Arrow & Flash: From Page to Screen by Jerry Whitworth
With several studios opting out of the San Diego Comic-Con International 2015 (notably Marvel, Sony, and Paramount), arguably the biggest presence was Warner Bros. who brought teams from their film, television, and animation divisions to descend upon the event. As expected, the DC Television Universe had a strong presence as details on Arrow, Flash, Vixen, and Legends of Tomorrow were revealed. Some news to emerge include John Diggle (portrayed by David Ramsey) beginning to adopt a costume (which fans speculate to be inspired by the Manhattan Guardian), a trailer for the Vixen series (featuring Megalyn Echikunwoke as the eponymous heroine), Hawkman coming to the Arrow crossover, and the casting of Michael Ironside (V, Total Recall) as the father of Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Golden Glider (Peyton List). Lets take a look at some of the other announced characters for the DCTVU.
An assistant to Barry Allen in the crime lab, Patty Spivot was a brilliant scientist in her own right introduced just prior to the believed death of Allen’s wife Iris but retroactively made to have been present so far back as the night of Allen’s accident that made him the Flash. Arguably her most notable tale was an imaginary story where Allen saved her from the same accident that turned him into the Flash and the hero imagined what would have happened had Spivot gained super-speed and became a costumed hero. Following the events of Flashpoint, Spivot was re-imagined as a colleague to Allen that specialized in blood analysis and started a romantic relationship with the hero where she would later learn his secret. Patty Spivot will be portrayed by Shantel VanSanten (The Messengers, One Tree Hill) where she will be a police officer partnered with Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) and who has a crush on Barry Allen (Grant Gustin).
The original Flash, Jay Garrick gained his powers from inhaling hard water vapors and was a founding member of the Justice Society of America. When the comic book industry moved away from superheroes, the Flash was one of the casualties however when DC Comics tried to bring superheroes back, the spark that reignited the genre was from a re-imagined Flash in Barry Allen. Wanting to touch on what happened to the original superheroes, DC Comics introduced the concept of parallel Earths in the pages of The Flash as Garrick of Earth-2 met Allen of Earth-1. This advent led to decades of stories where the heroes of both Earths would team together against various foes as well as explore other Earths of an infinite multiverse. Eventually, an event called the Crisis on Infinite Earths occurred and all Earths were joined together leading to Garrick becoming a mentor to a dynasty of speedsters to inherit the mantle of the Flash. Following Flashpoint, Garrick was instead empowered by the Roman god Mercury and has only recently become the Flash. Jay Garrick has been teased throughout the first season of The Flash, from a plaque in the Central City Police Department depicting seven members of the Greek Pantheon (including Hermes) prominently displaying the word “JUSTICE” (likely a reference to the Justice Society and Justice League) to the most obvious in Garrick’s Hermes-inspired helmet emerging in the season finale to Eobard Thawne’s dismay. Teddy Sears (Masters of Sex, Raising the Bar) will portray Jay Garrick who will be a mysterious figure that warns Allen of an impending danger he can’t alone stop.
Nephew to Iris West, Wally West was a huge fan of the Flash who accompanied his aunt when she went to visit her boyfriend Barry Allen at the crime lab. When Allen met Wally, he offered to introduce the youth to his hero only for the same accident that created the Flash to occur and transform Wally into a speedster. Allen would decide to reveal his identity to Wally and take him on as his sidekick in the Kid Flash. Wally would go on many adventures, help found the Teen Titans, and one day became the Flash when Allen died in the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Showrunners for The Flash has expressed an interest to bring Wally West to the show since the beginning, as Joe and Iris West were cast with African-American actors to be inline with the post-Flashpoint Wally. While no casting has been announced as of yet, it was confirmed Wally West would emerge in the second season of The Flash.
Inspired in part by the character V from Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s V for Vendetta, Lonnie Machin was a child prodigy who as a pre-teen became the anarchist Anarky (masquerading as an adult) fighting for social equality and toppling corrupt corporations. An anti-hero crossing swords initially with Batman, Anarky would take his war underground in the USA’s capital toward a digital revolution. Becoming something of a mythological figure, terrorists would claim to be his agents in an operation bombing Star City prompting Anarky to emerge from the shadows and team with Green Arrow to clear his name. Machin would later be kidnapped and turned into a living computer named Moneyspider by Ulysses Armstrong who took up the Anarky identity becoming a supervillain. Robin would free Moneyspider who became an ally to Barbara Gordon in her capacity as Oracle. Following the events of Flashpoint, a new and mysterious Anarky emerged opposing a group of marines including John Stewart. Subsequently, Anarky would be adapted in Beware the Batman and Batman: Arkham Origins as an out-and-out supervillain. Anarky has not yet been publicly cast or details of what he will be (namely, hero, villain, or something in between) on Arrow have been released yet.
When Michael Holt was introduced to readers, he was a man in a very dark place. Contemplating suicide over the death of his wife and unborn child, Holt was visited by the Spirit of Vengeance, the Spectre, who relayed the tale of the original Mr. Terrific which inspired Holt to take up his mantle. A chronic overachiever, Holt was an Olympic gold medal winner, a genius in various fields of science and medicine (Holt often identified as the third smartest man on Earth), and expert in six separate martial arts. As Mr. Terrific, he employs T-Spheres which are floating orbs capable of various feats (permit him flight, project holograms, hack computers, perform various scans and measure various input, discharge electrical blasts, self-destruct, and much more) and dons a T-Mask which cloaks his presence to all known forms of electronic technology. Joining a modern day Justice Society of America, it wouldn’t be long before Terrific would lead the group. In time, Terrific became arguably one of the most notable heroes on Earth (often compared to Batman). Post-Flashpoint, Holt was visited by who he believed to be his son from an alternate universe (actually a manipulation of Earth-2’s Mr. Terrific) instead of the Spectre to inspire him to become Mr. Terrific. The hero would later become stranded on Earth-2 and captured by that world’s Terrific before becoming a prisoner of the World Army. While Mr. Terrific has not yet been cast for Arrow, it was revealed be will be a gay man working with Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards).
A veritable unknown, Damien Darhk was a powerful figure in the criminal world obsessed with modern technology and who was sought by various authorities despite being incredibly young. Something of a genius in various fields of study (business, politics, etc) and an analytic strategist, Darhk was hired as the second-in-command of the organization H.I.V.E. which was rebuilt by Adeline Kane, the ex-wife of Deathstroke. H.I.V.E., The Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Extermination, was an organization that sought world domination through political maneuvering and terrorism that ran afoul of the Teen Titans. Kane rebuilt H.I.V.E. in order to eliminate all of the world’s superhumans following going mad after a blood transfusion with Deathstroke (in which his regenerative abilities were passed) and the death of her sons Ravager and Jericho. Following a confrontation between H.I.V.E., the Teen Titans, and Vandal Savage, Kane was killed while Darhk was exposed to her blood in which he gained the nigh-immortality of Deathstroke.
H.I.V.E. has been in the background of Arrow since the start of the series as being the organization that hired Deadshot (Michael Rowe) to kill John Diggle’s brother Andy (Eugene Byrd) and Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable) claimed they tried to purchase Malcolm Merlyn’s (John Barrowman) prototype earthquake device, Gholem Qadir’s (Lee Majdoub) nerve agent, and A.R.G.U.S. files stolen by Mark Shaw (David Cubitt). Ghul went on to claim H.I.V.E. was founded by Damien Darhk, a rival within the League of Assassins who Ghul let live only for Darhk to steal water from the Lazarus Pit and employed rogue members of the League to form his own organization. During the conflict between Arrow (Stephen Amell) and Ra’s, the former tried to kidnap Darhk as a bargaining chip only to fail. It’s likely this plus the aforementioned previous history could drive Darhk and H.I.V.E. to be a primary threat in the coming season. Elements of Darhk in Arrow are also reminiscent of Ebeneezer Darrk, the head of the League of Assassins who had a falling out with Ra’s al Ghul leading to Batman and Talia hunting him down (the event that introduced the Dark Knight to the Daughter of the Demon) ending with Talia killing him. In Arrow, Damien Darhk will be played by Neal McDonough (Dum Dum Dugan, Band of Brothers).