Last season on Arrow, Oliver Queen made a devastating deal when he traded his freedom for the FBI's help apprehending big bad Ricardo Diaz. Unfortunately, things didn't go quite to plan with Diaz still free while Oliver is behind bars and it seems that when the villain resurfaces in the upcoming seventh season, he's going to look quite a bit more like his comic book inspiration.
Speaking with TVLine, Arrow showrunner Beth Schwartz revealed that Diaz, played by Kirk Acevedo, will be "more of the Dragon". The "Dragon" she is referring to is likely a reference to the New 52 version of the character. First identifying himself as Richard Dragon in Green Arrow #23 from 2013, the character is eventually revealed to be Ricardo Diaz, Jr., the son of a drug lord killed by John Diggle who was serving as Green Arrow at the time. Diaz/Dragon, who is by then leading a team referred to as the Longbow Hunters, places a $30 million bounty on the Green Arrow but is ultimately defeated.
With Oliver (Stephen Amell) behind bars, it seems somewhat unlikely that the bounty part of the comics story will come into play. Instead, it's the Longbow Hunters that appear to be the major connection between Arrow's take on Diaz and his comic book roots. During the show's San Diego Comic-Con panel in July it was announced that Red Dart, Kodiak, and The Silencer would all be joining Diaz in terrorizing Star City during Oliver's incarceration. Technically, only one of those characters -- Red Dart -- is associated with the team in DC Comics, though all three characters do have comic origins. One of them, The Silencer aka Honor Guest, was Talia al Ghul's most trusted assassin, something which could provide an opening to the return of Colton Haynes' Roy Harper.
However, Arrow ends up connecting to Diaz's comic book roots, one thing is certain and that's the real threat the villain still poses for the members of Team Arrow left behind with Oliver in prison -- specifically Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards). Oliver being behind bars offers him a measure of protection while everyone else is essentially on their own, something Rickards herself addressed earlier this year.
"The idea now is: if Oliver's in prison, is he actually more protected than the team?" Rickards said. "The rest of the team is going to be in danger as well. Where that puts Felicity and William, I mean, we can only do so much to protect them.
The season seven premiere of Arrow, "Inmate 4587", will debut on Monday, October 15th, at 8/7c on The CW.