Friday, February 6, 2015

EDITORIAL: John Diggles the Name

EDITORIAL: John Diggles the Name

John Diggle should be John Stewart! Is the same thing I thought after the first two episodes of Arrow, but by episode three... that whim was far-gone. Why... You may ask…well that’s the point of this write up.

To begin I would like to address a “what if” … “What if the CW did have a Green Lantern”. Well in all likelihood it would be most likely be Hal Jordan. Hal’s relationships with Barry and Oliver are of the strongest comic bonds ever written, second only to Batman and Superman’s brotherhood. Considering the rumors that not only John Stewart will be the Green Lantern of the Justice League movies, and that the Green Lantern movie in 2020 will feature multiple Earth lanterns, the usage of Hal would be perfectly suitable; even if John is not the main lanterns of the Justice League movie, using Hal on TV would still be perfectly suitable. Seeing as we may be getting a small screen and a big screen Barry Allen played by Grant Gustin and Ezra Miller respectively (although Miller’s iteration of the Flash has yet to be truly confirmed), the rights to Hal Jordan don't seem to far off. Despite Arrow and The Flash taking liberties from source material as any adaptation does, they still keep the base logic constant, bringing in a Green Lantern who isn’t Hal as the “third member of the trio” is like making Barry Allen into Aquaman and Oliver Queen into Quicksilver…yes…into a Marvel character, that’s how classic the friendship is. Not only that, but up until this point there have been no references to a John Stewart existing in the Arrowverse, although people still think Diggle and he are one and the same…but we shall get to that, there have on the other hand been many references to Hal Jordan’s mythos and existence:

            S01E07 “Muse of Fire” – Coast City, home to Hal Jordan is mentioned
            S01E23 – “Sacrifice” Ferris Air is mentioned as the company
            providing the plane Edward Fryers is attempting to shoot down
            (he is successful)
            S03E05 – “The Magician” – Oliver directly mentions Ferris Air
            in a Hong Kong Flashback sequence
            S03E08 – “The Brave and the Bold” – The episode title, despite
            referencing a long-running comic series that saw many characters
            team up is most notable for teaming up Hal Jordan either Barry
            Allen or Oliver Queen.

            S01E01 – Pilot” – The Flash tests his speed at a run down Ferris Aircraft base

These are just some of the many Hal Jordan based Green Lantern teases that have occurred throughout the history of the show, and it is also notable that in the initial draft of the Flash pilot, Cisco directly mentions how a pilot went missing from Ferris Air, a nice tease to Hal Jordan’s origin in that itself.

But back onto specifically David Ramsey’s John Diggle. Many people still seem to think that John Diggle will at some time make the transition to John Stewart. Surprisingly after polling many people the answers I get as reason for this belief are the same as they were after the first two episodes of season one of Arrow: the first being he is black, and the second being that his name is John. I would include that he was in the military, but John Diggle was in the army whilst John Stewart was a marine; a change so insignificant that if that had been the plan, to make him John Stewart, it wouldn’t have been a big deal to make him an ex. marine.  However, by making him into a man of the army rather than the marine core, the logic behind making John Diggle into John Stewart begins to break down, from something so simple, the characters begin to diverge into their own.

His dad (a Mr. Stewart) left and he took his mother’s last name, Diggle

Diggle is only a nickname

Diggle will become a Green Lantern, not John Stewart but just a new Green Lantern

For this particular argument I will take a page out of the DC TV Universe’s book and say that yes at some point there may have been a vague idea that he could not that he would but he could have been John Stewart…a thought that ended after the first season of Arrow ended and then was further cancelled with the success of The Flash. This coupled with the fact that Diggle and John Stewart are now two completely separate comic characters in the current canon. Would suggest Diggle and Stewart will never be the same person.

But Isabel Roshev and Rose Wilson are separate characters as well, and they became one and the same on the show… First off all, not necessarily, Roshev merely adopted a name that is NOT being used in the comics at this time…that’s perfectly logical, as a change this large can also be carried over to the comics if they so chose. In the New 52, Rose Wilson was seen briefly as a part of the Ravagers, a team, not a person, and Isabel Roshev has only been mentioned. This same logic is also why it is perfectly O.K. for the newly introduced Felicity Smoak (to the comics), to become Oracle, because as of now, Oracle is just a name, Barbara Gordon is once again Batgirl, and her brief stint as Oracle is over leaving the name readily available for use on the show, and then the change to be made in the comics, or vice versa.

Everyone who enjoys Diggle, and even producers of the show have acknowledged that he is unique because he does NOT where a mask. Since his induction into the show, Diggle has made the transformation from typical bodyguard to team member, guardian, and father; although according to last episode he still thinks of himself as Oliver Queens bodyguard.

On top of all of this, I see tons and tons of people suggesting that, like I said before, Diggle is just a nickname. This part of the right up isn’t a game changing fact whether you agree or disagree, but I would be curious, in seasons one, two, and three there was a stress on calling him Digg or Diggs a nickname; would you suggest that he wanted to be called a nickname of his nickname? Seems quite fishy…. And then there is the clear fact that his brother’s name is Andy Diggle, and Andy isn’t just a figment of anyone’s imagination he is an actual character who had an actual life, so that can’t be written out of everyone’s minds.

As I said before it was AT ONE POINT…MAYBE a possibility; this is taken from a similar write up done by the DC TV Universe Page:

            “The first reason I think this is the case is that the actors themselves have never
            denied it when asked about it. According to, Stephen Amell was
            asked about the possability of the Diggle-Stewart idea in a Facebook Q&A, and his
             response was:

            “I mean it looks good. And if we know anything about television shows, if it looks
             good, it has a much better chance of happening.”

            The most damning interview, however, was with Diggle himself – David Ramsey. At
            San Diego Comic Con International this past summer, Ramsey openly talked about John
            Stewart. According to, Ramsey was quoted as saying:

            I mean, there’s been discussion about who John Diggle really is in the DC universe,
            and they’ve thrown around John Stewart if you guys know who he is. Well there’s
            been talk about all that, but right now, moving forward, what they really want to get
             involved in this whole A.R.G.U.S. thing and Suicide Squad and the investigation of
            H.I.V.E.—the organization that hired Deadshot to kill Andy. We’ll be seeing that in
            some flashbacks of who Andy was because Andy wasn’t the guy that John Diggle thinks
             he was. He was actually the mark, so we have to get into some of that and his relationship
            with A.R.G.U.S., because that will be fleshed out.

            David Ramsey opens right up by saying that there has been discussion and that the
            Stewart idea has been, “thrown around”, but they are instead, “moving forward” with
            a different story line involving H.I.V.E, A.R.G.U.S., and the Suicide Squad.” (DC TV Universe)

At this point in time, there is nothing to be gained from modifying any characters backstory to this extent…and as I said, Diggle and Stewart are now two completely separate entities on their own in the comics. And comic fans, lets face it, aside from the JLA/JLU cartoon John Stewart is one of the driest comic characters ever to exist, Diggle is not only a completely different character, but he isn’t dry or boring either. Do I see him remaining on Arrow past season 4? Absolutely not… but I don’t see them killing him either, yes…he has served his purpose, but the writers are building a character (not modifying an existing one).

Personally...and this could just be me... I see this as the nail in the coffin for this theory...Stephen Amell has made a HUGE HUGE HUGE fuss over NOT revealing spoilers, short or long term in any way shape or form. He once reposted fan-art that suggested a possible spoiler (Lazarus Pit) because he LIKED the art...and then proceeded to write a 2 paragraph explanation about why he would NEVER spoil anything...So I say at this point...its clear he won't be John Stewart...and it's just a big joke to them at this point...I would say if steel...also black...also named John...was a big name character like Green Lantern...the same jokes and accusations would be tossed around.

Also note...Amell may also be joking because, as he said himself in another question...he find's Tyerese's campaigning for the role "unbecoming"

As Ramsey said, “H.I.V.E, A.R.G.U.S., and the Suicide Squad” will all be returning both this season and the next, and will further be weaved into the backstory of John Diggle, making him more of a character on his own.

The more we see of Diggle with the Squad, his wife, and ARGUS...the more the supporters of this "theory" should begin to quiet down.

Even more recently David Ramsey has come out in an interview and said, 

“Is John Diggle John Stewart? I cannot say “yes,” and I cannot say, “no.” I’m serious! I do know that there is serious discussion about whether or not this guy becomes John Stewart. But, I mean, I’ll say this: it is top secret. I’ve asked them – David Ramsey has asked them – and they’re like, “we’re working on some stuff.” If that’s the case, it’s gonna be huge. This is the stuff they want to avoid. I think they don’t want anybody to know yet and they haven’t even told me. But they have told me that they are thinking about it and that they are considering it. But they’re not going to release anything yet. That’s exactly what the told me. Greg Berlanti told me that. Andrew [Kreisberg] and Marc [Guggenheim] have told me that. I haven’t spoken to Geoff Johns about it. But that’s the word from people directly involved in Arrow- that they’re working on something. “Here’s the truth of it: if I knew, I would tell you I know the answer to that, but I’m not at liberty to tell you that. I would answer like that. I probably wouldn’t tell you anyway, but I would at least tell you that I know. I honestly do not know.”
That full interview can be read here. It should also be noted that he talks significantly MORE about the Squad and the fact that he divulges that they were/are in talks about making him more the John Diggle...should imply that those talks are over...because the Arrow writers, and stars have both said multiple times (each) that they HATE giving away the biggest twists of the show...and even divulging the fact that there were talks spoils a twist that "could have been". (The portion above is barely 10% of the interview).

Does it still perpetuate the idea, of course, but the actions of the character on screen suggest they have chosen to move in a different direction with John DIGGLE, it should also be noted that Ramsey is 43...and Green Lantern isn't just a character to "quickly introduce", if any character was to spin-off...that would be him, and I for one don't want a 50 year old playing Green Lantern in a TV Universe where every character is significantly younger.

But in the end, to each his own, I personally look forward to the almost insured introduction of Hal Jordan into the DC Universe, and Diggles continued growth in both the New 52 comics and on the show into his own man.

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