Survival of the Fittest: Which TV Green Arrow Could Best Survive The Life of his Doppelganger?


Arrow started its final season off with a bang, bringing Oliver (and Diggle) to Earth-Two, where he met very different versions of people he had lost.

Yet it was still the Starling City he knew and loved, so he knew how to navigate things.

RELATED: Arrow Showrunner Explains Major Final Season Twist

Arrow was not the first CW show to introduce us to Oliver Queen. Queen was introduced to The CW’s Smallville on Smallville Season 6 Episode 2, played by Justin Hartley recently of This Is Us fame. For the purposes of this article, he will be referred to as Ollie.

It was recently revealed that Smallville Alumns Tom Welling and Erica Durance will be reprising their roles as Clark Kent and Lois Lane in this year’s crossover. Cheers to that. 

Michael Rosenbaum will NOT be appearing, and given his explaination on Twitter, I don’t think anyone can blame him.

RELATED: Smallville’s Michael Rosenbaum Reveals Why He Passed On Crisis On Infinite Earths Crossover

There is no word on whether or not Hartley will make an appearance. Considering the Arrowverse started with Oliver Queen, one would think he should be there in some capacity.

Last year’s crossover had an easter egg that implied Ollie existed somewhere out there; seeing him on our screens with his other iteration would be pretty epic.

With Arrow Season 8‘s Oliver hopping around to different places and earth’s under The Monitor’s instruction, we can’t help but wonder how he would fair in the Smallville-verse.

RELATED: Smallville’s Tom Welling to Reprise Superman Role for Crisis on Infinite Earths Crossover

Could he survive in his predecessor’s shoes? How would he get along with Clark Kent and the gang?

For that matter, could Ollie survive Starling City? Would he make friends with Felicity Smoak, John Diggle, Laurel Lance, and the late, great, Tommy Merlyn?

Oliver Queen, on any earth or show, is a survivor. Both Olivers made it off an island and became the Green Arrow. But which one could really make a go of it in the other’s shoes? Could either of these playboy turned vigilantes not just survive, but thrive?

Let’s find out. 

RELATED: Legacy: Green Arrow Comic Canon vs CW Arrow

Season 1 Oliver: Season 6 Smallville

As Arrow Season 8 Episode 1 reminded us, Arrow Season 1 Episode 1 introduced us to Oliver Queen, a man who cameback from five years in hell with one goal: to save his city.

RELATED: Arrow Season 8 Episode 1 Review: Starling City

But what if, instead of returning from Lian-Yu to the loving arms of Moira Queen and friend Tommy Merlyn, he found himself plopped into Kansas, to face off against the likes of Lionel Luther and a skeptical Clark Kent.


Arrow’s Oliver has no history with with the Luthors. He is full of more anger than Smallville’s Oliver was when he joined the Smallville cast back in 2006.

However, the people he is angry at would not be there. Smallville and Metropolis are not the cities he came back to save.

Much like his time in Hong Kong, Kansas would be just another detour for Arrow’s Oliver on his trip home. He wouldn’t know how dangerous the Luthors are, and he would have no reason to play Robin Hood. His goal would be to get back to Starling City.

Lovers and Friends

Ollie was originally a love interest for Lois Lane. We know that way back when, Oliver was still carrying a torch for Dinah Laurel Lance.

RELATED: Smallville’s Erica Durance to Reprise Lois Lane Role on Crisis on Infinite Earths

Not that that stopped him from hooking up with Shado or Sara.

Both Olivers were playboys, so Oliver may have made an effort to charm Lois. And he is charming. But he was also much more damaged than Ollie. I don’t see Lois hooking up with a damaged playboy who is hung-up on someone else.

Oliver made his way back from the damage he endured on Lian-Yu with the aid of his old family and friends, i.e. Thea, Laurel and Tommy.

He also met Felicity Smoak and John Diggle who helped him find hope again.

None of these people would be there to ground him on Earth-Whichever Smallville.

Ollie served as both adversary and inspiration to a young Clark Kent. They both learned about heroism through their tumultuous friendship. But would Oliver even listen to Clark?

Ollie didn’t really want to listen either, but Clark Kent is a persistant beacon of hope.

And he has his own beacon of hope, a beacon that Ollie eventually fell in love with. You know who I mean; the original bottle-blonde hacker extraordinaire whom Arrow’s beloved Felicity was often compared to when the show first premiered. 

That’s right, Chloe Sullivan.

She wouldn’t have been there for Oliver as she later was for his counterpart because she wasn’t the beaten and broken Chloe we came to know in season nine.

Plus, she wasn’t exactly single. A love triangle could happen, but I feel like at that point, Chloe would be pretty sold on being Jimmy’s girl.

Still, I think we can assume she would be his friend and support him as Felicity did in the early seasons of Arrow. She could be the girl he saw as a person. Not to mention she’s an experienced sidekick who could hack with the best of them and help him get home.

Because Oliver would want to get home. He wouldn’t want to make a home in Smallville. He’s been through too much. He wants to see his family and eat rocky-road ice-cream with Laurel.

Season 8 Oliver: Smallville Season 10/Post Series

If Arrow Season 8 Oliver went off with The Monitor to find himself married to Chloe Sullivan, we have a similar problem.

He’d probably find Chloe likable enough, but after being ripped away from Felicity and baby Mia, he would not be at home. For him this is just another island to survive.

Now, let’s look at Ollie.

Season 6 Ollie: Arrow Season 1

When we first met him on Smallville Season 6 Episode 2, he was a pretty together guy. He’d survived being stranded on an island, but it was  nothing like what Oliver went through. It was just an island, no crazy people trying to kill him. He was less broken and beaten-down.


Ollie fancied himself a modern-day Robin Hood. He wasn’t trying to right his father’s wrongs so much as he wanted to help people. His mission was noble, not some jaded vengeance crusade. 

RELATED: Arrow Comic-Con Trailer: A Love Letter to Stephen Amell & Oliver Queen

If that Ollie showed up in Starling, he would have been a different kind of Green Arrow.

He wouldn’t have the list.

He wouldn’t kill.

He would be more superhero than vigilante (minus the super part, of course, as neither Arrow ever had powers).

Lovers and Friends

He likely would have gotten on with Felicity. Remember, Ollie was trying to put together a team. He wasn’t forced into it. He wanted allies, and after he did a little research, we can only imagine Felicity would have been at the top of his list.

Unlike Oliver who was hung up on Laurel Lance when he met Felicity, Ollie was free and clear. He was a bit of a playboy, but really he just wanted love and family. He was much better at seeking out his own happiness in relationships.

Given Felicity’s similarities to Ollie’s eventual great love, and the fact that neither of them would be pining for other people they couldn’t have, I could see these two actually making a real go of it.

If they fell for each other it would have been natural and organic, minus the relationship drama that came with Olicity. Truthfully, even at his lowest, Ollie was much better at having healthy relationships. 

RELATED: 19 Seemingly Cute Couples that Went Downhill

However, he might not have been able to handle some of the darkness that Starling had to offer. It is questionable whether or not he could defeat Malcolm Merlyn of Slade Wilson.

Ollie Season 10/Post Series: Arrow Season 8

He had been through very little in comparison to Oliver and he would not have any superfriends to recruit and bond with.

I like to think he could hack it, but …

Like most of the characters in Smallville, Ollie went to a dark place in season nine. He became a killer and struggled with thoughts of suicide. However, by the time the series ended, he was happily married with a whole future ahead of him.

RELATED: 11 Couples That Break Up and Make Up and Do It Again!

If Ollie found himself in Arrow’s Star City at that point in his life, he probably could have survived pretty well.

He would want to go home eventually, but he’d be happy to comfort a grieving Felicity after Oliver went off with The Monitor. They would be just friends, of course, because both love their spouses, even if Felicity is kind of a widow now.

And I bet he would be great with baby Mia.

RELATED: Arrow’s Emily Bett Rickards Opens Up About Potential Final Season Return

Basically, Ollie would win at real life, relationships, and being the hopeful, helpful hero, but Oliver wins for surviving psychopaths and torturous situations.

So, that’s my analysis of how these two would cope with a switch, both at the beginning and end of their stories. Do you agree? Which switch would you prefer? Would you like to see Ollie with Felicity? Do you think they would have made a better couple? Let us know in the comments.


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Leora W is a staff writer for TV Fanatic..

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