'Arrow' Gives Diggle's Backstory a Major DC Comics Tie in "Spartan"

As Arrow's seventh season begins to draw to a close, certain characters have been able to get some pretty major moments and reveals. This week, audiences got to learn more about the origins of one of the show's longest-running characters, and that may have brought a big fan theory to life in the process.

Spoilers for tonight's episode of Arrow, "Spartan", below! Only look if you want to know!

As the episode's title suggests, the installment centered around John Diggle (David Ramsey), whose past comes to haunt him in a surprising way as the team attempts to take down the Ninth Circle. Early on in the episode, John decided to contact General Stewart (Ernie Hudson) and ask for his resources, only for Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and the audience to learn something surprising in the process. Towards the end of their meeting, Stewart referred to John as his stepson, something that John later added context to. As he revealed, Stewart and John's dad were in the same Army battalion, until John's dad died in a mission that went wrong. A year or so after, Stewart began to be romantically involved with John's mother, and eventually became a rather tough stepfather to both him and Andy. John quickly became estranged from Stewart as soon as he left home, and had barely spoken to or acknowledged him in the years since.

Not only does this reveal add some interesting context to John's childhood, but it weaves in a major DC Comics tie in the process, as it (technically) makes his name John Stewart. You know, the same as the iconic Green Lantern who has played an ever-growing role in the DC Comics world for decades.

For a lot of Arrow's run, Ramsey has suggested the possibility of John secretly being a Green Lantern, especially since John Diggle did not appear in the comics when the show began.

"I think Diggle's doppelganger should have a certain power ring," Ramsey said back in 2017. "Just saying. But I have no idea who he's going to be or if we're going to see him."

In last December's "Elseworlds" crossover, the theory began to become canon in an unexpected way, when Earth-90's version of Barry Allen/The Flash (John Wesley Shipp) remarked that John wasn't "wearing his ring" when he arrived on Earth-1. While there's no telling if the show will act on the John Stewart of it all as it nears its final season, it sounds like Ramsey is pretty excited about the possibility.

"It's a ton of fun." Ramsey told ComicBook.com ahead of tonight's episode. "Since season one, man, season one it's been going on. But who knows? Who knows what happens now? You've got a four-star general who is Diggle's stepfather, whose name is General Stewart. And what does that mean? I don't know. It's fun to continue to tease this, but who knows what's going to happen. Between that and the crossover comment by '90s Flash, "Where's your ring?" These things are great little Easter eggs, but we'll see what happens with it. But yeah, it's fun and it's gratifying to point to that after all this time."

"You haven't seen a lot of his backstory, except particularly with Andy, and I think people are curious about it — particularly when you find out that his father's name is Stewart, for God's sakes," Ramsey continued.

What do you think of Arrow's John Diggle canonically being named "John Stewart"? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!


Arrow airs Mondays at 9/8c on The CW.