There will be no shortage of villains when Arrow gets back into full swing with Season 7 on The CW. Oliver will be dealing with all kinds of old and new baddies while incarcerated, Ricardo Diaz could be around a whole lot more, and a trio of not-so-mythical enemies called the Longbow Hunters will enter the mix. Although they're not the most famous of DC Comics villains, they did make their debut on the pages of comics, and here's what those comics tell us.
The Longbow Hunters As A Group
The Longbow Hunters debuted back in 2014 for a Green Arrow arc in DC's New 52 relaunch, in a story called "The Outsiders War" by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino. The arc saw a group of villains team up to try and take the Emerald Archer down in his home city of Seattle. The team was formed by Richard Dragon, who of course is the baddie that Arrow's Ricardo Diaz is based on.
Dragon brought together Count Vertigo, Clock King, Brick, Red Dart, and Killer Moth. These aren't and weren't the biggest-name bad guys in DC lore, but they could make for a formidable team when together. As Arrow fans will note, versions of several of those villains have already appeared on the TV show.
More than one incarnation of Count Vertigo has menaced Team Arrow over the years, and Clock King was more of a threat than one might expect from somebody with a relatively silly name. Brick -- a.k.a. Danny Brickwell -- actually first took on the heroes of Star City when Oliver was presumed dead after his duel with Ra's al Ghul, and he'll be back in Season 7 with Oliver in prison.
So there are bound to be significant differences between the Longbow Hunters of the comics and the Longbow Hunters of Arrow, although the fact that they were called to action by Richard Dragon on the page and Ricardo Diaz on the screen may mean that their goals are similar. Just because the Green Arrow is out of commission doesn't mean they can't wreak havoc on his home city!
The lineup of the Longbow Hunters on Arrow will be mostly different, but each of the three villains does come from DC Comics. Let's start with the one baddie who actually was part of the group in the comics: Red Dart.
The name "Red Dart" has actually been used by several villains throughout the history of DC Comics, with the first two incarnations as men who turned up to cause trouble prior to the New 52 reboot. The Red Dart relevant to Arrow fans will be the third, who joined Richard Dragon's Longbow Hunters in New 52.
The third Red Dart is a woman who arms herself with trick darts, and her deadly aim made her a valuable member of the villainous team. She teamed with Killer Moth and Brick to try and collect a $3 million bounty on Green Arrow, with the intent to split the bounty three ways.
Given that these are comic book villains we're talking about, it's entirely possible that one or more would have double-crossed the others after receiving the bounty... if they hadn't been stopped by Green Arrow and his half-sister, who is not Thea in the comics. Rather, she's a woman named Emiko.
Could Emiko debut in Arrow Season 7? Willa Holland seems unlikely to return as Thea, and Arrow isn't averse to introducing long-lost family members. Perhaps she count have a role to play against Red Dart. The Arrow version of Red Dart will be played by Holly Elissa, known for roles on Whistler, Fringe, and another CW series.
Unlike Red Dart, Kodiak was not a member of Richard Dragon's Longbow Hunters group. That said, he is still a Green Arrow villain who debuted in the New 52 era, with his first appearance in the 2014 issue of "The Outsiders War, Book 1: Return to the Island." He's the leader of the Shield Clan and therefore a prominent member of The Outsiders, and he has access to a weapon known as The Shield Totem, which gives whoever wields it immortality and enlightenment.
Kodiak first encounters Oliver Queen when he's sent to kill the Green Arrow and Shado (who was already adapted into Arrow). He uses his powers of stamina and agility to help him in battle, and he's handy with a shield, as one would expect of the leader of a group called the "Shield Clan."
The villain is unsuccessful at killing either Oliver or Shado, but he proved himself a formidable foe when it comes to fighting. Unfortunately, not a whole lot is known about him from the comics. That could be a good thing for Arrow, however, as the show will be able to go in its own direction with him without necessary alienating comics fans.
Michael Jonsson of Van Helsing, The 100 and Supernatural is on board Arrow to tackle the role of Kodiak. The Arrow incarnation will be a "beast of a man" who doesn't need superpowers to assault his victims, which actually makes him an ideal villain for Arrow rather than any of the other Arrow-verse shows that are heavier on superpowers.
Unlike Red Dart and Kodiak, Silencer is not a character that originated from the New 52 era of DC Comics. No, she debuted her own line back in January 2018, so she's a relatively new addition to DC Comics in its Rebirth era.
In the comics, Silencer started out as a retired assassin once known as one of the most deadly people around. She begins her arc as a happily married mom of a single child, with husband and son unaware of her previous life as a high-ranking member of the League of Assassins. She's pulled out of her domestic life by none other than Talia al Ghul to begin killing for the League again.
Silencer was a valuable tool to the League of Assassins for more reasons than her handiness with weapons. She has the power to silence all sounds around her, enabling her to do whatever to whomever without alerting anybody that of her presence. This power could make her the most formidable of the Arrow Longbow Hunters, as the good guys may not expect her to come with such an ability. They can deal with guns and darts and brute force; a silencing superpower may be more of a challenge.
We'll have to wait and see. At this point, it's difficult to say what traits of the comics characters will be adapted for Arrow. The Longbow Hunters were originally mentioned back in the Season 6 finale, when Anatoly revealed that Ricardo Diaz had recruited them. Oliver was the only one of Team Arrow and Co. to recognize the name, although he believed the trio of assassins (feared even by the League of Assassins) had been killed back in the 1950s. It's probably safe to say he's in for a surprise!
Arrow will return for Season 7 in a new Monday night time slot on October 15 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. Supergirl will be back the night before, and The Flash premiered earlier this week with all kinds of clues about the future, leaving Legends of Tomorrow as the only remaining Arrow-verse series yet to air its fall premiere.