Tommy Merlyn
Tommy Merlyn (New 52 version).jpg
Tommy Merlyn in Green Arrow vol. 5, 36 (Jan. 2015 DC Comics).
Art by Danial Sampere.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceGreen Arrow (vol. 5) #0 (September 2012)
Created byJudd Winick
Freddie E. Williams II
In-story information
Full nameThomas Merlyn[1]
Notable aliasesDark Archer
AbilitiesMaster archer
Expert marksman

Thomas Merlyn is a fictional supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics related to Green Arrow. Created by Judd Winick and Freddie E. Williams II, he is the son of Arthur King / Malcolm Merlyn / Dark Archer.[2]

Colin Donnell portrayed the character in the Arrowverse television series Arrow.

Publication history

Tommy Merlyn made his debut in Green Arrow Vol. 5 #0 (September 2012),[3] as part of "The New 52" reboot while coinciding with the then-recently debuted television series Arrow a month later.[4][5]

Fictional character biography

Tommy Merlyn is introduced as the son of Merlyn (Arthur King). Tommy is best friends with billionaire playboy Oliver Queen. When Oliver's father had relegated him to clerical work on an oil rig on the Pacific Ocean, he turned the rig into a hub for wild parties.[6] At one such party, Oliver had decided to demonstrate archery to Leena and Tommy. The group of friends were awaiting on a rock star hired by Oliver to play for them. Things got much worse when the helicopter meant to be carrying this rock star turned out to have been commandeered by oil-thieving terrorists. Tommy dragged Ollie to safety, leaving Leena outside on the platform. The two of them discovered a wounded crewman who blamed Oliver for the security breach, as the terrorists commandeered one of the helicopters that was not even supposed to have been there. These terrorists had fixed the platform and several of its occupants including Leena with explosives, holding them hostage until they could siphon millions of dollars worth of crude oil.

Tommy and Oliver managed to get past some sentries, and despite his warnings, Oliver went up onto the platform alone, armed with only a longbow, in the hopes of saving Leena. Oliver had a plan: to take just one shot, through the terrorist leader's wrist, causing him to drop the detonator into the ocean. Unfortunately, on its way down, the detonator bounced against one of the platform's struts, and activated. Leena and everyone around her were obliterated by the explosion. Before Oliver could be caught in the explosion, Tommy leapt out, and thrust them both into the safety of the ocean. Badly burnt, Tommy warned that these would not be the only people that Oliver's recklessness would get killed, before passing out. One year later, a monastery on a pacific island has been caring for a badly burnt coma patient for years. Suddenly, Tommy wakes up.[7]

He is next seen in the 2014 Green Arrow storyline "Kingdom", in which he appears as the heavily burned Dark Archer. Killing Mack Morgan before he could give critical intelligence to destroy the reputation of his employer, John King. King, a billionaire hired Merlyn with bringing Mia Dearden to him. Thanks to John Diggle's skillful driving, Oliver manages to catch up to Merlyn on top of a monorail train, where he learns that Tommy is nearly a match for him with a bow. When Tommy attempts to attack him at close range, though, he recognizes his opponent as his old friend just as they pass under a tunnel. When Oliver recovers from the quick duck, Tommy is gone. Fortunately, he left Mia behind.[8]

Powers and abilities

As his father has been established as one of the greatest and most accurate archers in the DC Universe,[9] Tommy Merlyn's archery and marksmanship skills can be compared to those of Green Arrow, Roy Harper and Connor Hawke.[9]

In other media

Various versions of Tommy Merlyn appear in the live-action television series Arrow, all portrayed by Colin Donnell[4][10] while Arien Boey portrays him as a child in season three.[11]



  1. ^ Green Arrow (Volume 5) #0 (November 2012)
  2. ^ Dantzler, Perry (2017). Barker, Cory; Iaccino, James F.; Wiatrowski, Myc (eds.). Reading the Body, Deciphering the Text: Arrow's Multiliteracies, Superheroics and Merging Multimodalities. McFarland & Co. p. 36-37. ISBN 9781476629650.
  3. ^ Green Arrow (2011) #0 (September 2012)
  4. ^ a b Phegley, Kiel (December 12, 2012). "Barrowman Brings Malcolm Merlyn To "Arrow"". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on April 16, 2016. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
  5. ^ Renaud, Jeffrey (January 14, 2016). "John & Carole Barrowman Target Merlyn's Past in "Arrow: Dark Archer" Comic". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on April 16, 2016. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
  6. ^ Bahlmann, Andrew R. (2016). "Green Arrow as an Exemplar of the Superhero Myth Structure". The Mythology of the Superhero. McFarland & Co. pp. 102–103. ISBN 9781476625188.
  7. ^ Green Arrow vol. 5 #0. DC Comics.
  8. ^ Green Arrow Vol. 5 #36 (January 2015). DC Comics.
  9. ^ a b Green Arrow Vol. 6 #14 (March 2017). DC Comics.
  10. ^ "How Arrow Brought Tommy Merlyn Back from the Dead". CBR. May 3, 2018.
  11. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (February 5, 2015). "Arrow s3, episode 12: 'Uprising' recap". Digital Spy.
  12. ^ "'Arrow' Crossover Brings Back a Surprise Season 1 Character as a Villain".
  13. ^ "Arrow crossover episode made a fan theory come true". Digital Spy. 28 November 2017.