Recently we got the news that Australian actress Jessica De Gouw will be joining the CW series Arrow this fall as the vigilante antihero Huntress. We want to know what you think about the decision!
For those of you not familiar, Arrow is a version of the Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) story from DC comics. Despite some groans from diehard comic fans the trailers have won over enough people that the series has a mildly positive buzz. With that said, we are pretty interested in the addition of another known DC hero to the series. Here are some of our burning questions since we heard the news:
Is the network going to screw this up? Superhero shows are notorious for mishandling female characters (or leaving them relegated to the role of damsel in distress). There are a few fantastic examples of amazing female characters in superhero series (think Chloe Sullivan from Smallville), but they're usually not superheroes themselves. Is this going to be the time that they get it right, or just another poorly conceived female superhero role?
Who’s Jessica De Gouw? Though CW does tend to use cheaper, less well known actors, they are usually actors that have a bit of television exposure already (often on other CW shows). For example, Stephen Amell, who plays Oliver Queen, has had recurring roles on several successful series, including a couple episodes of Vampire Diaries. Jessica De Gouw, on the other hand, has almost no credits that any American viewer is likely to have seen (and not that many that an Australian viewer would know, frankly). If she wasn’t cast for her recognizability, it suggests she was hired for her talent (which is good) or her looks/marketability (which could be bad).
Wait, isn’t Huntress a Gotham City Character? She usually is, yes. In fact, she is intimately tied to that city’s most storied figures as Huntress (in some continuities) is the daughter of Batman and Catwoman. Green Arrow, meanwhile, is the defender of Star City (which, while it does tend to jump around a bit in the way that only DC cities do, is certainly not Gotham). Don’t worry though, CW has decided to make this simpler by making it more complicated; in the television series, Arrow will be the defender of Starling City, not Star City. (On the other hand—and this is about to get pretty nerdy—for the last few years the main DC continuity has moved the Birds of Prey to Platinum Flats, California and has located Star City in northern California—in which case some regular crossover doesn’t seem quite as forced.)
Wasn’t Huntress already on a show—and didn’t it kind of suck? Yes (and yeah, it sort of did). Ten years ago CW’s predecessor WB had a series called Birds of Prey (loosely based on the DC comic of the same name). This was the year after Smallville had premiered, and WB was eager for some more of that sweet, sweet comic nerd money. (Smallville went one to do 218 episodes while Birds of Prey was dropped after 13.) In this series (set in New Gotham), Huntress was explicitly Batman/Catwoman’s daughter and was virtually defined by her anger at the world in general and at her father in particular.
There’s lots more to unpack (like crossbows versus compound bows), but we want to hear what you have to say. What are your hopes an concerns for the Huntress and Green Arrow?