Fans of The CW’s vigilante justice show Arrow will finally get to see the initial fallout from the season 1 finale during the second season premiere tonight, but there have already been plenty of hints from the show’s producers as to what we might expect to see in Oliver Queen’s future. Having already included many characters from the comics (both friendly and not so friendly) as both series regulars and one-episode wonders, it’s always interesting to make guesses as to who might show up next.

A gallery of images from the season 2 premiere “City of Heroes” showed a lot of favorite characters returning, and also gave us a proper look at Isabel Rochev (Summer Glau), a new business rival swooping in while Queen Consolidated is weakened by the sudden change of hands. Isabel may well end up being the major overarching villain for season 2, but she won’t be the only antagonist who shows up to bother Oliver.

In a recent TV Guide interview, executive producers Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg confirmed that Black Canary (Caity Lotz) will make her first appearance in “City of Heroes,” and also answered some questions about whether the various villains who have been introduced, and those who will be in the future, will eventually come together and form the Suicide Squad:

“We took a step back and realized that we were in spitting distance of the Suicide Squad. As with all things, we always have to be really careful not to let our geek selves drive everything. It has to be at the right pace for the show. We’ve got some really cool ideas for how to bring Deadshot back into the show. You’re going to see that around Episode 6. We’re hoping to get some new viewers in Season 2, so we want to repopulate our world. The hope is that we’re moving in the right direction towards the Suicide Squad.

Right now, we’re taking it on a person-by-person basis. We have Deadshot as the leader of the Suicide Squad. We don’t have any definitive plans to bring them all together. But, as always with these things, we see what people like and don’t like.”

As a kind of counterweight to the gradually forming Suicide Squad, the introduction of Black Canary has raised questions about whether or not Arrow’s future might also contain Birds of Prey. Guggenheim said that they have ideas for it, but heavily implied that it would be dependent upon whether or not Jessica du Gouw would be available and willing to return as Helena Bertinelli AKA Huntress:

“We have an idea for how to do our version of Birds of Prey. When you think about it, we have a lot of pieces… There’s certainly a momentum towards that, but everything has to happen in due time. With respect to Birds of Prey specifically, there’s an actress that we particularly need to make that piece work and we need to check on her availability.”

The interview definitely gives the impression that a lot of dynamics are going to be changing in the second season of Arrow – everything from how the characters relate to one another to how Oliver Queen balances his life as a businessman and a vigilante. Interestingly, the producers consider Oliver’s first attempt at becoming a superhero to be a failed one – not only because he didn’t manage to save the Glades from the Dark Archer’s earthquake device, but also because of the clumsy and simplistic way he tried to simply pick all the bad guys off one-by-one:

“As bad as the city was in Season 1, it’s even worse now. That’s part of Oliver’s journey this season. We always say, ‘So goes Oliver, so goes the city.’ He’s in a very dark place and he really realizes in the premiere episode that he can’t be the vigilante anymore. It’s not enough to cross names off the list and target the one percent. That didn’t work. He failed last year.

“This season really needs to be about something else. The city needs a hero. It needs a symbol of hope. That’s why we titled Episode 1 ‘City of Heroes.’ That’s our title for the season in an odd way, because it’s really about heroes coming out of the woodwork like Oliver. Even the villains this season are going to view themselves as the hero.

“When you basically launch into this crusade, you put on an outfit, you’re using an exotic weapon and you are taking on the criminal element of the city, there’s going to be a response. In fact, there’s going to be a series of responses. Like Lance says in the first episode of Season 2, ‘Before the Hood came to town, we didn’t have earthquake machines and Dark Archers.’ Arrow is basically like this stone has been dropped into this huge pond and the ripple effects are spreading out starting out in the premiere.”

As well as Isabel Rochev and Floyd Lawton AKA Deadshot (Michael Rowe), villains for season 2 of Arrow include Michael Jai White as Bronze Tiger and Kevin Alejandro as Sebastian Blood. The way that Guggenheim and Kreisberg describe it, it sounds like the villains of season 2 will be a little less black-and-white evil than Malcolm Merlyn in the first season, and will actually see themselves as forces of good and righteousness. As the new CEO of Queen Consolidated, Oliver will also be forced to engage with his enemies using his daytime persona, which may require more finesse than the brute force that he prefers to use in the guise of the vigilante.

Based on this interview, it really does sound like Arrow will be maturing and becoming more complex in its second season, which is definitely a good sign. Be sure to let us know what you think of the season opener, and what you are hoping to see in the show’s future.

Arrow season 2 premieres Wednesday October 9th at  8/7c on The CW.

Source: TV Guide (via State Journal-Register)