WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for "Starling City," the Arrow Season 8 premiere.
Ever since the series premiere of Arrow in 2012, fans have been waiting for a proper Green Arrow and Black Canary team-up that's worthy of their comic book legacy. With Dinah Laurel Lance part of the series' cast, most fans believed it was only a matter of time before we would see Oliver and Dinah unite as a two-person team to take on the criminals of Star City.
However, things were never that simple. Sara Lance's Canary first showed up, then Laurel put on the domino mask after her sister died. And even if Laurel became the Black Canary, she was nowhere near an effective crime-fighter compared to her comic book counterpart.
Even with the introduction of two other Canaries, Dinah Drake and Black Siren, Arrow has often had Green Arrow and Black Canary share the screen, but never the classic way many comic book fans would have wanted to see them. In the comics, there is no Team Arrow. There is only Oliver and Dinah, the dynamic, street-level crime-fighting duo.
Well now, with its Season 8 premiere, Arrow finally gives fans a proper Green Arrow/Black Canary duo -- only it's just not on Earth-1.
In the Season 8 opener "Starling City," Oliver Queen is sent to Earth-2 by the Monitor to retrieve dwarf star particles. There, viewers witness a retread of the story that unfolded throughout Season 1 of the series, with major twists added in. In fact, when Oliver first locates the particles, he is shocked to find that his old enemy the Dark Archer has gotten there first -- and better yet, he is attacked by this reality's Green Arrow, who still goes by "The Hood," as Oliver did in the early days of Season 1.
The two archers briefly fight one another, but they are eventually stopped by Earth-2 Laurel, who now operates as Black Canary. This Laurel was first introduced as Black Siren, but she eventually redeemed herself and even joined Team Arrow in Season 7 before choosing to return back to her homeworld.
She's clearly been busy on Earth-2 too. With the help of Felicity, she has set up her own base of operations, whom she shares with the Hood, aka Adrian Chase. While he might share a name with one of the show's deadliest villains, this Adrian is a hero who fights to protect his city.
Laurel explains that the two of them became crime-fighting partners after Adrian joined her heroic cause. Therefore, Earth-2 now has what the prime Earth never had: a proper Green Arrow and Black Canary duo that operates throughout the streets and rooftops of Star City.
Adrian may be no Oliver Queen, but this is as close as Arrow has ever gotten to featuring these two superheroes as a two-person unit. There's no Felicity on the other end of the line or back-up from Diggle or anyone else. It's just the pair of them, and they appear to work quite well together.
What's more, the episode even sees Adrian call Laurel "pretty bird," a nickname often used by Green Arrow in the comics when speaking to Black Canary.
Over time, it became clear that Arrow wasn't just a reflection of the comics. While the series is inspired by the source material, it has gone on to tell its own original stories. However, the Season 8 premiere finally gave fans something they have wanted to see for years. It might not be the exact characters you wanted, or on the proper Earth, but this is as close as we've gotten to seeing a pitch-perfect version of a classic Green Arrow/Black Canary duo.
Airing Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, Arrow stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Rick Gonzalez as Wild Dog, Juliana Harkavy as Black Canary, Katie Cassidy as Black Siren, Katherine McNamara as Mia Smoak, Joseph David-Jones as Connor Hawke and Ben Lewis as William Clayton-Queen.