The "Arrow" series premiere is finally upon us. Before you make your way to Starling City, however, it would be wise to get yourself acquainted with some of the city's most prominent residents. Read on for our rundown of the key characters you'll meet in the "Arrow" premiere!
» Before donning the emerald hood and wielding the lethal bow, Oliver Queen wasn't any different from many of the other philandering billionaires comic book fans are familiar with: careless, booze-hungry, and completely unable to stay away from women, despite being in a serious relationship. In short: the Oliver of five years ago is a total jerk.
» Things change for our hero due to grisly circumstances: Oliver is involved in an accident while out at sea, one that kills his father and other loved ones, and leaves him stranded alone on a remote island. This is where he spends the next five years of his life. This is where a hero is born.
» Upon rescue, Oliver returns to Starling City with a better attitude and renewed purpose. He knows definitively that his city has been corrupted, and that he needs to take extreme measures to free it from the clutches of crime. And to that end...
» ...Oliver becomes Arrow, an eagle-eyed symbol of justice in a city that very much needs it. Though much has been said about how Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" trilogy inspired "Arrow," there's at least one critical difference between Bruce Wayne and Oliver Queen: unlike Batman, Arrow is not opposed to killing his enemies.
» There are obstacles standing in Arrow's way, some of them deadlier than others. For instance, John Diggle has been hired as Oliver Queen's bodyguard. A highly trained former soldier, it's literally Diggle's job to watch over and protect Ollie, much to our hero's annoyance. Of course, Diggle has no idea that Oliver really needs no protection at all.
» The people Oliver really needs protecting from might be sleeping a hallway away. His mother Moira and her new lover Walter Steele are shady characters, with Moira in particular possessing a secret knowledge of the criminal activity going on in Starling City. How Ollie will ultimately confront that truth is a matter for another day.
» Oliver isn't without allies in his own home and city, of course. His sister, Thea, remains a true friend and close confidant, even if he can't tell her everything about his crime-fighting agenda just yet. That doesn't mean he won't be able to tell her the truth one day, however, especially considering a none-too-subtle hint at her eventual destiny as Arrow's trusty sidekick Speedy in the premiere episode.
» If crime-fighting is number one on Oliver's priority list, number two is keeping Laurel Lance safe. Laurel, once Oliver's girlfriend, is now a high-positioned attorney with occupational interests that will certainly put her on the same path as Arrow. Like Thea, however, Laurel might not be on the sidelines of crime-fighting for long...
» Complicating matters for Oliver and Laurel is Detective Quentin Lance. This hard-nosed cop isn't just Laurel's father with a grudge against the reckless Oliver; he's also the lead investigator into the case of Starling City's new and — in some people's opinions — unwanted masked avenger.
» But maybe, just maybe, Detective Lance would be wiser to keep a closer eye on Tommy Merlyn, Oliver's best friend. Without five years of isolation and self-reflection to draw upon, Tommy hasn't moved past his womanizing ways like his secret superhero pal. There's a clear sense of friendship between the two, yes, but there are hints of rivalry there as well — and as fans of the comics well know, that relationship between Queen and Merlyn will ultimately prove deadly.
Are you looking forward to the "Arrow" series premiere? Let us know which characters interest you most in the comments section below or hit us up on Twitter!