To keep the legacy of Oliver Queen and Arrow going strong, the Arrow spin off’s, Green Arrow and the Canaries, backdoor pilot has introduced us to the post-Crisis version of Star City in the year 2040.
When news that Green Arrow and the Canaries would be set in 2040 broke, I was absolutely and entirely against it. I believed it separated the spin off from the rest of the Arrow-verse, which is still a concern I have after the pilot, but my opinion has changed.
After watching the pilot episode, I saw how this change in time was executed and what it offered to Green Arrow and the Canaries that the other shows that are set in the present day will never be able to explore.
Dinah and Laurel
With the future setting, my biggest concern was definitely how Laurel and Dinah would fit into the future, especially how old they would be. We’ve already had a glimpse of the older Dinah and Laurel (though much more of the former) in the previous version of 2040, and it was unclear whether or not they would be appearing as their older selves.
Thankfully, Dinah and Laurel are young on Green Arrow and the Canaries, which is so important if we’re to take them seriously as heroes capable of standing their ground and opposing the (young) villains attacking Star City. While the Black Canary was never able to get the name recognition and attention she deserved (as any of the women using the mantle), this gives Laurel and Dinah a chance to prove themselves as heroes and to prove to the world the importance of the Black Canary.
Something I didn’t take into account until watching the Green Arrow and the Canaries pilot episode is the opportunities the series has to visit certain elements that we didn’t see on Arrow (or revisit, if we didn’t see much of it).
For instance, there was a lot that Arrow couldn’t do in the beginning when The CW’s comic universe was small and DC was very picky about what elements they would allow the show to explore. Now we have Superman getting his own show, and Batman inevitably appearing on Batwoman, which was unthinkable in 2012.
One example of an opportunity presenting itself in the future timeline is that Arrow barely had a chance to write Helena Bertinelli’s Huntress, but with Helena’s daughter, Bianca, as a character introduced in the Arrow spin off, there’s a possibility for another Huntress of their own design to appear.
The ‘Green Arrow and the Canaries’ future setting still has some issues
As much as I love Green Arrow and the Canaries and am slowly getting on board with the Star City 2040 setting, don’t get me wrong, the future setting still has some issues that need to be worked out.
A huge concern that I and many other fans have is how the show will fit into the Arrow-verse if it’s set 20 years in the future. The pilot had a lot of comments about Sara Lance — since the Legends have the Waverider to travel through time and dropped Laurel off in the future — but even so, can we really expect that every time there’s a crisis, Sara is going to have to travel to the future to get Mia, Laurel, and Dinah, instead of just rounding up the present day heroes?
Additionally, a primary component of these superhero shows, particularly The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, is how the future can be changed with one action. There’s already little threat to the world from the villains because we know that the hero will inevitably stop them, but now the threat of what they do to the world will not be long-lasting.
If Green Arrow and the Canaries is picked up to series, these things need to be addressed. Having the show separated from every other show in the Arrow-verse to start is already a bit off-putting, but if we know that they’re still going to be tied in with the rest of the universe in a way that’s well thought out and still honors the other shows and the work those heroes are putting in, it’ll be worth it to tune in and see what the future has in store.
Stay tuned for news about Green Arrow and the Canaries!