Although "Arrow's" Oliver Queen has had makeup applied like a mask, and his face regularly obscured by a hood, he has yet to adorn an actual mask in the same vein as his comic book counterpart. However, photos posted on Entertainment Weekly indicate that a mask is on the way for the CW drama's hero on December 11.
"Conceptually, it was something we wanted to do because Oliver himself is evolving as the Arrow -- from vigilante to hero, sort of from Arrow to Green Arrow -- and we wanted to see that progression in his costume as well," Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg told EW. "As Oliver is embracing being a hero, being a hero means stepping out of the dark and being more of a symbol, so he has to take steps to conceal his identity more. ... It's going to allow the Arrow to interact with people who don't know his identity in a much more organic way than having him constantly keep his head down."
According to EW, costume designer Maya Mani presented about 50 mask options to the producers before landing on the one pictured: a simple take on the mask supported by series star Stephen Amell, which Kreisberg characterizes as a "natural evolution" for the character and the show.
"He doesn't just put on a mask. It's actually a big plot point in an episode, and there really is a story behind, not only the need for the mask but also who provides him with it," Kreisberg said. "It's going to be a little bit of a surprise, and once they see how the mask comes into creation, I think people will be really excited about it."
The December 11 episode of "Arrow" will also be the second episode featuring Grant Gustin as Barry Allen.