Looking for a different version of this character?
|As a result of the New 52 in 2011, the entire line of DC characters was relaunched, incorporating properties belonging to the company's imprints: Wildstorm, Milestone, and Vertigo. As such, elements of this character's history have been altered in some way from the previous incarnation. For a complete list of all versions of this character, see our disambiguation page.|
- It's been a long time. But surely you remember Tommy's father... Malcolm Merlyn, the original Dark Archer.
- — 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. 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.
Merlyn and the Seven Men of Death were tasked by Talia al Ghul and her Leviathan Organization to destroy Batman Incorporated. 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.
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 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. 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.
Their Dark Designs
Powers and Abilities
- 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. The Dark Archer killed multiple citizens of Seattle whilst firing arrows from far distances away, them hitting their mark right on point.
- Acrobatics: Merlyn is very agile, able to perform various, skilled feats of acrobatics.
- Lock Picking
- Hunting: Merlyn sees himself as a hunter rather than an assassin and operates as so. When hunting Batman, Merlyn had stalked him for weeks in order to learn his patterns and routes through Gotham.
- Martial Arts: A member of the League of Assassins and having trained under Ra's al Ghul, Merlyn is an expert and deadly combatant. He was able to easily kill, three imposing football players within seconds and swiftly best Oliver Queen with relative ease.
- 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. He was even able to cause Batman trouble with preparation.
- Merlyn was created by Mike Friedrich, Neal Adams, and Dick Dillin, first appearing in Justice League of America #94. However, in the Prime Earth continuity, Merlyn first appeared as part of the New 52 DC Universe in Green Arrow (Volume 5) #0 by Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham.
- In the TV show Arrow, the Dark Archer's alter-ego is Malcolm Merlyn (born Arthur King), his son being Tommy Merlyn. This was later adapted into the comics during DC Rebirth.
- 28 Appearances of Malcolm Merlyn (Prime Earth)
- 7 Images featuring Malcolm Merlyn (Prime Earth)
- 1 Quotations by or about Malcolm Merlyn (Prime Earth)
- Character Gallery: Malcolm Merlyn (Prime Earth)
|Green Arrow Villain(s) |
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."
League of Assassins member
Secret Society of Super-Villains member
Suicide Squad member