After being name-dropped in the fourth season and early episodes of the fifth, the new flashback villain for this season of Arrow finally debuted: Konstantin Kovar. Played by Dolph Lundgren, Kovar is the governor of Krasnoyarsk Krai and rules it with an iron first. Not just the police, but the legislature and the local military. He’s got the underworld in his hands too, which makes him an uncomfortable frenemy of Anatoly Knyazev‘s Bratva. Last season’s flashback ally, Taiana Venediktov, was also not fond of him. She hoped to use the magic idol to free her province of Kovar’s rule.
Given his background, Kovar’s got to be a major DC villain, then, wouldn’t he?
Nope, he isn’t.
Minor DC Comic Villains
After Deathstroke, Ivo, Fyers, and China White in the first seasons, all of Oliver’s flashback villains have been relative nobodies. Season four’s Baron Reiter was said to be based on Baron Blitzkrieg but had little in common except perhaps a desire to use magic to achieve his goals. He certainly wasn’t a Nazi Doctor Doom. This season is no different. The Bratva is not a major player in Green Arrow‘s history or even the DC Universe. There’s the Odessa Mob in Gotham, ruled by the Kosovs but that’s it. All the names given to Bratva characters are so far just DC characters who happen to be Russian.
Anatoly Knyazev is the KGBeast, a ruthless killer who Batman ends up starving to death. Ishmael Gregor, the lieutenant introduced in “So It Begins“, is the second SABBAC. At least he was a crime boss, so it’s not much a stretch. Whether he’ll get powers from six demons this season is anyone’s guess.
Konstantin Kovar in the Comics
Kovar, the biggest fish, has the least appearances in the comics. He’s Leonid Kovar‘s father, the Teen Titan known as Starfire (no, not that one) and later Red Star. In the comics, he’s not a politician or a criminal, but rather an archeologist. He first appears in the obligatory origin-explaining flashback in Starfire’s debut in 1968. During a dig with his son, he stumbles across a crashed alien ship. It explodes; Leonid gets powers. His father dies, per the superhero origin norm.
Kovar reappears in 1993, where he’s suddenly alive and a cybernetics expert. By reverse engineering a team of “Meta-Men” by mixing Cyborg’s technology with political prisoners, he hoped to bring back the Soviet Union. He didn’t succeed.
Dolph Lundgren Is the Ultimate Cold War Villain
Since Kovar already went from archeologist to engineer, making him a politician isn’t much of a stretch. Ever since Ivan Drago, Dolph Lundgren has made a name for himself as the quintessential Cold War villain. Unlike the other actors playing Russians, however, he doesn’t seem to bother with an accent this time. But that won’t make him any less of a threat to Oliver Queen.