Of the main characters in Arrow and the CW's Flarrow-verse, Malcolm Merlyn may also be one of the most mysterious.
We thought that we had it all figured out when it was revealed that he left Tommy to join the League of Assassins and become the Dark Archer. His story became a little more complicated when dealing with Thea, but seemed to be wrapped up nicely when he became the next Ra's Al Ghul.
Of course, the Arrow showrunners couldn't just leave it at that, and audiences were left gasping at the end of the Flash/Arrow crossover special, when Merlyn revealed a past relationship with Vandal Savage. On top of which, it seems that Mr Merlyn will be resurrecting the near-immortal villain, and nobody knows why!
Presumably, the story behind their friendship and Merlyn's history with Savage will be slowly revealed through future episodes of Flarrow (and of course, the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow, where Savage is the big bad). However, if you just can't wait to learn more about Malcolm, John Barrowman and his sister Carole Barrowman have created a new comic series to do just that.
Arrow: The Dark Archer
The new series will be set between season 3 and 4 of Arrow, alongside flashbacks to show Malcom's history, and will be available digitally from Jan 13th (new issues bi-weekly).
The series will explore a lot of the questions viewers have about Malcolm's past, including how he gained his wealth, how he met the love of his life, and everything that makes him the twisted and tormented Ra's Al Ghul that we are seeing in the series now.
It will be firmly within the Arrow canon, but also draws heavily from the comics (both John and Carole are big fans). The two writers dropped some heavy hints about what we will see, including time in Corto Maltese and Nanda Parbat, a different identity for the Dark Archer, some sex scenes, and the story behind his famous line to Thea: "pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional".
This sounds like a fantastic way to get a little extra Arrow fix, and while it probably won't give anything away about Vandal Savage, it will definitely help explain a little more about Malcolm Merlyn.