Are Arrow and Revenge Basically the Same Show? A Side-by-Side Comparison

Arrow premiered last week not only to great ratings for The CW, but also to the observation from some viewers (including me) that the superhero drama bears some startling similarities to ABC's Revenge. We've mapped out some of the more telling traits, and it makes us wonder if Takeda didn't also train Oliver Queen along with Emily Thorne.

Emily Thorne/Amanda Clarke

Oliver Queen/Arrow


Dead father, missing mother, and a half-sister who had a little bit of a drug problem but she’s clean now.

Dead father, mother who had Oliver kidnapped and interrogated, and a sister nicknamed Speedy who currently has a little bit of a drug problem.

Melodramatic voiceover

“My father's chance to bring justice to the truly guilty was stolen from him. His only option was to forgive. I have others. They say vengeance is a dish best served cold, but sometimes it's as warm as a bowl of soup.”

“I've been stranded for five years. I've dreamt of my rescue every cold dark night since then. For five years I've had only one thought, one goal: Survive. Survive and one day return home. The island held many dangers. To live, I had to make myself more than what I was, to forge myself into a weapon. I am returning not the boy who was shipwrecked but the man who will bring justice to those who have poisoned my city.”

Guiding hand

Dead father's evidence

Dead father's list of names

Box o'vengeance

A small box with the iconic infinity symbol; contains evidence against the Graysons and their associates, mementos, and the Shamu Cam.

A large green box with a small lock and engraved Chinese characters; contains Oliver's bow, a notebook full of names, and possibly other items.

Hit list

Emily was originally concerned with exacting revenge on a number of people associated with framing and murdering her father, specifically the Grayson family, but she's since turned her attention to those who have kept her mother away from her (who, of course, are associated with the Graysons).

Corrupt business leaders of Starling City who steadily tore down the city while profiting from its collapse. Oliver’s father admits to being one such person.


Investments in Nolan Ross’s company made by Emily’s father have paid off handsomely, giving Emily enough money for swanky digs in the Hamptons.

Despite being “dead” for five years, it seems Oliver didn't have much of a problem accessing funds from his family’s company or offering a $2 million reward for his own head.


Emily found a revenge sensei in the Japanese businessman Satoshi Takeda, and spent years preparing herself for her mission.

Currently unknown, but someone had to train Oliver to do all that stuff. You don’t learn Russian on an island in the North China Sea all by yourself.

Secret identities

Emily Thorne is actually Amanda Clarke.

Arrow is actually Oliver Queen.

Significant others

Amanda-as-Emily lied to childhood love Jack about her identity; now she must watch as the woman posing as Amanda is involved with him.

In the pilot, Oliver pushed away his ex-girlfriend, Dinah Laurel Lance, by pretending to still be the playboy he was before the yacht sank.


Emily favors wigs, baseball caps, and jackets to hide her identity. Of course, her entire existence as Emily Thorne is a disguise.

Oliver dons a green hood, a quiver of arrows, a green outfit, and paints on a green domino mask when he goes out as Arrow. But he’s also posing as the debaucherous playboy he used to be before his time on the island.

Have you noticed any other similarities? Share 'em in the comments!

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