Yesterday, TVLine's spoiler column learned that a major new threat was coming into the season finale of The CW's Arrow and that, rather than ending with the season, that threat would carry on through next year, either as the big bad or at least as a major obstacle in the first half of Season Four.
TVLine speculated, and then news outlets all over the Internet picked up the speculation, that it would be Damian Wayne, Bruce's son, who has ties to the League of Assassins.
There are a few things at play here; first, TVLine enjoys "most favored nation" status with many showrunners and gets spoilers and other scoops that other reporters don't; this is why often, their speculation is repeated as gospel. Secondly, they said that they've been told internally the character is being referred to as "Damian Dark," whom they assumed to be a bastardization of "Damian Wayne" and "Dark Knight.
Many viewers knew right away that the odds of Damian playing a role on Arrow were very small, and while some others still hoped for it, others bemoaned the amount of Batman-inspired storytelling on the show.
Well, we're thinking that something that might help clear the air a bit would be if we propose some alternate villains for the fourth season of Arrow...
Here's the thing with Damian Dark: I could have sworn a person with such a name existed! Then I convinced myself I was wrong since one of my favorite comics of all time features Damian DarkLord.
So I was a little red in the face when fans started to suggest the former Titans villain was the real deal, since I knew better than to talk myself out of such a thing.
And he's an incredibly likely candidate.
In the comics, Darhk was a mysterious figure who claimed to be a major player in America's underworld and had some connection to the criminal organization H.I.V.E.
On Arrow, of course, H.I.V.E. have ties to Deadshot and were responsible for putting out the hit on Andy Diggle, John Diggle's brother.
Darhk had access to unique high-tech equipment that would make him a formidable challenge for Felicity, as well.
Why is he potentially not the guy? basically two things. First of all, he's a Titans villain and there's a Titans TV series in the works. With so many DC Comics villains out there "up for grabs," it would seem an odd choice to make your big villain for the season one that belongs to a group who might be using it soon.
The other thing? Yeah, TVLine gets scoops and they get stuff nobody else does.
But does anybody really think that somebody who's "being referred to internally as Damian Dark" is going to turn out to be Damien Darhk? It seems far more likely that they're doing what they did when we all thought they were casting for Blue Beetle: putting that out there to distract clever fans from figuring out somebody else.
Here's a solid candidate, if only becuase of the many associations he has with characters from the show. Grant Wilson is the son of Slade "Deathstroke" Wilson, and had a short, tragic life before being resurrected by Brother Blood.
Resurrection on this show, of course has been a recurring theme and while Brother Blood didn't have the ability (and isn't a threat at the moment), it's not inconceivable that a similar plotline couldn't play out with Deathstroke and the League of Assassins using a Lazarus Pit on him.
He's also got ties not only to Deathstroke, obviously, but to H.I.V.E., the organization which in Arrow formerly employed Deadshot and murdered Diggle's brother. There have been recent promises that H.I.V.E. will be explored this season, which could give them an opportunity to introduce Grant.
In the comics, he grew up idolizing Deathstroke but didn't know until later in life that Slade was his father. In the comics, after blaming the Teen Titans for ruining his relationship, he asked H.I.V.E. to manipulate his genes to be like Deathstroke's, and became Ravager, so he could get revenge. Ultimately the serum was imperfect, and the powers were unstable and slowly deteriorating his mind and body. He died, further pushing Slade into madness.
Dusan al Ghul
Dusan al Ghul is the son of Ra's al Ghul, who was rejected by his father because of the fact that Dusan was born an albino. He was never able to earn Ra's' affection until later in life, when he helped Ra's try to hijack the young body of Damian Wayne.
In terms of giving clever little hints while throwing people off, there isn't much better than "Damian Dark" for an albino who tried to kill Damian.
When thwarted, Dusan offers himself up to be possessed by Ra's, sparing Damian's life and surrendering his own in the process; Ra's later laments how little time he spent with his son, who turned out to be the only truly loyal one of his children.
While the whole body-swapping thing is unlikely to come up, the albinism as a reason for being rejected is unlikely in the show, and Damian is almost certainly a no-go area for Arrow, it wouldn't be entirely shocking to discover that this new threat is actually Dusan and that while Ra's won't take his calls, he's taking initiative to act on his father's behalf, or to act out what he believes to be his father's will.
With Suicide Squad headed to the big screen in 2016, it seems likely Amanda Waller and company will play a smaller role on Arrow in Season Four.
So, what to do? Well, they've already introduced the idea of General Shrieve, and the notion that there are other shady organizations out there who might not necessarily be 100% behind somebody like Amanda Waller.
But in terms of a long-term threat in such a role, the only DC character who can out-Waller Waller is probably Max Lord, the longtime benefactor of the Justice League who later was revealed to have been secretly running Checkmate and trying to eradicate superheroes from behind the scenes.
He's also a favorite of DC Chief Creative Officer and The Flash executive producer Geoff Johns, so don't be too surprised if he shows up one way or another on one of the shows.
Runner-up for this spot: Father Time, King Faraday or somebody else from S.H.A.D.E., which would give them an even more direct line to Shrieve.
One of only a few major Green Arrow villains not to have made at least a token appearance on the show, Drakon is a tough, versatile assassin who seemed unbeatable at first.0comments
The downside? It all sounds a lot like what we got this year. Oliver stumbled onto a series of murders committed by Drakon and the assassin killed a close friend of Team Arrow and then left Ollie beaten and near death before the good guys rallied.
They'd have to give the character a very different arc to make him interesting, but anybody emerging from the League of Assassins (which seems likely to be the source of the conflict) would likely run those same risks.