As San Diego Comic-Con 2013 comes to a close, all our favorite big screen superhero projects have had a slew of exciting updates. But that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been news regarding superheroes on the small screen – namely for The CW’s runaway hit, Arrow.
Recent news for the series has showcased Oliver’s upcoming array of gadgets and redesigned base, along with the addition of Firefly‘s Summer Glau as a business rival. Now Warner Bros. has announced the addition of two more characters from the DC Universe: Michael Jai White will play Bronze Tiger, while Kevin Alejandro will portray Sebastian Blood. Plus: The season 2 trailer is here (above)!
The trailer showcases some new characters, including Glau, a whole lot of crazy-pants action, some shadowy threats to Starling City, a look at the Arrowcave’s makeover, and what seems to be scenes set in a foreign locale (more flashbacks?). We also get a fleeting look at the bad-ass lady vigilante, Black Canary.
About a month ago, executive producer Mark Guggenheim teased two upcoming big baddies, and now we know who they are. Jai White is a familiar face to comic book movie fans, having played Spawn in the 1997 film of the same name, the Joker-dispatched gangster Gambol in The Dark Knight, and Jax in the Mortal Kombat TV series. His Arrow character is fairly obscure, but has quite the epic backstory.
Acording to the official press-release:
Michael Jai White plays Ben Turner, a claw-wielding assassin better known as Bronze Tiger, who’s well known to DC Comics fans as a member of both the League of Assassins and the Suicide Squad. On Arrow, he’ll form an unholy alliance with fan-favorite villain China White (played by Kelly Hu), another well-established character in the DC Comics universe.
The League of Assassins is primarily known as a villainous entity in Batman mythology, and in the comics the Bronze Tiger battles – and defeats – the Dark Knight, events which led to the death of Kathy Kane, A.K.A. Batwoman.
While the Bronze Tiger eventually became an ally to the Justice League, his initial introduction here as a “claw-wielding assassin” is a strong indication that he’ll be first and foremost a villain in Arrow.
As for Alejandro – who has appeard on Southland and True Blood – here is the official rundown on his character:
Kevin Alejandro plays Sebastian Blood. Drawing inspiration from the iconic New Teen Titans nemesis Brother Blood, Sebastian is an alderman who rises to power in the wake of the earthquake that devastated Starling City in Arrow’s first-season finale. Blood’s “man-of-the-people” popularity instantly places him at odds with Oliver Queen, whose family he blames for the quake.
In the pre-New 52 continuity, Sebastian Blood was descended from a priest in the fictional country of Zandia, who had coveted a certain shawl he believed to be “Christ’s prayer shawl.” This didn’t work out so well in the long run, as “the shawl gave him invulnerability and reduced his aging, but the priest he killed cursed him to be slain by his son before his hundredth birthday. Upon doing so, his son became the second Brother Blood. He, in turn was killed by his son, and this continued for seven centuries.”
So this is a pretty bonkers origin, even for a superhero show. Arrow has established itself as existing within a relatively grounded universe, so while this incarnation of Sebastian Blood “drew inspiration” from the New Teen Titans version of the character, expect Blood’s characterization to hew closer to the revamped description above.
Name-dropping a high-profile Batman antagonist like the League of Assassins – coupled with the various well-known DC Comics characters brought to life on the show (the Huntress, Firefly, Deathstroke the Terminator) – the background of these new characters (the comic book Sebastian Blood has had run-ins with Nightwing, A.K.A. former Robin Dick Grayson) might fuel the notion that Bruce Wayne (not Batman) could appear in Starling City at some point. Anything’s possible, but is it likely? Stay tuned for more news on Arrow Season 2.
Arrow returns to The CW for it’s second season on Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 @8pm.
Source: Warner Bros.