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‘Arrow’ Showrunner on How Prometheus Reveal Turns Comic Book Mythology ‘On Its Head’

”We wanted to change up how we introduced the big bad — change up when we did it, how we did it,“ Wendy Mericle says

(Spoiler alert: Please do not read on if you have not watched Wednesday’s episode of “Arrow,” titled “Fighting Fire With Fire”)

“Arrow” revealed the identity of its Season 5 villain Prometheus Wednesday night, and it was a doozy: Star City District Attorney Adrian Chase is the man behind the hood.

This came as a surprise to fans, of course, because most expected Adrian (played by Josh Segarra) to be revealed to be Vigilante, his superhero alter ego in the comic books.

“One of the reasons [we made Adrian Prometheus] was because we knew everyone would be thinking, ‘of course, he’s Vigilante,'” showrunner Wendy Mericle told reporters on a call to discuss the big reveal. “Because Adrian Chase is Vigilante in the comic books, we thought it would be a really fun twist to do what we always do on the show, which is to take the comic book mythology and turn it on its head and see what kind of story we can mine from a surprise like that.”

It’s certainly a surprising twist, but not entirely out of left field, as certain fans have been speculating that the new Star City DA is the right age to have been the illegitimate son of Justin Claybourne, killed by Oliver (Stephen Amell) back in Season 1.

And indeed, this game he’s been playing with Green Arrow is deeply personal, and designed to torture — not to kill — the vigilante.

“One of the things that we wanted to build Chase up as was someone who was especially good at being 10 steps ahead of Oliver,” Mericle said. “Really being psychological in the way he manipulates him. One of the way he does that is by going after the people he cares about. We’ve seen villains do that, in the past, but Adrian does it in a way that’s a little more specific … His goal, really he has no drive to kill Oliver. It’s purely based on torture … It’s all part and parcel of his need to break Oliver down psychologically, rather than physically. ”

Of course, just because the audience now knows the true identity of Prometheus doesn’t mean Team Arrow is clued in just yet. That reveal will come later this season, Segarra promises.

“They’re going to find out, we’re not going to leave it until the end of the season, we’re going to see how that pot gets stirred a little bit,” Segarra. “I already know how he reacts and I love the way it goes, so you get to see Chase just try to burn the world around him. We’ve seen the reluctance of him to kill him, I never want to kill him. It’s kind of just to see him stir a little, make him uncomfortable. And once they do find out, then it becomes about how then to continue my mission. I know how that goes but you’ll have to see.”

“Arrow” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

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