For other users of the alias, see Vertigo (disambiguation).
"I'm Count Vertigo, and I approve this high!."
—Count Vertigo[src]

Cecil Adams (died December 6 2013), self-styled Count Vertigo and formerly known as The Count, was the dealer and creator of a drug called Vertigo. He received his original nickname because his first customers, or "victims", were left with a mark by the injection of the drug on their neck, shaped like a vampire's bite. The Count was killed by Oliver Queen as the drug dealer tried to murder Felicity Smoak. Werner Zytle would later take up his mantle under the name "Vertigo".


Rise and fall

When the Hood found out that his sister had been dealt Vertigo, he headed out for revenge. The Count sent his men out to slow down the vigilante. However, in the end, the Hood gave him a taste of his own medicine and injected him with considerable amounts of his own drug, an amount doctors have never seen anyone live through before. He was strapped to a gurney and wheeled off into a hospital, declared insane.[1]


Dr. Webb tried to take the mantle of the Vertigo crime lord for himself.

Later on it was revealed that Dr. Webb, who was in charge of treating the Count as a mental ward patient, began selling Vertigo on the street, framing the Count for it. He intended to fake his patient's escape from the mental hospital, and used the Count's kidney report to reverse engineer the Vertigo drug. He also upgraded the original formula. His plan failed when the Hood found the Count in the basement and was told by Dr. Webb himself that the Count was not sane, and unable to run any sort of criminal operation. The Hood did not kill the Count, instead sending him back to the mental hospital.[2]

Revenge of Count Vertigo

Ultimately, it was revealed that the Count recovered from his overdose on Vertigo, and was sent to Iron Heights. He escaped from prison during The Undertaking. It is revealed that the Count let Barton Mathis out, another criminal that likes to kill his victims with a liquid, and dress them up as pretty dolls. Six months later, he returned calling himself "Count Vertigo".  Once again, he put Vertigo out on the street and poisoned almost the entire city with it, by using flu injection vans throughout the city. He even managed to infect Adam Donner and John Diggle. Felicity Smoak, the person that found his delivering method, was taken hostage by Count Vertigo when she came to investigate. He was able to put the pieces together, and figured out that Oliver Queen is the vigilante. Count Vertigo called Oliver from Oliver's office at Queen Consolidated, and informed him that he abducted Felicity. After Oliver arrived, he tried to talk the Count out of harming Felicity. When the Count threatened to inject Felicity with Vertigo, Oliver killed him with three arrows to the chest, which caused him to fall through the window where he landed on top of a car parked next to the building. The Count's death caused many to believe The Arrow has started killing people once again, an assumption that was proven wrong. Soon, it is revealed that Count Vertigo was sent to kill the Arrow by Sebastian Blood.[3]


Werner Zytle

Werner Zytle continued the legacy of Count Vertigo.

The Count's mantle was soon taken by another crime lord under the moniker of "Vertigo", Werner Zytle. Zytle defeated other members of Vertigo's criminal organization and started spreading the drug along with means to effect great masses of people with it.[4]


Cecil Adams was psychopathic, sadistic, ruthless, unreasonable, and a person who took great pleasure in seeing people suffer, but after he was injected by his own drug Vertigo by the Arrow, he became a shell of his former self. However, when he returned as "Count Vertigo", his personality was restored.


  • Needle: As The Count, he carried a unique syringe with two needles filled with liquid vertigo. He could stab victims in the neck or chest with it and force the vertigo into them. The vertigo would inflict effects ranging from disorientation to severe pain. After escaping prison and setting up a new enterprise, he demonstrated the ability to kill a person merely by stabbing them in the shoulder. The overdose would take effect in mere seconds.
  • Handgun: Adams often carried at least one psitol on hand. He used it in his last skirmish with Oliver Queen before being disarmed.



Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 5


Arrow: Season 2.5


  • Count Vertigo interestingly deduced Oliver's identity as the Arrow, purely based on Oliver's last name when he remembered the Hood took him down shortly after his "drug deal" with Oliver.
  • In episode 17 of Season 5 of Arrow titled Kapiushon, Prometheus mentioned Cecil Adams who was known to Oliver as Count Vertigo. The episode was the first time we had a name for this Count Vertigo as his name was never mentioned before hand.

Behind the scenes

  • In the DC comics, Count Vertigo, whose real name was Werner Vertigo, had the ability to disorient his victims using a chip planted in his skull, which is manifested in Arrow as the drug called Vertigo. In The New 52, the event that rebooted the DC Universe in the DC Comics, Count Vertigo's new name was Werner Zytle.
  • Before the premiere of the second season of Arrow, Gabel stated that despite Arrow promising he didn't kill his foes, the chance of the Count's death wasn't impossible. The Count was finally killed in "State v. Queen", as Gabel suspected a little.[5]
  • According to Gabel, his performance as Count Vertigo was based on Batman's (another DC Comics superhero) greatest foe and archenemy, The Joker.[6]