Both Arrow and The Flash will go big this year.
After a season with a heavy focus on getting Oliver and Felicity together, Oliver's time in Hong Kong (the writers of this show are seriously hot on flashbacks) and Thea Queen being brought into the fold of the Star City vigilante, Oliver will re-brand as the Green Arrow in season 4. Although, given that the season 3 finale saw him drive off into the sunset with Ms Smoak after seemingly achieving a kind of closure - realising Starling City could cope without him - the question of what brings Oliver back to town remains unanswered.
Of course, it could be more of a who than a what, which brings us neatly to...
Damien Darhk, just in case you didn't know, is a classic DC antagonist who ticks virtually every box of supervillainy. He was a protege of Ra's Al Ghul, but when Ra's chose another understudy to take over his title, Darhk felt spurned and a rivalry was born. The current Al Ghul has repeatedly attempted to have Darhk assassinated, but being a master tactician he's always a step ahead. His intellect and his cunning are unparalleled.
All of which is exciting, but what's really important is that Darhk will be played by Neal McDonough.
Chances are you've seen this guy in a few of your favourite shows (Justified, Desperate Housewives, Suits to name just a few). He almost always plays a villain because he's incredibly creepy and menacing but also totally charming. Despite his characters being heinous, you often find yourself rooting for them. Which makes the prospect of Damien Darhk pretty delicious...
Also joining Arrow for season 4, this time on the side of Oliver and the gang: Mister Terrific, the intellectual genius and Olympic gold medalist whose wife and child are killed in an accident - at least in the comics. It seems likely that back-story will change considerably for the series, given that exec producer Greg Berlanti has confirmed Terrific will be a friend of Felicity who happens to be gay. Echo Kellum will bring Mister Terrific to life. Here's hoping he's a well-rounded character and not just a token nod to LGBT audiences.
What's that I hear you chanting? "No more flashbacks"? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Jimmy Akingbola has joined the cast as Baron Blitzkrieg, the leader of the Shadowspire and an ally of sorts to Vandal Savage - expect season 4 to do a lot of groundwork setting up [DC's Legends of Tomorrow](tag:2937021), in which Savage is the primary antagonist. Again, the Blitzkrieg of the comics (a disfigured World War II officer who was experimented on by Nazi scientists) seems likely to get a totally new backstory for Arrow.
Will Earth-Two's Flash Jay Garrick make life difficult for Barry in Central City?
Meanwhile in Central City, probably the most prominent new addition to season 2 is Jay Garrick, who is the original Flash of Earth-Two, famous for his iconic retro costume, complete with a helmet that looks like a bowl turned upside down.
One of the big questions of season 2 is how The Flash will reconcile its numerous alt-timelines with the expansion of the multiverse, and it remains to be seen just how Garrick will be incorporated into the present-day timeline in Central City (ie. not the original timeline, but the one we've been following, as altered by Eobard Thawne's trip back to the year 2000 to murder Nora Allen). We're not sure, either, if he'll be an adversary for Barry or an ally. What we do know is he's played by Teddy Sears.
Will Patty Spivot get in the way of Barry and Iris?
With Eddie dead, Joe needs a new partner - which is where Patty Spivot comes into the equation. Patty is a detective who is apparently "obsessed" with meta-humans, which could make Joe's life pretty difficult, and who catches Barry's eye. Gustin Grant has previously hinted that it'll take a while for Iris to get to be open to a relationship with Barry, given that she's grieving, so it looks like Patty could be a nice distraction for The Flash, at least for half a season or so - if his feelings are reciprocated.
There are plenty more new friends and foes on their way to Central City and Star City this season, so I'll keep coming back with more round-ups like this one. To be honest I'm pretty excited, especially for season 2 of The Flash - this show has crazy potential and an insanely strong cast. Check out the Comic-Con reel...
...and let me know if you're as stoked as I am for your favourite speedster and grumpy archer to return to the CW this October.