Quote1 It's been a long time. But surely you remember Tommy's father... Malcolm Merlyn, the original Dark Archer. Quote2
-- Malcolm Merlyn src

Malcolm Merlyn, also known as Arthur King, the Dark Archer, or simply Merlyn, is a master bowman and a member of the League of Assassins.


At one point in his life, when he was about 25 years old, Malcolm Merlyn joined the League of Assassins, an ancient, international order of the world's greatest killers. He was trained by Ra's al Ghul himself. His commencement ceremony into the organisation involved him digging an eight feet long, six feet deep and four feet wide grave, which he would himself have to lie inside. In that grave, he said goodbye to who he was, and came out a changed man.[1] Merlyn would eventually become a deadly assassin and expert in the art of archery. His son, Tommy Merlyn, would eventually also become a mercenary, using his father's alias.[2]

The New 52

Merlyn and the Seven Men of Death were tasked by Talia al Ghul and her Leviathan Organization to destroy Batman Incorporated.[3] He defeated members of the group with ease, but his bow was subsequently broken by a surprise shot from Damian Wayne. Merlyn later appears as one of the many villains recruited into the Crime Syndicate's Secret Society.[4]

Emerald Outlaw

Merlyn was contracted by Cyrus Broderick, a director of the Ninth Circle criminal organisation, to frame the Green Arrow for multiple high-profile killings, in order to "take" everything away from Oliver Queen[5] after he destroyed their base of operations, The Inferno, which hosted their "bank" and resources. Using arrows resembling Arrow's, the Dark Archer succeeded in tarnishing the hero's image.[6] However, when he killed a famous football player, Cy Samson, the Green Arrow saw Merlyn, and the two archers engaged in a fierce duel across the stadium, with Oliver believing the hooded Malcolm to be Tommy. Malcolm then reveals himself to Oliver, and proceeds to best him in the duel, whilst taunting his foe. The intervention of Black Canary and the Seattle Police Department force Merlyn to flee, though not before firing an arrow at the police chief, who Green Arrow manages to just save, though the hero's bow is shattered in the process.[7]


  • Acrobatics: Merlyn is very agile, able to perform various, skilled feats of acrobatics.
  • Archery: Merlyn holds master proficiency in the art of archery, his skills superior to those of the likes of Oliver and Emiko Queen, Shado and his son Tommy.[8] The Dark Archer killed multiple citizens of Seattle whilst firing arrows from far distances away, them hitting their mark right on point.
  • Martial Arts: A member of the League of Assassins, Merlyn is an expert and deadly combatant, able to easily kill, three, imposing football players within seconds and swiftly best Oliver with relative ease.
  • Marksmanship
  • Peak Human Condition: Trained by the League of Assassins, Merlyn has maintained his physical form to top condition throughout the years.
  • Stealth: For the majority of his killings, Merlyn was unseen by anyone, his arrows the only evidence of his presence.
  • Tactical Analysis: Merlyn is a skilled tactician and analyst, able to successfully tarnish the Green Arrow's reputation.



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This character is or was primarily an enemy of Green Arrow, or his supporting cast including Black Canary and Team Arrow. This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Green Arrow Villains."
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This character is or was a member of the League of Assassins, a international organization of the world's greatest killers, operating both for hire and their own agenda, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "League of Assassins members" category.