- For the episode of the same name, see "".
- For other uses of Dark Archer, see Dark Archer (disambiguation).
- "You may not think of me as your father, Thea. But you'll always be my daughter."
- —Malcolm Merlyn's last words to his daughter, Thea Queen[src]
Malcolm Merlyn (born Arthur King; October 13 1966 - May 17, 2017) was the widower of the late Rebecca Merlyn and the father of Saracon, Tommy Merlyn, and Thea Queen. He was a formerly wealthy and successful businessman, the founder and CEO of Merlyn Global Group, and a prominent figure in Starling City. Fueled by the death of his wife during a mugging in the crime-infested area of "the Glades", Malcolm traveled to Nanda Parbat and was trained by the League of Assassins, taking the name Al Sa-her (Arabic: الساحر; for The Magician). After he left the group and returned to his city, Malcolm secretly plotted "the Undertaking", arranging for Robert Queen's death by sabotaging the Queen's Gambit when his friend tried to stop it. When the Hood began to intervene in his plans, he donned his League uniform and became the Dark Archer, managing to defeat the Hood twice in combat. He eventually succeeded in the Undertaking, though only partially, but was believed to be dead when Oliver struck an arrow through his heart.
Malcolm eventually revealed himself to be alive to Moira Queen upon discovering he was Thea's biological father and sought redemption with her. Instead, Moira revealed to the League of Assassins that Malcolm was, in fact, alive, forcing him to go on the run. However, he managed to take in Thea after Moira's death, turning his daughter into a capable warrior. In a gambit to erase his blood debt, Malcolm drugged Thea into killing Sara Lance/Ta-er al-Sahfer, coercing Oliver to fight "Ra's al Ghul" in his place. He subsequently became an uneasy ally of Team Arrow, despite their constant qualms. After Oliver defeated "Ra's al Ghul", he gave the Demon's Head ring to Malcolm, making him the new Ra's al Ghul (Arabic: رأس الغول; for Demon's Head). However, Nyssa al Ghul soon took power and disbanded the League with Oliver's help, and this power struggle cost Malcolm his left hand. In his anger for Oliver, he joined forces with Damien Darhk and aided him in "Genesis". However, when Damien began descending into insanity upon the crumbling of his plans, wanting to destroy the world without of the existence of a safe haven, Malcolm defected from H.I.V.E. and joined forces with Team Arrow again.
Malcolm aided time-traveler Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash and Damien Darhk in a quest to locate the Spear of Destiny, in exchange for Malcolm changing his past and gaining a better life in the process, including the revival of Tommy and Rebecca. The Legion of Doom altered reality but the Legends managed to undo their work and Malcolm was placed back in his bitter life of squalor.
A year after these events, Malcolm learned Thea had been kidnapped by Adrian Chase and reached out to Oliver, whom he helped to recover his family and friends from Lian Yu. Malcolm took Thea's place on an island land mine and sacrificed himself by setting it off to take out Digger Harkness.
A year and a half after Malcolm's death, he was briefly resurrected by John Deegan when the latter altered reality a second time. During this period, Malcolm was a police officer.
As a member of The Hidden
While serving in the Air Force Academy, 19-year-old Arthur allowed himself to be recruited by "modern-day crusade" The Hidden after an artifact collection he owned had been robbed by one of their agents in London. Half of an ancient Ashkiri tribe book describing an ancient temple in the Hindu Kush mountains had been stolen, so Malcolm joined the Hidden, knowing they had an interest in and were searching for the said temple, which he was also interested in. He developed a romance with the agent who stole from him, Ashkiri tribe descendant Lourdes, despite her being betrothed to another man. Arthur and Lourdes then went to the Hindu Kush mountains with the Hidden on the mission to locate the temple and seal it in order to prevent local tribal wars unearthing it and the secrets within. This was Arthur's first mission with the Hidden and would turn out to be his only one. One night, at the Hidden base camp in the mountains, their leader Ibadan noticed Arthur making love to Lourdes (presumably impregnating her with their future son Saracon) and decided to test his strength by sending him and more experienced fellow Hidden agent Darius to find a fabled stone marker that was said reveal the location of the ancient temple. However, only five miles from the camp, they were forced to duck behind their Jeep to protect themselves from a haboob, the worst kind of sandstorm. While the sandstorm passed, they noticed men of the League of Assassins approaching by horseback in the distance. However, the assassins were forced to stop by the intensifying storm, and Darius told Arthur to be ready to do anything for their cause. Darius took a sheet from their vehicle to cover them, and the jeep was blown away by the strong storm winds afterward.
Soon, the storm passed and the League horsemen charged towards Darius and Arthur, but Lourdes had been earlier sent by Ibadan to help them and she arrived just in time to take down the assassins. The following day, the trio set out to search for the stone marker. They had no luck until, just as the sun was setting, Arthur climbed up higher in the mountains and realized that the topography below him was the marker they were looking for. From this and their knowledge of the Ashkiri beliefs, they deduced where the temple was located, and they returned to the Hidden base camp at the edge of the mountains to inform Ibadan of this discovery. Arthur was the one who informed Ibadan of the League tracing them and the location of the temple. When Lourdes expressed hesitation in continuing the mission as it might lead the League to the location of the temple, Arthur insisted on proceeding with their plan, pretending to care to keep the temple's secrets from the warring tribes and the League while really just seeking the treasures of the temple for himself. With Ibadan and Darius agreeing with Arthur, the decision to continue was made and Darius and Lourdes were dismissed. However, Arthur stayed with Ibadan to ask him about what he knew of the temple and its contents, acting as if he had never heard of the Ashkiri before he joined the Hidden. Ibadan showed Arthur an Ashkiri bestiary, since they worshipped animals, and he explained their belief that everything began with two snow leopard twins, the god of darkness and the goddess of light. Hunting humans killed the latter one, he explained, so darkness began to overtake the light around the world, however, the corpse of the leopard goddess gave birth to a new light goddess to balance the dark and light, and the world was fixed. From Arthur's reaction to this, Ibadan realized he already knew about it, was lying, his membership of the Hidden was a ruse to rob the treasures of the temple, and that therefore Arthur must have a personal airplane somewhere nearby to escape at a moment's notice with what he would steal from the temple. However, they were interrupted by a sudden explosion that destroyed most of the Hidden camp. Arthur was injured but he went straight to check on Lourdes, who had also survived but had been knocked out. After she came to, the two of them found Ibadan, who had a twisted leg. Arthur helped fix it, telling Ibadan that even though pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. The three of them realized that the disappeared Darius was a traitor, a double agent for the League of Assassins and he caused the explosion. Without any way to contact the Hidden Headquarters for backup, they decided to go to the temple and attempt to reach it before the League, since they have inevitably been informed of the temple's location by Darius and they plan on taking advantage of what is in the temple, with the injured Ibadan hiding his realization of Arthur's true motives. When Ibadan asked for Lourdes to look for his box containing everything they had on the Ashkiri, Arthur found it first and snuck it into his jacket, but Lourdes noticed although she had faith in Arthur's decision to hide it from Ibadan. The three of them used a truck that survived the explosion to set out in an attempt to reach the temple before the League.
The following morning, Lourdes and Arthur left the truck with Ibadan, who insisted on staying behind as his wound would only slow them down. They located the temple's entrance before the League, causing a small earthquake to split the ground in several locations nearby, including Ra's al Ghul's camp, inadvertently delaying the assassins from catching up with them at the temple. Arthur had known about the way to open the temple from his prior knowledge, and that it required two people to open, so he had Lourdes help him open the temple while acting as if it was a lucky guess. Suddenly, the earthquakes became the footsteps and roars of the guardian spirits of the temple, two large, growling snow leopards, like the ones in the Ashkiri myth, and crackling with mystical energy. Lourdes and Arthur were chased by the two leopard spirits and they escaped into the temple. Inside, Arthur deduced from the cinnabar within that the area was, in reality, an ancient, dormant volcano, but it didn't matter because they were destroying the temple. As they thought they had lost the spirits deeper in the tunnels of the temple, Lourdes began to doubt their mission and wondered if it was all a big mistake, to which Arthur replied that he was aware that it was a mistake. Before he could explain himself, the spirits phased through the walls and continued to chase them. As they ran closer to the heart of the temple, Lourdes cried that Ibadan had told her there was only one way in and out of there so they would be trapped, but Arthur revealed that he was sure there was another exit. He also revealed that Ibadan didn't want them to be aware of that and that he had planned on them dying with the temple's destruction. The two of them evaded the leopards and found themselves finally in the heart of the temple, finding themselves in a majestic chamber with statues, ancient artifacts, an altar in the center containing two powerful, mystical relics that were said to be the hearts of the twin leopard gods of the myth, and a Lazarus Pit, the treasures that Arthur was truly after. However, Lourdes suddenly pinned him down and demanded he explain himself and how he knew so much about the temple already, and he revealed the truth about how she had only stolen half of the Ashkiri text from his collection, and he had merely been using his new membership in the Hidden to get to the temple. Arthur also revealed that he had inherited his collection from his father, Jasper King, and that the temple had been the Holy Grail to his King Arthur. Thus, he truly did believe that the Hidden had been a modern-day crusade, but his crusade for the treasure of the temple. After explaining everything to Lourdes, Arthur got to work, taking a sample of the Lazarus Pit by filling his bottle with its waters, while claiming that his love for Lourdes was one thing he didn't lie about. Then, Arthur went and picked up a particular ancient artifact blade which was the key to unlocking the powerful relics in the altar, but just then the two leopard spirits burst in. Realizing he had no time to continue plundering the temple, Arthur headed for the secret second exit while informing Lourdes that he actually brought her there to sacrifice to the leopard spirits so he could make his escape. Heartbroken and shocked, Lourdes did nothing but plead for her life as the spirits pounced and mauled her while Arthur ignored her and jumped down a waterfall that led to a river outside of the temple. Unaware that Ra's al Ghul had saved Lourdes by sacrificing Darius and taken Lourdes as his concubine before the temple finally came down, sealing the two powerful relics for good, Arthur found himself held at gunpoint by Ibadan. The leader of the Hidden explained that the League of Assassins was everywhere and they had to leave as soon as possible, revealing all that he had deduced about Arthur when they talked about the mission earlier and when he displayed knowledge of the temple he had not been told by the Hidden. Ibadan also revealed he had pretended to be a double agent for the League to be aware of their progress during the mission, telling Arthur that trust is overrated and his injury barely bothered him because as he had said earlier, pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. Arthur and Ibadan made it to Arthur's plane, but just then, men from the League of Assassins found them and fired a volley of arrows. Arthur used Ibadan as a human shield and then jumped into the plane, escaping and leaving the arrow-ridden Ibadan at the mercy of the League.
Once aboard his private jet, King expressed satisfaction over what he had managed to take from the temple. He circled back over the destroyed temple once to enjoy one final look at it and then flew to Corto Maltese. On the way, Arthur made a call ahead to Corto Maltese, where he had a facility being built, and spoke about how he did manage to get a Lazarus Pit sample that they would need to be stored until the facility was complete. After making the call, he analyzed the blade that had been the key to unlocking the two mystical heart relics but had not been used, and he decided to keep it, simply to add to his collection.
After his visit to Corto Maltese, during which he entrusted the Lazarus Pit sample, which he referred to as his entire future, to his scientists, he traveled around South America "for a while". Around this time he came up with what he decided he would live as in the future: Malcolm Merlyn, to disassociate with his past life, as he started anew with his facility and his new company, Merlyn Global Group. He decided on Starling City to be the center of his new venture, and he had his men prepare his plane to go there in an hour. In the meantime, "Malcolm Merlyn" rode out to a second ancient Ashkiri temple he located on the coast of Corto Maltese.
Life with Rebecca
Malcolm eventually fell in love with a philanthropist named Rebecca and they soon got married. In February 1985, they had a son, Tommy Merlyn. Malcolm supported Rebecca's charitable efforts in helping the less fortunate of the city, particularly those living in The Glades. Through Rebecca, Malcolm met and befriended Robert and Moira Queen.
In 1993, Rebecca was murdered in a mugging in The Glades. Earlier, Rebecca tried to call Malcolm for help as she was dying, but he was busy and turned his phone off, unaware of the nature of Rebecca's call. Later, after Malcolm turned it back on, he received a call from a businessman, whom he negotiated with until he had a deal. Tommy then woke up from a nightmare. Malcolm comforted his son, performing a vanishing coin trick to cheer him up. He promised Tommy he wouldn't leave or let anything happen to him. Just then, the doorbell rang and Malcolm rushed to open it, expecting his wife. Instead, he was met with two SCPD officers, including a friend of his, who sadly informed him of Rebecca's murder.
Joining the League of Assassins
At some point after his wife's death, Malcolm was brought to Nanda Parbat by Nyssa al Ghul, to be trained as a League member. He gained the nickname "Al Sa-her" ("The Magician") after he pulled a coin out of her ear as a magic trick. While there, he trained under the mentorship of a man from whom he learned his fighting skills. This man was later revealed to be Al-Owal, a member of the League of Assassins.
2 years later, Malcolm was eventually released from his vows by Ra's al Ghul himself.
Return to Starling City
Malcolm and a few associates formed the organization, Tempest. At first, he tried a more peaceful approach to saving Starling City by leveraging benefactors with their illegal activities and keeping their names in a notebook known as "The List". However, Malcolm eventually lost patience with its slow progress and decided on more extreme measures.
In late 2007, Malcolm met with the members of Tempest, among them Robert and Frank Chen. He discussed his plan to level the Glades with a seismic device from Unidac Industries. Later, when Robert questioned him as to whether it was a good idea or not, Malcolm revealed his wife's horrible death while in the Glades. Robert disagrees with Malcolm's proposed Undertaking, which would involve leveling the Glades and killing thousands of people in an effort to rebuild the area and remove the crime. As a result, Malcolm had a bomb planted on the Queen's Gambit just before Robert and his son, Oliver Queen, set off.
In 2010, Tommy used Malcolm's jet to fly to China in search of Oliver, acting on a tip that he may still be alive. Annoyed, Malcolm yelled at Tommy on the phone for taking his jet without his consent before Tommy hung up on him.
Working with Konstantin Kovar
In 2012, Malcolm visited Konstantin Kovar in Russia, where they discussed a deal. Their meeting got interrupted when Anatoly Knyazev from Bratva came to the room. Kovar told Malcolm that he has to take care of other business. On his way outside, Malcolm introduced himself to Anatoly as the CEO of Merlyn Global Group, and Anatoly introduced himself as "gangster".
Later, after Kovar was stabbed and considered dead, Malcolm brought him to surgery. After the surgery, he asked the surgeon about Kovar's status. The surgeon assured him that Kovar will live, but it would take him weeks to get back on his feet again. When Malcolm wondered who stabbed him, the surgeon simply answered that it's "[Kovar's] business". Malcolm expressed that he was glad not to have been the perpetrator.
Moira met with Malcolm in a limousine, assuring him that her son, Oliver, who had recently been rescued from an island, knew nothing of his father's involvement in their plan nor that the Queen's Gambit was sabotaged. Malcolm then looked at his own version of Robert's notebook.
A couple weeks later, Malcolm met with Moira again to discuss the Starling City vigilante known as "The Hood". He expressed uneasiness about the vigilante. Moira initially believed this to be because of his large wealth, but Malcolm revealed that it was because the Hood was specifically targeting names from The List.
When Oliver was accused of being the vigilante, Malcolm later invited Moira to talk with him upon short notice. They discussed whether Oliver might actually be The Hood, and Malcolm held up his end of the argument that he strongly believes that Oliver is, due to the suspicious timing of his return from Lian Yu and unexplained absences, along with numerous officials submitting hard evidence. Malcolm sent a man to kill Oliver at the Queen Mansion based on his assumption but he failed when Detective Lance killed him. After the chaos cleared, Moira went to consult with him. Moira threatened to ruin Malcolm's life if he ever tried to hurt her family again. Though Malcolm listened, he still appeared to have his suspicions.
When Moira was almost shot and hospitalized, Malcolm visited her during this time, much to her distaste. He offered her friendship as they previously had, but she was hesitant. Later, his son Tommy came asking why his father canceled his credit cards while the Malcolm was practicing fencing. Malcolm replied that he had permanently cut Tommy off from his trust fund because of his constant lazy attitude, which had grown tiresome. Tommy then argued with his father that it was his trust fund to which Malcolm further reminded him is comprised of his money, before resuming his fencing.
Tired of the Hood's interference, Malcolm took up his own vigilante persona, the "Dark Archer" and killed Adam Hunt to lure the vigilante out. He later attended a dinner party at the Queen Mansion, where the Hood was the main topic of discussion. Malcolm appeared to still be skeptical regarding Oliver's innocence, asking him a few questions about the Hood and his nickname (even suggesting "Green Arrow"). Malcolm also looked at Oliver with suspicion when he left the room the same time as the cops after they reported Hunt's murder to Police Commissioner Brian Nudocerdo. Later, Dark Archer killed Nelson Ravich to again lure out the Hood and set up a trap in a warehouse, which failed. Afterwards, Malcolm was informed by Doug Miller that Walter Steele had more information on The List and consulted with Moira about the predicament, stating that action needed to be taken. Desperate to lure the Hood out, Dark Archer took five hostages in a factory and televised a message demanding the archer meet him before he started killing the captives. The two archers had a fierce battle, but Dark Archer came out on top, informing The Hood that he knew the latter was targeting The List, and brutally beat him. However, the Hood managed to stab Dark Archer with an arrow and escape. Malcolm later had Walter abducted and informed Moira that he wouldn't be harmed, promising to release Walter once the Undertaking was over. Oliver's defeat at the hands of Dark Archer gave him nightmares and scared him so much that he refused to suit up again fearing for leaving his family should he be killed. However, Diggle was finally able to snap him out of his fear before Oliver became the Hood once again.
Malcolm invited his son and Laurel Lance to have dinner with him. At dinner, Malcolm quite openly mentioned to Laurel how his wife was killed, though not before trying to getting Tommy to sign over his mother's clinic, so it could be shut down. Tommy then felt betrayed again and stormed off as Laurel directly confronted Malcolm about the cutoff but he told Laurel that he needs it to be stronger just like he was forced to after his wife's death. Malcolm also met with Moira to discuss Carl Ballard's endangerment of the Undertaking and she agreed to handle him but demanded proof of Walter's survival first. Malcolm later came to Moira at Thea's birthday party to give her a photo of him and gave her a reassuring touch on her shoulder, unaware Thea was watching who believed them to be having an affair.
Moira met with Malcolm to inform him Carl won't be a problem anymore but Malcolm then reveals that he learned from Walter that Moira had the Queen's Gambit salvaged and orders Moira to destroy it, unaware that Diggle is spying on them in the other room. However, Malcolm appeared to have voice amplifiers in the room as when Oliver and Diggle played it again, Malcolm's voice was cloaked.
Without knowing, Moira, tired of being used, hired China White to assassinate Malcolm. Malcolm visited Tommy at Laurel's apartment during his 28th birthday party and invited him to an awards ceremony where he was to receive the humanitarian award but Tommy refused. Later though Tommy did attend, albeit reluctant. Frank Pike read out Malcolm's award announcement before handing it to him before Malcolm gave a speech his philanthropy and charitable nature to making Starling City better, but nothing that he hasn't done enough but one day he will. As he was giving his speech, the lights were turned off by the Chinese Triad. Malcolm quickly exited and found Tommy, and the two made it up to his office. Malcolm explained to Tommy about his safe room, and proceeded to open the door to it. However, before he could admit to his son his alter ego of the Dark Archer, Malcolm was shot from afar by Deadshot, who had been assigned to his assassination. Before Malcolm could die, The Hood arrived and was able to convince Tommy to give his father a blood transfusion, in order to rid his body of curare poison laced in the bullet. He woke up in a hospital bed some time later and talked to Tommy and confessed his guilt for letting him down as a child. Moira visited, and Malcolm asked her to find his would-be killer, unaware it was actually Moira.
Malcolm began a vengeance mission to find who was responsible for paying Deadshot to kill him and met with a member of the Chinese Triad to find out, promising him a reduced prison sentence. Moira, with no choice, pinned the blame on Frank Chen and gave evidence that he was the one who ordered the kill. Dark Archer later killed Frank as he met with Moira and wanted to kill his daughter but Moira begged him not to which he agreed. After quitting his job at Verdant, Tommy visited his father at Merlyn Global Group and asked for a job.
Malcolm received word that the Markov device is ready and celebrates with Moira in honor of Robert and Rebecca. Later Moira storms into a meeting Malcolm has with his Chinese employers about Walter apparently being killed but Malcolm shows her that he is alive, unaware that the Hood is listening in. Later when Walter was rescued by the Hood, Malcolm talked to Oliver about Walter if he knew anything but he didn't and told Malcolm that those who nabbed him would pay. To tie up loose ends, Malcolm, as Dark Archer, visited Unidac Industries and eliminated Dr. Markov and his team, including two innocent young scientists for being witnesses, before destroying the labs to eliminate evidence before speeding off in his car. The following day, Malcolm ran into Oliver in his company's building, while Felicity Smoak attempted to hack the system. Later, when Malcolm realized that Felicity has hacked into his system, he removed the device and had it hidden. Malcolm later paid Walter a visit at the Queen Mansion until Moira returned and accused Malcolm of wanting to kill him to tie up more loose ends, given Dark Archer's massacre earlier, which Malcolm admitted was true. Later, Diggle found the device's empty container while Malcolm was personally visited by The Hood. The vigilante attempted to shoot Malcolm with an arrow, but Malcolm caught the arrow before revealing to him that he is the Dark Archer, also noting the irony of Malcolm trying to kill him at Christmas, The Hood saving Malcolm a few months before and now The Hood trying to kill him. The two of them engaged in hand-to-hand combat, Malcolm ultimately coming out the victor, knocking The Hood out. He lifted his hood and discovered his true identity - Oliver Queen.
Malcolm had Oliver tied up before he could regain consciousness. Oliver was awoken, and Malcolm explained to him why he had done what he had before leaving, awaiting the destruction of the Glades. Later Tommy visited Malcolm to tell him that Laurel and he were over and that Oliver believed he wanted to destroy the Glades but Malcolm confirmed it, much to his shock. Malcolm then played a recording of Rebecca's death to Tommy before angrily yelling, "They deserve to die! All of them!". However then Moira confessed the plan on TV, three cops arrived to arrest him but Malcolm easily dispatched them and Tommy tried to kill him but Malcolm knocked him out. After this he waited, geared up in his safe room, and The Hood and John soon found him. Dark Archer fought them both simultaneously, despite being on the losing end. He threw a throwing knife at John and managed to escape to the roof. Hood and Dark Archer squared off on the roof, shooting arrows at each other, before engaging in hand-to-hand combat. He managed to get Hood in a choke hold, telling him that he would soon be joined by his mother and sister in death, remembering the last words of his father Oliver managed to stab Malcolm through the chest with one of Malcolm's arrows, by stabbing himself through his shoulder. Oliver rose from the ground, and after receiving confirmation from Felicity that the device was disarmed, told Malcolm that his plan had failed. Injured, Malcolm revealed he had a second device stationed in the Glades. Believing he had won, Malcolm fell on his side and succumbed to his apparent demise.
Despite everyone's assumptions, Malcolm had, in fact, survived his brush with death, and had corners make the police believe he was dead and had left Starling City. However, he still had associates in the district attorney's office, including someone close to ADA Adam Donner. Regardless of Malcolm's success, he was left with anything but feeling victorious with the death of Tommy, which caused him great guilt and remorse, and left Starling City in peace, too grieving to continue his plans to remake the Glades. The League also learned of the Undertaking, which violated their codes, but since they also believed Malcolm to be dead, the matter was considered settled.
Pursued by the League of Assassins
Five months following his apparent death, it is now public knowledge that Malcolm was responsible for the Undertaking and he was the Dark Archer. When Moira was in danger of being prosecuted Malcolm returned to Starling and used "a little persuasion" to make sure she was acquitted of the charges of being associated with him. After she was acquitted, her driver brought Moira to a remote location where Malcolm was waiting, killed the driver and revealed himself to Moira. Using resources in Starling Malcolm followed Donner's investigative on of links between Moira and Malcolm and became suspicions she had kept secrets even from him. A genetic test confirmed his suspicions - Thea is his daughter. Malcolm continues to privately confront Moira at the Queen household and even revealed the guilt he had towards inadvertently killing Tommy and insisting that she owes her life to him after acquitting her. Determined to play a part in his daughter's life, Malcolm demands that Moira tells Thea of her true parentage. Moira refuses and contacts Ra's al Ghul, informing him that Malcolm is alive. She reveals this to Malcolm, advising that he run since Ra's wanted to kill him personally. Malcolm did so but stated that the matter wasn't settled.
When Malcolm heard about Moira's death, he made his way back to Starling City to check up on Thea. Dark Archer arrives just as Slade's Mirakuru army lays siege on the city, just in time to save Thea from being killed by one of the henchmen and reveals himself to her before killing him. Thea out of shock and panic ran away into the subways before Malcolm catches up to her, insisting he wasn't going to hurt her begging her to come with him to safety but she refuses before being attacked by another minion. After he manages to kill him, he temporarily loses consciousness, and when he comes to, Thea is pointing a gun at him. Malcolm tells Thea that he understands her pain as he has endured it too - with Rebecca and Tommy's deaths - just as Thea did with her loss of Moira and Robert. Suddenly Thea fires two shots in his direction. As Thea feels guilt-ridden for killing her real father, Malcolm comes to and reveals that he was wearing a kevlar vest. Malcolm, to Thea's disgust, told Thea that she had more nerve than Tommy. When Thea left to find Roy, Malcolm compared Roy to Moira and Oliver: they were all liars. Later, after Thea found out Roy's identity as The Arrow's accomplice, she went back to Malcolm, waiting in his limousine. Thea requested that Malcolm teach her how to be strong, as she never wanted to feel weak and helpless again, and they soon departed from Starling City.
War with the League of Assassins
Following them leaving Starling City, Malcolm and Thea arrived in Corto Maltese. The two took up residence in a mansion owned by Malcolm. He decided to train Thea by pouring boiling water onto her hand, to teach her that "pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional". However, she was unable to stand it, and Malcolm decided that he had to train her the same way he had been trained, by physically hurting her to the point that Thea retaliated, pointing a sword, allowing him to determine that her training had begun. During this period, Malcolm trained Thea in martial arts, sword fighting, stealth, and archery.
Five months later, Malcolm drugged Thea with Vitura, a plant that made her susceptible to suggestion. They took a plane to Starling City, where Malcolm ordered Thea to kill Sara Lance on a rooftop by shooting three arrows into her chest. The two then flew back to Corto Maltese where they kept training, with Thea having no memory of what happened. A few days later, Malcolm saw his daughter taking down two trainers and congratulated her.
When Oliver arrived looking for Thea and arrives at the mansion Malcolm readied his bow but Oliver was called off. Malcolm later spied on Thea as she talked to Roy. Thea later requested to head home and proved her training's worth by fighting Malcolm with swords and disarmed him, but Thea implied that he let her win.
Malcolm returned to Starling City after Thea in order to watch over and protect her. He also bought shares for Verdant and the nearby foundry (the Arrowcave) to help Thea put it back in business, which makes Malcolm the owner of Oliver's base. Nyssa also informed Oliver of Merlyn's survival after believing him to be Sara's killer. After following leads Nyssa tracks Malcolm and fights him and Oliver tags him with an arrow but doesn't kill him much to Laurel and Nyssa's anger. Malcolm later privately contacts Oliver and pleads his innocence to Sara's death knowing that killing her would only provoke Nyssa and Ra's and Oliver believes him. Laurel, however, begs Nyssa to kill Malcolm at any cost but she kidnaps Thea to lure him out where Dark Archer, Arrow and Nyssa fight each other and Dark Archer manages to defeat Nyssa but Arrow holds an arrow to him. Malcolm admits his high body count but protests that he didn't kill Sara and Arrow contemplated killing him for his past crimes but was unable to due to his vow and let him go and proclaimed Malcolm to be under his protection until Sara's true killer was found. Later, Malcolm contacted Thea to tell her that he will protect her at any cost.
Malcolm continues to train Thea without Oliver's knowledge and allows her access to his wealth so that she could buy herself an apartment while rebuilding the club, much to Oliver's chagrin. He later spied on Thea and saw Oliver at her apartment, much to his annoyance. Malcolm was later contacted by Thea after Oliver visited her loft as the Arrow to find out if she was responsible for Sara's murder, he later confronted Oliver in Verdant and after being attacked, he revealed that he had Thea kill Sara through a plant called votura which thrives in Corto Maltese which was used to erase her memory of the incident. His whole plan was to make Ra's al Ghul focus on the killer and force Oliver to confront Ra's as he did not want to put Thea in danger, his aim that Oliver would kill Ra's al Ghul so he would no longer be hunted by the League.
Malcolm continued to train Thea in her apartment but she expressed worry over Oliver for not calling as it had been days since he did so, but he promised her to look into it as he regarded Oliver as a family. Malcolm then visited Felicity, Diggle, and Roy in the Arrowcave to ask them if they'd seen Oliver which they denied and Malcolm suspected Oliver's death at Ra's hands. Malcolm then visited the site where Oliver and Ra's had dueled but only found a sword with Oliver's blood and returned to Starling in the Arrowcave to inform the team of the news and present the sword. Though Malcolm offered his condolences Felicity and Diggle scolded Merlyn for getting Oliver killed. Malcolm then arrived in Thea's apartment where she threw a letter opener at him (which he caught). He informed her they were leaving Starling forever but decided not to reveal her brother's fate to her.
Malcolm later visited Thea at the loft, expecting her to be packing. However, she was gone and he found her at Verdant. Thea told him he did not explain why they had to leave and said she wasn't leaving unless he told her why. Malcolm later went to her loft, where Roy confronted him and told him to stay away from Thea. Roy also scolded Malcolm for manipulating her into killing Sara as he would lose her forever, but Malcolm told him it was a family matter, and he wasn't family. Malcolm later met Thea at her loft and apologized to her, revealing her the truth. He explained Ra's wants to kill him and his family for the Undertaking. Later, Thea firmly declared to Malcolm they weren't leaving and told him not to be afraid of Ra's just like he taught her not to be, and they would face Ra's together. Malcolm agreed and they decided to stay.
Malcolm continued to train Thea using even more brutal methods and insisted that she needed to be willing to kill in order to beat Ra's but she asked how he is so willing to kill, and he told her that it started when he killed the man who murdered Rebecca. Later Malcolm spied on Team Arrow in the cave, via hacked webcam, and learned that Danny Brickwell/Brick killed Rebecca. as Arsenal and Black Canary pursued Brick into a police precinct Dark Archer followed and arrived in time to save them from Brick executing them as Dark Archer stated he needed to talk. In the Arrowcave Malcolm proposed an alliance with Team Arrow, as they have the same enemy. Laurel and Roy, despite still resenting Malcolm, were willing to consider but Felicity and Diggle were not and declined Merlyn's offer. Later Malcolm prepared to kill Brick himself despite Thea begging him not to trying to see a goodness inside. As the people of the Glades fought back against Brick's army, forcing Brick to flee, Brick ran into Dark Archer again in the ally and was easily subdued by Dark Archer who revealed his identity and prepared to kill him. Brick revealed that he murdered Rebecca not just to join a gang but because she was weak angering Malcolm more but before he could pull the trigger Arrow, very much alive, arrived and begged him to spare him for Thea's sake. Malcolm was persuaded and spared Brick so he would face court justice. As Malcolm told Thea the new choice he made Oliver walked in and was ok with Malcolm's presence, despite Thea being aware of their distaste for each other. Though Oliver admitted to Malcolm that he still despised him for having Sara killed and committing the undertaking, he asked Malcolm to train him to face Ra's al Ghul.
A week later, Malcolm visited Team Arrow and told Oliver if they were to survive he needed to tell Thea the truth, though Oliver believed telling her would shatter their relationship forever. Malcolm visited Thea at her apartment after Oliver told her the truth but she became distrusting of him for not telling her and left, determined to avoid the issue of Ra's al Ghul. Later when Chase, a League agent, ambushed Thea in an attempt to assassinate her. Malcolm and Arsenal arrived to stop him after which he committed suicide with cyanide. As Oliver arrived to see what happened Malcolm, despite knowing Thea's newfound scorn for him, informed them that to be Ra's they needed to purge their fear and the only place on Earth capable of doing that was Lian Yu.
Unbeknownst to Oliver and Thea, Malcolm visited Lian Yu and freed Slade Wilson promising him a chance to escape via the plane Oliver and Thea used. After learning that Slade escaped, Oliver called Malcolm who admitted his actions and informed him Slade's release is a test to help him regain his killer instinct and disabled their cellphones. After Oliver and Thea narrowly escaped Slade on the island and returned home, they confronted Malcolm about his actions and when he insisted they were out of love, Thea scorned him for making her kill Sara. Malcolm was enraged that Oliver told her. Feeling betrayed, Thea stated that though she was still Malcolm's student she was no longer his daughter, highly irritating him.
Malcolm started training Thea and Oliver in sword fighting. He easily beat both of them at once in a practice fight as he stressed the importance of fighting in unison. Thea remarked that it is his fault the League is after them. John tells them that the club is now highly secured and Malcolm told Oliver it might be wise for him and Thea to stay here. He explained that the only reason the League has not killed him is that they do not know where to find him. Oliver says they will stay at the loft, after which Malcolm says they clearly have their stubbornness from their mom. Malcolm later got followed as he realized it is Laurel. Laurel attacked him, but he easily fended her off. He says she has an identity crisis and that she could never beat him with just a stick. A furious Laurel pulled a gun on him and Malcolm said he will find out if she is a truly a killer. Suddenly they got surrounded by assassins who disarmed Laurel and held her back. Nyssa told Laurel to stand back and Malcolm engaged her in single combat. After a short fight, Nyssa quickly overpowered him and knocked him out. Malcolm gets tied up and brought to a chopper as Nyssa tells him he will face torture for what he did. Although this was only because Nyssa was extremely enraged and Malcolm didn't try his best during that battle. Malcolm told her that he would only be punished for the Undertaking and that she will never succeed her father after her relationship with Sara. Oliver attacked them and Nyssa fights him while Malcolm gets dragged to the chopper. Malcolm attempted to fight back, but got pulled in the chopper and flew away. Nyssa was defeated by Oliver and did not make it back to Nanda Parbat. He later gets brought before Ra's Al Ghul who told him about how he once met an amazing magician who was a shade of himself as he met him nearly 25 years later. Ra's said magicians can cheat many things, but not death. Malcolm begged him for mercy to which Ra's replied that he should die at least with some dignity. A screaming Malcolm got dragged away to be tortured. Barely conscious after the torture, Malcolm gets hanged above a fire. He woke up as Oliver and Diggle came to save him. He tried to tell them it was a trap, but Ra's quickly captured them.
It is later revealed that Ra's wants Oliver to take his place as the head of the League of Assassins. He also willingly freed Malcolm of his blood debts. Oliver refused to become Ra's and returned to Starling City with Diggle and Malcolm. Malcolm, still suffering from his experience at Nanda Parbat, is confined to the couch in Thea's loft. Thea, enraged over recent events, approaches and berates her father. Malcolm apologizes for his actions and allows Thea to kill him if she believes it is necessary, although she declines the offer. Malcolm is later seen in Thea's loft, having recovered from his wounds, watching Captain Lance's press conference revealing the identity of The Arrow and looking slightly concerned.
Malcolm later met with Oliver in Verdant at his own request, where Oliver claimed he will break Roy out of prison. Malcolm responded that Ra's wouldn't stop until Oliver accepted the offer to become his heir and his days as The Arrow were finished. He further pointed out that Oliver hasn't lost anyone yet and leading the League of Assassins would be preferable than getting caught up in Ra's schemes. Oliver left shortly afterward, sticking to his plan of breaking Roy out of Iron Heights.
Malcolm is later seen in the hospital, where Thea was connected to life support due to the she suffered because of being stabbed by Ra's al Ghul. Upon seeing this, Malcolm held Thea's hand and broke down in tears. In Thea's loft, Malcolm revealed that the Lazarus Pit allowed Ra's to live for centuries and, on rare occasions, could be used to bring the dead to life. However, he also said that the Pit drastically changes one's personality and the Thea who Oliver knew may not be the one he gets back. Despite this, Oliver decided to accept Ra's proposal of healing Thea in exchange for becoming his heir. Malcolm traveled with the rest of Team Arrow to Nanda Parabt. At the hangar, Malcolm tried to convince Oliver to take Thea to S.T.A.R Labs instead, which he refused. Malcolm then stopped Oliver, claiming that, despite his actions, he loved Thea and that he'd rather lose her than to use the Pit to resurrect her. Oliver ignored this and ordered Malcolm to get on the plane, which he did. Malcolm, along with Oliver, Diggle, and Sarab, joined the ritual to resurrect Thea. A few moments after she entered the Pit, Thea jumped and kicked Oliver to the ground, releasing an animalistic growl, much to Malcolm's horror. After Thea was sedated, Malcolm stood by her bedside with Oliver. Thea woke up with her memories scattered, believing Oliver is dead but recognizing Malcolm as her father. Malcolm reassures Thea that she is in a safe place. When she asks about her mother, Mclolm avoided the question, simply saying she isn't there and told her to rest. Thea complies and tells Malcolm she loves him. Malcolm is briefly happy but after Thea is asleep, he berates Oliver for using the Pit.
Later that night, Malcolm met with Diggle and Felicity, where he saw that Felicity had drugged Oliver in hopes of escaping with him. Malcolm warned Felicity that if are found, Ra's would kill them all. However, he agreed to aid group in their escape to the catacombs. Malcolm effortlessly defeated a member of the League and took his sword. Shortly afterward, he met three others, whom he kills quickly with the sword and proceeded to the temple. They are aided by Maseo, who shot three other members of the League. Although they do reach the catacombs, Thea's hallucinations delay the group long enough for them to be surrounded by the League. He advised the group that they don't want to be taken alive, from past experience. They are saved at the last minute by Oliver, who ordered the League to put their weapons down, claiming to be the new Heir to the Demon. Malcolm is later seen when Oliver bid farewell to the group, charging Malcolm to take care of Thea. The following day, Malcolm greeted a confused Thea, to which she responded negatively. Seeing she doesn't seem to remember what happened, Malcolm explained how Ra's nearly killed her that, in order to save her, Oliver had to join the League. She panicked upon hearing this but Malcolm tried to assure her that he will make up for this and everything else that happened before. Thea said that is impossible but Malcolm happily stated it is and he is now a free man and that he could go anywhere in the world, but he wants to take care of her, just like she did when he was injured.
A few weeks later, Thea asked Malcolm if it was true Oliver was hunting down Nyssa. Malcolm mentioned that he learned from his sources that he wants to kill her to protect his reign as Heir to the Demon. Thea told him he should be stopped and that he should not be a killer. Malcolm told her Oliver is now the Heir to the Demon and that he will be a killer for them. Thea mentioned he had been brainwashed to kill just like Malcolm did to her. Malcolm said he did not sacrifice himself for her so she could risk her life fighting the League. Thea mentioned she could not stop him trading his life for hers however she can stop this. Malcolm mentioned she is a warrior even before he trained her and her brother is aware of this as well. He then asked Thea how he could help her.
Dark Archer later traveled back to Nanda Parbat where he was intercepted by Oliver Queen who was revealed to be working with Malcolm in order to bring the League down from the inside who was shocked to not only hear that Ra's had the alpha-omega virus but Oliver was ascending to the title of Ra's so quick, he anticipated it would take months, Oliver gave Malcolm the name of someone who could help them, that person was Tatsu Yamashiro, Oliver's friend and Maseo's wife. He later contacted Team Arrow and brought them to an unknown location where he revealed to them of Oliver's hoax but to their anger and upset, Malcolm introduced them to Tatsu who revealed the alpha-omega virus and Ra's plot to poison Starling City. The team traveled to Nanda Parbat to stop a plane from spreading the virus, they stopped the plane and engaged a huge group of assassins. During the fight Malcolm took out dozens of assassins and saved both Laurel and Felicity. They killed many members of the League but were eventually overrun by Oliver and Ra's and were captured. Malcolm begged for his life with Ra's, exposing Oliver's deception in exchange for joining the League again but Oliver kept the ruse up and Malcolm was returned to prison where Ra's exposed him, Felicity, Ray, Diggle and Laurel to the virus and was sealed inside their cell and left to die. Tatsu was removed from the cell since her inoculation during the Hong Kong outbreak.
After Felicity, Ray, Diggle and Laurel and Malcolm awoke, still alive, Malcolm revealed to them he had inoculated himself by Oliver's blood before going to Nanda Parbat to make himself immune to the virus. He explained that he had vaccinated them as well through a skin graft and that their plan was to deceive Ra's to make him believe Oliver is committed to his cause. As the group wondered how they could escape, Malcolm simply stated would have to wait for the thunder. The Flash burst into Nanda Parbat and overpowered the assassins. After Barry was annoyed that Felicity mentioned his name in Malcolm's presence, thus revealing the speedster's identity to the villain, he quickly freed them. After the group retrieved their weapons, Barry explained that Oliver would need them even if he did not realize it, and left. The group went to the plane to return to Starling City and stop the Outbreak. However, Tatsu did not join them as she wanted to return to her life in solitude.
Arriving at Palmer Technologies, Malcolm told them they had to get ready for a virus attack in case Oliver failed to kill Ra's. Oliver and Nyssa came in and the team learned that their attempt to crash the plane to kill Ra's had failed. Palmer went to work to get the antidote. The group tried to find Ra's but was unable to find any leads on where he could be. Malcolm noticed an entire hotel floor had been hired and the group learned Damien Darhk was in town. The group realised that Ra's his goal was to kill Damien. Oliver told them they could capture Damien and trade him with Ra's for the virus. Malcolm was impressed with Oliver by the ruthlessness of this plan.
The group went to the hotel and quickly took out his bodyguards. Oliver confronted the assistant of Damien and learned that Damien had been aware and left in time. Ra's called him and told him he would spread the virus in Starling. The team eventually narrowed down the locations of the league agents dispersing the virus and Dark Archer partook in the effort to stop them, killing at least one though Felicity begged him not to kill anyone else in the process. Oliver managed to kill Ra's after a duel, and they managed to contain the virus. The group reunited at Palmer industries. Oliver talked to the group and thanked all of them as together they had managed to save the city, he then revealed he would leave the city for a while.
Malcolm later visited Thea and told her he would leave Starling as well, he told her he loves her and that he would always be there for her. Thea was cold at him but accepted that he did make her strong as he had promised. Oliver came in and gave Malcolm the Demon's Head ring. Malcolm thanked him, commenting on how he always had looked at Oliver like a son and was glad they worked together. However, Oliver noted he would never forgive what Malcolm had done to Sara and Thea. When Malcolm asked if they would be enemies, Oliver responded that depended on what he would do with his power. At Nanda Parbat, Malcolm wore the custom of Ra's al Ghul and wielded the ring. Nyssa came in and believed told him this was his goal all along. Malcolm told her he just wanted to be free from Ra's just like her and when he was captured, Ra's had tortured him with his sword but he had survived, like the prophecy. Nyssa warned him she would make him pay for what he had done to Sara. Malcolm told her she was welcome to try and then ordered her and the assassins to kneel. After a brief moment, Nyssa kneeled before him.
Conflict with Lourdes and Saracon
Malcolm retreats from his duties as Ra's al Ghul to return to his secret research team in South America only to be met by Lourdes, figure from his past who's out for vengeance. She eventually began operating out of Corto Maltese, leading The Hidden along with her son, Saracon. She watched as her son cut his finger off, adorned with an ancient ring, intending to send it to Malcolm Merlyn. They attacked his fortress, causing him and a number to retreat inside. Sealed in a room with no way out, Merlyn's team discovers a clue about their attacker's shadowy motive. The Hidden set charges on the wall and exploded a hole through. Once down in the tunnel, Saracon used inter-species telepathy to send bats at their enemy, allowing them to catch up. However, before they could be caught, they escaped again, having discovered a secret hole in the ground. They followed them down to the Sea of Souls, where they all fought. Although the Hidden were almost overwhelmed, the local man and Rainie escaped, leaving only Malcolm. Lourdes and Saracon chained him up and Saracon began torturing him, wishing for Merlyn to confess to his sins, thus admitting to his true name and telling the story of his earlier days as part of the Hidden. Lourdes joined them, having left men inside the tunnel. She began to get angry at Merlyn, strangling him, but Saracon reminded her that he needed a full confession, causing her to step back. Malcolm had told almost everything about his past with Lourdes and his motive for joining The Hidden is revealed.
Freed from the chains, Malcolm fights for his life against Saracon. While the boy was unconscious, the injured Lourdes revealed to Merlyn that Saracon was their common son (when the Hidden came for her, Ra's al Ghul kept his own blood (Nyssa al Ghul, their daughter, in exchange for Lourdes and her son's release)). While they were distracted by conversation, Saracon awoke and absorbed the power of the heart, wanting to become a true sacred son of Ashkiri. Lourdes begged Malcolm to spare their son from this reckless act, but Merlyn said that if the power in Ashkiri's heart doesn't kill him, he way be worth saving. The eaten heart has repeatedly strengthened the power of Saracon and he began to destroy everything around, but Lourdes' minutes were numbered. She died in the arms of her son and he was very saddened by this fact. Not caring about Lourdes, Malcolm focused on his newfound son. He tried to persuade Saracon to leave with him, saying that they could do great things together, after all he got what he came for. Saracon refused, and father and son continued their battle, until Malcolm's reinforcements with Rainie and Nyssa arrived. The injured son decides to escape from the collapsing cave through underwater tunnels, promising Malcolm a meeting next time. Rainie shows him Saracon's severed finger and confirms that a DNA test has shown that he is indeed Malcolm's son. Nyssa looks into the depths of the cave and sees Lourdes' corpse, not knowing that she is her own mother. She asks Malcolm who she was and he lied that Lourdes was no one Nyssa knew. After that, they leave the collapsing cave, leaving Lourdes' corpse behind.
Being Ra's al Ghul
Over 5 months later, Malcolm and Nyssa were engaged in one of their sparring matches, which Malcolm enjoyed. Nyssa inflicted a minor cut on his neck before Malcolm disarmed and defeated her. He then used Lazarus pit water to heal the wound. A member of the League came in, informing them that Thea and Laurel arrived. Malcolm and Nyssa welcomed the two and Laurel requested Malcolm to revive Sara using the Lazarus Pit. He quickly refused, knowing it would do more harm than good. Laurel pointed out that he owed it to Sara since he killed her and had previously used the pit on Thea. However, Malcolm explained that Thea didn't die and the pit has never been used to bring a person back to life. He apologized to Laurel and warned her that it wouldn't be Sara who comes out of the pit.
That night, Malcolm met Thea in her room to question her about how she was coping in the aftermath of being revived by the pit. He explained that the Lazarus Pit contains traces of all the people who have ever been in it and leaves its users with a bloodlust, which will be temporarily satisfied if Thea gives into her killer instinct, but she refused. Malcolm then claimed he knew of a man in the mountains with healing abilities who could possibly help and told Thea they will leave at sunrise to meet him. That night, Malcolm had two League members enter Thea's room to try and assassinate her. The next morning, he found them killed by Thea. Malcolm confirmed there was no cure for the bloodlust and he helped Thea by satiating it for a few weeks. He revealed the only known way to be free from the bloodlust was for Thea to kill the one who hurt her, which was impossible since Ra's was already dead.
Later, Thea still refused to go on a killing spree, so Malcolm then allowed Sara to be resurrected by the Lazarus pit to appease his daughter. Sara rose, and everyone, including Malcolm, was shocked that it worked. After the ceremony, Sara jumped out of the pit and was restrained by two League members while Malcolm tranquilized her. Sara was later tied up and Thea, Laurel, and Malcolm visited her. Malcolm warned Laurel that they had no idea what was happening to Sara and that she should prepare for the worst. A League member then walked in, warning them something happened to Lazarus pit. The group found Nyssa standing over it, having destroyed the pit with her father's potion as revenge for Sara's resurrection. She swore to kill Malcolm, stating that there would be no coming back. A distraught Malcolm ordered the guards to take Nyssa away.
Afterwards, Malcolm secretly gathered his loyalists from the League to form the Thanatos Guild. With their help, he began an investigation to find more Lazarus Pit water and eventually succeeded in discovering three other pits. Malcolm created a map of the Earth's Ley lines that revealed the pits' locations, which could only be unlocked using his blood. He hid the map's container in a specialized warehouse in Star City, intending to have Thea by his side when he took control of the pits. The only person whom Malcolm shared the map's location with was Tigressa, who had an affection for him.
Several weeks later, knowing that Thea's bloodlust was close to its peak, Malcolm attempted to contact her but she continually ignored him. He later arrived at her apartment to discuss her bloodlust but Thea claimed to have it under control. Malcolm offered an alternative: Lawrence Tanner, a pedophile who lived three blocks away as a potential kill for her. Thea declined and before leaving, she ordered Malcolm to be gone before she returned or the police will know he's alive. Later, Thea called Malcolm back to her apartment to tell him she won't be taking his advice and has another means of stopping her bloodlust: Damien Darhk. Thea revealed that Damien attempted to use his dark magic on her but it backfired and her bloodlust was briefly suppressed. She asked Malcolm to help her find the means to make it permanent.
Later when both Team Arrow and Team Flash had a close encounter with Vandal Savage, who sought to kill Kendra Saunders, Malcolm and several League members appeared in the Arrowcave to inform both teams of their nemesis and his powers. Malcolm explained that Savage was immortal, having served as one of the right-hands of both Genghis Khan and Julius Caesar in their war efforts, and there was no means to stop him. After Carter Hall was captured, Malcolm reappeared and revealed that Savage had left Star City and would be after the Staff of Horus, an object previously used to kill Carter and Kendra in their past lives. When Savage escaped again, Malcolm organized a meeting between himself, Oliver, and Barry with Savage to negotiate a truce, explaining to a skeptical Oliver that negotiation was the only way to stop him from killing them all. At the meeting, Savage demanded Kendra and Carter, warned the Flash that if they refused, he would level all of Central City and then warned Green Arrow that he'll then travel to Star City and level it soon after and left. Malcolm stressed to Green Arrow and Flash that delivering Kendra and Carter to Savage was the only way to save both cities, but they told Malcolm that they will stop Savage without sacrificing them. Malcolm however, still skeptical, made it clear to Green Arrow that if they failed and Thea was harmed in any way, he would come for him. After the team was able to destroy Savage with his own staff, reducing him to ashes, Malcolm secretly collected what was left of his remains, stating Savage will "owe him one".
Malcolm visited Thea after Damien Darhk's latest attack to check up on her and wish her a Merry Christmas, but to also inform her that he had been looking into Darhk's powers and discovered that they do not originate from his use of the Lazarus waters. Later Thea, John, and Felicity are abducted by Damien's men and Malcolm obtained a secure-encrypted phone from one of his men and arrived at the Arrowcave, indirectly exposing his survival to Quentin who he quickly disarmed when Quentin pulled a gun on him. Despite having acquired the phone, Oliver stated that his only option is to turn himself in but Oliver injected himself with the same nano-technology used on Malcolm before, and Laurel and Malcolm found Oliver's location and headed out to find him. As Thea, Felicity, and John are about to be gassed to death, Black Canary and Malcolm (Dressed as Green Arrow) attacked H.I.V.E.'s men and freed the team. As the rest of the team tried to escape, Malcolm went after Damien himself. Using an explosive arrow, Malcolm knocked down Damien. However, Damien used his powers and Malcolm was levitated and almost choked to death until Oliver distracted him, allowing Malcolm to shoot Darhk with arrows. He left behind an explosive arrow that destroyed the facility but Darhk was still able to escape.
When Thea's health begun to take a turn for the worse, Malcolm returned to Star City and explained to a confused Oliver that because she has resisted the bloodlust, it is beginning to kill her instead. And unlike Sara whose soul was restored by John Constantine, Thea's is still incomplete and if she doesn't indulge the urge, she will die. Regardless, Thea insists that she won't and it's her choice to make. Later when Oliver returned, he thanked Malcolm for taking care of his sister. Just then, Thea's health took a darker turn and she is hospitalized.
Oliver later approached Malcolm and informed him that Nyssa has obtained the Lotus elixir from Tatsu and it can heal Thea. Nyssa will inky give the Lotus if Oliver either kills Malcolm or if the latter surrenders the Demon's Head ring - ceding control of the League. Unconvinced, Malcolm initially refuses but after Laurel obtains a sample of the Lotus from Nyssa and Malcolm sees the effects on Thea himself, he agrees to Nyssa's terms. However, at the meeting, Malcolm double-crossed Nyssa and instead arrived with an army of League members, just as Nyssa did. Both sides began fighting each other, which passed onto the streets, where several bystanders were killed in the crossfire.
Later, Malcolm returned to the Arrowcave to say goodbye to Thea. He reminisced to Oliver of the first time he met his daughter when she was an infant, and how he always felt a deeper connection to Thea. With no options left, Oliver suggested that Malcolm challenge Nyssa to a trial by combat. At the location of their fight, Oliver stepped in and took Nyssa's place. Oliver and Malcolm then dueled and after a brief but intense battle, Oliver subdued him and demanded that he hand over the ring. Malcolm defiantly refused, insisting that Oliver would have to kill him. Oliver, instead of killing him, cut off Malcolm's hand and knocked him out before giving the ring to Nyssa. After getting his amputation healed, Malcolm visited Nyssa, now Ra's al Ghul, at her request along with Oliver and Laurel. Nyssa took off the ring and threw it into a fire, revealing that she had disbanded the League of Assassins and released its members from their vows, much to Malcolm's shock. Engulfed in anger towards Oliver, he promised retribution.
Later, Malcolm requested a meeting with Damien and offered a deal in exchange for information on who Oliver loves most. Damien, however, was uninterested as he believed it was Felicity and they'd already taken care of her but Malcolm contradicted him. Damien's attention was now piqued and Malcolm revealed that the person Oliver loves most is his son, William Clayton.
After he revealed the existence of William to Damien, Malcolm was made part of his consultant team and a H.I.V.E. board member. At a meeting to discuss Genesis and the need for Damien's wife, Ruvé Adams, to become mayor, Malcolm, upon Damien's request, confirmed that Quentin was indeed a mole for Team Arrow. Later as part of Damien's plan to force Oliver out of the mayoral race, Malcolm abducted William from his house and brought him to Damien.
Appearing in Thea's home, Malcolm adamantly denied his involvement in William's kidnapping and commented that Thea should know him better than to ask that question. Later, after learning that Malcolm was the one responsible for kidnapping William all along, this proved to be the last straw for his daughter. Enraged, Thea ordered Malcolm out of her life, proclaiming she is done with his lies. Infuriated, Malcolm ranted that Thea would have been dead ten times over had he not turned her from a spoiled rich kid into a warrior and all he has gotten from her in return was venomous spite. Malcolm left, but not before telling Thea that there are larger forces at play.
Malcolm visited Damien in Iron Heights to inform him that H.I.V.E. wasn't going to rescue him as they’d grown tired of his tendency to kill fellow members at his pleasure. He quipped that they wish Damien luck in the trial. In anger, Damien attempted to use his magic on Malcolm, but to no avail. Malcolm simply laughed and sarcastically reminded him that performance issues are common for his age. However, Malcolm had secretly made a deal with Damien to return his destroyed idol to him and break him out of jail in exchange for sparing him and Thea from Genesis. Malcolm later met up with Damien's "ace in the hole", Andy Diggle. Soon after, Malcolm was given a cybertronic hand by H.I.V.E.
To obtain the idol, Malcolm had several of his League followers to hijack a missile shipment into the city as a distraction for Oliver and John. He had Andy go with them undercover to ensure they remained away from the Arrowcave. While this occurred, Dark Archer breached the Arrowcave with several of his followers and stole the idol but was confronted by Thea. When Thea had him cornered though, she hesitated and Dark Archer managed to knock her out and fled with the idol. Malcolm snuck into Iron Heights to see Damien and presented the idol to him, but Damien revealed that a piece was missing and surmised that the team must have kept it hidden separately in case the idol was stolen. Later, Malcolm lured Team Arrow into a trap seemingly to kill Green Arrow, but it was really a set up for Andy to take the bullet, thereby gaining the team's trust enough to give up the last idol piece's location. Thanks to a prison break caused by Michael Amar/Murmur, Team Arrow was divided among the prison trying to contain it, allowing Malcolm to slip back in unnoticed. However, he ran into Thea and Laurel. Malcolm fought Thea alone and succeeded again, reminding his daughter that her hesitance to kill him will always stop her from truly beating him. Malcolm caught up with Damien after his powers had been restored and insisted they leave before the police arrive. Before doing so, Damien fatally stabbed Laurel with one of Green Arrow's own arrows. Malcolm escaped with Damien, Andy, and Michael soon after, but not before lingering in an apparent sign of regret.
Malcolm was present together with Michael Amar and Brick while Damien resumed control over H.I.V.E. When two members, Phaedra Nixon and Milo Armitage, resisted, Damien used his powers to kill them both.
At Malcolm's behest, Thea was kidnapped by her boyfriend, Alex Davis (who had been brainwashed by Ruvé), and brought to Tevat Noah, H.I.V.E.'s underground bunker. At the safe haven, Malcolm spoke with Thea and revealed Damien's endgame, Genesis. He mentioned that Damien's idea was not much different from the Undertaking he had tried himself and believed that Genesis was truly their best option since the world was dying. Thea deemed him "insane" and demanded to see Alex. Malcolm agreed and took her to Alex, where he learned that Lonnie Machin had entered Tevat Noah and was killing Damien's men while threatening to destroy the air supply, which would kill everyone inside. When Alex asked who Machin was, Malcolm joked he was like an "ex-boyfriend" of Thea's, much to the latter's annoyance.
Malcolm and Thea snuck into the building which controlled Tevat Noah's air supply. Thea demanded a weapon but Malcolm denied it and told her to go to hand-to-hand with Machin if needed. As Thea tried to talk Machin down, Malcolm noticed multiple explosives in the building. He shot Machin in the shoulder and stopped him from blowing the place up, but Machin managed to escape.
Malcolm later found Thea crying over Alex's body after he had been killed by Machin. Briefly expressing his condolences, Malcolm asked where Machin was but found he had vanished. Annoyed, he then ordered some Ghosts to take an angry and grieving Thea away for a "timeout". Knowing he lost all leverage against Thea after Alex's death, Malcolm tried to convince her to comply with his orders, as H.I.V.E. didn't need another "x-factor" after Machin's escape, but Thea refused. Malcolm then had the Ghosts hold Thea still as he forced her to swallow a H.I.V.E suggestion pill.
Malcolm then talked with Ruvé, who scolded him for not having dealt with Machin. She then learned Oliver and Diggle had entered Tevat Noah and ordered Malcolm to take care of it. Using his drugged daughter as bait, Malcolm managed to capture Oliver and taunted him over his inability to do what is needed to win. As Diggle burst in and took out his soldiers, Malcolm and Thea were forced to flee. Ruvé then ordered all the citizens to kill Oliver and Diggle on sight. As Malcolm questioned this decision, Ruvé warned him if he could not take care of the two vigilantes, he might have no purpose in H.I.V.E.
Malcolm, Thea, and a group of soldiers managed to find Oliver and Diggle and attacked them. Malcolm fought Diggle but was forced to give up as Thea overcame the drug and she and Oliver cornered Malcolm. The group then saw Machin on TV, who threatened to kill Ruvé and Damien's daughter, Nora, before triggering Tevat Noah's power source to destroy the facility if Damien didn't surrender himself. Malcolm informed Oliver and Diggle about Machin. When Thea confronted him over drugging her again, Malcolm stated they could "discuss [his] parenting philosophy later" as they had a more pressing situation at hand. Oliver ordered Malcolm to lead the evacuation of Tevat Noah while he, Diggle and Thea went after Machin.
As Tevat Noah began to collapse, Malcolm evacuated the citizens. He later informed Damien that Ruvé had been killed by Machin while Nora was missing. Malcolm pointed out that their plan had failed and that even if Damien managed to destroy the world, there would be no Ark to stay safe. Damien however, claimed that if there is no place to be safe, he would let it all burn, much to Malcolm's shock.
Saving Star City
Obviously dissatisfied with Damien Darhk's decision to destroy the world completely, Malcolm went to the Arrowcave, just in time to stop the Ghosts' attack on Team Arrow. His timely intervention saved Thea and helped the other members of the team. Malcolm then joined forces with Thea, Felicity and Curtis Holt to locate Cooper Seldon, whom Damien left in charge of operating the nuclear attack.
Joining the Legion of Doom
A few hours after Damien Darhk's death at Oliver's hands, Malcolm watched the event on the news from his apartment while descending into alcoholism, having now lost the League of Assassins, H.I.V.E., and any alliance with Team Arrow. Suddenly, he was approached by Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash, a time-traveling speedster from the 22nd century, and a younger version of Damien Darhk from 1987. At first, Malcolm was confused, as he just watched Damien getting killed. Eobard explained the situation and offered Malcolm a chance to rewrite his own history, including preventing Rebecca and Tommy's deaths, in exchange for aiding him in stealing various relics he seeks. Malcolm agreed and joined the Legion of Doom. He was also informed of their enemies, the time-traveling vigilantes known as the Legends, who Sara, now known as "White Canary", was a part of.
To draw the Legends out, the trio traveled to 1927 and made a deal with Al Capone. In exchange for aiding them to lure out the Legends, they would make sure Capone wouldn't be caught by the authorities as he is destined to. They also informed him of Eliot Ness' future role in convicting him. When the Legends were successfully drawn out, Eobard abducted Sara and Professor Martin Stein. Malcolm offered Sara a deal in exchange for the amulet: he would prevent the sinking of the Queen's Gambit, revealing his responsibility in the accident and the indirect role he played in Sara becoming The Canary. Malcolm tried to tempt Sara with the promise of a happier life for herself and her family, but she refused his offer.
When Eobard infiltrated the Waverider disguised as Stein, he returned it to 1927 and Malcolm led several of Capone's men inside to kill the Legends, while he obtained the amulet. While searching the bridge for it he encountered Sara and they fought. Malcolm pinned Sara against the central console and scolded her for rejecting his offer. However, Sara simply told him she already had a better life and got the drop on him. Before she could kill him, Malcolm offered Stein's location but only in exchange for her sparing him and giving him the relics. Sara reluctantly agreed.
After obtaining both relics, Eobard combined them displaying a map. Malcolm sarcastically called it a "portable planetarium" before Eobard exasperatedly corrected him that it's a compass, one which could lead them to the Spear of Destiny. To locate it, Eobard informed Malcolm and Damien they'd need one more thing: Captain Rip Hunter.
Malcolm and Damien traveled to 1967 Los Angeles. As the two walked through the city, Malcolm mentioned how he wanted to see Frank Sinatra, before complaining about how vague the medallion was. The two decided to find some transportation as they became tired of walking. Two bikers threatened to rob them but Malcolm calmly countered that they would not kill the duo if they would give him and Damien their bikes. When the bikers refused, Malcolm and Darhk beat them to death using their League training and stole their bikes.
Malcolm and Damien found Rip, who was now in the persona of a film student. As they confronted him, Rip did not seem to understand who they were. The Legends showed up and Malcolm and Damien engaged them in combat. When the cops arrived, Malcolm and Damien fled the scene. The two later went to the police station to retrieve Rip and killed a number of cops on their way in, but found that Rip had already been taken away by the Legends. Malcolm and Damien gave chase, but the Legends escaped on the Waverider.
Malcolm and Damien found Amaya Jiwe/Vixen, Palmer, and Nate Heywood as tried to convince George Lucas to return to film school, which would return Palmer and Heywood's knowledge and powers. Malcolm and Damien swiftly defeated and captured all of them, with the former stealing Vixen's Anansi Totem. They learned that Lucas had the spear but had dumped it at the city dump. They forced the group to search for the spear in the trash compactor.
The duo soon lost patience and Malcolm suggested that they kill one to motivate the others. Before they could do so, the Waverider appeared and blasted them away. Sara and Jefferson Jackson battled Damien and Malcolm, who quickly gained the upper hand, until Heywood and Palmer got their powers back and joined the fight. Reverse-Flash showed up and picked Malcolm and Damien up before the three threatened the Legends. Rip showed up, bluffing that he had recovered his memories, but when he was exposed as a fraud, the Waverider again fired upon the three villains. Reverse-Flash captured Rip before he could escape and took him away. Later, Malcolm and Damien prepared to torture Rip for information about the Spear.
Damien and Malcolm tortured 'Phil', but he wasn't able to tell them the location of the Spear. The two argued with Eobard when he blamed them for losing the Amulet and then threatened to kill them. Eobard choked Malcolm but Malcolm told him he would attempt to hypnotize Rip using a League of Assassins technique. This also failed, though it did allow Malcolm to discover that Hunter's memories truly were gone. Eobard expressed frustration with them and sped away. Damien then tried his hand at torturing Rip on his own, and pulled out one of Rip's teeth, which contained account information for a safety deposit box in Switzerland with Rip's memories inside it. Eobard ordered the two to retrieve it and again left.
While Malcolm and Darhk prepared to leave, they argued about how to approach the problem. Malcolm convinced Damien to bring Rip along and have him retrieve the box for them, and the three left for Switzerland. They infiltrated the box and Rip went to go get the box from the vault. While he was doing so, Damien and Malcolm discussed what Eobard was planning and why he even needed the two of them. Damien assumed that Malcolm was attempting to manipulate him, but they were interrupted by Rip failing to gain access to the vault. When the bank teller called security, the two intervened and killed the guards before escaping the bank with Rip.
Back at their base, the two men once again argued, which led to a duel between them. Despite Malcolm putting up a fierce fight, Damien was still too much for him and his neck was put in knifepoint while his attempt to do the same was blocked by Damien's free hand. He would have been killed had Rip not convinced them to stop dueling and find a way to even the odds against Eobard. They went back to the bank, leaving Rip tied up. Eobard returned to the base and Rip informed him of where they had gone. Thawne confronted them in the vault, where they had retrieved a disk containing Rip's memories. Malcolm and Damien then locked the vault, trapping Eobard inside with them. Eobard threatened to kill them if they didn't let him out, slowly becoming more and more desperate, to his partners' puzzlement.
Eventually, a panicking Eobard revealed to the two the source of his panic - Hunter Zolomon, who had become a demon of the Speed Force sent to track him down and erase him from existence again. Malcolm and Damien agreed to help Eobard fend off the demon, as long as he agreed to make them equal partners in their team. Eobard reluctantly agreed, and when Hunter entered the bank to find Eobard, Malcolm and Damien managed to distract Hunter long enough for Eobard to throw him into the vault, locking the door and trapping it within. Eobard thanked them and honored his deal and the three left, knowing Zolomon wouldn't remain trapped for long.
Back at their base, the Legion accessed Rip's memories and altered them so that he believed that he was their ally. The three then sent Rip back in time to New Jersey, 1776, where he shot at General George Washington.
Malcolm and Darhk were sent off to look for the Calebros Manuscript or Word of God which would allow them to use the spear. When the Legends managed to steal their fragments of the spear, Thawne had Darhk return to the Vanishing Point while Malcolm continued on his hunt for the text. He managed to finally acquire it and upon returning to the base he found that Eobard had recruited Leonard Snart, managed to turn Mick Rory and had managed to find the spear. Together, they all grasped the spear while Malcolm read from the Calebros as they prepared to rewrite reality.
Using the spear the Legion reshaped reality and Malcolm was now highly successful. Rebecca and Tommy were alive and he had a great relationship with Thea who adored him. His rival Nyssa Al Ghul was trapped in Ohio living a closeted life and Malcolm had gained back everyone and everything he had lost. Despite this Malcolm kept contacting Thawne who was now living in Central City and was a highly successful scientist. As Thawne had not replied to his requests Malcolm went to him in person and demanded to be able to use the spear to change more to the reality. Seeing Jax and Stein who were working for Thawne, Malcolm criticized him for keeping the Legends alive who were now either living their worst nightmares or were acting like underlings to Darhk and Thawne. Thawne reminded Malcolm he had destroyed the calebros and was now the only person able to use the spear as he had memorized the calebros.
Malcolm met Darhk and the two were worried that Thawne would use the spear against them and change the world in a way they did not want to. They brought in Snart and began to think about how they could outmatch Thawne. However, the plans had to change as the Legends were starting to remember their former lives and Rory was starting to get second thoughts.
Darhk had Sara and Amaya go and deal with Rory, Nate, and Ray but Sara got her memory back as well and attacked Darhk in his office. Darhk prepared to kill her but first gave a lengthy speech which allowed Sara to turn back Amaya as well. As the two women fled and rejoined the Legends Malcolm noted Darhk had a great bad guy monologue.
Rory left the Legends and sided with Snart again. He told Malcolm and Darhk that the Legends were going to try and steal the spear back from Thawne before he could destroy it with his generator. Malcolm and Darhk felt confident that this would give them the opportunity to steal the spear while Thawne and the Legends would be fighting each other.
Malcolm, Snart, Rory, and Darhk went to S.T.A.R. Labs and intervened just in time as Thawne was preparing to destroy the spear with his generator. Malcolm and Darhk remarked how Thawne needed a lesson in sharing his toys. As Thawne tried to explain how his way was the best he got knocked over by Snart. A vicious fight between the Legends, the Legion, and Thawne's security guards erupted. Malcolm attacked Sara again when she managed to catch the spear. After a short fight, he was able to disarm her and Rory picked up the spear. Both sides tried to convince Rory to hand them the spear. Rory turned against the Legion and gave the spear to Amaya who was about to use the spear to turn reality back to normal. However, Snart froze her with his cold gun and killed her before she could. As everyone was distracted by the death of Amaya, Thawne took the spear back from Snart and threw it in the generator, destroying the spear. A smug Thawne told the Legends that he wanted to see them roam this world that was no longer theirs and was a reminder of their failure. He warned Malcolm and the others that they should not try to cross him again as they were no match for him.
The Legion disbanded
To undo what the Legion had done, the Legends had gone back in time to 1916 to stop the Legion from ever getting the spear at all. When Eobard learned of what they were doing, he went back in time and pulled Malcolm from his search of the Kalabros Manuscript to join the rest of the Legion in 1916 on the WWI battlefield. Malcolm was surprised to find that there were two sets of Legends now and Eobard ordered him, Darhk and Snart to deal with them while he left to bring in backup.
Malcolm, Darhk, and Snart used their weapons to attack the Waverider before the Legends could leave with the spear. Their efforts, combined with an unexpected Time Storm, caused the Waverider to crash. They then started to approach as the Legends moved to engage them. When Malcolm saw that their new weapons were having not too much effect, he suggested to Darhk that they return to their old tactics which Darhk fully agreed with. Malcolm brought out his bow and fired an arrow at Firestorm which hit them and made them split apart. He was about to fire an arrow at Stein when the future version of Jax jumped in the way and intercepted it, killing him. Malcolm was ready to try killing Stein again when the present Jax grabbed another arrow from his quiver and stuck it into Malcolm's leg, incapacitating him, before knocking him across the face with his bow, rendering Malcolm unconscious.
After Thawne and the spear were destroyed, the Legends took him back to 2016, where Thawne had plucked him from, to resume his bitter and lonely life at his run-down apartment.
War with Prometheus and death
When Adrian Chase was incarcerated, Malcolm got an alert that Thea had been kidnapped and sought Oliver's help in finding his daughter. The two got into an argument as Oliver was still furious about Malcolm's betrayal of William to Damien Darhk. Malcolm apologized, explaining he was emotional, but that was in the past now and he wanted to save his daughter from Chase. The two tracked Felicity and John but they had already been abducted by Talia al Ghul and her cult. Malcolm wanted to agree to Chase's terms of being freed in order to save Thea, but Oliver refused. Malcolm stated that family is important and that for their children, they would do anything. He reminded Oliver that their connections to others are what makes them human; Oliver's connections to others are what helps him from not being the violent person in the past.
When Oliver learned William had been kidnapped, he changed his mind and tried to break Chase out of A.R.G.U.S. custody, with Malcolm showing up to help, having already anticipated this move. The two engaged the officers that were escorting Chase to the helicopter, with Malcolm mentioning it would be easier if they just killed them. As police snipers prepared to kill Chase, Malcolm and Oliver took them out.
In the Arrowcave, as they tried to track Chase, Oliver told Malcolm that he needed allies of his own. Malcolm was furious when Nyssa al Ghul showed up to aid them, but reluctantly agreed to work with her. He revealed to Nyssa that one of their adversaries was Talia al Ghul, her estranged older sister. The trio tracked Chase to Lian Yu and flew to the island.
Upon arriving on Lian Yu, Malcolm and Nyssa unloaded the weapons and supplies from their airplane. Malcolm remained angry with Nyssa over the loss of his hand but she pointed out that disbanding the League freed them both. Oliver brought Slade Wilson and Digger Harkness to help. Suddenly, the plane was destroyed by an RPG. The group split up, with Malcolm and Nyssa checking the source of the RPG while Oliver, Slade and Harkness searched for the hostages.
Later, Malcolm and Nyssa met up with Oliver to provide backup against Talia, Harkness (who was working with Chase), and Evelyn Sharp, who were guarding cages holding Thea, Felicity, Curtis Holt, and William's mother, Samantha Clayton, captive. Upon seeing Malcolm and Nyssa, Talia and Harkness escaped via a smoke bomb, abandoning Evelyn. The hostages were freed and Evelyn imprisoned in one of the cages she was guarding. Malcolm tried to check on Thea, but she simply told him to "go to hell". Oliver gave strict orders for Malcolm to escort Thea, Curtis, Felicity, and Samantha to Chase's plane, which they could use to escape the island.
As they were walking, Malcolm attempted to make conversation with Thea, insisting he was at least owed a conversation with her after saving her life, but Thea was still angry with him over his past actions. Just then, she stepped on a landmine. Malcolm examined it discovered the trigger was rusted over, so they couldn't disarm the explosive. He asked Thea to step off the landmine so he could take her place, but she refused. Curtis tried to suggest an alternative solution but Malcolm knew they didn't have time, so he pushed his daughter off the landmine and stepped on it before it could explode.
Malcolm explained he would set off the bomb to take out their pursuers. Thea tried to protest this but Malcolm remained adamant in his decision, reaffirming that he always wanted to protect her. As the group fled, Harkness and some members of Talia al Ghul's cult found Malcolm. When Harkness wondered why he was out in the open, Malcolm smugly responded, "Let me show you". He then detonated the landmine, killing Harkness, himself, and everyone else present. Thea, Felicity, Curtis, and Samantha witnessed the explosion from afar, shocked.
Malcolm appears in the alternate reality created by the Dominators as a hallucination. When Oliver and his allies try to escape, Malcolm shoots him with an arrow and is engaged in combat with his daughter. During the confrontation, it is revealed Malcolm is alive, at least as far as Thea is aware. Thea gains the upper hand and kills the hallucination.
Thea felt conflicted over Malcolm's sacrifice, admitting that a part of herself missed him despite everything he had done to her, as she finally saw the father Malcolm could've been, but would never get to be now. Felicity comforted Thea, having been in a similar situation with her own estranged father, and acknowledged that Malcolm loved his daughter in his own way.
Ultimately however, Malcolm's sacrifice did not completely redeem him of the reprehensible actions he committed in the past, as he is still regarded by many to have been an evil man and a horrible father.
During a conversation between Thea and Quentin Lance regarding Earth-2 Laurel Lance, Thea reflected that Malcolm was just as evil as Laurel, but acknowledged that he tried to change in the end. She used this example to support Quentin in helping Laurel to find redemption.
Sometime after his death, Athena succeeded Malcolm as the leader of the Thanatos Guild and became determined to carry on his legacy by finding his map. Nyssa became aware of the Guild shortly after returning from Lian Yu and infiltrated the group, discovering their mission. She and Team Arrow were able to locate Malcolm's map with Tigressa's help and discovered the whereabouts of three other Lazarus Pits.
Thea initially wanted nothing to do with her father's legacy, desiring a fresh start in life. However, upon learning of the Guild's intentions and the potential consequences of them taking control of the Lazarus Pits, she decided to travel the world with Roy and Nyssa to find and destroy these pits, determined to right her father's wrongs.
While attempting to stop John Deegan from rewriting reality, Oliver and Barry Allen were exposed to J. Crane's hallucinogen within Arkham Asylum. Oliver hallucinated Barry as Malcolm, prompting the two to fight until the conflict was broken up by Batwoman. Later, after Deegan successfully rewrote reality with the Book of Destiny, Malcolm, along with Ricardo Diaz and Joe Wilson, were resurrected as police officers. They attempted to arrest Oliver and Barry, but the two managed to escape.
Later, Thea, Roy, and Nyssa destroyed all three of the Lazarus Pits, then Oliver, Thea, and Talia al Ghul fought Athena and the Thanatos Guild, leading to Athena's death and the end of the Thanatos Guild, putting an end to Malcolm's evil legacy.
- "She bled out into the pavement while people passed and did nothing. Your mother built her clinic in the Glades because she wanted to save this city. It can't be saved, because the people there don't want to be saved."
- "So you kill them all?"
"YES! They deserve to die. All of them! The way she died!"
- —Malcolm Merlyn and Tommy Merlyn[src]
Malcolm was once a kind, caring man who dearly loved his wife, Rebecca, and son, Tommy. He was a devoted businessman and humanitarian, striving to make Starling City a better place alongside his wife. Malcolm had a playful, lighthearted side as well; he would perform magic tricks to cheer up Tommy whenever his son was sad or scared.After Rebecca's murder, Malcolm was heartbroken and haunted with guilt that he had not been able to help her. Malcolm's love for his wife was so great when he confronted the man he thought killed Rebecca, he claimed the man had taken "everything" from him. During his mourning period, Malcolm had a brief affair with his old friend, Moira, which he grew to regret as he felt he had cheated on Rebecca. Upon killing Rebecca's presumed murderer, Malcolm was shocked and unable to live with what he had done. He subsequently left his son and found himself in Nanda Parbat. Training there with the League of Assassins, Malcolm soon changed his perspective on the world and how he could help his city.
- "Is this some technique you picked up with the League of Assassins?"
"The League didn't call me 'the Magician' for nothing."
- —Eobard Thawne and Malcolm Merlyn[src]
Malcolm returned as an apathetic, calculating, and ruthless individual. He grew to believe the Glades were beyond saving and vowed to completely destroy it, feeling that this way, he could help rebuild the city and prevent what happened to Rebecca from ever occurring again. Malcolm believed what he did was for the greater good, and was willing to do anything, regardless of the number of individuals he would have to kill, to see his goals fulfilled, making him somewhat of a sociopath. Malcolm dedicated his crusade to his late wife, whom he never stopped loving; he continued his wedding ring many years after Rebecca's death.
Malcolm was a charismatic individual, able to project his own beliefs and self-righteousness into his words. He seemed to have an ego as Robert Queen stated that Malcolm had "something of a god-complex". He even had a hostage read out his threats if the Arrow "doesn't surrender to [his] authority". Malcolm blamed all the individuals living in the Glades for his wife's death - not just her killer, but also the ones who did nothing to help Rebecca while she was dying, which fueled his belief in the Undertaking. Malcolm maintained a calm and level-headed persona, but was prone to emotional outbursts when angered. Malcolm had no guilt or remorse for using individuals for his personal gain and then killing them once they became loose ends to keep them from going public with information he wouldn't otherwise want. This even extended to his own family, as Malcolm drugged his own daughter, Thea Queen, with Vitura and got her to kill Sara Lance in order to force Oliver Queen to protect her and Malcolm himself from the League. In the process, he had lied to and manipulated many.
Malcolm was also tactically intelligent, as when the Arrow was endangering the Undertaking, he began his own "anti-Arrow" persona as the Dark Archer, knowing that the police would blame the Arrow, in a bid to make the citizens of Star City lose faith in him. Malcolm also released Slade Wilson from his cell on Lian Yu to have Oliver re-awaken his killer side, with Thea hopefully following suit. Malcolm was displayed to be quite, if not absolutely, confident in his combat skills, as seen when he beat the Arrow multiple times, mentioning the reason he came out on top was because he knew what he was fighting for. Malcolm was calm in battle and willing to fight anyone who was a threat to himself or the ones he cared for.
So far, the only three known individuals Malcolm was ever terrified of were Ra's al Ghul, Vandal Savage, and Damien Darhk. Oddly enough, Malcolm isn't wary in the slightest of meta-humans, even incredibly powerful ones such as Eobard Thawne and Hunter Zolomon respectively, to the point of being arrogant and overconfident; for example, Malcolm felt that he and Damien Darhk, being two former members of the League of Assassins, could confront Eobard on equal terms. After learning that a second, even more powerful speedster was hunting him, he shrugged it off even though Eobard himself was terrified of it. Another piece of irony was how despite Oliver having been able to kill Ra's al Ghul, Malcolm showed absolutely no fear or hesitation to engage Oliver in combat, which may be arrogance in Malcolm's part, as he clearly believed having defeated Oliver twice, he could do it again. This arrogance cost Malcolm badly as Oliver not only proved how he had long since surpassed Malcolm by subjecting him to a swift defeat, but also cut off his hand and gave the Demon Head's Ring to Nyssa, effectively deposing Malcolm as Ra's.
Despite Malcolm's insanity, selfishness, ruthlessness, and cold heart, he still loved Tommy dearly and wanted the best for his son. However, he had a brusque way of showing his affections, which often pushed Tommy away; for example, Malcolm cut off Tommy's trust fund and harshly scolded his son as "worthless" in order to "jolt [him] into adulthood". After Tommy was killed during the Undertaking though, Malcolm was wracked with guilt, which led to him searching for ways to be a part of Thea's life. To this end, he began to pressure Moira into telling Thea that he was her biological father. When Moira was murdered, Malcolm swiftly returned to Star City to watch over Thea, despite still being hunted by the League of Assassins. Malcolm loved Thea as much as he loved Tommy and with similar harshness; when Thea requested to be taught how to fight, Malcolm gave his daughter no special treatment, though it should be noted his regime was effective since he turned Thea into a capable combatant within five months. Malcolm's strong parental instincts displayed themselves when he shot the assassin Chase for attempting to kill Thea and made Tommy's safety his priority during Floyd Lawton's attack on his humanitarian ceremony.
However, some question whether Malcolm's ambition sometimes overpowered his love for his children; despite his grief over inadvertently causing Tommy's death, Malcolm manipulated Thea into killing Sara so that the League would mark Thea for death and force Oliver to fight the League's leader, Ra's al Ghul. If Oliver could kill Ra's, then Thea and Malcolm would both be saved from the League. This scheme was risky and placed Thea in danger, as well as emotionally scarring her since Sara was her friend. This indicates that Malcolm might not have learned everything he could from Tommy's death or it might display that despite having inadvertently killed his son, he remained daring enough to take the drastic, manipulative steps he thinks are required to beat an international organization of assassins. Malcolm was also noticeably indifferent to the ramifications of Sara's death on her family, despite having already hurt them by inadvertently and seemingly killing Sara previously with the sinking of the Queen's Gambit. He remained unrepentant about this murder even when called out on it by Thea, Team Arrow, and Sara's sister, Laurel Lance, showing that Malcolm's first and only priorities are the physical wellbeing of himself and his family.
It should be noted that Malcolm's parental instincts extend in a limited way to Oliver despite his ruthless attitude towards the latter. After beating and unmasking the Arrow, Malcolm exhibited regret upon learning his enemy's identity, even genuinely apologizing for Oliver's suffering due to being on the sinking Gambit meant to kill Robert. Malcolm also seemed devastated over Oliver's apparent death at the hands of Ra's and didn't deny it was his fault Oliver got killed. Still, Malcolm's love remained centered on his two children and his apparent affection for Oliver did not prevent him from manipulating the latter into fighting Ra's al Ghul by using Thea as leverage, though he was absolutely confident Oliver had what it took to beat Ra's. Malcolm even stated that he has always viewed Oliver as a son and he truly enjoyed working with him while battling Ra's and the League. Despite their conflicts, Malcolm was ultimately truly sorry for the wrongs he has committed against Oliver and his family, always being willing to help Oliver out when he needed it.
Some time later, Malcolm learned that the man he killed to avenge Rebecca was not her murderer and the real culprit was Danny Brickwell. Following this revelation, Malcolm realized that all his decisions and the deaths he caused could have been avoided if he had not killed the wrong man. Malcolm seemed set on redeeming himself, since he spared Danny and was willing to train Oliver. Afterwards, Malcolm started to work with Team Arrow, growing to respect and even care for them. During a battle with the League, Malcolm saved both Laurel and Felicity Smoak's lives. He also protected the team and Oliver from the Alpha-Omega virus and worked with them to keep the bioweapon from destroying Star City. However, Malcolm still had an angle, as he had agreed with Oliver that when Ra's was dead, Malcolm would be his successor. Nonetheless, he genuinely thanked Oliver despite the latter swearing to never forgive Malcolm after what he did to Thea and Sara.Malcolm was displayed to have a deep interest in various warrior cultures, as seen with his office being decorated with Asian statues and Japanese swords. In a secret room adjoining his office, Malcolm additionally kept racks of swords and other weaponry from multiple cultures. He also supported the Buddhist monk Ken Zhi Jansen, whose temple he spent time meditating in.
- "This is the great Malcolm Merlyn? I am unimpressed."
"Well, he's fallen on hard times. But this man used to be Ra's al Ghul."
- —Damien Darhk and Eobard Thawne on Malcolm Merlyn[src]
Since he became the new Ra's al Ghul, Malcolm displayed an authority demeanor; when Laurel requested that he use the Lazarus Pit to bring back Sara, Malcolm refused, warning her that they never resurrected a deceased person with the pit and it might have horrible consequences. When Laurel kept insisting, Malcolm firmly declared that he did not have obligations to anyone, and she did not get to make a request like that. Laurel and Thea did manage to convince him at the end, but this might partially have been because Malcolm wanted to prove his love for his daughter, since it was he who had made her kill Sara. Malcolm continued to support Team Arrow in their battle against Damien Darhk, even impersonating the Arrow during a rescue mission to retrieve Oliver, Felicity, John Diggle, and Thea from Damien's headquarters, as well as stopping Damien from beating Oliver to death.
Malcolm became quite convicted of the importance of the League of Assassins, believing it was larger than him or Thea due to being an invisible force that could influence the entire world. Therefore, Malcolm refused to hand this responsibility to Nyssa al Ghul in exchange for curing Thea's bloodlust, even though it would cost him the life of his daughter. In his obsession with the League's title, Malcolm completely disregarded that it was his decision to involve Thea in his enmity with the League that landed her in her current condition, instead accepting his daughter's death as an inevitable tragedy. As demonstrated by his shock and anger when Nyssa destroyed the Demon's Head ring, it was clear Malcolm only cared of the personal power the League brought him.
After Malcolm was removed as Ra's al Ghul by Oliver in exchange for the Lotus, which led to the League of Assassins' disbandment, he became extremely vengeful towards the latter, deciding to side with H.I.V.E. out of anger and spite. Malcolm went as far as to reveal the existence of Oliver's son, William Clayton, to Damien as revenge, even personally kidnapping William and bringing the child to Damien, proving that his paternal feelings for Oliver have been destroyed. This caused a severe strain in Malcolm's relationship with Thea, William's aunt. However, his love for her remains unscathed, since Malcolm's alliance with Damien was also based on him and his daughter being spared from Genesis. Despite his fallout with Oliver and Team Arrow after the League Civil War, Malcolm refrained from revealing important information about them to Damien, like their identities and the location of their base. He also lingered after Damien fatally stabbed Laurel with an arrow, indicating shock, or even regret, over his role in her death.
Despite his love for Thea, Malcolm had no tolerance for being disrespected by his daughter; when she disowned him after William's abduction, Malcolm coldly reminded Thea of how she used to be a weak, spoiled brat, whom he turned into a strong warrior, as well as pointing out her short-sightedness. He continued to use manipulation and coercion to keep his daughter close to him, such as leveraging Alex Davis, Thea's boyfriend and a brainwashed member of H.I.V.E., against her. After Alex's death, Malcolm resorted to drugging Thea again to keep her in line.
Even though Malcolm was a parent, he was not above kidnapping innocent children, as proven when he kidnapped William (off-screen) in order to help Damien get leverage over Oliver that would force the latter to stop running for mayor of Star City. However, he seemed to despise individuals who exploited children for other purposes; Malcolm once tried to have Thea kill a pedophile to satiate her bloodlust.Upon realizing that Damien would move forward with Genesis after the destruction of Tevat Noah, Malcolm re-joined forces with Team Arrow to save the world from nuclear annihilation. He also made a sarcastic and humorist comment to Oliver after his speech to the city, suggesting that his hatred for the latter might be lessening, although this feeling was hardly mutual. Despite his change of heart, Malcolm's relationship with Team Arrow was more strained than ever, especially with Oliver and Thea, due to him kidnapping William, brainwashing Thea a second time in Tevat Noah, and his role in Laurel's death (albeit indirectly).
- "I thought of you as a son once, Oliver. I had more in common with you than my own blood, but that's not the reason I'm not going to kill you. Neither is the fact that you are my daughter's brother. The reason you get to live is because death would be a mercy compared to the debt I now owe you!"
- —Malcolm Merlyn to Oliver Queen[src]
After the disembodiment of the League and Damien's death, Malcolm began living in squalor and alcoholism, having lost any sense of purpose, control, or leadership, and forced to contend with the death of most of his family and the hatred of his only daughter. When the chance to rebuild his broken life with the Spear of Destiny arose, Malcolm gladly joined Eobard and Damien's crusade.
During Malcolm's time with the Legion of Doom, he kept a sarcastic and hostile attitude towards his teammates; Malcolm considered Damien Darhk a failure for his future death and madness that led him to almost destroy the world and his daughter in it. Despite this, Malcolm secretly feared Damien, begrudgingly respecting his skills as a warrior. His massive ego also clashed with Eobard's, the leader of the Legion, for treating him and Damien like "underlings" instead of as partners. Malcolm was undoubtedly the ringleader for the plot to trap Eobard in a bank vault as bait for the creature hunting him to forcefully make the speedster respect the two of them. In the Legion of Doom's alternate reality, Malcolm was the leader of the League, CEO of Merlyn Global Group, and had the love and respect of his family, including Thea, while Nyssa and Team Arrow were dead or suffering - showing that Malcolm still holds a grudge against the latter two for supposedly ruining his life and refuses to comprehend that Thea would love him if he tried to be an actual parent and not manipulate his daughter into becoming a pawn in his plans.
Despite Malcolm's immoral behavior, he lacks the sadistic streak that even his bloodthirsty teammates on the Legion of Doom have. Too cautious and intelligent to waste energy on an impractical vendetta to hurt his enemies, he strongly encouraged Damien and Eobard to simply erase the Legends from the face of reality as they were too big of a threat in any state, proving that he recognized the group's potential. This ultimately proved to be the wise thing to do when the Legends regained their memories of the previous reality, leaving Eobard outraged that Malcolm was correct. Also, unlike Damien and Eobard, Malcolm seemed to retain some twisted sense of reason and compassion. He briefly offered Sara a genuine chance to rewrite the tragedies of her life if she joined the Legion of Doom. Whether this was a moment of pragmatism or atonement remains unclear.After a year of failure in regaining his old life, Malcolm had given up on any hope of gaining control or leadership (even with the Thanatos Guild) and instead dedicated himself to protecting Thea. He was more than willing to work with Oliver and (reluctantly) Nyssa to save her from Adrian Chase. Malcolm even apologized to Oliver for kidnapping William, implying that he regretted his betrayal of Team Arrow to Damien. Ultimately, Malcolm's love for his daughter enabled him to do the right thing; he willingly took Thea's place when she stepped on a landmine and later detonated it, taking Digger Harkness and some of Talia al Ghul's students with him while allowing Thea and her friends to escape. Through his sacrifice, which was the first real fatherly act towards his daughter, Malcolm proved that for all his faults, he truly did love Thea.
- "They said you were dead."
- "There are parts of the world where death is an illusion. I've been to one. I've learned to be very convincing."
- —Moira Queen and Malcolm Merlyn[src]
- Peak of human physical condition: Malcolm was in excellent physical condition for a man of his age due to his training with the League of Assassins, with his physical condition proving to be superior to Oliver Queen's (before he was trained by Ra's al Ghul). He had demonstrated enough strength to break Oliver's bow with a single strike, dent a steel beam with a single kick, and topple the highly durable Danny Brickwell with only a few strikes. Malcolm's reflexes were fast enough to catch or deflect an incoming arrow shot at him by Oliver as well as catch a dart. Even after Oliver cut off his left hand, Malcolm was able to continue his physical activities thanks to his new cybernetic prosthetic hand.
- "Whoever he was, he's good. The grouping on Hunt's chest was tight. It's a compound bow, most likely, the guy is a... the guy's a legitimate archer."
- —Oliver Queen to John Diggle[src]
- Master archer: Malcolm was a highly skilled archer due to his time in the League, with a bow and arrows being his weapon of choice. Oliver himself commented on Malcolm's skills after noting the tight grouping of his arrows when Malcolm killed Adam Hunt, and he also killed Nelson Ravich, Frank Chen, Brion Markov, and Moira Queen's driver. with his bow and arrow. Malcolm's skills as an archer surpassed even Oliver's, as he was able to beat the latter during an archery battle once before Oliver's increased experience.
- Master hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: Malcolm was a highly skilled hand-to-hand combatant and martial artist, with at least 20 years of combat experience. Malcolm has gone through the same training that all League members do and was considered one of its finest members, enough that he became Ra's al Ghul's horseman, his second-in-command. His fighting style seems to comprise Boxing, Muay Thai, Wing Chun, Kali, Karate, Taekwondo, Judo, Jujitsu, and Krav Maga. Malcolm's skills allowed him to defeat Oliver repeatedly in combat during their initial encounters and was even able to effectively hold off both him and John before getting overwhelmed. Malcolm also proved himself to be a match for Sara Lance after she was retrained by the League, coming quite close to victory in their first fight before Sara got the drop on him and fought her to a stalemate in their last encounter. He was quite capable of handling Nyssa al Ghul, having defeated her in all but one of their duels and that was only due to Nyssa having a greater weapon and surprising him. Malcolm was even skilled enough to hold his own reasonably well against Damien Darhk, a former Heir to the Demon with the same training as Ra's. He also trained Thea Queen, his daughter, to become a highly skilled hand-to-hand combatant and martial artist, he even helped train Oliver in preparing to fight Ra's proving that he was mainly superior to the latter until Oliver received training from Ra's himself. Malcolm also proved capable of easily dispatching multiple League members and even when handcuffed, as it took over three League members to overpower him and not without Malcolm putting up a fierce struggle. Malcolm was also able to overwhelm one of Slade's Mirakuru soldiers, blocking each and every single one of his foe's attacks and landing hits on his own, before he purposefully allowed himself to be overpowered to kill said soldier by stabbing him with one of the arrows still impaled inside him. Despite Malcolm's combat skills, he was certain that the one man he could never defeat was his former mentor, Ra's. Malcolm was also one of the most deadliest combatants in the entire multiverse.
- Master stick-fighter: Malcolm was a highly proficient stick-fighter, able to briefly fight off Nyssa in a sword fight using Laurel Lance's baton. He uses this skill to masterfully wield his bow as a makeshift quarter-staff, able to overpower the likes of Oliver using his bow, a Mirakuru enhanced soldier as well as Nyssa and several League of Assassins members with their swords. He also taught Thea stick-fighting, resulting in her skills being good enough to earn praise from Oliver.
- Master swordsman: Despite his preference for archery, Malcolm was a highly skilled swordsman, often practicing saber-style fencing in his spare time to maintain his skills. He owned and used several different types of swords. Malcolm also trained Thea in swordplay, teaching her multiple forms of swordsmanship including Kenjutsu, resulting in her becoming an accomplished swordswoman. Malcolm's great abilities as a swordsman have allowed him to swiftly kill many police officers with a single scimitar, easily outmatch both Thea and Oliver (although Oliver was notably rusty at the time), quickly defeat many members of the League of Assassins in a sword fight, repeatedly defeat Nyssa al Ghul in their sparring sessions, briefly stand up to Oliver, now having been trained by Ra's Al Ghul, in their sword duel better than Nyssa did, before being swiftly outmatched, and easily best Thea despite having his left hand cut off while holding back.
- Master knife-wielder/Knife thrower: Malcolm was highly proficient at knife throwing, as he was able to successfully injure John Diggle with a knife throw while retreating. Malcolm was also very deadly wielding a knife in close combat, as he nearly pressured Sara into defeat with a knife, and could stand up to Damien in a knife duel, during which Malcolm managed to cut his shoulder before he was put at knifepoint to the neck by Damien.
- Expert marksman: Despite his preference for archery, Malcolm was highly skilled in the use of firearms. Even before his training, he shot and killed Kendric Waller with a Smith & Wesson Model 36 revolver. He shot an assassin in the head and was prepared to shoot Brick with his own pistol. He later used a laser gun to take down several security guards with great precision and dexterity.
- "If I've learned anything as a successful businessman, it's... redundancy."
- —Dark Archer to the Hood[src]
- Genius-level intellect/Great business acumen/Master tactician/Leader: Malcolm was an incredibly cunning and intelligent man. An exceptional tactician, leader, and businessman, Malcolm founded and managed to run Merlyn Global Group as its CEO very successfully for many years, effectively overseeing the company's daily activities and ensuring its success as a multibillion-dollar corporation. He also successfully carried out multiple plans necessary to the Undertaking after six years of planning and development, eventually managing to successfully achieve his plans and even outsmart Oliver, a feat that very few ever managed to do, by secretly commissioning and smuggling in a second Markov Device, all without attracting any suspicions until Moira finally exposed him. Malcolm was also successful in faking his death and staying hidden from both the League and Oliver for over a year. Malcolm drugged Thea with Vitura to influence her into killing Sara without remembering the deed in order to escape from the latter and have Oliver fight Ra's al Ghul in his place. Being also a key strategic advisor for Oliver during his conflict with Ra's al Ghul, Malcolm came up with the plan to dispose of the latter and install himself as the next Ra's al Ghul. After becoming the new Ra's al Ghul, Malcolm displayed his strong leadership skills by effectively leading the League until Nyssa took over and disbanded the group. He also founded and inspired loyalty from the Thanatos Guild, a group similar to the League, even after Nyssa disbanded the organization. After the Spear of Destiny altered reality, Malcolm was once again able to run Merlyn Global Group efficiently, regaining his status a well-respected businessman.
- Prestidigitation: Highly trained in the art of stage magic, including sleight-of-hand, escape artistry, and hypnotism, Malcolm's skills in these areas were one of the reasons he was called "The Magician" by the League of Assassins. He often performed a coin disappearing trick for his son, Tommy Merlyn. Malcolm's skills as hypnotist also allow him to retrieve lost memories via hypnotic-regression therapy.
- Master of deception/Manipulator: Even before his time in the League, Malcolm was highly talented in the art of deception, able to fool and convince others of his agenda even experts of seeing through deception such as Oliver and Ra's al Ghul. However, his actions and nature as a liar make it difficult for people to ever believe him, as seen when Malcolm tried to convince Team Arrow of Oliver's false allegiance to Ra's and the threat of the Alpha-Omega virus. Due to his archery and combat skills, Malcolm was able to successfully portray himself to Damien Darhk as "Green Arrow" when Oliver was unable to.
- Master interrogator/Torturer: Malcolm was a highly skilled torturer due to his time in the League of Assassins, however, he oddly prefers diplomatic solutions before resorting to torture as seen when he offers Sara Lance the chance to rewrite her history. He is also a trained hypnotist and proceeded to use hypnotic-regression therapy in a failed attempt to restore Rip Hunter's memories.
- Occult knowledge: Malcolm was aware of the existence of magic and mysticism, knowing the existence of the Lazarus Pit. Since becoming Ra's al Ghul, he gained a greater understanding and knowledge of the pit and its functions, which allowed him to deduce why Thea was struggling with a bloodlust and knowing how to cure her (although it was for naught). Using this knowledge, he tracked down three other Lazarus Pits based on Earth's Ley lines, a feat practically unheard of. Malcolm was aware of Vandal Savage and his immortality long before Team Arrow could figure out and knew Damien Darhk's magic functioned. However, Malcolm was unable to figure out why Damien's magic backfired against Thea and unfamiliar with any potions that could counteract the effects of the Lazarus Pit, such as the Lotus.
- Toxicology: Due to his League training, Malcolm was very familiar with poisons, whose presence he could detect even when disguised. He mastered this skill enough to teach Thea. Malcolm also dosed Thea with the right amount of Vitura to make his daughter obey his commands and not retain any memory of her actions once the drug wore off.
- Network: Malcolm was known for having a dense network of resources and connections all over Starling City, which played a part in his ability to execute the Undertaking, having allies that did the majority of his work for him. Even after the Undertaking, his network was still strong enough to fake his death, which Oliver suspected was due to his connections to the coroner's office. Malcolm orchestrated Moira's release and had her brought to him without eliciting suspicion. As Ra's Al Ghul, Malcolm had access to all the resources of the League of Assassins and commanded all their members, expanding heavily his contacts throughout the world, which allowed him to be immediately aware of Oliver's conflict with Vandal Savage and that Thea was kidnapped by Damien Darhk, even able to gain access to H.I.V.E's security code. Even after Nyssa al Ghul disbanded the League, Malcolm retained enough of his increased network that he was able to enter Iron Heights Prison and leave as if he was never there, which he attributed to his once status as Ra's al Ghul, impressing even Damien.
- Intimidation: Because of his ruthlessness Malcolm is very intimidating especially to his allies, when Malcolm threatened Oliver and Thea if Moira didn’t go through with the Undertaking. Frank Chen and Moira attempted to have Malcolm killed, Moira was so threatened by Malcom she betrayed Frank and had him killed to protect her family.
- Stealth/Infiltration/Escape artist: Even among the highly trained assassins of the League, Malcolm was a consummate master in the art of stealth, his ability to break into buildings and disappear without a trace being such that it was another reason why he is called "The Magician" by the League of Assassins. Malcolm's skills have repeatedly made of mockery of the Arrowcave's security, despite its relocation and upgrades. Malcolm had even managed to infiltrate Nanda Parbat undetected, although he acknowledged that it was difficult. As an escape artist, Malcolm claimed that no prison can hold him, not even Oliver's super-max on Lian Yu.
- Indomitable will/High tolerance for pain/Master survivor: Malcolm had an extremely high tolerance for pain like most members of the League of Assassins, which he taught to his daughter, Thea. Malcolm was able to handle having boiling water poured on his hand and even resist the temptation to douse it in ice without any strain. Malcolm's threshold for pain allowed him to survive the torture inflicted upon him by Ra's al Ghul, as well as handle the pain of losing his left hand when Oliver cut it off without losing consciousness until Oliver finally knocked him out.
- "Teflon-coated titanium blade serrated to split the bone. Shaft is some type of specialized polymer which is stronger than your typical carbon fiber. This... this is a custom job."
- —Oliver Queen to John Diggle[src]
- Customized hunting arrows: Malcolm created and designs his arrows himself. The arrows he used have arrowheads with three "Teflon-coated titanium blades" on each arrow, with the blades serrated for splitting bones, and the shaft itself is made of "specialized polymer stronger than typical carbon fiber". As such, it is safe to assume that the arrows he uses are deadlier than those used by The Arrow.
- Customized PSE X-Force Super Short Short Draw LF Compound bow: While the rest of the League primarily uses modified PSE Chaos AD compound bows, as the Dark Archer, Malcolm used a similar bow as his signature weapon of choice, a customized compound bow.
- Cybernetic hand: Malcolm acquired a cybernetic hand of unknown materials and origin while planning Damien Darhk's prison break. He used it for the first time when stealing the idol from Team Arrow and has been wearing it ever since. This allows him to use a bow and complete various other tasks that would be impossible to do for one-handed individuals. This prosthetic is specifically built for his left hand, which was cut off by Oliver during their duel at the end of the League civil war. The prosthesis is seemingly capable of all known functions found in an organic hand, and has not been known to hamper Malcolm's dexterity. Given that it is made from top of the line technology, it presumably had the same degree of tactile sensitivity as a human hand, as such technology has been known to exist in contemporary science as of 2016. After Malcolm's death by a land mine, it is presumably destroyed.
- Dark Archer suit: Malcolm wore a protective suit, as his villain alter-ego of the Dark Archer, to hide his identity from his victims. It was similar to the suits used by members of the League of Assassins, aside from some minor differences. It is unknown what materials the suit was comprised of, with the exception of kevlar.
- Quiver: A black arrow container strapped to Malcolm's back. He used it to carry his arrows as his villain alter-ego, the Dark Archer.
- Swords: Malcolm used a huge variety of swords from different cultures. He first used a league of assassins scimitar to kill two police officers, during his third fight with Oliver. Malcolm was shown using the league of assassins scimitar against Oliver, though he was very quickly disarmed by Oliver. While training Thea they used both Japanese and Chinese swords. When preparing to kill Brickwell he carried another style of scimitar, similar to the one used by Nyssa al Ghul.
- Throwing knives: When fighting Oliver and John, Malcolm utilized double-bladed throwing knives.
- Combat knife: Malcolm used a combat knife when fighting Sara Lance on the Waverider.
- Smoke bombs: After incapacitating Nyssa, he threw a smoke bomb to quickly escape the scene.
- Voice filter: Malcolm used this device to change his voice regardless of who he spoke to as the Dark Archer. This could be for the purposes of intimidation as it changed his voice to a deep, low growl.
- Demon's Head ring: Malcolm wore a particular ring which symbolized his position as the Demon's Head. He no longer wears it, as it was destroyed by the last Ra's al Ghul aka Nyssa al Ghul, that promptly disbanded the League of Assassins.
- Laser pistol: During his time with the Legion of Doom, Malcolm owned a laser gun, which he presumably got from Eobard Thawne.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Arrow: Season 2.5
Arrow: The Dark Archer
- Malcolm is the first person to be released from the League of Assassins (not counting Sara Lance's release in 1960).
- Malcolm is one of the most long-running main antagonists in the Arrowverse, along with Eobard Thawne, as he served as the main antagonist in the first season of , a minor character in the second and fifth seasons, a major anti-hero in both the third and fourth season, a guest character in , and a major antagonist in the second season of .
- He is a huge fan of Frank Sinatra.
- Malcolm's birthday is October 13.
- Alongside Billy Wintergreen and Helena Bertinelli Malcolm was one of the only three characters in Season 1 shown to be swift enough to catch an arrow in mid-air. However, while Billy and Helena only did this once, Malcolm performed this feat twice.
- Malcolm is one of the only individuals to have bested Oliver Queen in combat more than once, and one of even fewer who has managed it without the aid of Mirakuru. The only other characters who have accomplished this feat without Mirakuru are Ra's al Ghul, Lonnie Machin (albeit using dirty tactics), and Slade Wilson.
- Malcolm shares many similarities with Thawne:
- Both were the first villains of their respective shows, being portrayed as the "dark side" of the main hero.
- Both also are the reason for the first five of the "big bads" of their respective shows; Thawne actions lead to Zoom coming to Earth-1, therefore Barry becoming Savitar in one timeline, The Thinker getting his powers, and through the latter's actions, Cicada gaining his. Malcolm's actions lead to Oliver becoming The Hood, thus Adrian Chase becoming Prometheus, Slade Wilson becoming Deathstroke, Ra's al Ghul setting his sights on Star City, and Damien Darhk getting out of prison.
- Both are responsible for the main character's parent's death and are the reason the hero become who he is; Malcolm is responsible for Oliver's shipwreck and the death of his father, Robert Queen. Thawne killed Barry Allen's mother, Nora Allen, and sped up the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator explosion.
- Both have a relative who has a connection to the main protagonist; Eddie Thawne is Thawne's ancestor and friends with Barry. Malcolm's son, Tommy, is best friends with Oliver.
- Both Tommy and Eddie also heroically sacrifice themselves in their respective shows' first-season finales due to their relatives' actions.
- Both were father-figures of the main hero before revealed as villains and have trained the main hero.
- Both have appeared numerous times after their alleged deaths.
- When Oliver-as-Flash and Barry-as-Green-Arrow are both exposed to fear gas, they see each other as Eobard and Malcolm, respectively.
- Aside from Oliver and Quentin Lance, Malcolm is only person able to defeat a Mirakuru-powered individual without the aid of trick arrows or the cure.
- It was revealed that Malcolm spent two years in Nanda Parbat when Oliver and Tommy were around eight, where he received mentorship from another individual. Therefore, he has at least 20 years of experience on him.
- In the League, Malcolm was known as "Al Sa-her" (in Arabic: الساحر), which in Arabic means "(the) Magician". Nyssa al Ghul gave him this name after he performed a magic trick by pulling a coin out of her ear. This name was possibly also chosen as a play on his surname "Merlyn", (which is a variant form of the name Merlin) due it coming from the legendary figure, Merlin, who is best known as the wizard (or magician) featured in Arthurian legend. It's also a reference to the comics since Arthur King (the Dark Archer's civilian identity) presents himself as "Merlyn the Magician" during his debut.
- Though not having necessarily survived Ra's al Ghul's blade, Malcolm dodged the League's death punishments, making him the prophesied successor in a way. Also, through the Undertaking, Malcolm also destroyed part of his home.
- However, since the entirety of Starling City wasn't destroyed, Malcolm is the first person to ascend to Ra's without completely destroying his home.
- Malcolm serves as the catalyst of , since his sabotage of the Queen's Gambit is what set in motion the events that sent Oliver down the path of becoming the Green Arrow.
- Malcolm also indirectly serves as the catalyst of since the sinking of the Gambit also set in motion the events which led to Sara Lance becoming the Canary. Furthermore, Malcolm's ordered hit on Sara eventually led to her being resurrected, taking on the mantle of White Canary, and joining the Legends.
- Malcolm is one of the main antagonists of the Arrowverse to be still alive after the season in which he was the main antagonist. The others are Slade Wilson, Hunter Zolomon, Ricardo Diaz, Ben Lockwood, Mobius, Eva McCulloch, and Tal-Rho.
- Out of all the villains, Malcolm learned Oliver's identity as The Hood/Arrow/Green Arrow the latest in his season, discovering it at the very end of the penultimate episode of Season 1, "".
- Slade discovered it sometime before the 9th episode of Season 2, "" (he presumably knew about the Hood's true identity since Oliver first showed up as the vigilante).
- Ra's al Ghul discovered it sometime before the 4th episode of Season 3, "" (it's possible that Ra's either knew it since the Hood first showed up thanks to Sara Lance, or was told about it by Nyssa al Ghul after "").
- Damien Darhk deduced it right after the events of the 15th episode of Season 4, "".
- Adrian Chase was told Oliver's identity in the end of 5th episode of Season 5, "" by Tobias Church (though it was later revealed he already deduced this years prior on his own).
- Diaz discovered it sometime before the very end of the first episode of Season 6, "".
- Has similarities with Damien Darhk
- they both had a plan to destroy a place to "save" it (malcolm wanted to destroy the glades while Damien wanted the world)
- they both have an enemy (malcolm to oliver queen while damien to sara lance)
- both worked together on more than one occasion (during the genesis and the legion of evil)
- they both killed a relative of their enemy (malcolm killed robert queen while damien killed laurel)
- they both faced their enemies several times
- They both died in the end sacrificing their lives for their daughters (Malcolm sacrificed himself to save Thea while Damien sacrificed himself to save Nora)
Behind the scenes
- Malcolm was initially simply known as the "well-dressed man"; his identity as Tommy Merlyn's father was only discovered while he was practicing fencing in "" and unmasked himself while arguing with Tommy. His first name, however, wasn't revealed until "".
- In the DC comics, Arthur King, alias Merlyn, was introduced as Green Arrow's greatest rival. Malcolm Merlyn is an adaptation of this character, with "Arthur King" being his birth name.
- Originally, the Prime Earth version of Merlyn was supposed to be represented by Tommy Merlyn, plus an unrelated appearance of a character called "Merlyn", who resembled his Pre-Flashpoint self in one of the earlier New 52 comics. However, in the Rebirth line of DC Comics, it was revealed that Tommy's father, Malcolm Merlyn, was the original Dark Archer before his son also took on the title.
- The concept art for Malcolm's alter-ego is called "Dark Arrow", which in the comics was an identity assumed by an amnesiac Hannibal Bates.
- His first name may be a reference to Malcolm McDowell, who voiced Merlyn in the DC Showcase: Green Arrow animated short film.
- Malcolm served as the main antagonist of Season 1 of .
- He is the second main antagonist to be credited as a main character, followed by Slade Wilson and Adrian Chase.
- The arrows Malcolm uses resemble the ones used by Smallville's version of Green Arrow.
- John Barrowman stated in a video on his Instagram account that he would not be returning for Season 6 of , or to the Arrowverse at all.
- Barrowman reprised his role in the video game LEGO DC Super-Villains.
|Other versions of Malcolm Merlyn|
|To see other versions of this character, click the Earth name below for that Earth's counterpart of Malcolm Merlyn.|
|Earth: 1 • 2 • X • Music Meister's reality|