CW Arrow’s Year’s End Dark Archer Leaps To DC New 52 Green Arrow Comics? (Season 1, Episode 9)

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DC Comics has provided several websites with advance solicitations from its March 2013 New 52 offerings. It has divided its solicits as per usual by their various “family” lines, e.g. Justice League, Edge, etc.

As part of their Justice League solicits that CBR was bequeathed, we get issue two of the new era of Green Arrow with issue #18 under the pen of Jeff Lemire and artist Andrea Sorrentino. As we have discussed in the past, it is very clear from the creative team comments and advance pics from the new run, that some of the elements of the TV ratings smash success for Arrow from CW will creep into the comic book.

Clearly, Jeff Lemire is a credible fan-friendly writer and I know he’ll be bringing a lot new to the comic; I can also see some of the teased similarities as swerves too, but half the fun is guessing what’s to come about a book that before its upcoming 2013 rebirth was not buzz worthy despite the best efforts of the past creative teams.

What caught my eye with the March 2013 solicitation was the appearance of a masked archer predominantly in black on the cover of GA numero 18. Well, why is that intriguing? Well, because we have a dark masked archer also debuting on CW Arrow this upcoming week (Wednesday December 12, 2012) in its mid-season finale titled “Year’s End”, Arrow Season 1, Episode 9.

I’ll delve further into this in a moment, but first the solicitation.

    Written by JEFF LEMIRE
    Art and cover by ANDREA SORRENTINO
    1:25 B&W Variant cover by ANDREA SORRENTINO
    On sale MARCH 6 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
    Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.

    • Oliver Queen has lost everything: His company, his money, his friends and most of his arrows. It’s all because of one man: Komodo, who has come to tear Ollie’s life to shreds!

    • From the ashes, Ollie must uncover the secrets of his father’s past — secrets of the island and Ollie’s own uncanny ability with the bow.

Komodo – the dark masked comic archer – is not a character I recall seeing in the DC Universe prior to the New 52. I am glad that Jeff Lemire is breathing fresh life in Green Arrow starting with enhancing his rogues gallery. Prior to Komodo, the dark archer in Oliver Queen / Green Arrow’s past was Merlyn. While that character has yet to tangle with Green Arrow in the New 52 comic – yet has appeared in Batman Inc. #4 being bested by Batman’s current Robin Damian Wayne – but the TV character of Tommy Merlyn is positioned as Oliver Queen’s best friend on CW’s Arrow. It should be noted in the classic DC comics, the dark archer Merlyn was Arthur King not Tommy Merlyn. However, eagle eyed readers would have seen a Tommy Merlyn debut in Green Arrow #0 who looks an awful lot like the pre-Flashpoint villain Merlyn.

With the CW’s tease of a dark archer “copycat” debuting in this week’s Episode 9 “Year’s End” TV offering, the internet lit up with speculation that Tommy would live up to his previous comic book legacy. I thought it would be too soon, despite his clear recent decline / descent and ominious foreshadowing, while others thought it was about time. We may discover the identity this upcoming week or

perhaps the dark archer of CW’s Arrow could remain a mystery for the season?

While some thought Tommy Merlyn was the obvious choice for CW Arrow’s dark archer, others speculated it might be Oliver Queen’s mysterious island mentor. The ex-military Chinese vagabond who trained Oliver in archery and incredibly went toe-to-toe with the mercenary Deathstroke during Oliver’s early years on his 5-year island exile in CW’s Arrow.

Since the word Komodo is often associated with the Komodo Dragon, a lizard from the orient, and IF there is as any similarity to come between the DC Comics New 52 comic and the CW Arrow TV show, perhaps this island mentor theory just got a bit of boost. Particularly if you consider CW’s teaser summary of this week’s episode featuring the dark archer:

    YEAR’S END – IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME AT THE QUEEN HOUSEHOLD — Oliver discovers that after he and his father went missing, Moira and Thea stopped celebrating Christmas. Determined to make up for lost time and restore a sense of normalcy to the Queen household, Oliver decides to throw the family a Christmas party. Meanwhile, Tommy asks Laurel to spend Christmas with him but she points out that Christmas was also her sister Sara’s birthday and she needs to be with her father. Tommy suggests changing things up might be the best way for everyone to heal but Laurel isn’t sure her father is ready for that. Meanwhile, Diggle tells Oliver someone is murdering the people on his father’s list with arrows, which sends Oliver off to face his toughest adversary yet. John Dahl directed the episode with story by Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim and teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg & Marc Guggenheim.

Well, Oliver’s island mentor must know of the book and its “Tempest” logo, right? He saw Oliver with it on the island, didn’t he? Hmmm. Maybe Tommy Merlyn isn’t the only plausible person to be under the CW Arrow dark archer’s mask? Maybe Oliver’s Chinese mentor makes the leap to comics? Or maybe, just maybe, there is no connection whatsoever and there are different people under both comic book and TV dark archer masks beyond Tommy and Oliver’s island mentor?

In any event, the future looks bright – errr, um, dark – for both CW Arrow and now with the Green Arrow New 52 comic book series.

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John is a long-time pop culture fan, comics historian, and blogger. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief at Comics Nexus. Prior to being EIC he has produced several column series including DEMYTHIFY, NEAR MINT MEMORIES and the ONE FAN'S TRIALS at the Nexus plus a stint at Bleeding Cool producing the COMICS REALISM column. As BabosScribe, John is active on his twitter account, his facebook page, his instagram feed and welcomes any and all feedback. Bring it on!