With Malcolm Merlyn seemingly dead by the hand Oliver Queen in the season finale of Arrow, the door is left open for not one but two major villains in the hit drama's sophomore outing.
"We made no secret of the fact that we subscribe to the Whedonesque model of having a big bad, and in Season 2, we'll actually have two big bads," executive producer Marc Guggenheim tells TVGuide.com. "They'll both be very recognizable names to fans of the comic book. We're really excited about both of them."
In Malcolm Merlyn, Season 1 effectively had two primary antagonists -- the seemingly upstanding businessman who secretly plotted to destroy Starling City's slums, and the Dark Archer who carried out the dirty work -- serving as a shadowy reflection of Ollie's dual nature. For the second season, Guggenheim says, "we're going to split them up essentially, and there will be a Malcolm-esque big bad and a Dark Archer-esque big bad."
That naturally brings to mind Oliver's island ally Slade Wilson, whom comic fans know is destined to become Deathstroke. To that, Guggenheim replies: "If the question of Season 1 is, 'What happened to Oliver on that island?' The question of Season 2 is, 'What happened to Slade Wilson on that island?'"
However, the DC Comics villains aren't the only ones who'll step into the spotlight during the second season. Colton Haynes, who plays Roy Harper, teased to MTV, that "A few of the most important DC characters are going to be coming to Arrow. And quite possibly working in a team together."
Could he be referring to an ad hoc Justice League, formed by, say, Laurel Lance and the introduction of a few familiar names from the DC Universe? (Hal Jordan has been mentioned, somewhat playfully, in interviews, and Ted Kord received a nod in "The Undertaking.") Or is he merely acknowledging an expansion of Team Arrow, with Roy assuming the mantle of sidekick/partner, and maybe even Thea Queen giving new meaning to her nickname Speedy?
Don't discount that last bit, as TVLine reports a "revelatory" moment was axed from following the scene in the season finale in which Thea helps Roy fend of a group of thugs as the earthquake strikes the Glades. "They cut out an entire scene that would’ve given a lot more away,” Haynes tells the website. “It was a big scene … that might’ve told you the route that Thea is going, or the route that Roy is going. But I think they didn’t want to give too much away.”