Wizard World Comic Con has been taking Louisville by storm. A flood of fans of all things fiction swarmed the Kentucky International Convention Center on Saturday to see the sights, shop the stalls, and listen in on some of the most entertaining panelists that Louisville had to offer. One of the biggest names to the convention was definitely Arrow star Stephen Amell, who had the main ballroom stage to himself for a solo panel on Saturday afternoon. Amell’s panel ran for 45 minutes, and his dishes on the details of Oliver Queen and Season 4 didn’t disappoint.
One of the biggest aesthetic changes to Arrow in the fourth season has been the battle duds of the hero. The green-clad vigilante of Seasons 1 – 3 has gone for a sleeveless look in Season 4 that has had many viewers dubious about the practicality. Amell admitted that the sleevelessness seemed like a much better idea when it wasn’t chilly November, but he’d had more than fashion on his mind when giving his input on the new design. “If we’re really selling the idea of a fundamental change within this character,” explained Amell, “then we really need to do something different with the suit.”
The suit has come in handy is raising the stakes of the action sequences, and Amell promised that an upcoming episode directed by stunt coordinator James Bamford will bring the most epic action sequences that the series has seen so far, one of which will somehow include Oliver whipping a bad guy. Still, Amell maintained that what really sets Arrow apart are the characters and relationships behind the action.
On that note, any panel discussing the life of Oliver Queen would have been incomplete without touching on the hero’s lady love. Although Emily Bett Rickards was not present at Wizard World, Amell was enthusiastic in representing the Oliver half of Olicity. Host Tony B. Kim’s first question even regarded the “Ship of the Year” award that Oliciters snagged for Oliver and Felicity over the summer. While Amell admitted that he doesn’t quite know where the actual award is at the moment, he did use the opportunity to affirm his belief that the rabid fan support for the Oliver/Felicity love story is completely organic to the development of the dynamic.
It was a question about Olicity from a young fan that got the most “Awww!” reactions out of the crowd when she asked just why it is that Oliver loves Felicity. Stephen Amell gave her a heck of a good answer, saying, “The reason Oliver loves Felicity is because Felicity has allowed him to get in touch with pieces of his personality and his character that he thought were long gone. And even better, new pieces that he never knew were there, so she makes him a better person. And thus, he loves her.”
Frankly, if there were any in the audience who hadn’t let out an “Aww!” when the question was first asked, the expression on Stephen Amell’s face when he explained Oliver’s love for Felicity would have been enough to win them over.
The villains of Arrow were a hot topic as well. Amell sang the praises of new season 4 cast member Neal McDonough as Damien Darhk and was happy to talk about the awfulness of Malcolm Merlyn, but it seems that the villain that he would cast in his dream season would be a blast from seasons past. “I really don’t think that we’ve ever done any better than Deathstroke,” opined Amell, “I think that Manu Bennett was just a force of nature on the show. If I was writing my season, I’d just put [Oliver and Slade] on the island and just have them fight to the death.”
Amell failed to disclaim “Spoiler alert!” for this particular storyline, so it’s probably safe to assume that a Slade Wilson/Oliver Queen island death match is probably being saved for a Season 14 or so. Amell did drop one major spoiler, though: there will be an “iconic” fight coming up for Oliver with another Wilson.
All in all, the Arrow star’s solo panel at Wizard World Louisville was a whole lot of fun. Stephen Amell was a delight, and his enthusiasm throughout the entire panel made it clear that he was having fun at Wizard World for more reasons than just the impromptu morning bourbon tastings courtesy of some friendly Kentuckians.
Wizard World Comic Con Louisville opened on Friday, Nov. 6 and will come to a close on Sunday, Nov. 8 at the Kentucky International Convention Center. Arrow airs at 8 p.m. EST on Wednesdays on The CW.