The second season of Arrow, the first major TV superhero success story in the wake of the “Dark Knight” / Marvel Universe revolution, arrives on Blu-ray and DVD today, as well as full-season digital purchase.
It was also supposed to become available on Netflix streaming over the weekend. Originally scheduled for Sunday, September 14, the Netflix release was pushed to October 8 at the last minute. That’s the same date as the Season 3 premiere, which means no binge streaming to catch up before the new season beings. Disc and digital purchase is the only way to see the second season until then (you can watch five select episodes of the second season on Hulu, but that’s it).
It’s proven good business to make previous seasons available a couple of weeks in advance of the new season to build up excitement among fan and entice new viewers to tune in but Warner Bros. Television, which produces the show, has its eye on sales this time. The last minute delay is designed to boost sales on Blu-ray, DVD and digital platforms.
Arrow is the type of show that generally does well in disc sales—genre-oriented with a passionate fan base that likes to own its favorite series—and the disc editions are packed with supplements and include Digital HD Ultraviolet episodes for streaming.
Fans were not happy and the fan-oriented sites have tripping over themselves to get the details ever since the series failed to appear on Netflix on Sunday.
According to Variety: “Under pressure to boost the revenue generated by homevideo releases, “Arrow,” with its strong fan following and buzz surrounding its upcoming third season, packed with the appearance of high-profile comicbook villains like Ra’s al Ghul, could provide further incentive to widen a series’ distribution window with Netflix should sales pick up.” That could have very real reverberations next year when Netflix is ready to launch Gotham, which is signed for a Netflix streaming service exclusive before it premiered on TV.
Arrow: The Complete Second Season (Warner, Blu-ray+DVD Combo), based on the “Green Arrow” comic books, starts to resemble a traditional superhero series. The vigilante previously nicknamed “The Hood” rechristens himself “The Arrow,” makes a vow to no longer kill his opponents, and gets his iconic mask, gifted to him by a visiting scientist who is destined to become The Flash in a spin-off series in 2014 (you saw him here first, folks!).
The series continues in the same style, with its urban Gothic atmosphere, high-tech secret headquarters and civilian support team, and family melodrama playing out in the public and private life of Arrow’s secret identity, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amel), the once-spoiled rich kid attempting to take hold of the family business in the thoroughly corrupt metropolis of Starling City. This season adds another vigilante from the comics, Black Canary (Caty Lotz), who has history with Oliver (seen in the flashbacks to a Lost-like ordeal on a tropical island prison of killers), and a new criminal threat masterminded by Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett), who has a grudge against Oliver, and Oliver has a falling out with his mother (Susanna Thompson), who faces trial for her part in the first season conspiracy and then runs for mayor.
23 broadcast episodes on Blu-ray and DVD plus a bonus season one “recap” episode, three featurettes, and the 2013 Comic-Con panel.