Arrow just wrapped up its Season 4 finale “Schism” and we’re already looking ahead to Season 5. Right now there’s no word on who the villain might be. Stephen Amell has said “I’ve heard that our big bad, our villain, is something that you can really only do once you’re in the fifth, sixth or seventh season of a TV show.” He has also commented “As far as I know, they don’t have superpowers. I’ll tell you that.”
Choosing villains has always kind of seemed like a struggle for the show… largely because Green Arrow doesn’t really have that many of his own big villains. Sure there’s Merlyn and Count Vertigo, but it’s hardly a rogues gallery like Batman or the Flash have to draw from. By Season 2 they were already using Deathstroke, more commonly associated with the Teen Titans, as their “big bad.” Season 3 used Batman villain Ra’s al Ghul, and Season 4 created Damien Darhk as a sort of hybrid between Titans villain Damien Darhk and Batman villain Ebeneezer Darkk. Let’s take a look at the biggest Green Arrow villains who HAVEN’T been on the show yet.
Cheshire is more closely associated with the Teen Titans, but her relationship with Roy Harper makes her a notable Green Arrow antagonist. Cheshire is a world-renowned terrorist who Harper meets while working as an undercover government agent. Despite being sent to take her down, Harper falls in love with Cheshire, and they conceive a child together named Lian Harper. The complicated relationship between Roy, his daughter, and his mass-murdering baby mama has been a defining trait of his character for the last several decades. We know we’re going to be seeing a little bit more of Harper this upcoming season, so Cheshire is a possibility.
Hyrax didn’t last for very long, but you could argue that she had more impact on Oliver than any other villain. She is, after all, the only one who’s managed to kill him. Hyrax lead a group of eco-terrorists who planned to blow up Metropolis.
Despite a relatively short number of appearances, Natas is memorable just for the impact he had on Oliver Queen. For the first several decades of his appearances, Oliver was a decent brawler but never really a heavy martial artist. He relied on his bows and arrows, while Black Canary was usually around to handle any serious butt-whooping. After nearly dying in Infinite Crisis, he decided to hire the assassin Natas to teach him how a killer thinks. Natas beat the crap out of Ollie for about a year until his final test, when he hired a small army of assassins to kill Oliver. The story is only three issues, but it gave us the badass martial artist Oliver Queen we know today.
This is probably the most insane option on the list, but also bizarrely the most likely. When film director Kevin Smith did a run on Green Arrow, he created the villain Onomatopoeia as a fun character who could only work in comics. Onomatopoeia is a serial killer known for only speaking in comic book sound effects… repeating the noises we see written as words on the page. There’s very little known about his background other than that he targets superheroes and keeps a trophy room with the masks of everyone he’s killed. Kevin Smith has since then become creatively involved with the Arrowverse, directing this year’s Flash episode “The Runaway Dinosaur.” This is not a confirmation, but Smith has expressed interest in adapting Onomatopoeia to live-action.
I had to include at least one ridiculous Golden Age super-villain on here or they would take away my nerd card. The Red Dart didn’t have a huge impact on Green Arrow, but he was maybe the first villain presented as a real “antithesis” to the Emerald Archer. He has always occupied a fond position in my heart. Mostly I just love his gimmick. It almost sounds sarcastic. “Oh, is that all it takes to make a superhero name? You just pick a color and a weapon? Fine! Look at me! I’m the… mauve… shuriken!” Red Dart posed as a hero while secretly committing crimes, but Green Arrow figured out his shenanigans pretty quickly.
Richard Dragon didn’t start out as a villain. He began in the 70’s as the hero of a book titled Kung-Fu Master where he was portrayed as the greatest martial artist on the planet. The 2011 reboot reintroduced Dragon as a crimelord named Ricardo Diaz, who had been a student of the original Dragon and took his name after killing him. He leads a team of enemies to Green Arrow called the Longbow Hunters.