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"It's not the pain that breaks people. It's fear... fear of that pain, of what that pain brings, of what happens next."
—Tobias Church to Rene Ramirez[src]

Tobias Church (died November 2, 2016), known by the alias Charon, was a crime lord who set about creating a coalition of the gangs of Star City, aiming to take it over. His goals brought him into conflict with the Green Arrow and his team. Church received his moniker for his habit of leaving two coins on the eyes of his murdered victims. He was later killed by Prometheus for trying to kill the Green Arrow after being warned twice not to. 

Biography

Early life

At some point, Tobias Church spent time in prison in Hub City and BlĂŒdhaven. After being released from prison, Church made his way to Star City.[1] He also conquered the crime in Hub City by murdering the crime lords in it to create one gang.[2]

First encounter with Green Arrow

After a group of corrupt police officers attempted to steal guns and drugs from a criminal hideout, Church and his men entered. The officers defied Church, but Church beat the lead officer to death and declared himself the new boss, with a plan to take over the city and take down the Green Arrow.[1]

The first step of Church's plan was to kidnap Mayor Oliver Queen, not knowing that he and the Green Arrow were one in the same. Church and his men kidnapped Queen and many city council members, planning to hold them hostage for the Green Arrow. Queen escaped and suited up before taking on Church. With the building primed to explode, Church attempted to escape in a helicopter, but the Green Arrow shot a grappling arrow onto his helicopter. The two fought inside of it, with Church managing to push the Green Arrow off and escaping, though the hero survived using a parachute arrow.[1]

Church later brought together the heads of several local gangs, including the Bertinelli crime family, and declared himself their new leader. When the head of the family, Pino Bertinelli challenged Church, Church had him killed by one of his own men.[1]

Allying with AmerTek

As Church's influence in Star City continued to grow, he was approached by Janet Carroll, the CEO of Amertek Industries, who was desperately seeking a way to save her company from facing bankruptcy. She offered to sell Church all of their surplus military gear for $100 million, giving Church the power to "take down a country" if he so desired. However, their deal was foiled when the Green Arrow and the newly arrived Havenrock meta-human Ragman showed up separately of each other to stop it. While Ragman dealt with most of Church's men, Church engaged the Green Arrow in another one-on-one brawl with, with Church coming out on top. Before Church could stab the Green Arrow with one of his own arrows, Ragman stepped in, knocking out Church and saving the Green Arrow.

As he was leaving a nightclub shortly after the engagement with the vigilantes, Church's bodyguards were shot and killed by arrows. Believing the Green Arrow was back for another round, Church prepared to face his enemy, only to be struck in the back with a thrown hatchet and slammed to the ground by an unknown masked archer. The mysterious archer revealed knowledge of Church's previous encounters with the Green Arrow and warned Church that if he killed the Green Arrow, then he too would die. Church demanded to know his identity, to which the archer responded that his name was Prometheus.

After Prometheus learned that Church had ignored his warnings and confronted him at the docks, reminding him of his threat and tried to kill him, but Church had his own bodyguard to protect him. Prometheus reminded Church this was his second warning and he wouldn't be given a third before leaving. After Church was arrested following his defeat by the Green Arrow, being transferred to Iron Heights, Prometheus attacked the convoy of police cars escorting him. After slaughtering the escorting officers he confronted Church in the police van. Church tried to plead for his life by telling him Green Arrow's identity: Oliver Queen. When Church asked if they were "cool", Prometheus threw a shuriken into his neck, killing him instantly. Prometheus replied that they were indeed cool and left the scene of his slaughter.[3]

Personality 

"Cities are like Genpop. First day in, you find the biggest guy in the yard, put him down, hard. Sends a message: screw not with me. So here we all are. Now, who's the biggest guy in the yard?"
—Tobias Church[src]

Church always carried himself in an intimidating gravitas, constantly proving his dominion over others through violence and ruthlessness. Because of his charisma and intelligence, Church often suited himself a leader and his tendency for brutality assured he would not be questioned as various other crime lords beneath him were all afraid of incurring his wrath. He gained respect by killing the most respected or feared head of a group, in Starling City's case; the Green Arrow. Despite his thuggish nature, Church showed intelligence by uniting the Starling City gangs to kill the Green Arrow, arguably the biggest threat to his empire yet he was not so sure of himself that he believed that they would listen to him without question so he cleverly implanted informants in their group to coerce them to obey him.

His confidence in himself seems to never waver. However, a part of him was afraid of Prometheus. This was seen when they first encountered one another, firstly thinking that Prometheus was Green Arrow, Church greeted him in a casual and confident tone but this breaks when he is struck by a weapon and pinned down, allowing his fear to show. His paranoia begins to show after this by hiring a professional assassin as a bodyguard to defend him although he makes it clear when meeting Prometheus a second time that he refuses to listen to his orders. When defeated by Green Arrow, Church seemed consent enough to go to jail because he knew Prometheus would be able to kill him. During his prison transfer, Church did not even try to hide his anxiety and he was unquestionably scared when he heard Prometheus kill the guards outside one by one. However, he had enough courage to bargain for his life with Green Arrow's identity with Prometheus although it was ultimately unsuccessful.

In his final moments, Church showed some degree of humanity before he was murdered, as he did his best to stop the guard from going outside so Prometheus would not kill him.

Abilities

  • Peak of human physical condition: As a gangster and crime lord, Church was in top physical condition. He was physically powerful enough to contend with and even briefly outmaneuver Green Arrow in their confrontations.
  • High-level intellect/Expert tactician/Leader: Church was able to eliminate the main crime bosses in multiple cities and force gangs into his own gang. He has great leadership skills, being able to command a highly diverse group of criminals. In a very short amount of time, Church almost managed to create a large crime syndicate by allying with the other power players in Star City.
    • Expert interrogator/Torturer: Church is extremely skilled at torture, having broken many victims. It is hinted that this is mostly due to prior experience and he eventually learned how to perfect this skill. Church was able to break the street-tough Rene Ramirez after a week of torturing him to get information on the Green Arrow, allowing him to learn the vigilante's public identity is Oliver Queen.
  • Master combatant/Brawler: As a crime lord, Church was highly skilled in close quarters combat, able to fight on evenly against highly skilled combatants such as Rene Ramirez and Green Arrow, but he was no match for Prometheus.
  • High pain tolerance: After Oliver shot him with an arrow, Church was barely fazed as he pulled it out. He was still able to stand up and keep fighting Oliver for a time, showing a lot of endurance.

Equipment

  • Brass knuckles: Church used brass knuckles to kill a police officer and in his fights against the Green Arrow. He also used these to punch Rene Ramirez several times in the face whilst torturing the latter.

Behind the scenes

  • In DC comics, there are a number of characters named Charon. However, none exactly resemble the version seen in the show.

Appearances

Arrow

Season 5

Season 7


References

  1. ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Legacy"
  2. ↑ "The Recruits"
  3. ↑ "Human Target"
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