The CW’s “Arrow” left things on a decidedly surprising note at the end of this week’s midseason finale (those comfortable with spoilers can read series star Stephen Amell’s take on events), but here’s some exclusive casting news to tide fans over until the new year: CBR has learned that actor Marc Singer has joined the show’s cast as a character from DC Comics history — he’ll play General Matthew Shrieve, a character created by writer J. M. DeMatteis and artist Pat Broderick, first seen in 1980’s “Weird War Tales” #93. Singer’s role is slated to be recurring following his debut in the 14th episode of the currently unfolding third season of “Arrow,” which will likely air in late February or early March.
Here’s the official character description from Warner Bros. TV: “In the DC Comics, Matthew Shrieve is the leader of a group known as the Creature Commandos. In ‘Arrow’ he will play a significant role in the latter portion of the season’s flashback storyline.”
Singer is a genre veteran, likely best known for his starring role in three “Beastmaster” films and the sci-fi TV series “V,” both cult favorites of the 1980s. In recent years, he’s appeared on the “V” revival and “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior.” He also has prior experience with DC-based adaptations — he voiced Man-Bat /Dr. Kirk Langstrom in “Batman: The Animated Series.”
Despite existing for nearly 35 years, General Matthew Shrieve has appeared in relatively few comics over the decades. Introduced as Lt. Matthew Shrieve, he’s primarily comics role has been as the human leader of the World War II-era Creature Commandos, a military unit consisting of characters fitting various monster archetypes (Frankenstein’s monster, werewolf, vampire, gorgon). The character was depicted in three DC Nation “Creature Commandos” animated shorts released earlier this year.
Due to the show’s more grounded approach to superheroes, it seems unlikely that the Commandos themselves would be coming to Starling City. Yet given the gradual introduction of more fantastic elements on “Arrow” and its spinoff “The Flash,” the recent change of heart in Executive Producer Marc Guggeneheim towards integrating more fantastic elements of the DCU into the series’ DNA, and the fact that the Creature Commandos are specifically named in the character’s official show bio, the chances that the unique military force will play a role on “Arrow” aren’t quite as long as they once were. Whether they eventually appear or not, there remains plenty of room for speculation of how Shrieve will fit into this season’s flashbacks, which have been set in Hong Kong this year, after two seasons on Lian Yu.
“Arrow” will return with new episodes on Jan. 21.