Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen kicked off the Arrowverse and, although he got the perfect ending in Crisis, a tie-in comic brought him back.
The following contains spoilers for Earth-Prime #6, on sale now from DC Comics.
Oliver Queen had a profound impact on the Arrowverse. The fact that it’s called the Arrowverse to begin with, named after Arrow, the show that spawned the universe, shows just how important the character was to the franchise. Stephen Amell’s portrayal of Queen allowed other hit shows like The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow to come forth and build an entire, ever-expanding world on TV screens.
Although Oliver Queen met his final end in the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event, he just returned to the Arrowverse in the most unlikely of ways. Throughout the comic book tie-in Earth-Prime #6 (by Jeff Hersh, Thomas Pound, Will Robson, Alex Sinclair and Tom Napolitano), Bart and Nora Allen, the children of the Flash, were being watched by a hooded figure. At the end of the issue, it was revealed that this mysterious stranger was a familiar face.
It was Oliver Queen as the Spectre all along. He watched Bart and Nora handle the threat of Magog and when they had proven themselves ready, he helped them defeat Magog by restoring the heroes that disappeared during his attacks. At the end of the issue, Oliver revealed himself to the heroes assembled in the Hall of Justice with a warning of threats to come.
This may be quite surprising considering where the various Arrowverse series left the character. In the first part of Crisis on Infinite Earths, Oliver gave his life to protect the people fleeing from Supergirl’s Earth. The episodes that preceded that saw Team Arrow trying to bring him back to life. When they finally found his soul in the afterlife, however, he was approached by Jim Corrigan and became the new Spectre.
As the Spectre, Oliver guided the paragons in the remnants of the then-dead multiverse, helping them reboot reality and create a new Earth – and a new multiverse along with it. He seemed to finally “die” in the process though, despite becoming the Spectre, finally getting to rest in the afterlife. In the final episode of Arrow, the Monitor brought Felicity to Oliver, where they finally got to be happy together in a life beyond death.
It seemed like Oliver Queen’s story was completely over, especially as there was no hint he was still the Spectre in the final episode of Arrow. It was implied that cosmic power was used up creating a new multiverse, at least the power that was him anyway. So his appearance as that entity here seems somewhat strange. Most likely how it will be explained though, is that some force approached Oliver in his perfect afterlife and warned him of the new threat. Then, he was probably asked to become the Spectre again, to prepare his friends for whatever fight they may be facing. That’s typically how it goes in the various CW shows.
As for what this new threat is, and why it was so important that Oliver had to become the Spectre again, that remains unclear. Although it’s unlikely to be at the same level as Crisis, it’s apparently dangerous enough that Oliver Queen needs to be involved. And in the same form as he was that major event no less. All Oliver said was that change was coming and that cosmic forces were aligning, ones greater than Magog. As Magog was able to figure out how to travel the new multiverse when the Arrowverse heroes still believe their Earth is the only one that remains, that could be a serious threat indeed.
It’s unclear whether or not this story will continue in another tie-in comic like Earth-Prime or the Arrowverse shows themselves. The only hint is that it involves that new heroes in 2049, like Bart and Nora. They had to prove that they were worthy in this story, ready for the next threat that Oliver mentioned here. Although its unlikely that Oliver will play a major role in the next story, whatever form it takes, his presence in this comic highlights the significance of the threat to come.