Arrow: Heroes and Villains is currently being aired on the CW network where it is into its third season so far. As a companion book based on the DC comic books and produced by Warner Brothers, it’s hard not to be enthusiastic about it. At the start of the series, Oliver Queen has already spent his time marooned on a desert island and returns back home to think about how he can make the world a better place by developing his persona of the Green Arrow to fight crime.
For those who remember hit TV series Smallville which starred Oliver Queen as Green Arrow later in it, this is a new series where we find out the history of the billionaire Playboy and his crime-fighting alter-ego. DC Comics and Warner Brothers have got together to bring viewers the Green Arrow. Here the Green Arrow is played by Stephen Amell of Heartland and Private Practice fame and adds a new element to the already popular character.
It could be said the series might be a moody one, although many actors are famous for their bit parts on other series. There are a few already well known to us. Dr Who's John Barrowman who plays the dapper villain, Malcolm Merlyn, the Dark Archer. Merlyn was the one who inspired Oliver Queen to take up his bow and use it for good, but later when Merlyn challenged him to a duel to see who was the best, everything went wrong and Oliver saw his former ally in a new light.
He is the exact opposite of Green Arrow, under his well-heeled facade he is as dangerous the rest of the villains in the series. Barrowman has character and charm, two things needed for playing such a distinguished villain who is an active part of the Anti-Justice League, the Injustice League, the Killer Elite and Secret Society of Super-Villains.
Another Dr Who irregular is Alex Kingston who plays Dinah Lance, the wife of Police Officer Quentin Lance and she has an alter-ego to deal with as well as the dangerous villains who roam the streets. Manu Bennett is Slade Wilson, but most will remember his acting from the Spartacus TV series where he played Krixus, the gladiator who was always at odds with the lead character. Here he plays Deathstroke, a villain straight out of the 1980's to be the main anti-hero for the Green Arrow. In the comics he went under different aliases and trained other villains for the Suicide Squad. But as with all the villains there is a story behind them as to how they became the bad guys.
As a comprehensive guide to the series, the book comes with a neat introduction and every character on the list is described in detail from the comic books and how they are represented in the new series. Each character has their own fact sheet with information on who they are, their comic book alias and relationship to the other characters as well as the comics history of where they originally came from.
With dimensions of 276 x 215 Arrow: Heroes and Villains has a striking black and green cover and a thickness that makes sure it becomes one for a comic book fan’s keeper shelf.
Arrow: Heroes and Villains is a great look at the ideas for the series, the stories behind them and the various photographs of heroes and their villain counterparts. What many will find intriguing is that readers can see if they can remember where the actors have played other roles in different series. This is the perfect accompaniment to the series for those who get the series on Blu-ray or DVD. Each individual profile is perfect for readers who want to have all the info right there in front of them so they have more of an idea of what the characters are about before they watch it. On the cover he is the main character surrounded by other friends and enemies.
Review by Sandra Scholes
8/10 from 1 reviews
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