NOTE: The usual caveat: Thar be “Arrow” Season 2 spoilers below; if you’re not caught up, proceed knowingly.
THE HOOD, bow and arrow and domino mask are all there, but when the third season of the CW’s superhero hit “Arrow” begins Oct. 8, there will be another hand reaching for a quiver.
The trailer for Season 3, which debuted at Comic-Con, looks deep at the five-year period when Oliver Queen was presumed dead (turns out, he didn’t spend all five years on “the island); at the possible romance between Oliver and his tech-help, Felicity; at the drama between Oliver and his hired muscle/friend, Diggle; and at the debut of Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer (not yet the Atom).
Another big moment you could have missed if you blinked was the debut of Colton Haynes as Arsenal.
Ever since Haynes debuted as Roy Harper on “Arrow” in Season 1, fans familiar with the show’s DC Comics-inspired themes have waited for the day when Roy would suit-up alongside Green Arrow (still only called “the Arrow” on the show) to hunt down those who have failed Starling City.
Come October, the wait is over. Starting with Season 3’s first episode, fans will see the suit of Arsenal make its debut in the Arrow universe. Whether Haynes will be in the suit as Arsenal in the season premiere remains to be seen, but it is clear that once again, as during Season 2, the Arrow will have help in a mask.
This is good news for Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen/Arrow, given the uncertain status of the mantle of the Black Canary. (Looks like Caity Lotz/Sara Lance will return, but for how long, and will her sister Laurel [Katie Cassidy] finally suit up this season, if ever?)
Oliver Queen’s season-long conflict with Deathstroke (Manu Bennett) made it clear: Saving Starling City can no longer be a one-man battle. Yes, there’s Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), but it can’t just be Oliver out in the field all the time.
The suit, mask and bow of Arsenal are a strong blood-red, much like the hoodie that Roy wore frequently during the first two seasons that was a nod to fans about what his future held.
For much of Season 2, it appeared that whenever Roy did eventually suit up, he’d be the muscle of team Arrow after Deathstroke injected him with the Mirakuru serum. Roy spent most of “Arrow’s” second season trying to control his anger — punching through brick walls and being the super-strong counter to Deathstroke, who was also enhanced by Mirakuru. But Roy will enter Season 3 Mirakuru-free.
With Roy’s hero-internship over and promotion to masked vigilante complete, a key question becomes: Will he cross paths with his old flame, Thea Queen (played by Willa Holland), Oliver’s sister and Roy’s sometimes girlfriend. Thea left the Queen family and joined sides with Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) after he was revealed to be her biological father at the end of Season 2. Merlyn also happens to be the superior archer/sometimes-reluctant enemy of Oliver Queen, who knows Oliver’s secret. Will Thea be turned into a weapon against the Arrow and Arsenal. while remaining completely unaware that they are really her brother and ex-boyfriend?
And then there’s Ra’s al Ghul. His presence was hinted at frequently in Season 2. One of his daughters was even revealed to be a former love interest to the Black Canary. Now it has been confirmed at Comic-Con that he will be the No. 1 bad guy of “Arrow’s” third season.
The role has not been cast yet. In the brief trailer shown in San Diego that showed Ra’s as the Arrow’s next big threat, a man was shown but his face was not revealed.
With so many big reveals for Warner Bros./DC Entertainment at Comic-Con, fans will have to wait a little longer to see the face of Ra’s al Ghul. But if Ra’s and the League of Assassins do descend on Starling City, they’ll find out that the DC Comics universe has more than one dynamic duo.