Stephen Amell has promised that Arrow Season 5 will return to the series’ grounded roots, fitting given the end of Oliver’s five-year flashback cycle, and it seems the Green Arrow may appropriately deal with a major fallout of his Hood-ed past. Season 5's big bad has been revealed to result from the series’ early tendency for murder, something that now comes back to haunt Oliver.

The upcoming Comic-Con 2016 issue of TVGuide saw producer Wendy Mericle offer a few tantalizing details of our Season 5 big bad, notably that Oliver directly created the new threat with his tendency to kill bad guys in Season 1. The concept was often noted as extreme in the show’s early days, something later seasons attempted to course-correct, though it seems Season 5 will address the fallout much more directly:

[Season 5's villain] is somebody Oliver unwittingly created in Season 1 when he was a killer in a hood. This guy is going to be collateral damage who lost someone to the Hood and [has] spent the last several years training and plotting for revenge. He will be a true dark mirror to Oliver Queen.

That would certainly fit with initial casting descriptions of the “irrepressibly charming” series regular role of “James,” listed in May as a “man on a mission” out to “avenge a tragic, violent loss from his own, years-ago past.” Still, Season 5 has cast any one of several new vigilante figures that could be made to fit that description, if not for a separate casting announcement or confirmation at Comic-Con 2016.

Previously, Stephen Amell had also said:

I’ve heard that our big bad, our villain, is something that you can really only do once you’re in the fifth, sixth or seventh season of a TV show … As far as I know, they don’t have superpowers. I’ll tell you that.

It’s at least of interest to see Arrow pivoting to answer for some of Oliver’s past deeds, especially as Season 5 marks a potential transition year for the DC drama, to close out its flashback structure and begin a new era.

We’ll see what develops at Comic-Con, but who might the new big bad be?

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