- For the Arrow episode of the same name, see The Magician.
- For the comic book series based around Malcolm Merlyn, see Arrow: The Dark Archer.
- "You may not think of me as your father, Thea. But you'll always be my daughter."
- —Malcolm Merlyn to his daughter, Thea Queen, before his sacrifice[src]
Malcolm Merlyn (born Arthur King; October 13, c.1966 - May 17, 2017) was the husband of the late Rebecca Merlyn and the father of Saracon, the late Tommy Merlyn, and Thea Queen. Malcolm was a formerly wealthy and successful businessman CEO of Merlyn Global Group and was a prominent figure in Starling City. Fueled by the death of his wife during a mugging in the crime-infested area of "the Glades", he went to Nanda Parbat and was trained by the League of Assassins, taking the name Al Sa-her (Arabic: الساحر; for The Magician). After he left the group and returned to his city, Malcolm secretly plotted "the Undertaking"; when the Hood began to intervene in his plot, he donned his league uniform and became the Dark Archer, managing to defeat the Hood twice in combat. He eventually succeeded in his plan, though only partially, but was believed dead when Oliver struck an arrow through his heart.
He eventually revealed himself to be alive to Moira Queen when he discovered he was Thea's biological father and he sought redemption with her. Instead, Moira revealed to the League of Assassins that Malcolm was, in fact, alive, after some time, he was no longer hunted, due to Oliver helping to wipe out his blood debt. He later became an uneasy ally of Team Arrow, despite their constant qualms. After Oliver defeated "Ra's al Ghul", he gave Ra's ring to Malcolm, making him the new Ra's al Ghul (Arabic: رأس الغول; for Demon's Head). However, Nyssa soon took power and disbanded the league; this power struggle cost Malcolm his left hand. In his anger for Oliver, he joined forces with Damien Darhk, however, after the destruction of Tevat Noah and Damien's growing insanity after the death of his wife, Ruvé Adams leading him to decide to destroy the world regardless of the existence of a safe haven, Malcolm defected from H.I.V.E. and joined forces with Team Arrow again.
Malcolm aided time-traveler Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash and Damien Darhk in a quest to locate the Spear of Destiny, in exchange for Eobard changing his past and gaining a better life in the process, including the revival of his son, Tommy and his wife, Rebecca. The Legion of Doom altered reality but the Legends managed to undo their work and Malcolm was placed back in his bitter life of squalor.
A year after these events, Malcolm learned his daughter, Thea had been kidnapped as part of Adrian Chase's vendetta against Oliver. He reached out to Oliver and aided him in recovering his friends on Lian Yu. He was killed on the island by a land mine.
As a member of The Hidden
In 1985, while serving in the Air Force Academy, 19-year-old Arthur allowed himself to be recruited by "modern-day crusade" The Hidden after an artifact collection he owned had been robbed by one of their agents in London. Half of an ancient Ashkiri tribe book describing an ancient temple in the Hindu Kush mountains had been stolen, so he joined the Hidden knowing they had an interest in and were searching for the said temple, which he was also interested in. He developed a romance with the agent who stole from him, Ashkiri tribe descendant Lourdes, despite her being betrothed to another man. Arthur and Lourdes then went to the Hindu Kush mountains with the Hidden on the mission to locate the temple and seal it in order to prevent local tribal wars unearthing it and the secrets within. This was Arthur's first mission with the Hidden and would turn out to be his only one. One night, at the Hidden base camp in the mountains, their leader Ibadan noticed Arthur making love to Lourdes (presumably impregnating her with their future son Saracon) and decided to test his strength by sending him and more experienced fellow Hidden agent Darius to find a fabled stone marker that was said reveal the location of the ancient temple. However, only five miles from the camp, they were forced to duck behind their Jeep to protect themselves from a haboob, the worst kind of sandstorm. While the sandstorm passed, they noticed men of the League of Assassins approaching by horseback in the distance. However, the assassins were forced to stop by the intensifying storm, and Darius told Arthur to be ready to do anything for their cause. Darius took a sheet from their vehicle to cover them, and the jeep was blown away by the strong storm winds afterward.
Soon, the storm passed and the League horsemen charged towards Darius and Arthur, but Lourdes had been earlier sent by Ibadan to help them and she arrived just in time to take down the assassins. The following day, the trio set out to search for the stone marker. They had no luck until, just as the sun was setting, Arthur climbed up higher in the mountains and realized that the topography below him was the marker they were looking for. From this and their knowledge of the Ashkiri beliefs, they deduced where the temple was located, and they returned to the Hidden base camp at the edge of the mountains to inform Ibadan of this discovery. Arthur was the one who informed Ibadan of the League tracing them and the location of the temple. When Lourdes expressed hesitation in continuing the mission as it might lead the League to the location of the temple, Arthur insisted on proceeding with their plan, pretending to care to keep the temple's secrets from the warring tribes and the League while really just seeking the treasures of the temple for himself. With Ibadan and Darius agreeing with Arthur, the decision to continue was made and Darius and Lourdes were dismissed. However, Arthur stayed with Ibadan to ask him about what he knew of the temple and its contents, acting as if he had never heard of the Ashkiri before he joined the Hidden. Ibadan showed Arthur an Ashkiri bestiary, since they worshipped animals, and he explained their belief that everything began with two snow leopard twins, the god of darkness and the goddess of light. Hunting humans killed the latter one, he explained, so darkness began to overtake the light around the world, however, the corpse of the leopard goddess gave birth to a new light goddess to balance the dark and light, and the world was fixed. From Arthur's reaction to this, Ibadan realized he already knew about it, was lying, his membership of the Hidden was a ruse to rob the treasures of the temple, and that therefore Arthur must have a personal airplane somewhere nearby to escape at a moment's notice with what he would steal from the temple. However, they were interrupted by a sudden explosion that destroyed most of the Hidden camp. Arthur was injured but he went straight to check on Lourdes, who had also survived but had been knocked out. After she came to, the two of them found Ibadan, who had a twisted leg. Arthur helped fix it, telling Ibadan that even though pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. The three of them realized that the disappeared Darius was a traitor, a double agent for the League of Assassins and he caused the explosion. Without any way to contact the Hidden Headquarters for backup, they decided to go to the temple and attempt to reach it before the League, since they have inevitably been informed of the temple's location by Darius and they plan on taking advantage of what is in the temple, with the injured Ibadan hiding his realization of Arthur's true motives. When Ibadan asked for Lourdes to look for his box containing everything they had on the Ashkiri, Arthur found it first and snuck it into his jacket, but Lourdes noticed although she had faith in Arthur's decision to hide it from Ibadan. The three of them used a truck that survived the explosion to set out in an attempt to reach the temple before the League.
The following morning, Lourdes and Arthur left the truck with Ibadan, who insisted on staying behind as his wound would only slow them down. They located the temple's entrance before the League, causing a small earthquake to split the ground in several locations nearby, including Ra's al Ghul's camp, inadvertently delaying the assassins from catching up with them at the temple. Arthur had known about the way to open the temple from his prior knowledge, and that it required two people to open, so he had Lourdes help him open the temple while acting as if it was a lucky guess. Suddenly, the earthquakes became the footsteps and roars of the guardian spirits of the temple, two large, growling snow leopards, like the ones in the Ashkiri myth, and crackling with mystical energy. Lourdes and Arthur were chased by the two leopard spirits and they escaped into the temple. Inside, Arthur deduced from the cinnabar within that the area was, in reality, an ancient, dormant volcano, but it didn't matter because they were destroying the temple. As they thought they had lost the spirits deeper in the tunnels of the temple, Lourdes began to doubt their mission and wondered if it was all a big mistake, to which Arthur replied that he was aware that it was a mistake. Before he could explain himself, the spirits phased through the walls and continued to chase them. As they ran closer to the heart of the temple, Lourdes cried that Ibadan had told her there was only one way in and out of there so they would be trapped, but Arthur revealed that he was sure there was another exit. He also revealed that Ibadan didn't want them to be aware of that and that he had planned on them dying with the temple's destruction. The two of them evaded the leopards and found themselves finally in the heart of the temple, finding themselves in a majestic chamber with statues, ancient artifacts, an altar in the center containing two powerful, mystical relics that were said to be the hearts of the twin leopard gods of the myth, and a Lazarus Pit, the treasures that Arthur was truly after. However, Lourdes suddenly pinned him down and demanded he explain himself and how he knew so much about the temple already, and he revealed the truth about how she had only stolen half of the Ashkiri text from his collection, and he had merely been using his new membership in the Hidden to get to the temple. Arthur also revealed that he had inherited his collection and his obsession with collecting from his father, Jasper King and that the temple had been the Holy Grail to his King Arthur. Thus, he truly did believe that the Hidden had been a modern-day crusade, but his crusade for the treasure of the temple. After explaining everything to Lourdes, Arthur got to work, taking a sample of the Lazarus Pit by filling his bottle with its waters, while claiming that his love for Lourdes was one thing he didn't lie about. Then, Arthur went and picked up a particular ancient artifact blade which was the key to unlocking the powerful relics in the altar, but just then the two leopard spirits burst in. Realising he had no time to continue plundering the temple, Arthur headed for the secret second exit while informing Lourdes that he actually brought her there to sacrifice to the leopard spirits so he could make his escape. Heartbroken and shocked, Lourdes did nothing but plead for her life as the spirits pounced and mauled her while Arthur ignored her and jumped down a waterfall that led to a river outside of the temple. Unaware that Ra's al Ghul had saved Lourdes by sacrificing Darius and taken Lourdes as his concubine before the temple finally came down, sealing the two powerful relics for good, Arthur found himself held at gunpoint by Ibadan. The leader of the Hidden explained that the League of Assassins was everywhere and they had to leave as soon as possible, revealing all that he had deduced about Arthur when they talked about the mission earlier and when he displayed knowledge of the temple he had not been told by the Hidden. Ibadan also revealed he had pretended to be a double agent for the League to be aware of their progress during the mission, telling Arthur that trust is overrated and his injury barely bothered him because as he had said earlier, pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. Arthur and Ibadan made it to Arthur's plane, but just then, men from the League of Assassins found them and fired a volley of arrows. Arthur used Ibadan as a human shield and then jumped into the plane, escaping and leaving the arrow-ridden Ibadan at the mercy of the League.
Once aboard his private jet, King expressed satisfaction over what he had managed to take from the temple. He circled back over the destroyed temple once to enjoy one final look at it and then flew to Corto Maltese. On the way, Arthur made a call ahead to Corto Maltese, where he had a facility being built, and spoke about how he did manage to get a Lazarus Pit sample that they would need to be stored until the facility was complete. After making the call, he analyzed the blade that had been the key to unlocking the two mystical heart relics but had not been used, and he decided to keep it, simply to add to his collection.
After his visit to Corto Maltese, during which he entrusted the Lazarus Pit sample, which he referred to as his entire future, to his scientists, he traveled around South America "for a while." Around this time he came up with what he decided he would live as in the future: Malcolm Merlyn, to disassociate with his past life, as he started anew with his facility and his new company, Merlyn Global. He decided on Starling City to be the center of his new venture, and he had his men prepare his plane to go there in an hour. In the meantime, "Malcolm Merlyn" rode out to a second ancient Ashkiri temple he located on the coast of Corto Maltese.
Living in Starling City
In 1994, his wife was murdered in the Glades section of Starling City. Earlier, Rebecca tried to call Malcolm for help, but he was busy and turned his phone off, unaware of the nature of Rebecca's call. Later, after Malcolm turned it back on, he received a call from a businessman, whom he negotiated with until he had a deal, then Tommy woke up from a nightmare. Malcolm comforted him, performing a vanishing coin trick, and promised he wouldn't leave or let anything happen to him, but then two S.C.P.D. officers, including a friend of his, showed up at his doorstep to inform him Rebecca had been murdered.
In 2010, Tommy used Malcolm's jet without his permission to head to China to search for Oliver acting on a tip that he may still be alive, and Malcolm yelled at Tommy on the phone for taking his jet without his consent before Tommy hung up on him.
Working with Konstantin Kovar
In 2012, Malcolm visited Konstantin Kovar in Russia, where they discussed a deal. Their meeting got interrupted when Anatoly Knyazev from Bratva came to the room. Kovar told Malcolm that he has to take care of other business. On his way outside, Malcolm introduced himself to Anatoly as the CEO of Merlyn Global Group, and Anatoly introduced himself as "gangster." Later, after Kovar got stabbed and was considered dead, Malcolm brought him to a surgery. After the surgery, he asked the surgeon about Kovar's status. The surgeon told him that Kovar will live, but it will take him weeks to get back on his feet again. When Malcolm asked who stabbed him, the surgeon said that it is "his business." Malcolm told him that he is glad not to be the one who did this.
Moira met with Malcolm, informing him that Oliver knew nothing of his father's involvement in the plan or that the Queen's Gambit was sabotaged before he looked in his own version of the list. Malcolm is seen for the first time in person and met with Moira 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 the Hood was targeting "The List." When Oliver was accused of being the vigilante, 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, due to the suspicious timing and unexplained absences, along with numerous officials submitting hard evidence. After this, he sends a man to kill Oliver based on his assumption but he failed when Detective Lance killed him. 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. Though Malcolm listened he still appeared to have his suspicions.
When Moira was almost shot and hospitalized, 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 canceled his credit card while the elder was practicing fencing. Malcolm replied that he had permanently cut Tommy off from his trust fund because of Tommy's constant laid-back attitude, which had grown tiresome. Tommy then argued with his father that it was his trust fund to which Malcolm further reminded him is comprised of his money, before resuming his fencing.
Tired of the Hood's interference, Malcolm took up his own vigilante persona, the "Dark Archer," and killed Adam Hunt to lure him out before attending a party at the Queen Mansion where the Hood was the topic of discussion and the killing of Adam Hunt. Malcolm also appeared to still have suspicions as he asked Oliver a few questions of the Hood and his nickname, even suggesting "Green Arrow," and looked at him with suspicion when he left the room the same time as the cops after they reported Hunt's murder to party attendee Commissioner Nudocerdo. Later Dark Archer killed Nelson Ravich to again lure out the Hood and set up a trap in a warehouse which failed. Later Malcolm was informed that Walter had more information on the list and consulted with Moira about the predicament and stated that action needed to be taken. Desperate to lure the Hood out, Dark Archer took hostages in a factory and fought with The Hood but Dark Archer came out on top, informing The Hood that he knew he was targeting the list, and almost killed him but the Hood managed to stab him with an arrow and get away. Malcolm later had Walter abducted and informed Moira that he wouldn't be harmed and would be safe until the Undertaking was over. Oliver's defeat at the hands of Dark Archer gave him nightmares and scared him so much that he refused to suit up again fearing for leaving his family should he be killed. However, Diggle was finally able to snap him out of his fear before Oliver became Hood once again who later became the Arrow.
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. Tommy then felt betrayed again and stormed off as Laurel directly confronted Malcolm about the cutoff but he told Laurel that he needs it to be stronger just like he was forced to after his wife's death. Malcolm also met with Moira to discuss Carl Ballard's endangerment of the Undertaking and she agreed to handle him but demanded proof of Walter's survival first. Malcolm later came to Moira at Thea's birthday party to give her a photo of him and gave her a reassuring touch on her shoulder, unaware Thea was watching who believed them to be having an affair. Moira met with Malcolm to inform him Carl won't be a problem anymore but Malcolm then reveals that he learned from Walter that Moira had the Queen's Gambit salvaged and orders Moira to destroy it, unaware that Diggle is spying on them in the other room. However, Malcolm appeared to have voice amplifiers in the room as when Oliver and Dig played it again Malcolm's voice was cloaked.
Without knowing, Moira, tired of being used, hired China White to assassinate Malcolm. Malcolm visited Tommy at Laurel's apartment on his 28th birthday and invited him to an awards ceremony where he was to receive the humanitarian award but Tommy refused. Later though Tommy did attend, albeit reluctant. Frank Pike read out Malcolm's award announcement before handing it to him before Malcolm gave a speech his philanthropy and charitable nature to making Starling City better, but nothing that he hasn't done enough but one day he will. 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 and talked to Tommy and confessed his guilt for letting him down as a child. Moira visited, and Malcolm asked her to find his would-be killer, unaware it was actually Moira.
Malcolm began a vengeance mission to find who was responsible for paying Deadshot to kill him and met with a member of the Chinese Triad to find out, promising him a reduced prison sentence. Moira, with no choice, pinned the blame on Frank Chen and gave evidence that he was the one who ordered the kill. Dark Archer later killed Frank as he met with Moira and wanted to kill his daughter but Moira begged him not to which he agreed. After quitting his job at Verdant, Tommy visited his father at Merlyn Global Group and asked for a job.
Malcolm received word that the Markov device is ready and celebrates with Moira in honor of Robert and Rebecca. Later Moira storms into a meeting Malcolm has with his Chinese employers about Walter apparently being killed but Malcolm shows her that he is alive, unaware that the Hood is listening in. Later when Walter was rescued by the Hood, Malcolm talked to Oliver about Walter if he knew anything but he didn't and told Malcolm that those who nabbed him would pay. To tie up loose ends, Malcolm, as Dark Archer, visited Unidac Industries and eliminated Dr. Markov and his team, including two innocent young scientists for being witnesses, before destroying the labs to eliminate evidence before speeding off in his car. The following day, Malcolm ran into Oliver in his company's building, while Felicity Smoak attempted to hack the system. Later, when Malcolm realized that Felicity has hacked into his system, he removed the device and had it hidden. Malcolm later paid Walter a visit at the Queen Mansion until Moira returned and accused Malcolm of wanting to kill him to tie up more loose ends, given Dark Archer's massacre earlier, which Malcolm admitted was true. Later Diggle found the device's empty container while Malcolm was personally visited by The Hood. The vigilante attempted to shoot Malcolm with an arrow, but Malcolm caught the arrow before revealing to him that he is the Dark Archer, also noting the irony of Malcolm trying to kill him at Christmas, The Hood saving Malcolm a few months before and now The Hood trying to kill him. The two of them engaged in hand-to-hand combat, Malcolm ultimately coming out the victor, knocking The Hood out. He lifted his hood and discovered his true identity - Oliver Queen.
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 Tommy visited Malcolm to tell him that Laurel and he were over and that Oliver believed he wanted to destroy the Glades but Malcolm confirmed it much to his shock. Malcolm then played a recording of Rebecca's death to Tommy before violently yelling at him "They deserve to die! All of them!" However then Moira confessed the plan on TV and three cops arrived but Malcolm easily dispatched them and Tommy tried to kill him but Malcolm knocked him out. After this he waited, geared up in his safe room, and The Hood and John soon found him. Dark Archer fought them both simultaneously, despite being on the losing end. He threw a throwing knife at John and managed to escape to the roof. Hood and Dark Archer squared off on the roof, shooting arrows at each other, before engaging in hand-to-hand combat. He managed to get Hood in a choke hold, telling him that he would soon be joined by his mother and sister in death, remembering the last words of his father 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 apparent demise.
Despite everyone's assumptions, Malcolm had, in fact, survived his brush with death, and had corners make the police believe he was dead and had left Starling City. However, he still had associates in the D.A.'s office including someone close to A.D.A. Adam Donner. The League also learned of his Undertaking which violated their codes but since they also believed Oliver to have killed him they considered the matter settled.
Pursued by the League of Assassins
5 months following his apparent death, it is now public knowledge that Malcolm was responsible for the Undertaking and he was the Dark Archer. When Moira was in danger of being prosecuted Malcolm returned to Starling and used "a little persuasion" to make sure she was acquitted of the charges of being associated with him. After she was acquitted, her driver brought Moira to a remote location where Malcolm was waiting, killed the driver and revealed himself to Moira. Using resources in Starling Malcolm followed Donner's investigation of links between Moira and Malcolm and became suspicions she had kept secrets even from him. A genetic test confirmed his suspicions - Thea is his daughter. Malcolm continues to privately confront Moira at the Queen household and even revealed the guilt he had towards inadvertently killing Tommy and insisting that she owes her life to him after acquitting her. Determined to play a part in his daughter's life, Malcolm demands that Moira tells Thea of her true parentage. Moira refuses and contacts Ra's al Ghul, informing him that Malcolm is alive. She reveals this to Malcolm, advising that he run since Ra's wanted to kill him personally. Malcolm did so but stated that the matter wasn't settled.
When Malcolm heard about Moira's death, he made his way back to Starling City to check up on Thea. Dark Archer arrives just as Slade's Mirakuru army lays siege on the city, just in time to save Thea from being killed by one of the henchmen and reveals himself to her before killing him. Thea out of shock and panic ran away into the subways before Malcolm catches up to her, insisting he wasn't going to hurt her begging her to come with him to safety but she refuses before being attacked by another minion. After he manages to kill him, he temporarily loses consciousness, and when he comes to, Thea is pointing a gun at him. Malcolm tells Thea that he understands her pain as he has endured it too - with Rebecca and Tommy's deaths - just as Thea did with her loss of Moira and Robert. Suddenly Thea fires two shots in his direction. As Thea feels guilt-ridden for killing her real father, Malcolm comes to and reveals that he was wearing a kevlar vest. Malcolm, to Thea's disgust, told Thea that she had more nerve than Tommy. When Thea left to find Roy, Malcolm compared Roy to Moira and Oliver: they were all liars. Later, after Thea found out Roy's identity as The Arrow's accomplice, she went back to Malcolm, waiting in his limousine. She requested that he teach her how to be strong, as she never wanted to feel weak and helpless again, and they soon departed from Starling City.
War with the League of Assassins
Following them leaving Starling City, Malcolm and Thea left for Corto Maltese. The two took up residence in a mansion owned by Malcolm. He decided to train her by pouring boiling water onto her hand, to teach her that "pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional." However, she was unable to stand it, and Malcolm decided that he had to train her the same way he had been trained, by physically hurting her to the point that Thea retaliated, pointing a sword, allowing him to determine that the training had begun. During this period he trained her in martial arts, sword fighting, stealth and archery. At some point, Malcolm drugged Thea with a plant, Vitura, that made her susceptible to suggestion. They took a plane to Starling City, where Malcolm made Thea kill Sara Lance on a rooftop by shooting three arrows in her chest. The two then flew back to Corto Maltese where they kept training, with Thea having no memory of what happened.
After 6 months, Malcolm saw his daughter taking down multiple trainers and congratulated her. When Oliver arrived looking for Thea and arrives at the mansion Malcolm readied his bow but Oliver was called off. Malcolm later spied on Thea as she talked to Roy. Thea later requested to head home and proved her training's worth by fighting Malcolm with swords and disarmed him, but Thea implied that he let her win. Malcolm returned to Starling City after Thea in order to watch over and protect her. He also bought shares for Verdant and the nearby foundry (the Arrowcave) to help Thea put it back in business, which makes Malcolm the owner of Oliver's base. Nyssa also informed Oliver of Merlyn's survival after believing him to be Sara's killer. After following leads Nyssa tracks Malcolm and fights him and Oliver tags him with an arrow but doesn't kill him much to Laurel and Nyssa's anger. Malcolm later privately contacts Oliver and pleads his innocence to Sara's death knowing that killing her would only provoke Nyssa and Ra's and Oliver believes him. Laurel, however, begs Nyssa to kill Malcolm at any cost but she kidnaps Thea to lure him out where Dark Archer, Arrow and Nyssa fight each other and Dark Archer manages to defeat Nyssa but Arrow holds an arrow to him. Malcolm admits his high body count but protests that he didn't kill Sara and Arrow contemplated killing him for his past crimes but was unable to due to his vow and let him go and proclaimed Malcolm to be under his protection until Sara's true killer was found. Later Malcolm contacted Thea to tell her that he would protect her at any cost.
Malcolm continues to train Thea without Oliver's knowledge and allows her access to his wealth so that she could buy herself an apartment while rebuilding the club, much to Oliver's chagrin. He later spied on Thea and saw Oliver at her apartment, much to his annoyance. Malcolm was later contacted by Thea after Oliver visited her loft as the Arrow to find out if she was responsible for Sara's murder, he later confronted Oliver in Verdant and after being attacked, he revealed that he had Thea kill Sara through a plant called votura which thrives in Corto Maltese which was used to erase her memory of the incident. His whole plan was to make Ra's al Ghul focus on the killer and force Oliver to confront Ra's as he did not want to put Thea in danger, his aim that Oliver would kill Ra's al Ghul so he would no longer be hunted by the League.
Malcolm continued to train Thea in her apartment but she expressed worry over Oliver for not calling as it had been days since he did so, but he promised her to look into it as he regarded Oliver as a family. Malcolm then visited Felicity, Diggle, and Roy in the Arrowcave to ask them if they'd seen Oliver which they denied and Malcolm suspected Oliver's death at Ra's hands. Malcolm then visited the site where Oliver and Ra's had dueled but only found a sword with Oliver's blood and returned to Starling in the Arrowcave to inform the team of the news and present the sword. Though Malcolm offered his condolences Felicity and Diggle scolded Merlyn for getting Oliver killed. Malcolm then arrived in Thea's apartment where she threw a letter opener at him (which he caught). He informed her they were leaving Starling forever but decided not to reveal her brother's fate to her.
He later visited her at her apartment expecting her to be packing. However, she was gone and he found her at Verdant. He asked her why she was not packing and she told him he did not explain why they had to leave and said she wasn't leaving unless he told her why. He later went to her apartment has Roy confronted him who told him to stay away from Thea and said he would not allow Thea to go with him. Roy also scolded him for manipulating her into killing Sara and told Malcolm he would lose her forever, but Malcolm told him it was a family matter, and he wasn't family. Malcolm later met her at her apartment and apologized to her, and told her the truth. He explained Ra's wants to kill him and his family for the undertaking, but later Thea told Malcolm they weren't leaving and told him not to be afraid of Ra's just like he taught her not to be and to face Ra's together. Malcolm agreed and they decided to stay.
Malcolm continued to train Thea using even more brutal methods and insisted that she needed to be willing to kill in order to beat Ra's but she asked how he is so willing to kill, and he told her that it started when he killed the man who murdered Rebecca. Later Malcolm spied on Team Arrow in the cave, via hacked webcam, and learned that Danny Brickwell/Brick killed Rebecca. as Arsenal and Black Canary pursued Brick into a police precinct Dark Archer followed and arrived in time to save them from Brick executing them as Dark Archer stated he needed to talk. In the Arrowcave Malcolm proposed an alliance with Team Arrow, as they have the same enemy. Laurel and Roy, despite still resenting Malcolm, were willing to consider but Felicity and Diggle were not and declined Merlyn's offer. Later Malcolm prepared to kill Brick himself despite Thea begging him not to trying to see a goodness inside. As the people of the Glades fought back against Brick's army, forcing Brick to flee, Brick ran into Dark Archer again in the ally and was easily subdued by Dark Archer who revealed his identity and prepared to kill him. Brick revealed that he murdered Rebecca not just to join a gang but because she was weak angering Malcolm more but before he could pull the trigger Arrow, very much alive, arrived and begged him to spare him for Thea's sake. Malcolm was persuaded and spared Brick so he would face court justice. As Malcolm told Thea the new choice he made Oliver walked in and was ok with Malcolm's presence, despite Thea being aware of their distaste for each other. Though Oliver admitted to Malcolm that he still despised him for having Sara killed and committing the undertaking, he asked Malcolm to train him to face Ra's al Ghul.
A week later, Malcolm visited Team Arrow and told Oliver if they were to survive he needed to tell Thea the truth, though Oliver believed telling her would shatter their relationship forever. Malcolm visited Thea at her apartment after Oliver told her the truth but she became distrusting of him for not telling her and left, determined to avoid the issue of Ra's al Ghul. Later when Chase, a League agent, ambushed Thea in an attempt to assassinate her. Malcolm and Arsenal arrived to stop him after which he committed suicide with cyanide. As Oliver arrived to see what happened Malcolm, despite knowing Thea's newfound scorn for him, informed them that to be Ra's they needed to purge their fear and the only place on Earth capable of doing that was Lian Yu.
Unbeknownst to either, Malcolm visited Lian Yu and freed Slade Wilson promising him a chance to escape via the plane Oliver and Thea used. After learning that Slade escaped, Oliver called Malcolm who admitted his actions and informed him Slade's release is a test to help him regain his killer instinct and disabled their cellphones. After Oliver and Thea narrowly escaped Slade on the island and returned home, they confronted Malcolm about his actions and when Malcolm insisted his actions were out of love, Thea scorned him for making her kill Sara. Malcolm was highly enraged that Oliver told her and she insisted that though she was still Malcolm's student she was no longer his daughter, highly irritating him.
He started training Thea and Oliver in sword fighting. He easily beat both of them at once in a practice fight as he stressed the importance of fighting in unison. Thea remarked that it is his fault the League is after them. John tells them that the club is now highly secured and Malcolm told Oliver it might be wise for him and Thea to stay here. He explained that the only reason the League has not killed him is that they do not know where to find him. Oliver says they will stay at the loft, after which Malcolm says they clearly have their stubbornness from their mom. Malcolm later got followed as he realized it is Laurel. Laurel attacked him, but he easily fended her off. He says she has an identity crisis and that she could never beat him with just a stick. A furious Laurel pulled a gun on him and Malcolm said he will find out if she is a truly a killer. Suddenly they got surrounded by assassins who disarmed Laurel and held her back. Nyssa told Laurel to stand back and Malcolm engaged her in single combat. After a short fight, Nyssa quickly overpowered him and knocked him out. Malcolm gets tied up and brought to a chopper as Nyssa tells him he will face torture for what he did. Although this was only because Nyssa was extremely enraged and Malcolm didn't try his best during that battle. Malcolm told her that he would only be punished for the Undertaking and that she will never succeed her father after her relationship with Sara. Oliver attacked them and Nyssa fights him while Malcolm gets dragged to the chopper. Malcolm attempted to fight back, but got pulled in the chopper and flew away. Nyssa was defeated by Oliver and did not make it back to Nanda Parbat. He later gets brought before Ra's Al Ghul who told him about how he once met an amazing magician who was a shade of himself as he met him nearly 25 years later. Ra's said magicians can cheat many things, but not death. Malcolm begged him for mercy to which Ra's replied that he should die at least with some dignity. A screaming Malcolm got dragged away to be tortured. Barely conscious after the torture, Malcolm gets hanged above a fire. He woke up as Oliver and Diggle came to save him. He tried to tell them it was a trap, but Ra's quickly captured them.
It is later revealed that Ra's want Oliver to take his place as the head of the League of Assassins. Oliver refuses and returns to Starling City with Diggle and Malcolm. Malcolm, still suffering from his experience at Nanda Parbat, is confined to the couch in Thea's loft. Thea, enraged over recent events, approaches and berates her father, and Malcolm apologizes for being a poor father, and allows Thea to kill him if she believes it is necessary, although she declines the offer. He is later seen in Thea's loft, recovered from his wounds, watching Captain Lance´s press conference revealing the identity of The Arrow, looking slightly concerned.
He meets with Oliver in Verdant, at his own request, where Oliver claims he´ll break Roy out of prison. Malcolm responds that Ra´s wouldn't stop until Oliver accepts to become his heir and that his days as The Arrow were finished. He further points out that he hasn't lost anyone yet and that leading the League of Assassins would be preferable than falling for more of Ra´s schemes. Oliver leaves shortly afterward, claiming once again he would break Roy out of Iron Heights.
Malcolm is later seen in the hospital, where he saw Thea laying in bed, connected to life support due to injuries she suffered because of Ra's al Ghul. Upon seeing this, he went next to her and broke down in tears. In Thea's apartment, he revealed that the Lazarus Pit is what allowed Ra's to live for centuries and, on rare occasions, could be used to bring the dead to life. However, he also said that the Pit drastically changes one's personality and that the Thea Oliver knew may not be the one he gets back. Despite this, Oliver decided to accept Ra's proposal. Malcolm and the rest of Team Arrow are later seen in a hangar, where Malcolm tried to convince Oliver to take Thea to S.T.A.R Labs, which he refused. Malcolm then stopped Oliver, claiming that, despite his actions, he loved Thea and that he'd rather lose her than to use the Pit to resurrect her. Oliver ignored this and ordered Malcolm to get on the plane, which he does. Malcolm is later seen when the League and Ra's welcome Oliver to Nanda Parbat. He, along with Oliver, Diggle, and Sarab, join the ritual to resurrect Thea. A few moments after she enters the Pit, Thea jumped and kicked Oliver to the ground, releasing an animalistic growl afterward. Malcolm, despite knowing the effects of the Pit, is horrified to see this. He later is seen with Oliver, next to Thea, who had been sedated after kicking Oliver. She doesn't seem to recognize Oliver, claiming he is dead but he seems to recognize Malcolm has her father. Malcolm reassures her, telling her that she is in a safe place and is speechless when she asks where her mother was. He avoids the question, simply saying she isn't there and tells her to rest. She complies and tells Malcolm she loves him. He is briefly happy but this changes after she goes to sleep, and he berates Oliver for using the Pit. Oliver claimed she is fine, but an angry Malcolm said she thinks Moira is alive and that he doesn't know if she'll be fine. Later that night, he met with Diggle and Felicity, where he sees an unconscious Oliver. He stated Felicity committed suicide by doing this and that if they are found trying to escape with Oliver, Ra's would kill them all. He still picked up Thea and aided the group in their escape to the catacombs. He effortlessly defeated a member of the League and took his sword. Shortly afterward, he met three others, whom he kills quickly with the sword and proceeded to the temple. They are aided by Maseo, who shot three other members of the League. Although they do reach the catacombs, Thea's hallucinations delay the group long enough for them to be surrounded by the League. He advised the group that they don't want to be taken alive, from past experience. They are saved at the last minute by Oliver, who ordered the League to put their weapons down, claiming to be the new Heir to the Demon. Malcolm is later seen when Oliver bid farewell to the group, charging Malcolm to take care of Thea. The following day, Malcolm greeted a confused Thea, to which she responded negatively. Seeing she doesn't seem to remember what happened, Malcolm explained how Ra's nearly killed her that, in order to save her, Oliver had to join the League. She panicked upon hearing this but Malcolm tried to assure her that he will make up for this and everything else that happened before. Thea said that is impossible but Malcolm happily stated it is and he is now a free man and that he could go anywhere in the world, but he wants to take care of her, just like she did when he was injured.
A few weeks later Thea asked Malcolm if it was true Oliver was hunting down Nyssa. Malcolm mentioned that he learned from his sources that he wants to kill her to protect his reign as Heir to the Demon. Thea told him he should be stopped and that he should not be a killer. Malcolm told her Oliver is now the Heir to the Demon and that he will be a killer for them. Thea mentioned he had been brainwashed to kill just like Malcolm did to her. Malcolm said he did not sacrifice himself for her so she could risk her life fighting the League. Thea mentioned she could not stop him trading his life for hers however she can stop this. Malcolm mentioned she is a warrior even before he trained her and her brother is aware of this as well. He then asked Thea how he could help her.
Dark Archer later traveled back to Nanda Parbat where he was intercepted by Oliver Queen who was revealed to be working with Malcolm in order to bring the League down from the inside who was shocked to not only hear that Ra's had the alpha-omega virus but Oliver was ascending to the title of Ra's so quick, he anticipated it would take months, Oliver gave Malcolm the name of someone who could help them, that person was Tatsu Yamashiro, Oliver's friend and wife of Maseo Yamashiro. He later contacted Team Arrow and brought them to an unknown location where he revealed to them of Oliver's hoax but to their anger and upset, Malcolm introduced them to Tatsu who revealed the alpha-omega virus and Ra's plot to poison Starling City. The team travelled to Nanda Parbat to stop a plane from spreading the virus, they stopped the plane and engaged a huge group of assassins. During the fight Malcolm took out dozens of assassins and saved both Laurel and Felicity. They killed many members of the League but were eventually overrun by Oliver and Ra's and were captured. Malcolm begged for his life with Ra's, exposing Oliver's deception in exchange for joining the League again but Oliver kept the ruse up and Malcolm was returned to prison where Ra's exposed him, Felicity Smoak, Ray Palmer, John Diggle and Laurel Lance to the virus and was sealed inside their cell and left to die. Tatsu was removed from the cell since her inoculation during the Hong Kong outbreak.
After Felicity Smoak, Ray Palmer, John Diggle and Laurel Lance and Malcolm woke again without being ill Malcolm revealed to them he had inoculated himself by Oliver's blood before going to Nanda Parbat to make himself immune to the virus. He explained that he had vaccinated them as well and that their plan was to deceive Ra's to make him believe Oliver is committed to his cause. As the group wondered how they could get out Malcolm told them they would have to wait for the thunder. The Flash burst into Nanda Parbat and overpowered the assassins. After Barry was annoyed that Felicity mentioned his name in Malcolm's presence, thus revealing the speedster's identity to the villain, he quickly freed them. The group retrieved their weapons and Barry told them Oliver would need them even if he did not realize it, Barry then left to attend his own matters. The group went to the plane, however Tatsu did not join them as she wanted to return to her life in solitude.
Arriving at Palmer Technologies Malcolm told them they had to get ready for a virus attack in case Oliver failed to kill Ra's. Oliver and Nyssa came in and the team learned that their attempt to crash the plane to kill Ra's had failed. Palmer went to work to get the antidote. The group tried to find Ra's but was unable to find any leads on where he could be. Malcolm noticed an entire hotel floor had been hired and the group learned Damien Darhk was in town. The group realised that Ra's his goal was to kill Damien. Oliver told them they could capture Damien and trade him with Ra's for the virus. Malcolm was impressed with Oliver by the ruthlessness of this plan.
The group went to the hotel and quickly took out his bodyguards. Oliver confronted the assistant of Damien and learned that Damien had been aware and left in time. Ra's called him and told him he would spread the virus in Starling. The team eventually narrowed down the locations of the league agents dispersing the virus and Dark Archer partook in the effort to stop them, killing at least one though Felicity begged him not to kill anyone else in the process. Oliver managed to kill Ra's after a duel, and they managed to contain the virus. The group reunited at Palmer industries. Oliver talked to the group and thanked all of them as together they had managed to save the city, he then revealed he would leave the city for a while.
Malcolm later visited Thea and told her he would leave Starling as well, he told her he loves her and that he would always be there for her. Thea kept cold at him but told him that he did make her strong as he had promised. Oliver came in and the two talked while Oliver gave Malcolm the ring Ra's al Ghul. Malcolm thanked him and commented on how he always had looked at Oliver like a son, and that he was glad for working together. Oliver mentioned that he would never forget what Malcolm had done to Sara and Thea. Malcolm asked him if they would be enemies and Oliver mentioned that depended on what he would do. At Nanda Parbat, Malcolm wore the custom of Ra's al Ghul and wielded the ring. Nyssa came in and told him this was his goal all along. Malcolm told her he just wanted to be free from Ra's just like her. Malcolm told her that when he was captured Ra's had tortured him with his sword but he had survived, like the prophecy. Nyssa told him she would make him pay for what he had done. Malcolm told her she was welcome to try and then ordered her and the assassins to kneel. After a brief moment, Nyssa kneeled before him.
Being Ra's al Ghul
6 months afterwards, Malcolm and Nyssa were engaged in one of their sparring matches, which Malcolm enjoyed. Nyssa inflicted a minor cut on his neck before Malcolm disarmed and defeated her. Nyssa reminded him that she will kill him if she got the chance. Malcolm mentioned he took care that she never got the chance to kill him in their fights. He used Lazarus pit water on a cut in his neck, healing it in seconds. A member of the league came in telling them that Thea Queen and Laurel Lance had arrived. They welcomed them and asked why they have arrived, and Laurel said to revive Sara. Malcolm quickly refused, knowing it will do more harm than good. Laurel said after killing her, it was his obligation, but Malcolm still refused, saying Thea never died, and the pit had never been recorded on use of a Person that has been dead for an extended period of time. He apologized to Laurel saying it will not be Sara who comes out of the pit.
That night, he met Thea in her room to question her about how she was coping in the aftermath of going into the pit. He then explained that the pit contains traces of all people who have ever been in it, and that the only way to slow it down is to embrace her killer instinct, which would make it temporally slow down. Thea refused to go onto a killing spree, and complained that he was not a normal father and he really wasn't helping her. Malcolm said that there was a man high in the mountains, who had a power of healing and can possibly help. He says they would leave at sunrise and left to let Thea rest. Sometime during that night he told 2 league members to go into her room and attempt to kill her. The next morning he opened up Thea's room to find the league members killed by Thea. She realized there was no cure and Malcolm confirmed this, saying he helped her by calming the killer instinct inside her, and that the only way to stop it was to slay the one that hurt her, the original Ra's al Ghul. However, he was dead so there was no way to stop the blood lust fully, though she would not feel it for weeks. Thea then walked into Laurel's room and told her that they were leaving immediately with Sara, that the Lazarus pit will never help her only turn her into a monster. She then told Malcolm she will refuse to kill people. He only then let Sara into the Lazarus pit. After Sara rose everyone, himself included, was shocked that it worked. After she jumped out of pit, 2 League members held her down and Malcolm tranquilized her. Sara was later tied up and Thea, Laurel, and Malcolm visited her. Malcolm said that they had no idea what was happening to her and that she should prepare for the worst. A League member walked in, telling them something happened and they went to the Lazarus pit, with Nyssa standing towards it. Nyssa had destroyed the pit with her father's potion as revenge for Sara's resurrection and swore to kill Malcolm, stating that there would be no coming back. Malcolm ordered the guards to take Nyssa away.
Knowing that Thea's bloodlust was close to its peak, Malcolm attempted to contact her but she continually ignored him. He later arrived at her apartment to discus her bloodlust but Thea claimed to have it under control. Malcolm offered an alternative: Lawrence Tanner, a pedophile that lives 3 blocks away as a potential kill for her. Thea declined and before leaving, she ordered Malcolm to be gone before she returns or the police will know he's alive. Later, Thea called Malcolm back to her apartment to tell him she won't be taking his advice and has an alternate means of stopping her bloodlust: Damien Darhk. Thea revealed that Damien attempted to use his powers on her but it backfired and her bloodlust was gone. She asked Malcolm to help her find the means to make it permanent.
Later when both Team Arrow and Team Flash had a close encounter with Vandal Savage seeking to kill Kendra Saunders, Malcolm and several league members appeared in the Arrowcave to inform both teams of their nemesis and his abilities. Malcolm explained that Savage was immortal, having served as one of the right-hands of both Genghis Khan and Julius Caesar in their war efforts and there was no means to stop him. After capturing Carter Hall and interrogating him Malcolm reappeared again and revealed that Savage had left Star City and would be after the Staff of Horus, an object previously used to kill Carter and Kendra in their past lives. After Savage escaped again Malcolm organized a meeting between himself, Oliver, and Barry with Savage to negotiate a truce, explaining to a skeptical Oliver that negotiation was the only way to stop him killing them all. At the meeting Savage demanded Kendra and Carter but informed Flash that if they refused Central City would be leveled, and informed Green Arrow that he'll then travel to Star City and level it soon after and left. Malcolm stressed to Green Arrow and Flash that delivering Kendra and Carter to Savage was the only way to save both cities, but they told Malcolm that they will stop Savage without sacrificing them. Malcolm however, still skeptical, made it clear to Green Arrow that if they failed and Thea was harmed in any way, he would come for him. After the team was able to destroy Savage with his own staff, reducing him to ashes, Malcolm secretly collected what's left of his remains.
Malcolm visited Thea after Damien Darhk's latest attack to check up on her and wish her a Merry Christmas, but to also inform her that he had been looking into Darhk's powers and discovered that they do not originate from his use of the Lazarus waters. Later Thea, John, and Felicity are abducted by Damien's men and Malcolm obtained a secure-encrypted phone from one of his men and arrived at the Arrowcave, indirectly exposing his survival to Quentin who he quickly disarmed when Quentin pulled a gun on him. Despite having acquired the phone Oliver stated that his only option is to turn himself in but Oliver injected himself with the same nano-technology used on Malcolm before, and Laurel and Malcolm found Oliver's location and headed out to find him. As Thea, Felicity, and John are about to be gassed to death Black Canary and Malcolm, dressed as Green Arrow, attacked H.I.V.E.'s men and freed the team. As the rest of the team tried to escape Malcolm went after Damien himself. Using an explosive arrow Malcolm knocked down Damien. However Damien used his powers and Malcolm was soon levitated and almost choked to death until Oliver distracted him allowing Malcolm to shoot Darhk with arrows and left behind an explosive arrow which destroyed the facility, though Darhk was still able to escape.
When Thea's health begun to take a turn for the worse Malcolm returned to Star City and explained to a confused Oliver that because she has resisted the bloodlust, it is beginning to kill her instead. And unlike Sara whose soul was restored by John Constantine, Thea's is still incomplete and if she doesn't indulge it she will die but Thea regardlessly insists that she won't and it's her choice to make. Later when Oliver returned he thanked Malcolm for taking care of her while he was busy but Thea's health takes a darker turn and is hospitalized. Oliver later approaches Malcolm and informs him that Nyssa has obtained the Lotus from Tatsu and that it can heal her but only if Oliver kills him or if Malcolm surrenders his ring. However Malcolm isn't convinced but after Laurel obtains a sample of it from Nyssa and Malcolm sees the effects himself, he agrees to Nyssa's terms.
However at the meeting Malcolm double crosses Nyssa and instead arrives with an army of league members, just as Nyssa also does and both sides of the league begin fighting each other in a fight that leads onto the streets and sees several bystanders killed in the crossfire. Later Malcolm returns to the Arrowcave to say goodbye to Thea and remarks to Oliver of the first time he met her when she was 4 months old, and how he always sensed a deeper connection to her. With no options left Oliver suggested an option where Malcolm could keep the ring and obtain the Lotus and suggested he challenge Nyssa to a trial by combat. At the location of their fight however before they could begin Oliver stepped in and volunteered to take Nyssa's place, which she agreed to. Oliver and Malcolm then fought but after a brief but intense fight Oliver subdued him and demanded her hand over the ring but Malcolm insisted that he'd have to kill him. But Oliver instead cut Malcolm's hand off and gave the ring to Nyssa. After getting his amputation healed Malcolm visited Nyssa, now Ra's al Ghul, at her request but she took off the ring and threw it into a fire. She also informed them that she had disbanded the League of Assassins and released its members from their vows. Malcolm then became engulfed in anger towards Oliver and promised retribution. Later Malcolm requested a meeting with Damien and offered a deal in exchange for information on who Oliver loves most. Damien, however, was uninterested as he believed it was Felicity and they'd already taken care of her but Malcolm told him it wasn't Felicity that Oliver cares for most. Damien's attention now piqued Malcolm revealed that the person Oliver loves most is his son William Clayton.
Having told Damien about Oliver's son, Damien makes Malcolm part of his consultant team and an H.I.V.E. board member. At a meeting to discuss Genesis, and the need for Ruvé Adams' mayoral campaign and Malcolm upon Damien's request confirmed that Quentin was indeed a mole for Team Arrow. Later as part of Damien's plan to force Oliver out of the campaign race, Malcolm abducted William from his house and brought him to Damien.
Appearing in Thea's home, he adamantly denied his involvement in William's kidnapping and commented that Thea should know him better than to ask that question. Later, after learning that Malcolm was the one responsible for kidnapping William all along, this proves to be the last straw. Enraged, Thea told him that the days of his lies when he drops into her home and his lies about how everything is for them was over. Malcolm ranted and told her that she would have been dead ten times over had he not raised her from a spoiled rich kid into a warrior and that all he has gotten from her was venomous spite.
Malcolm visited Damien in prison to inform him that H.I.V.E. wasn’t going to rescue him as they’d grown tired of his tendency to kill fellow members whenever he gets miffed, but they do wish him luck in the trial. Damien in anger attempted to use his magic on Malcolm but to no avail and Malcolm simply laughed and sarcastically reminded him that performances issues are common for his age. However, Malcolm had secretly made a deal with Damien to return his destroyed idol to him and break him out of jail in exchange for sparing him and Thea from Genesis. Malcolm later met up with Damien’s "ace in the hole," Andy Diggle. At some point soon after Malcolm somehow had his left hand restored.
To obtain the idol Malcolm had several of his league followers to hijack a missile shipment into the city as a distraction for Oliver and John but had Andy go with them undercover to ensure they remained away from the Arrowcave. While this occurred Dark Archer breached the Arrowcave with several of his followers and stole the idol but was briefly stopped by Thea, but when she had him dead to rights she hesitated and Dark Archer knocked her out and fled with the idol. Malcolm sneaked in to see Damien in prison and presented the idol to him but Damien revealed the idol is missing a piece and surmised that the team must have kept it hidden separately in case it was stolen. Later Dark Archer lured Team Arrow into a trap seemingly to kill Green Arrow but was really a set up for Andy to take a bullet for him, thereby gaining their trust enough to give up the last idol piece’s location. Thanks to a prison break caused by Michael Amar/Murmur Team Arrow was divided among the prison trying to contain it, allowing Dark Archer to slip back in unnoticed. However, he ran into Speedy and Black Canary and fought Speedy alone yet again and succeeded again, reminding her that her hesitance to kill will always stop her from beating him. Dark Archer caught up with Damien after his powers had been restored and insisted they go before the police arrive but not before Damien fatally stabbed Black Canary with Green Arrow’s own arrowhead. Malcolm escaped with Damien, Andy, and Michael soon after.
Malcolm was present together with Michael Amar and Brick while Damien resumed control over H.I.V.E. When two members resisted Damien used his powers to kill them both.
In Tevat Noah Malcolm spoke with Thea who had been kidnapped and brought into the safe haven. He mentioned that the idea of Genesis from Darhk was not much different from the undertaking he had tried himself. He believed the world to be dying and Genesis would be their best option. Thea told him he was insane and demanded to be brought to Alex. Malcolm brought her to Alex where he learned Lonnie Machin had entered Tevat Noah and was killing men of Damien while threatening to destroy the air supply which would kill anyone. Alex asked who Lonnie Machin was and Malcolm jokes he was like a former boyfriend of Thea.
Malcolm and Thea went to the building which controlled the air supply. Thea demanded a weapon but Malcolm denied it and told her to go to hand to hand if needed. As Thea tried to talk Machin down Malcolm noticed multiple explosives in the building. He shot Machin in the shoulder and stopped him from blowing the place up. Machin managed to escape.
Malcolm later found Thea over Alex who had been killed by Machin. Malcolm asked where Machin was but he had vanished. Malcolm ordered his soldiers to take her away. Malcolm demanded her to comply with her but as Thea remained stubborn he forced her to swallow a pill that would make her obey him.
He then talked to Ruvé Adams who scolded him for not having dealt with Lonnie Machin. She learned Oliver Queen and John Diggle had entered Tevat Noah and ordered Malcolm to take care of it. Using his drugged daughter as bait Malcolm managed to capture Oliver. Malcolm taunted Oliver that he had the inability to do what is needed. As Diggle burst in and took out his soldiers Malcolm and Thea were forced to flee. He talked to Ruvé Adams who had ordered all the citizens to kill Oliver and Diggle on sight. As Malcolm questioned this Adams told him if he could not take care of this he might have no purpose in H.I.V.E.
Malcolm, Thea and a group of soldiers managed to find Oliver and Diggle and attacked them. Malcolm fought Diggle but was forced to give up as Thea overcame the drugs and she and Oliver cornered Malcolm. The group then saw Machin on TV who demanded Damien to show up or he would kill his wife and daughter. Malcolm informed them about Machin and as Thea criticized him he told her they could discuss his parenting philosophy later. Oliver told him they would go after Machin and Malcolm would lead the evacuation if they would be unable to save Tevat Noah.
As the place got blown up Malcolm evacuated the people. He then informed Damien that his wife had been killed by Machin. He told him that their plan had failed and that even if he managed to destroy the world there would be no Ark to stay safe. Damien told him that if there is no place to be safe he would let it all burn.
Saving Star City
Obviously dissatisfied with Damien Darhk's decision to destroy the world completely, Malcolm went to the Arrowcave, just in time to stop the Ghosts' attack on Team Arrow. His timely intervention saved Thea Queen and helped other members of the team. Malcolm then joined forces with Thea, Curtis Holt, and Felicity Smoak to locate Cooper Seldon, whom Darhk left in charge of operating the nuclear attack.
Malcolm appears in the Dominators alternate reality, as a hallucination. When Oliver and his allies try to escape, Malcolm shoots him with an arrow and is engaged in combat with his daughter. During the confrontation, it is revealed Malcolm is alive, at least as far as Thea is aware. Thea gains the upper hand and kills the hallucination.
Joining the Legion of Doom
A few hours after Damien Darhk's death at Oliver's hands, Malcolm watched the event on the news from his apartment while descending into alcoholism, having now lost the League of Assassins and H.I.V.E. Suddenly, he was approached by Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash, a time travelling speedster from the 22nd century, and a younger version of Damien Darhk from 1987. At first, Malcolm was confused, as he just watched Damien getting killed. Eobard explained the situation and offered Malcolm a chance to rewrite his own history including preventing Tommy's death, in exchange for aiding him in stealing various relics he seeks. Agreeing Malcolm joined the Legion of Doom. He was also informed of their enemies, the time traveling vigilantes known as the Legends, who Sara, now known as "White Canary," was a part of.
To draw the Legends out the trio traveled to 1927 and made a deal with Al Capone. In exchange for aiding them to lure out the Legends, they would ensure Capone wouldn't be caught by the authorities as he is destined to. They also informed him of Elliot Ness' future role in convicting him. When the Legends were successfully drawn out Eobard abducted Sara and Professor Stein. Malcolm offered Sara a deal in exchange for the amulet, he'd ensure the Queen's Gambit sinking never occurs, revealing his responsibility in it's sinking and the indirect role he played in Sara becoming The Canary. However, Sara declined his offer.
When Eobard infiltrated the Waverider disguised as Stein he returned it to 1927 and Malcolm led several of Capone's men inside to kill the Legends, while he obtained the amulet. While searching the bridge for it he encountered Sara and they fought and Malcolm gained the upper hand, and mocked Sara for rejecting his offer. However, Sara simply told him she already had a better life and got the drop on him. Before she could kill him Malcolm offered Stein's location but only in exchange for sparing him and giving him the relics. Reluctant, Sara agreed.
After obtaining both relics Eobard combined them displaying a map. Malcolm sarcastically called it a "portable planetarium" before Eobard exasperatedly corrected him that it's a compass, one which could lead them to the Spear of Destiny. However, to located it Eobard informed Malcolm and Damien they'd need one more thing, Captain Rip Hunter.
Malcolm Merlyn and Damien Darhk traveled to 1967 Los Angeles. As the two walked the city Merlyn mentioned how he wanted to see Frank Sinatra, before complaining about how vague the medallion was. The two decided to find some transportation as they became tired of walking. Two bikers threatened to rob them but Malcolm calmly told them they would not kill them if they would give them the bikes. As the bikers refused Malcolm and Darhk beat them to death using League techniques and took their bikes.
Merlyn and Darhk found Rip Hunter, who was now in the persona of a film student. As they confronted him he did not seem to understand who they were. The Legends showed up and Merlyn and Darhk engaged them in combat. When the cops showed up Merlyn and Darhk fled the scene. The two later went to the police station to retrieve Rip and killed a number of cops on their way in, but found that Rip had already been taken away by the Legends. Darhk and Merlyn gave chase but the Legends escaped with the Waverider.
Merlyn and Darhk found Vixen, Palmer, and Heywood as they talked to George Lucas, who had dropped out of film school, which had resulted in Palmer and Heywood losing their knowledge. Merlyn and Darhk swiftly defeated and captured all of them. They learned that Lucas had the spear but had dumped it at the city dump. They forced the group to search for the spear in the trash compactor.
Malcolm and Damien lost patience and Malcolm suggested that they kill one to motivate the others. However, before they could do so, the Waverider appeared and blasted them away. Sara and Jax attacked Darhk and Merlyn and engaged them in combat. Merlyn and Darhk quickly gained the upper hand, but the other Legends got their abilities back and joined the fight. Reverse-Flash showed up and picked Merlyn and Darhk up, before the three threatened the Legends. Rip showed up, bluffing that he had recovered his memories, but when he was exposed as a fraud, the Waverider again fired upon the three villains. However Reverse-Flash captured Rip before he could escape and took him away. Later, Merlyn and Darhk prepared to torture Rip for information about the spear.
Damien and Malcolm tortured 'Phil', but he wasn't able to tell them the location of the Spear. The two argued with Eobard when he blamed them for losing the Amulet and then threatened to kill them. Eobard choked Malcolm but Malcolm told him he would attempt to hypnotize Rip using a League of Assassins technique. This also failed, though it did allow Malcolm to discover that Hunter's memories truly were gone. Eobard expressed frustration with them and sped away. Damien then tried his hand at torturing Rip on his own, and pulled out one of Rip's teeth, which contained account information for a safety deposit box in Switzerland with Rip's memories inside it. Eobard ordered the two to retrieve it and again left.
While Malcolm and Darhk prepared to leave, they argued about how to approach the problem. Malcolm convinced Damien to bring Rip along and have him retrieve the box for them, and the three left for Switzerland. They infiltrated the box and Rip went to go get the box from the vault. While he was doing so, Damien and Malcolm discussed what Eobard was planning and why he even needed the two of them. Damien assumed that Malcolm was attempting to manipulate him, but they were interrupted by Rip failing to gain access to the vault. When the bank teller called security, the two intervened and killed the guards before escaping the bank with Rip.
Back at their base, the two men once again argued, which led to a League-style swordfight. However, Rip convinced them to stop dueling and find a way to even the odds against Eobard. They went back to the bank, leaving Rip tied up. Eobard returned to the base and Rip informed him of where they had gone. Thawne confronted them in the vault, where they had retrieved a disk containing Rip's memories. Malcolm and Damien then locked the vault, trapping Eobard inside with them. Eobard threatened to kill them if they didn't let him out, slowly becoming more and more desperate, to his partners' puzzlement.
Eventually, a panicking Eobard revealed to the two the source of his panic - Hunter Zolomon, who had become a demon of the Speed Force sent to track him down and erase him from existence again. Malcolm and Damien agreed to help Eobard fend off the demon, as long as he agreed to make them equal partners in their team. Eobard reluctantly agreed, and when Hunter entered the bank to find Eobard, Malcolm and Damien managed to distract Hunter long enough for Eobard to throw him into the vault, locking the door and trapping it within. Eobard thanked them and honored his deal and the three left, knowing Zolomon wouldn't remain trapped for long.
Back at their base, the Legion accessed Rip's memories and altered them so that he believed that he was their ally. The three then sent Rip back in time to New Jersey, 1776, where he shot at General George Washington.
Malcolm and Darhk were sent off to look for the Calebros Manuscript or Word of God which would allow them to use the spear. When the Legends managed to steal their fragments of the spear, Thawne had Darhk return to the Vanishing Point while Malcolm continued on his hunt for the text. He managed to finally acquire it and upon returning back to the base he found that Eobard had recruited Leonard Snart, managed to turn Mick Rory and had managed to find the spear. Together, they all grasped the spear while Malcolm read from the Calebros as they prepared to rewrite reality.
Using the spear the Legion reshaped reality and Malcolm was now highly successful. Rebecca and Tommy were alive and he had a great relationship with Thea who adored him. His rival Nyssa Al Ghul was trapped in Ohio living a closeted life and Malcolm had gained back everyone and everything he had lost. Despite this Malcolm kept contacting Thawne who was now living in Central City and was a highly successful scientist. As Thawne had not replied to his requests Malcolm went to him in person and demanded to be able to use the spear to change more to the reality. Seeing Jax and Stein who were working for Thawne, Malcolm criticized him for keeping the Legends alive who were now either living their worst nightmares or were acting like underlings to Darhk and Thawne. Thawne reminded Malcolm he had destroyed the calebros and was now the only person able to use the spear as he had memorized the calebros.
Malcolm met Darhk and the two were worried that Thawne would use the spear against them and change the world in a way they did not want to. They brought in Snart and began to think about how they could outmatch Thawne. However, the plans had to change as the Legends were starting to remember their former lives and Rory was starting to get second thoughts.
Darhk had Sara and Amaya go and deal with Rory, Nate, and Ray but Sara got her memory back as well and attacked Darhk in his office. Darhk prepared to kill her but first gave a lengthy speech which allowed Sara to turn back Amaya as well. As the two women fled and rejoined the Legends Malcolm noted Darhk had a great bad guy monologue.
Rory left the Legends and sided with Snart again. He told Malcolm and Darhk that the Legends were going to try and steal the spear back from Thawne before he could destroy it with his generator. Malcolm and Darhk felt confident that this would give them the opportunity to steal the spear while Thawne and the Legends would be fighting each other.
Malcolm, Snart, Rory, and Darhk went to S.T.A.R. Labs and intervened just in time as Thawne was preparing to destroy the spear with his generator. Malcolm and Darhk remarked how Thawne needed a lesson in sharing his toys. As Thawne tried to explain how his way was the best he got knocked over by Snart. A vicious fight between the Legends, the Legion, and Thawne’s security guards erupted. Malcolm attacked Sara when she managed to take the spear. After a short fight, he was able to disarm her and Rory picked up the spear. Both sides tried to convince Rory to hand them the spear. Rory turned against the Legion and gave the spear to Amaya who was about to use the spear to turn reality back to normal. However, Snart froze her with his cold gun and killed her before she could. As everyone was distracted by the death of Amaya Thawne took the spear back from Snart and threw it in the generator, destroying the spear. A smug Thawne told the Legends that he wanted to see them roam this world that was no longer theirs and was a reminder of their failure. He warned Malcolm and the others that they should not try to cross him again as they were no match for him.
The Legion disbanded
To undo what the Legion had done, the Legends had gone back in time to 1916 to stop the Legion from ever getting the spear at all. When Eobard learned of what they were doing, he went back in time and pulled Malcolm from his search of the Calebros to join him with the others in 1916. Malcolm was surprised to find that there were two sets of Legends now and Eobard told him, Darhk and Snart to deal with them while he left to bring in backup.
Malcolm, Darhk, and Snart used their weapons to attack the Waverider before the Legends could leave with the spear. Their efforts, combined with an unexpected Time Storm, caused the Waverider to crash. They then started to approach as the Legends moved to engage them. When Malcolm saw that their new weapons were having not too much effect, he suggested to Darhk that they return back to their old tactics which Darhk fully agreed with. Malcolm brought out his bow and fired an arrow at Firestorm which hit them and made them split apart. He was about to fire an arrow at Stein when the future version of Jax jumped in the way and intercepted it, killing him. Malcolm was ready to try killing Stein again when the present Jax grabbed another arrow from his quiver and stuck it into his leg before taking his bow and knocking him across the face with it.
After Thawne and the spear were destroyed, the Legends took him back to 2016, where Thawne had plucked him from, to resume his bitter and lonely life at his run-down apartment.
War against Prometheus, redemption, and death
When Adrian Chase was incarcerated, Malcolm got an alert that Thea had been kidnapped and seeks Oliver's help in finding his daughter. The two got into an argument as Oliver was still furious about Malcolm's betrayal of William to Damien Darhk. Malcolm apologized, explaining he was emotional, but that was the past now. He wanted to save his daughter from Chase.
The two tracked Felicity and John but they had already been abducted by Talia al Ghul and her order. Malcolm wanted to agree to Chase's terms of being freed in order to save Thea. Oliver did not want to give in to Chase's demands but Malcolm pointed out that family is important and that for their children, they would do anything. Merlyn reminded Oliver that their connections to others are what makes them human; Oliver's connections to others are what helps him from not being the violent person in the past.
When Oliver learned William had been kidnapped, he changed his mind and tried to break Chase out of A.R.G.U.S. custody, with Malcolm showing up to help, having already anticipated Chase's move. The two engaged the officers that were escorting Chase to the helicopter. Malcolm mentioned it would be easier if they just killed them. As police snipers prepared to kill Chase, Malcolm and Oliver took them out.
In the Arrowcave, they tried to track Chase and Oliver told Malcolm that he needed allies of his own. Malcolm was furious as Nyssa al Ghul showed up to aid them, but reluctantly agreed to work with her. He revealed to Nyssa that one of their adversaries was her estranged older sister, Talia al Ghul. The trio tracked Chase to Lian Yu and flew to the island.
Upon arrival, Malcolm and Nyssa unloaded the weapons and supplies from their airplane. Malcolm remained furious with Nyssa over the loss of his hand but she pointed out that disbanding the League of Assassins freed them both. Oliver brought Slade Wilson and Digger Harkness to help and the plane was suddenly destroyed by an RPG. The group split up to look for the hostages. Later, Malcolm and Nyssa met back up with Oliver to provide backup against Talia, Harkness (who was working with Chase) and Evelyn Sharp, who were guarding cages holding Thea, Felicity, Curtis Holt and William's mother, Samantha Clayton, captive. Upon seeing Malcolm and Nyssa, Talia and Harkness escaped via a smoke bomb, abandoning Evelyn. After imprisoning Evelyn in one of the cages she was guarding, Oliver gave strict orders for Malcolm to escort Thea, Curtis, Felicity and Samantha to Chase's plane, which they could use to escape the island.
As they were walking, Malcolm attempted to make conversation with Thea, but she was still angry with him over his past actions. Suddenly, Thea stepped on a landmine. Malcolm discovered the trigger was rusted over, so they couldn't disarm it. He asked Thea to step off the landmine so he could take her place, but she refused. Felicity and Curtis tried to come up with an alternative solution but Malcolm knew they didn't have time, so he pushed his daughter off the landmine and stepped on it before it could explode. Malcolm explained he would set off the bomb to take out their pursuers. Thea tried to protest this but Malcolm remained adamant in his decision, reaffirming that he always wanted to protect her. As the group fled, Harkness and some members of Talia al Ghul's cult found Malcolm. When Harkness wondered why Malcolm was out in the open, he smugly responded, "Let me show you." Malcolm then detonated the landmine, killing Harkness, himself and everyone else present. Thea, Felicity, Curtis and Samantha witnessed the explosion from afar, shocked.
LegacyAt the moment of his death, Thea confesses to Felicity that she saw the father that he could have been, but he never will be because he is dead. Before his death, Malcolm built an organization of ninja assassins very similar to the League of Assassins, called the Thanatos Guild, placing Athena as his second-in-command. He had too learned of the existence of three others Lazarus Pits.
Sometime after his death; Athena succeeded Malcolm as the leader of the Thanatos Guild.
Before his wife's death, Malcolm was a caring man who loved his wife and son very dearly, and was a devoted businessman and humanitarian, striving to save Starling City just like his wife, Rebecca. After his wife's death he became heartbroken and was haunted with guilt that he had not been able to help her. Malcolm's love for his wife was so great when he confronted the man he thought killed Rebecca, he told him he had taken everything from him. During his mourning period he also had an affair with Moira, which guilt riddled him even more. He was shocked and confronted the (presumed) killer which ended with Malcolm killing him. Unable to live with what he had done he left his son and went to Nanda Parbat. Training there he changed his perspective on the world and how he could help his city.
Malcolm returned as an apathetic, calculating, and ruthless man. He began to develop a plan to destroy the Glades completely, believing that this way he could help the city. He believed what he was doing was right and was for the greater good, and was willing to 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 truly believed in the righteousness of his cause, projecting this in his acceptance speech for "humanitarian of the year". He also truly loved his wife, still wearing his wedding ring so many years after her death.
Malcolm was a charismatic person, able to project his own beliefs and self-righteousness into his words. He seemed to have something of an ego as Robert Queen said that Malcolm had "something of a God-complex" and had a hostage read out that he will kill them if the Arrow "doesn't surrender to his authority". He blamed all the people living in the Glades for his wife's death, not just the person who killed Rebecca, but also the ones who walked past her while she was dying which unfortunately results in his own son's death. Like Oliver, he was prone to emotional outbursts, although this rarely happened due to him being calm and level-headed. Malcolm also had no guilt or remorse for using people for his personal gain and then killing them once they became loose ends to keep them from going public with information he wouldn't otherwise want to be public information. This even extends to his own family as he drugged Thea with Vitura and got her to kill Sara Lance in order to force Oliver to protect her and Malcolm himself from the League. In the process, he had lied to and manipulated many, including his own daughter. Malcolm was also tactically intelligent, as when the Arrow was endangering the Undertaking, he began his own "anti-Arrow" persona as the Dark Archer knowing that the police would blame the Arrow and people would lose faith in him as well as releasing Slade Wilson from his cell on Lian Yu to have Oliver re-awaken his killer side. He was displayed to be quite if not absolutely confident in his fighting skills as he beat the Hood multiple times in combat. He mentioned the reason he came out on top was because he knew what he was fighting for. Malcolm was calm in battle and willing to fight anyone that was a threat to himself or the ones he cares for. So far, the only two people he was afraid of were Ra's al Ghul and Vandal Savage. Oddly enough he doesn't fear meta-humans, even incredibly powerful ones, such as Eobard Thawne and Hunter Zolomon respectively; to point of being arrogant and overconfident. He felt confident that him and Damien Darhk, being two former members of the League of Assassins, could confront Eobard on equal terms and after learning that a second, even more powerful speedster was hunting him, he shrugged it off even though Eobard himself was terrified of it.
Despite his insanity, selfishness, ruthlessness, and cold heart, he still loved Tommy dearly and wanted what's best for him. However, he had, a rather harsh way of displaying it which often forces Tommy away. For example, Malcolm cut off Tommy's trust fund and harshly told Tommy he was worthless in order to "jolt him into adulthood". After Tommy was killed during the Undertaking, tragically meaning Malcolm was responsible for the death of his own son, he felt great guilt and remorse and he began searching for ways to be a part of Thea's life. Further, he began to pressure Moira into telling Thea that he was her biological father. When Moira was murdered Malcolm swiftly returned to Star City to watch over Thea, despite still being hunted by the League of Assassins. Malcolm loved Thea as much as he loved Tommy, and with similar harshness. When Thea requested he teach her how to fight he gave her no special treatment. It should be noted his regime was effective, since he made Thea a capable fighter within 6 months. Malcolm strong parental instincts displayed themselves when he shot the assassin Chase for attempting to kill Thea and when he made Tommy's safety his priority during the attack on his humanitarian ceremony.
However, some question whether Malcolm's ambition did not sometimes overpower his love for his children since despite his grief over inadvertently causing Tommy's death, Malcolm manipulated Thea into killing Sara so that the League will mark Thea for death and Oliver will be forced to fight the League's leader, Ra's al Ghul. If Oliver could kill Ra's, then Thea and Malcolm would both be saved from the League. This scheme was risky and placed Thea in danger, as well as emotionally scarring her since Sara was her friend. This indicates that Malcolm might not have learned everything he could from Tommy's death, or it might display that despite having inadvertently killed his son, Malcolm remained daring enough to take the drastic, manipulative steps he thinks are required to beat an international organization of assassins. Malcolm also noticeably didn't care about the effects of Sara's second death on the Lance family despite having already hurt them by inadvertently and seemingly killing Sara previously with the sinking of the Gambit. He remained unrepentant about this murder even when Thea and Laurel personally called him out on this, showing that Malcolm's first and only priorities are the physical wellbeing of himself and his family.
It should be noted that Malcolm's parental instincts extend in a limited way to Oliver Queen despite his ruthless attitude towards the latter. After beating and unmasking the Malcolm exhibited regret upon learning his enemy is Oliver. He also seemed devastated for Oliver's apparent death at the hands of Ra's and didn't deny it was his fault Oliver got killed. Still, Malcolm's love remained centered on his two children and his apparent affection for Oliver did not prevent him from manipulating Oliver into fighting Ra's al Ghul by using Thea as leverage, though he was absolutely confident Oliver had what it took to beat Ra's.
Some time later, Malcolm learned that the man he killed to avenge Rebecca was not his wife's killer. In truth, Danny Brickwell murdered her. Malcolm expresses to Oliver his belief that all his decisions and the deaths he caused could have been avoided if he had not killed the wrong man. He seemed set on redeeming himself, since he spared Danny and was willing to train Oliver. Afterwards, Malcolm started to work with Team Arrow. Despite his sarcastic and cold persona, he seemed to respect and even care for them. During a battle with the League, he saved both Laurel and Felicity's lives. He later saved the entire team and Oliver from the Omega Virus and worked with them to keep the virus from destroying Star City. However, it was revealed, that Malcolm still had an angle since he had agreed with Oliver that when Ra's was dead, Malcolm would be his successor. Malcolm also participated in the rescue mission to retrieve Oliver, Felicity, John Diggle and Thea from Damien's headquarters and even saved Oliver from being beaten to death by Damien by shooting him with arrows.
Malcolm was displayed to have a deep interest in various warrior cultures. His office was decorated with Asian statues and Japanese swords. In a secret room adjoining his office he kept racks of swords and other weaponry from multiple cultures. He supported the Buddhist monk Ken Zhi Jansen and spend time meditating in his temple.
Since he became the new Ra's al Ghul, Malcolm had displayed an authority demeanor, when Laurel Lance request that he use the Lazarus Pit to bring back her sister Sara, he refused, telling her that in thousands of years they never had resurrected a dead person with the pit and that it might have horrible consequences. When she kept insisting he told her he did not have obligations to anyone, and she did not get to ask a request like that. Laurel and Thea did manage to convince him at the end, but this might partially have been because he wanted to prove his love for his daughter, since it was he who had made her kill Sara.
Malcolm became quite convicted of the importance of the League of Assassins. He refused to give up the position as their leader, even if it would cost the life of his daughter. He believed the League was larger than him or Thea, as it was a invisible force that can influence the entire world for the better. Therefore, he refused to hand this responsibility to Nyssa al Ghul in exchange for the Lotus.
Malcolm was quite vengeful as after he was removed as the leader of the League of Assassins by Oliver in exchange for the cure to Thea's bloodlust, which led to the League's disbandment, he sided with H.I.V.E. out of anger and spite, even revealing the existence of Oliver's son, William Clayton, to Damien Darhk as revenge. Malcolm even personally kidnapped William and brought him to Damien, showing that his paternal feelings for Oliver have been destroyed. This also caused a severe strain in his relationship with Thea, William's aunt. Despite this, his love for her remains unscathed, since Malcolm's alliance with Damien was also based on him and and his daughter being spared from Genesis. Despite his fallout with Oliver and Team Arrow after the League Civil War, Malcolm refrained from revealing important information about them to Damien, like their identities and the location of their base. He also lingered after Damien fatally stabbed Laurel with an arrow, indicating shock or even regret over his role in her death.
Despite his love for Thea, Malcolm had no tolerance for being disrespected by his daughter, as when she angrily disowned him after William's kidnapping, he coldly reminded Thea of how she used to be a weak, spoiled brat, whom he turned into a strong warrior, as well as pointing out her short-sightedness. Despite being a parent himself, Malcolm was not above potentially harming innocent children, as shown when he kidnapped William (off-screen) in order to help Damien get leverage over Oliver that would force the latter to stop running for mayor of Star City. Malcolm continued to use manipulation and coercion to keep his daughter close to him, such as leveraging Alex Davis, Thea's boyfriend and a brainwashed member of H.I.V.E., against her
However, after realizing that Damien would move forward with Genesis after the destruction of Tevat Noah, Malcolm joined forces with Team Arrow to save the world from nuclear annihilation. He also made a sarcastic and humorist comment to Oliver after his speech to the city, indicating that his hatred for the latter might be lessening, although this feeling was hardly mutual. Despite his change of heart, Malcolm's relationship with Team Arrow is more strained than ever, especially with Oliver and Thea, due to him kidnapping William, brainwashing Thea a second time in Tevat Noah and his role in Laurel's death (albeit indirectly).
After the disembodiment of the League of Assassins and Damien's death, Malcolm began living in squalor and alcoholism as he had lost any sense of purpose, control or leadership, and had to contend with the death of most of his family and the hatred of his only daughter. When the chance to rebuild his broken life with the Spear of Destiny arose, Malcolm gladly joined Eobard Thawne and Damien's crusade.
During his time with the Legion of Doom, Malcolm kept a sarcastic and hostile attitude towards his teammates; he considered Damien a failure for his future death and his madness that led him to almost destroy the world and his daughter in it, despite this, Malcolm begrudgingly respected him for his skills as a warrior. His massive ego also clashed with Eobard's, the leader of the Legion for treating him and Damien like a lapdog rather than a partner. Malcolm was undoubtedly the ringleader for the plot to trap Eobard in his vault as bait for the creature hunting him to forcefully make the speedster respect the two of them. In the Legion of Doom's alternate reality, Malcolm was the leader of the League, CEO of Merlyn Global Group and had the love and respect of his family, including Thea, while Nyssa and Team Arrow were dead or suffering, showing that he still holds a grudge against the latter two for supposedly ruining his life and still refuses to comprehend that Thea would love him if he tried to be an actual parent and not use his daughter as a pawn in his plans. Despite his immoral behavior, Malcolm lacks the sadistic streak that even his bloodthirsty teammates on the Legion of Doom have. Too cautious and intelligent to waste energy on an impractical vendetta to hurt his enemies, he strongly encouraged Damien and Eobard to simply erase the Legends from the face of reality as they were too big of a threat in any state. This ultimately proved to be the wise thing to do when the Legends regained their memories of the previous reality, leaving Eobard outraged that Malcolm was correct.
After a year of his failure to regain his old life, Malcolm appeared to have given up on any hope of gaining control and leadership and instead dedicated himself to protect Thea. He was more than willing to work with Oliver and (reluctantly) Nyssa to save her and even apologized to Oliver for kidnapping William, implying that Malcolm thought over his actions as he lived alone and finally realized that it was his own actions which caused Thea to turn against him. However, he retained his sarcasm and somewhat hostile attitude towards Oliver, Team Arrow and especially Nyssa. Ultimately, Malcolm's love for his daughter enabled him to do the right thing; he willingly took Thea's place when she stepped on a landmine and later detonated it, taking Digger Harkness and some of Talia al Ghul's students with him, allowing Thea and her friends to escape. Through his sacrifice, which was the first real fatherly act towards his daughter, Malcolm proved that for all his faults, he truly did love Thea.
- Peak of human physical condition: Malcolm was in excellent physical condition for a man of his age due to his training with the League of Assassins, with his physical condition proving to be superior than Oliver before he was trained by Ra's. Malcolm had demonstrated enough strength to break Oliver's bow with a single strike, dent a steel beam with a single kick, and topple the highly durable Danny Brickwell with only a few strikes. Malcolm's reflexes were fast enough to catch or deflect an incoming arrow shot at him by Oliver, however, Malcolm had admitted that due to his youth Oliver is faster than him. Since Oliver cut off his left hand, Malcolm had been able to continue his physical activities thanks to his new cybernetic prosthetic hand.
- Master combatant/Martial artist: Malcolm was a highly skilled hand-to-hand combatant and martial artist, due to his training with the League and is an experienced fighter with at least 20 years of combat experience. His skills allowed him to defeat Oliver Queen repeatedly in combat until he was trained by Ra's and after that Oliver was easily able to overpower Malcolm, who only lasted a few seconds before being beaten. Malcolm has also proved capable of fighting evenly with Sara Lance after she was retrained by the League, and defeating Nyssa al Ghul in most of their altercations, only being beaten once due to Nyssa having a greater weapon and surprised him. Malcolm was even skilled enough to hold his own reasonably well against Damien Darhk respectively. He also trained Thea Queen, his daughter, to become a proficient fighter. Despite his skills, Malcolm was certain that the one man he could never defeat was his former mentor, Ra's al Ghul. Malcolm was one of the most dangerous fighters that Team Arrow had ever faced, well as one of the deadliest fighters in the multiverse.
- League of Assassins training: Malcolm had gone through the training that all members of League of Assassins do. Malcolm was considered to be one of the finest members of the League, enough that he became Ra's al Ghul's horseman; his right-hand man.
- Weapons mastery: Malcolm acquired great skill with weapons after being trained by the League of Assassins.
- Master stick fighter: Malcolm was a proficient stick fighter, able to briefly fight off Nyssa using her sword using Laurel's baton.
- Master swordsman: Despite his preference for archery, Malcolm was a trained and highly skilled swordsman often practicing fencing in his spare time to maintain his skills. Malcolm owned and used several different types of swords. Malcolm's great abilities as a swordsman have allowed him to easily outduel both Thea and Oliver, although at the time Oliver was notably rusty, quickly defeat many members of the League of Assassins in a sword fight, repeatedly defeat Nyssa al Ghul in their sparring sessions and easily best Thea Queen despite having his left hand cut off.
- Master knife wielder: Malcolm was proficient in the use of knives as he was able to successfully injure John Diggle with a knife throw while retreating. Malcolm was also capable of wielding a knife in close combat as seen when he fought Sara Lance and Damien Darhk.
- Master marksman: Despite his preference for archery, Malcolm was highly skilled in the use of firearms. He used a laser gun to take down several security guards with great precision and dexterity.
- Master archer: Malcolm was a highly skilled archer due to his time in the League with archery being his weapon of choice. Oliver Queen himself comments Malcolm's skills after noting on how tight the grouping of his arrows was when Malcolm killed Adam Hunt. Malcolm's skills as an archer were arguably better than Oliver's (at the time) as he was able to beat him during an archery battle once, at least before Oliver's increased experience.
- Weapons mastery: Malcolm acquired great skill with weapons after being trained by the League of Assassins.
- League of Assassins training: Malcolm had gone through the training that all members of League of Assassins do. Malcolm was considered to be one of the finest members of the League, enough that he became Ra's al Ghul's horseman; his right-hand man.
- Genius-level intellect/Master tactician/Great business acumen/Leader: Malcolm was an exceptional businessman, having skillfully managed Merlyn Global Group as it's CEO for several years, effectively overseeing it's daily activities and ensuring it's success as a multibillion-dollar corporation. Malcolm was also an exceptional tactician with the successful execution of the Undertaking after 6 years of planning and development. Malcolm was also successful in faking his death and able to stay hidden from both the League and Oliver Queen for over a year. Malcolm was also a key strategic advisor for Oliver during his conflict with Ra's al Ghul, coming up with the plan to dispose of the latter and install himself as the next Ra's al Ghul. After becoming the new Ra's al Ghul, Malcolm proved himself to be an effective leader, leading the League effectively until Nyssa disbanded it. During this time, he also founded the Thanatos Guild, a group similar to the League of Assassins.
- Expert stage magician: Malcolm was trained in the art of stage magic including sleight-of-hand, escape artistry, and hypnotism; his skills in these areas was one of the reasons he was called "The Magician" by the League of Assassins. Malcolm used to perform a coin disappearing trick for his son, Tommy Merlyn, frequently. His skills as hypnotist also allow him to retrieve lost memories via hypnotic-regression therapy.
- Master deceiver/Manipulator: Even before his time in the League, Malcolm was highly talented in the art of deception able to fool and convince others of his agenda even experts of seeing through deception such as Oliver and Ra's al Ghul. However, Malcolm actions and his nature as a liar make it difficult for people to ever believe him as displayed when he tried to convince Team Arrow of Oliver's false allegiance to Ra's and the threat of the Alpha-Omega virus. Due to his archery and combat skills, Malcolm was able to successfully portray himself to Damien Darhk as "Green Arrow" when Oliver was unable to.
- Master interrogator: Malcolm was a trained torturer due to his time in the League of Assassins, however, Malcolm oddly prefers diplomatic solutions before resorting to torture as seen when he offers Sara Lance the chance to rewrite her history. Malcolm is also a trained hypnotist and proceeded to use hypnotic-regression therapy in a failed attempt to restore Rip Hunter's memories.
- Occult knowledge: Malcolm was aware of the existence of magic and mysticism, knowing the existence of the Lazarus Pit. Since becoming Ra's al Ghul, Malcolm gained a higher understanding and knowledge of the Lazarus Pit and its functions, which allowed him to tell Thea why she had the bloodlust and knowing how to cure her, although it was for naught as Ra's is dead and cannot be killed by Thea, Vandal Savage, with him knowing that Savage was immortal long before Team Arrow could figure out, and Damien Darhk's magic. However, Malcolm was unable to figure out why Damien's magic backfired against Thea.
- Toxicology: Malcolm was able to use votura to create a drug that made Thea Queen kill Sara Lance without her remembering it.
- Indomitable will/High pain tolerance: Malcolm had an extremely high tolerance for pain like most members of the League of Assassins, which he taught to his daughter, Thea Queen. Malcolm's threshold for pain allowed him to survive the torture inflicted upon him by Ra's al Ghul and he was able to partially handle the pain of losing his left hand when Oliver cut it off.
- Stealth/Infiltration/Escape Artist: As a highly trained assassin, Malcolm was a master in the art of stealth, as his ability to break into buildings and disappear without a trace was another reason why he is called "The Magician" by the League of Assassins. Malcolm skills have repeatedly made of mockery of the Arrowcave's security, despite its relocation and upgrades. Malcolm had even managed to infiltrate Nanda Parbat undetected, which Malcolm claims to be difficult. As an escape artist, Malcolm claims that no prison can hold him not even Oliver's secret prison on Lian Yu.
- Network: Malcolm had a dense network of information throughout Star City, including the coroner's office which is how Oliver believes he faked his death. Since becoming Ra's al Ghul, Malcolm gained access to all the resources of the League of Assassins before Nyssa al Ghul dissolved the League. However, Malcolm did still control a small collection of loyalists to the League and seems to have retained some of the contacts he gained as Ra's, as he was able to enter Prison Heights and leave as if he was never there to speak to Damien Darhk.
- Customized hunting arrows: Malcolm created and designs his arrows himself. 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 The Arrow.
- Customized PSE X-Force Super Short Short Draw LF Compound bow: While the rest of the League primarily uses modified PSE Chaos AD compound bows, as the Dark Archer, Malcolm used a similar bow as his signature weapon of choice; a customized compound bow.
- Cybernetic hand: Malcolm acquired a cybernetic hand of unknown materials and origin while planning Damien Darhk's prison break. He used it for the first time when stealing the idol from Team Arrow and has been wearing it ever since. This allows him to use a bow and complete various other tasks that would be impossible to do for one-handed individuals. This prosthetic is specifically built for his left hand, which was cut off by Oliver during their duel at the end of the League civil war. The prosthesis is seemingly capable of all known functions found in an organic hand, and has not been known to hamper Malcolm's dexterity. Given that it is made from top of the line technology, it presumably had the same degree of tactile sensitivity as a human hand, as such technology has been known to exist in contemporary science as of 2016. After Malcolm's death by a land mine, it is presumably destroyed.
- Dark Archer suit: Malcolm wore a protective suit, as his villain alter-ego of the Dark Archer, to hide his identity from his victims. It was similar to the suits used by members of the League of Assassins, aside from some minor differences. It is unknown what materials it's made out of, with the exception of Kevlar.
- Smoke bombs: After incapicating Nyssa, he threw a smoke bomb to quickly escape the scene.
- Swords: Malcolm used a huge variaty of swords from different cultures. He first used a league of assassins scimitar to kill two police officers, during his third fight with Oliver. Malcolm was shown using the league of assassins scimitar against Oliver, though he was very quickly disarmed by Oliver. While training Thea they used both Japanese and Chinese swords. When preparing to kill Brickwell he carried another style of scimitar, similar to the one used by Nyssa al Ghul.
- Throwing knives: When fighting Oliver and John, Malcolm utilized double bladed throwing knives.
- Trick arrows: Shortly after his return, Malcolm used an explosive arrow to save Thea and seemingly kill one of Slade's Mirakuru henchmen.
- Quiver: A black arrow container strapped to Malcolm's back. He used it to carry his arrows as his villain alter-ego, the Dark Archer.
- Voice filter: Malcolm used 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.
- Demon's Head ring: Malcolm wore a particular ring which symbolized his position as the Demon's Head. Malcolm no longer wears it, as it was destroyed by the last Ra's al Ghul aka Nyssa al Ghul, that promptly disbanded the League of Assassins.
- Laser pistol: Malcolm had a laser gun and supposedly he got it from Eobard Thawne.
- "" (as Cutter Moran)
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Arrow: Season 2.5
Arrow: The Dark Archer
- In DC comics, Arthur King, which was Malcolm's birth name, is the supervillain Merlyn, and the archenemy of the Green Arrow.
- Malcolm was initially simply known as the "well-dressed man"; his identity as Tommy's father was only discovered while he was practicing fencing. Malcolm, at the time, was masked, when Tommy confronted him about his empty credit cards. Malcolm took off his mask to reveal his face to the audience, confirming his identity. His first name, however, wasn't revealed until later.
- Malcolm Merlyn is the most long-running antagonist in the Arrowverse, as he served as the main antagonist in the first season of Arrow, a minor character in the second and fifth season, a major anti-hero in both the third and fourth season, a guest character in The Flash, and a major antagonist in the second season of DC's Legends of Tomorrow.
- He is a huge fan of Frank Sinatra.
- 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. Ironically, Oliver later uses the alias "Green Arrow" after The Arrow's unfortunate "death."
- 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 that Malcolm spent two years in Nanda Parbat when Oliver was around 9, and Tommy was around 8 where he received mentorship from another individual. 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 is one of the only individuals to have bested Oliver in combat more than once, and one of even fewer who has managed it without the aid of Mirakuru. The only other characters who have accomplished this feat without Mirakuru are Ra's al Ghul, Lonnie Machin, and Slade Wilson.
- Malcolm was one of only two people able to defeat a Mirakuru injected person without the aid of trick arrows or antidote.
- While training Thea he was seen wearing a hakama and Japanese clothing. He also referred to Japanese philosophy. This implies he probably has had training in martial arts outside the League of Assassins.
- While a member of the League of Assassins, Malcolm was known as "Al Sa-her" (in Arabic: الساحر), which in Arabic means (the) Magician. Nyssa Al Ghul first called him like this after he performed a magic trick. This name was possibly also chosen as a play on his surname "Merlyn," (which is a variant form of the name Merlin) due it coming from the legendary figure, Merlin, who is best known as the wizard (or magician) featured in Arthurian legend. It's also a reference to the comics since Arthur King (the Dark Archer's civilian identity) presents himself as "Merlyn the Magician" during his debut.
- Though not having necessarily survived Ra's al Ghul's blade, Malcolm dodged the League's death punishments, making him some kind of the prophesied successor. Also, through the Undertaking, Malcolm also destroyed part of his home city, but since it wasn't his entire town that was destroyed, Malcolm is the first person to ascend to Ra's without completely destroying his home.
- Malcolm serves as the catalyst of Arrow, as his sabotage of the Queen's Gambit is what set in motion the events that sent Oliver down the path of becoming the Green Arrow.
- He also survived his fight with Oliver in season one who ironically was prophesied as Ra's al Ghul before Malcolm.
- Malcolm is aware of the existence of Oliver's son, William Clayton.
- Malcolm is one of the main antagonists of the Arrowverse to be still alive after the season, in which he was the main antagonist. The others are Slade Wilson, Hunter Zolomon, and Ricardo Diaz.
- Out of all the Arrow villains, Malcolm discovered Oliver's identity as the Hood/Green Arrow the latest.
Behind the scenes
- In DC comics, Arthur King, alias Merlyn, was introduced as Green Arrow's greatest rival. Malcolm Merlyn is an adaptation of this character, with "Arthur King" being his birth name.
- Originally, the Prime Earth version of Merlyn was supposed to be represented by Tommy Merlyn, plus an unrelated appearance of a character called "Merlyn", who resembled his Pre-Flashpoint self in one of the earlier New 52 comics. However, in the Rebirth line of DC Comics, it was revealed that Tommy's father, Malcolm Merlyn, was the original Dark Archer before his son also took on the title.
- The concept art for Malcolm's alter-ego is called "Dark Arrow", which in the comics was an identity assumed by an amnesiac Hannibal Bates.
- His first name may be a reference to Malcolm McDowell who voiced Merlyn in the DC Showcase: Green Arrow animated short film.
- He is the second main antagonist to be credited as a main character followed by Slade Wilson and Adrian Chase.
- The arrows Malcolm uses resemble the ones used by Smallville's version of Green Arrow, portrayed by Justin Hartley.
- John Barrowman stated in a video on his Instagram account that he would not be returning for Season 6 of Arrow, and to the Arrowverse at all.
- Barrowman reprised his role in the video game LEGO DC Super-Villains.