Comic-Con: 'Arrow' Welcomes 'True Blood' Alum, Black Dynamite and Black Canary Into the Fold

At a raucous Ballroom 20 panel, the producers of the CW show announced their intentions to transform Oliver Queen from a vigilante "checking names off a list" to a full-fledged hero who goes by the official Green Arrow name.
Katie Cassidy, Steve Amell and Emily Bett Rickards attend the "Arrow" panel at Comic-Con.

The CW's Arrow is nudging itself ever closer to its comic book origins by introducing a member of the Suicide Squad — villains pressed into service by a shadowy arm of the government into carrying out missions they probably won't survive — and one of the DC Universe's most popular heroines, Black Canary, Oliver Queen's great love.

Talking about how Oliver, played by Stephen Amell, would be "going from the Arrow in season 1 to being Green Arrow in season 2," executive producer Andrew Kreisberg — joined on stage by Amell, Colton Haynes (Roy Harper), Katie Cassidy (Laurel Lance), David Ramsey (John Diggle), Emily Bett Rickards (Felicity Smoak), executive producer Marc Guggenheim and executive producer Greg Berlanti — revealed that the second season's premiere episode's title is "City of Heroes," and that it refers to "not just Oliver and Lauren, but to everyone" reeling after the destruction of Star City's Glades district.

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When asked if we'd see any more DC heroes on the show other than Black Canary — teased ever so brutally in an action-heavy teaser built from a mere four days of shooting — Kreisberg revealed that Brother Blood, a New Teen Titans villain, will play a role in season 2 (and will be played by True Blood's Kevin Alejandro). He also said that Suicide Squad member Bronze Tiger — who also belongs to Ra's Al Ghul's League of Assassins — would be played by Black Dynamite himself, Michael Jai White.

And the fact that John Barrowman crashed the panel halfway through points to his Malcolm Merlyn returning in some fashion, but no one would say precisely how. "If I do get invited back," Barrowman joked, "it's more than the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who has done."

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As for Black Canary's introduction in the sizzle reel — and she seems to have been played by a new actress, a departure from the comics-prescribed trajectory for Cassidy's Laurel Lance — Kreisberg and his writing staff have some trickery up their sleeves: "The first Green Arrow we saw wasn't Oliver; chronologically, it was Yao Fei," Kreisberg said. "The first Deathstroke we saw wasn't Slade Wilson; the first Merlyn the archer we saw wasn't his father, it was Tommy."

No reason to think that Cassidy won't get to don the crime-fightin' fishnets, but nothing happens overnight.

Here's the teaser trailer:

Twitter: @marcbernardin