It’s arrival brought us a new age in superhero television series–arguably the best comic book TV adaptation since the original 1980s series The Flash that starred John Wesley Shipp. It’s Arrow, the CW Network’s groundbreaking story of Oliver Queen starring Stephen Amell. Unlike the successful Marvel Comics movie series, Arrow looked outside the comic book’s core stories and expanded the source material to allow the inclusion of B, C, and D level villains plus many superheroes, ultimately including most of the second tier Justice League members. Surpassing the DC’s movie efforts and Marvel’s attempts at small-screen serials, Arrow has continued to make comic books come alive for four years since we first reviewed the world premiere viewing of the pilot at San Diego Comic-Con here at borg.com back in July 2012.
The stories have been different but loyal to its origins. Instead of Star City or Seattle the stories were based in Starling City. Sidekicks nicknamed Speedy became split into his sister Thea and Roy Harper. Two Black Canary characters were formed from two sisters instead of the mother and daughter split in the classic stories. And Green Lantern is not in the picture at all. Along the way the series split off Barry Allen’s Flash into his own fun series, a dozen other heroes and villains joined DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and this year CW’s DC on TV ties in Supergirl. So many untapped stories can now be told as the DC universe is apparently unshackeled barring only interconnected stories with Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Aquaman, who will be featured on the big screen next year instead.
Tomorrow night the fifth episode of Season 5 airs. For those fans who want to delve into an “in-universe” look at Oliver Queen and his efforts to save his city, Titan Books has released Arrow: Oliver Queen’s Dossier, a detailed, 160-page scrapbook of notes, newspaper articles, documents, and records collected by Starling City’s emerald archer as he investigated crimes in the first three seasons of the TV series.
The Dossier is a mock-up of a leather-bound set of notes. The first images include a letter from Queen noting the importance of the contents and his trust in you the reader to handle it with care. From there on each page is a full-color copy of sorts of the enormous extent of world building created by the Arrow writers room. Recall the hit list Oliver’s father created? All the pages can be found here. Odds and ends on key characters, like Laurel Lance’s law degree, copies of trial transcripts and court orders in Oliver’s mother’s trial, Lila’s ARGUS resignation letter, personal items like Thea’s goodbye note, excerpts from Felicity Smoak’s personnel file at Queen Industries, and Roy’s note to Thea. You’ll also find notes on your favorite villains and plenty of photographs from the series.
The book was compiled by Supernatural tie-in chronology creator Nick Aires, who also wrote the Arrow: Heroes and Villains book reviewed here at borg.com last year. The look, sturdy trade edition format, and cover to cover page layouts or the Dossier are smartly crafted. If you buy into the idea of in-universe works and Arrow is on your favorites list, this book is for you. It’s also great for writers interested in examining the scale and scope required to develop elaborate stories.
Arrow: Oliver Queen’s Dossier is available now here at Amazon.com.