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Arrow Season 4: Primetime Ready Rogues
A common complaint about the show Arrow is that, for all the effort put into working on this as a Green Arrow show, there have been a surprising amount of villains not from Green Arrow lore. Characters such as Bronze Tiger, Ra’s Al Ghul, Brother Blood, Cyrus Gold, and Captain Boomerang have all appeared on Arrow, but their overall connection to the titular character is scant, at best. At one point, it would be easy to claim this is merely the side-effect of Arrow’s less than massive rogues gallery, as compared to major heroes like Superman, Batman, and even The Flash. However, since DC Comics most recent reboot, that is no longer a plausible reason.
Green Arrow’s title runs alongside the most protected series in numbering, along with the likes of Aquaman, Batman, Superman, and Justice League, and in the 40 plus issues a host of new villains have been crafted for Oliver. With the upcoming season taking more cues from the comics, I think it’s not totally out of the question to think that more of the villains will be recognizable as purely Green Arrow rogues. With that hopefully being the case, I’ve compiled this list of Green Arrow enemies that Arrow could utilize to help increase interest in Arrow and draw in more fans of the character on his own merits.
(Left to right) Blood Rose and Midas
The deadly duo of Blood Rose and Midas appeared early on in Green Arrow’s New 52 title. Blood Rose is a former lover of Oliver’s (though he doesn’t remember her) who now wants him dead, while Midas is a former scientist who gained a corrosive touch after a botched attack by eco-terrorists wanting his bacteria-eating experiments for themselves. He now cares only for Blood Rose, with the two having a semi-typical relationship. In their appearances, when they weren’t trying to kill Oliver, they would argue, make-up, fight, and even die for each other.
Midas and Blood Rose have the solid, agility/power combination going for them, and a new Metahuman foe for Arrow could help differentiate this upcoming season from past ones in a big way. Much like Brick, Midas is much more than strength though, having been a gifted scientist, it would be interesting to see how Midas deals with Blood Rose’s former attraction (that may or may not remain to Oliver,) and see the villain fall prey to his emotions for a change. Likewise, Blood Rose would continue the tradition of kick-butt women that Arrow employs, though with a bit more contemporary feel, given her penchant for guns over other weaponry.
King Leer and the Skylarks
Full disclosure, this arc was generally all over the place, and even the biggest Green Arrow fan probably hated it. With that said, I’m of the school of thought that almost any character can be salvaged. The Skylarks form the triplet daughters of King Leer, a man who has a thing for creating mutants and conquering. The three sisters though, can’t be separated though, because they were “created” by him, will go to almost any lengths for their father, save for one, who falls for Oliver. Leer, for his part, is just a powerhouse, but again follows the trend of intelligent brawlers that Green Arrow tangles with on a semi-regular basis.
While Oliver is in a relationship with Felicity, it’s not uncommon for these sort of things to be tested, and what better way to test a man than to offer him three beautiful women? Probably not what your typical comic fan is interested in, but the show does have a wider appeal so it’s not something to totally throw out.
Jin Fang is one of those rare foes that gets to challenge both Oliver Queen and Green Arrow. Their meeting saw Oliver flying to China to meet Mr. Fang, whom had controlling shares of Queen’s company. Not willing to meet Fang’s demands in exchange for the shares, the two would engage in a sort of chess match, that saw Oliver thrown in jail, fighting ghosts and children, before coming face to face to face…to face…with Fang once more, on the battlefield. Proving to essentially be untouchable though, as a powerful businessman, the two would see their battle come to a stalemate of sorts.
With a little mix of what is described as “The Old China” and “The New China” Jin is a unique foe for Green Arrow in the reboot, and could likely prove so in Arrow as well. His introduction, could also see the introduction of another interesting character from China: Suzie Ming. Considering the series has touched upon some events in China, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see the country visited again, as things seem to be coming full circle, as we learn more about the time before Oliver’s rescue.
Junior Diaz/Richard Dragon II
Richard Dragon is a name that has been associated with one of DC’s greatest hand-to-hand combatants. Dragon’s list of students includes Bruce Wayne, Conner Hawke, and The Question. Following the reboot, however, things are a little different, and the man known as Richard Dragon, is in fact the son of a criminal Diggle and Oliver put away early in their career. Seeking to strengthen himself, the boy then known as Junior Diaz, sought out the original Richard Dragon as his mentor. Teaching him all he wished to know and then some, in the ways of patience, combat, and philosophy, Junior would kill his teacher and take his name, becoming the second Richard Dragon.
Taking over Seattle’s criminal underground with his bare hands, in the absence of Oliver Queen, Richard Dragon and his Longbow Hunters would bring the city to its knees. Besting everyone in his path, from Diggle, to Shado, to Oliver himself, it could be considered a fluke that Arrow managed to put away Richard Dragon. In the series, we’ve seen Oliver go toe-to-toe with powerful fighters, but it’s questionable to ask if he’s ever faced anyone as skilled as Dragon. Many of the better fighters Arrow has encountered in his comic series have been nerfed to an extent in the series, including Komodo and arguably Deathstroke. Allowing Richard to maintain his level of ability from the comics would go a long way into making him a truly interesting and recognizable threat to Green Arrow in the series.
Arguably the greatest addition thus-far to the Green Arrow mythology since Flashpoint could offer one of the most satisfying threats to Oliver’s live-action incarnation. The secret society known as The Outsiders may at first appear similar to the League of Assassins Oliver waged war with in season 3, but beneath the surface bring a much different story to the table. Composed of Clans represented by sacred totem weapons including the Shield, Fist, Sword, Spear, Mask, Axe, and Arrow, this age-old group has helped to keep the world at peace, ensuring that no force grows too powerful. However in recent years, greed and corruption have taken hold of the group, splintering it.
Several members of The Outsiders have already appeared in Arrow thus-far, including Shado—who in the comics was the lover of Robert Queen, Komodo, Robert’s killer in the comics and potential leader of the Arrow Clan, and Katana, leader of the Sword Clan. Over the course of the story, Oliver learns a number of shocking revelations about his past and his family. Allied with the Mask, Sword, and Axe clans, Oliver faces off against the Spear, Shield, and Fist Clans. With a new, mystic element being introduced in this season, season 4 makes for a perfect time to introduce the Outsiders mythology to the Arrow franchise!
The Green Arrow mythos has seen a lot of expansion in recent years, and it’s time that outside media make a concentrated effort to incorporate these new elements into the series, instead of taking so much from so many different areas of the DC Universe.
With that out of the way, what villains, Green Arrow or otherwise, would you like to see come or return to Arrow in season 4 and beyond? Sound off in the comments below!