An interesting challenge faces the creators of "Arrow" on the CW. With the upcoming show based on the Green Arrow from DC Comics, the writers can keep the series simple with Oliver Queen being a vigilante character who faces normal people, or they can introduce the element of superhuman abilities. Characters with superhuman abilities could draw in some extra comic book fans, but could also cause the show to jump the shark and lose mainstream appeal.
While the Green Arrow is able to fight at the peak of human ability, he does not have any superhuman abilities himself and traditionally battles evil characters that could have been pulled out of the real world. This is not to say that the Green Arrow has never crossed paths with characters with superhuman abilities, but this has been kept to a minimum in his solo career and often relegated to times of when his story has crossed with those of other superheroes, such as his storylines with Batman, the Teen Titans, or other characters who often deal with villains with impossible powers. When he faces Doctor Light, for example, the comic book writers usually focus more on the fact that the Doctor is a genius and make the overcoming of the accelerated intelligence as the harder task for the archer, and make the superpower of light manipulation a secondary advantage.
One of the goals of storytelling is to have an audience let down their guard and allow for the suspension of disbelief. If an audience will believe for a short time that what is being seen could actually happen, people can be drawn into a program or movie. If the characters on screen are realistic, such as a vigilante like the Green Arrow, viewers can relate faster with the show and characters. While "Smallville" was a successful superhero show for the CW, for example, people would relate more to a character who became fed up with crime than to a character who can fly and is virtually indestructible.
Introduction of Superpowers
The introduction of a villain, such as Count Vertigo who could fly and impact people's equilibrium, could draw in long-time fans of the Green Arrow and give a quick surge in the ratings. On the negative side, it would cause people to place a defense up against their suspension of disbelief. Superhuman abilities would separate "Arrow" from a mainstream show to a show geared more toward science fiction or comic book fans and would be an easy move toward alienating fans who are not looking for the introduction of the weird or supernatural.
Alterations to Keep Fans Happy
Brick, the crime lord of Star City, has traditionally one of the greatest thorns in the side of the Green Arrow. The writers could introduce the character as a basic crime don without pushing the issue of how his skin is made of stone. Other minor character, who can manipulate the laws of nature in the comics, could be modified as well without alienating the mainstream viewers who put shows on the map (and the top of the Nielson Ratings).
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