Say the name Malcolm Merlyn in the Arrowverse, and every fan knows you're talking about the #DarkArcher, a character so conniving and devious, he's easy to hate. Portrayed convincingly by John Barrowman, Malcolm has become one of Green Arrow's greatest enemies. We never know which turn his clever mind is going to take next, and there are even times when we root for him.
So it shouldn't come as a surprise that many fans are interested in learning more about the Dark Archer.
His backstory is playing out in a comic book written by actor John Barrowman and his sister, Carole. As reported by Blastr in early 2016, "the series is technically set between Seasons 3 and 4 of Arrow, though it will also jump into some flashbacks that show the character’s evolution before the events of Arrow." This is great for comic book fans, but what about for those of us who prefer live-action television? What about those of us who believe John Barrowman would kill it on his own television show, as he's previously proven in #Torchwood.
And even with Malcolm's backstory being partially told in the Dark Archer comics, there is so much territory to explore, including the possibility of redemption...if one believes such a thing could happen for Merlyn.
Malcolm Merlyn's Transformation
Long before he became an enemy of Ra's al Ghul, Merlyn was trained by the League of Assassins. We've only captured glimpses of the man known as the Magician and the time it took for him to become a fighter that could best Oliver Queen. A television show that incorporates the rich details of Nanda Parbat as well as the archery and swordplay would draw in #Arrowverse viewers eager to see the dark side of this world. And watching Merlyn morph from devastated father to vengeful killer is a journey we want to take.
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As Barrowman told Inverse.com when talking about the Dark Archer comic, "Malcolm sees himself as a hero and I think that’s what people connect to.” So even though he's dangerous, wickedly good with a bow and arrow, there is still a bit of heart inside Malcolm, and we'd love to see what transformed him.
Malcolm Merlyn's Thirst For Revenge
Whether it's Brick, Nyssa, or Oliver Queen, Malcolm Merlyn's quest for revenge knows no bounds. He is a master at getting what he wants, and to watch his manipulations come alive week after week would be a thing of beauty, especially when you factor in that Merlyn believes he is making the right choices. But we don't know why he thinks the way he does, at least not all of it. #JohnBarrowman said it best when he talked with CW33 about the Dark Archer comic book series:
"Because Malcolm always appears and is always kind of coming out of the shadows. He’s very static. There’s no reason, there’s no backstory, there’s no telling of how he’s made his money."
Malcolm Merlyn's Redemption
Okay, this one is a long shot, but remember the TV series #Angel? The main character was attempting to atone for his sins for the people he killed as a heinous vampire. Whether Malcolm could ever reach this point is certainly up in the air, but he could, in essence, become an anti-hero, saving people's lives not because he cares about them but because they're in the way of his real target, much like he did with Black Canary and Roy in Season Three of #Arrow.
Malcolm will always have an ulterior motive because that's what makes him who he is. Turning him into a willing hero would take away his edge, but making him a begrudging savior would be perfect fodder. Here would be a skilled archer, a ruthless enemy and a man whose every move has blurred the lines between right and wrong. And it would make for fabulous television!
John Barrowman agreed when speaking to Inverse.com:
"It’s stuff that could actually be put on the screen if they decided to do a nice Malcolm Merlyn or Dark Archer spin-off, it would be awesome."
And there's the added benefit of Barrowman being really, really good at portraying such a conflicted character. Who wouldn't want to watch him every week?
Do you want to see a Dark Archer spinoff?