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The CW’s ‘Arrow’ Recruiting a Major Batman Character?

Arrow Batman Merlyn Nanda Parbat Ras Al Ghul
The CW / Warner Bros.

Oliver Queen’s secret identity as the ‘Arrow‘ wasn’t the only major reveal from the hit CW drama’s most recent hour “Dead to Rights,’ As Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) dropped a major DC reference in explaining a few of his origins. The reference brought to light a connection with a major DC character typically associated with the Batman universe, but could ‘Arrow’ be paving the way for a surprise appearance? Find out what major Batman villain could soon appear on ‘Arrow’ inside!

Since the days of ‘Smallville’ DC fans have known that Warner Bros. remains cagey about incorporating Batman characters into any other properties, relevant today with The CW’s Green Arrow adaptation ‘Arrow.’ ‘The Dark Knight’ might not rise again in theaters in some time, but could a major reference in ‘Arrow’s’ most recent episode pave the way for one of his villains?

“Dead to Rights” saw Malcolm Merlyn referencing his training in the fictional DC locale of Nanda Parbat, which in comic continuity has been a known association of Ra’s Al Ghul, the Batman character most recognizably played by Liam Neeson in Christopher Nolan‘s trilogy. Given the usual “Batman Embargo,” however, IGN spoke to ‘Arrow’ Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg of the potential reference to Ra’s Al Ghul, who in the comics led the League of Assassins that Malcolm Merlyn belonged to in the first place. Said Kreisberg of the character existing in the ‘Arrow’ world:

There will be slightly more elaboration on that. There’s probably a name that people want to hear mentioned that I’m not sure, legally, we can mention! Some of that is going to be based on what we’re allowed to say. But those little Easter Eggs…We think that stuff works best when it flies over the heads of people who don’t know DC Comics and they don’t care, and it makes people like you and me go, ‘Yes! Yes!’

So we’ll see moving forward. But our intention is Merlyn is the Merlyn from the comics and we’ll see… They’ll definitely be more homages to his character and where he came from coming up.

Also worth noting from the PaleyFest panel this past weekend was a reference to ‘Arrow’s’ portrayal of Merlyn as an “evil Bruce Wayne,” furthering the potential Batman referencing, but it remains to be seen how much of ‘Arrow’ can extend beyond spiritual references to Nolan’s “Dark Knight’ trilogy.

What say you? Do you think ‘Arrow’ meant to imply a connection to Ra’s Al Ghul, or should the show develop its own mythology? Who from the DC universe would you want to appear in future episodes?

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