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Superman & Lois teases John Diggle’s return and possible transformation

John Diggle
David Ramsey as John Diggle/Spartan in Arrow. Pic credit: The CW

John Diggle is returning to the Arrowverse…and he might have a certain colored ring with him.

Superman & Lois producer Todd Helbing discusses how David Ramsey will be coming on to direct episodes of the hit CW show and reprise his role as Arrow’s right-hand man, who might also become the Arrowverse Green Lantern. 

Diggle’s journey

When Arrow began, Oliver Queen was on a one-man crusade to clean up Starling City. Concerned over his behavior, his mother hired John Diggle, a former Marine turned private bodyguard.

It didn’t take long for Diggle to discover Oliver’s secret life and soon became a staunch ally. He would take on the identity of Spartan and even briefly serve as Green Arrow himself when Oliver was in jail.

The final episode of Arrow ended with Diggle doing a eulogy at Oliver’s funeral as he and wife Lyla moved to Metropolis. When a mysterious object crashed in front of him, Diggle opened a box to show something glowing a bright green.

Fans jumped to the natural conclusion that Diggle was going to become Green Lantern. There had been hints across the series, such as the revelation Diggle’s adoptive father was named Stewart after John Stewart, a major Lantern in the comics. 

When John Wesley Shipp reprised his role as the 1990s TV Flash, he saw Diggle and remarked, “you’re not wearing your ring.”

With Diggle set to return to Superman & Lois and other Arrowverse shows, the idea he’s Green Lantern is growing. 

Dig directing Luthor’s story first

Luthor and Lois
Wole Parks and Elizabeth Tulloch in Superman & Lois Pic credit: The CW

Before that happens, Ramsey will be handling director duties for Episode 7 of the series, which will delve more into the backstory of the new Luthor (Wole Parks).

After giving Superman a hard time in the premiere, flashbacks have shown this Luthor hails from an alternate Earth where Superman went evil and became a monstrous menace. Luthor appears convinced this will happen in this world and wants to stop Superman first. 

A complication is the revelation that on his world, Luthor was married to Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch) and obviously jarred seeing her with the man he considers his worst enemy. 

In a roundtable interview with Entertainment Weekly, Parks said, “we’ve been [seeing] little pieces of him here and there, little things about him. And I think Episode 7 is where you get a real big dive into him and you understand where he’s coming from… I’m excited for the fans to see it just because I was excited when I got to read it.”

Helbing added he thought Ramsey would be great directing the ep as “just getting into the Luthor character and the backstory, and really getting into his motivations and why he’s doing what he is, I think David, having played John Diggle, could just bring his expertise [from] the Arrowverse on how to tell those stories. So I thought he would be a perfect fit for it.”

Diggle as Lantern?

David Ramsey
David Ramsey as Diggle on Arrow. Pic credit: The CW

Of course, the big question is if Diggle is, in fact, now Green Lantern. Adding to it is that the actor will be reprising the role not just on Superman & Lois but also on a coming episode of Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow and Batwoman.

Helbing has indicated that Diggle’s arc was to be the annual Arrowverse crossover, but sadly, real-life events due to the coronavirus pandemic made it impossible to coordinate. 

[Our episode] gets into the mentality of where he is in his life based on everything that happened to him over the last [several] years. There was like a five-episode story. It was pretty cool. And then because of availability and shutdowns and delays, it was impossible to make it make sense [across the shows]. There’s still a through-line, but it’s not as A-to-B-to-C [as planned]. Ours is kind of a little bit more of a one-off, but thematically it still plays.”

There had been plans for a Superman & Lois/Batwoman crossover, but those were ended by both the coronavirus pandemic and Ruby Rose suddenly leaving the Batwoman role. However, Helbing is open to some other Arrowverse characters popping up. 

“I mean, I obviously have an affection for Flash. You know, I love [The Flash star] Grant [Gustin]. That would be a lot of fun. We’ll see! I think just the way that things evolved with our show and unintentionally being separated in a way that we have because of COVID, it really changed so many plans that we had. The further along we got, the harder it was to justify having a big explanation. It just felt so false. So that’s really where that came from.”

Surprisingly, there are no plans yet for Melissa Benoist to appear as Supergirl on the series, although the producers would clearly love to have her. 

As Ramsey prepares for his return, fans are hopeful this means the Arrowverse will be bathed in Green Lantern’s light. 

Superman & Lois returns to The CW Tuesday, May 18 at 9 pm EST.

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