Green Arrow and the Canaries, the Arrow spin off which used one of season 8’s final episodes as a backdoor pilot, launched Mia, Dinah, and Laurel as a new team… let’s keep it that way.
Much as the title implies, the next generation of the Arrow-verse promises an epic team consisting of Mia Queen’s Green Arrow and Laurel Lance and Dinah Drake’s Black Canaries. With Oliver’s journey coming to an end with the Arrow series finale on January 28 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW, the legacy of the Green Arrow has a chance to live on, and the writers can finally make up for the complete disservice they’ve shown the Black Canary over the last seven years.
As for the Green Arrow and the Canaries spin off’s pilot episode, I absolutely loved it, as you can read in my review, I have a concern about the future, if the show is picked up to series (which has yet to happen).
The ‘Arrow’-verse’s obsession with the large ensemble
Over the last seven years — since Arrow first began and helped spawn The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, and more — superhero teams just seem to keep getting bigger and bigger. (Thankfully Batwoman has kept the team rather small at first with only Luke helping Kate from the Batcave, though it only seems like a matter of time.)
The Flash has Barry, Frost, and Ralph as the superheroes. Supergirl has Kara, Dreamer, Martian Manhunter, Brainy, and Alex Danvers. And Arrow, honestly worst of all, has had too many heroes to count and list all of them, though the end of Arrow season 8, episode 7 saw a team of, like, 10 or so, including the kids from the future.
The point is, the Arrow-verse prioritizes quantity over quality much of the time (though don’t take that as an attack on any of the characters mentioned above), and the growing list of characters especially takes away focus from the leading hero.
With three heroes leading the charge and three co-leads, there’s no need to introduce various others to take away the focus (or, let’s face it, to give the leading actor a break). Mia, Laurel, and Dinah are all interesting enough — and each actor is talented enough — to have it be their show without a larger group of supporting characters around them (as heroes, of course, as they need stories outside of each other).
With ‘Green Arrow and the Canaries’, there should be no “future Team Arrow”
There were some who wanted the Arrow spin off to focus on the “future Team Arrow” that was introduced in the flash-forwards, consisting of Mia, William, Connor, and Zoe. While these characters are all still around, and the villain of the flash-forwards (J.J. Diggle) seems to be on track to be the Big Bad of the first season, I don’t believe they need to join Mia, Dinah, and Laurel’s team.
Having a large team means, in terms of content, everyone suffers. Too many heroes makes the show less about the Green Arrow and the Canaries and more about those surrounding them, and isn’t that the biggest complaint everyone has about the Arrow-verse shows?
I absolutely believe that all of these characters should have their place in the Arrow spin off, since they are the children of the heroes who helped make Star City into what it is. But main characters and supporting heroes? I don’t think it’s a good idea. Frankly, the Arrow flash-forwards were heavily criticized by the majority of fans, and not just because of the despondent, dystopian future that was introduced. The future team wasn’t compelling enough on their own, basically starting out as knock offs of their parents, which is likely why the writers opted to keep two relatively unexplored characters around in Laurel and Dinah.
Mia, Laurel, and Dinah are good enough
And regardless of everything else I’ve stated above, the simple fact is that Mia, Laurel, and Dinah are enough to make a great team and carry on a long-lasting show. Each character is so interesting, compelling in their own ways, and has a lot to offer the world as a hero that they haven’t been able to before. With Laurel, we have a story of redemption. With Mia, we have a story about Oliver’s daughter trying to honor him and follow in his very large shadow, and Dinah presents a great opportunity to explore self-discovery.
With “Crisis on Infinite Earths” behind us, things have changed, which also creates a riveting story: How did Star City change in 2020, and how has that impacted the future? Additionally, while we knew Mia’s backstory before, she’s someone else now with a different life. As for Laurel and Dinah, we never really learned much or saw enough of them on Arrow. As the pilot points out, Dinah’s past is almost all a question mark for us. Same with Laurel’s, though less so because of what we did learn about her life on Earth-2.
Not every one of the Arrow-verse shows needs to follow the same formula, and it’s high time to break away from that. There doesn’t always need to be someone sitting behind a computer to help the team, or someone talented with tech to create a gadget to stop a villain. These three women are intelligent and strong enough to stand on their own. They are the heroes that deserve all of the focus of Green Arrow and the Canaries.
Stay tuned for news about Green Arrow and the Canaries and our coverage of Supergirl, The Flash, and Batwoman!