If you haven’t started watching the CW Network series Arrow, yet, there’s no time like now. You can catch up on past episodes online here, and the next new episode will air in its standard time slot Wednesday, 7 p.m. Central/8 p.m. Eastern, January 16, 2013.
The big news for the second half of the series’ first season is that Battlestar Galactica alumnus James Callis (Dr. Gaius Baltar) will be playing an international jewel thief named The Dodger who steals Starling City’s prized Sherwood Ruby. The Dodger increases the tally from the 14 that we originally posted here back in September of characters taken at least in part from the DC Comics archive. The villain, who in the comic book eventually became an ally of Oliver Queen, was created by long-time Green Arrow writer Judd Winick and artist Mike Norton in the recent Green Arrow and Black Canary series.
An even more familiar legacy Green Arrow player has also been cast this month. Colton Haynes has been tapped to play recurring character Roy Harper. Harper is known to Green Arrow readers as Oliver’s younger sidekick, the first of his sidekicks to take on the alias Speedy. Speedy currently is Oliver’s nickname for his sister Thea, played by Willa Holland, who did not appear in the comic books. Harper may serve as Thea’s love interest, so we have an odd convergence going on. (I was hoping to see Thea take on the sidekick role). Over the years in the comic books Harper gave up the name Speedy, going by Arsenal and Red Arrow at different points in Green arrow’s 70-year history, so maybe he won’t be seen here as Speedy at all.
Meanwhile Seth Gabel (Fringe, Jonah Hex) has been cast as one-time Suicide Squad member Count Vertigo for a 2013 episode. And the January 16, 2013 episode “Burned” will feature Andrew Dunbar (SGU Stargate Universe) as Garfield Lynns aka Firefly, yet another obscure DC Comics character.
If you’ve been watching the series you already know John Barrowman was revealed to be Tommy Merlyn’s dad Malcolm, underground co-conspirator with Oliver’s mom Moira (Susanna Thompson). He also ended up being the Dark Archer (top photo) in the mid-series finale, the character that almost destroyed Oliver in hand-to-hand combat. And actor Manu Bennett was revealed as Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke, one of the other classic DC Comics characters hinted at early in the series this year.
Jessica De Gouw’s performance as Helena Bertinelli aka The Huntress in the episodes “Vendetta” and “Muse of Fire” was pretty much perfect, so we hope she returns soon.
What do all these characters mean for the main cast? Oliver already ahs two close male friends with Tommy Merlyn and John Diggle–does he really need Roy Harper at this point? Will Laurel Lance take on her secret identity of Black Canary by year end? The writers of Arrow definitely have set up many potential avenues for the story of Oliver Queen to take when the season continues in January.