TV Legends: What Arrow Villain Was Going to be Onomatopoeia?

TV URBAN LEGEND: Onomatopoeia was originally going to be a villain on CW's Arrow.

During his acclaimed run on Green Arrow with Phil Hester and Ande Parks, Kevin Smith introduced an intriguing new villain named Onomatopoeia, who hunted down non-powered superheroes. His shtick was that he would constantly talk in, well, Onomatopoeia, which is when words are made to sound like the action that they describe. For instance, the word "shoot" does not actually sound like what happens when you shoot someone. However, the word "crack," does, indeed, sound like when something cracks. Other examples are "snap," "boom," "crunch," etc.

So, Onomatopoeia, would talk only in words like that, basically AS he did the given action. Like he'll saw "pow pow" while shooting a gun or whatever.

It was a striking idea for a character and it was such a big success that Smith would use the character pretty much any time he would go back to write stuff in the DC Universe.

Anyhow, since he was introduced during Smith's Green Arrow run, it was only natural that the writers of Arrow would try to bring him over to the Arrowverse. The problem is that onomatopoeia really only TRULY translates in the written word. When you read the word "pow," you get the idea, but if you were to HEAR the word "pow," it would not translate quite as well.

At the end of the first season of Arrow, the producers planned to use Onomatopoeia as a villain. However, Andrew Kreisberg later noted when the episode actually came out, "Originally, we were going to try to do Onomatopoeia, a villain from Kevin Smith’s run, but Kevin apparently said in an interview that there was no way to bring that character to television and film — and after a while we agreed with him!”

Instead, Onomatopoeia became Mister Blank, played by J. August Richards of Angel fame...

Outside of the whole "not doing onomatopoeia every time he talks," Mister Blank was very similar to Onomatopoeia, in that he didn't really speak much and he used a silencer pistol just like Onomatopoeia. He was a good fill-in for the comic book villain.

The legend is...


Smith, by the way, apparently later changed his mind on the topic, noting:

"I wouldn’t want to write on ‘Flash.’ I would, though, like to write on ‘Arrow’ … I would love to jump in for a one or two episode arc just to bring that Onomatopoeia character to life. That would be so badass – I created this character in the comics and then to do a live-action version of it that fit into their universe, fit into the run of their show? That would be exciting to me. That’s the one I can get my head around writing, but ‘Flash,’ whenever they bring me back, I think I prefer somebody else doing it.”

Thanks to Andrew Kreisberg and Michael Ausiello for the information!

Be sure to check out my archive of TV Legends Revealed for more urban legends about the world of TV.

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is bcronin@legendsrevealed.com.

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