Stephen Amell is gearing up for what will be the last season of Arrow and he returned to where it all began for a special photo. At the Vancouver location that served as the fictional Lian Yu, where Oliver Queen was stranded during some of his five-year exile, Amell took a picture that will make longtime fans of the show reminisce.
In a shot snapped for his Instagram, he holds up the familiar sight of Deathstroke’s mask — with an Arrow through one eyehole — on a long thick piece of driftwood. The caption fittingly reads: “Feeling nostalgic —”.
Those who watched Arrow since season one will remember the first tease of Deathstroke happened early on. His mask, like the one in the picture, was kept as a trophy at Oliver’s campsite when he was rescued in the first few minutes of the pilot episode.
Deathstroke’s history in the Arrowverse from there is a complex one. The mask was originally worn by mercenary Billy Wintergreen (a nod to the Terminator’s servant and partner in the comics), a henchman of Eddie Fyers. Oliver later runs into Wintergreen’s former comrade Slade Wilson who finally kills Wintergreen and takes Oliver under his wing.
The two’s partnership is complicated by the presence of Shado, whom both are infatuated with, and then severed by her murder. Slade, driven over the edge by the drug Mirakuru, blames Oliver for her death and is later left for dead himself after Queen drives an arrow through his eye. Out for revenge, he returns years later to lay siege to Star City with an army fronted by Isabela Rochev and Brother Blood’s Church.
Great Minds Think Alike
Amell isn’t the only one channeling Deathstroke on Instagram. Manu Bennett who played Slade and eventually Deathstroke on Arrow shared a still from season two of himself in character, wearing a bandolier, eye patch, and carrying a sword. Plugging an appearance Bennett made at Comic-Con Berlin this past weekend, the caption reads: “See you in Berlin this weekend!!! For Comic Con Berlin!!!”
Esai Morales plays Deathstroke/Slade Wilson in a separate continuity on Titans, now in its second season on DC Universe. Manu Bennett’s Slade hasn’t been seen on Arrow since season six. (Related: Report: DC Universe Casts Esai Morales as Deathstroke in Titans)
A comment on Bennett’s post misidentifies him as Morales but offers an interesting idea nonetheless, Deathstroke’s own live-action series:
“The deathstroke, played by you, Mr. Esai is worthy of a series of its own. Exploring Slade’s past, old rivals, his way of working in front of challenging targets.”
While it could happen, fans will have to settle for Slade tearing it up in an animated form. An animated movie was reportedly in the works, as well as a series for CW Seed, but it didn’t come up in the 2020 slate. (Related: Rumor: Deathstroke Is Getting His Own Animated Movie)
Maybe more interesting is that Amell and Bennett could be hinting that Deathstroke might return for the upcoming Crises on Infinite Earths crossover on The CW. It’s notable that Bennett’s post came just a day after Amell’s and reads, “I’m Back Kid!!!!” One might make the assumption that could be him announcing his return to Comic Con Berlin, but Fan Cons reports his first appearance at that convention was this year. Another explanation could be it’s just an iconic quote from Bennett’s Deathstroke. However, it’s quite likely that Deathstroke could return for Crises on Infinite Earths but Season 8 of Arrow as well! (Related: Michael Rosenbaum Gives the Huge Reason Why He Won’t Appear in The CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths as Smallville’s Lex Luthor)
Here’s the official synopsis of Season 8:
“After a violent shipwreck, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) was missing and presumed dead for five years before being discovered alive on a remote island in the North China Sea. He returned home to Star City, bent on righting the wrongs done by his family and fighting injustice. As the Green Arrow, Oliver successfully saved his city with the help of his team including former soldier John Diggle (David Ramsey), computer-science expert Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards), former protégé Roy Harper (Colton Haynes), street-savvy Rene Ramirez (Rick Gonzalez), metahuman Dinah Drake (Juliana Harkavy), brilliant inventor Curtis Holt (Echo Kellum) and Earth-2 Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy). In the wake of discovering what his future holds, Oliver will find himself pit against his most challenging battle yet, one that will leave the multiverse hanging in the balance. In Arrow’s final season, Oliver Queen is forced to confront the reality of what it means to be a hero.”
Deathstroke’s return would definitely force Oliver to confront what it means to be a hero.
Bennett did indicate he will be appearing in the season finale of Pandora as bounty hunter Leone Vokk on The CW. It’s not too hard to imagine he could suit up as another bounty hunter again.
Played by Joe Manganiello, Deathstroke was supposed to battle Ben Affleck’s Batman in Affleck’s version of The Batman and then receive a solo movie. Those plans fell through. (Related: New Rumors Reveal Ben Affleck’s Planned Batman Movie Featured a Showdown with Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke)
Arrow enters its eighth and final season on The CW Sunday, Oct. 15th. The Arrowverse will continue to roll along with spinoffs Flash, Supergirl, and the additions of Batwoman and the in-development Canaries. (Related: Arrow Spinoff Starring Katie Cassidy and The Canaries is Officially in Development)