While Arrow has been a successful and beloved series for the CW Network, there are some fans who have complained that Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) doesn't wear a mask, like he does in the comic books. Today, we have the first photos of Oliver donning his trademark Domino mask in the upcoming Season 2 episode "Three Ghosts", airing Wednesday, December 11 on The CW. Take a look at the photos, then read on for more details from executive producer Andrew Kreisberg.
Andrew Kreisberg explained that they went with the mask to emphasize his progression from vigilante to hero.
"Conceptually, it was something we wanted to do because Oliver himself is evolving as the Arrow - from vigilante to hero, sort of from Arrow to Green Arrow - and we wanted to see that progression in his costume as well. As Oliver is embracing being a hero, being a hero means stepping out of the dark and being more of a symbol, so he has to take steps to conceal his identity more. It's going to allow the Arrow to interact with people who don't know his identity in a much more organic way than having him constantly keep his head down."
The executive producer also talked about the process of designing the mask, and why they didn't use the mask right away in the pilot episode.
"A lot of our early attempts were very, shall I say, Joel Schumacher-esque. And it was really Greg who said not to overcomplicate it. And I think what's so wonderful about the design that (costume designer) Maya (Mani) came up with is that it really is very simple, and it feels as if it's been part of his costume since the beginning...once we finally had this mask and put it on Stephen (Amell), even Stephen was like, 'This is the right one.' For all of the work that went into creating his mask, those are all the reasons we didn't do it when we did the pilot, and also, sometimes, people have this knee-jerk reaction to seeing somebody in a mask. 'Oh, that's silly.' But I think that now that people see how serious the show is and how grounded it is, the mask is going to feel like a natural evolution."
Andrew Kreisberg also added that there is a very specific reason why Oliver dons the mask in the first place.
"He doesn't just put on a mask. It's actually a big plot point in an episode, and there really is a story behind, not only the need for the mask but also who provides him with it. It's going to be a little bit of a surprise, and once they see how the mask comes into creation, I think people will be really excited about it."