We love a hero, we love to watch them persevere, fail at first, but then succeed, but a story is only as good as its villain or villains. From Cobra Commander to Lex Luthor to Hans Gruber, great villains can make the hero look good and take a mundane story and make it great.
Arrow and The Flash have been hits for The CW, and while Oliver Queen and Barry Allen are the focal points, their adversaries are what keep them interesting and keep us watching.
Reprising his role from the 1991 CBS series The Flash, Mark Hamill goes full on Lecter/Joker, complete with his own glass cage and isolated wing in Iron Heights. When a copycat, who would later be revealed as the son of James Jesse, begins attacking Central City, Barry and Joe (Jesse L. Martin) go to seek help from Trickster, which then leads into a double cross by father and son. Exploding gift boxes, poisoned champagne, and out-and-out maniacal laughter makes The Trickster a great foil for the Scarlet Speedster. Hamill will be reprising the role later on this season.
First the Dark Archer and now the current Ra’s al Ghul, Merlyn (John Barrowman) has been 2 steps ahead of everyone since he appeared in the first season of Arrow. Trained by the League Of Assassins after the death of his wife, he took on the guise of the Dark Archer to make the Arrow look like the killer he had once been. Upon learning he was Thea Queens biological father, he sought to train her to be the warrior his son never could, and then used her to kill Sara Lance (Black Canary). Striking a deal with Oliver to become the new Ra’s al Ghul at the end of last season. Now leader of the League Of Assassins, Merlyn holds the lions’ share of the power in Arrow for the time being.
Initially an ally of Oliver Queen when Queen was first stranded on the island, Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett) originally sought to help Oliver avenge the death of his mentor Yao Fe. Growing jealous of Oliver and his growing relationship with Yao Fes’ daughter Shado, Slade was pushed over the edge when after a battle, Oliver gave him a dose of mirakuru to save his life.
Making his first appearance in season 2 of Arrow, Wilson resurfaced with a plan and a grudge to end Oliver Queen and destroy all he holds dear. He developed an army of mirakuru powered foot soldiers, planted a mole in Queen Consolidated to manipulate Oliver to sign over the company, and he also murdered Moira Queen right in front of Thea and Oliver.
He is one of the worlds’ most dangerous assassins and fighters, can go toe to toe with almost anyone, and probably has the scariest costume going. Deathstroke was a standout character in the sophomore season of Arrow.
Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller) is a simple man who likes simple things. He likes to steal, and doesn’t have qualms about hurting people to get what he wants. Forced to adapt his approach when The Flash appeared in Central City, Snart came into possession of a cold gun stolen from S.T.A.R. Labs. Snarts’ new weapon has the ability to reach ‘absolute zero’ and stop The Flash in his tracks. The game changed and Snart changed with it. Calculating every angle and anticipating almost every outcome, Cold has come to a bit of an uneasy truce with The Flash after a recent encounter, agreeing to not kill anyone in the commission of his illegal activities. Captain Cold will be a part of Legends Of Tomorrow, which will be premiering Jan 2016 on the CW.
The primary antagonist in this current season of Arrow, Darhk is a chess master who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty when needed. Formerly the heir to take over the League Of Assassins and cast out by Ra’s Al Ghul because he wasn’t going to wait to assume power. Currently the leader of the mysterious HIVE, Darhk also presents the face of a legitimate businessman who wants to help Star City. Sharp suits, a killer smile, and supernatural powers from an unknown source, Darhks’ endgame has yet to be revealed this season and that makes him the Green Arrows’ most formidable foe yet.
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The Flash airs Tuesday nights at 8pm EST, Arrow airs Wednesday nights at 8pm EST on The CW