Oliver Queen has always been seen as a lone wolf of sorts, but as the seasons rolled by, Team Arrow went from strength to strength, thanks to the likes of Speedy and Black Canary.
However, that's no longer the case. Laurel's dead, Diggle's joined the army and Thea's taking a well-deserved break. Oliver's decided to recruit new characters to join the fight in Season 5, training these amateur vigilantes to protect Star City at all costs.
As is often the way, the addition of new heroic characters to Arrow also means that new villains lurk on the horizon, cackling maniacally as they twirl their moustaches in anticipation. Fortunately, we're on hand to separate the heroes from the villains, breaking down exactly what the new Arrow characters will bring to the biggest cast that we've seen yet.
Adrian Chase/Vigilante (Josh Segarra)
The death of Laurel Lance robbed Star City of both its District Attorney and the Black Canary, leaving a gap that will be filled by none other than Adrian Chase. Arrow's newest arrival will work alongside Mayor Oliver Queen by day and fight crime as the Vigilante at night.
Confusing name aside, the street-based hero actually has a fascinating comic book history, exploring how much force crime-fighters should use on their opponents long before Oliver grappled with the same dilemma.
At first, Vigilante was determined to only use non-lethal force on criminals, but as his solo series progressed, Chase became increasingly unstable. He even murdered innocent police officers who were in his way. In the end, mental illness and guilt over his actions pushed Vigilante over the edge, leading to his suicide in the comic's final issue.
It's highly doubtful that Arrow will explore Vigilante's comic book history that far, but the character's views on crime-fighting may reignite Queen's own guilt over the deaths of those he killed in cold blood, bringing the show round full circle to Season 1.
Jack Wheeler/Wild Dog (Rick Gonzalez)
The first new character added to Team Arrow is Jack Wheeler, a vigilante who's adopted the rather odd name Wild Dog. Origin-wise, his story's fairly standard: Former Marine Jack Wheeler sought revenge after a hitmen killed his girlfriend, who was secretly the daughter of a Chicago crime lord. Using a gun, electrified shock gloves and zero superpowers, Wheeler donned a hockey mask and set out to clean the streets of criminal scum.
As his superhero moniker suggests, Wild Dog doesn't like to play by the rules, which will cause tension between him and Oliver as Team Arrow hits the streets. Let's just hope the show runners think of a better way to introduce his code name than in the comics, where a SWAT captain ordered his men to shoot Wheeler down "like a wild dog in the street".
Tobias Church (Chad Coleman)
As there's no comic book counterpart to gangster Tobias Church, our information on Season 5's new big bad is pretty limited at the moment. However, we do know that his character will work hard to unite the various criminals of Star City against the Green Arrow.
The original casting call was looking for someone who could play an intelligent and calculating crime lord, so it's no surprise that Arrow chose to cast Chad Coleman, whose intense work on The Wire and The Walking Dead will fit in perfectly with the grittier direction that the show's now taking.
We're excited to see how Church's role develops as Season 5 proceeds. Could Tobias unite with another big bad to take down the Green Arrow once and for all?
Prometheus is a confusing villain to say the least; Arrow's costumed big bad for Season 5 is reportedly a new character who holds a connection to Oliver's past, but his identity remains a mystery. After losing someone important to him thanks to the Hood way back in Season 1, Prometheus will return to use his own considerable archery skills and take revenge on the Green Arrow.
Rumors suggest that Oliver's deceased friend Tommy Merlyn may turn out to be the man under the hood. However, the show runners maintain that Prometheus will be a brand new character, one that doesn't hold any links with the comic book counterpart who shares the same name.
At the end of the day though , we'll be happy with anything, as long as they don't reveal Prometheus to be Jay Garrick or Harrison Wells!
Rory Regan/Ragman (Joe Dinicol)
Ragman may sound like the product of drug-induced brainstorming down at DC's headquarters, but the mystical vigilante is actually a surprisingly fascinating Arrow character who's lurked at the periphery of comic-book stardom for far too long.
Power-wise, Ragman is more unique than your average hero; he absorbs souls into his cloak that then grant him enhanced strength and durability. Whether Arrow decides to take this approach or de-power the vigilante instead, Rory Regan's Jewish heritage and links to Gotham City make him an unusually compelling addition to the cast.
- First Look At Ragman In 'Arrow' Trailer: Here's Why The Mystical Hero Could Be The Most Important Character In Season 5
Christopher Chance/Human Target (Wil Traval)
Will Traval can't get enough of comic book shows, jumping over from Marvel's Jessica Jones to play Christopher Chance in Arrow! Chance is a private investigator and bodyguard who's more commonly referred to as the Human Target.
Chance's penchant for disguise means that we'll probably see more than one Ollie on screen at once. After all, the Human Target's set to be the new Mayor's bodyguard in Season 5 and it's likely he'll need protecting from assassins.
This isn't the first time that Arrow's new character The Human Target will be seen on TV. Back in 2010, the master of disguise starred in his own show that debuted on CTV and FOX, but unfortunately, Chance's solo venture only lasted for two seasons before it was eventually cancelled.
Detective Malone (Tyler Ritter)
At the end of Season 4, Quentin Lance was ousted from the police force, because, you know, it's not like the death of his daughter was painful enough for the poor guy. This left a space in the SCPD which will be filled in Arrow Season 5 by Detective Malone, a new character who will be played by Tyler Ritter.
Little information has been released on this new recurring character as of yet, but now that Lance is no longer there to act as a buffer, we imagine that Season 5 of Arrow will revive the friction that once stood between the Police and the Emerald Archer.
Susan Williams (Carly Pope)
The back story of Susan Williams doesn't seem all too exciting at first: this Arrow character is simply a reporter who arrives in Star City to search for a scoop on Mayor Oliver Queen.
However, once you delve into her comic book history a bit, it turns out that Williams is married to Jim Jordan, the younger brother of Hal Jordan, who just so happens to be the Green Lantern. Yep. Arrow are throwing in yet another reference to Jordan and Coast City, the home that he protects on Earth.
While this doesn't mean that Green Lantern will appear on the show, it's hard to not feel a twinge of excitement at the possibility. After all, Green Lantern and Green Arrow have a long and complicated history in the comics, which would be incredible to explore on a weekly TV format, budget notwithstanding.
Kovar (Dolph Lundgren)
We've talked a lot about the villains set to appear in the present-day Arrow, but is anyone more intimidating than Dolph Lundgren, whose character will plague Oliver in the flashbacks?
Lundgren's character Kovar is a member of the Russian government, who's apparently involved in what happened to Taiana's family. Inevitably then, this is how Lundgren and Oliver will cross paths. We're just thankful this is all going on in the flashbacks, so we know for a fact that Oliver makes it out of their encounter alive. Otherwise, I wouldn't be confident that the Emerald Archer would survive!
Of all the new characters who will be added to Arrow's cast in Season 5, James is perhaps the most mysterious to date. Described as an "irrepressibly charming" friend of Oliver's who's also "a man on a mission", James is apparently out to avenge a tragedy from years before.
Stephen Amell is unsure of whether James has powers or not — either way, he sounds dangerous. Could James be the secret identity of Prometheus? Their back stories certainly sound similar, and both are currently shrouded in mystery. Watch this space.
Ishmael Gregor (David Meunier)
Arrow is making a conscious effort to avoid the supernatural after fans were turned off by the mystical elements of Season 4. This means it's unlikely that new Arrow character Ishmael Gregor will be portrayed as a demon-loving fanatic.
Instead, David Meunier's take on the part will focus on his life as a Russian crime boss, which means he's set to appear primarily in the flashbacks. The future's open for a character like this, who could potentially pop up in the present day too somewhere later down the line.
- Oliver Queen/Green Arrow
- John Diggle/Spartan
- Thea Queen/Speedy
- Felicity Smoak/Overwatch
- Curtis Holt/Mister.Terrific (Promoted to main cast)
- Quentin Lance/Detective
- Roy Harper/Arsenal (Returning for a few episodes)
- Evelyn Sharp/Artemis (Promoted to main cast)
- Laurel Lance/Black Canary (Flashbacks)
Now that Arrow is adding more new characters than ever to the show, let's just hope that one of them can fill the Laurel-shaped hole that the death of Black Canary left in our hearts.
Which new character are you excited to see most in Season 5 of Arrow?