The CW's Arrow changed up its formula last season when it chose to do less 'villain-of-the-week' episodes in favor of developing a sprawling, full season arc centered on Oliver's feud with Slade Wilson. It was a decision that improved the series as a whole, giving Arrow a more cohesive feel ripe for the worldbuilding Warner Bros. and DC Comics already had planned for their television properties.
With The Flash series joining Arrow in the fall, a crossover was inevitable. On top of that, Arrow season 3 already has a list of comic book characters joining the ranks: Wildcat, Katana, the Atom, and Manhunter; not too mention the graduation of Roy Harper from whiny teenage nuisance to fully-fledged sidekick, Arsenal. On the villain's side, they have the return of Malcolm Merlyn as a full-time threat, a brand-spanking new Count Vertigo, and hints of Ra's al Ghul finally appearing.
And if that wasn't enough to satisfy your DC lovin' soul, Entertainment Weekly has learned that Matt Ward (Tron: Legacy) has joined the series as Simon Lacroix, a.k.a. the villain Komodo. Komodo is a newer addition to Green Arrow's rogues gallery, first appearing in the comics only a little over a year ago.
Lacroix, like Arrow, is a trained archer and master at hand-to-hand combat. In the comics, he starts out as something of a protege to Oliver's father, Robert Queen, but soon gives in to greed and betrays his former mentor. Using his skills at business and combat, Lacroix causes trouble for Oliver both in the boardroom and on the streets as Komodo.
On Arrow, Ward's character will be a mercenary who comes to Starling City using Komodo as his codename. And though his introduction will come as a 'villain-of-the-week' in season 3's second episode, showrunner Marc Guggenheim stresses the series isn't returning to its season 1 ways:
"Yes, he’s the villain-of-the-week for the second week of the show, but you’ll see that Team Arrow’s pursuit of him is part and parcel of a season-long storyline. You’re going to know what happens to Komodo at the end of the episode, but it will be a little bit tied in better with the season-long mythology than villain-of-the week episodes have done in the past."
We saw Arrow use this strategy before when they first introduced characters like Count Vertigo, Shrapnel, and even Deadshot in a one-off episode, then later brought those characters back into the season's larger, unfolding storyline.
Let's just hope, for Ward's sake, that Komodo falls on the Deadshot side of things, where he's actually useful and has an impact on the story, rather than the Shrapnel side where he's there simply so Amanda Waller can prove she's serious.
Is Arrow beginning to include more characters than it can manage? How well do you think Komodo will fit in to the mix? Sound off in the comments below!
Arrow season 3 premieres Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 @8pm on The CW.