Oliver Queen may be facing his toughest opponent yet: Kirk Acevedo.
The Oz and Fringe star has signed onto play a version of Richard Dragon in the six season of The CW’s Arrow, according to Deadline. On the series, he will be Ricard Diaz, described as a “hardened ex-con recently released from prison for crimes he didn’t commit” determined to take over Star City’s crime syndicates. An echo of last year’s Tobias Church (Chad L. Coleman), to be sure.
But Richard Dragon has a storied past in the DCU. Starting out in a novel co-written by DC legend Denny O’Neil, he became the star of one of DC’s martial arts books in the 1970s. After Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter ended its run, he served as a fighting instructor, training both versions of The Question, Oracle, Lady Shiva and The Huntress. Considering those connections, it is surprising Ollie never ran into him on Lian Yu or in Nanda Parbat. The character was reintroduced to DC’s New52 continuity in 2013 as Ricardo Diaz Jr., a more villainous take on the character.
On Arrow, he will be “a master in hand to hand combat, honed by years of life on the street” who has beaten every opponent he’s ever faced. Well, presumably until he meets Ollie, I suppose.
While I love Richard Dragon from O’Neil and Denys Cowan’s The Question series from the late 1980s, I have to admit that I am not a fan of Acevedo. I always find him the least appealing thing about the shows he appears on. It may have something to do with his smoker’s voice. Also, I am unfamiliar with the Diaz version of the character, so its hard to say if he’s a good fit. If anything, I hope to inclusion of a Dragon-esque character means The Question — a character the executive producers have mentioned in interviews since the first season — will soon grace the streets of Star City as well.
Arrow returns on October 12th.