- "Merely a drone. A piece of a larger entity. We exist as one organism. As you might say, a hive."
- —Mina Fayad to Floyd Lawton on H.I.V.E.[src]
H.I.V.E. was a mysterious terrorist organization that was founded and led by Damien Darhk after he left the League of Assassins. H.I.V.E. maintained an approach reflective of its roots within the League, but operated in accordance with Damien's own personal agenda rather than adhering to any particular creed. The organization's main focus was on the completion of an initiative known as "Genesis", a plan to 'cleanse' the world of evil and darkness through nuclear holocaust, after which those chosen by H.I.V.E. to survive would be able to rebuild society. However, their plans ultimately failed thanks to numerous interventions from Team Arrow. Following the death of Damien at the hands of Green Arrow, the organization's status remains unknown.
In contrary to the more traditional ways of the League of Assassins, H.I.V.E. uses advanced technology and modern military tactics to get the job done. Their members use modern weaponry and high-tech equipment. Their operators wear bulletproof vests and use advanced firearms and grenades. They are highly trained and able to overwhelm both the police force and Team Arrow. Their members are highly devoted to their leader and are trained to commit suicide when in risk of being captured.
H.I.V.E. is notable for its characteristic hexagonal pattern that resembles a beehive honeycomb. Said pattern is used on the organization's logo, support system design, as well as on the grey uniforms of its agents, Ghosts. H.I.V.E. logo is usually designed as a lamp of sorts, shaped after a beehive pattern.
Damien Darhk was a member of the League of Assassins from the 19th century, and one of the "horsemen" of Ra's al Ghul, considered a possible successor to the title. After escaping from his best friend turned rival, when he failed to become the leader of the League, Darhk founded H.I.V.E. with a group of his most loyal followers.
In 1975, Damien and two of his agents, known as "Ghosts" went to a weapons sale held by Vandal Savage, planning to buy a nuclear warhead from him. H.I.V.E. put in an initial bid of $100 million, but were outbid by Martin Stein. Damien later met Martin and told him he suspected Martin wasn't as he appeared as Damien wasn't familiar with him or his organization, and he was familiar with everyone. Stein's associate Mick Rory started to get angry with Damien and threatened him, forcing Savage to intervene. As a fight ensued, Damien and the Ghosts left the premises of the Norwegian military storage facility.
Deal with the KGB
In 1987, Eobard Thawne interrupted a weapons deal that Damien was taking part in and killed everyone present except Damien. Thawne attempted to recruit Damien for his team, and alluded to the fact that he knew about Damien's future plans, including building a "hive of followers". Thawne sent Damien to the White House to do a deal with the KGB.
Damien, his Ghosts, and the KGB met in the White House basement. The KGB agents intended to exchange a priceless artifact for the United States' nuclear codes, while Darhk also left a bomb to kill Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, along with everybody in the White House. When the Legends showed up to stop Darhk, the KGB suspected treason on the H.I.V.E.'s behalf. Damien decided that the deal was over and it was time to go, and ordered the Ghosts to kill everyone there. The Legends beat the Ghosts and the KGB agents, but Darhk was whisked away by Eobard Thawne.
After Floyd Lawton was incarcerated for threatening the lives of his family, Mina Fayad approached him as a representative of H.I.V.E., convincing Lawton that a normal life was not possible for him anymore after the events that had transpired. Fayad offered Lawton money to assassinate Andrew Diggle, though – unknown to Lawton – Diggle survived the attempt as H.I.V.E. had secretly replaced Lawton's bullets with non-lethal rounds. Diggle himself ended up becoming an agent of H.I.V.E., serving as one of its Ghosts.
One of the organization's heads, Milo Armitage, hired a man to free Ben Turner from prison by smuggling his claws in inside his body. After Turner's escape, Armitage met with him and promised him $10 million to break into Malcolm Merlyn's vacant mansion and steal his prototype Markov Device. He also obtained a nerve agent from Gholem Qadir after the organization granted him safe passage to Markovia. Armitage then hired Mark Shaw to steal classified A.R.G.U.S. files, but all three of these attempts resulted in failure.
In 2015, Darhk visited Star City, presumably as part of an early phase of operation Genesis. He had been tracked to the city by Ra's al Ghul, but managed to evade both Ra's and Oliver Queen's attempts to find him. The two instead encountered Damien Darhk's assistant posing as his employer in a hotel room booked for the real Darhk, and the man was subsequently killed by Ra's.
Attacks on Star City
After Ra's al Ghul's failed attempt to destroy Star City, H.I.V.E. soldiers began attacking the city in waves, with the media nicknaming them Ghosts for the way they quickly disappeared after each successful mission. Damien soon personally threatened the city's leadership and had many of them killed as a show of force. During a secret meeting, Damien killed one of his men, Alvarez, for disobeying orders, but was disrupted by the intervention of Team Arrow. They later stopped H.I.V.E.'s attempt to blow up Star City's central train station.
H.I.V.E. later hired Lonnie Machin to stop Jessica Danforth from running for mayor of Star City, but once Damien decided Machin had gone too far by kidnapping Danforth's daughter, he terminated their partnership.
Agent Mina Fayad later came to Star City in order to take care of the Green Arrow under orders from H.I.V.E.'s leadership. She hired Jeremy Tell to kill the vigilante, though when he was ultimately unsuccessful, Darhk murdered Fayad in order to teach Tell a lesson.
Darhk soon sent Quentin Lance on a mission to erase the names of people whose deaths H.I.V.E. had faked before recruiting them into their organization. However, Darhk wasn't aware that Lance was secretly working as a mole for Team Arrow. Lance went through with the operation, but managed to convince Darhk to tell him about Andrew Diggle, whose name had been on the list given to him.
Team Arrow soon learned that H.I.V.E. had been holding Ray Palmer captive after intercepting his distress call to Felicity in order to use his technology for their plans, even threatening to harm Felicity if he didn't cooperate. Quentin met with Darhk to request magic to help Sara after her recovery with a frustrated Darhk saying that he would help but that it was the last time he would ever summon him, beginning to grow suspicious of him. Quentin gave the directions of H.I.V.E.'s base to Team Arrow, who had John Diggle capture Oliver in disguise as a "Ghost". Diggle brought Oliver to Damien and they fought while the rest of the team fought the Ghosts guarding Ray. Team Arrow managed to successfully rescue Ray, although Oliver barely managed to escape being strangled to death by chains under control from Darhk's telekinesis.
H.I.V.E. soon took a more active interest in Oliver Queen's mayoral campaign when he announced his plan to restore the Star City Bay area, which was a key area of their Genesis project. At a police black-tie function, Darhk approached Queen and offered his financial and PR backing in exchange for Queen scrapping his Bay restoration project but Queen politely rebuffed him. The following evening Darhk met with Quentin to question him about his supposed disloyalty, which Darhk expressly warned him against. In the meantime, the Green Arrow and his team continued to plague H.I.V.E.'s operations in Star City culminating in a surgical strike against the HQ of the Ghosts by the Green Arrow and his team in an effort to rescue Andrew Diggle, who the team had found out was alive. The Ghosts fought Team Arrow but were overpowered and the team escaped with Diggle.
H.I.V.E. later raided an A.R.G.U.S. facility to steal a chemical bomb, only to be confronted by Team Arrow, who disarmed the Ghosts of their guns with a magnetic arrow. The Ghosts fought the team but before an outcome could be revealed, the Flash whisked Team Arrow away to deal with problems in Central City.
Attacking Oliver Queen
Damien's partners soon arrived in Star City and this caused Damien to grow anxious to stop Oliver Queen's interference. During one of Queen's campaign clean-ups of Star City bay, H.I.V.E. sent a drone to attack the bay. However, due to this, Oliver revealed that Damien was the leader of H.I.V.E. to the press, much to the annoyance of his partners. In an act of revenge Darhk personally led a squad of Ghosts to attack Oliver's Holiday Party, and took John Diggle, Felicity Smoak, and Thea Queen. Oliver attempted to trade himself for his friends, but once he surrendered and went to their base, Damien attempted to kill them anyways as a demonstration for his partners and to take away Oliver's resolve. However, Laurel Lance and Malcolm Merlyn interfered and saved Oliver's compatriots. Darhk immediately left the scene, sending his partners to a safe location, and fought with Merlyn while the rest of Team Arrow fought Darhk's Ghosts, resulting in Damien's near death when Merlyn blew up their hideout. Darhk, who escaped death, later showed his associates an underground cornfield, and told them the air in it was pure and breathable thanks to the algae he collected and engineered from Star City Bay. He then told the agents it was time for them to begin Phase Four of their plan, and sent Ghosts to kill Queen. They attacked Oliver's limousine, firing upon him and Felicity and leaving Oliver injured and Felicity unresponsive.
Several Ghosts intercepted Ray Palmer when he entered their hideout to destroy a weapon in their possession. Ray defeated them all, before he was taken by Rip Hunter to be made a part of his team.
After the League of Assassins was disbanded, Malcolm Merlyn met with Damien, revealing that Oliver had a son. Malcolm was then initiated into the organization and tracked down William, bringing him to Damien's house.
In an effort to blunt Oliver Queen's campaign to clean up the city, Darhk convinced his wife Ruvé to enter the mayoral race against Queen. To help her, Damien hired the "Demolition Crew" to stage an elaborate attack on a mayoral debate between Ruvé and Queen with the intention of killing Queen and leaving Ruvé as the only candidate. The Demolition Crew failed to come through for Damien once their activities were discovered and foiled by the Green Arrow and his team and Ruvé immediately fell behind Queen in the race.
Darhk met with Felicity and Oliver, showing Oliver a video of William playing at the Darhk residence, revealing that he'd kidnapped him. Green Arrow and Vixen later attacked Darhk at his home, intent on saving the child hostage, but were both overpowered until the rest of Team Arrow showed up. Darhk phoned Oliver and, using William as leverage, forced him to suspend his campaign and endorse Ruvé. Oliver agreed to Darhk's demands, but Damien Darhk reasoned that giving up William would not be in his best interests.
Team Arrow learned that Darhk's source of power was a totem that Quentin had seen him praying over and attacked him at his home in order to retrieve William and destroy the totem. Vixen destroyed the totem by channeling enough strength from the animal spirits, rendering Darhk's powers useless and him easily overpowered by Green Arrow and knocked unconscious. Darhk was promptly arrested by the SCPD.
While in prison, Malcolm met with Darhk and informed him that because of his brutality, H.I.V.E. had turned their backs on him and were going through with Genesis without Darhk's assistance.
However, Malcolm and Andy Diggle later decided to help break Damien out of prison, along with Michael Amar and several of his other allies that he'd made in prison. After Damien had his power restored, he killed Laurel Lance before he, Malcolm, Diggle, Amar, and several other prisoners escaped.
Coming back to the organization, Damien Darhk seized full control over H.I.V.E., killing the partners that were content with leaving him imprisoned and continuing the Genesis project without his input. He then started the preparation for the final stage of Genesis. H.I.V.E. spread its "suggestion pills" as "vitamins" to specifically chosen people, such as those who worked for Ruvé Adams like Alex Davis. These people were put in the underground facility Tevat Noah that looked like an idyllic suburb, covered with a dome of energy the "walls" of which resembled the hexagonal pattern of a beehive honeycomb.
After Darhk has stolen the Rubicon device from A.R.G.U.S. leader Lyla Michaels, the scientists of H.I.V.E. managed to reprogram it, so the protocol would launch every nuclear missile in the world, instead of deactivating them. Believing the global nuclear strikes imminent, H.I.V.E. started the transfer of their chosen people into the "Ark" of Tevat Noah, where they would survive in idyllic conditions while the rest of the world burned. Havenrock ended up the only settlement destroyed by the nuclear strike, with tens of thousands victims, whose deaths fueled the power of Damien Darhk.
Intent on getting Rubicon back, Darhk hired Cooper Seldon, hoping that his skills would allow the organization to best Felicity Smoak and her father Noah Kuttler's efforts to keep H.I.V.E. from re-launching the nuclear missiles. However, the organization's Tevat Noah solution proved to be short-lived. After the vengeance-driven Lonnie Machin infiltrated the facility, taking Ruvé Adams and Nora Darhk hostage, he was engaged by Team Arrow, damaging the critical support system of Tevat Noah, effectively sabotaging it. As the underground settlement was exploding before their eyes, Team Arrow led Nora Darhk out of danger, at the behest of her dying mother, while Malcolm Merlyn evacuated the denizens of Tevat Noah. He then relayed the news of the facility's destruction and Ruvé's death to Damien Darhk who, in his rage, decided to go through with his plans of global devastation, even if that would mean his own death.
Damien Darhk tried to force Felicity into his service, but was interrupted by the arrival of Green Arrow and Spartan. As his Ghosts rushed in to support their leader, Darhk took a hold of his daughter, as well as Felicity's laptop containing the anti-Rubicon program, and escaped. He once again turned to the services of Cooper Seldon, threatening to kill the man by sending a bullet through his spine with dark magic if Seldon didn't comply. Seldon's work proved fruitful, as he launched all of world's nuclear missiles into the air, including one specifically for Star City. This was discovered by Team Arrow after they raided one of H.I.V.E.'s bases in search of Felicity's laptop.
Ghosts also raided the Arrowcave, but were fought off by Team Arrow with the help of Malcolm Merlyn, who now had little reason to support Damien if he did not provide safety for him and his daughter, Thea. Curtis Holt and Felicity Smoak managed to stop the missile intended for Star City, while Oliver Queen tried to instill the feelings of hope back into the hearts of the people of the city. After that, Malcolm, Thea and Felicity found the location of Cooper Seldon, persuading him to sacrifice his life and save the world from Darhk's despair, then making sure that the missiles would be sent into open space. Damien Darhk and his Ghosts fought Oliver Queen and the people of Star City in a final battle, that ended with Damien's death at the hands of Green Arrow.
It is unknown what is the status of the organization after Damien Darhk's death. The headquarters of H.I.V.E., raided by Green Arrow after Damien escaped with Felicity Smoak's laptop, were empty, but it is possible that the organization still has cells elsewhere.
- Damien Darhk (founder and leader; deceased)
- Damien Darhk's assistant (deceased)
- Ruvé Adams (deceased)
- Malcolm Merlyn (defected to Team Arrow; deceased)
- Ian (partner; status unknown)
- Judy (partner; status unknown)
- Milo Armitage (partner; deceased)
- Phaedra Nixon (partner; deceased)
- Tomas (partner; deceased)
- Slater (deceased)
- Mina Fayad (deceased)
- Andy Diggle (deceased)
- Alvarez (deceased)
- Alex Davis (brainwashed; deceased)
- Gas chamber victim (deceased)
- Unnamed test subjects (deceased)
- Evelyn Sharp (test subject; unwillingly; status unknown)
- John Sharp (test subject; unwillingly; deceased)
- Mary Sharp (test subject; unwillingly; deceased)
- Quentin Lance (secretly a double agent for Oliver Queen)
- Dozens of unnamed Ghosts (deceased)
- Michael Amar/Murmur (forcibly; incarcerated)
- Danny Brickwell/Brick (deceased)
- Floyd Lawton/Deadshot (deceased)
- Lonnie Machin/Anarky (incarcerated)
- Gholem Qadir (deceased)
- Vandal Savage (deceased)
- Cooper Seldon (changed sides; deceased)
- Mark Shaw
- Jeremy Tell/Double Down (incarcerated)
- Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash
- Ben Turner/Bronze Tiger
- Boris (deceased)
- The Demolition Team (incarcerated)
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, H.I.V.E. stands for the Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Extermination, led by Queen Bee. The H.I.V.E. organization appears mainly in comic books featuring the Teen Titans, having orchestrated several of the team's greatest threats, most notably Deathstroke and Ravager, the son of Slade Wilson.
- Mina Fayad, when giving Floyd Lawton his job, told him she was just a drone, a piece of one larger being. This is a reference to how scientists consider bees to be part of a hive and prioritize their hive over their lives. As such, the bees are considered part of a superorganism known as their hive.