For the comic book series issue of the same name, see Diggle (issue).
Assault, decoy, military contact, and support for Oliver Queen's team (in secret)
|Family|| Andy Diggle (brother; deceased)|
Carly Diggle (sister-in-law; formerly)
A.J. Diggle (nephew)
Lyla Michaels (ex-wife; girlfriend)
- "I don't want there to be any confusion, Mr. Queen. My ability to keep you from harm will outweigh your comfort."
- — Diggle to Oliver Queen[src]
John Diggle (born in 1978), or "Dig", or "Johnny" to Lyla, is a bodyguard, ex-soldier and a member of Oliver Queen's team. He is the older brother of the late Andy Diggle, who was murdered by Deadshot, the former brother-in-law and ex-boyfriend of Carly Diggle, the uncle of A.J. Diggle, the bodyguard, chauffeur, and partner of Oliver Queen, a good friend of Felicity Smoak and Sara Lance, and the ex-husband and current boyfriend of Lyla Michaels.
As a member of Oliver's team. John is his partner and plays a number of roles including field support, decoy and guidance to Oliver in times of doubt. John has a deep hatred for Floyd Lawton for killing his brother Andy and is also on a mission to find him and kill him. Diggle was a temporary member of the Suicide Squad.
Before he was hired to protect Oliver Queen, he was in the army. While with his unit in Afghanistan, the group ended up in a trap. The men of the unit were all killed, but John killed the entire group of assailants.. After one of his times back home Diggle saw a "ghost" of a fellow soldier who had died, a symptom of survivors guilt and only made it go away once he figured out what the ghost was trying to tell him. While in Afghanistan, he married fellow soldier Lyla Michaels. Their marriage fell apart sometime after they returned to the states, and John went back to Afghanistan for his third tour of duty. During his time in Afghanistan Diggle also met Ted Gaynor a fellow soldier who saved his life from the enemy.
In "Arrow", He was hired by Moira Queen to protect Oliver. However the very first time Diggle drove Oliver somewhere he vanished from the car much to Diggle's annoyance. Later Diggle went with Oliver again to his coming home party and guarded him. However when Oliver tried to leave Diggle tried to stop him but was knocked out, unknown to him that Oliver was actually heading next door as the new hooded vigilante to stop Adam Hunt.
In "Honor Thy Father", Oliver continued to try and avoid him.
In "Lone Gunmen", It is revealed that he had a brother, Andy, who died working as a bodyguard and thus left behind his wife. He discovers Oliver is Arrow after he is shot by Deadshot, and is taken to Oliver's hideout to recuperate.
In "An Innocent Man", After discovering Oliver is the Vigilante, he quit his job as Oliver's bodyguard stating how he did not approve how "Oliver spent his nights". Oliver later went to Diggle's sister-in-law's restaurant where Oliver tried to change his mind about his offer, and also revealed to him that Deadshot was Andy's killer which made John begin to rethink his role as a bodyguard. Later Diggle showed up to Oliver's house and accepted his offer, just in time to see Detective Lance arrest him.
In "Damaged", after Oliver was put under house arrest for being accused of being the vigilante, which was actually true, Diggle was told about a crime lord that was in trading arms. Diggle thought Oliver intended to head out himself but Oliver told Diggle himself to observe his closet men. Later Oliver had Diggle go out himself donned the Vigilante costume in order to save Oliver from incarceration.
In "Muse of Fire",
In "The Odyssey", Diggle is surprised to see Felicity Smoak come to the Arrowcave but discovers Oliver was shot. He saves Oliver's life with blood that Oliver stored away for a "Rainy Day" which Diggle referred to as it "Pouring" as Oliver was near death. He later used defibrillators to resuscitate Oliver when he went into cardiac arrest. Afterwards he was talking to Felicity, about him and Oliver, and she commented on how bad all their lies had been and Diggle told her that it was thanks to her, that they'd been able to do half of their work.
In "Dead to Rights", John was training Felicity, wanting her to be capable of handling herself. Then Oliver returned and John asked how the earlier mission went, and Oliver answered "Bad for him". Oliver then informed him and Felicity of that it was an assassin named, Guillermo Barrera, and he needed Felicity to hack his phone in order to figure out who his target was. When Felicity hacked Barrera's phone she was able to see that the last number that was called was to a restaurant called Jade Dragon, and John revealed that it is a front for the Chinese Mafia. Then when Felicity had hacked the phone they saw that the target is Malcolm Merlyn. He interrupts Oliver and McKenna Hall's date and informs Oliver of who the target is. After Oliver got back from saving Malcolm, Oliver informed John that Malcolm was taken to the hospital stating that it was good he wore a bulletproof vest. Oliver tells him that Malcolm is not at the hospital for being shot, he is there because of being poisoned by curare. John then realized that Floyd Lawton, his brother's killer, is still alive.
In "The Huntress Returns", John was watching the Starling City Sentinels report of Deadshot's kill until Oliver arrived and John showed him a video of Helena Bertinelli killing Gus Sabatoni, and he warned Oliver of that she might tell someone about them and their operation. Oliver told John he wants him to get in touch with their contacts in the Bratva and ask anyone in the street if they know why Helena is back and what she want. Later Oliver tells him that Helena paid a visit to his house and made a treat and he want security on his mother and sister. John tells him that he is way ahead of him. Later when Helena had blackmailed Oliver into helping her kill her father, John talked to him about Helena thinking Oliver should kill her, the Oliver asked him what he would do if it was Floyd Lawton and he answered not what Helena is doing. Oliver called him and when he came to Felicity's office there he found Oliver freeing a tied up Felicity.
In "Salvation", Oliver tried to take down John Nickel, a corrupt businessman but when Oliver arrived he was already taken by someone else. After Oliver attempted to go after someone else on the list Dig took the list from him and insisted that he give it a rest and the two went to Big Belly Burger. Dig expressed his concern about how Oliver is handling the drama in his life whilst being the Hood such as his flings with McKenna and Helena but everyone in the bar got a video streamed onto the phones of a man named "Savior", real name Joseph Falk, had Nickel strung up and killed him. Later Joseph did the same again to Gavin Carnaham as Oliver tried to find him with Felicity's assistance but was too late. Later while trying to find a way to narrow Joseph down Dig noted the train moving sounds in his broadcasts and realised that they were in a subway car which lead to Oliver saving Roy Harper from him.
In "Unfinished Business",
In "Home Invasion", John and Oliver planned to take down Deadshot. With Felicity hacking A.R.G.U.S's database, they learned that Floyd was returning to Starling City to met a potential client, which really was A.R.G.U.S setting a trap for Deadshot. When John went to the mall, the trap was already taking place. He observed the A.R.G.U.S agents (including Lyla) while waiting for Floyd to show up and when Floyd was started sniping the agents John quickly ran towards Lyla, and was able to save her and then he ran to stop Floyd from escaping. John ran into Floyd in the staircase, the two fought, and Floyd got hold of John's gun. Floyd held John's gun at his face, and he forced him to fall on his knees with his hands behind his head. John told Floyd "I'm gonna kill you for what you did to Andy". Floyd answered, "I would pull the trigger right now, but no one is paying me" and he told John, "I got space for you right here next to your brother", showing John his victim tattoo of Andy. Floyd then punched him in the face with his gun, and left John on the floor. Felicity later tended to his wound and when Oliver came back, John was angry at him for not showing up when he needed him. When Oliver later tried to get on the same page as John, John told him they were done with each other and quit being a member of the team.
In "The Undertaking", Felicity goes to John, and tells him about the new lead. He says he will come back as soon as Oliver apologizes, but because of his stubbornness to admitting his wrong, he knows Oliver won't. After overhearing Moira and Malcolm talking, Oliver realizes that he will need all the help that he could get. Oliver apologizes to John, and told him about Moira's involvement in The Undertaking, saying he needed John's help to stop it.
In "Darkness on the Edge of Town", John is back on the team. He pretends to be the Vigilante to get information from Moira, hitting Oliver to gain information. He was meant to draw back his punches, but Oliver comes back limping and injured. Later Dig assists in getting Oliver and Felicity into Merlyn Global to find out Malcolm's plan with Dig posing as a security guard and even helping Felicity out of trouble when she is almost compromised. Later Oliver confessed that once Malcolm is dead that he will stop being the Hood to a surprised John and Felicity. Later when Felicity finds the device Oliver sends John to disarm it while he handles Merlyn. However the device is gone and Oliver is overpowered and captured by Malcolm.
In "Sacrifice", Diggle saves Oliver from custody of Malcolm Merlyn and the two return to the Arrowcave with Felicity. Later Oliver, Diggle and Felicity analysed the date for Merlyn's timetable and discovered the device to be in the railway tunnel under the city and Diggle was present as Moria confessed the truth on the news. Oliver initially tasked Diggle to go after the device but he convinced Oliver to let him go with against Malcolm together while Detective Lance handles the device with Felicity's tech support. They briefly engage the Dark Archer, but John gets injured and has to let Oliver go without him. He manages to get up the stairs in time to see Oliver kill Malcolm. Before dying however Malcolm revealed that he had a second device which forces Oliver to leaves John as he realizes that the earthquake was hitting Laurel's workplace.
In "City of Heroes", John and Felicity travel by plane to Lian Yu, to convince Oliver to return home. Oliver initially refuses, but he and Felicity convince him not to return as the vigilante, but as Oliver Queen, because he's needed more than ever as his mother's trial is coming up and a takeover of Queen Consolidated is imminent. Later, Oliver finds out that John lied to him, and only wanted him back to catch the group calling themselves, The Hoods. In a board meeting, The Hoods come after Oliver Queen, trying to kill him, but John intervenes. John and Felicity are later left wondering why Oliver avoided attacking The Hoods. Oliver tells them that they aren't considering the body count, Felicity asks him why he cares now, and John realizes it was "since Tommy". Later Oliver, Felicity, and John go to the upgraded HQ to plan to take down The Hoods, who have now captured Thea.
In "Identity", John and Oliver visit the Glades Memorial Hospital, and he tells Oliver how people from the earthquake ended up there. John and Oliver see Sebastian Blood talking to press outside as they leave the hospital. John tells Oliver that Sebastian has very strong opinions and that he believes the Glades have been abandoned, and that no one gives a damn about the people in the Glades. After a quick chat between Oliver and Sebastian, they leave, with some of the protesters becoming violent. Later, John and Oliver, as The Hood, take on China White and Bronze Tiger. John drives away in one of the trucks, but is soon after attacked by China White, and they face off. As China White gains the upper hand, Oliver shoots a trick arrow at her, pinning her to a nearby pole.
In "Broken Dolls",
In "League of Assassins",
In "Keep Your Enemies Closer", it is revealed that Lyla Michaels and John met in Afghanistan, and then got married. At the end of John's second tour, they rotated back Stateside, where their marriage could not survive the peace, and they divorced. John went back to Afghanistan for a third tour, while Lyla joined A.R.G.U.S. In the episode, Lyla is missing in Russia, having been captured during an intel operation in a Russian gulag. John is recruited to break her out, because A.R.G.U.S. does not have sufficient resources for the operation, and her superiors already consider her disavowed and dead. Oliver and Anatoly arrange to get John arrested and sent to the prison, where he finds Deadshot, whom he teams up with to break Lyla out of jail. Afterwards, John chooses to spare Deadshot's life rather than kill him in cold blood. In return, he is informed that an organization called H.I.V.E. hired Deadshot to kill his brother Andy. After returning to the States, John and Lyla rekindle their relationship.
In "State v. Queen", John collapses after being unknowingly dosed with Vertigo. He is taken to the Arrowcave to recover. While recuperating, he and Felicity deduce that Count Vertigo is distributing the drug to the citizenry of Starling City through flu vaccination trucks.
In "The Scientist",
In "Three Ghosts", John goes on a recon mission to gather information about Cyrus Gold. Cyrus finds him and overpowers him in a brief confrontation, but John manages to escape.
In "Blast Radius",
In "Blind Spot",
In "Heir to the Demon",
In "Time of Death",
In "The Promise",
In "Suicide Squad", John and Lyla are recruited by Amanda Waller to lead the Suicide Squad on a mission to destroy a nerve gas in the possession of Gholem Qadeer. John argues with Lyla about Waller's methods when the A.R.G.U.S. director kills Shrapnel for attempting to flee the mission. He is disgusted by Waller's callous disregard for the lives of her agents, while Lyla supports her boss. He manages to get an invitation to a party at Qadeer's mansion, which Deadshot uses to infiltrate the premises and locate the nerve gas. When A.R.G.U.S. sends a drone to destroy the mansion, John persuades Deadshot not to sacrifice himself for the mission. He persuades the guests to leave by denouncing Qadeer in front of them, and he, Lyla, and the squad flee. He later reconciles with Lyla, saying that she is more important to him than sticking rigidly to his principles. In a flashback sequence, John is seen serving as a soldier in Afghanistan. He helps capture Gholem Qadeer and saves his life when their group is attacked. He is also seen meeting Lyla for the first time.
In "Birds of Prey",
In "The Man Under the Hood",
In "Seeing Red",
In "City of Blood",
In "Streets of Fire",
Contrary to his seemingly tough exterior, John is a very perceptive and wise individual, being the first to notice that something was different about Oliver after he came back from the island. This was what prompted Oliver to have him as his comrade.
Since becoming a member of Oliver's team, John has provided Oliver with a bigger sense of direction, such as when he suggests saving and helping other people from danger instead of hunting down every last men in his father's book. Diggle also seems to fully be aware of his place. When Oliver agreed to help catch the Royal Flush Gang, something Diggle barely convinced him to do, he didn't argue against Oliver breaking into the police station to gather the necessary information despite his obvious discomfort with the idea when he plainly stated "Please tell me you're not going where I think you're going" and left it at that. He also provides Oliver with wise counsel, even if Oliver doesn't agree with him sometimes. He is also seen to be very good friends with Felicity Smoak and the two seem to have a sibling-like relationship.
Due to his time in the military, John is a disciplined and level-headed person who tries to approach everything with a calm demeanor. He has a sense of justice and honor, and is loyal to the people he cares about. He also has a dry sense of humor.
- Extensive military training: John is well-trained in the armed forces disciplines, and has mentioned that he was once a part of Special Forces. He has considerable experience in live combat, having done three tours in Afghanistan.
- Expert hand-to-hand combatant: John is a skilled fighter, having developed his skills during his time as a soldier. He is skilled enough to match China White in combat and keep up with Oliver during their sparring sessions. John was also able to hold his own against the highly skilled Malcolm Merlyn, though he was supported by Oliver. However, he lost his fight against Deadshot, partially because Deadshot pulled two pistols on him. He has been increasing his skill in fighting as he regularly trains with Oliver. He was able to hold out against Isabel Rochev, who not only was trained in fighting, but was enhanced by the Mirakuru.
- Exceptional physical condition: John engages regularly in intense exercises and spars with Oliver during his spare time.
- Weapons proficiency: John can handle most type of firearms, having been trained in the army. He is proficient enough in handling small caliber to high caliber firearms such as a grenade launcher. He is also capable of handling Oliver's bow, although not being as effective and efficient.
- Expert military operator: Diggle is well-versed in intelligence gathering, decoding ciphers and other coded messages, infiltration, and espionage.
- Bilingualism: Based on what has been currently shown, John is capable of speaking English and Arabic fluently.
- Gun: Diggle's primary weapon is a gun, wielding it with great effectiveness. He is also shown to be skilled with other firearms.
- Knife: Along with his sidearm, Dig also carries a small flick knife into combat.
- His surname Diggle is likely named after Andy Diggle, the author of Green Arrow: Year One, upon which Arrow's first season is largely based, as is his brother who bears the exact name.
- John Diggle is the first person to discover Oliver Queen's secret identity; as The Arrow. He discovered this in "Lone Gunmen".
- John is the first person to join Oliver's team.
- It was revealed in "Dead to Rights" that he knows how to speak Arabic, though not Spanish.
- In "Home Invasion", he left the team because Oliver was not there to help in his fight against Deadshot, but he returned in "The Undertaking".
- David Ramsey is an accomplished martial artist in real life, having practiced Jeet Kune Do for at least 15 years.
- John Diggle was later adapted to the mainstream Green Arrow comics starting with Issue 24 of the current series. Previously he only appeared in the Arrow comic books that are based off the TV series.
- So far, John has masqueraded as the vigilante on two occasions; the first time in "Damaged" and the second time was in "Darkness on the Edge of Town".