Arrow season 4 has done well with mystical villain Damien Darhk, bringing the magical world of DC Comics to the show that previously centered around the “realism” within the DC Universe. Arrow has evolved since its inception, but one fan-favorite aspect of the early show has been missing for two seasons now: the character of Deathstroke (as played by Manu Bennett).
Slade Wilson, or Deathstroke, is a popular mercenary within the DC Universe, often associated with Batman but used in this case as a villain for Oliver Queen, aka Green Arrow. In the show he is played by Manu Bennett (The Hobbit films, Spartacus). Bennett had a recurring role in season 1, with a regular role in season 2, where he appeared as the primary villain for the season. But since then he only appeared once, in a season 3 episode “The Return“, when we learned that Deathstroke is imprisoned in an A.R.G.U.S. facility on the island Lian Yu. His role has met with critical and popular acclaim, and many fans would like to see Manu Bennett return to the role of Deathstroke.
Now it seems that actor Stephen Amell, who plays Oliver Queen in Arrow, also wants Manu Bennett to return. ComicBook.com captured the above video clip from Heroes and Villains Fan Fest in New Jersey, where Amell expressed his desire to see Deathstroke again. Here’s a notable quote from the clip:
“Manu is a character, and Manu played a great character. And I really honestly think that Arrow has been missing something since he hasn’t been around. I really do. He was a transformative villain. I would really love it if Deathstroke could keep being a part of the Arrow universe.”
Manu Bennett is currently a regular star on MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles, but that shouldn’t get in the way of a return to Arrow. Hopefully the actor will have the time to schedule a reappearance on Arrow, if only for a few episodes. Slade Wilson was easily one of the best aspects of the early seasons, in large part due to Bennett’s acting, so we’d love to see him return in some form. Perhaps he could come back as a recurring character, much like the character of Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) who was the primary villain in season 1, but now maintains a mostly-friendly relationship with Team Arrow.
Then again, Arrow has taken broad steps away from the “realism” side of the DC Universe ever since The Flash aired and proved that it’s okay to embrace the campy, superhero craziness. Deathstroke was a villain back when realism was the focus, and perhaps Arrow‘s writers are hesitant to return to that angle of storytelling. It wouldn’t be too difficult to include the character despite the tonal shift in recent seasons; in fact, it might be interesting to see Deathstroke’s reaction to all this talk of magic and sorcery. Whatever the case, I’m sure many fans (including the show’s cast/crew) would be happy to see Manu Bennett return as Slade Wilson in future seasons of Arrow.
Arrow continues this Wednesday with ‘A.W.O.L.’ @8pm on The CW. The Flash and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow air on The CW on Tuesdays and Thursdays, respectively.