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A New Green Arrow
Arrow is a Green Arrow spin-off from Smallville. The character in the new series has no name other than "the Vigilante" or "the guy in the hood," but his secret identity is Oliver Queen, and his origin does involve being lost at sea for x-number of years. In Smallville, Queen's parents were killed by Lionel Luther, in Arrow, his father was with him at sea and committed suicide. In the comic book, Queen alone was lost at sea and learned to use a bow and arrow and develop trick arrows.
The new hooded archer is more deadly than was Smallville's Green Arrow. I wondered why a different actor, but after watching the first episode it made sense. Smallville targeted the 14-18 yr old crowd so Green Arrow had to be a young, pretty-boy. Arrow is going for a more mature group so the hero has to be rugged, strong and handsome. And unlike Smallville or the early Green Arrrow, this guy has no problem killing the bad guys.
In the early comics, Green Arrow had a young partner (ala Robin) named Speedy who was a ward of Queen. In the 1970's DC dropped Speedy and did a complete overall on GA by changing his costume to the hood used in both Smallville and Arrow and making the character more grim and moody. This is the character in Arrow. They have, howeveer, introduced a companion for him who shares his sense of morality and sometimes will substitute in Arrow's place so Oliver can be seen in public at the same time the hooded vigilante is working.
I personally like the show with its twists and turns and mysterious clues, and I hope it lasts as long as did Smallville. There are so many twists and turns in the plot that the writers will need that long to solve everything.
This is definitely not your typical "super hero."
Smallville: Vessel (2006)
I personally think next season will be the last. Superman Returns hits the screen this month. If it is a success, Smallville may go on to yet another season, but I doubt it. Clark is now approaching his transformation into Superman.
Next season will probably answer questions about Chloe and Lana, maybe even Pete. Chloe and Pete know his secret. If they are not in the movie, I suspect they will be eliminated in Smallville.
We may also see more interaction between Lois and Clark, and Lana may become more distant. I also imagine Lex will "forget" what he knows about Clark, and Lionel will die next season.