The first four seasons of Arrow have all been markedly different from one another, but they've all had a supervillain formula in place that has made it easy to predict which episodes are going to be big and which probably are not. Although Malcolm Merlyn, Slade Wilson, Ra's al Ghul, and Damien Darhk all managed to deliver some major "Holy crap!" moments during their tenures as Oliver's nemeses, the formula has gotten a bit old. Luckily for fans who are ready for something new, things will be mixing things up for the bad guys in Season 5. Executive producer Wendy Mericle had this to tease about how Oliver's villain situation is changing in Season 5:
He's going to have a team, so we have talked about having a team of villains, and how would Oliver get his new guys who are really rough around the edges -- totally wet around the ears, not ready for this -- how does he get them ready to take on really [trained] enemies? He's very cognizant of the fact that Laurel died in this line of work, and he doesn't want that for them.
Wendy Mericle hinted that Oliver and the newly expanded Team Arrow may be facing a team of major bad guys in a chat with IGN, and it paints an interesting picture of what could be coming in Season 5. Supervillains of seasons past have been known to delegate some of their evildoing to minions, ranging from Slade Wilson outsourcing to Sebastian Blood to Damien Darhk recruiting Anarky for a job. Still, there has been one big bad to rule them all. A Season 5 with more of a team of bad guys could throw even veteran vigilante Oliver for a loop; the newbie vigilantes will definitely have a trial by fire.
We do know a bit about some of the villains. Chad L. Coleman of The Walking Dead will play gangster Tobias Church in a recurring role for Season 5. Church was reportedly loosely based on the legendary Stringer Bell character from The Wire, so Coleman's character should be exciting. Yet another archer antagonist will turn up in the form of Prometheus, who is set to be very different from the Prometheus of DC Comics lore. WWE's Cody Rhodes looks to be on board as a distinctly unfriendly new face, and Dolph Lundgren will portray one of Oliver's flashback enemies. Season 5 wouldn't be the first time that a flashback character showed up in the present; I'm just saying, we shouldn't rule out Lundgren's character from showing up in Star City until we have more information.
The new crew of vigilantes should have full plates when they join Team Arrow. Evelyn Sharp is returning to Arrow to take on the guise of archer Artemis, and Curtis Holt will soon be getting his mask as Mr. Terrific. Rick Gonzalez will play brand new crimefighter Wild Dog, and the latest district attorney will lead a double life as the vigilante known as Vigilante.
Arrow returns to The CW on Wednesday, October 5 at 8 p.m. ET. A team of heroes certainly isn't anything new for Arrow; Oliver has had a crew of at least two others since midway through Season 1. We'll have to wait and see just how the latest iteration of Team Arrow sets itself apart against a team of bad guys. Check out our fall TV premiere schedule for a look at what else you'll be able to watch in the near future, and don't forget to take a look at our breakdown of what we know so far about Arrow Season 5.