- For the episode named after him, see "".
- For the district attorney of National City from Earth-38, see Diaz.
- "Vigilantes? No, they're--they're hypocrites. They think that they're upholding the law, but they're breaking the law. They're not heroes. They're criminals. The only difference between me and them is that I'm smart enough to realize that the only person worth looking out for is yourself."
- —Ricardo Diaz[src]
Ricardo Diaz (died March 4, 2019), also known as the Dragon, was a ruthless Star City drug kingpin and criminal mastermind.
Once a lowly member of the Scorpions, Diaz was arrested but then set free on a technicality. He used the settlement money he received to start his own criminal organization, as well as a plot to conquer the Star City underworld. Diaz grew his drug enterprise as he manufactured an illegal drug akin to steroids derived from Vertigo and made himself a member of Cayden James's cabal after having the latter's son, Owen Post, assassinated in order to manipulate him.
Following the disbandment of the cabal, Diaz murdered James and revealed his intentions to take over the city, making use of Cayden's remaining resources to blackmail countless politicians, judges, police officers, and even citizens both in the city and around the country, including Laurel Lance and the Bratva's Anatoly Knyazev, eventually becoming one of the four members of the massive criminal empire known as the Quadrant, of which he subsequently became the leader of after having two members killed.
Diaz ultimately met his downfall when Oliver Queen turned himself over to the F.B.I. and exposed his secret identity to the public in exchange for their help in taking him down (as well as both Laurel and Anatoly betraying Diaz for Team Arrow). Diaz suffered a debilitating loss; his criminal empire sustained severe damage, his influence over Star City was destroyed and he was forced into hiding with one of his few remaining allies, the Longbow Hunters.
After five months recovering in hiding, Diaz finally resurfaced with the Longbow Hunters with the intent of seeking revenge on Oliver and his loved ones. After a raid at the CDC, Diaz injected himself with a serum that gave him enhanced strength. After seemingly attempting to destroy Star City, he was apprehended and was to be traded for Oliver's freedom. However, Diaz instead launched a takeover of Slabside Maximum Security Prison, having been brought in purposefully in order to kill Oliver. Despite having the upper hand, Diaz ended up failing after another climactic showdown and he took Oliver's cell as Inmate 0713.
When an A.R.G.U.S. investigation into the terrorist Dante led to a connection with the Longbow Hunters, John Diggle and Lyla Michaels were forced to seek Diaz's aid. To ensure Diaz's cooperation, Diggle and Lyla activated the Ghost Initiative and implanted a bomb in Diaz's head, not knowing he learned a way to disable it. However, when he betrayed them and warned Dante, A.R.G.U.S. was still able to capture him and had him sent back to Slabside where he was burnt to death by Emiko Adachi in order to prevent him from revealing more about the Ninth Circle despite his demonstration of loyalty to them.
- "Think you're so tough 'cause you spent five years in Hell? I was born in it."
- —Ricardo Diaz to Oliver Queen[src]
Ricardo Diaz was born in Starling City and had a tough childhood. Diaz spent his early years trying hard to make his father proud of him, even if it meant pretending to be someone he wasn't. After his father's death, Diaz was sent to Zandia Orphanage sometime before 1986.
While growing up at the orphanage, Diaz was forced to fight for every scrap of food he could get. He was often bullied and mentally scarred by an older boy named Jesse Federico. Jesse tortured him by burning his forearms and attempted to destroy the last picture that he had of his late father. Diaz reached into the flames of the burning bucket to get the picture back, resulting in extreme burns and blisters. Jesse made Diaz act as his "servant" and treated him like an animal, even going as far as to call him a "loser", something that went stuck by Diaz even into his adult life. In order to contain the anger and fear instilled into him during his childhood, Diaz named it the "Dragon", doing everything possible to "control it, so that it does not control him".
Growing up, Diaz joined the Scorpions, an organized crime group operating in the Glades of Starling City, eventually becoming known under the alias "Dragon" and gaining an extensive criminal record. However, at some point in his life, he started to operate on his own and became a powerful crime lord heading an illegal drug operation responsible for the production and sale of a steroid derived from Vertigo that increases combat efficiency and concentration, all while remaining off charts and covering up his tracks. In the criminal underworld, Diaz’s drugs earned such a reputation that Talia al Ghul, who had become acquainted with him at some point, credited her survival of Lian Yu’s destruction entirely to their effects, having been rendered entirely in debt to Diaz as a result.
Taking over Star City
Setting up his plot
In 2013 he began planning his rise to power as a major crime lord. Four years later, in early 2017, Diaz hired Karl Iscove to kill Owen Post - the son of master hacktivist and Helix's leader Cayden James - while wearing a hooded costume in order to influence James and make him start a war with Green Arrow. Then, he killed Iscove to tie up loose ends and doctored a photo of Oliver Queen as Green Arrow; though it is unknown how he knew the Green Arrow's real identity.
Later in the year, Diaz leaked the photo to the FBI of Oliver Queen as the Green Arrow, thus placing the mayor under indictment, arousing controversy and suspicion towards him and limiting his work as a vigilante.
Over time, Diaz took over his former gang, the Scorpions, becoming their leader, however, at some point after that, he was arrested and sentenced to a life sentence without conditional release, but the charges against him were dropped by the Supreme Court because of a technicality and he was then freed, being granted a large sum of money in recompense as a result.
Less than a month after his release from prison, Diaz led his men to retrieve the components of a military-grade 3D printer but they were intercepted and defeated by Team Arrow. Hidden in the shadows, the Dragon set off a smoke bomb and escaped before the heroes could catch him.
Sometime later, Diaz met John Diggle when he went directly to his steroid manufacturer, hoping to get an extra portion of drugs. After cracking jokes about Diggle's muscles, he explained that he had to be careful because he did not yet have permission from the Food and Drug Administration. Regardless, he then had one of his men give Diggle what he‘d asked for before walking off.
Later that night, the Dragon assisted his crew with stealing more components for the 3D military printer, this time from the biological department of Palmer Technologies. However, as he stepped out of his car, he was attacked again by vigilantes. The Green Arrow, who was actually Diggle himself at the time, was caught off-guard at the sight of Diaz, who managed to shoot the Green Arrow before escaping. Shortly after, Diaz checked the progress in his laboratory when Team Arrow entered the building. The Dragon, not wanting his product to fall into their hands, dropped a drum of petrol, lighting it on fire and burning all of his drugs, before escaping from the fire.
Working with Cayden James
He was later contacted by Cayden James to join his criminal cabal along with Sheck, Laurel Lance, Anatoly Knyazev, and Vincent Sobel. While they were watching the collapse of Team Arrow via hidden camera from their hideout, the Dragon declared he was skeptical of how effective the group could be; however James assured him that there was more to come.
Later Diaz, along with James and Laurel, visited Jerry Bertinelli, asking him to rethink the matter of selling them the port - the last thing in Star City belonging to the Bertinelli crime family. When Bertinelli denied their demand, the Dragon smirked in amusement as Black Siren blew Bertinelli a kiss that knocked him into wall. They then threatened to have his daughter killed if he refused and left.
While James and Black Siren were expecting Bertinelli's answer at their lair, the Green Arrow attacked them. However, after the Dragon and the rest of the cabal appeared in front of him, the emerald archer, not expecting this, was forced to escape in order to avoid a fight. When Cayden allowed him to escape, Diaz questioned his decision. Cayden assured him that Green Arrow's death would come eventually.
A few hours later, at the moment of the transaction with Bertinelli, with whom the criminals met at the port, Green Arrow also appeared, collaborating with the Bertinelli crime family, but the combined efforts of Sobel, Black Siren, the Bratva and Diaz’s thugs were enough to fend them off. After the mishap, Bertinelli surrendered the ports to the cabal. On Cayden's orders, the Dragon executed Bertenelli for collaborating with Green Arrow.
After Captain Frank Pike was killed in an elevator thanks to Cayden, Diaz sent pictures to the new police captain Kimberly Hill of her family as leverage to get her to do whatever he said. Later, after Sheck was killed and the cabal started to suspect Sobel for murdering him, Diaz was present at a meeting to discuss it. James sent Diaz and Anatoly to see that his bomb was moved and, after Sobel was exposed as a traitor of the cabal, Diaz assisted Anatoly in torturing him, but they did not obtain any results and were later forced to flee as both branches of Team Arrow attacked their lair.
Later, Diaz and the rest of the cabal were thanked by James for their contributions to his plan as he intended to activate the bomb late in the evening, so he officially ended cooperation with his allies, promising to transport them away from the city and transfer money to their bank accounts. However, after noticing the promised vehicle did not show up, Diaz departed on his own in order to not to be there when the detonation of the bomb occurred and suggested his former partners to do the same. While leaving, however, Wild Dog and Mister Terrific managed to intercept him, at which point he allowed himself to be captured and be brought to James, who obtained new evidence that that either Diaz, Laurel and Anatoly had his son killed to manipulate him all along and threatened to immediately detonate if they all did not show up.
Wild Dog, Terrific, and the captured crime lord rendezvoused with everyone else at where James had the bomb. There Diaz questioned why James would believe the vigilantes over his partners. When James declared that he only trusts facts and spouted on how none of them knows what's like to lose a son, Diaz took the opportunity to tell Cayden that his grief was making him crazy. As James pulled out his detonator and demanded the one who ordered the murder to come forward, Laurel confessed and started to insult the hacker in order to upset him. Knowing that she was lying, James slapped her, not realizing that the bomb activator interferes with the action of the collar blocking her powers, so she used her sonic scream in response, thus allowing herself and everyone else to escape. As he was leaving the building, Diaz was pursued by his old acquaintance Diggle. Revealing his true fighting skill, the Dragon swiftly took down Diggle, a man who could fight on par with Oliver Queen himself, and escaped.
After Cayden James was arrested and sent to the interrogation room at the SCPD headquarters, Diaz appeared to him revealing that he'd used James to take over Star City, explaining that "it's prime for the taking" and that James was narrow-minded to think he was controlling him; in reality, everything had gone according to Diaz’s plan. He also claimed James didn’t understand that things should be taken over and not destroyed while revealing he had Captain Hill on his payroll. He then murdered James while telling him that he was the one who had his son killed and calmly exited the building. He then had his corrupt cops cover up James's murder by making it look like he was killed by another inmate on his way to Iron Heights Prison.
Afterward, Diaz explained all of his plan to Anatoly, who eagerly decided to cooperate with the gangster, while arranging a meeting with the Laurel at his command. In the meantime, the Dragon trained with new fighters who would power the ranks of his team. When he saw Laurel, he was very angry at her for having betrayed him and for trying to run away, but he understood she was afraid of Dinah Drake since she was set on killing her for Sobel, so Diaz reassured Laurel that he would be able to take care of her. He started to talk about his plans, stating that she would like them.
After the policemen on his payroll abducted Roy Harper, Diaz himself tortured him in order to convince him to testify against Oliver in court regarding his identity as Green Arrow; Roy, however, was adamant, so Diaz decided to threaten Roy’s beloved Thea Queen instead. Team Arrow soon arrived and Diaz was forced to change locations, taking Roy with him. On his way out, Green Arrow, Speedy, and Spartan caught up and demanded to let Roy go. Diaz calmly turned around and ordered his men to not inflect any kill shots on the archer, believing Queen would be more dangerous as a martyr, before leaving with the captive Roy.
Loading Roy in a truck, Diaz was halted by Speedy. The Dragon nearly killed her in combat before Green Arrow stopped him. The two archers pointed their arrows at Diaz, but the crime lord remained calm as the police were arriving, as even the ones who weren't on his payroll found the anti-vigilante act to be right. Green Arrow ordered Speedy to drive off with Roy while he dealt with Diaz. As she left, Diaz reminded him that he's powerless against the police, which forced him to escape a moment before the arrival of the Dragon's crooked police officers. Diaz later texted Laurel, congratulating her on her performance tonight.
After Anatoly was arrested by a bunch of SCPD officers led by Lieutenant Dinah Drake while selling Vertigo for him, Diaz ordered Armand to have him released under the quibble that he was arrested without a warrant. Later that night, he waited for Officer Martin Hurst, one of the officers who did the arrest, next to his car and watched as Anatoly shot him out of revenge, stating that it would send a message to all of the officers who refuse to be under his payroll.
The following night, Diaz visited Laurel at Quentin Lance's apartment and brought her a take-away dinner. Having seen she was studying her late counterpart's old schoolbooks, Diaz told her that she didn't have to do it as people like them "make the law" and that she don't need to change in order to "impress her old man" like he did when he was younger. Later, after former district attorney Sam Armand and former police captain Kimberly Hill accused mayor Oliver Queen of obstructing justice while he fired them both (actually because he discovered they were on Diaz's payroll), Laurel watched the news in Diaz's hideout alongside him. He complimented her for the idea and then showed the last champion of Vertigo after Team Arrow's raid to the core of his drug operation, which led Laurel to kiss him.
After Oliver was drugged via Vertigo by Kullens, a councilman on Diaz's payroll, a few hours before his meeting with the Council regarding his probable impeachment due to the accusation of Armand and Hill, he briefly hallucinated about Diaz who, after having stabbed Raisa and put a dagger in Oliver's abdomen, asked himself why nobody of his previous enemies ever thought to just kill him straight, then adding there are more things he intended to break in him.
That night, at 10:13, Diaz entered the SCPD station as he does every night in order to pay his policemen when the Hood entered the building ready to fight him. Diaz was eager for the Hood to attack him and his policemen, but he was stopped by Felicity Smoak, who managed to talk him down. Losing patience, Diaz and his crooked cops went after them, but the two managed to escape the police station.
The following morning Laurel checked up on Diaz at the station in the captain's office while his men were cleaning, asking him why he didn't just kill Oliver. Diaz replied that he "is more dangerous as a martyr than as Green Arrow" Laurel asked what's next and Diaz said that their next move would be to spread the word that Star City is now "open for business" with Mayor Queen out of office.
Joining the Quadrant
About a week later Diaz and Laurel went to Blüdhaven in order to meet Eric Cartier, the son of an influential member of the Quadrant. While waiting outside Cartier's nightclub, Diaz told Laurel that if you want something truly special, you have to be patient. Cartier soon arrived and the three got started. Diaz proposed to Cartier to use Star City as a place to run the Quadrant's business in exchange of having a seat at the table of the organization. However, Cartier asked him to find Robert Baylor, an agent of his organization who was caught by the FBI, in order to show them if he was able to operate at their level. Diaz put on a smile and agreed. After the meeting, though, Diaz went to the club's bathroom and smashed a mirror in frustration, bruising his hand.
In less than a day Diaz found the man while discovering that he was working with the feds and, as Laurel had demonstrated to be skeptical about his excessive concessions to the Quadrant, he reminded her that once he had won a place in the organization, he would have an empire. After Diaz gave the information on Baylor to Cartier, however, he asked for both him and his "pretty little friend" to get him in order to interrogate him so they could find out what exactly he told the Justice Department. Diaz became angry that Cartier was wasting his time, but nonetheless, agreed, hoping to get a meeting with Cartier, Sr. Before leaving with Laurel, Cartier took note of Diaz's bruised hand and asked what happened. Diaz simply told him that he "got angry at someone."
Diaz and Laurel arrived at the FBI's safehouse, and while Laurel handled the feds at the front, Diaz went around back. Killing all the guards he came across mercilessly, Dragon met up with Baylor and ordered him to move. He contacted Cartier for transportation. As the two walked out of the safehouse, Diaz didn't buy that Baylor kept quiet. When Cartier's car arrived, both Diaz and Baylor were shot by Cartier's driver. Diaz survived thanks to a bulletproof vest.
Arriving back at Cartier's nightclub, Laurel questioned why they weren't heading back to Star City. Diaz replied that it was time to take what's his. He defeated all of Cartier's men alongside Laurel and later on, tortured Cartier while telling him of his childhood at the orphanage and asking him why he tried to kill him. After Cartier revealed that he and his father never talked about him to the Quadrant because he was "a nobody" and that they wanted to take Star City from his hands, Diaz beat Cartier to a pulp and ordered Cartier to take him to the place where the Quadrant‘s meetings were held.
While they were driving to the place, Laurel asked Diaz if what happened with Jesse still tormented him and he confirmed it does, because he felt that Jesse was right and he was "a loser"; when she tried to cheer him up by saying he wasn't one anymore, he told her about how he named his fear "The Dragon" and how for years it was everything he had but if he managed to become a member of the Quadrant he would get enough power to ensure it would not be used by anyone against him. Laurel compared him to Zoom because of the hate they held inside them, but Diaz claimed that he controls The Dragon, not the other way around.
When they arrived at the Quadrant's headquarters, Villa Centanni, Diaz and Laurel broke inside using Cartier as a human bomb and slaughtered dozens of their men with both their bare hands and several gunshots while making their way to the hall where the four leaders of the Quadrant met. Once again Diaz proposed to gave them Star City in exchange for a place in the organization and, as one of the members declared there are no free chairs at their table, Remy Cartier started taunting him, calling him a "street thug" and a "loser". Immediately, Diaz shot him in the head, leaving a chair open that he took as being welcomed into the Quadrant.
Back at Star City, Laurel asked why Diaz was still off, despite getting what he wanted. Diaz told her that there was one last thing he needed to do and went to Jesse's house and kidnapped him, bringing him on a rooftop over his city. After having shown him the last fragment of his father's picture he had kept for over thirty-two years, while ignoring Laurel's pleas not to do it, he cruelly poured gas on and set Jesse on fire while stating that he was “not a loser anymore". He then threw the picture in the fire and walked off.
Sometime after joining the Quadrant, Diaz bought an abandoned building in Star City to turn it into his "castle," as Laurel put it.
Ricardo Diaz vs Oliver Queen
After Jesse's murder, Laurel began to avoid meeting Diaz, until he summoned her personally while a tailor was making him a custom suit, in order to announce to her that the new mayor, Quentin, needed to be persuaded in respecting some "ground rules", and that she needed to set up a meeting between them. Though reticent, Laurel did as ordered and took Quentin to their favorite Chinese restaurant, confessing that she was sorry as Diaz entered revealing the intimacy between them and telling him to sign a few documents to privately sell some municipal property before leaving with her.
After returning to his hiding place, Diaz delightfully found out that Anatoly brought Oliver Queen to him. The criminal began to kick the shod vigilante, mocking him, until Anatoly interrupted, exclaiming that every drop of blood he drew from a chained-up man was a sign of weakness, “his weakness". This drove Diaz to challenge Oliver to a duel, setting the rule that if he would win, Oliver would have to leave the city forever, and vice versa if Oliver would have be the winner. Thus, they went on to fight. The Dragon was a serious challenge to Oliver, even overpowering and knocking him down for a while, but Oliver ultimately managed to seize an opening to knock down the Dragon and began to hold his opponent in a headlock, ordering him to give up. Unexpectedly, the crime lord pulled out a knife and pierced the side of Oliver's abdomen, winning in a dishonest fight and stating that "life ain’t fair". Then Diaz ordered Anatoly to lock Oliver in a cell.
A few hours later Laurel came to Diaz, who handed him the signed papers, but it turned out that these were not necessary for him and he took them away as he only wanted to know if he could manipulate Quentin. When Laurel asked what happened if Lance didn't sign, Diaz abruptly stuck his knife in his desk, implying that he would've killed Quentin if he didn't. Immediately after, Diaz ordered his men to bring out the beaten Oliver from his cell and had him arrested by revoking his parole and anticipating his trial at the following week, on May 3.
Oliver Queen's trial
As Oliver's trial began, Diaz summoned Laurel to him. He was disappointed that during a short interview with Bethany Snow she didn't tell the truth about who was hidden under Green Arrow's mask. When Laurel defended her actions by saying Diaz didn't tell her to do so, he told her that the jury would be calling her to testify. After Laurel argued that she couldn't fool a court room, Diaz brought up the behavior of the woman for several weeks. When Laurel didn't convince him that she was fine, Diaz unexpectedly began to strangle Laurel, threatening her and saying that he expected her cooperation and a solid testimony in court. She nodded in fear and Diaz released her, saying he had to go to the courthouse.
Later, as Rene Ramirez testified, his daughter was silently brought into the room by Diaz himself, a silent threat forcing him to testify against Oliver. Reluctantly, Rene told the court that Oliver was the Green Arrow while Diaz smiled at him, keeping his hands on her shoulders. After Rene's testimony, Diaz left the courtroom, giving Rene a nod of approval. Exiting the courthouse, Diaz was ambushed by Diggle and Dinah. Before the two could do anything, Diaz' corrupt cops arrived and surrounded them. Diaz let them go however, knowing he would have to testify if they had an "accident".
The crime lord's plan, however, didn't go as expected since Christopher Chance/Human Target broke into the courtroom disguised as Tommy Merlyn and claiming to be the Green Arrow. Diaz ordered his dirty cops to bring Merlyn to him, but he escaped with the help of Diggle and Wild Dog. When Laurel went on the stand, Diaz remained confident that Laurel would do as she's told. Laurel, however, chose to testify that Tommy is the Green Arrow, betraying Diaz. Diaz witnessed this on the news and became furious.
To ensure that Oliver would still be found guilty, Diaz paid of the jury. Unfortunately, Chance disguised himself as Judge C. McGarvey and acquitted Oliver. Therefore, that night, at the docks, Diaz ordered his men to bring him McGarvey. When McGarvey failed to convince Diaz that it wasn't him who freed Oliver, Diaz killed him for his incompetence. Laurel then appeared and confronted him at first managing to overpower the crime lord and his men but ultimately being subdued as Diaz used a power-dampening device to suppress her sonic scream, before to taking her captive and telling her that his next plan would be to kill Oliver and everyone he loves.
Open war with Team Arrow
Diaz ordered his army to ambush and kill all of Team Arrow, but the targets escaped. He then had his men destroy the Arrowcave. This caused a quarrel between Diaz and fellow Quadrant leader Lydia Cassamento, who did not like Diaz's unplanned action. When the woman left the crime lord's office, Anatoly entered and suggested moving him to a safer place where it would be easier to defend. At first Diaz was confident they could handle the vigilantes, but eventually agreed with his right-hand.
On the way to the SCPD, the vigilantes attacked his truck and, as his men fought, Diaz escaped. However, he was intercepted by Mister Terrific, who was furious due to the Dragon’s men hurting his boyfriend and tackled him. This time, however, the amused crime lord quickly recovered and overwhelmed him in combat before stabbing him in the stomach. Before Diaz managed to finish him off, seeing the Green Arrow approaching him, he gave up the attack, grabbed the portable drive that fell out of his hand and fled to the SCPD station.
Arriving at the police station, he ordered his cops to kill Oliver Queen on sight, and had the computer engineer, Crosby, check the completeness of the data on the pendrive, threatening his grandmother if he didn't succeed. Once he and Anatoly entered the captain's office, Diaz began to strangle him, accusing him of betrayal. The Russian, however, turned the suspicion away from himself and directed it to Cassamento.
Diaz checked up on Cosby, and just as he assured the crime lord his pendrive was secure, the data started transferring to another server. Parks came in and informed Diaz that Lyla Michaels, the director of A.R.G.U.S., was here. Diaz realized she was remotely stealing the data and went to intercept her before she got away. Team Arrow soon arrived and amidst chaos, the Dragon almost killed Felicity before she got away thanks to Green Arrow's exploding arrow, a rescue she wouldn’t forgive.
Diaz called Cassamento to the SCPD and accused her of betraying him. Cassamento denied this just as Cosby arrived and informed Diaz that he's tracked where Team Arrow was; the old helix hideout. Diaz declared they were going to war, only for Cassamento to argue against it. This resulted in Diaz stabbing her through the neck and brutally joke about how she had something "stuck in her throat". He then had Crosby get rid of Cassamento's body before he departed to hunt down Oliver.
The Dragon filled the base with noxious gas and he entered the area himself, wearing a gas mask. There he had the chance to kill Oliver and Felicity but, before he could, the building exploded and he was wounded by a bomb hidden in the stairwell that left scars on the right side of his face. Despite his wounds, Diaz managed to escape and, later, met with Cyrus Broderick and Dragos Ibanescu at the police station, killing the latter for not wanting to cooperate and becoming the Quadrant's sole leader.
When Oliver, along with the help of the now fully reestablished Team Arrow and the FBI took over the police, Diaz escaped, and later met with Anatoly, whom he suspected of treason. When Anatoly asked Diaz how he would fight back without his army, Dragon revealed he made an alliance with the Longbow Hunters. He then gave him the false coordinates of a hiding place, knowing that the Russian would give the information to Oliver.
Soon after, he called Mayor Lance, whom he ordered to remove the FBI from Star City, threatening to murder Laurel; the mayor did not agree, which upset the crime lord. After hanging up, Diaz mocked the captured Laurel by telling her that her "daddy" didn't love her like he did the real Laurel. Diaz then reminded how Laurel ended up in this situation; that it was her worry for Quentin that got her captured. When Laurel didn't respond, Diaz teased by calling her baby.
At the same time Team Arrow and the FBI moved on Diaz's supposed new hideout only to fall right into his trap. As part of the team entered the warehouse, they found out that it had been mined. If they tried to move, they would risk a building explosion. After calling Anatoly and telling him that he'd suffer for his betrayal, Ricardo triggered the bombs remotely. However, Felicity’s intervention helped the heroes avoid death. Immediately after that, the crime lord contacted the mayor again, and agreed to meet him. When Quentin showed up, he revealed that the feds could target Diaz, forcing the man to take him with him to Laurel's hideout. The heroes immediately began tracking Quentin's pacemaker in order to find Diaz's new headquarters.
Bringing Quentin to Laurel, Diaz threatened to shoot her unless he ordered the FBI to leave Star City. Laurel begged Quentin not to give in, saying Diaz was bluffing. Counting down to five, Diaz fired his gun at Laurel, only for Quentin to take the shot in her place. Diaz tried to bargain with Laurel that if she got her "dad" to meet his demands, he'd show Quentin mercy. Both refused and before the crime lord could kill Laurel, Team Arrow and the FBI busted into his hideout. Seeing Green Arrow, Diaz egged him on before fleeing.
Diaz escaped to the roof, where he expected transport. There, however, he was cornered by Green Arrow and the two engaged in an armed rematch. Like in their first fight, the Dragon dominated at first but he was eventually overpowered and stabbed with an arrow by the vigilante. Again, the Dragon refused to give up, and defiantly yelled to Green Arrow that to stop him he would have to kill him. Laurel then unexpectedly appeared, and with a sonic scream, launched the Dragon off of the building's roof and into the water. When Diaz hit the water, he broke many of his bones causing him to feel constant pain every day from then onwards.
After Diaz fled, Quentin died in the hospital from the bullet wound he inflected. However, his criminal organization suffered debilitating damage and any influence he had over Star City was completely destroyed, because Green Arrow, during the fight, had taken the pendrive with a list of his wages, removing corrupt policemen, judges, politicians and city officials from Star City. However, Diaz's defeat also had considerable consequences on his enemies, as in addition to Quentin's death, Oliver, honoring the deal he made with the FBI, confessed publicly to being Green Arrow and was sentenced to life in prison. Diaz, still wounded, watched the live transmission furiously as he was already angrily plotting his revenge against Oliver for tearing down the criminal empire he’d worked all his life to build, although he still had resources and connections in the criminal underworld.
Sometime after his downfall, Diaz reached out to the financial terrorist known as Dante who helped him pay his debt to the Longbow Hunters so they could continue to assist him in his vendetta against everyone responsible for his defeat. Diaz met Dante's underling Virgil and grew to fear Dante, believing anyone who betrayed or played him would suffer agonizing torture.
Return from hiding
After five months of recovering with the Longbow Hunters, Diaz hired some prison inmates through Talia who was imprisoned there as well to keep Oliver occupied and give him a message saying that Diaz had found and killed Felicity and William. Diaz made it to Felicity's hideout, managing to bypass her security system, and happily referred to her by her alias "Erin". Pulling out a gun, Diaz told Felicity that he planned to let Oliver live in prison knowing he had killed Felicity. Diaz was temporarily distracted when Felicity told William to run and splashed hot coffee on Diaz before tackling him to the ground. Quickly recovering, Diaz easily overpowered Felicity and prepared to kill her, but had to flee when A.R.G.U.S. agents burst into the room in time to save her.
Sometime after escaping A.R.G.U.S., Diaz had the Longbow Hunters break into an off-site facility of A.R.G.U.S. where they stole prototype B-24, a high densitable renewable battery able to power an entire town. Later, Dragon and two of the Longbow Hunters attempted to raid a train to steal an energy weapon that could be used combined with the B-24. When chased by Diggle, the crime lord attacked him with a flamethrower before getting into a fistfight with him. Although he was wounded by a knife-throw to the shoulder and Diggle had improved his skills, the Dragon was able to nearly beat him again but John managed to knock him down momentarily. Despite a moment of conflict between Diggle’s friends, he managed to retrieve the weapon and escape, leaving Diaz and the two hunters to watch his getaway.
Diaz and the Longbow Hunters later attempted a break in on CDC, a secure government facility to steal a bio-compound to heal Diaz's remaining injuries and enhance his strength. Being let in by his mole, Diaz started loading up the chemicals he needed. When Watson, Dinah and Rene tried to stop them, Diaz calmly ordered the two hunters that were with him to handle the three. After retrieving the chemicals he needed, Diaz shot random chemical containers to cover their escape.
In his hideout, Diaz was mixing the chemical compounds together when the hunters that were with him reported that Honor was captured. Unfazed, Diaz finished the mixture and talked about the damage his body suffered after he hit the water and how he felt after being betrayed and losing everything he worked for. But he remained patient. He then injected himself and said he transformed his pain into something else. Getting up, Diaz walked over to a wall and punched it. While the wall was damaged, Diaz's fist was unharmed. He then told them that it transformed into strength.
Keeping a promise
Intending to keep his promise to Anatoly for his betrayal, Diaz made his way to Moscow in Russia. The Dragon used his newfound strength to easily kill all the Bratva present. After slaughtering all of Anatoly's men on a rooftop, Diaz held him near a ledge. When the recently escaped Honor walked up and asked if he got what he wanted, Diaz happily answered her question, saying he was going to keep his promise and sarcastically asked the frightened Anatoly if he was right.
Taking Anatoly back to Star City, Diaz strapped him to a chair and tortured him. Diaz reminded him of the last time they spoke and how Anatoly betrayed their friendship. Anatoly retorted that a man like Diaz has no friends, so he retorted that none of his friends were saving him and that he‘d picked the losing side. Diaz picked up a blowtorch and told Anatoly that he was going to help him destroy Oliver Queen, before burning him. Once Diaz was through torturing Anatoly, he forced him to contact an old associate of his in the KGB, Pyotr Roslov, to purchase two of a weapon called BETAB-500 so he could destroy Star City. Having gotten what he wanted from Anatoly, Diaz and the Longbow Hunters took him to a munition's plant in Orchid Bay and put him in a crate with Honor's belt, finding the tracker that Felicity and Laurel planted in it, and a bomb to lure Team Arrow to their doom.
Diaz and the hunters took the BETAB-500s to trigger the explosion to destroy the city. After calling an extraction for them, the Dragon got into yet another battle with Diggle. Diggle managed to disarm him of his flamethrower and his remote trigger, but was as always overpowered by the crime lord. Though Felicity and Curtis were able to stop the countdown, Diaz wasn't concerned. Before he could trigger the explosives manually, the new Green Arrow showed up and shot the trigger out of his hand. Diaz was shocked, believing the vigilante was Oliver Queen, before getting into a fight with the Green Arrow. While Dragon was distracted fighting the vigilante, Diggle managed to knock him out. The Longbow Hunters then fled, and Diaz was taken into custody.
Diaz was taken to the SCPD precinct and held in the interrogation room, handcuffed to the table. Felicity walked in and Diaz smugly commented that he liked her better with her pink hair. When Felicity listed all the things Diaz did that ruined her life, Diaz simply asked her what she was going to do in retaliation. In response, Felicity pointed a gun that Anatoly gave her at Diaz. Knowing Felicity didn't have the guts to kill him, Diaz snarkily egged her on to pull the trigger. Laurel then walked in and told her not to shoot. Diaz sarcastically teased Laurel by calling her "baby" saying that she missed him and watched the two ladies talk. Laurel revealed that she made a deal with the FBI that if they hand Diaz over, Oliver will be set free to help them in their case against the Dragon. Diaz, however, remained unfazed by this latest development.
One last shot at revenge
When hearing of Oliver's chance of freedom, Diaz saw this as his last shot of vengeance. In the transport van on route to Slabside Maximum Security Prison, Diaz paid off the officer guarding him to help him escape. Arriving at Slabside, the officer escorted Diaz out of the van, where two guards mocked him by asking if he knew Oliver was getting out. Diaz remained calm and revealed the officer escorting him was paid off. The officer the killed the two guards and his transport partner while Diaz remained where he was. Diaz then ordered the officer to bring him a change of clothes and to get rid of the bodies.
In his change of clothes, Diaz paid Oliver a visit. When the inmate arrived at visitation, he was horrified to see Diaz on the other side of the glass. Diaz smugly greeted Oliver and the two began their conversation. When Oliver tried to threaten Diaz, he reminded Oliver that there were innocent people that he could kill if he tried anything. Diaz went on to tell Oliver that he was going to kill him and wasn't concerned as he handled guards like Slabside's growing up. He then pointed out how dehumanizing it is to be called a number and questioned if Oliver ever considered that. When Oliver told Diaz that he was going to die instead of getting locked up, the Dragon remained confident in making Oliver suffer before his death. To push Oliver to the brink, Diaz then told the inmate that after finishing with him, he'd kill Felicity and William. As he figured, Oliver started freaking out and trying to alert the guards that Diaz was here, to no avail. Diaz calmly walked out of visitation and headed to a restricted area of Slabside. He was halted by a Slabside SWAT officer, who he swiftly killed and took his uniform.
When the prison was put on lock-down after Oliver escaped his cell, Diaz made it to Slabside's outdoor gym, where he began giving a speech comparing himself to the inmates. When a guard told him to be silent, Dragon slit his throat and killed the other guards present. He ordered the inmates, led by Danny Brickwell and Derek Sampson, to stand up. He inspired the inmates to start a riot by talking about how the guards of Slabside treated them like animals and deserved to pay.
Diaz proceeded to the control room of the mess hall and took a guard hostage. He had the Longbow Hunters scramble the signal from the outside as a "going away present". From the control room, Diaz saw Oliver and his ally Ben Turner make it to the locker room. Diaz then contacted Oliver through the radio and mocked his predictability. He revealed the captive guard and forced him to repeat Oliver's catchphrase, "You have failed this city". When Oliver demanded Diaz let the guard go, he slit his throat in retaliation. Diaz proceeded to release the remaining inmates and egged Oliver to come and face him.
While the inmates tortured the guards in the mess hall, Diaz remained in the control room watching the surveillance cameras. After a while, Diaz planted an explosive to the control room. He then compared Brick's downfall to his because of Oliver to his own. At that moment, Oliver arrived and demanded that Diaz release the guards. He refused and sucker punched Oliver. The former vigilante recovered and told Diaz he‘d spend the rest of his life here. Diaz refused; he promised himself he was never going to die in prison. Turner then arrived and gave Oliver a pillow case with a soda can in it as a weapon. Diaz stood back as Oliver and Turner battled the inmates. When Oliver made it to the control room, the Dragon set off the explosives, causing Slabside to be engulfed in flames. He then left the fallen inmates, including Sampson, to their fates.
Final Showdown and Aftermath
Knowing Oliver would follow him, Diaz waited for him at the inmate's cells. When Oliver arrived, the Dragon rose up out of nowhere and attacked Oliver with a knife. Oliver fought back with the blade that Turner gave him, but was outmatched by the Dragon's superior strength. He threw Oliver off a balcony to the first floor and stabbed him in the shoulder with Turner's blade. He then proceeded to beat Oliver until they reached his old cell. The crime lord kicked Oliver into his cell and commented on Oliver's stubbornness. He compared his stubbornness to Felicity's and revealed that she attempted to murder him in cold blood, much to Oliver's fury. Diaz then ripped Oliver's picture of Felicity and William in half. Having inadvertently given Oliver time to gather his strength, Diaz was caught off guard and was stabbed by Oliver with Turner's blade. Oliver headbutted the weakened Diaz and watched as he fell to the ground. Oliver walked out of the cell and closed it behind him, leaving Diaz to pass out.
Diaz recovered from his injuries and became Inmate 0713. While incarcerated, he was interviewed by M. Pedowitz on his view of vigilantism for her documentary film Emerald Archer: The Hood and the Rise of Vigilantism. Diaz voiced his view that vigilantes were hypocrites for thinking they're the law despite breaking it and for that, they're criminals rather than heroes. He then explained the difference between him and them was that he was intelligent enough to only look out for himself and no one else. Having what Pedowitz wanted, she and her crew left Diaz in his cell.
A week after Diaz's arrest and Oliver's release, during Diggle and Lyla's investigation of one of Dante's paintings, they found out the Longbow Hunters were connected to the investigation. This required them to work with the Dragon. The couple entered Diaz's cell where Lyla mocked his imprisonment. When Diaz demanded to know why they were here, Diggle took a breath and asked him for his aid.
Reluctant A.R.G.U.S. agent
Joining the Ghost Initiative
Diaz was taken into A.R.G.U.S. custody. and for the next three days, was questioned about his connection to Dante and how he helped pay his debt to the Longbow Hunters. However, Diaz was defiant. On the third day, Diaz was in the interrogation room and was questioned by Lyla. Diaz made a comment about his accommodations in A.R.G.U.S. compared to Slabside, but still refused to give them anything. Knowing that Diggle was watching on the other side of the one way mirror, Diaz sarcastically greeted him as "Johnny Boy". Despite being threatened to be sent back to Slabside, Diaz still refused to give them any information and demanded his lawyer. Lyla reminded him that he was A.R.G.U.S. property and that no one knew he was their prisoner, but Diaz was done talking, leaving Lyla and Diggle with nothing.
Diaz was later approached by Diggle, but remained calm. the former crime lord was confident that Diggle wouldn't break him and made fun of Lyla and Diggle's "Good Cop. Bad Cop" game. Diggle, however, offered him a deal. Curious, Diaz questioned it and was surprised to hear that Diggle was offering him his freedom in exchange for his information on Dante. Diggle was called back by Deputy Director Bell and left Diaz to consider his offer.
Diaz agreed to their deal, but was less enthusiastic about the bomb they neglected to mention being put in his head to make him the newest recruit for the Ghost Initiative. As the bomb was being implanted, Diaz commented about the bomb being their fail-safe in case Diaz stepped out of line. Lyla agreed and warned if he stepped out of the line they would kill him. Unfazed, Diaz warned Lyla that if the bomb failed, he would come for her first before falling unconscious.
Diaz was soon joined by China White, Joe Wilson, and Carrie Cutter into the Ghost Initiative. Unknown to Diaz, Curtis had implanted a virtual simulation into the explosive program of his chip after he was sedated to get information on Dante. In this simulation, Diaz and the other "recruits" waited in the A.R.G.U.S. infirmary when Diaz was reunited with "Curtis". Diaz referred to him as Mister Terrific and talked about their last meeting. He then turned his comrades and asked them if Curtis felt nervous to them. Curtis ignored them and put the criminals asleep to ensure that their chips worked as he would have to turn the chips off. Unfortunately, the serum Diaz took to increase his strength made him immune to the drugs. He broke out of his restraints, killed a guard and forced Curtis to wake the others up. Diaz and the others then took Curtis hostage and attempted to escape.
Running into A.R.G.U.S. agents, Diaz reminded his new "friends" that A.R.G.U.S. needed them alive. Dragon then pushed Curtis aside and started fighting the agents with the others until he saw his chance to flee, leaving the others as a distraction. Diaz made it to an A.R.G.U.S. vehicle before he was confronted by Curtis. The two engaged in a brief fight until Dragon got the upper hand and snapped Curtis's neck to "finish the job". He then left in the A.R.G.U.S. vehicle.
After fleeing A.R.G.U.S., Diaz contacted Dante and warned him that A.R.G.U.S. was after him. To his surprise, he heard Curtis's voice. He stopped the vehicle and was soon pulled out of the simulation. Diaz found himself strapped to a chair and demanded to know what had happened. Curtis revealed to him that he "owned his ass" by placing him in a simulation to give up Dante. After Diaz promised to kill Curtis, he demanded to be let go. But Curtis assured him that he was safer here, then out there when Dante finds out that he sold him out. Curtis then left the embarrassed Diaz strapped to the chair and sarcastically thanked him for his "cooperation".
Return to Slabside and death
During a mission with the Ghost Initiative to catch Dante, Diaz decided to go rogue, warning Dante that it was a trap, while then attempting to kill the A.R.G.U.S. agents present. After being subdued by Oliver, who'd joined A.R.G.U.S. in the mission, Ricardo was sent back to Slabside. Later, while he was in solitary confinement, gasoline was pumped into his cell through the sprinkler system, and Emiko Adachi threw a lighter into the cell through a small window in the door to execute him, perhaps in order to prevent Diaz from revealing more about the Ninth Circle despite him having saved Dante. Although Diaz with his enhanced reflexes managed to react fast enough to catch the lighter in midair, he still became engulfed in flames, and was later found burned to death.
In the first rewritten reality created by Dr. John Deegan, after he was given the Book of Destiny that could rewrite reality by Mar Novu, where Oliver Queen was The Flash and Barry Allen was the Green Arrow, Diaz was still a crime lord and locked up at Slabside. However, one of his weapon cashes was being fought over by the Bratva and Bertinellis in the Glades.
In the second rewritten reality created by Deegan, Diaz, Malcolm Merlyn, and Joe Wilson became police officers for the Central City police department. They found Oliver and Barry, who are known as the criminal duo the Trigger Twins in this reality, in an alleyway and demanded they get on the ground. Officer Diaz went to cuff them, taking pleasure in finally taking down Oliver Queen. However, before he could pull out his cuffs, Oliver disarmed him and shot at officers Merlyn and Wilson, forcing them to take cover. Oliver then knocked Diaz out with his gun and he and Barry escaped.
After Dinah was appointed as the new captain of the SCPD, she struggled to win back the people's trust after Diaz corrupted half the department. When Oliver and the rest of Team Arrow were deputized by the SCPD, they were forced to follow police protocol since City Hall was wary after Diaz's corruption.
After Diaz's death, Emiko Adachi leaked a photo of Laurel working with him, which caused her to come under investigation and lose her job. This prompted Laurel to briefly backslide into her Black Siren persona and work with Shadow Thief to get enough money to leave Star City forever. However, thanks to the combined efforts of Felicity, Dinah, and Sara Lance, Laurel's name was cleared, as well as the fact that she was finally able to overcome her inner darkness and become a hero.
When Oliver's future daughter, Mia Queen planned on killing Grant Wilson to prevent the dystopian future she came from, Laurel told her how she was able to talk Felicity out of murdering Diaz and how she was able to find another way to handle him. This, in part with Oliver pushing her, gave Mia the motivation to find another way to deal with Grant. After Diaz's death, Anatoly Knyazev felt that he was no longer in danger so he exited witness protection and returned to Russia.
Diaz was indirectly responsible for the future corruption of Oliver's legacy and Star City as a whole, as his determination and quest for vengeance against Oliver and all he held dear scared Felicity into creating the Archer program to protect her loved ones. Archer would go on to be abused by Galaxy One to turn Star City into a police state and spread propaganda that vigilantes were evil.
- "I was afraid of Jesse for so long that all I had was my fear. So I... I named that fear... the Dragon."
- —Ricardo Diaz[src]
Growing up, Ricardo Diaz tried his hardest to be something he wasn't to please his father before he passed away. It only got worse, as in an abusive orphanage, Diaz channeled all the pain, anger, and fear that he endured, he compartmentalized it into a boogeyman that he dubbed the "Dragon". Due to his treatment by his childhood bully, Jesse Federico, who considered Ricardo a "loser", caused Diaz to aspire to become someone important and powerful, which he took the alias of the "Dragon" the moniker of his childhood fears to control it.
- "Man like you, has no friends."
- —Anatoly Knyazev to Ricardo Diaz[src]
As an adult, Diaz became a crime lord with ambitions to effectively rule Star City, he often presents himself as an eerily calm, level-headed, patient and speaks with seemingly no emotion behind his words almost never raising the tone of his voice, however, underneath that façade, Diaz was an extremely violent man as he displayed no qualms about murdering Cayden James' son, Owen Post and later Cayden himself, Diaz also displayed signs of being a cruel and sadistic individual, as seen during his interaction with Martin Hurst, Roy Harper, Anatoly Knyazev, Laurel Lance, Jesse Federico and Oliver Queen.
While originally portraying himself as a brainless thug to his enemies and allies alike, Diaz was actually an extremely intelligent person with his skills in lying and manipulation bordering a machiavellian personality, Diaz was successful in predicting the tactics of Cayden and his criminal cabal, completely fooling them and successfully pursuing his own agenda, Diaz is also an extraordinarily patient person, valuing it as one of life's greatest virtue and notes how it takes a great deal of patience to gain something extraordinary. Despite his intellect, he is not above being smug and boastful to others, as he did with Cayden before killing him.
Diaz seems to value the concept of "family" viewing the members of his organization as such and was deeply angered when someone "goes against the family", whenever Diaz even begins to doubt someone's loyalty, he was immediately hostile, sadistic, and ruthlessly violent to reassert his authority and to immediately intimidate those under his suspicions, even, Laurel Lance, who he demonstrated to be affectionate and even intimate with, violently choked her when he began doubting her loyalty, after Laurel testified in favor to protect Oliver, thereby betraying Diaz in favor of Team Arrow and ruining his plan that he spent months preparing, he was furiously enraged and later took Laurel hostage.
Similarly, to Anatoly, who Diaz figured out began acting as a mole for Team Arrow, he promises to make Anatoly's death a slow and painful one going so far as to threaten him Russian to do so; a promise that he later try to fulfill, according to Laurel, Diaz terrifies her more than Hunter Zolomon ever did, because she believes "he was not even human inside", unlike Hunter who was actually capable of loving someone; albeit in a very twisted and deranged manner. For all his talk about family, Diaz actually did not care about anyone but himself as Laurel correctly reaffirms this to the Silencer that the only person he was loyal to was himself.
A possible trait that Diaz acquired from his traumatic upbringing was that due to struggling so much to gain so little food at all, Diaz came to genuinely care about good eating habits as she considers food something that shouldn't be taken for granted; as he scolded Martin Hurst for his tastes in junk food and bring dinner for himself and Laurel, Diaz also had a sort of contorted warrior-like philosophy, stating that "fighting for trophies was different than fighting for life" proving that he cares little for competitions in compared to life challenges. Diaz seems to hold some level of respect for the members of his organization that train and fight with him, granting them money and positions in his organization depending on the skills that they demonstrated to him.
Due to Diaz's psychotic nature or experiencing first-hand how unjust life was, he lacks any form of honor; as he pointlessly hurt a chained Oliver and shamelessly won his bare handed fight against Oliver by using a switch blade to best him thus earning the personal disgust of Anatoly for his dishonorable tactics, Diaz also personally despises those who were born with money and privilege such as Eric Cartier and Oliver, as he had to fight for everything in his life. He considered his painful experiences superior to Oliver's, stating that while Oliver spent 5 years in hell, Diaz was born into it.
Due to Diaz being treated as a loser as a child, he had a profound amount of rage for anyone who treats him as such, he was openly upset when Eric Cartier talked to him as a superior lashing out by punching a glass mirror, when Eric later revealed that Diaz proposal to the Quadrant was never learned by the organization due to Remy Cartier, believing Diaz was nothing; Diaz brutally beat him and then used him to kill his father, Remy, he was also very vindictive as he had profound ability to feel and act out on personal grudges often turning them into lengthy vendettas to those who he feels have personally wronged or humiliated him. To his childhood tormentor, Jessie, he patiently waited for at least 32 years before cruelly burning Jessie alive.
While initially seeing Oliver as an obstacle that Diaz had to remove to fully secure his control over Star City, like Jessie, however, he began to personally despise Oliver after the latter with the FBI's aid successfully defeated him in combat, brought down his organization and publicly humiliated Diaz, forcing him into hiding. Afterwards, he wanted to kill Oliver but not before making him suffer for the way Diaz perceives Oliver made him suffer; which he had done by threatening and later attempting to kill Oliver's wife and son, Felicity Smoak and William Clayton respectively. 
Since childhood, Diaz had always been a dramatically failing pretender; for example, he tried very hard to make his father proud of him even if it meant pretending to be someone he wasn't, which never worked, after becoming a crime lord, the life he had, which was filled with nothing but bitterness and rage, made him so determined to finally win that he tried to take over Star City, to prove to the entire criminal underworld that he was a winner, only to once again suffer a far more debilitating failure, as his downfall at the hands of Oliver had instead proven to them that he was nothing more than a loser.
After Diaz's plan to imprison Oliver failed, he lost his very notable patient nature and began to become increasingly unstable, cruel, erratic and reckless in his actions to the point of carelessness; as he try to kill Oliver, Team Arrow and everyone that they cared about, he personally executed judge C. McGarvey, who presided over Oliver's trial who tried to convince Diaz that is was another man (Christopher Chance) who freed Oliver, during his downfall, Diaz also became more power hunger desiring full leadership of the Quadrant for himself, after Anatoly successfully placed Diaz's treacherous suspicions on Lydia Cassamento; he killed her for her apparent betrayal and as his first step to gain control of the Quadrant. He eventually succeeded when he immediately decided to kill Dragos Ibanescu but spared Cyrus Broderick after he accepted his leadership.
Despite Diaz's intelligent and calculating traits, he was extremely arrogant and egotistical to the point of being delusional, which prevents him from truly learning from his mistakes, as it was one of the contributors to his downfall; as Diaz believes that fear and cruelty were enough to get individuals to do what he wants as his reputation as a crime lord made a woman killed her lover then occur Diaz's wrath, however, individuals such as Laurel and Anatoly can overcome his intimidation, seeing him for exactly what he was; a petty vindictive psychopath and coward, he also never changes his tactics, as Diaz continued to use fear and extortion, using Laurel as a hostage to get mayor Quentin Lance to force the FBI out of Star City, however, Laurel's taunts and Quentin's care for her ultimately caused Diaz to once again lose control of himself, shooting Quentin thereby losing his leverage maintain his power in Star City. After initially defeating Oliver in Slabside by using dirty tactics, instead of finishing him off, Diaz took the time to taunt him about how much Felicity had changed because of him, which allowed Oliver to recover and turn the tide on the crime lord.
These negative traits of Diaz's, were what eventually led to his painful yet deserved/justified death at the hands of Emiko Adachi; albeit she killed Diaz in order to prevent him from revealing more about the Ninth Circle.
In a rewritten reality created by John Deegan, thanks to the Book of Destiny that could rewrite reality itself, Diaz became a police officer for the Central City police department, in this reality, he seemed to be a dedicated officer for the CCPD and was eager to bring criminals, like the Trigger Twins (Oliver Queen and Barry Allen) to justice. He seems to still despise Oliver with a passion in this reality, as he was more pleased to be arresting him then he was Barry.
Powers and abilities
- Meta-human physiology: After Diaz injected himself with some sort of bio-molecular enhancer (possibly similar to the one developed by Eobard Thawne) he became a meta-human with new abilities.
- Enhanced strength: Diaz was stronger than most normal humans; being able to put a huge dent into a concrete wall with a light punch, lift a full-grown man with ease, rip large electric cables out of a wall with his bare-hands and sent a man flying into his cell with one kick. Despite this, Diaz was still defeated in his confrontation against both the new Green Arrow and John Diggle simultaneously, even though he was physically stronger than the two combatants. Oliver Queen also managed to overcome his artificially enhanced strength and defeat him after a lengthy duel by using a shiv and catching him off guard. In Curtis Holt's virtual reality, he was strong enough to break Curtis' neck by twisting it against an A.R.G.U.S. agent's nightstick.
- Enhanced drug resistance (presumed): According to Diaz, after he used the enhancer chemicals to empower himself, drugs started work differently on him. He implied to Curtis Holt that using drugs on him is generally a bad idea due to unforeseen side-effects. However, it turned out that most of Diaz's experience after being injected with sleep drugs was part of a virtual reality devised by Curtis, thus it was uncertain whether he truly had additional drug-related powers.
- "Hey. I don't want the basic cut. Leave a little room for the guns. And, don't forget, the muscles are getting bigger."
- —Ricardo Diaz to a Quadrant tailor[src]
- Peak of human physical condition: Diaz was in incredible physical form which he maintains through extensive training, with his physical power ranking as one of the most the deadliest foes Oliver Queen has ever faced, he had extremely fast reflexes and great strength, able to swiftly incapacitate a much larger foe with ease and push grown men through a door, as well as immense resilience and durability. He was only annoyed by Felicity's attacks and effortlessly overpowered her quickly, his physical capacities allowed him to instantly pin down Laurel Lance and Anatoly Knyazev despite their own physical condition with ease, overpower the very strong John Diggle and quickly defeat Thea Queen even with an arrow in his leg, sustaining no injuries from any of their blows. Diaz has even been able to match and nearly overwhelm Oliver in combat twice, managing to knock him down, toss him to a wall with enough force to crack it, cause him to bleed with each of his attacks and dislocate his shoulder, only barely losing in the end and remaining mostly unfazed by the beatings Oliver put on him. He is durable and resilient enough to withstand being shot by a machine gun to the chest unfazed when wearing a bulletproof vest, sustain only minor injuries from being blown back by a nearby explosive and even survive being blasted of a building by Laurel Lance's sonic scream and into a body of water despite having already been subjected to an extensive beating from Oliver, with Oliver finding the possibility of Diaz dying by the fall to be very little. He also survived being mortally stabbed in the chest with a shiv. His conditioning also lets him recover from most injuries very quickly, though not superhumanly.
- Acrobatics/Free-running: Diaz had great free-running skills and could drop from a height of several feet without injuring himself. He is capable of scaling buildings, and running from rooftop to rooftop with ease as well to fluidly dodge and attack from different directions without losing balance.
- Honed senses: Diaz had sharp hearing and sight, as well as keen skills of perception, he was able to pick up an incoming danger and react extremely quickly. Diaz was able to hear several guards sneaking up behind him and could determine exactly where they were standing and how many of them there were.
- "Fighting for trophies is a lot different than fighting for your life."
- —Ricardo Diaz training one of his henchmen[src]
- Master hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: Diaz was an an extremely skilled hand-to-hand combatant and martial artist, he swiftly broke out of Curtis Holt's hold and quickly overpower and stabbed him, he swiftly defeated Thea Queen even though he had already been shot by an arrow and she was wielding her bow while he was unarmed. He instantly disarmed John Diggle of his gun and started to gain the upper hand, eventually managing to overpower him and flee, he later dueled John on equal footing and briefly gained the upper hand again despite having been stabbed in the shoulder by a knife and John having displayed improved skills, with John struggling to force him back long enough to escape, he was one of the few known individuals to be able to fight on par against Oliver Queen (who had been trained by Ra's al Ghul himself) despite this, Diaz's combat skills were proven to be slightly inferior to the latter's; as he was able to push the vigilante back and either knock him down or restrain him in both their altercations before Oliver ultimately turned the tides. During his prison brawl with Oliver, Diaz maintained the upper hand due to his new enhanced strength, while Oliver was not in full shape to fight back at the time. Also, despite Diaz's combat prowess, he was unable to take on both the new Green Arrow and John simultaneously, as he was ultimately defeated. His combat skills later improved to the point that he was able to take on both Joe Wilson and Chien Na Wei simultaneously during a (potentially lethal) sparring match. Diaz's fighting style seems to consist of Boxing, Panantukan, Judo, Jiujitsu, Karate, Taekwondo, Capoeira, Muay Thai, Kali, and Krav Maga. Diaz was also one of the deadliest combatants in the entire multiverse.
- Master marksman: As a crime lord, Diaz was highly trained in the use of many types of firearms. He was able to systematically take out a team of F.B.I. agents in a firefight., Even being able to shoot an agent behind a wall before he could open fire.
- Master knife-wielder/thrower: Diaz was very skilled in the use of knives as he carries one with him and has used one to kill Cayden. He threw one at Thea with pin-point accuracy, and despite being restrained by Oliver, was able to stab Oliver's stomach with a knife. During his latest fight with Oliver, Diaz could wield a knife and slice him a few times before being disarmed.
- "Patience. It's one of the most important virtues a person can have."
"If you think short-term, you're gonna drift moment to moment. You want something big, something truly remarkable? You gotta think long-term."
- —Ricardo Diaz and Laurel Lance[src]
- High-level intellect/Master tactician/Leader: Diaz was an extraordinarily intelligent individual, which was perhaps his most formidable trait, he was capable of completely outsmarting not only Laurel Lance and Anatoly Knyazev, despite their own great intellects, but he even managed to entirely outsmart the extremely intelligent Cayden James into believing he was a true ally while in actuality he had only joined his cabal to use James as a means for him to take over Star City, by letting James "thin the herd" for him, making it easier for him to take over, extremely adept at many fields of science, particularly chemistry and biochemistry, Diaz proved capable of manufacturing drugs of formidable amounts of complexity and power, such as the one used to stabilize the tremors of John Diggle's hand, Diaz was also an exceptional tactician, as during the time he worked alone, he was able to spread his drugs effectively while remaining off-charts and covering his tracks completely, the most prominent display of Diaz's outstanding strategical mastery was how he was able to devise a highly sophisticated and effective plan to take over Star City starting by having a doctored video of Karl Iscove to make it seem like Green Arrow was the one that killed Owen Post as well as leak a doctored picture of Oliver Queen as Green Arrow to the public and the FBI in order to make the public suspect Oliver and James to try to get revenge for his son, entirely fooling James and giving Oliver great trouble in finding out the truth, Diaz was an extremely skilled investigator, he was among the very few who had managed to somehow deduce that Oliver was Green Arrow, he was also able to find out that Roy Harper's death was faked and managed to track him down. Diaz was also always fully prepared for most situations that would put him in a disadvantage like when he wore a bulletproof vest in case Eric Cartier tried to have him killed which he almost did. Diaz was highly skilled in planting and detonating explosives, planting great amounts of explosives in the false location he gave Anatoly and rigging them to explode and destroy the whole building if anyone even moved a bit, even Felicity Smoak was not able to effectively stop it, despite this, she was still able to delay the explosions from going off long enough for Rene Ramirez and the FBI to escape the blast, Diaz was also an extremely competent and experienced leader, managing to take over the Scorpions and effectively lead it in secret, and later upon taking full control over the massive criminal organization the Quadrant, effectively lead it single-handedly to the point of overwhelming the efforts of Team Arrow and A.R.G.U.S. respectively, backing Oliver so much into the corner that he was forced to resort to call upon the FBI in order to fight against Diaz's army. While Diaz did not go down without a fight, he was too late to do anything to prevent his inevitable defeat. However, it had been implied that Diaz's plans to take over Star City, as well as orchestrating the death of Owen Post and framing Oliver for it, had all been orchestrated by Dante; so the former may not be as intelligent as he presents himself, well he was intelligent enough to execute his plans, but not to the point of coming up with such complicated plans.
- Master of deception/Manipulator: Diaz was an exceptional liar; he was able to fool Cayden James for months, as well as the other members of the cabal, including Anatoly Knyazev and Laurel Lance, however, it should be noted that Cayden, Anatoly and Laurel's suspicions were directed at Vincent Sobel; due to the latter's history as an undercover cop. Diaz was also an exceptional manipulator, as he was able to manipulate Cayden, predict every move he made and use it to his advantage such as being able to find out Team Arrow's identities and use them against Cayden. When he found out that Anatoly had betrayed him, he was able to fool Anatoly into believing he did not know and used it to his advantage in order to lead Team Arrow and the FBI into a trap.
- Expert interrogator/Torturer: Diaz was an effective interrogator and torturer, he was capable of inflicting a lot of physical pain into a target without killing them and is even capable of using mind games to worsen the discomfort. However, Diaz was unable to break Roy Harper (due his incredible indomitable will) as he tried to get him to testify against Oliver Queen in court (regarding the latter's identity as Green Arrow) even when Diaz threatened to torture Thea right in front of him, Roy still refused to betray Oliver.
- Multilingual: Being of Spanish descent, Diaz speaks that language fluently, in addition to English and Russian.
- "I've known a lot of bad men, and they've been filled with anger and with hate. But not Diaz. He's not filled with anger inside because he's not even human inside. I watched him burn a man alive over a childhood grudge. If I cross him... what is he gonna do to me?"
- —Laurel Lance to Quentin Lance[src]
- Intimidation: Diaz was deeply feared by most individuals because of what he was capable of and his associates would before die betraying him. Even a meta-human as powerful as Laurel was initially terrified of him even after becoming disillusioned with Diaz's goals. However, despite his fearsome aura, should someone know how cowardly he truly was, then Diaz will be unable to intimidate them, as seen by how Anatoly. After Oliver's victory over him, it seems that while still feared enough by his subordinates to make sure they are still loyal, but Diaz lost his grip on the entire criminal underworld.
- Stealth/Infiltration: Diaz was very elusive, he could sneak in and out of most guarded buildings without being detected and quickly disappear from sight even in broad daylight. He was also able to sneak out of Anatoly's van without the latter hearing or noticing him.
- Indomitable will/High tolerance for pain: Diaz was a very driven and determined individual, as well as virtually fearless in the face of death and danger and has a considerable tolerance for pain, being able to easily pull an arrow out of his leg and still overpower Thea, he was stabbed with an arrow in the shoulder by Green Arrow during their second fight, he pulled it out but still felt a degree of pain, and when John threw a knife into his shoulder, he pulled it out without flinching. He was barely affected when Lyla Michaels ordered an explosive implant in the back of his head.
- Mental instability: Although Diaz's savagery had made him feared by both his allies and most of his enemies, it was also proven to be his greatest weakness; as he had become increasingly arrogant, erratic, cruel, unstable, paranoid and delusional, openly displaying his psychopathy and true cowardice, evidenced by the fact that he beat up on Oliver Queen pointlessly while he was chained and later unhesitatingly cheated to win even though it revealed to his men that he was truly just a self-serving coward, he also openly tried to eliminate Team Arrow and the Outsiders respectively (after his plan to put Oliver in prison failed) but he also underestimated their capabilities, even Anatoly Knyazev and Laurel Lance respectively turned against Diaz for different reasons; Anatoly did so after realizing that he was nothing more than a cowardly sociopath who lacked any form of honor and would destroy Star City if he gained full control over it, while Laurel turned against Diaz after realizing that he was nothing more than an irredeemable monster, who had no humanity left inside of him. In the end, his arrogance and ego led to his downfall; as he had believed that Oliver had no means left to save Star City and was not able to anticipate that Oliver as Green Arrow would willingly turn himself over to the FBI in exchange for their help in taking down Diaz. Although Diaz tried desperately to stop it, he was too late to do anything significant to prevent his defeat and his criminal empire sustained considerable damage, his influence over Star City was completely destroyed, as he was forced into hiding and to add even greater damage, he had humiliated himself in the process.
- Lack of empathy: Despite all of Diaz's intellect, he was unable to understand or calculate the possibility of other individuals' emotions, particularly their morals, causing them to refuse to do his bidding, as he completely believed that even if they wanted to stop working for him, their fear towards Diaz would be more than enough to cause them to still follow his orders, which had proven to not always be the case, this was seen after he threatened Laurel Lance to testify against Oliver Queen in court (regarding his identity as Green Arrow) as he believed that it would be sufficient to keep her from siding with Oliver in court, only to find out the hard way that he was wrong, as Laurel's growing attachment to Oliver eventually made her instead state to the entire court that Tommy Merlyn is Green Arrow, not Oliver, completely ruining Diaz's months prepared plan, much to his rage, later, when he threatened Quentin Lance, stating that he will shoot Laurel if he doesn't tell the FBI to leave Star City, he didn't expect that Quentin would not abide to his wishes and instead he literally took a bullet for his surrogate daughter, thus; causing his plans to completely backfire, as with Quentin dead, he no longer could remove the FBI from Star City, which led to his downfall as the FBI had arrived and he was no longer able to resort to having the mayor force the FBI to leave the city. As Diaz believed that fear was enough to control his enemies, unable to anticipate their morality; Diaz's lack of empathy was proven to be one of his greatest weaknesses.
- Guns: Diaz primarily makes use of a pistol, wielding it quite effectively. He also is proficient in using a sub-machine gun.
- Knives: Diaz carries knives with him and plays with them in a manner to calm his nerves. He has been known to carry combat knives, throwing knives, and switchblades. Though he primarily make use of a combat knife with a dragon's head on the handle. He used one to kill Cayden James.
- Hand-held flamethrower: Diaz attacked John Diggle with a hand-held flamethrower similar to Mick Rory's during the train heist and during his bombing attempt. Diaz lost the flamethrower when he was taken into SCPD custody.
- Metal link chain: Diaz has used a metal link chain to battle John Diggle.
- Smoke grenade: Diaz used a smoke grenade to escape Team Arrow when stealing a military grade 3D printer.
- Bulletproof vest: Diaz wore a bulletproof vest during an assassination attempt on his life by Eric Cartier.
- Sonic dampening device: Diaz used this device to neutralize Laurel Lance's sonic scream, when she tried to kill him.
- Gas mask: Diaz wore a gas mask when attacking the Helix bunker.
- Quadrant ring: Each of the Quadrant's leaders wear a squared ring with four dots at the corners in order to identify themselves.
- Ricardo Diaz sports tattoos of dragons around both sides his neck, his left shoulder and his back a reference to the look of his comic book counterpart, Richard Dragon, after the New 52.
- The first time Team Arrow encounters him his face is hidden in the shadow and he throws a smoke bomb. This was symbolic of how throughout the first half of the season he was hidden in the plain sight and creating confusion while manipulating events.
- Diaz seem to genuinely care for good eating habits and alimentation in general, scolding Martin Hurst for eating junk food and bringing dinner to Laurel Lance.
- As Diaz himself subsequently revealed, he suffered hunger as a kid and was often forced to fight for getting a meal. This likely made him to grow to consider food as a valuable commodity, something that must not be taken for granted due to how difficult it was for him to get at the orphanage.
- Diaz choosing the name "Dragon" for his internal hatred and fear, and later for himself, as well as his tendency to set things and people on fire, could have been caused by the tortures inflicted to him by Jesse Federico, who burned his forearms and attempted to destroy the only picture he had of his late father forcing him to reach into the flames of the burning bucket to get it back, resulting in extreme burns and blisters that made his arm scarred and scaled (like a dragon's skin) for weeks.
- Diaz had an affinity for fire to match his persona. In his debut appearance he tossed a lighter into a spilled chemical to destroy the evidence and kill the workers at the drug warehouse, he killed Jesse Federico similarly by covering him in kerosene and tossing a lighter into it, and he made use of a flamethrower several times against Diggle after his initial downfall. Ironically, Emiko killed him by dousing him in gasoline and tossing him a lighter
- Diaz had similarities to the late villains Malcolm Merlyn, Ra's al Ghul, Damien Darhk, Adrian Chase and the still living former villain Slade Wilson (who was under the influence of the Mirakuru at the time);
- Like Malcolm, he was extremely intelligent, manipulative and calculating. Both had a list of important figures in Star City over which they held leverage, which ultimately led to their undoing when said lists fell into Oliver Queen's hands.
- Like Ra's, he commanded an army of individuals who were absolutely loyal to him, who would die before betraying him. He also has allied with the Longbow Hunters, a group of the world's deadliest warriors that Ra's' men feared. This trait is the same as Ra's being the leader of the League of Assassins, who are also a group of the world's deadliest warriors feared everywhere.
- Like Damien, he controlled a large underground criminal empire (such as Damien's H.I.V.E.) with reaches beyond a city through taking control of the Quadrant.
- Like Adrian, Diaz was mentally unstable and considered a psychopath by even other criminals; such as Anatoly Knyazev.
- Like Slade (who was under the influence of the Mirakuru at the time) he was extremely arrogant, egotistic and overconfident in drug-enhanced strength to the point of underestimating his opponents; particularly Oliver. Also, Diaz and Slade are the only villains on Arrow who have never performed archery. In exchange they are incredibly dangerous physical combatants and some of the very few to match Oliver in skill.
- Diaz thought for his entire life that he was a loser due to Jesse Federico's bullying.
- Ironically enough, Diaz was perhaps the most formidable and successful main antagonist of Arrow thus far, as he proved too much for Oliver alone and forced him to resort to sacrificing his freedom to defeat him, even then, Diaz was the only main antagonist in the whole Arrowverse that wasn't truly defeated at the end of the season and continued as big bad in Season 7, as stated above. However, his spectacular defeat made Diaz extremely vengeful for the same reason as his vendetta towards Jesse but to a much greater degree, as while Jesse only made him a loser to the orphanage he was raised in, Diaz's initial defeat at the hands of Oliver took down almost everythng he had spent his life working towards.
- However, it could be argued that Diaz's plans to take over Star City, as well as orchestrating the death of Owen Post and framing Oliver for it, had all (seemingly) been orchestrated by Dante, it was unclear when they met.
- Despite losing his empire and power over Star City, Diaz's original goal of incarcerating Oliver was accomplished, though it wasn't achieved by him and it wasn't his goal anymore since he decided to kill Oliver and Team Arrow.
- Diaz 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 Malcolm Merlyn, Slade Wilson, Hunter Zolomon, Ben Lockwood and Mobius.
- As of "" and "", Hunter Zolomon was killed by Killer Frost and Malcolm Merlyn was killed by a landmine on Lian Yu, respectively.
- Diaz was finally killed by Emiko Adachi in "".
- Diaz is currently the only villain, who wasn't trained by a secret organization or a member of a one to fight or in other ways, unlike other Arrow villains; as he put it, he lived through hell and trained himself, in the process becoming one of the deadliest fighters in the world.
- Malcolm Merlyn, Ra's al Ghul and Damien Darhk were trained by the League of Assassins.
- Adrian Chase was trained by Talia al Ghul, a former member of the League of the Assassins.
- Slade Wilson was trained by the A.S.I.S.
- Emiko Aidachi was trained by Dante and the Ninth Circle.
- Malcolm Merlyn, Ra's al Ghul and Damien Darhk were trained by the League of Assassins.
Behind the scenes
- In the comics, Ricardo Diaz is a crime lord and martial artist based out of Seattle, as well as a founder of the Longbow Hunters. The Arrowverse's iteration's nickname is a reference to the pre-New 52 version of the character, Richard Dragon.
- Diaz served as the main antagonist of Season 6 of Arrow.
- Diaz is the first main antagonist in the Arrowverse to be presented as a secondary antagonist as he appears in "" as a drug dealer and enemy of the week for Team Arrow, later being revealed to be a member of Cayden James's criminal cabal in "" and the real puppet master behind everything happening in Star City since the beginning of the season in "". The second would be Selena.
- Diaz is the first main antagonist in the Arrowverse to avoid capture or death after his respective season ended, the second being Eva McCulloch.
- Diaz is one of the few main antagonists to succeed in his master plan, the others being Malcolm Merlyn and Eva McCulloch.
- Diaz is the fourth main antagonist to be responsible for the death of a main character, Quentin Lance; following Malcolm Merlyn (Tommy Merlyn), Slade Wilson (Moira Queen), and Damien Darhk (Laurel Lance). although Malcolm killing his son was indirect and unintentional.
- Diaz is technically the first main antagonist to be responsible for the deaths of two main characters as he killed a virtual reality simulation of Curtis Holt in "".
- He is the fourth main antagonist to be credited as a main character followed by Slade Wilson, Malcolm Merlyn, and Adrian Chase.
- Diaz being a police officer in an Elseworlds rewritten reality may be a reference to the actor, Kirk Acevedo, who previously played a police detective on Prime Suspect and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
- His death might be a reference to popular HBO fantasy drama Game of Thrones. In the show there is a saying: "A fire cannot kill a dragon" which is ironically how Diaz died in Slabside.
- There was a character in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City with the same name and other similarities to Ricardo Diaz. Both are ruthless drug kingpins that were ultimately brougnt down due to their greed. However, this is likely a coincidence as these traits are common in villains, particularly those with the Hispanic drug lord stereotype. Ricardo Diaz is also a very common, typical Hispanic name.