With the premiere of the highly-buzzed about superhero drama Arrow quickly approaching, we thought we’d bring you some important info about the comic book characters to be featured in the show. Based on DC Comics’ emerald archer, Green Arrow, Arrow tells the tale of millionaire playboy Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) who puts down the champagne bottle and picks up a long-bow in the name of justice, after being marooned on a mysterious island for five years.
Along with Green Arrow (and his family) it has been confirmed by executive producers Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim (Green Lantern) that many popular (and not so popular) DC heroes and villains will be making an appearance – so it’s time to brush up on your DC Comics Character knowledge, with ‘11 Confirmed DC Characters on CW’s Arrow’
Alias: Felicity Smoak-Raymond
First Appearance: The Fury of Firestorm #23 (comics); Season 1 episode 3 “Lone Gunmen” (Arrow)
Played By: Emily Bett Rickards
Who She Is: During one of the frequent super-powered battles that always seem to happen in Manhattan, the superhero known as Firestorm inadvertently magnetized an expensive cache of software programs, nearly bankrupting the shrewd businesswoman Felicity Smoak. Following a heated confrontation, the immature superhero retaliated against Smoak by transforming her clothes into soap suds (making her publicly nude); as a result, Felicity sued Firestorm.
At the same time, Felicity had acquired a new boyfriend in reporter Edward Raymond – father of Ronnie Raymond/Firestorm. After Felicity and Edward married, she eventually found out her stepson was Firestorm. Instead of giving him a well-deserved chastising, Smoak was supportive, only insisting that he become more responsible with the use of his powers.
Confirmed Changes: Not too much is known about how Emily Bett Rickards will be portraying Felicity Smoak – but it’s been confirmed that she will also be a manager of a computer software company who takes up the fight to keep Starling City clean, in her own way. It’s also probably safe to say that the Firestorm connection will be eliminated, given that Arrow is trying to avoid going the super-powers route.
First Appearance: Green Arrow Vol 4 #1 (comics); Season 1 episode 1 “Pilot” (Arrow)
Played By: Colin Salmon
Who He Is: In the comics, Walter Steele isn’t really a huge deal. When Oliver Queen disappeared due to the events of the “Blackest Night” crossover, Steele rises up as the new CEO of Queen Industries. Neither friend nor foe, his only notable appearance is when he welcomed Isabel Rochev (also known as The Queen) – who unbeknownst to Steele would usurp Queen Industries and become a ruthless villainess to Green Arrow.
Confirmed Changes: The most notable TV change to Steele is probably to his appearance – he has been switched from a young blonde Caucasian, to a slightly older, bald African-American. The Arrow version of Steele will have a more commanding presence, and marries Moira Queen after her husband apparently dies – thus becoming the step-father of Oliver Queen/Arrow.
Alias: Arthur King (Birth Name), The Dark Archer, Vordigan
First Appearance: Justice League of America #94 (comics); Season 1 episode 1 “Pilot” (Arrow)
Played By: Colin Donnell
Who He Is: Merlyn is an expert assassin with the bow and arrow who – as a member of the infamous League of Assassins (Batman Begins) – sells his fiercely acute skills to the highest bidder. When the reputation of the fledgling Green Arrow grew, the boastful Merlyn challenged him to a public archery duel; when the emerald archer publically bested him, Merlyn developed a personal vendetta against him. The grudge between the two would only grow when Green Arrow prevented Merlyn from killing Batman (his paid target) by masterfully deflecting his kill shot.
Recently Merlyn fell victim to the vigilante known as Cupid – a super-obsessed admirer of Green Arrow. Cupid has taken it upon herself to hunt down and kill his worst enemies (to prove her love to “her man”) – including Merlyn, whose throat she violently slit. Despite Green Arrow getting him to hospital in time to save his life, Merlyn remains in a coma suffering from brain damage and will never be able to speak again.
Confirmed Changes: The character of Merlyn has debatably received the biggest overhaul: reduced in age and now named Tommy Merlyn, he is revamped as a spoiled trust fund kid with no apparent skill other than hard partying and spending his parents’ money. Once Oliver Queen’s BFF – when Queen returns to Starling City a changed man, Tommy can’t seem to appreciate Oliver’s new sense of responsibility.
Alias: Chien Na Wei (Birth Name), Queen of the Pacific Rim, The Women without a Heart
First Appearance: Green Arrow Year One #3 (comics); Season 1 episode 2 “Honor Thy Father” (Arrow)
Played By: Kelly Hu
Who Is She?: China White is the leader of a large drug cartel that supplied the bulk of heroin to the Pacific Rim. Her opium fields and drug refinery were on an unnamed island where she enslaved the island natives to process her addictive namesake. China White first entered Green Arrow’s radar when Hatchett (his then bodyguard) convinces him to invest $14 million dollars with her to build resorts in Fiji – unbeknownst to Queen, though, the money was to fund drugs. China White – the self-proclaimed “Women without a Heart” kills Hatchett and is taken down by Green Arrow with the aid of one of the island slaves, Taiana.
Confirmed Changes: As it stands, it seems that Arrow’s version of China White will stay pretty close to her comic book counterpart – with the character still remaining a powerful drug lord from the Pacific Rim. It has also been rumored that China White’s unnamed drug island may be the very same one Oliver is stranded on for fives years.
First Appearance: Green Arrow #27 (comics); Season 1 episode 1 “Pilot” (Arrow)
Played By: Darren Shahlavi
Who Is He?: Constantine Drakon is a Greek assassin and one of the best martial artists in the DC Universe. He started honing his skill for murder at the tender age of 10 years old, taking on those who picked on him for his trademark short stature. Drakon encounters Connor Hawke, the Green Arrow at the time (and Oliver Queen’s son, long story), when he is contracted to tie up some loose ends of a construction company’s shady dealings.
Drakon would later meet the original Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) in a battle – a battle that ended very quickly when Drakon crucifies the emerald archer through both hands with his own arrows. The villain leaves Queen alive, stating that he won’t kill him until he is paid to do so.
Confirmed Changes: Like China White, Constantine Drakon will more or less remain the same as he does in the comics. Actor and real-life martial artist Darren Shahlavi stands about 5’9, so Drakon’s token shortness will most likely be played down.
Alias: Floyd Lawton (Birth name),The World’s Finest Assassin, The Man Who Never Misses, The Greatest Sniper on Earth
First Appearance: Batman #59 (comics); Season 1 episode 3 “Lone Gunmen” (Arrow)
Played By: Michael Rowe (the actor, not the Dirty Jobs guy)
Who He Is: Deadshot is one of the world’s finest assassins, well-known for his habit of never missing with a rifle and a near perfect kill record – until he came face-to-face with Batman. The cocky and devil-may-care persona Deadshot puts on hides a suicidal death wish, and despite his ease in killing, Lawton works very hard to protect his estranged ex-wife and daughter from his actions, not to mention those who might retaliate against him.
Deadshot mostly spent his time as a minor villain and later became a somewhat anti-hero core member of both The Suicide Squad and the Secret Six. As far as the comics go, he hasn’t really had too many run-ins with Green Arrow outside of Queen’s work with the Justice League – except for when Deadshot violently cleaned up the high-crime area of Star City where his daughter lives and then asked Green Arrow to patrol it regularly.
Confirmed Changes: At first glance it doesn’t seem like much will be changed as far as Deadshot goes – but it looks like his alter-ego Floyd Lawton will play a larger role in the show. No word yet on if Lawton will sport his trademark (and awesome) metal Deadshot mask – but like many fans, I sure hope so.
Alias: Dinah Laurel Lance (Birth name), Pretty Bird, Scream Queen, Canary
First Appearance: Flash Comics #86 (comics); Season 1 episode 1 “Pilot” (Arrow)
Played By: Katie Cassidy
Who She Is: Dinah Laurel Lance is a world-class martial artist and kick-boxer who assumes the costume and identity of her mother, the original Black Canary. As Black Canary II, she spent some time as a member of the Justice League of America, but acts primarily as field leader to the Gotham City female crime-fighting team, Birds of Prey. Besides her token fishnet and leather-clad costume, Black Canary is known for her metahuman ability the “Canary Cry” – an ultrasonic scream that, at its peak, could level a small building.
Black Canary and Green Arrow frequently fought crime together, then dated, and later married in a wedding that was crashed by a super villain cabal led by Deathstroke. Although the two super heroes are technically still married, they are currently estranged.
Confirmed Changes: Black Canary is another character getting a major TV overhaul. While she will still share a romantic past with Queen, it seems that all traces of her superhero alter-ego have either been severely watered down or eliminated entirely. The Arrow version of Black Canary will go by ‘Laurel’ instead of ‘Dinah’ and will work for a group called CNRI that helps people in need (in a yet to be disclosed way).
Alias: Helena Rosa Bertinelli (Birth name), Batgirl II, Helena Wayne (current continuity)
First Appearance: The Huntress #1 (comics), Season 1 episode unknown (Arrow)
Played By: Jessica De Gouw
Who She Is: Helena Rosa Bertinelli was born into one of Gotham City’s top mafia families; at age eight, she witnesses the bloody assassination of her entire family. Seeing the violence that her mob father previously shielded her from made Helena cold and brutal, causing her to seek revenge on those who killed her family. To accomplish her goal, she becomes the ferocious vigilante known as the Huntress and later joined Batman’s crew – even taking up the mantle of Batgirl for a time until Batman tossed her out due to her increasingly harsh methods. Later she would team up with Black Canary and Oracle (Barbabra Gordon) to form the Birds of Prey.
Currently the Bertinelli version of the character has been “killed” following the events of DC Comics “Flashpoint” crossover. Helena Wayne (Daughter of Batman and Catwoman from an alternate Earth) has since adopted the deceased Bertinelli’s identity in the New 52 reboot.
Confirmed Changes: The Arrow adaptation of the Huntress will be closely linked to the Bertinelli version, only she will be trying to take down her own father’s mafia crime family in the streets of Starling City. Appearing in multiple-episodes, Bertinelli will also be a potential love interest for Oliver Queen (here’s hoping for a Birds of Prey catfight with Black Canary).
Alias: Slade Wilson (Birth Name), Deathstroke the Terminator
First Appearance: The New Teen Titans #2 (comics), Season 1 episode unknown. Mask seen in “Pilot” (Arrow)
Played By: Currently unknown.
Who He Is: Deathstroke is arguably the most badass super villain/anti-hero in the DC Universe. Slade Wilson was genetically augmented by the government to be the perfect soldier, but the process also made him ruthless. Slade is one of the world’s greatest tacticians and assassins – matching wits and combat skills against DC’s greatest heroes, including Batman, Justice League and the Teen Titans. Deathstroke first encountered Green Arrow when he was hired to be the bodyguard for Doctor Light, (who was being chased by the Justice League). Deathstroke single-handedly beat the team of Elongated Man, The Flash, Zatanna, Hawkman, Green Arrow, Black Canary, The Atom, and Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) by systematically taking out every member.
Before Deathstroke could take possession of Green Lantern’s power ring, Green Arrow stuck an arrow in his right eye socket; this enraged Slade to the point he beat Green Arrow nearly to death, but was stopped when the majority of the JLA tackled Deathstroke to the ground. After Slade’s escape, Green Arrow finds Deathstroke’s cowl and a note stuck to the wall with the very arrow he stabbed into Slade’s eye socket, which read, “This is yours, We’re not done.”
Confirmed Changes: Currently almost nothing is known about the Arrow version of Deathstroke, except that he will be a skilled mercenary. Executive producers have confirmed Slade’s appearance, but not who will be playing him or how many episodes he will appear in. Similar to the comic book scene, Deathstroke’s tattered orange and black mask was seen in the Arrow extended trailer, mounted with a green arrow through the eye socket.
Alias: Speedy I: Roy William Harper, Jr. (Birth Name), Arsenal, Red Arrow; Speedy II: Mia Dearden (Birth Name), Mama Mia
First Appearance: Speedy I: More Fun Comics #73; Speedy II: Green Arrow vol 3 #2 (comics); Season 1 episode unknown, possibly “Pilot” (Arrow)
Played By: Unknown (possibly Willa Holland)
Who They Are: Speedy I: Having idolizing Green Arrow for years, Roy Harper became his ward and first sidekick, and grew to become one of the most accomplished marksmen in the DC Universe. Roy took the name “Speedy” because his shot was quicker than Green Arrow (or so Roy believed). Later Roy fell prey to heroin addiction, and an enraged Oliver abandoned him, leaving Black Canary and Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) to clean him up, and forever creating a rift between Oliver and Roy. Now under the moniker of Arsenal, Roy joined the Outlaws with former Batman sidekick Red Hood and former Teen Titan, Starfire.
Speedy II: Mia Dearden was a teenager when she was freed from years of living in a huge Star City prostitution ring by Green Arrow (Oliver Queen). Following that, Mia then became Queen’s ward and continuously tried to convince Oliver (who was busy trying to reconstruct his own life after coming back from the dead) to train her. Oliver refused, not wanting to put another youngster at risk. She began to secretly train with Connor Hawke (Ollie’s son) in archery and combat. Eventually Oliver relented and made her Speedy II – she also joined the Teen Titans – but not before it was revealed that she had become HIV-positive in the wake of her life of prostitution. Her current New 52 whereabouts are unknown.
Confirmed Changes: Well here’s where things get a little tricky – while executive producers have confirmed the appearance of “Speedy” in Arrow, it’s not confirmed how he or she will be set up. Currently, it’s strongly rumored that “Speedy” will be the cute pet-name Oliver has for his sister Thea Queen (Willa Holland) – but that doesn’t mean that she won’t take up a bow later in the series, should Arrow see a few successful seasons.
Played By: John Barrowman
The Situation: It’s been previously announced that Torchwood star John Barrowman has been cast in Arrow as a character simply known as “The Well-Dressed Man.” Arrow producers confirmed he will be a DC Comics character, but have yet to fill us in on whom. Many theories and speculation have been tossed out there – but it’s almost certain he won’t be a good guy, and will have ties to Oliver Queen’s stepfather, Walter Steele. So who can he be? Let’s check the list shall we?
Count Vertigo: Currently this seems the most likely suspect, as it would be easy to peg the rich count of the small eastern European country of Vlatava as the “Well-Dressed Man.” Count Vertigo is a well-known Green Arrow villain, who possesses a device that alters an enemy’s inner ear balance to crippling levels.
Stanley Dover Sr: Was a seemingly kindhearted and wealthy philanthropist that became an ally to the resurrected and amnesic Oliver Queen. In reality, Dover was demon-worshiping nut known as the Star City Slayer (due to his naughty habit of killing children), who sought to use Queen’s soulless body to replace his own withering shell.
Dr. Light: It might be a bit of a stretch, but let’s not rule it out just yet. Arthur Light started out as a bit of a lame Teen Titans villain that was able to manipulate light energy for his various robberies. After constantly getting stomped on by children, Dr. Light stepped up to violent murder and rape, causing the Justice League to resort to magically lobotomizing him to reduce his threat level (though Batman protested the action).
Deathstroke: We read about him before and he is currently uncast, but if you’re familiar with Barrowman’s work you might not see him in this role; nevertheless, I’m willing to give it a shot.
Like you, we have our own wish-list of heroes and villains we’d love to see in this or any season of Arrow. Some of our picks may appear to be a stretch; but as Smallville showed us, you never really know who the CW will let pop up in a DC Comics-related series. So here are a couple of characters we want to see.
Wonder Woman: Seeing the mighty Amazon princess stop by Starling City may not be as far-fetched as it first sounds. The CW is eyeing a Wonder Woman TV revival via a potential new series titled Amazon. Sure the NBC Wonder Woman pilot failed to take flight – but if at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again (Thanks Aaliyah!). Although, Arrow executive producers Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim have already downplayed the possibility of this happening. Boo.
Green Lantern (Hal Jordan): We may be dreaming, but how cool would that be? Hal Jordan and Oliver Queen have been pals for years and have often teamed-up in many adventures. Berlanti and Guggenheim were the team behind the Green Lantern movie, so maybe they might toss in a cameo – even if it’s just Hal and no ring.
Bruce Wayne: Everyone was hoping that Bruce Wayne would make an appearance in the lengthy run of Smallville and it never happened. Although there is no connection between Arrow and Smallville, the CW might take pity on hopeful fans and give the billionaire alter-ego of Batman a TV nod. It’s rather unlikely that Batman will swing into Starling City – but the Wayne and Queen families have had a longstanging business and personal relationship, so maybe Bruce might hop a helicopter to take a look at his investments in person. And with Huntress and Deadshot already in the mix…
If you have any other DC Comics characters to add to the wish-list or have something to say about the confirmed characters – shoot us a comment below and catch the Arrow premiere Wednesday, October 10 on the CW.