Perhaps the most important thing you should know about heroes is that they’re not defined merely by their physical superiority or whether they have a costume. Heroes are defined by their actions, their sacrifices, their dedication to protecting those that they owe absolutely nothing to.
Arrow is chalk full of heroes ranging from Green Arrow to Speedy to Spartan, all of which are costumed. But perhaps the show’s most underrated hero is the one watching their backs in the field and accomplishing near impossible feats with her intellect and compassion: Felicity Smoak played by the equally inspiring Emily Bettt Rickards.
You can hate Felicity Smoak all you want – and there are plenty that do for whatever reason – but nothing you say will make her anything less than the badass hero that she has become in her four seasons on Arrow. Felicity has shown us that you don’t need to possess physical superiority to be labeled a “badass.” You don’t need to have a costume or a super cool nickname (though she does have that, “Overwatch”) to be a hero. Being a hero comes from within. Being a hero is something that is defined by your actions.
You can hate Felicity Smoak all you want – and there are plenty that do for whatever reason – but nothing you say will make her anything less than the badass hero that she has become in her four seasons on Arrow.
Sorry, I’m still having trouble getting past the part where they use words like “Felicity Smoak” and “villain” as a comparison. Don’t even get me started on how these people believe that Felicity killed tens of thousands of people. People that believe that there’s just no attempting to reason with them.
There always seems to be drama surrounding these comic book stans and Felicity – at this point it’s clearly because they’re threatened by her to a degree – and it continues to be both infuriating yet humorous because there really is no sense to this so-called logic.
But let’s just discuss this, shall we? Yes, tens of thousands of people in Monument Point lost their lives because of a missile that Damien Darhk set off. Yes, Felicity wasn’t able to stop the missile. Does that mean that she “killed” those people? Of course not. And if you’re telling yourself or others that ridiculous crap then you need to reexamine your definition of “villain” and perhaps your sanity.
Damien Darhk – the scum that had no problem killing children – was responsible for the tragedy that killed tens of thousands of people. Darhk was nearly responsible for the destruction of the entire world. Felicity actually saved millions of lives by redirecting the missile.
But even though Felicity knew that it wasn’t her fault – and that she actually saved millions of lives – she still felt responsible for their deaths because she tried to convince herself there was something she could’ve done when in fact there wasn’t.
You want to know what would’ve made her a villain? If she didn’t feel some kind of responsibility for a tragic act that she was not responsible for in the slightest. Don’t try to place the blood of a soulless monster on the hands of an innocent woman who did nothing but try to save people.
Here’s the thing, Felicity is far from perfect. And I’m glad she is because that’s what makes her so relatable to so many people. She has her flaws, her flaws are visible on this show, and sometimes she doesn’t always think things through. But just because a hero is flawed doesn’t make them any less of a hero. Just because a hero doesn’t always make the best decisions doesn’t make them a villain.
Felicity Smoak is not a villain. I don’t care how much you hate her. I don’t care how much you try to twist her heroic actions into acts of terrorism. It doesn’t change the fact – and yes, it’s a fact – that Felicity Smoak is a hero. She’s earned that.
But just because a hero is flawed doesn’t make them any less of a hero. Just because a hero doesn’t always make the best decisions doesn’t make them a villain.
But enough of the negative. Let’s focus on the positive that is Felicity Smoak and the hero that she has grown into.
When we first met Felicity back in the show’s third episode, she was an IT girl working at Queen Consolidated who soon became Oliver Queen’s “personal internet researcher” as she helped him and Diggle catch the baddies in Starling City. Basically, she was a hero without even realizing what she was doing.
Fast forward four seasons and Felicity has evolved into a full-grown hero who has helped her team and the people of Star City countless times. She’s become an invaluable member of the team both as a source of heroics and heart. She’s experienced unspeakable tragedy and had to make hard decisions when it comes to her own self. She’s shown women that you can wear heels and be feminine and be a badass at the same time.
Felicity is a hero both as a member of Team Arrow and as (former) CEO of Palmer Technologies, where she showed that women could not only succeed in business but also dominate. And on top of that, Felicity somehow managed to successfully balance both full-time jobs alongside each other. If that’s not inspirational then I don’t know what is.
Felicity Smoak has redefined what it means to be a hero in a world where the heroes that tend to get the bulk of the attention wear costumes because it’s somehow more appealing.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it, there are heroes that walk among us every day. Doctors, police officers, teachers, etc. – those are every day heroes that don’t nearly the credit they deserve. But heroes aren’t in the hero game to have their praises sung. The only thing they care about is doing their job to the very best of their ability and hopefully managing to inspire or save others in the process.
Felicity Smoak has redefined what it means to be a hero in a world where the heroes that tend to get the bulk of the attention wear costumes because it’s somehow more appealing. Felicity has showed through her accomplishments, her struggles, and her determination that she not only possesses the traits of a hero but inspires hope within others as a hero.
The next time you go to a comic convention look for the little girls dressed as Felicity Smoak. Tell me that she isn’t their hero. Tell me that countless others don’t view Felicity that same way. Tell me that that doesn’t matter.
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Teacher by day, writer by every other free moment | Obsessed with sports, TV, books, movies, and superheroes | Proud shipper and supporter of strong female characters | Co-executive Editor for Fangirlish | Managing Editor for Bears Wire at USA Today SMG | Producer/Co-Host of Buffone 55 for Bears Barroom Radio Network | Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.