The Arrow Comic-Con panel on Friday came and went without much surprise. The trailer looked fantastic, it really pressed the entire epic theme of season three, and you got to see a few of the familiar faces from the show. Fans were happy.
Then I suppose the creators of the show and the folks at Warner Bros. got a little itchy on the spoiler button. Only a day after the first trailer, they went ahead to reveal the major villain pulling the strings behind the third season. From The Hollywood Reporter:
Oliver Queen and Co. will be up against one of the most prolific DC villains ever: Ra’s al Ghul. The big surprise was revealed Saturday evening during DC Entertainment/Warner Bros. TV’s three-hour extravaganza, hosted by Arrow’s own Stephen Amell, in the cavernous Hall H. For the team behind Arrow, getting Ra’s al Ghul to actually appear in the Starling City universe was in the works for awhile.”It really happened very organically in the sense that we had this notion that in episode 16 we were going to reveal that Malcolm Merlyn was trained by the League of Assassins and that’s because of the comic book. We were like, you know what we’re going to do? We’re going to get away with a little reference about a guy in Nanda Parbat who changed his life,” executive producer Marc Guggenheim tells a handful of reporters Saturday. “That was just the beginning.”
That’s a pretty cool reveal, even though it was already hinted at a few weeks back. As an outsider who still hasn’t fully immersed into the show, I can see this as a nice way to get people involved who wouldn’t normally be there. Throw in the rumors that they might try to tie this in with the future DC Comics films and you have a much greater sense of where this could lead.
But for the long time fans, this probably isn’t the first time you’ve heard about Ra’s al Ghul in the show. It truly has been a trail of bread crumbs leading to this moment:
There was a lot of thought given to how much to dole out the Ra’s al Ghul name during Arrow. “When we were talking about Ra’s in the third episode in season two, it was [a question of] how many times should we mention his name? How often should we talk about him? Because he has a lot of power especially on the comic-book side. We didn’t want to over-milk it and overuse it,” Guggenheim says.
“We not only show you a little hint of Ra’s, we also repeat all the times we mention his name, which shows you how long we’ve been talking about this and thinking about this,” he continues. (via)
No one has been cast in the role as of this point, but al Ghul will be appearing early in season three. This is just another example of how great a time it is to be a comics fan, especially when they are being more widely integrated into other media. The premiere for season three of Arrow will be on October 8th, one night after the premiere of The Flash spin-off that is also garnering a lot of attention.