For over a year now on Arrow, we’ve been watching Oliver Queen fight crime in Starling City as an enigmatic vigilante. To be fair, he’s got the disguise worked out pretty well. Normally working at night, the hood and eye paint hide his identity pretty well, disguising his voice with that electronic gizmo I assume he bought at Radioshack. Well, Oliver’s about to take another step closer to his comic counterpart with the addition of a comic book classic: the mask.
Entertainment Weekly released exclusive official photos of Stephen Amell in his new emerald mask, which will debut on the Dec. 11 Arrow episode and also double as the second part of Barry Allen’s premiere. Andrew Kreisberg, executive producer of Arrow, discussed why they decided to add the mask to Oliver’s image as the Arrow.
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. 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.
For those of you wondering whether Oliver is just going to put on the mask as whim after spotting it on sale at a thrift shop, don’t worry, Kreisberg assures us there will be a legitimate reason for him putting it on come Dec. 11.
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. 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.
At first I was concerned whether it was too early in Arrow’s run to introduce the mask, but after giving it some thought it makes sense. Kreisberg points out Oliver’s been having to keep his hood up and head down when interacting with allies who don’t know his secret identity. The mask gives him an extra layer of protection, and maybe now he’ll be able to look at these allies in the eye. Plus, Oliver recently teamed up with Laurel’s sister, who had also been fighting crime as a masked vigilante. At least we have a frame of reference of where Oliver gets his inspiration.
Let’s be honest, though, the mask makes sense from a practical standpoint as well. What if Oliver’s fighting some hoodlums in the rain. The fight lasts long enough and that eye paint is going to wash right off. After that, there’s only so much the hood can do before these guys realizing their fighting the youthful head of a billion dollar corporation, and then everything goes to hell afterwards. Yeah, getting that mask was a good idea, Oliver.