I’ve been watching a lot of Arrow lately, and I just got to the episodes where Colton Haynes’ character Roy Harper is introduced. Now, I don’t really know anything about the Green Arrow mythology beyond what Smallville told me in its later seasons, so I don’t know if Roy is a canon comics character or a creation of this show. So consider this post to be entirely centered on what I’ve seen of season one and know about season two of Arrow, the CW TV series. And MTV’s Teen Wolf, because why not?
The thing that’s really surprised me is how similar Roy and Jackson, Haynes’ character on Teen Wolf, are despite being so different. Because sure, Jackson wanted for no luxuries as the star athlete in a wealthy family, and Roy has turned to a life of petty crime working its way up to armed robbery to put food on the table, but they both hide a profound sense on inadequacy. Roy says it himself when he’s caught by a copy cat of the vigilante (because 18 episodes in and Green Arrow is still only known as The Vigilante or variations of “the hood guy”) out to rid Starling City of human blight. Yes, he’s parroting Thea Queen’s words when he tells his captor that he’s a waste and nobody will miss him, but when you’re telling the guy who’s there to kill you to go ahead…you’re not exactly in a good headspace about yourself. And yet, that loathing up to this point had been hidden behind a staggering display of devil-may-care cockines.
For Jackson, you have to dig a little deeper. Stop reading now if you haven’t seen season two of Teen Wolf but plan to.
For all the hay Teen Wolf made about his broken psyche being what turned him into the kanima iguana instead of a full-fledged werewolf, that aspect was hardly explored more in his two seasons than in Roy’s two episodes (that I’ve seen).It’s easy to write Jackson off as a spoiled rich kid who had everything handed to him and threw a tantrum when things didn’t go his way. But that really does a disservice to the character. Because for everything Jackson has, what he doesn’t have is a sense of self-worth.
Like Roy, Jackson hides his fear by being an enormous jerk to everyone. But in the end, he’s still a boy threatened by better players who begs for the bite every chance he gets. Because what is he if he’s not the best? He’s nothing. No one would notice him, and no one would miss him.
Essentially, Roy and Jackson are the same products of different circumstances, and that’s interesting to me.
NOW, on to some wild speculation about season two (and the last bits of season one) of Arrow: I predict that it won’t be long before Oliver takes Roy under his wing as a sidekick, which kind of leaves me nervous about Diggle. Because I like Diggle a lot, but what role will he serve if Roy joins the team? While not strictly speaking a sidekick, Diggle is kind of a partner in crime-fighting, and how many of those does Oliver need? His other role as Oliver’s conscience…doesn’t seem like one that will keep him around if that’s all there is.
Also, between Diggle, Felicity, Tommy and I can only assume eventually Roy, we’re fast approaching the point where more people know Oliver’s secret than not. So much for “No one can know my secret. *neck snap*”
I also really like Tommy, but I’m afraid he’s either going to go the route of uselessly redundant or evil-daddy-avenging villain. As is probably very clear, this is another area where I have no idea what the comics have to say — if anything — about Tommy Merlyn.
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