only does Grell have decades of experience as a comic artist, but his legacy is inextricably linked to Oliver Queen given all the work he’s done on Green Arrow and in building up the character over the years. His gritty artwork really matches the tone of the show, and also reminds me a lot of Neal Adams’ work.

It was also a pleasant surprise to see Jimenez on this title, as he’s definitely one of the better artists working today. His work here is definitely rougher than what I’m accustomed to seeing, but that also makes sense given that it’s some of his earliest art for DC. It’s still objectively solid, and it’s just fascinating to see these pencils from several years ago when he was just starting out. It really gave me a sense of the progress he’s made over the last several years and a greater appreciation for the kind of art he’s currently producing

At the time Ruby’s departure was announced, I think I would’ve been more in favor of this move than a recast. I just couldn’t see anyone else taking up that role after Ruby had been in it for this long, and I ultimately still kinda feel that way. But after seeing a number of actresses brought up as potential replacements, I now feel like there actually could be some potentially viable replacements. I’ve especially warmed up to the idea of Wallis Day (Nyssa-Vex from Krypton), who actually looks a lot more like Ruby than I initially realized after seeing her on the show. I’m not sure if she ultimately could be the right fit for the role, but seeing her and other actors in that light made me more open to the idea.

While I do have faith that the Batwoman writers will be able to make Ryan Wilder into a legitimately interesting character, the fact that Kate’s story will be prematurely ending still stings. It was a relief to see that she wasn’t going to be killed off, but I’ve just gotten so invested in her character and her personal journey that seeing her disappear is also going to hurt. My hope is that w/ the extra time the writers have before filming season 2, they’ll be able to really put the necessary care into handling this transition effectively. I will say that if the show can get me as invested in Ryan as I was w/ Kate, then I’ll gladly give major props to the writers for pulling off an admirable feat under what have to be incredibly frustrating circumstances

I think if the show can find an actor who also has really good chemistry w/ Natalie Dreyfuss, then I’d be more open to a recast. While I have enjoyed Ralph over the course of the few seasons he’s been on the show, I can’t say I’m inherently broken up about the idea of him leaving. What would make me upset is the fact that if he leaves, Sue would also probably have to be written out, and I really don’t wanna see that happen so soon after she was introduced. As a number of other people have suggested, the writers should be able to use the excuse of Ralph having to change his appearance to explain a different actor playing him, as he’s done it plenty of times before. It’d certainly be weird to see, but I also don’t want this move to compromise what was looking to be a really promising romance before it really has a chance to bloom

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I haven’t read the comic yet, but I am excited and want to answer some of the questions now.

Regarding if I’ve ever read any comic related to Arrow, I’m currently reading Human Target. I was always so confused with his portrayal in Arrow. I was wondering is he a meta? How does he make these special masks? Why would he pretend to be Oliver and get fake shot if Oliver could have just done this? It’s always bothered me! In the comic I’m reading he seems to just be a real good martial artist and a bodyguard for a mobster haha.

I’ve also read many, many, many Supergirl and Flash comics, but we won’t discuss that now.

Regarding the Batwoman news, like always with CW I am willing to give this new character a shot. I do think it’s kind of weird to cast a whole new character though and I got questions…
who will run the bar now?

Why would Luke and Mary trust this random? Also Mary just found out, will she be in the dark again?

I know Alice’s main thing was she wanted to kill Batwoman, but wasn’t the whole point of that because Batwoman was Kate?

Was killing Mouse pointless now?

How bout Kate’s reaction to “Bruce” being back? I guess Luke’s reaction could still be satisfying.

Ok, I’ll stop there. Depending on who they get for this new character and a tease of the direction of storyline, I can’t really comment on more.

With Ralph, at first I was a little upset that they would just write him out and the Sue storyline line would just fall apart, but then I remembered Ralph can LITERALLY turn into anybody he wants so I want that to happen and the character can stay. A little like the Amaya character in legends left but the actress was still there, but the other way around in this situation? Lol


I just looked her up, I approve! (Not like it matters if I do or not.) I keep saying I’m going to watch Krypton and I never do. This is even more incentive.

Exactly! I didn’t intend to get as invested as I did, and this is why I’m more ok with them doing what they are.

I just had a thought, what will Vesper? (The lady that does the radio like voiceover?) have to say about this, or will it not be known that Batwoman has changed? I want her to also have a comment about Kate Kane leaving Gotham. I just love her voiceovers.


In the hands of good writers, it should work out, but they should have done what they do in soap operas: “The part of Kate Kane will now be played by [|InsertNameHere|]”.

I am going to miss Ralph. It is a pity that HS is being judged by one bad moment. my vote is to write the character off the show and if a different character is to be introduced, preferably one that doesn’t stretch, which should keep things fresh. Plastic Man is like magic and i think it would stretch the CGI budget too much.


The question of what to do w/ Alice is definitely gonna be a pressing one for the show. I know we’ve mentioned before how Alice’s current state of mind may be that she needs to kill Kate as Batwoman since she may not be able to stand seeing the face of her sister when she does it. If this obsession w/ Batwoman over Kate runs deep enough, it may be at the point where Alice will want to kill anyone wearing the mantle, regardless of who’s wearing it. That said, it would also be a loss to her character to have them go forward w/out that personal connection to Kate. Of course they could always have something happen between Ryan and Alice that gives them more of a connection going forward, but I imagine the writers would have to get really creative for something like that

Apparently DCU is supposed to be getting season 2 sometime this month, so you’ll have the whole (limited) series to binge!

My guess is that the city won’t know, at least not at first, but that’s also assuming Ryan keeps the same costume. She might decide to change things up, or maybe she’ll be a lot shorter/taller than Kate, which would make the change more obvious. It could present an interesting development down the line if the city learns that a new person has taken over the mantle and how people would react to that

I do feel like people should be given opportunities to grow and do better, but it was also really telling that in the week or so that the CW decided what to do, nobody from the show spoke up in his defense. That was a stark contrast to something like the James Gunn situation, where it seemed like Disney fired him as a knee-jerk reaction and most of the Guardians cast/crew came to his defense in the period before he got re-hired. If the CW was unable to find anyone who worked w/ him to also vouch for him, that could’ve played a major factor in their decision


Awesome! Good to know!

I didn’t even think of a height difference or costume change. That would be interesting. I just love Vespers comments, I would love a scene where one of the characters reacts to what she says after them being seen listening to her on the radio.

I obviously don’t know him personally, so I can’t vouch for anything, but maybe the cast was too afraid if they said something they would lose their jobs too? CW isn’t playing any games. But then again, I go back to if CW was so concerned about this it’s partly their fault for not doing a deep dive on his “socials” when he got hired.


fair enough. Whatever is going on in their world, I am likely unaware. I have no control over it and however the new season plays out will be whatever they write.

But really, i should get to this week’s selection. It was a lot easier when I just had to watch a show. Because as it turns out, I was in Couch Club before there was a Couch Club. :sunglasses:


Maybe, but going back to the Gunn situation again, you had a bunch of people individually speak out in support of him before everyone signed that letter also in support, and this was despite the fact that he tweeted some truly awful and disgusting things. I just think the contrast between these two situations say a lot about what people really thought of these 2 behind the scenes

This is definitely something companies need to continue being aware of, though from what I understand, he had apparently deleted those tweets already, and it was just people using screenshots taken from when they were still up. Maybe he deleted them before he got hired so there was initially nothing for the CW to find?

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Fair enough.

I think the tweets were from 2011-2012 ish? Like I said I’ll never likely know the whole situation, but from my perspective I’m thinking, imagine someone hating you so much they take screenshots of your tweets and wait years to publish them. Or re-publish, I guess you could say.


I’m definitely curious as to how long the person who uploaded the screenshots was sitting on them and why they waited until recently to show them. But like you said, it’s very unlikely we’ll ever know the full circumstances behind all of this, and what’s done is done


I’m gonna have a different take. I think bringing in a new character is better. Kate is the show, but it’s kind of harder to accept a new actor in the same role. I can suspend belief very far, but a different person playing the same role (especially such an important role) just doesn’t work. Also, it leaves the door open for Ruby Rose to return in the unlikely event she wants to.

As for Hartley, I say write him out. Replacing Kate is already difficult enough, but a new actor as Elongated Man is just too much. Bring in a different character, maybe even the Question, so you have a built-in fan base and can take over the detective aspect of the story.

As for these stories we read, am I alone in trying to remember how much story made it in the series? I need to rewatch, but Diggle’s story was reminiscent of the episode that detailed John and Lyla meeting I believe. I also know Moira had the Queen’s Gambit, but I don’t know if the show or comic told that story first. Would definitely be interesting to know where the comics fit in with the episodes and watch and read in order…

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I never read any Human Target but I knew that Chance was supposed to disguise himself as who he is protecting. We are currently watching Human Target on the late night watch along. Would love more to join us.

As for the recasting and story, I’m expecting a time jump, so a lot of the story won’t appear on the show. Maybe CW and DC will commission comics to fill in the gaps. You hear me, DC???

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Did you read the multiple posts from HS? Very disturbing, deranged, and angering…

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I did not. the one i saw didn’t seem all that horrible. so i either have a thicker skin or am more racist than i realize…


This is a solid point and one that I’ll definitely be using to make this situation seem a little better. If the reports about Ruby leaving because she had a lot of problems w/ the schedule/hours, then maybe this could be a legitimate possibility. After a certain amount of time, it doesn’t seem like a big stretch to imagine that she’d be more open to a return where she doesn’t have to commit as much time to filming

If you wanna get a better sense of the situation, I’d recommend reading all of them. Just seeing one of the tweets on its own may make it seem not as bad, but reading them all in succession definitely paints a different picture

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I will keep that in mind. I don’t like how “The Twitter” ruins lives/careers, but such is the way of things. As i cannot control what people do there or who gets ruined, i can only hope that Ralph’s character is written off with some dignity. I mean HS no ill will; i hope he self-improves and can make a decent livelihood.

And I’m somewhat relieved; I half assumed there would wild accusations of my being a filthy racist.

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Off topic momentarily, but if anyone wants to vote, the semifinals are up:

I finished reading these first six issues and I liked how each seemed to cover a different point of the show. Some of the likenesses in the first few issues seemed off from the show but by the sixth issue it looked like the show. I enjoyed how the China White issues had a Manga feel to them to fit the story and character.
I also enjoyed the one that was from the point of view of one of the list targets as it was not a main character but it showed how the Hood was starting to freak out the bad guys and influence their decisions.
This was not quite the first show based comic I had read as I had read a few issues of the Smallville comic. I loved that show and Arrow owes a lot to it coming first.

I just saw that Batwoman has now found its new lead and she’s African American. This is great for more diversity and it sounds like we may be in for another as serious Batwoman as Kate. It can now tackle stories on racism since if they keep the same costume people will know it’s not the same person. Interested to see where it goes.
Having someone so different in personality and not weighed down by the Alice guilt reminds me of Terry McGinnis taking over as Batman with fresh perspective. Yes her character was involved in drug running but it does not sound as if she is as down as Kate was.

As for Ralph, I’d like to see him recast. With his powers I do not see an issue with this and it would seem a shame to build up to Ralph and Sue just to end it off screen. The issue may be he was in this form to trap the Thinker so would this cause any issues if he changed?
If they don’t recast I hope they keep Sue around because they have really developed her to be very interesting.


This was definitely a perspective that I appreciated seeing. Considering how much of a dark figure he is, it’s not that hard to imagine Oliver as a villain, which is certainly how people like the list targets would’ve seen him. Portraying him as this seemingly unstoppable force of nature who may not even be human really helps in showing how deadly he is, even if it does also reinforce the Batman comparisons

They certainly could’ve tackled issues of race before this move, but I do also get how this can add different layers to that approach. I can’t imagine Ryan is gonna want to cover up her appearance ala Hooded Justice, which will inevitably lead to plenty of people speculating about what happened to the original Batwoman. Seeing as how the CW isn’t exactly subtle when it comes to addressing social issues, I’d imagine the race aspect of this will likely be part of that discussion in a notable way