In news that some will be super-surprised to hear, unless they know anything about comic-book media and realize that characters rarely stay truly “dead,” it seems John Barrowman’s Malcolm Merlyn may not be as dead as we thought, as the man is making a returning to ‘Arrow‘ in Season 7.
Barrowman dropped the news at the ‘Torchwood’ panel at the Supanova convention in Brisbane, Australia, surprising fans who thought he was done over on the CW. For those who may not remember, Merlyn “died” at the end of ‘Arrow’ Season 5, stepping on a land-mine as a distraction so other characters, including his daughter who he had fought to prove he could be a good person/father to, could escape. However, his death did occur off-screen, and fans have long suspected that the famed “magician” may have actually survived the event, despite Barrowman’s insistence that he was done with the Arrowverse. And now this news breaks, which begs the question, how could he return?
There is a lot of speculation out there, the most probably one being that Merlyn will make an appearance in this year’s crossover ‘Elseworlds‘ event, where he could show up without breaking continuity, potentially as a Malcolm Merlyn from another Earth or resurrected by the same magic that switched Oliver and Barry’s lives, but that seems kind of like the obvious answer.
Another guess is that Merlyn might be the mysterious “new” Green Arrow haunting the streets of Star City this year, but that would take a lot of explanation and give him a much bigger role that I would think Barrowman is hinting at. Unless his character is set to die or leave relatively early in the season, maybe Oliver knew Malcolm was alive and asked him to take care of the city while he was in prison and once Oliver is out, Merlyn will leave town again to keep an eye on Thea or something of that nature.
The last most likely speculation is that Merlyn will appear in either the future or the past, (most likely the past because of his death), but there is still the chance he could appear in the crazy future William and Roy are making their way through, and may even be on their side seeing as how he is technically a distant relation to William through Thea.
Do you have any theories on how Merlyn may return to ‘Arrow?’ Are you excited to see Barrowman making his return? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!