Comic-Con: ARROW reveals season 5 trailer, introduces Ragman… And Laurel is back?

6 min read


I’ll be honest. I’m about an arrow’s width away from dropping Arrow completely. The CW’s once-flagship DC comics drama started off pretty cheesy but then just kept getting better, culminating in a fantastic second season (which also gave us The Flash). The third season was a lot more uneven with some total dud moments mixed with some awesomeness, and also setting up the fun Legends of Tomorrow spinoff. However, it ended so poorly that I started considering that maybe Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen and his crew of masked vigilantes wasn’t worth my time anymore. But I gave it another go… and totally regretted it. Season 4 was a sloppy, hackneyed mess which not even a deliciously scenery chewing Neal McDonough could rescue.

I’m most definitely not alone in my distaste for season 4, as criticism has been rife online. But people are still watching though – maybe like me they were still hopeful, or maybe they were just hate-watching? – so a fifth season was almost assured. And during the show’s Comic-Con panel this weekend past, we got our first look at that fifth season, and it looks… better?

Firstly, the fight choreography and cinematography already seems much better than the laughable amateur hour we got subjected to on season 4 (try to watch the final fight between Green and Damien Darkh and not cringe at what are supposed to be too highly trained killers engaging in a sloppy fist fight that would be more at home in a drunken bar brawl).

Secondly, that seemingly super-strong homeless person at 1:25 mark is actually Ragman, a classic supernatural DC Comics character. It was announced during Comic-Con that the character will be debuting in the second episode of the new season, played by Blindspot alum Joe Dinicol. Ragman is notable for being a Jewish superhero, who wears the mystical (and tattered) suit of souls, which allows him to draw on the strength and abilities of the souls of his enemies which he has trapped inside it.

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Thirdly, Am I the only that thinks there was some kind of meta-commentary at the start there? Like they show the events of the much maligned fourth season and then have Oliver’s voiceover saying “I know you wouldn’t approve of what I did. I know it’s not what you would have wanted.” Even Felicity gets in on the meta-action by declaring that “You have been waiting for things to get back to the way they were… they’re not”. Is it just me seeing this connection?

Either way, things are heading into a new direction as we have a bunch of new young vigilantes for Oliver to train in the form of fake Black Canary Evelyn Sharp, and sometime hero Renee Ramirez aka Wild Dog. Both of these clearly have a connection to Katie Cassidy’s Laurel Lance aka Black Canary, who was killed during season 4 – Evelyn impersonated her after her death, and Renee trained her to fight when she was just starting out as her superhero alter-ego. It could be that bringing them into the fold has something to do with Oliver and co, dealing with Laurel’s death.


Not that they may have to deal for much longer, as it’s been revealed that Cassidy has signed a new deal with the CW that stretches across all the network’s superhero shows, i.e. Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. The latter show is stuffed full of time travel, and has already shown how going back into the past can “revive” a central character that had died on the show – in this case Wentworth Miller’s Captain Cold who sacrificed himself to save his team in the show’s season finale – so this could easily be a way to get around that whole pesky death thing.

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However she comes back, you won’t have to wait long to see Cassidy on your screen again, as Amell confirmed that the character will be seen in Arrow‘s season 5 premiere as we find out just what she made Oliver promise to do before her death.

“It’s something that’s going to have a lasting impact not just in our season premiere, but over the next couple seasons of the show. It’s going to be critical to whatever the legacy of our show is.”

Something that won’t have a last impact though are the show’s flashbacks, which may have been a staple tool to explaining what Oliver was up in the four years he was missing, but just like most things in season 4, devolved into clumsy mess that just dragged down the entire story. And according Amell, we’ll be rid of them soon.

“This is probably the last year of the flashbacks, which means that we have a lot to accomplish. Which means that the impetus and the through line of the flashbacks will, I think, have a lot more urgency to them.”

Damn it. I’m watching this show again, aren’t I?


Last Updated: January 4, 2017

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions – but very little sleep – I’ve been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

  • Original Heretic

    Laurel. Really?

  • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

    Ragman…. sounds like a Megaman boss

  • miaau

    Started Season 3. Did not get that far, Season 1 grabbed us and held us, had to finish. We can only watch Arrow when kiddy is asleep, of course.

    • Captain JJ off track

      Season 1 was gritty, Season 2 still decent, but from there it just got mellower and mellower over time.

  • HvR

    Russian mafia flashbacks, as long as they stay of that Survivor reject of an island I might not forward through those.

    But the first sign of David Copperfield tricks and I’m out.

  • Captain JJ off track

    People in Arrow just keep dying and coming back to life over and over. I starting zoning out of Arrow mid season 4.

    • Matthew Holliday

      Its almost like its based on a comic book.

      • Captain JJ off track

        Then let’s prepare for Ben Affleck’s Batman to wear grey spandex in the next movie.

        • Matthew Holliday
          • Captain JJ off track

            Haha. Yea.
            I like the new suit. I think it’s a good mid-way between full spandex and something a bit armoured.
            My only gripe with the new Batman is the new Joker and Harley, which really upsets me. It’s like they just can’t get the balance right. Nolan’s Batman was very different, not very classic, but it felt awesome none the less. With this it’s like they went for classic batman and then pulled a thug and his hooker off the streets, coloured his hair green and told him he’s the joker now.

          • Matthew Holliday

            Yeah the new suits works for me too, old man batman from the dark knight returns animated movie.

            Was never such a fan of the Nolan armour, wasnt actually a fan of his batman even, but his batman movies were good though, really enjoyed them.
            Im reserving judgement on Suicide Squads Joker and Harley untill I see them, was pretty put off when they released the first trailer, but its grown on me and honestly it will all be down to the performance.
            I understand the need to differentiate this joker from the dark knight trilogy, Ledgers Joker has put himself down in history, they really needed to go far afield to get away from all the “not as good as Ledger” comments.
            From what Ive seen of Letos Joker sofar, it seems to be much more on the simple minded batman crazy from like, Death in the Family type Joker. Which I would be down for.
            Harley, I couldnt care how she looks, so long as shes crazy enough.

            “pulled a thug and his hooker off the streets, coloured his hair green and told him he’s the joker now.”
            I do feel like that simple minded crazy is actually quite accurate to how the Joker is though, he was just sorta like “hey batman, Im your ultimate nemesis now, lets have some fun together, shall we?”

          • Captain JJ off track

            My issue is that the new Joker is just too typical from all I’ve seen. And that is exactly what the Joker is not. He’s not the typical thug, he’s way more than that, and although crazy he’s one intelligent bastard that.
            I don’t doubt Leto’s ability, not at all, but I don’t have faith in how it seems they’ve written him.
            I’m going to ignore the hilariously stupid and common tattoos that every other since thug in human history has also had no them. Both Joker’s and Harley’s. Let’s say they don’t have those tattoos. It’s still just no Joker, he’s always had a certain sense of class to him, which this one doesn’t.
            As far as Suicide Squad is concerned, I don’t really care much for the movie. It’s pretty much just been trailer after trailer of Harley’s breasts and ass, and with that kind kind marketing going it’s clear they’ve written this movie for a very immature audience.

          • Matthew Holliday

            Not really for an immature audience, but the new generation of comic book fans, aka jocks from highschool that are suddenly jumping on the comic bandwagon now that its cool.
            Watching my facebook feed, seeing all the dudebros getting all hyped.

            as to the rest, yeah, Joker does seem to be lacking that level of sophisticated crazy we all love. Hes the kind of guy that will have a hammer jammed inside someones knee, but at the same time, will be drinking a cup of tea out of classy chinaware with his pinky out, while chatting to you about how purple and green are SO in this year.

            Letos joker will be doing the same things, just without the cup of tea and conversation topic will be about how crazy he is.

            Luckilly I havent watched any of the trailers since the initial announcement

          • Captain JJ off track

            Yea man. I completely agree with you there.
            Well, it’s a wait and see thing then, but at this stage Assault on Arkham still looks to me like the better Suicide Squad movie. Really looking forward to killing joke, that’s the Joker I want to see.

          • Matthew Holliday

            i read the killing joke ages ago, was a really good and properly dark story, the movie felt… less so… actually felt like quite a tedious watch.

            assault on arkham has actually been in my to watch list for ages now, should probably get round to that

          • Captain JJ off track

            I’m still to check out Killing Joke. Will do so. Assault on Arkham was a really good watch.

    • HvR

      It is like Bold & the Beautiful but with arrows and a stupid island

  • Aanchal Iyer

    I’ve just completed season2 and loved the series till now . But at the end felt, there were just too many masks running around and for me that took away the whole awesomeness of Arrow- the vigilante.

  • Raidz19

    I stopped in the middle of season 4. Used to be a huge fan but later every episode was the same as the last and just so drawn out. Also not going to watch the new Flash season. that had a great season 1 and then season two was just time travel time travel time travel. and now s3 is MORE time travel and basically s2 all over again? naaaaaaaah

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