John Diggle debuted a new helmet on this week's episode of "Arrow," "Human Target," a vital part of his Spartan uniform, which recently underwent a major overhaul for Season 5.
Following concept illustrator Andy Poon debuting a look at Diggle's new headgear via Instagram, CBR reached out to the artist for his thoughts on the initial fan reaction to Diggle's first helmet. Poon also opened up about how he and costume designer Maya Mani incorporated a more Spartan-influenced design for the vigilante's new look, and shared an exclusive look at more of his and Mani's concept designs.
"Costume designer Maya Mani and I were already working on some further exploration of a newer version of Diggle's helmet while the first one from Season 4 was in production," Poon tells CBR. "I was studying the first one, and it felt more like a mask with an open back that helped him disguise his identity like Oliver suggested before. I feel like with Diggle's military background and his access to resourceful people like Cisco, he could use a more practical functional helmet that gives him full protection.
"Also with the name Spartan, why not have some more design cues that are inspired by an actual spartan helmet design? The slight ridge down the center, more angular front opening with nose piece and the slight flare at the back of the helmet -- all gives it a more dynamic yet functional look."
"I think the new version also fixes the issues regarding some of the fan feedback about it looking similar to other comic book characters," Poon continued. "I'm a comic book fan myself, so I see where they were are coming from. There are always creative solutions to evolve a design, sometimes changing certain lines a few degrees here and there completely changes the feel of the aesthetic. The cool thing about these heroes is that they are always learning, adapting, and evolving, so it makes total sense that their look can evolve as well."
For three seasons, Diggle was in the field with nothing to conceal his identity. When it was announced that he was finally getting a uniform in Season 4, fans were excited to see the finished product. Unfortunately, the fan reaction to Diggle's first helmet was not very enthusiastic, with many fans on social media likening it to Magneto's helmet in the "X-Men" movies. In interviews following the S4 finale, actor David Ramsey was asked multiple times when Diggle would be getting a new helmet, and since most characters on "Arrow" do get suit upgrades every season, early S5 was the perfect time for Spartan to debut his new look.
Finally we see Diggle dawn his Spartan outfit again with his new and improved helmet. This is the concept that was shown in SDCC last year at hall H. It is not the new helmet but it is not his season 4 one either. It was kind of a version 1.5 design. Very happy of how the 2.0 helmet turned out and diggle kicking some serious butt again. @dccomics @cw_arrow @davidpaulramsey #sparten #johndiggle #newhelmet #upgrade #starlab #ciscoramon #costume #concept #design #illustration
Poon is a concept illustrator on numerous CW/DC shows, including "Arrow," "The Flash," and "Legends of Tomorrow." Poon periodically shares his designs on his personal Instragram account, after an episode has aired. In addition to Diggle's helmet design he's also worked on art for Jesse Quick, Hour Man, Vixen, 2046 Green Arrow, The Rival, and more.
Starring Stephen Amell as the Emerald Archer, “Arrow” airs Wednesdays at 8 pm ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars Emily Bett Rickards, David Ramsey, John Barrowman, Willa Holland and more.