John & Carole Barrowman To Pen Arrow: The Dark Archer Digital Comic for DC Comics

The Barrowman siblings worked with showrunners Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg to keep things [...]

(Photo: DC Comics)

Malcolm Merlyn has been enigmatic on The CW's Arrow, with associations with various secret societies, links to many of the major players in Star(ling) City, and a complicated past specifically with Oliver Queen and his family.

Now, some of that backstory will be filled out thanks to a twelve chapter digital-first comic from DC Comics: Arrow: The Dark Archer, co-written by the actor who brings Merlyn to life, John Barrowman. He'll team with his sister Carole to write the series and artist Daniel Sampere taking the lead on art, debuting January 13, 2016 and running every other week for 6 months. It takes place both in flashbacks revealing Merlyn's past, and also between seasons 3 and 4 of Arrow, depicting Merlyn in his new role as the Ra's al Ghul of the League of Assassins.

The pair have written several novels and screenplays together, but this will be their first work for DC Comics.

"There wasn't very much" written about Malcolm Merlyn when they started their research, they told TVInsider. "We discovered he didn't have much of a backstory except for a couple of intriguing details," Carole teased. "Malcolm has had at least one other identity and his slightly vague and sinister past gave us lots of creative room to play around in."

(Photo: DC Comics)

The Barrowman siblings worked with showrunners Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg to keep things "within the series' canon," John said. They worked with CCO Geoff Johns, as well.

"Since the show started, I've always been curious how Malcolm made his fortune. Where did his wealth come from? How did he finance his Merlyn Global Group? The answer to those questions shapes the main narrative in the story," John said. "And Malcolm has sex!" he enthusiastically said, as well.

There are "more personal events" that "shape the secondary arcs," Carole says, though.

John Barrowman actually first came up with the twist of Malcolm being Thea's real birth father with his husband, Scott, which made its way into the show. His "head-canon," then, will make its way into actual canon again in this comic.

The team promises "a lot of action scenes" and "a mystery unfolding across both narratives," to match the similar style Arrow uses for Oliver Queen's story in present day and flashback.