After five years’ worth of flashbacks, Arrow is likely to reinvent itself for Season 6 this fall. Missions will change, cast will change, and certain figures that defined the early years may become scarce. In fact, John Barrowman’s Malcolm Merlyn may exit the Arrow-verse altogether, according to the actor’s cryptic tease.

Barrowman had perhaps his busiest year across the CW-DC shows, to serve as “franchise regular” villain to the Legends of Tomorrow, as well as make the odd Arrow appearance. We know Barrowman’s Merlyn will pop up on Arrow Season 5 before long, but as the actor apparently told audiences at Kansas City’s Planet Comic-Con, we may not see Malcolm Merlyn on any of the four (five?) shows next year:

There’s a bit to unpack here, as subsequent reports noted that Barrowman claimed his Flash musical character’s death would somehow extend to the actual Malcolm Merlyn. We know Legends of Tomorrow Season 3 won’t rehash the same “Legion of Doom” that incorporated Barrowman’s character, so it might make sense that the actor’s “franchise regular” contract only extended a single year.

There’s every chance that upcoming Arrow episodes afford the character some conclusive end, but given all the time-travel and resurrections inherent to this franchise (Merlyn included), it’s entirely plausible Barrowman could still make a guest appearance. After all, the Legends time-travel for a living, and Supergirl lives on her own parallel Earth.

We’ll see what shakes out about Barrowman’s comments in the coming weeks, but should the Arrow-verse prepare to say goodbye to Malcolm Merlyn?

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