Though DC won’t let us have a Batman TV show because the property is too important to use on the small screen, The CW has given us a good dose of dark superheroics this fall with Arrow.
But, just because The Dark Knight is off limits, it doesn’t mean Arrow won’t be borrowing from its epic mythos.
Keen-eyed fans noticed Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) mention his travels to Nanda Parbat in a recent episode, where he says he met a man who had a profound impact on his life. The location is a major part of Batman baddie Ra’s al Ghul’s background, and it seems to be implying the elder Merlyn learned his ass-kicking skills from al Ghul himself.
Producer Andrew Kreisberg talked to IGN about the reveal, and said it is something they plan to build on in future episodes:
“Some of that is going to be based on what we’re allowed to say. But those little Easter Eggs… We think that stuff works best when it flies over the heads of people who don’t know DC Comics and they don’t care, and it makes people like you and me go, ‘Yes! Yes!’ So we’ll see moving forward.
But our intention is Merlyn is the Merlyn from the comics and we’ll see… They’ll definitely be more homages to his character and where he came from coming up.”
In Batman canon, Merlyn was actually a member of al Ghul’s League of Shadows, so it seems the small-screen version of the character could be a pretty accurate portrayal of the character.
Considering DC’s standoffishness when it comes to Batman, this looks to be the closest we’ll get to the Caped Crusader’s world on the small screen anytime soon.
Do you like these nods to the larger DC universe, or do you wish they’d build more original mythos around Arrow?