The minds behind Arrow certainly weren’t kidding when they teased the amount of DC Comics characters that would be appearing in live-action as the show progressed. Hot on the heels of adding their own version of Roy Harper a.k.a. Speedy, James Callis (Battlestar Galactica, Eureka) has been confirmed as the latest addition to the growing rogues gallery.
He’s not the first actor familiar to fans of Battlestar to make the trip to Starling City, but the character he’ll be portraying will be familiar to devoted Green Arrow fans, and could spell big things for future villains of the series.
The announcement of Callis’ addition comes via TVGuide, naming his character as ‘The Dodger,’ an international jewel thief who plays puppet-master to the citizens of Starling City, meaning Oliver and Diggle will need to fight him in a somewhat unconventional way. The writers continue to add to the number of villains lining up for a shot at Ollie in the coming months, but Callis’ role could be one of the more promising we’ve seen.
There’s only one ‘Dodger’ in DC comic books who also happens to make his living as a high-end thief, until being chased down and brought to justice by Oliver Queen and Speedy. We doubt that the live-action TV series will stay faithful to his Mjolnir-esque lightning rod, but Callis most certainly has the hair for the role. Similarities or tweaks to costume aside, it’s what happened (in the comics) when Dodger was apprehended that could promise something different from this villain.
Upon being captured, Dodger flat-out flips on his criminal connections, siding with Oliver and giving him information regarding the League of Assassins. Could this be a sign that Arrow‘s writers are setting up the secret society of deadly assassins as a lasting enemy? Technically, The League has already been established in the Warner Bros. continuity, under the name of ‘The League of Shadows’ in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy.
We know that the idea of bringing the worlds of Batman and Arrow closer together is on the minds of Arrow‘s producers, and the increasingly significant role of Helena Bertinelli (Jessica De Gouw)- a character from Batman comic books – is laying some serious groundwork. We’re still waiting to see how the Deathstroke story line plays out, but the show’s mid-season finale heavily implied that there was another figure pulling the strings of Starling City’s organized crime. And we’re not talking about the Dark Archer.
We won’t jump to conclusions and argue that Ra’s al Ghul could be the man referred to, or if the writers decide to get creative and place Deathstroke as the head of the organization in his stead. But Callis’ casting as Dodger may not play out as a simple ‘villain-of-the-week’ appearance. The thief’s arrival certainly won’t bring the same ratings boost as the Terminator did, but it could nevertheless turn the show in a new direction.
Then again, Callis’ incarnation of Dodger could be little more than a cockney thief. In the comics he enters into a romance with Mia ‘Speedy’ Deardon, but that certainly won’t be happening on Arrow. Whatever the case, fans have more reasons to pay close attention to the show in the new year.
What do you Arrow fans think of the potential for opening up the show’s storyline to more villains? Should they continue incorporating elements of DC Comics or forge their own path?
Arrow is currently on hiatus, with a return slated for January 16, 2013.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.