Arrow star Manu Bennett is teasing his return to the CW superhero series as Oliver Queen's deadliest enemy, Slade Wilson, AKA Deathstroke, with an ominous looking image via his personal Instagram.
Arrow is coming off its creatively revitalized fifth season, which saw Oliver and his ever expanding team of vigilante heroes take on Prometheus, the most calculating and sadistic big bad the show has seen. Revealed to be Star City District Attorney Adrian Chase (Josh Segarra), Prometheus forced Oliver to take on unlikely allies, including Slade Wilson, who had largely been absent from the show since its series-defining second season. The season ended on a cliffhanger, as Prometheus set off an explosion on Lian Yu that left the fate of virtually the show's entire supporting cast in question.
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At the very least, it looks like Deathstroke survived. Via his Instagram account, Bennett shared an image of his eye patch-wearing badass looking very intense.
Bennett's continued presence on the show should be a huge relief to Arrow fans. The show's series-best second season was defined by the conflict between Oliver and Slade. Not only was Slade the show's most compelling villain, the relationship between the two even made the show's long lamented flashback scenes work. Bennett showed up in one season 3 episode, but had been absent from the series until season 5's penultimate episode. The show featured a masked, voiceless version of Deathstroke not played by Bennett a few times in the intervening seasons, much to Bennett's chagrin, suggesting the actor was not on good terms with the show anymore. That turned out to be a ploy, as Bennett loudly criticized the show's producers for leaving him out on Twitter while simultaneously filming his season 5 scenes.
Slade Wilson's continued presence on Arrow is a promising sign for the show's sixth season, which will be something of a transition year for the show. The series has finally passed its five-season flashback structure, and producers have assured fans that the relationship between Oliver and Felicity that was largely back-burnered in season 5 will be addressed again this year.
Six seasons in, Arrow is now the elder statesman of DC TV series, and it was fortunate to find something of a second creative wind in season 5. The return of the show's greatest villain, as well as a newfound structural freedom, will hopefully continue Oliver Queen's creative renaissance.
The season 6 premiere of Arrow, titled ‘Fallout’, will air Thursday October 12 at 9 PM on The CW.
Source: Manu Bennett