Arrow Season 6 Big Bad is Grounded, Gritty Crime Lord

Arrow - Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen

Arrow season 6 will pit Oliver and his allies against a gritty, grounded crime lord in the form of Richard Dragon. The show's season 5 finale left fans with a major cliffhanger, as Prometheus initiated an explosion on Lian Yu that could wipe out almost all of Team Arrow. The Arrow season 6 trailer shown at San Diego Comic Con revealed that we will see Black Canary (Juliana Harkavy) again, as well as Black Siren (Katie Cassidy) and Deathstroke (Manu Bennet), but the fate of many of Oliver's loved ones remains unknown.

We have to assume some more of our heroes will survive, especially as executive producer Marc Guggenheim has said that Oliver will take on a mentoring role in the upcoming season, guiding the survivors of the island explosion as they face both physical and emotional challenges. While the truce with Deathstroke may not last, and Helix remains "a dangling thread," it appears the focus this fall will be on a new major enemy.

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Richard Dragon was revealed at SDCC to be an Arrow season 6 villain, and Guggenheim explained to Comic Book the more grounded, gritty nature of Team Arrow's new adversary:

"You know, what I really like about our interpretation of Richard is, he’s very grounded. He’s not a flamboyant big bad, he doesn’t wear a costume, he really is a crimelord sort of in the Tobias Church model. For Tobias we only really saw him for about five episodes, so we were excited about the prospect of doing a cool, gritty crime lord, but for a longer period of time. We’ve never really done that on the show before, so it’s different."

The original version of Richard Dragon in DC Comics was a thief-turned-hero with an incredible mastery of a variety of martial arts. The New 52 reboot introduced Ricardo Diaz, Jr., the son of a drug kingpin who trained with the League of Assassins. After killing his sensei and taking on his name -- Richard Dragon -- the former Diaz went on to become a crimelord and lead a deadly team called the Longbow Hunters. From Guggenheim's description, it's clear that Arrow will be adapting the character from the New 52 comics.

Recently, EP Wendy Mericle ambiguously described season 6's big bad as "these people or this person," with the vague suggestion of multiple villains indicating we may get a version of the Longbow Hunters. The Hunters in the comics included Killer Moth and Count Vertigo, the latter villain having already appeared on Arrow during its first two seasons. The show has never felt beholden to the exact details from the comics, however, so a very different team-up of villains is likely.

Mericle also revealed that the villain would affect "the whole team personally and very directly," rather than just being an enemy of Oliver's or his Green Arrow alter ego. In the comics, Diggle was responsible for the death of Diaz's druglord father, so that could be tied into the show's plotlines. A team of villains also makes it easier to imagine how each Team Arrow member might be personally targeted, especially if that includes Felicity's new nemesis Helix. So far, it sounds like the showrunners are continuing with their season 5 promise to keep Arrow more grounded, and it should be interesting to see how all of these character conflicts intertwine in season 6.

NEXT: Every Trailer Revealed at Comic-Con 2017

‘Fallout’, the season 6 premiere of Arrow, airs on The CW at 9pm on Thursday, October 12.

Source: Comic Book

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