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Oliver Queen’s life as The Arrow is no more. When he returns to Star City (yeah, that's right) for Arrow Season 4, he will finally embrace his comic book destiny and become Green Arrow. With the name change will also come a new costume, but what’s still unclear is how exactly Oliver will decide to take on this new identity. Fortunately, instead of being dragged out for several episodes, that question will quickly be answered right when Season 4 kicks off.
Executive producer Marc Guggenheim told Green Arrow TV that Arrow will tackle why Oliver shifts personas in the Season 4 premiere, and much of it is due to a big event from the latter half of Season 3. Guggenheim said:
That’s definitely the thesis statement of episode 401, the season premiere. He can’t be the Arrow anymore, because everyone believes that Roy Harper was the Arrow, and Roy Harper is dead, at least as far as everyone believes. So, he had to adopt a new identity. All of this is explained in the season premiere; we come straight out with it.
For those that need a refresher, after Oliver was outed as The Arrow and was arrested by Quentin Lance in “Public Enemy,” Roy decided to take the fall and unmasked himself as the green-garbed archer (rather than as Arsenal) in front of a large crowd. Thus, Oliver was in the clear and Roy was sent to prison instead, where his death was later faked and he started his life anew. So to almost everyone in Star City, The Arrow is gone. However, if Oliver were to resume his activities as The Arrow, people would realize that he was the vigilante the whole time, making it necessary for him to change his superhero handle.
While Oliver’s method of taking down criminals will largely be the same in Season 4, it’s possible that as Green Arrow, his demeanor may change compared to his time as The Hood/Arrow. Perhaps we’ll finally see him acting closer to his comic book counterpart; i.e. still tough, but also more light-hearted. That would also help with making sure bystanders and criminals don’t connect the dots between him and The Arrow…aside from them sharing the same archer theme.
Of course, Oliver won’t be the only crimefighter rocking a new identity. Guggenheim also mentioned that John Diggle will indeed be given an (approved by DC) codename to go along with his new uniform. While he wouldn’t reveal what this codename will be, he did rule out one common guess: Guardian, who in the comics is actually the uncle of Roy Harper. Whatever his name ends up being, Diggle will still be fighting in the streets alongside Oliver and the rest of Team Arrow. So it’s still business as usual aside from the new wardrobes.
Arrow Season 4 will premiere on Wednesday, October 7 in its normal timeslot on The CW.