- Ironic, isn't it? Last Christmas, I almost killed you. A few months ago, you saved my life. And now you're here to trying to kill me. You should make up your mind.
- -- Malcolm Merlyn
- -- Malcolm Merlyn
Malcolm Merlyn is a wealthy businessman and prominent figure in Starling City. His family owns Merlyn Global Group, presumably making him the CEO. He is also involved with the League of Assassins, serving as their primary agent of influence in Starling City. Malcolm is a longtime acquaintance of the Queen Family, and his son, Tommy, is the best friend of Oliver Queen.
Malcolm's personality changed considerably when his wife was murdered by an unknown assailant in the Glades. There were many people who could have helped her, but they did nothing. This shattered Malcolm's faith in humanity, and he became convinced that the Glades were a cesspool of crime and filth. He disappeared for two years, traveling to Nanda Parbat and joining the League of Assassins. While there, he is trained by Al-Owal in multiple combat and assassination techniques, which he would utilize as the Dark Archer (the alias he used while wearing the League's uniform). After he returned, he devised a plan (the Undertaking) to destroy the Glades and rebuild something better in its place, using a device that can simulate earthquakes. He also came to believe that Tommy needed to learn the harsh realities of life. Consequently, Malcolm grew frustrated by Tommy's "chronic irresponsibility and terminal laziness."
Not long after Oliver returned from Lian Yu, Malcolm met with Moira Queen to discuss the vigilante Arrow. He expressed that he was uneasy about him. At first Moira expected this was because he had a large amount of wealth, but he replied that it was because the vigilante was targeting "The List". Malcolm later invited Moira to talk with him upon short notice. They discuss whether Oliver might actually be the green-hooded vigilante, and he holds up his end of the argument that he strongly believes that Oliver is. After this, he sent a hitman to kill Oliver based on his assumption. After the chaos cleared, Moira threatened to expose him if he ever hurt the Queen Family. Not long after this, Moira became collateral damage in a drive-by shooting, sustaining a concussion. Malcolm visited her while she was recuperating, and Moira reluctantly reaffirms her loyalty to the Undertaking. It is around this time that Malcolm decides that Tommy is not fit to carry on the family legacy, and nullifies his trust fund, an act of "tough love" that ultimately leads his son to his first job.
During a Christmas party, Malcolm meets Oliver for the first time since his return from the island. Eventually, the subject of the Arrow vigilante comes up, and they agree that he needs a better cryptonym, Malcolm suggests Green Arrow, which Oliver dismisses. Not long after, Malcolm dons his League uniform and begins killing people on "The List." He eventually takes 5 people hostage, threatening to kill them unless Arrow confronts him. The Dark Archer manages to overpower Arrow, and reveals that he knows about "The List," and that its author wants Arrow dead. However, he is forced to flee before he can unmask his nemesis. Malcolm later orchestrates the kidnapping of Walter Steele, using him as "collateral" to ensure Moira's loyalty. Moira reminds him that thousands of innocent people will die when the League's plans reach fruition, but Malcolm insists he will feel a sense of accomplishment.
Moira and one of Malcolm's co-conspirators, Frank Chen, decide to assassinate Malcolm, hiring China White and Deadshot to kill him at a fundraiser. Malcolm protects Tommy from White's thugs, and is about to reveal his Dark Archer identity to him when he is shot by Deadshot. Though Malcolm was protected by body armor, the bullet was laced with curare, which would have killed him were it not for Tommy and Oliver's timely intervention. As Malcolm recovers, he tells Tommy about his time at Nanda Parbat, and tells Moira there is a traitor in their organization. After making a sufficient recovery, Malcolm assumes the Dark Archer identity again to assassinate Chen, though seemingly remains unaware of Moira's involvement.
Not long after, Arrow receives a lead on Walter's whereabouts, and discovers that Malcolm was involved in Walter's kidnapping. As the Undertaking nears its end stages, the Dark Archer kills the earthquake device's creator, Brion Markov, as a security measure. Arrow confronts Malcolm in his office, and reveals his dual identity as the Dark Archer, and overpowers Arrow. He unmasks his nemesis, and is shocked to see Oliver under the Hood. Malcolm has Oliver chained up in his lair, and asserts that he can beat Oliver time and time again because he knows what he’s willing to give up in the fight. Believing that Oliver is no longer a threat, Malcolm returns to his office. Unbeknownst to him, Oliver escapes with Diggle's help.
While Malcolm is at his office preparing for things to unfold, Tommy pays him a visit, troubled by the "lies" Oliver has told about them. Malcolm finally reveals his identity as the Dark Archer, and the Undertaking. As Tommy expresses his disgust and outrage, Moira holds a press conference, exposing Malcolm and revealing her complicity in his plans. Cops arrive not long after to arrest Malcolm. In a fit of rage, Malcolm kills the police officers and disarms Tommy who had picked up a gun from one of the fallen officers in an attempt to stop his father. Malcolm knocks him out and heads into his panic room, and dons his Dark Archer gear in anticipation for an inevitable final showdown. Arrow arrives in short order, with Diggle as his backup. The Dark Archer injures Diggle, and then battles the Arrow on the building's helipad. Oliver is again overpowered, but is able to stab Malcolm with one of the discarded arrows. Malcolm still claims a partial victory, as a second Markov device still destroys part of the Glades.
Months later, Merlyn returns, having survived his seemingly fatal injury, and confronts Moira about the revelation that Thea is his daughter. However, Moira has an ace up her sleeve; she has learned of Malcolm's connection to the League of Assassins, and that he had violated several tenets during the Undertaking (the most grievous of which being failure). Knowing that Ra's al Ghul would be looking for him, Malcolm was forced to go back into hiding.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
As the Dark Archer, Merlyn utilizes custom made black arrows, and a mask with a built-in vocodoer which electronically alters his voice.
- Malcolm Merlyn is played by the actor John Barrowman.
- Before his real name was revealed, Malcolm was just known as "The Well-Dressed Man".
- Malcolm's costume appears to actually be the uniform of Ra's al Ghul's Shadow Warriors/Acolytes.
- 19 Appearances of Malcolm Merlyn (Arrow)
- 4 Images featuring Malcolm Merlyn (Arrow)
- 2 Quotations by or about Malcolm Merlyn (Arrow)
- Character Gallery: Malcolm Merlyn (Arrow)
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League of Assassins member