When it comes to being a geek, depending on when you grew up, it used to be lonely. It used to be something that was made fun of, a reason to be bullied. And even though it’s gotten to be a bit better, within the geek community there is still separation and distance. You may do it, too, without even realizing it. For example, if someone is a Harry Potter fan, you may ask what house they are in. If someone is a Lord of the Rings or Hobbit fan, you may ask if they read the books. If someone is a comic book/comic book movie fan, you may ask if they like Marvel or DC.
Marvel or DC. Should it matter? Events like C2E2 work to bridge the gap between geeks, embracing all levels of fandom, all shades of geek from the curious to hardcore.
This is not to say that I do not participate in such conversations or labels. I won’t go into detail about my fandoms so let’s just focus on comics.
Marvel or DC?
I used to say that I was a Marvel girl. And I still am. Mostly. I love the movies and grew up reading Marvel comics and watching cartoons like X-Men. I watched Batman, too, but never claimed to be much of a DC fan.
Until October 10, 2012.
Arrow debuted back in 2012 and quickly became more than just a simple show based off of the comic books. It developed a fandom, introduced new people to the hero. It created the universe for the DC shows (not including Gotham) leading to the crossovers which became huge. It ran for eight seasons.
This past weekend Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen) and Emily Bett Rickards (Felicity Smoak) were at C2E2. They promoted their wine (I tried it and got to chat with them while doing so. I highly recommend it) and had a panel: A Farewell to Arrow.
The panel was at the main stage and was packed. I am so glad I got to sit in on it. The chemistry between Oliver and Felicity on screen was undeniable; in real life they are just best friends who click, joke with each other, and finish each others’ thoughts. They spoke about what the show meant to them, how they had not realized how important their roles and the show would be. Fans were able to ask questions about their favorite moments, villains (Prometheus because it was unique for Arrow to be able to create a villain from season one rather than just pulling from the comics), storylines, etc.
They say not to meet your heroes in real life, but Emily and Stephen did not disappoint. They were kind (thought they did tease a “fan” of Amell’s who admitted to never having seen the show), they made fun of each other and were able to laugh at themselves (like when someone made fun of Amell’s shoes and socks), and I have to say that Emily is even more adorable in person than she was on the show.
Arrow may have ended (in a satisfying way, Emily and Stephen agreed), but its influence lives on in cosplay, in the shows that have started after 2012, in the little girls who are interested in STEM thanks to Felicity, and in the fans.
Marvel or DC?
Arrow made that answer possible.
Thank you, Stephen and Emily, for the show (and everyone else who worked on the show!) and for taking the time to talk with the fans at C2E2 2020.