|Occupation||Member of the League of Assassins|
CEO of Merlyn Global Group (formerly)
|Family||Rebecca Merlyn (wife; deceased)|
Tommy Merlyn (son; deceased)
Thea Queen (daughter)
- "If I've learned anything as a successful business man, it's redundancy."
- — Malcolm to Oliver Queen[src]
Malcolm Merlyn is a wealthy businessman, the CEO of Merlyn Global Group, a prominent figure in Starling City, and an acquaintance of the Queen family, as well as the first season's main antagonist. He is also the husband of the late Rebecca Merlyn, the father of the late Tommy Merlyn, the former best friend of the late Robert Queen, and a former friend of Moira Queen.
In "Year's End", it was discovered that he had taken up somewhat of an anti-Arrow persona, the Dark Archer. Malcolm planned The Undertaking, an earthquake caused by a device to avenge the death of his wife with the destruction of the Glades, and while his plan to level the Glades was partly successful, he was ultimately defeated by Arrow and was believed to be killed.
In "State v. Queen", Malcolm reveals himself to Moira, being very much alive and the reason she was acquitted for all the crimes charged against her. He also states that he has found out that Thea is his daughter.
After the death of his wife in around 1993, Malcolm visited Nanda Parbat. While there, he trained under the mentorship of a man, and is implied to have learned his fighting skills from the man in question. This man was later revealed to be Al-Owal, a member of the League of Assassins. Shortly after that, he began an affair with Moira Queen and the following January, Moira gave birth to Thea, but told him she was Robert's child.
In late 2007, Malcolm met with a number of associates, among them Robert Queen and Frank Chen. He discussed his plan to level the Glades, with a particular device. Later, when Robert questioned him as to whether it was a good idea or not, Malcolm revealed his wife's horrible death whilst in the Glades.
In "An Innocent Man", Malcolm Merlyn met with Moira Queen to discuss The Hood. He expressed that he was uneasy about him. At first Moira expected this was because he had a large amount of wealth, but he replied that it was because Arrow was targeting "The List".
In "Damaged", Malcolm later invited Moira to talk with him upon short notice. They discuss whether Oliver might actually be The Hood, and he holds up his end of the argument that he strongly believes that Oliver is. After this, he sent a man to kill Oliver based on his assumption. After the chaos cleared, Moira went to consult with him. Moira threatened to ruin his life if he ever tried to hurt the Queen family again.
In "Muse of Fire", When Moira was almost shot, she earned a concussion, and so had to stay in bed for several days. Malcolm visited her during this time, much to her distaste. He offered her friendship as they previously had, but she was hesitant. Later, his son Tommy came asking why his father cancelled his credit card while the elder was practicing fencing. His father replied that he had permanently cut Tommy off from his trust fund and the family.
In "Year's End", Malcolm decided to take action, as Walter was getting very close to discovering the truth about "The List", and in turn the Undertaking. Moira tried to reassure him that she could get Walter off the scent, but Malcolm did not believe her, he also asked if they should send their "associate", the Dark Archer, to take out Walter. Following this, As the Dark Archer, Malcolm gathered a number of hostages and lured The Hood out. As Oliver arrived and freed the hostages, Malcolm attacked, and tried to discover his foe's true identity. He failed when Oliver stabbed him with a knife. Both managed to escape, and Malcolm decided to kidnap Walter so that Moira would cooperate.
In "Trust but Verify", Malcolm invited his son and Laurel to have dinner with him. At dinner, Malcolm quite openly mentioned to Laurel how his wife was killed, though not before trying to getting Tommy to sign over his mother's clinic, so it could be shut down.
In "Dead to Rights", At an awards ceremony which he attended with his, albeit reluctant, son, Malcolm was given an award for his philanthropy and charitable nature to making Starling City better. As he was giving his speech, the lights were turned off by the Chinese Triad. Malcolm quickly exited and found Tommy, and the two made it up to his office. Malcolm explained to Tommy about his safe room, and proceeded to open the door to it. However, before he could admit to his son his alter ego of the Dark Archer, Malcolm was shot from afar by "Deadshot", who had been assigned to his assassination. Before Malcolm could die, The Hood arrived and was able to convince Tommy to give his father a blood transfusion, in order to rid his body of curare poison laced in the bullet. He woke up in a hospital bed some time later. Moira Queen visited, and Malcolm asked her to find his would-be killer, who was hired, unknowingly to him, by Moira.
In "Darkness on the Edge of Town", Malcolm visited the Unidac Industries building and eliminated Dr. Brion Markov and his team, before destroying the labs in which they were working. He sped off in his car following this. The following day, Malcolm ran in to Oliver in his company's building, while Oliver's team attempted to hack the system. Later, when Malcolm realized that Felicity Smoak has hacked into his system, he removed the device and had it hidden. When John found the empty container, he relayed this information to Oliver, who was in the process of confronting Malcolm. Oliver attempted to shoot Malcolm with an arrow, but Malcolm caught the arrow right with precision in front of his face. The two of them engaged in hand-to-hand combat, Malcolm ultimately coming out the victor, knocking Oliver out. He lifted Oliver's hood, and was shocked to discover The Hood's identity.
In "Sacrifice", Malcolm had Oliver tied up before he could regain consciousness. Oliver was awoken, and Malcolm explained to him why he had done what he had before leaving, awaiting the destruction of the Glades. Later in the day when Moira went public with her story, Malcolm confessed everything to Tommy, after which Tommy turned on him, Malcolm killed the cops that were sent to arrest him, and knocked out Tommy as this happened. After this he waited, geared up in his saferoom, and Oliver and John soon found him. Malcolm fought them both simultaneously, despite being on the losing end. He threw a throwing knife at John and managed to escape to the roof. Oliver and Malcolm squared off on the roof, shooting arrows at each other, before engaging in hand-to-hand combat. He managed to get Oliver in a chokehold, telling him that he would soon be joined by his mother and sister in death. Oliver managed to stab Malcolm through the chest with one of Malcolm's arrows, by stabbing himself through his shoulder. Oliver rose from the ground, and after receiving confirmation from Felicity that the device was disarmed, told Malcolm that his plan had failed. Injured, Malcolm revealed he had a second device stationed in the Glades. Believing he had won, Malcolm fell on his side and succumbed to his apparant demise.
In "State v. Queen", 6 months following his apparent death, it is now public knowledge that Malcolm was responsible for the Undertaking, which destroyed the Glades as he had planned, and he himself was the Dark Archer. He was believed killed by Arrow from an arrow bolt through his heart.
After Moira was acquitted of all charges at her trial and released, the driver, as instructed by Malcolm, brought Moira to a remote location, where Malcolm was waiting. Malcolm then killed the driver with his bow. Malcolm revealed himself to Moira, very much alive as he had faked his death and left for another country, presumably Nanda Parbat. He returned as Moira needed his help when she was facing imprisonment or death because of her involvement with the Undertaking. Malcolm revealed he still had resources and associates in Starling, one of which works at the DA's office, and so Malcolm followed ADA Adam Donner's investigation of links between Moira and Malcolm with keen interest.
As their affair was publicly exposed, Malcolm then began to have suspicions Moira had been hiding something else about their relationship, even to him. A simple genetics test confirmed his suspicions - Thea is Malcolm's daughter; a discovery that he says is overjoying. These revelations leave Moira in shock.
In "The Scientist" Malcolm continues to privately confront Moira at the Queen household, insisting that she owes her life to him once again after he helped her in her trial. Determined to play a part in his daugher's life, Malcolm demands that Moira tell Thea of her true parantage. Moira refuses; to prove her unwillingness to compromise, and that she will no longer tolerate having to constantly fear Merlyn, Moira contacts Ra's al Ghul and the League of Assassins, informing them that Malcolm is alive. She reveals this to Malcolm, advising that he run since his Undertaking was a betrayal to the League's code of honor, and that Ra's al Ghul was delighted to learn of Malcolm's survival, so that he could personally kill Merlyn.
It is unknown what his personality was like before his wife's death, but it can be assumed that he was probably once a good person, kinder and caring as well. After his wife's death, he shut his son out and went away for two years. He returned as an apathetic, calculating, and ruthless man. He seemed to believe what he was doing was right and is for the greater good, and will do anything, regardless of the number of lives he ruins and will kill anyone who gets in his way, to see his goals fulfilled, which makes him somewhat of a sociopath. He also seemed to have somewhat of an ego, choosing not to let the public blame The Arrow for the murders he committed and announcing himself as a different person, possibly to lure The Arrow out. It was even said by Robert Queen that Malcolm had "something of a God-complex". He had a hostage read out that he will kill them if The Arrow "doesn't surrender to his authority". When asked what he wanted by luring The Arrow out, by Oliver (under the guise of The Arrow) he simply answers that he "wanted to know who is the better archer". He blames all the people living in the Glades for his wife's death, not just the person who killed his wife, but also the ones who walked past his wife while she was dying. Sadly during the undertaking his own son died in the process.
In "State v. Queen" he has shown to be still alive. He is deeply upset about causing the death of his son making him desperate to have a relationship with Thea.
- Peak of human physical condition: In all three of his confrontations with Oliver, Malcolm has demonstrated to be quite a match if not a superior fighter. In their first confrontation, Malcolm was strong enough to severely injure Oliver and was able to break three of Oliver's ribs by kicking him in the abdomen repeatedly. He has also demonstrated sufficiently high enough strength to break Oliver's bow in half with a single strike and knead a steel beam with a single kick. His reflexes allowed him to catch an arrow shot at him by Oliver during their second confrontation (a feat only the highly skilled Billy Wintergreen and formidable Helena Bertinelli have demonstrated). He was also shown himself to be able to dodge an arrow and fire one directly after Oliver tried to shoot him in their first confrontation. Despite defeating him on two occasions, Malcolm claims that due to his youth, Oliver is faster than he is.
- Master archer: As the Dark Archer, Malcolm proved himself as an expert archer with astounding archery skills, a feat acknowledged by Oliver seeing how tightly grouped the arrows shot to Adam's body were. He was successfully able to catch Oliver off guard and wound him. Because of this, Malcolm's archery skills can be considered equivalent if not superior to Oliver's. He uses a customized compound bow as opposed to Oliver, who uses a customized recurve bow.
- Master hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: Malcolm has shown to be a highly skilled martial artist and hand-to-hand combatant. He was able to incapacitate two Chinese Triad members (disarmed one and kill the other with his own gun). Malcolm was able to best Oliver in hand to hand combat once, even knocking him out after a brutal fight in their second encounter. In a third encounter he was able to fight both John and Oliver at the same time. Based on what has been shown, his style seems to be a mix of martial arts similar to Oliver's, but with a more grounded focus on close combat. It should be noted that in the situations where he had bested or almost bested Oliver in combat always take place in tight quarters, suggested he was a superior fighter in terms of technique. This is possibly due to training for almost 20 years.
- Skilled tactician/Genius-level intellect/Great business acumen: In his daily life, Malcolm was the CEO of Merlyn Global Group, overseeing its daily activities and ensuring its success as a multi-billionaire corporation. Malcolm has proven himself to be remarkably clever when it comes to devising plans and battle strategies, He even managed to catch Oliver off guard on at least 2 occasions and was almost able to kill him. One of Malcolm's plans involves the deaths of thousands of people living in the Glades, However, after he found out Oliver is Arrow, and that he knew about The Undertaking and the Markov Device, he accelerated his plan to level the Glades that same night. As a fail-safe for his master plan (and in an attempt to maximize devastation upon the area) he had a second device placed in the east sector of the Glades, devoted to leveling this sector. After being injured in his final confrontation with The Arrow, he faked his own death and left for three months.
- Master swordsman: Malcolm might be trained and particularly skilled with swords. In "Muse of Fire", Malcolm was shown fencing with experience, also in "Trust but Verify", Malcolm's secret room where he keeps his Dark Archer equipment was shown to house several racks of swords of various kinds. Furthermore, In "Sacrifice", he was able to easily dispatch 3 heavily armed police officers using a scimitar.
- Customized Compound bow: Malcolm as the Dark Archer, uses his signature weapon of choice: A Customized Compound bow combined with his arrows, which he used to kill anyone who gets in his way, or threatens The Undertaking.
- Customized Hunting arrows: Malcolm as the Dark Archer, uses these, which he creates and designs himself, to kill anyone who gets in his way, or threatens The Undertaking. The arrows he used have arrow heads with three "teflon-coated titanium blades" on each arrow, with the blades serrated for splitting bones, and the shaft itself is made of "specialized polymer stronger than typical carbon fiber". As such, it is safe to assume that the arrows he uses are deadlier than those used by Arrow.
- Quiver: An arrow container strapped to Malcolm's back. He uses it to carry his arrows as his villain alter-ego, the Dark Archer.
- Throwing Knives: When fighting Oliver and John, Malcolm utilized double bladed throwing knives, using one to severely injure John.
- Swords: Malcolm first used a scimitar to kill two police officers, during his third fight with Oliver. Malcolm was shown using a scimitar against Oliver, though he was very quickly disarmed by Oliver.
- League of Assassins costume: Malcolm wears a costume, used by the members of the League of Assassins, as his villain alter-ego, the Dark Archer, to hide his identity from his victims. It's unknown what materials it is made from.
- Voice filter: Malcolm uses this device to change his voice regardless of who he spoke to as the Dark Archer. This could be for the purposes of intimidation as it changed his voice to a deep, low growl.
- In "Year's End", after Oliver claimed that the vigilante needed a new nickname other than "The Hood", Malcolm suggested the name "Green Arrow", a clear reference to the vigilante's original DC Comics name. However, Oliver disliked the name, stating that it was lame.
- The arrows Merlyn uses resemble the ones used by Smallville's version of Green Arrow, portrayed by Justin Hartley.
- In the Green Arrow comics, The Dark Archer is known as "Merlyn The Dark Archer", with "The Dark Archer" just being a title, and is a member of the League of Assassins. In the TV series, his affiliation with the League is confirmed in the Season 2 episode "League of Assassins". His plan to kill thousands and purify the Glades draws parallels with Ra's Al-Ghul's plan to purify the world by killing billions of people.
- His first name may be a reference to Malcolm McDowell who voiced the Merlyn character in the Green Arrow animated short film.
- Malcolm used a compound bow while Oliver uses a recurve bow.
- Alongside Billy Wintergreen and Helena Bertinelli, Malcolm Merlyn was one of the only three characters in season 1 shown to be swift enough to catch an arrow in mid air. However, while Helena and Billy only performed this once, Malcolm performed this feat twice.
- It was revealed in the end of "Dead to Rights", Malcolm spent two years in Nanda Parbat when Oliver was around 9, and Tommy was around 8 where he received mentorship from another individual. It is most likely (confirmed in the comics) that it is where Malcolm learned archery and how to fight. This would explain why he was able to almost best Oliver in their first fight and defeat him in their second fight as he has been training a lot longer. Therefore he has at least 20 years of experience on him.
- Malcolm Merlyn is the seventh person to discover Oliver Queen's secret identity, Arrow. He discovered this in "Darkness on the Edge of Town".
- However it is also said that his exact number is unknown, counting Dr. Brion Markov's accomplices.
- In "Sacrifice", everyone in Starling City now knows the Queen's Gambit's boating accident, was not an accident at all, it was sabotaged by Malcolm Merlyn, and they know he was the mastermind behind the conspiracy known as The Undertaking.
- In "League of Assassins", Oliver learns that Al-Owal, the Assassin sent to capture Sara Lance, was the one who trained Malcolm Merlyn at Nanda Parbat.
- In "State v. Queen", Malcolm is revealed to be alive at the end after he confronts Moira at the end of the episode. He also reveals that he persuaded the Jury to find her not guilty, and exposes his knowledge of Thea not being his daughter with Moira.
- During his return in season 2 Malcolm says he's "been to places where death is an illusion. This once again strongly references his past involvement with the League of Assassins and quite possibly the Lazurus Pits, a place Ra's al Ghul goes to to revive those who have died.
- Like Sara Lance, Malcolm Merlyn had betrayed the League of Assassins as revealed in "The Scientist" when Moira told him she contacted Ra's al Ghul who believed the Undertaking broke the League's code of honor.