I was overjoyed to see how overjoyed Neal McDonough was to return as Damien Darhk in “The Return of the Mack.” (I still have that song stuck in my head.) Unlike some fans, however, I’m not worried that the character will be overused. It’s not that I don’t recognize the possibility. It’s that McDonough is so awesome in the role that I simply don’t care.
Now that the Mallus arc has begun in earnest, though, I have another concern — villain decay. Darhk played second fiddle to Thawne in last season’s Legion of Doom arc, and it’s annoying to think that Darhk will now play second fiddle to Mallus (as wonderful as it is that he’s being voiced by John Noble). Fortunately, I have hope that Darhk won’t be overshadowed in the form of a quote from Executive producer Marc Guggenheim from an interview with DCLegendsTV…
What can we expect from Damien Darhk’s role in Legends Season 3?
I would say Damien is very much the “Thawne” of the season, in the sense that last year, Thawne was driving a lot of what the Legion of Doom was doing. Even though Malcolm or Damien wouldn’t want to admit it, Thawne was very much in charge, and he was calling the shots.
This is Damien’s year to shine. He’s also the Damien Darhk of Arrow Season 4, so he’s got memories of all of the things that have happened to him, not just in Legends Season 2, but also in Arrow Season 4, and that also includes his command of magic. So, there are some fun things going on with Damien. Obviously, Neal McDonough is really wonderful in that role. You could see he’s always enjoying each of the scenes that he’s shooting. I’m looking forward to people seeing more and more episodes so that you can really see how Damien’s master plan is coming together as well as the team of super-villains that he is in the process of recruiting is coming together.
If this is “Damien’s year to shine” and Damien is setting his “master plan” in motion, how is supposed to do those things if he’s answering to Mallus? The only way Guggenheim’s response makes sense is if Darhk isn’t answering to Mallus because he is Mallus.
But, Mallus is the dawn of time old apparently. How can the time difference be accounted for? The time difference can be explained by The Savatar Effect. Like Time Remnant Barry, Darhk and his daughter, Eleanor, used time travel to establish Mallus in antiquity and secretly build the society to which Eleanor was later “invited.” Of course, that means that Darhk regained his memories far sooner than the Legends assumed, which would simply be one of those reveals that would allow Darhk to “shine.”
Additionally, we know that the CW DCU executive producers love employing special guest voices to mask villain identities, so John Noble’s casting makes, even more, sense in that context. Moreover, we’ve seen how the executive producers like to use the masked villains to trigger obsessive behavior in the heroes. Rip Hunter’s exit narrative is clearly an example of that. Wouldn’t my theory mean the writers were being repetitive? Yes, but the writers have been repetitive for years now, and in this instance, McDonough is so awesome in the role that I simply don’t care.