Well it looks like the CW’s hit vigilante drama Arrow is giving the DC villains a bit of a break by casting former Alias alum David Anders as a new big bad with no comic book counterpart. While not a comic book related villain, Anders’ new role is being pegged as “one of Oliver’s greatest challenges yet” (… which all his enemies seem to get tagged as).

Making his way to Starling City early next year in episode 13 titled ‘Betrayal’, Anders will play a ruthless career criminal named Cyrus Vanch, who is recently released from prison after a long sentence. For some yet to be revealed reason Laurel (Katie Cassidy) is particularly invested in taking Vanch down and when she discovers that the police can’t get him off the streets, she turns to the vigilante Arrow (Stephen Amell) for help.

Unfortunately for all involved,the cunning Vanch is one step ahead of them and has his eye on seizing control of Starling City’s criminal underworld by eliminate the man criminals fear most.

Anders is the latest TV staple that Arrow is adding to its list – winning over genre-related fans with Torchwood star John Barrowman and Fringe favorite Seth Gabe also as villains. Anders is probably best known for his role as super-spy Julian Sark on Alias and recently the twisted Uncle John on CW’s Vampire Diaries. Currently Anders can be seen on ABC’s fairytale drama Once Upon a Time, as the mysterious Dr. Whale – who after much speculation was later revealed to be the misunderstood Dr. Frankenstein.

In other Arrow news, Actress Jessica De Gouw teases the introduction of her own vigilante character Helena Bertinell, a.k.a. the Huntress. Unlike Anders new role, De Gouw’s Huntress has strong comic book ties – which is something the Aussie actress is elated about, despite the difficultly of playing a duel role. In a recent interview De Gouw spoke about how knowing the source material is key, saying:

“It’s challenging for me because I play Helena and the Huntress and I have to be able to hold my own regarding the duality of the role. I have to be able to kick butt and all of that.”

“I went back to the comics. I think the comics are the best place to start. That’s where it originated. That’s what the fans want to see. That’s what I wanted to go for. I don’t think it helps to impersonate someone else who’s already done it perhaps. Because this isn’t like anything else. It looks different and it feels different. And it’s a different tone. She’s pretty ruthless. She’s certainly not as controlled as she possibly could be. I mean, she’s a vigilante of sorts and in her own head she justifies the choices she makes. It’s born out of the relationship with her family and her father and rectifying the wrongs that were done there. So that’s where it all comes from.”

De Gouw also eased nit-picky fans about her updated costume. While the purple and black clubwear with a cape is out, De Gouw lets fans know there’s still little nods to the comic version by saying:

“There are hints of purple in most things. Just a little dab here and there. Just to suggest the right things. But it’s definitely part of the costumes.”

Making her debut in tonight’s episode ‘Muse of Fire’ De Gouw promises the Huntress will enter with a “punch” (I’m sure she means literally) and that the two budding vigilantes will share an instant attraction. De Gouw went on to say:

“There’s something very similar about them. And I think that’s where the attraction comes from. They find something they can relate to and appreciate. And I don’t think the rest of the world necessarily gets it all the time. It’s just sort of an instant recognition maybe… of something pretty cool.”

What say you? Happy that the CW is giving the DC Comics characters a bit of a rest, or keep ‘em coming because they’re awesome. Sound off below!

The Huntress swings into Arrow tonight @ 8/7c on the CW and catch Anders new big bad in early 2013.

Source: TV Line and Comicbookmovie