Which villains are coming to Arrow season 2?

Feature Caroline Preece 1 Aug 2013 - 13:00

Caroline tots up the villains Oliver Queen is set to face in Arrow season two, starting this October on The CW...

Warning: contains spoilers for Arrow season one.

We must be nearing the start of the 2013-14 season, as it seems we can’t breathe for exciting casting news for returning geek series. One show that does it better than most is Arrow, with new character announcements getting comic-book readers excited for what is to come in season two. Will John Barrowman be back? Who is Summer Glau playing? And what the heck’s going on with Black Canary? Read below for the latest information on the new bad guys Oliver will have to face this year, how they might differ from previous versions and which of them will be teaming up...

 

Isabel Rochev

The geek world got in a bit of a dither about the recent casting announcement of Summer Glau for Arrow season two, but will her character, Isabel Rochev, be friend or foe? Producers have said that this year will see two nemeses for Oliver – one physical and one mental – and Rochev could definitely fit the latter.

Introduced in the comics as an old friend of Oliver’s father, Robert, she becomes CEO of Queen Industries with a view to restoring it to its former glory. Arriving after an unnatural disaster (much like The Undertaking’s destruction of The Glades in the season one finale) she goes after Oliver for what she sees as an affront to his father’s memory – neglecting his business empire.

 

Bronze Tiger

Bronze Tiger aka Ben Turner (Michael Jai White) will be introduced as another member of the Suicide Squad alongside Deadshot – presumably the start of a league of super-villains that’ll push the Diggle vs. Deadshot storyline to the forefront. Fan speculation has tied him and the team to the yet-to-be-introduced A.R.G.U.S. – an agency that wants to assemble its own super team to do the government’s bidding.

No matter who or what he turns out to be affiliated with, however, it’s a dead cert that he’ll be a villain and a considerable threat to Oliver. A skilled fighter and expert in martial arts, the comic-book version also has ties to Ra’s Al Ghul’s League of Assassins, though we doubt Arrow will be going anywhere near that character just yet. He’ll be working with China White, also returning, so will probably be introduced early in the season.

 

Black Canary

Not typically expected to be villainous but, with news that Arrow’s incarnation of Black Canary will be Sara, not Laurel, Lance, it’s entirely possible that she’ll return to Starling City with an axe to grind. We were all a little confused when Caity Lotz was cast in the role – since we already thought we had our Black Canary in residence – but now it makes a certain kind of sense.

If you’ve been following the series, you’ll know that Sara was on the same ill-fated boat trip as Oliver and Robert Queen, but has been thought dead ever since. Was she also on the island with Oliver, without his knowledge? Or was she rescued long before her sister’s boyfriend’s sentence was up?

 

China White

China White, assassin for hire, has been confirmed to be returning in Arrow season two. With many of the new and returning villains associated with some organisation, its unclear where she’ll stand in the grand scheme of things, but word has it that she’ll be affiliated with Bronze Tiger and will appear in episode two of the new season.

Oliver encountered her several times during the first season, the last of which involved her escaping before Oliver had a chance to incapacitate her. The last we heard she was working with Deadshot, so it’s possible that she’s already been recruited for the Suicide Squad, and will pose an increased threat to Diggle’s mission by backing up his target.

 

Slade Wilson

As we left things at the end of season one, Slade Wilson was still Oliver’s trainer and mentor, but those in the know have pointed to a dark future for the pair. Introduced to faux Deathstroke at the beginning of season one, we now have to wait and see when and how Wilson turns to the dark side and decides to don the mask. Will it take him losing an eye, as in the comics, or will Arrow do away with the costume (and its meaning) altogether?

As we know the series revels in its ability to play with people’s expectations, what goes on in the island flashbacks in somewhat of a blank canvas. We know Oliver ends up alone and beardy, but we’ve still got four years to cover before we get to that point – will Slade turn up in present day? It’s certainly a strong possibility.

 

Malcolm Merlyn

The finale seemed to signal the end of the Dark Archer arc for Arrow, with both Tommy and Malcolm Merlyn biting the dust – one by accident and one at Oliver’s hand. But is John Barrowman’s baddie as dead as we think? There was no body when our heroes returned to the roof, and the actor’s appearance at San Diego Comic-Con signalled that there’s still some unfinished business for the character.

The producers have now confirmed that Malcolm will indeed return to the show during season two, but whether that’s in flashback or present day action they’re not telling. He will share scenes with Stephen Amell’s Oliver, however, which suggests at least a bit of the latter.

Arrow returns to The CW on Wednesday the 9th of October at 8pm. Read our spoiler-filled season one reviews, here.

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