Spoiler Warning: The following contains spoilers for Arrow season 3 and its finale.
In season 3 of Arrow, everyone Oliver Queen knows has worn/still wears some sort of superhero/supervillain costume. Everyone. Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) and John Diggle (David Ramsey) remain the ordinary members of “Team Arrow” even if Diggle previously suited up as the Green Arrow when needed and Felicity sported the Atom suit to in the finale.
With a team of heroes protecting Starling City by the end of the current season, if Diggle aims to remain a part of the movement, he’ll need to transform as well. Oliver, on his way out of the superhero game, tells Diggle “you’re a hero” and followed up with “if you’re going to keep going, you may want to find a way to conceal your identity when you’re out there.” What does that mean for Arrow season 4?
In season 3, Diggle got to start a family, re-team with Deadshot on a Suicide Squad mission, meet and work with Katana, The Atom and The Flash and lead assaults against the League of Assassins. For a (mostly) ordinary guy, these are quite a set of a accomplishments for a family man with a military past.
As a clear fan-favorite character of the show, an original creation of the series, DC Comics fans ate up speculation that this John could actually be or become John Stewart. Imagine John Diggle not only getting his own costume and mask, but becoming the most powerful superhero in Arrow. Ramsey confirmed earlier this year that he’s spoken with showrunner Marc Guggenheim and producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg about the Green Lantern possibility and that they would only tell him that they’re “working on some stuff.”
Fast forward to now, with Arrow season 3 completing and the day after, season 4 and another spinoff (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow) being promoted at The CW’s annual upfronts presentation in New York, and Ramsey can’t avoid the topic of suiting up himself. Chatting with ComicBook.com, the actor teased the popularity of the Green Lantern speculation, seemingly shooting down the John Stewart connection by reiterating that Diggle’s actually now a character in DC Comics (introduced in 2013 in Green Arrow Vol 5 #25).
“Everyone wants to talk about John Stewart. Is it “John Stewart Diggle” or “John Diggle Stewart” or whatever, and will he be Green Lantern? There’s gonna be – obviously, [EP] Marc Guggenheim has said publicly that it’s not the way to go right now. But people are still talking about it.
You know, I think – and Greg Berlanti has said this publicly too, I think that they’ve gone to great lengths to build up the mythos and persona of John Diggle. He’s become a character in the comic books! Hopefully, he stays alive in the comic books and he’s around for 20 years, and someone else will play him on TV or in a movie! That’s a great honor. I think they’ve taken great strides to making John Diggle part of the lexicon, and that’s an important thing. I don’t think you want to abandon that.
I think that’s part of the appeal. He’s just a regular guy from the Glades, from the hood, who joined the military, became special forces, and now he’s a super hero! I think there’s something very normal about him that’s part of the appeal.
I think if you put a mask on him as part of the Green Lantern Corps, and that’s wonderful by the way – John Stewart is a wonderful character – but you lose some of that. You lose part of the “everyguy” character.”
If you were looking forward to seeing Diggle suit up to protect Starling City, don’t worry. He will very likely sport some sort of mask as the character continues to evolve, especially in the (temporary) absence of Oliver Queen.
“Yeah, people have mentioned that, people have mentioned The Guardian, a few others… I do think you need some kind of concealment. I agree with that. And to that end, they are working on something. You will see something for Diggle next year, season 4. You will.”
The Guardian seems a more realistic fit for the live-action television story of Diggle and he’s a lesser known character from DC Comics who’s undergone a retcon already, with several different people operating under the alias. This path would give Arrow’s creative team more flexibility with the character without having to break comics canon to fit in a special effects adaptation of Green Lantern – even if both Arrow and Flash keep dropping Hal Jordan/Green Lantern Easter Eggs. How many times will Ferris Air be visited or namedropped before Mr. Jordan shows off his alien ring?
Diggle/Green Lantern art by Erkan Bahadir.