Update: News out of Comic-Con has given us the cast and characters for a trio of Longbow Hunters, detailed below.
Season 6 of The CW’s Arrow is now well and truly behind us, but much more bow-and-arrow action awaits our heroes in this fall’s Season 7. There are some changes coming to Arrow, starting with the move to Monday nights, new crossovers, and the loss of a longtime character and cast member. But while some things change, others stay the same, meaning that Ollie and his crew will face off against some relatively obscure DC Comics villains in the new season ahead. The Season 6 finale “Life Sentence” gave us a big hint as to just who that might be, but if you aren’t caught up with the final episode, it’s best to avoid reading any further due to spoilers.
In a bit of a throwaway line that’s eventually followed up on by other characters, Ricardo Diaz–who had just lost the entirety of his militia thanks to the joint efforts of Team Arrow and the FBI–mentions that he’s hooked up with The Longbow Hunters. He could have just dropped that nugget on its own and it would have been enough for fans to research, but other characters step in to flesh out the mysterious term a bit more. According to the in-show lore, they’re a skilled group of folks from the 1950s who put fear into even the League of Assassins, but haven’t been heard from in decades and have been assumed to be a legend of a bygone era. However, there’s a good chance we’ll see some version of The Longbow Hunters as Season 7 antagonists, especially since Diaz is still alive to lead them.
To clarify some things, “The Longbow Hunters” arc that Arrow will likely follow won’t be the classic, late 80s miniseries from Mike Grell, but rather the relatively newer 2014 take seen in “The Outsiders War, Book 6: Spoils of War.” Founded and led by Diaz, a.k.a. Dragon, the team was comprised of Count Vertigo, Clock King, Brick, Red Dart and Killer Moth for the sole purpose of taking out the Green Arrow. How exactly that story is shaped for The CW remains to be seen, but you can trust outgoing showrunner Marc Guggenheim that they didn’t namedrop The Longbow Hunters for no reason (via TV Line):
“I will say that the reference to the Longbow Hunters is us planting a flag, much the same way we referenced Damien Darhk in the Season 3 finale. We would be [not nice people] to name-drop the Longbow Hunters and not see them in Season 7.”
Both Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle are now in the post-Arrow stages of their career, so we’ll see how new showrunner Beth Schwartz manages things in Season 7. What we know right now is that Oliver Queen is in prison and his secret identity is now a public one, and that Diaz is alive, thirsting for vengeance, and has his own super team of elite fighters at his disposal to help him achieve just that. Is that enough to keep you interested in Arrow or do you need to be convinced to keep watching? Let us know in the comments below!