Thomas "Tommy" Merlyn is a fictional supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics related to Green Arrow. Created by Judd Winick and Freddie E. Williams II, he is the son of Arthur King / Malcolm Merlyn / Dark Archer.

Tommy Merlyn
Tommy Merlyn (New 52 version).jpg
Tommy Merlyn in Green Arrow vol. 5, 36 (Jan. 2015 DC Comics). Art by Danial Sampere
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceGreen Arrow (vol. 5) #0 (September 2012)
Created byJudd Winick
Freddie E. Williams II
In-story information
Full nameThomas Merlyn[1]
Notable aliasesDark Archer
AbilitiesMaster archer
Expert marksman

Colin Donnell stars as the character in the first season of the Arrow television series, making guest appearances in subsequent seasons.

Publication historyEdit

Tommy Merlyn made his debut in Green Arrow Vol. 5 #0 (September 2012),[2] coinciding with the then-recently debuted television series Arrow a month later.[3][4]

Fictional character biographyEdit

Tommy Merlyn is introduced as part of DC's New 52 reboot in 2012 as the son of Merlyn (Arthur King). Tommy is best friends with billionaire playboy Oliver Queen. When Oliver's father had relegated him to clerical work on an oil rig on the Pacific Ocean, he turned the rig into a hub for wild parties. At one such party, Oliver had decided to demonstrate archery to Leena and Tommy. The group of friends were awaiting on a rock star hired by Oliver to play for them. Things got much worse when the helicopter meant to be carrying this rock star turned out to have been commandeered by oil-thieving terrorists. Tommy dragged Ollie to safety, leaving Leena outside on the platform. The two of them discovered a wounded crewman who blamed Oliver for the security breech, as the terrorists commandeered one of the helicopters that was not even supposed to have been there. These terrorists had fixed the platform and several of its occupants including Leena with explosives, holding them hostage until they could siphon millions of dollars worth of crude oil.

Tommy and Oliver managed to get past some sentries, and despite his warnings, Oliver went up onto the platform alone, armed with only a longbow, in the hopes of saving Leena. Oliver had a plan: to take just one shot, through the terrorist leader's wrist, causing him to drop the detonator into the ocean. Unfortunately, on its way down, the detonator bounced against one of the platform's struts, and activated. Leena and everyone around her were obliterated by the explosion. Before Oliver could be caught in the explosion, Tommy leapt out, and thrust them both into the safety of the ocean. Badly burnt, Tommy warned that these would not be the only people that Oliver's recklessness would get killed, before passing out. One year later, a monastery on a pacific island has been caring for a badly burnt coma patient for years. Suddenly, Tommy wakes up.[5]

He is next seen in the 2014 Green Arrow storyline "Kingdom", in which he appears as the heavily burned "Dark Archer". Killing Mack Morgan before he could give critical intelligence to destroy the reputation of his employer, John King. King, a billionaire hired Merlyn with bringing Mia Dearden to him. Thanks to John Diggle's skillful driving, Oliver manages to catch up to Merlyn on top of a monorail train, where he learns that Tommy is nearly a match for him with a bow. When Tommy attempts to attack him at close range, though, he recognizes his opponent as his old friend just as they pass under a tunnel. When Oliver recovers from the quick duck, Tommy is gone. Fortunately, he left Mia behind.[6]

Powers and abilitiesEdit

As his father has been established as one of the greatest and most accurate archers in the DC Universe,[7] Tommy Merlyn's archery and marksmanship skills can be compared to those of Green Arrow, Roy Harper and Connor Hawke.[7]

In other mediaEdit


Tommy Merlyn makes his live-action debut in the television series Arrow, portrayed by Colin Donnell,[8][3] while the character's child depiction portrayed by Arien Boey in season three.[9] Tommy is a starring character in season one as the childhood best friend of Oliver Queen and the son of Malcolm Merlyn / Dark Archer. A spoiled playboy who lives off Malcolm's financial support, Tommy is in love with Laurel Lance and the pair date. When Malcolm cuts him off financially, Tommy starts the Verdant nightclub along with Oliver. Their friendship gets strained when Tommy learns that Oliver is a vigilante, seeing his friend as a killer. Tommy later breaks up with Laurel, as he fears Laurel is still in love with Oliver. During his father's Undertaking, Tommy rescues Laurel from a collapsing building and dies after making amends with Oliver. Subsequent seasons have Tommy occasionally seen in hallucinations or flashbacks; Tommy is also revealed to be Thea Queen's paternal half-brother in season two.

  • Donnell portrays his Earth-X doppelganger in season six during the 2017 Arrowverse crossover Crisis on Earth-X as "Prometheus".[10][11] On Earth-X, Tommy serves the Führer (Dark Archer) but is defeated by Sara Lance and Alex Danvers. After being interrogated by Oliver, he takes a suicide pill out of loyalty to the Führer.
  • Donnell portrays his Earth-2 doppelganger in the final season as the Dark Archer. Upset over Thea's death from a Vertigo overdose, he is looking to destroy the Glades with his own Undertaking. Tommy is served by Earth-2 versions of Dinah Drake and Rene Ramirez. In the end, he is talked out of it by Oliver. Later, Tommy is vaporised during the destruction of Earth-2 from anti-matter.[a]


  1. ^ This begins the lead up to the 2019 Arrowverse crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths


  1. ^ Green Arrow (Volume 5) #0 (November 2012)
  2. ^ Green Arrow (vol. 5) #0 (September 2012)
  3. ^ a b Phegley, Kiel (December 12, 2012). "Barrowman Brings Malcolm Merlyn To "Arrow"". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on April 5, 2016. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
  4. ^ Renaud, Jeffrey (January 14, 2016). "John & Carole Barrowman Target Merlyn's Past in "Arrow: Dark Archer" Comic". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on April 5, 2016. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
  5. ^ Green Arrow vol. 5 #0. DC Comics.
  6. ^ Green Arrow Vol. 5 #36 (January 2015). DC Comics.
  7. ^ a b Green Arrow Vol. 6 #14 (March 2017). DC Comics.
  8. ^ "How Arrow Brought Tommy Merlyn Back from the Dead". CBR. May 3, 2018.
  9. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (February 5, 2015). "Arrow s3, episode 12: 'Uprising' recap". Digital Spy.
  10. ^ "'Arrow' Crossover Brings Back a Surprise Season 1 Character as a Villain".
  11. ^ "Arrow crossover episode made a fan theory come true". 28 November 2017.

External linksEdit