The Arrow TV Show has given us a lot of memorable and forgettable villains. The forgettable ones include Ra’s Al Ghul and Brother Blood. The memorable ones consist of Malcolm Merlyn and Damien Darhk. Yet no villain, no matter how funky or bloodthirsty or batshit crazy could be a fan favorite as Manu Bennett’s Deathstroke. His entry in Arrow’s season 2 was nothing short of spectacular.
The season 2 of Arrow TV series will continue to be the best ever in the show’s history. And it’s not because of Stephen Amell particularly, instead, it’s because of the season villain – Slade Wilson/Deathstroke played by Manu Bennett.
At Lian Yu, Oliver was put in a very tight spot when he had to choose between his secret lover and his girlfriend. He decided to let Shado go to save Sara. This angered his partner Slade and he came to Starling city to avenge the death of his girlfriend Shado as he believed Oliver is responsible for her death as he chose to protect Sara Lance.
He brought an entire army of Mira Kuru soldiers to Starling city who took it under their control, assassinated top officials and bribed others (including Mayor). The season was gritty, tense and edgy, the villain was relatable, the story was grounded and Oliver was all heroic with his bow and arrow.
He not only had this weird aura of evil around him that the other villains of the Arrowverse (except Prometheus and Reverse Flash) sorely lacked, but also noteworthy was Manu’s terrific accented portrayal of Slade Wilson’s character. Prometheus is still considered Arrowverse’s greatest villain till date.
But had Slade Wilson recently not chosen the path of the Anti Hero, he could have given Adrian Chase/ Prometheus a serious run for his money.
So when his departure from the Arrowverse came into the picture, there was a huge outcry amongst the fans. His eventual re-entry into the Arrowverse in Arrow Season 5 and his continued appearances in Season 6 led fans to hope that maybe this time Deathstroke will stick around longer. Perhaps even join Team Arrow (Wouldn’t that be a sight for sore eyes!!).
But news has been circulating throughout the grapevine fellas. And the news is bad, very bad regarding Manu Bennett and Deathstroke. If rumors are indeed true, Deathstroke may be permanently out of the Arrowverse never to return again.
Arrow Season 6 will be Deathstroke’s final appearance in the Arrowverse. Gone are the hopes of Slade Wilson joining Team Arrow and getting more screen time.
Gone are the days when fans hoped maybe next time Slade Wilson will feature in next year’s CW mega-crossover event and kick ass. Slade Wilson is gone for good. All thanks to Warner Bros, Deathstroke will no longer be in the Arrowverse.
This is not the first instance when WB studios tried to meddle in Arrowverse affairs. When there were talks of Arrowverse including a Suicide Squad with John Diggle and Harley Queen, David Ayer’s 2016 Suicide Squad movie put that plan into the backtrack as well.
With Joe Manganiello playing Deathstroke in the DCEU and possibly in the upcoming Justice League Sequel, the studio does not want the fans to get confused between the Arrowverse Deathstroke and the DCEU one. The only solution is to let Manu Bennett’ Deathstroke go.
One of the post-credit scenes of Justice League had Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke played by Joe Manganiello boarding a yacht meeting Lex Luthor who suggested to him that they should have a league of their own (referring to Legion of Doom). According to new reports, DCEU is trying to use that scene as “the connective tissue” for upcoming DCEU projects.
At ACE Comic-Con, Mark Guggenheim – Arrowverse showrunner, was asked about Deathstroke’s current status in the Arrowverse. He had this to say:
These are DC’s characters, we’re just renting them ya know, so we use the characters that they tell us we can use when we can use them, and we work around whatever limitations that places us … For a time they were saying ‘you can’t use Deathstroke’, and that changed and we were able to have Slade Wilson back on the show, and now we’re back to ‘you can’t use him’. They’re working on the feature film version, it really is sort of now that you’ve got obviously Slade, spoiler alert, Deathstroke appears at the end of the Justice League movie.
So what Guggenheim vaguely means is that the Warner Bros. studios have screwed him over. The bluntness in his words is hard to miss. Deathstroke will soon be out of the Arrowverse and not even the head of the Arrowverse could do anything about it.
The reason given by the studio to take the character out of the show completely is – there can’t be two Deathstrokes. But there are already two Barry Allens aka the Flash. Grant Gustin plays it in The CW’s Flash TV show and Ezra Miller played it in Justice League and will do the same in the Flashpoint movie being planned. Henry Cavill’s Superman has appeared in three movies in DCEU.
While the Arrowverse’s Supergirl also has Superman as a supporting character. If figures as big as the Scarlet Speedster and the Man of Steel escaped the Studio’s better judgment, then why is a character as less well known as Deathstroke is being singled out? It just doesn’t make any sense.
Season 6 of Arrow did have Deathstroke’s best moments in the Arrowverse. Slade Wilson employs Oliver Queen to locate his long-lost son. When that plan goes awry, Slade dons the vigilante mask and goes on a freaking rampage. The episode ended with his son, who has become a mercenary like his father, on the run and Deathstroke back into the shadows after bidding adieu to Oliver Queen.
While the episode was not a proper sendoff to Manu Bennett’s Slade Wilson, but we have to come to terms with it. But Season 6 did leave the possibility for Deathstroke returning in the future. Maybe the WB studios get back to their senses and allow Deathstroke back into the Arrowverse.
The fans of Arrow will surely miss Manu Bennett as he struck a deep chord with the viewers who can’t get enough of him. We wish him all the best for his career ahead in Hollywood. Given his talent, he should get meaty roles in big-budget movies, but please Manu get out of MTV’s Shannara Chronicles already. Just kidding :/
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