Why Smallville was better with Green Arrow than Batman

Green Arrow was considered Batman’s replacement as Smallville was unable to field Bruce Wayne. That’s why the show was actually better off with Oliver.

Even though Kleinville Batman wanted to use it was actually better with Green Arrow. With DC getting in the way of the Superman prequel series that introduced the Caped Crusader, Justin Hartley’s Green Arrow has often been seen as a replacement for the character. Finally, Oliver Queen filled a role Smallvilles Universe similar to what you would expect from Batman.

While Batman never shows up Kleinville will always feel like a missed opportunity to some degree, his absence has paid off. Batman is unquestionably the most popular of the two billionaire vigilantes, but it’s important to note that Batman could never have had the deep and emotionally impactful arc that Green Arrow ultimately received Kleinville. With Batman being such an iconic hero and someone DC has protected for a long time, it’s hard to imagine Kleinville getting the creative freedom that would have been needed to get the best out of him as a character.


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Why Batman’s Smallville story couldn’t have topped Green Arrow’s

Green Arrow takes cover behind a wall in Smallville

Presumably DC would have kept Batman on a leash if DC had allowed the series to use him. However, that was not the case with Justin Hartley’s Oliver Queen. Being able to take liberties with Green Arrow’s origins allowed the series to deftly weave Oliver into the Superman mythos. It not only got him romantic ties to Chloe Sullivan and Lois Lane, but also made Lionel Luthor a central character in his backstory by revealing that the villain had orchestrated his parents’ deaths. The dark path that sent Oliver inside Kleinville was one of his best stories, and one the show would have had a hard time doing with Batman.

In the course of his Kleinville story, Oliver developed a questionable attitude towards killing, which led to major conflicts between him and Clark. It led to Oliver murdering Lex Luthor, a major moral dilemma over the fate of Doomsday, and Clark taking over Green Arrow’s Justice League team. This dynamic wouldn’t have worked for Batman as the Dark Knight actually shares Superman’s commitment not to kill his enemies. By using Green Arrow and letting him clash with Clark over his no-kill rule, Kleinville was able to take their relationship in some interesting directions on the show.

Batman’s early entry into Smallville would have changed Green Arrow’s role

Smallville Oliver and Chloe

Details of the creators’ plans for Kleinville confirm that Batman would have been introduced in the early seasons if DC had relented, well before Green Arrow’s landmark debut in Season 6. If that had happened, much of Green Arrow’s interactions with Clark and the impact he has on Tom Wellings character had, had been superfluous. By the time Oliver showed up in Metropolis, Clark would have already encountered an orphaned billionaire hero using his fortune, fighting skills and crime-fighting gadgets. Kleinville Of course, Oliver could still have found room as a guest star, but it’s unlikely he would ever have become one of the show’s main characters.

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