Arrow is based on the DC comic character Oliver Queen, who becomes the vigilante Green Arrow when he returns to Starling City after being stranded on an island for a long time. This series focuses more on how Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), makes the transition from billionaire playboy to savior of the city. His time spent on the island is shown through flashbacks that occur in almost every episode of the first season.
Arrow seemed to have faced some difficulty establishing itself in season 1, as viewers tended to make comparisons with the Batman and Spiderman trilogies. However, what worked positively for the show was its distinctive parallel storyline of Oliver on the island rather than just the same vigilante-saving the city routine that has been explored by many others. The weakest point in Stephen Amell’s acting was his portrayal of the carefree playboy Oliver, as he seemed to be more comfortable with intense expressions and playing the role of a hero with a purpose. Season 2 was better for him because there wasn’t as much occasion to show that aspect of Oliver’s personality.
When he starts out roaming the city at night looking for trouble in the first season, he has no compunction about killing the bad guys, who are usually wealthy people who he thinks failed the city. However, after his friend Tommy dies, he rises with renewed resolve in the second season, accepting his role as a hero of the city and saving the day without killing anyone. He had to gather the strength and courage to not kill, even if it meant putting himself, his city, and his family in greater danger.
Season 2 sees the introduction of a lot more DC comic characters, like the Canary, Professor Ivo and Flash. It provides a bigger, better cinematic experience and conflicts occur on a grander scale. The flashbacks to the island continue, where Slade (Mannu Bennet) was his partner but later becomes the villain Deathstroke. Other partners who team up with Oliver are Felicity Smoak, John Diggle and Roy Harper.
There is a deadly serum called Mirakuru that, when injected, gives superhuman strength. It is used by Slade to build an army and Oliver recognizes it from the island. Most of the season is dedicated to a long war between the two which makes for terrific viewing. Both characters anchored the show, but new additions like Sebastian Blood and Sara Lance, as well as old favorites like Felicity Smoak and John Diggle, also played their parts well.
Arrow has the potential to go a long way, which is evident in the improvement seen as the show progresses and makes a mark of its own. The first season got better and better in later episodes and gave a sensational finale. The second season came back even bigger and better, so there is reason to look forward to a third season that will hopefully have a lot more to offer.