For other uses of Dark Archer, see Dark Archer (disambiguation).

"You don't understand what I've seen. You don't know how I found our sister. Every time I close my eyes, I see her body lying there, cold on a dirty floor. So I swore that I would get vengeance on the Glades for what it did to Thea, and I am not going to let her down. Not again!"
—Tommy Merlyn to Oliver Queen[src]


Tommy Merlyn was a criminal known as the Dark Archer. He was the son of Malcolm Merlyn, the step-son of the late Moira Queen, and step-brother/best friend of the late Oliver Queen, and the step-brother of the late Thea Queen.

Biography

Early life

Tommy was good friends with Oliver Queen and Laurel Lance. When Oliver died, Tommy was deeply saddened and tried to take care of Thea in Oliver's place. At some point, his father Malcolm Merlyn was married to Moira Queen, with Tommy using this to further care for Thea but despite his best efforts, Thea became addicted to Vertigo and although he tried everything to stop Thea, at her 18th birthday, she overdosed and died in 2012. Her loss combined with Oliver's caused Tommy to snap and he vowed revenge on the Glades. Due to that, Tommy became a criminal known as the Dark Archer.

At a later point, Tommy recruited police sergeant Dinah Drake and his father's head of security Rene Ramirez to assist him in his plan to destroy the Glades, later dubbed the "Undertaking" by Oliver Queen of Earth-1.

In 2019, he was constantly pursued for months by the Hood and Black Canary, who were unsuccessful at unmasking or figuring out his identity.[1]

Oliver's return and downfall

Tommy welcoming Oliver home.

When Oliver Queen returned from the island, Tommy was genuinely pleased that his best friend and step-brother was not dead, unaware it was his doppelganger and welcomed him back friendly, although expressing remorse and shame over failing to save Thea. However, Oliver's return did not sate Tommy's desire for revenge and he infiltrated Queen-Merlyn Enterprises to obtain dwarf star particles, a material necessary to power the device that would help his plan come into fruition, killing several scientists in the process. When Oliver interrogated Malcolm Merlyn with Oliver wrongfully believing Malcolm to be the Dark Archer (like Malcolm's counterpart from Earth-1), Tommy came to his father's aid and attacked Oliver. They fought briefly and after being briefly knocked out, Tommy was able to kick down Oliver and escape, although Oliver managed to learn the truth of the Dark Archer's identity.[1]

Tommy at the Verdant.

Tommy later attended his nightclub Verdant along with Oliver but left the scene during the party, prompting Oliver to follow him. Having deduced that Oliver discovered his identity, Tommy calmly noted on how Lian Yu had changed Oliver and questioned on whether he was really gone and simply smirked when Oliver revealed he knew he was the Dark Archer and lamented on how he never wanted Oliver involved before he had Rene sedate him. Tommy then moved Oliver to his lair and shackled him to ensure that he wouldn't escape.

Oliver captured by Tommy.

Once Oliver awoke, Tommy expressed his anger at how Oliver, as the Hood, kept impeding his plans, even more so when Oliver revealed he knew what he was planning, and irritation on his belief he could save the city, which he believed to be impossible, and explained how he became the Dark Archer due to his belief that Starling City could not be saved and Oliver deduced that it was fueled by grief over Thea's loss and vengeance against the Glades, as he believed that it was responsible for Thea's death. Although Oliver tried to reason with Tommy commenting on how he was a better man than this, Tommy bitterly revealed Oliver knew nothing of what he had watched before leaving.

Green Arrow vs The Dark Archer.

Once Tommy left, Oliver managed to escape, though Tommy was undeterred as keeping Oliver at bay wasn't essential to his plan. Several hours later, Tommy prepared to activate the destructive device, but Oliver stopped him, luring him into another fight mere seconds after the device was activated. Once again, Oliver managed to best Tommy in combat but Tommy revealed that only he knew the code to disable the device and that it was too late.

Oliver convinces Tommy

With no other option, Oliver tried reasoning with Tommy, explaining that his methods wouldn't bring Thea back, and Oliver himself could relate to the grief as he had lost many of his loved ones, before ending with a request for Tommy to be a morally good person. Moved by the speech, Tommy disabled the device, revealing his newfound desire to become better, and turned himself into the police.[1]

Death

Tommy consumed by the antimatter.

Oliver, Malcolm, and Moira later visited Tommy at the police department. However, as Oliver prepared to leave, a wave of antimatter engulfed the police station, and all of Earth-2, disintegrating everyone in its path. As Tommy ran out, unsure of what was going on, the antimatter wave hit him, vaporizing and subsequently killing him instantly.[1]

Personality

Initially, Tommy shared many of the traits that his Earth-1 counterpart was known for, even becoming good friends with the Oliver Queen of his Earth, when Oliver went missing and was declared dead, Tommy was one of the individuals who was most saddened and mournful of the ordeal. He did everything he could to replace Oliver as Thea Queen's older brother but despite his efforts, she overdosed Vertigo on her 18th birthday.

The loss of both Thea and Oliver devastated Tommy, causing his personality to shift entirely. He developed a cold demeanor and hatred toward the Glades and Starling City as a whole (reminiscent of Malcolm Merlyn following the death of his wife, Rebecca) believing it's hostile and dangerous environment to be the main reason for Thea's death, intensified due to Oliver's absence, Tommy's anger started to take hold in the form of his alter-ego, the Dark Archer, with his emotions consuming him to the point that he was driven to murder innocent individuals. These feelings eventually gave way to madness as he began a plot to destroy the entire Glades (in a plan dubbed "the Undertaking") believing that it would be a benefit to Starling City. In order for Tommy to divert suspicion of his activities as the Dark Archer, he developed a façade in his civilian persona, successfully fooling his family and closest friends for many years.

Regardless of Tommy's dark personality, his love and care for his remaining family and best friend remained as strong as ever. He was overjoyed after Oliver (seemingly) returned alive, unaware it was his doppelganger and expressed shame of his failure to save Thea even though he also blamed Oliver for not being there for her. He also came to his father's aid when Oliver attacked him and only captured Oliver even though he believed he was the Hood, later offering him a chance to leave without a fight before they engaged in their final duel.

Despite Tommy's numerous negative characteristics, unlike Earth-1 Malcolm Merlyn; Tommy never fully succumbed to darkness as he was able to finally see reason when Earth-1 Oliver Queen convinced him to change his ways, even going so far as to abandon his plans to destroy the Glades, revealing that his criminal activities was purely out of grief for Thea and Oliver. After preventing the Undertaking from happening, Tommy expressed guilt, shame and remorse for his actions, and resolved to become a morally good individual once again.

Abilities

  • Peak of human physical condition: Tommy was in incredible physical condition, able to challenge Oliver Queen in battle, he was strong enough to kick off the side of a concrete pillar and was able to suplex Oliver hard enough to break a table in half and kick him down with enough force to stun him, his reflexes were able to catch an arrow shot at him by Oliver after landing a flip. He was also remarkably durable and resilient as he was able to recover within a matter of seconds when Oliver briefly knocked him out upon pummeling him and swiftly escape with no problems and in their last fight, despite being severely beaten up by Oliver, he was able to get back up with hardly any problems and only minor bruises.[1]
    • Acrobatics: Tommy has shown great feats of agility, even in the midst of combat.
  • Master hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: Tommy was an extremely skilled hand-to-hand combatant and martial artist. His fighting style seems to comprise of Kali, Karate, Taekwondo, Boxing, Wrestling, Capoeira, and Krav Maga. His combat skills were proven to be even greater than that of Earth-1 Malcolm Merlyn, being able to fight on par against Oliver Queen (who had been trained by Ra's al Ghul himself) whereas Earth-1 Malcolm was easily bested by Oliver for an extended period of time. He was, for quite some time, able to block quite a few of Oliver's blows and land his own along with even disarming him of his bow and knocking him down long enough to escape in their first fight, before ultimately being bested in their final confrontation, despite putting up a considerable fight, even disarming him of his bow.[1]
    • Master stick-fighter: When Tommy first fought Oliver, he was proven to be able to wield his bow as an improvised quarterstaff with outstanding skill, being able to fight against Oliver using his bow in a similar manner and even disarm him.[1]
    • Master swordsman: In Tommy's final confrontation against Oliver, he was able to wield a sword with remarkable skill, able to trade blows against and pressure Oliver for a brief amount of time before being disarmed.[1]
    • Master archer: Tommy was proven to be an exceptional archer, hitting him in the shoulder during their first fight and able to match Oliver in an archery duel, precisely colliding his arrows with Oliver's arrows with every shot.[1]
  • Master tactician: Tommy was an exceptional tactician and manipulator, being able to effectively act as the Dark Archer to mastermind the Undertaking while avoiding the attempts of the Hood to find him. He also set up a contingency in case he were to be defeated by encoding the device that would have caused the quake, which would have successfully unleashed the Undertaking had Oliver not stopped him.
    • Master of deception/Manipulator: Tommy was an excellent manipulator and decevor, being able to manipulate Dinah and Rene into joining his cause, and deceive all who knew him about his true persona as the Dark Archer.
  • Stealth: Tommy is trained in stealth, this was seen when he infiltrated Queen-Merlyn Enterprises to steal dwarf star particles, stealthily killing all the guards present. He even managed to get the drop on Green Arrow during their first fight.
  • High tolerance for pain: Tommy had a high tolerance for pain. He was able to take two beatings from Green Arrow and still got back up.

Equipment

  • Dark Archer suit: Tommy wore a suit as his villain alter-ego, the Dark Archer, to hide his identity from his victims.[1]
    • Black quiver: Tommy carries a black quiver to hold his arrows.
  • Customized PSE X-Force Super Short Short Draw LF Compound Bow: Tommy used the same type of compound bow as his father's Earth-1 counterpart when operating as the Dark Archer, using it to fire arrows or as a close quarters weapon.[1]
  • Hunting arrows: Tommy used a number of arrows that he utilized as the Dark Archer, often mercilessly firing arrows to kill victims. These arrows seem to resemble the kind his father's Earth-1 counterpart used.
    • Trick arrows: Tommy used a grappling arrow to escape from the Green Arrow during their first fight.
  • Sword: Tommy used a sword, resembling a scimitar, as his main weapon of choice in close-quarters combat.

Appearances

Arrow

Season 8

Behind the scenes

  • In DC Comics, specifically the Prime Earth continuity, Tommy Merlyn was Oliver's best friend who later became a mercenary archer known alternatively as Merlyn or the Dark Archer.
  • Tommy is the second multiversal iteration of Tommy Merlyn to appear and have a villainous alter ego, with his Earth-X counterpart first. Interestingly, both versions of Tommy took on personas that previously existed on Earth-1 but were donned by another civilian, with Tommy-X and Adrian Chase taking on the alter ego Prometheus and Tommy-2 and Malcolm Merlyn taking on the alter ego Dark Archer.

References

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