Warning: SPOILERS for The CW's Elseworlds
After years of hoping, Arrow fans finally have their answer: John Diggle, the trusted friend and former bodyguard of Oliver Queen really DOES become the superhero Green Lantern. Just... not in the reality in which Arrow takes place.
That's about as bittersweet a bombshell as could be dropped on fans of The CW's Arrowverse, but considering the alternative, we're willing to bet fans will still see it as good news. Just in case the Green Lantern fans out there missed the surprise in Arrow's part of the "Elseworlds" crossover, we're here to explain.
The moment actually comes and goes fast enough for even those paying attention to miss - especially considering the Elseworld crossover story throws one alternate reality after the other at the audience. But before the crossover even began, the teaser showed the Barry Allen of the original Flash TV show bruised and beaten, with his world - officially dubbed Earth-90 - destroyed by The Monitor.
That classic Flash (John Wesley Shipp) makes his return in the final scene of this week's Arrow to warn the show's heroes of the coming calamity. Upon his arrival, this alternate Earth Flash needs to quickly clarify that he's actually the Barry Allen of his Earth, and not this Earth's Henry Allen (or the Jay Garrick of Earth-3). But once the introductions are made, Barry seems surprised to see a familiar face standing among these strange heroes. Looking right at Diggle, the Flash of another Earth makes just one observation:
Hello, John. You're not wearing your ring... Things must be different here.
The show moves on without dwelling on the moment, but the obvious wink to the fans is impossible to miss. Assuming, that is, that those fans were around in the earlier seasons of Arrow and The Flash, when more than one hint was regularly being dropped about Green Lantern coming to The Arrowverse. But even before the hints of Hal Jordan, fans began to notice that John Diggle's military record, inherent heroism, and inability to not jump into a fight was drawing him closer and closer to the second Green Lantern, John Stewart.
When Diggle actor David Ramsay was asked about the similarities back in 2015, he went so far as confirming that talks about 'John Diggle Stewart' as The CW's Green Lantern had taken place behind the scenes. That was before Diggle received his own vigilante identity as 'Spartan' and Warner Bros. started formalizing their plans for a Green Lantern Corps movie.
Since then, the showrunners have had to let fans down firmly, making it clear that Green Lantern won't appear in the Arrowverse for a number of reasons. An easy reality of TV production to understand, but a hard one for Diggle fans to accept, nonetheless.
So we hope those Diggle enthusiasts will choose to take this latest throwaway moment in Arrow's crossover episode as a reward for their belief. He may still be a military man fighting criminals on The CW's Earth-1. But in another time, on another world, John Diggle fulfilled his destiny of wearing the Green Lantern ring upon his finger. Either that, or the John Diggle of Earth-90 just has a really cool ring he's really proud of.
Arrow will return for the remainder of season 7 on January 21, 2019.