The CW‘s Arrow to introduce Capt. Boomerang. Arrow has already been on track, building on its rogues gallery for season 3, with appearances by Komodo, Cupid, and its biggest get yet, Ra’s al Ghul. Now comes word that one Digger Harkness (Nick Tarabay) will be making his live action debut on the series; a name source material fans may recognize as the alter ego of Captain Boomerang.
About Capt. Boomerang:
George “Digger” Harkness, aka Captain Boomerang, carries a number of boomerangs in his satchel. He is an expert at throwing the weapons and as well as ordinary boomerangs he has a number with special properties, including bladed, explosive, incendiary, and electrified boomerangs.
Secretly the illegitimate son of an American soldier and an Australian woman, Harkness was raised in poverty, during which time he developed great skill in making boomerangs, and in using them as weapons. As a young adult, he was hired as a performer and boomerang promoter by a toy company which was, unbeknownst to him, owned by his biological father. Audiences ridiculed him, and a resentful Harkness turned to using his boomerangs for crime. He originally became Captain Boomerang as a mascot for a Toy Company and briefly pretended another man was impersonating him, showing his ‘parents’, (really other crooks) to the Flash after the Flash caught him next to a crime scene. He nearly succeeded in killing Flash after knocking him out with a boomerang, then tying the Flash to a giant boomerang he fired, so that it was sent into space then fell into the ocean, but Flash vibrated so fast and increased the boomerang’s velocity so much he was able to free himself from his friction-proof bonds and jail his foe and the two crooks.
Although he lacked any actual superhuman abilities, he became a recurring enemy of the Flash, typically by devising altered boomerangs which could produce astonishing effects (some would explode, others had razor-sharp edges, etc.), and using them ruthlessly. He became a staple member of the Rogues, a group of villains dedicated to opposing Flash, and who were first organized after Gorilla Grodd broke them out of jail. Though captured when Flash made their weapons hit each other, they continued to act together.
Later on, Harkness became a less-than-effective member of the Suicide Squad in exchange for being pardoned for his crimes. However, Captain Boomerang’s grating personality and blatant racism (among other things, he constantly referred to black team member Bronze Tiger as an “abbo”) caused considerable friction among his teammates, and he was considered to be a dangerous, vicious, cowardly and undependable member of the team—dysfunctional even by the Squad’s standards and the equivalent of a class clown.
Amanda Waller, the Squad’s commanding officer, characterized Captain Boomerang as “a jerk and a screw-up.” This was not an undeserved reputation, as, among other things, Harkness simply watched as his teammate Mindboggler was shot in the back, even while he could have easily saved her. (Mindboggler had earlier used her mind-manipulating abilities on Harkness to shut him up when he was verbally abusing another team member.) He also manipulated another team member, Slipknot, into running away from the action just to see if the explosive bracelets the Squad members wore really did activate if the wearer attempted to escape. (Unfortunately for Slipknot, they did).
Many times Digger would have to be tricked into battle, but when faced with enemies he proved more than competent in upholding his end of the fight. Harkness also would play a few undercover roles for the squad, convincingly managing to be other slimy, criminal types. Teammate Deadshot commented he often wished he had killed Harkness, most notably after his drinking led them to miss a plane and to Deadshot losing his uniform and entering a depressive phase because of it. Ironically, when Boomerang pulled strings to have the suit restored to Deadshot, Lawton’s psyche had passed into a phase that led him to loathe it. Harkness remained with the Squad until it was disbanded after a successful mission in Diabloverde.
In The New 52, Captain Boomerang and a new character called Yo-Yo join the Suicide Squad to replace the deceased members Savant and Voltaic. He tells the team that he is the new field commander for the Suicide Squad upon being placed in that position by Amanda Waller. But this is further revealed to be a set up orchestrated to give them a bargaining chip for bypass an armed Basilisk militia led by the sister of one of his victims. Realizing the trap, Boomerang attempts to use a detonator he was given that is supposed to be connected to the microbombs in each squad member’s skin. It fails to function, and Deadshot mocks him for thinking that Waller would trust him with that kind of power before shooting his hand. It’s later revealed in the series that Captain Boomerang is working for Basilisk as the Suicide Squad is captured. Captain Boomerang is seen escorting the squad to the concentration camps of the Basilisk militia. Captain Boomerang frees Deadshot and the rest of the squad and reveals that he was Waller’s undercover agent. While battling the militia, Captain Boomerang is knocked out by Black Spider who is revealed as the traitor on the team.
Of course, Arrow has made a point of firmly grounding source characters, and one notable change to the live action Harkness will be his relationship with Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson). The Arrow version will be introduced as a disgruntled ex-employee of A.R.G.U.S., without his trademark arsenal.
Also of note: Nick Tarabay is another alum of the Spartacus series, joining Manu Bennett (Slade Wilson/ Deathstroke), Katrina Law (Nessa al Ghul), and the aforementioned Cynthia Addai-Robinson.
Arrow has also made a habit of co-opting villains out of other DC title rogue galleries (like Solomon Grundy, and the Ghul family). With The Flash series both a spin-off & contemporary of Arrow, however, the use of Flash villains not only seems like fair game, but makes perfect sense. Cross-overs for the ka-ching!
The third season of Arrow begins Wednesday, Oct. 8, on The CW.
Leave your thoughts on Arrow’s latest addition to its rogues gallery, below in the comments section. For more Arrow reviews, photos, videos, and information, visit our Arrow Page, subscribe to us by Email, “follow” us on Twitter, Tumblr, or “like” us on Facebook.