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When We First Met – The Cast of Arrow

by  in Comic News Comment

In this feature we spotlight the various characters, phrases, objects or events that eventually became notable parts of comic lore. Not major stuff like “the first appearance of Superman,” but rather, “the first time someone said, ‘Avengers Assemble!'” or “the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny” or “the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth” or “the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter.” Stuff like that. Here is an archive of all the When We First Met features so far! Check ’em out!

With the premiere of the third season of Arrow tonight, I thought it would be nice to spotlight the debuts of the comic book versions of the characters from the TV series (and later we’ll take a look at some of the characters debuting this season).

First up are Oliver Queen, the star of the show and Roy Harper, who has yet to be named in the series.

They each debuted in 1941’s More Fun Comics #73 by Mort Weisinger and George Papp, including both their superhero identities of Green Arrow and Speedy and their secret identities…




Next up is Laurel Lance/Black Canary/Dinah Lance.

On the TV series, all three of those characters are different people (as the Canary on Arrow is currently Sara Lance, the sister of Laurel Lance and daughter to Dinah Lance).

In the comics, Black Canary debuted in 1947’s Flash Comics #86 (by Robert Kanigher, Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella), in the Johnny Thunder back-up, as a sort of anti-hero…



At the end of the story, Johnny’s Thunderbolt thinks that this is it for Canary…


But the very next issue, she’s back in the book and is more obviously a good guy…


She eventually just flat out takes over for Johnny entirely in Flash Comics #92, where Kanigher, Infantino and Giella reveal her name and introduce her new love interest, private dick, Larry Lance…


When the character was brought back along with her fellow Justice Society of America members during the Silver Age, it is revealed that Dinah married Larry but then he was killed. She then seems to join the Justice League…






Eventually, in a really confusing storyline, we learn that the Justice League Black Canary is actually the DAUGHTER of Dinah Lance.

After Crisis on Infinite Earths, the whole daughter thing is made a lot less confusing as it is simply that the first Dinah Lance was the Black Canary in the Justice Society and then later her daughter was the Dinah Lance in the Justice League. In Secret Origins #50, we also learn the difference in their names, as the daughter is Dinah LAUREL Lance…


On the next page, we learn the origins of Oliver’s crime-fighting allies, including the surprising comic book origins of Felicity Smoak!

Oliver’s former bodyguard and now top partner in crimefighting, John Diggle, was invented for the Arrow TV series (his name is a reference to Green Arrow: Year One writer Andy Diggle).

Diggle eventually made his comic book debut at the end of Green Arrow #24, late last year, by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino…



The following issue, Lemire, Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz show us how Green Arrow met Diggle (Diggle was working as a bodyguard for Oliver’s mother) and how Oliver goes to him for help when he is injured…



Felicity Smoak, interestingly enough, first debuted in the pages of Fury of Firestorm, of all places! She showed up in 1984’s issue #23, written by Gerry and Carla Conway and drawn by Rafael Kayanan and Rodin Rodriguez…



She showed up again, as Firestorm again accidentally screws her over, only he takes it a step further this time…



Dick move, Firestorm!

Later, she goes to work for the newspaper that Ronnie Raymond’s dad works for…


And the two begin to date…


Eventually, she ends up marrying Ronnie’s father. She forgives Ronnie when she learns that he is Firestorm.

The New 52 version of Felicity Smoak just debuted last week in Green Arrow #35 by Andrew Kreisberg, Ben Sokolowski, Daniel Sampere and Jonathan Glapion…



On the next page, see where we first met Oliver’s family!

On the TV series, Thea Queen is Oliver’s sister, nicknamed “Speedy.” However, her middle name is “Dearden,” making her Thea Dearden Queen. This is a reference to Mia Dearden, who first debuted in the second issue of Kevin Smith’s Green Arrow series in 2001, with art by Phil Hester and Ande Parks. She is introduced as a prostitute…



But we later see she is much more than “just” a prostitute…




We later learn that she is HIV positive, right before she becomes the new Speedy in Green Arrow #45…


Oliver Queen’s parents, Robert and Moira Queen, made a surprisingly late introduction into comics, in Green Arrow Annual #7 in 1995, by Chuck Dixon and Rick Burchett (the same comic that we learn that Oliver has superpowers).


They weren’t actually NAMED, though, until 2002’s Green Arrow Secret Files and Origins, in a story by Scott McCullar and, oddly enough, Rick Burchett…


On the next page, bring on the bad guys!

The villain of the first season, Malcolm Merlyn, is partially a TV creation but mostly is based on the evil archer, Merlyn, who made his debut in 1971’s Justice League of America #94 by Mike Friedrich, Neal Adams, Dick Dillin and Joe Giella…





The current big bad in the series is Slade Wilson, Deathstroke, who first showed up in 1980’s New Teen Titans #2 by Marv Wolfman, Goerge Perez and Romeo Tanghal…




Working with Slade are Isabel Rochev, who debtued in 2010’s Green Arrow #1 by J.T. Krul, Diogenes Neves and Vicente Cifuentes…




You might notice that that was ALSO the debut of Walter Steele, who is Oliver Queen’s step-father on Arrow.

Also working with Slade is Brother Blood, who made his bow in 1982’s New Teen Titans #21 by Marv Wolfman, Goerge Perez and Romeo Tanghal…




The Brother Blood on Arrow is the second Brother Blood, Sebastian Blood. He debuted in Outsiders #6 by Judd Winick, Chriscross and Sean Parsons…


On the final page, we see a few other assorted Arrow characters…

Lyla Michaels is John Diggle’s ex-wife on Arrow, but in the DC Universe, she became the cosmic being known as Harbinger, servant of the Monitor. She debuted in 1983’s New Teen Titans Annual #2 by Marv Wolfman, George Perez and Pablo Marcos…


Shado trained Oliver Queen in archery while he was stuck on the island and her murder is what causes an insane Slade Wilson to turn on Oliver. She debuted in Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters #1 by Mike Grell…




Shado was murdered by Professor Anthony Ivo, who first showed up in 1960’s The Brave and the Bold #30, by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowksy and Bernard Sachs…


Sara Lance had a relationship with Nyssa Al Ghul when Sara was trained by the League of Assassins. Nyssa made her debut in 2003’s Detective Comics #783, by Greg Rucka and Klaus Janson…




Sara Lance watched over a young girl who later became friends with Thea and Roy. Her name was Sin. She made her debut in 2006’s Birds of Prey #92 by Gail Simone, Paulo Sequeira and Robin Riggs…


Finally, we end with Amanda Waller, who debuted in 1986’s Legends #1, by Len Wein, John Ostrander, John Byrne and Karl Kesel…



and her main soldier, Deadshot, who made his debut in 1950’s Batman #59 (by David Vern Reed, Bob Kane, Lew Schwartz and Charles Paris), masquerading as a good guy…



Batman and Robin figure out his plan…


but Deadshot vows to shoot Batman. Check out how Batman defeats him…



That’s a pretty damned risky plan, no?

So that’s the main cast of Arrow! Go watch the season three premiere tonight!