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"Some men don't get to choose who they become." - Vordigan, Disciple

Vordigan, also known as the Dark Archer, is Oliver Queen's former mentor and a member of the Brotherhood of Sion and formerly Marionette Ventures.

Physical Appearance

Vordigan is a dark haired man with dark eyes as well. He has many scars on his body. He has a Vandyke beard and mustache. Vordigan wears a black uniform with two quivers stitched into it.


Vordigan has no trouble hurting people. He feels very strongly about his code. He is even willing to die for his beliefs. He has a lot of respect for Oliver, but hates that he won't kill him to obey their code.

Powers and Abilities

Although Vordigan possesses no obvious superhuman powers, his skill as an archer is only rivaled by Oliver Queen, although by his own admission his skills were starting to decay, which was his motivation to force Oliver to replace him by killing off his important connections to the outside world and eventually Queen killing him.

Vordigan firing three arrows at once.

  • Expert marksman: Vordigan collects and manufactures his own weapons which are is noticeably less sophisticated than the ones used by his former pupil, Oliver Queen.
  • Skilled archer: Former teacher and mentor of Oliver, Vordigan is extremely skilled in the art of archery, enabling him to perform precise attacks without detection.
  • Computer hacking: Vordigan was able to hack Watchtower.
  • Super dexterity: Vordigan, despite his old age, is very mobile and agile, allowing him to perform leaps and backflips at an expert level.

Some examples of his skill:

  • He hit Lois Lane between two vital parts of her body.
  • He shot three arrows at a time at Oliver.
  • He proved to have very accurate aim; he also proved to be very dexterous.

Early life

Not much is known about Vordigan's early life. He trained Oliver Queen to be an expert marksman and was a part of a secret Celtic society of trained expert archers.

Season Nine

"Your heart is dark like mine, Oliver." - Vordigan, Disciple

Vordigan attacks Chloe at Watchtower.

After Oliver left the Brotherhood of Sion, Vordigan left to find him in order to fulfill his role as a "master archer." The Dark Archer shot Lois Lane with his arrow through her shoulder. The Dark Archer then attacked Chloe Sullivan at Watchtower. The Dark Archer then sought out Mia Dearden and kidnapped her, as he placed her in a Brotherhood of Sion Maze. He told Oliver that he had to fulfill his role by succeeding his master.

Dark Archer vs. Green Arrow.

Vordigan went after Mia after Oliver refused to kill him. After he found Mia, he shot three arrows at her. Oliver saw them and jumped in front of Mia. Just as the arrows got close Clark ran in front of Oliver and saved him. While Clark was in front of him, Oliver shot an arrow at Vordigan hitting him in the same place he hit Lois. However, Oliver did not kill Vordigan, only stopped him and saved Mia. Later, talking with Mia, Oliver says that Vordigan is in prison, and he's worried about the day he'll be released, old and still eager to be killed by him.

Season Ten

Dark Archer's target: Green Arrow.

Somehow released or having escaped from his incarceration, Vordigan was now apart of the Toyman's sinister league of villains known as the Marionette Ventures. At their meeting, each member was assigned a target from the Justice League. Vordigan's target was none other than his former apprentice: the Green Arrow.


In the Comics

Dark Archer as he appears in the comics.

Dark Archer is Green Arrow's long-time enemy, but in the comics he uses the name Merlyn a.k.a. Arthur King. Aside from being as equally skilled with a bow as Ollie, Merlyn is also known for his dark attire and has a grudge against Oliver. However Merlyn lacks much belief in honor, and his rivalry against Oliver is more based on personal hatred and vengeance.

Years before Oliver Queen would become Green Arrow, he was inspired to take up archery by the amazing archer, "Merlyn the Magician". Once Green Arrow began to become famous, the two met again, as Merlyn challenged the hero to a public archery contest and defeated him. With that victory under his belt, Merlyn vanished for years, only to resurface as a member of the League of Assassins. Merlyn and Green Arrow faced again as Merlyn tried to fulfill a contract to assassinate Batman. Green Arrow was able to deflect one of Merlyn's arrows with an arrow of his own, saving Batman's life. Merlyn admitted that Green Arrow had become the better archer, but escaped before he could be captured. Unable to return to the League of Assassins, he became a freelance assassin.

Merlyn later appeared as part of the Queen Bee's unofficial "Injustice Gang" opposing the JLA.

Finding work with one of Metropolis' crime syndicates, The 100, Merlyn fought against a weakened Black Lightning, but lost the battle.

Merlyn was apparently a part of the League of Assassins when the assassin David Cain's daughter, Cassandra, was born. Merlyn would seem to have taken part in the child's highly abusive training, unknowingly giving h er the skills to become the future Batgirl. He then served under Tobias Whale as a member of the 100.

He was among those who sold his soul to the demonic Neron during the events of Underworld Unleashed. He then joined the Killer Elite. All tried to perform various assassinations but were stopped by the Justice League of America. The group later encounters the Body Doubles. Merlyn and the others are soundly defeated, as the Body Doubles use gadgetry and cleavage to their advantage.

The villain next made an appearance in the pages of Young Justice as an archer working for the Zandian national Olympic team. He is the instructor to the young Zandian archer Turk. Turk and Merlyn attempt to sabotage the games in their favor, but they are defeated by the Young Justice team.

Merlyn would next appear in the pages of Identity Crisis. He recognizes the Monocle and Deadshot as his closest allies, and correctly predicts that the murder of Sue Dibny would have dire consequences in the villain community. When he is captured by the Justice League along with Deadshot and Monocle, Deadshot was able to use his ties to the Suicide Squad and Amanda Waller to secure their release. The villainous archer reappeared with Monocle and Phobia in an attempt to kill the Shadow Thief at his trial, and in the process the villains found themselves battling Manhunter.

Merlyn has since resurfaced in the pages of Green Arrow as part of a multipronged attack against Green Arrow and his family.

He has a minor role in The Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul, in which he is hired by the Sensei to take out a spring where Ra's could revitalize himself. He fulfills his tasks well but is defeated in the final confrontation between Ra's al Ghul and Batman. Afterwards, he appears to be under the employ of Talia al Ghul as a tutor to her son Damian Wayne, though he would later confess that he was learning more from Damian.

He was later seen among the new Injustice League.

He was later captured by the vigilante Cupid, who planned to kill him in front of Green Arrow, whom she was besotted with. To this end, she slashed Merlyn's throat with an arrow. Green Arrow was able to get Merlyn medical attention in time to save his life, but the villain's throat was damaged to the point where he would never be able to speak again.

Tommy Merlyn in the New 52.

In the New 52, Tommy Merlyn (the character was reimagined to resemble the version on the TV series Arrow) appeared in Green Arrow #0. Tommy was a close friend of Oliver Queen who was attending a party on The Apollo, an oil rig operated by Queen Industries. The rig was taken over by Iron Eagle and his men who strapped bombs to the rig as well as most of the party guests though Merlyn managed to get himself and Ollie to safety. He tried to convince him to stop his assault on the pirates, but Ollie refused to listen and caused the incident that blew up the rig. Horribly burned, he managed to cling to some flotsam and blamed Ollie for what had happened before seeming to die. He floated to an island where he was taken in and treated by robed figures who remark that he has potential. One year later, a monastery on a pacific island has been caring for a badly burnt coma patient for years. Suddenly, Tommy Merlyn wakes up.

In Batman Incorporated #4, Merlyn (the pre-Flashpoint vesrion of Arthur King) appears in the employ of Talia al Ghul, as part of the League of Assassins, and battles the members of Batman, Inc.

During the Forever Evil storyline, Merlyn is among the villains recruited by the Crime Syndicate of America to join the Secret Society of Super Villains.

In the first part of the Green Arrow storyline, titled "Kingdom," a mysterious individual, named Mr. King, tortures a man for information on the whereabouts of Mia Dearden, whom he somehow considers to be more of a threat to him than the Green Arrow.

Other faces of Dark Archer


  • Dark Archer, in the comics, is most commonly known as Merlyn with his real name being Arthur King.
  • The name "Vordigan" is reminiscent of Vortigern, a legendary British king who encounters Merlin/Merlyn as a boy.
  • The idea of a superhero's ex-mentor turned enemy is similar to the movie Batman Begins.
  • Steve Bacic also guest starred in the pilot episode as the mechanic that Jeremy Creek kills.
  • Vordigan's beard, bow and arrows resemble the ones of Oliver Queen from the comics.