Jeff Lemire has been on a champion run with Green Arrow, making him a tougher vigilante. And as of the latest issue, on the stands yesterday, GA gets a little closer to his TV show Arrow; Diggle is now part of the DC Universe. We got a chance to speak to Lemire and David Ramsey, who plays Diggle on Arrow, on the comic, the show, and becoming part of DC continuity.
Gamma Squad: So, did you two consult at all about the character and bringing him into the mix?
Jeff Lemire: No. (laughs) I met David for about two seconds at a party at Comic-Con, and this is actually our first time talking. I did talk to Andrew Kreisberg a lot about it at Comic-Con, but David and I haven’t had a chance.
David Ramsey: I do remember that, Jeff!
DC PR: We have a photo!
Gamma Squad: David, what’s it like to see yourself in comic book form?
Ramsey: It’s surreal, it really is, and I’m over the moon about it. I had no idea this was going to happen. If I’d thought about it, I would have hoped for it, but I didn’t think about it. I didn’t cross my mind. To some degree, I reveled that this guy wasn’t part of the DC Universe. I held it as a badge of “Hey, I can do what I want!” There was something I felt as an actor not having the backstory and the lore of DC. But now that it’s happened because of what we’ve done, it’s just very exciting.
Gamma Squad: Jeff, what are some of the challenges bringing an established character into the DCU?
Lemire: It’s kind of tough. We want to capture what’s so successful and popular about David’s depiction of the character, and keep the essence of that. But our mythology and history is obviously different from the show, so we have to take that and adapt it to ours without losing that spark. It’s been a bit of a challenge, but I’ve written a few scripts with him now and I’m starting to get a better feel for the character. Whereas David didn’t have the backstory, I’m kind of unlucky that I have his performance to capture. (laughs)
Gamma Squad: Diggle’s a very grounded, human character, especially compared to some of the more dramatic members of the cast. What’s it like balancing that?
Ramsey: On the show, there’s a place for Diggle to a certain degree because we do try to ground it in reality. There’s probably more of a place for Diggle. But even without that, with the introduction of the Flash, there will be, to some degree, superpowers in the universe. I think Diggle stands out on his own; he’s good with martial arts, he’s an expert at recon, I think that we’ll see in the Arrow universe Diggle handle himself even more outside of Oliver. I think there’s going to be a place for that, particularly in television. I’m not sure how that fits in the comic book universe!
Lemire: That’s exactly why he works in the comic as well. The universe is so fantastic, he almost becomes this everyman character. That’s really valuable to me in the comic. He’s not the kind of guy who would ever put on a costume or a mask, but he can hold his own with any of them, and that’s what makes him so badass. In the second comic, he agrees to work with Oliver, but he says “There’s no way I’m wearing a costume!” (laughs)
I think when it really came down to it, there’s this understanding that if someone needs to kick Oliver’s ass, Diggle could probably do it. (laughs)
Green Arrow #24 is on stands as of today. And if you want more Diggle in motion, Arrow will be debuting next week, and we’ll be recapping it.