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Villain Overview
Humanity is feckless and I wanted to cleanse it of a millennia worth of rot it has been infected by, and I WILL DO IT!!
~ Darhk
My name is Damien Darhk. In 2016, I was murdered by the Green Arrow but I was removed from the timeline 31 years before my death by a speedster from the future named Eobard Thawne. Together with Malcolm Merlyn, the former head of the League of Assassins, the three of us are going to locate the Spear of Destiny - a mystical object which can rewrite reality itself.- With the spear in our possession, we will change our past and our future and the world as you know it!
~ Darhk's monologue in Legends of Tomorrow

Damien Darhk is one of the main antagonists in the Arrowverse, first appearing in the CW TV series Arrow. He is mentioned in the third season and appears in the fourth season as the main antagonist, also appearing as a major villain in the second and third season of the spin-off DC's Legends of Tomorrow.

He was portrayed by Neal McDonough, who also portrayed M. Bison, and voiced Deadshot in Batman: Assault on Arkham.

Overview

Arrow

Initially a member of the League of Assassins, Darhk was forced to flee after a falling out with Ra's al Ghul. Given that he lived before Ra's took over the league, he is at least 600 years old. He continued the League's ways, but through his own organization called H.I.V.E.. As its leader, Darhk opposed the Green Arrow multiple times through agents, but the Arrow and his team did not connect the actions to Darhk, whom they did not know at that point. Darhk send fellow H.I.V.E. member Milo Armitage to acquire Malcolm Merlyn's earthquake device, gave Gholem Qadir save haven to Markovia and hired another man to steal a file from A.R.G.U.S. All these operations were eventually foiled by the Green Arrow and his team.

At one point, Darhk came into possession of an ancient idol which granted him the ability to perform dark magic. The idols' powers were caused through death - the more people Darhk killed the more powerful he became. Many members of H.I.V.E.'s leadership who were dissatisfied with Darhk were now forced to accept his superiority.

Darhk and H.I.V.E. eventually came to Star City in order to succeed with a H.I.V.E. operation called Genesis. The operation was supposed to cause complete worldwide nuclear annihilation and extermination in order for H.I.V.E., whose members would have safely endured the apocalypse in an underground bunker, to rebuild. At Star City, Darhk used his influence to get rid of the city's leadership to have the city sink into chaos, allowing him to take control unseen. When the Green Arrow found out about Darhk he tried to stop him but was swiftly defeated by Darhk's magic. Oliver tried to take down Darhk and his operation more than once but was defeated every time he came close to Darhk in combat.

Eventually, Oliver Queen announced his intention to become mayor of Star City, which did not sit well with Darhk who needed the city in chaos. Damien initially tried to bribe and threaten Oliver into stepping down but Oliver remained determined. A feud between the two men ensued and when Oliver released Darhk's identity, photo and occupation as leader of the group terrorizing Star City to the media, Darhk retorted by ordering the assassination of Oliver's spouse Felicity Smoak, though Felicity was merely rendered temporarily paraplegic. While trying to prevent Oliver from becoming mayor Darhk also sent his wife Ruvé into the pre-election.

In one of his attempts to get rid of the Green Arrow, Darhk hired the hitman Lonnie Machin but later gave him up to the police as Machin proved to be unreliable and chaotic. This created a deep hatred for Darhk in Machin, eventually leading to Machin attacking Darhk's house and kidnapping Darhk's wife and daughter. Ironically Darhk's family was saved by Darhk's nemesis, the Green Arrow.

After finding out about Darhk's idol, Oliver and his team with aid of fellow heroine Vixen located the idol at Darhk's mansion at Skywoods. They launched an attack on Skywoods and with combined forces were able to steal and break part of the idol. Darhk, now powerless, was easily defeated by Oliver and taken into custody by the SCPD. During a trial in which Detective Lance confessed about working with Darhk, Damien was sentenced to prison confinement until his true trial could commence. In prison, Darhk was visited by Malcolm Merlyn and was told that H.I.V.E. would not free him but continue Genesis without him. He was later attacked and beaten up by a prison gang led by Murmur, making him realize the gravity of his situation. Darhk, however, used the opportunity to gain Murmur as an ally by threatening the life of his only living relative. After forcing Murmur to kill his two henchmen, Darhk told him to call his organization and have the "other message" delivered.

With help from Murmur's gang, Malcolm Merlyn and his hidden asset Andrew Diggle, Darhk was able to start a prison riot in which Malcolm returned the idol to him. Diggle provided him with the broken piece of the idol, allowing Darhk to repair it and thus to get his magic back. With his powers refueled, Darhk killed Laurel Lance, the Black Canary, as punishment to her father before fleeing from the prison.

After breaking out, Darhk killed H.I.V.E. members Nixon and Armitage for leaving him in prison. He then attacked an A.R.G.U.S. convoy carrying the organization's leader Lyla Michaels. From her, he obtained the Rubikon codes, an important part for Genesis to succeed. He intended to kill Lyla but was stopped by the Green Arrow, who was able to repel Darhk's magic. Frightened by Oliver's new powers, Darhk fled the scene.

With the Rubikon codes, Darhk started the launch sequence for the nuclear missiles. Despite the best efforts of Team Arrow who managed to deactivate almost every missile, one missile hit the city of Havenrock, killing tens of thousands and thus gaining Darhk a gargantuan power boost. In general, Genesis failed, however, as Lonnie Machin infiltrated the Ark and captured Darhk's wife and daughter. Machin later killed Ruvé despite the best efforts of Team Arrow to stop him. The team fought Machin, causing a massive explosion that destroyed the entire bunker. After having received news of the death of his family (unaware that his daughter Nora was saved by the Green Arrow), Darhk ordered his men to reclaim Rubikon as he was ready to see the world burn.

Darhk was eventually engaged by Oliver once more which led to a fight between the two on the streets of Star City. While Darhk was joined by H.I.V.E., the citizens of Star City rallied behind Oliver which led to a final battle throughout the city. Eventually, Oliver managed to defeat Darhk and, despite Damien not believing that Oliver had it in him, stabbed and killed him with an arrow.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow

In DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Darhk is approached by a time-travelling Eobard Thawne in 1942 who hired him to help the Nazis destroy New York City. Darhk teamed up with a group of Nazis and kidnapped the ex-wife of Albert Einstein, forcing her to build an atomic bomb years before that was canonically invented. With the bomb, Darhk intended to destroy New York City but was prevented from doing so when the Legends steered their time ship, the Waverider, right in front of the nuclear torpedo - saving the city. As Thawne continued his journey through time, Darhk and Thawne parted ways.

45 years later, in 1987, Darhk was approached by Thawne once more who proposed a partnership, claiming that he was aware of Darhk's intentions to create H.I.V.E. and the Ark and implying that it would end badly. Darhk agreed to team up with Thawne. Darhk infiltrated the US government, ending up as a advisor during the nuclear deal between Reagan and Gorbachev. The Legends found out and decided to take down Darhk, who had made a deal with a KGB agent. The Legends stormed the exchange and Sara confronted Darhk, however, instead of fighting him Sara merely taunted him, revealing to him that everything he would attempt in the future would fail - his ark would be destroyed, his wife would die and he would die alone after an entire city would rise up against him. However, secretly Sara also pickpocketed Darhk, stealing the amulett he had retrieved from the Sovjets. Before he could reply, Darhk was suddenly grabbed by Eobard Thawne who immediately sped off with him. Thawne brought Darhk to a warehouse where he revealed a time capsule to Darhk, allowing Darhk to travel through time with Thawne.

After Thawne travelled to the present to recruit Malcolm Merlyn to their cause, Darhk, Thawne and Merlyn approached Al Capone in the 1920's. They assisted him in improving his criminal empire, knowing that this time sudden time aberration would draw in the Legends. After the Legends arrived, Darhk, Thawne and Merlyn set an elaborate trap, allowing them to storm the Waverider where Thawne retrieved the amulett that Sara had taken from Darhk. With the amulet, Thawne was able to complete a futuristic compass and explained to Merlyn and Darhk that it would lead them to the so-called Spear of Destiny.

To find Rip, the so-called "Legion of Doom" travelled to 1967, where Rip was living a life as a movie director. They attempted to capture Rip multiple times but were prevented from doing so by the Legends. In the final battle, the Legion finally managed to capture Rip, however, they lost both the compass and Rip's part of the Spear of Destiny in the process. To find the rest of the Spear, which Rip had broken to pieces, Darhk and Merlyn tortured Rip for information.

Eventually, a conflict developed between Darhk and Merlyn, culminating in a duel to the death between both. They only stopped their duel when they realized that Thawne profited from their feud and they decided to work together so that Thawne could not screw them over. Eventually forcing Thawne to tell them what he was hiding from them, Darhk and Merlyn learned that Thawne was hunted by a sinister being from the Speed Force - the Black Flash - and agreed to help Thawne evade the beast if he started treating them as equals, not as lackeys.

After the Legion had successfully obtained the Spear and had changed reality to their liking, Darhk ended up as mayor of Star City. In a way of poetic justice, they also turned the members of the Legends into their servants or just made them social outcasts. However, tension erupted once more and Darhk, Merlyn, and their newly recruited Leonard Snart and Mick Rory decided to work against Thawne to get the Spear for themselves. Thawne, however, intended to destroy the Spear so that reality could not be changed again. In a battle between the three factions - Thawne and his guards; Darhk with Merlyn, Snart and Rory; and the Legends - Thawne eventually succeeded in destroying the Spear, trapping all of them in his reality. However, Thawne left all of them alive as they posed no threat to him anymore.

To stop the Legion nonetheless, the Legends travelled back to World War I where they teamed up with their counterparts of that time period. There, the two sets of Legends fought against the League, eventually defeating them. After Thawne's death through the Black Flash, the Legends sent the rest of the Legion back to the point in time where they were initially recruited by Thawne. Darhk was sent back to 1971 where his mind was erased by Sara Lance. This threw Darhk's timeline back on track, causing him to pursue his plans - which would eventually lead to him coming to Star City and dying by the hands of the Green Arrow.

Powers and Abilities

  • Dark Magic: Damien Darhk is connected to the Khufu Idol, a mystical artifact that channels dark energies into him. However, it appears that even he himself is unaware of his true potential. As with enough dark energy, he was able to cause oncoming projectiles to disintegrate. He was surprised, as he was unaware of this ability.
    • Negativity Empowerment: It ha been stated that if a person who is facing him has more negative emotions the positive emotions, then that will only further empower him.
    • Accelerated Healing: All the dark energies empowering him can even heal him. When he was shot in the abdomen with two arrows, upon reconnection to the Kyushu Idol, he healed instantly. This also makes him more resilient to physical trauma.
    • Superhuman Strength: All the dark energies empowering him can even increase his physical strength. He was able to lift a full grown human being with one hand and even throw Green Arrow with enough force to defrost he metal bar. He can easily overpower Green Arrow, using a combination of his superior physical abilities and combat skills.
    • Teleportation: He can instantly relocate himself. He can catch his foes off-guard and even leave an area without a trace.
    • Life-Force Siphoning: He could siphon the vital energies of a living being. This can temporarily boost his dark magic powers.
    • Telekinesis: He could stop many projectiles and even choke groups of people with mere thought. With enough dark energy, he can even disintegrate oncoming projectiles and even stop an explosion in mid air.
    • Superhuman Longevity: He has lived for hundreds of years. It is theorized that he had accomplished this through a combined use of the stolen Lazarus Pits and his dark magic.
  • High Intelligence: He is extraordinarily intelligent, having amassed a vast set of knowledge relating to sciences, politics, media, secret cults, technology and mysticism. He even founded H.I.V.E, a secret organization and even avoided capture by Ra's al Ghul for many years.
  • Martial Artist: He is proven to be able to go toe-to-toe with Green Arrow for a while before eventually being overpowered. It has been said that due to him sole relying on his dark magic, his combat skills had greatly decreased.

Weaknesses

  • White Magic: Magic utilizing goodness and light can render him powerless and allow the user to easily overpower him.
  • Powerlessness: If he does not regularly absorb negative energies, his powers will fade away. To keep his powers and sanity, he must regularly absorb negative energies, vital energies and perform blood rituals. If the Khusu Idol is destroyed, despite the fact that it can be repaired, his physicality will be severely weakened, that he can be defeated by normal people, despite his advanced combat prowess.

Killed Victims

Arrow

  • Numerous unnamed people (Caused and Direct) 
  • Alvarez
  • Mina Fayad
  • Evelyn Sharp's father (Caused) 
  • Evelyn Sharp's mother (Caused)
  • Thomas
  • Laurel Lance / Black Canary
  • Sara Lance / White Canary (Original Timeline)
  • Quentin Lance / Detective (Original Timeline) 
  • Milo Armitage
  • Phaedra Nixon
  • 10,000 + Havenrock residents (Caused) 
  • Several unnamed A.R.G.U.S. agents 
  • Several unnamed H.I.V.E. members 
  • Cooper Seldon

Legends of Tomorrow

  • The entire population of 1942's New York City (Erased Timeline)
  • Boris (KGB agent) (1987)
  • Two bikers (1967)
  • Five security guards in a Zürich bank (2025)
  • Multiple security guards in the same bank (2025)
  • Nate Heywood (time aberration)

Appearances

Appearances for Damien Darhk

Arrow

Season 3

  • 3x21: Al Sah-him (mentioned)
  • 3x23: My Name Is Oliver Queen (mentioned)

Season 4

  • 4x01: Green Arrow
  • 4x02: The Candidate
  • 403: Restoration
  • 4x04: Beyond Redemption
  • 4x05: Haunted
  • 4x06: Lost Souls
  • 4x07: Brotherhood
  • 4x09: Dark Waters
  • 4x10: Blood Debts
  • 4x13: Sins of the Father
  • 4x14: Code of Silence
  • 4x15: Taken
  • 4x16: Broken Hearts
  • 4x17: Beacon of Hope
  • 4x18: Eleven-Fifty-Nine
  • 4x20: Genesis
  • 4x21: Monument Point
  • 4x22: Lost in the Flood
  • 4x23: Schism

The Flash

  • 2x08: Legends of Today

Legends of Tomorrow

Season 1

  • 1x02: Pilot, Part 2

Season 2

  • 2x01: Out of Time
  • 2x05: Compromised
  • 2x08: The Chicago Way
  • 2x09: Raiders of the Lost Art
  • 2x10: The Legion of Doom
  • 2x12: Camelot/3000
  • 2x15: Fellowship of the Spear
  • 2x16: Doomworld
  • 2x17: Aruba

Trivia

  • Darhk is the first villain of the Arrowverse to narrate the introduction of an episode. Normally, this is done by the respective heroes.
  • Thus far, Darhk is responsible for the nuclear destrucion of two citys, Havenrock and New York. However, the latter has been revised by the Legends of Tomorrow.
  • Darhk and Arrow's Season 5 antagonist Prometheus both encountered and fought the Green Arrow onboard a train for the first time.
  • The wife of Neal McDonough, the actor who portrays Darhk, is also called Ruvé.
  • It's completely unknown what happened to his daughter Nora after his death. It's likely that she was put in adoption or went to live with another member of Darhk's family.
  • Darhk's plan in Arrow's fourth season is just like that of Erica Kravid in the miniseries Heroes Reborn, a sequel to the superhero sci-fi series Heroes, and Paul Serene in the video-game Quantum Break. They both sought to preserve a small fraction of the world's population from an apocalyptic event (Quantum Break's Time Fracture, Heroes Reborn's solar flare and Darhk's nuclear missiles) for re-population. The difference is that he had intentionally sought to end the world while Paul and Erica thought it couldn't be saved, even though it could be.
  • It seems that he doesn't know the Flash or at least does not recognize his signs, as he is completely oblivious what happened when Flash saves Oliver.
  • It is implied that Darhk has a reputation throughout the world of magic. Even a powerful sorcerer like John Constantine is frightened by him and would rather leave Star City than to face him.
  • During an argument at an arms auction in 1975, Damien was derisively nicknamed "The Master Race" by Mick Rory because of his blonde hair, blue eyes and Nazi-esque uniform. Ironically Damien himself stated to have despised the Nazis.
  • Damien was aware that Malcolm Merlyn was Ra's al Ghul, and that his ex-best friend is dead; implying that he had some remaining connections within the League of Assassins before the League fell.
  • Darhk is killed by Oliver in the exact same way that Darhk previously killed Laurel Lance: Being stabbed to death with an arrow.
  • Damien Darhk is similar to the Green Goblin of the Spider-Man film trilogy:
    • They are leaders of a powerful organization (H.I.V.E. and Oscorp respectively).
    • They tried to kill the heroes of their respective cities (Green Arrow and Spider-Man respectively).
    • They tried to destroy a city full of criminality (Star City and New York City respectively).
    • They managed to make the heroes of their cities seem a menace by a public figure of great importance (Ruvé Darhk and J. Jonah Jameson respectively).
    • They harmed a person close to the protagonist (Felicity Smoak, Oliver Queen's fianceé; and May Parker, Peter Parker's aunt).
    • They were later jeered and threatened by an angry mob ready to help the heroes of their cities, throwing various and diferent objects at them when they were about to kill their enemies.
    • They were finally killed by being pierced or stabbed by a sharp object (Green Goblin accidentally killed himself with the blades of his hovercraft, piercing him in the stomach; and Damien Darhk was stabbed with an arrow in the chest by Green Arrow).
  • Darhk is also similar to Rasputia Latimore of Norbit:
    • They have super strength (however, Darhk has super strength due his magic powers, while Rasputia had super strength due her weight).
    • Their family members are also enemies of the protagonist (Ruvé Darhk and Nora Darhk for Darhk; and Big Black Jack Latimore, Blue Latimore and Earl Latimore for Rasputia).
    • They used a person close to a female protagonist (Laurel Lance and Kate Thomas respectively) for their evil plans (Quentin Lance and Deion Hughes respectively; however, Lance was a good person, while Deion wasn't).
    • They tried to kill the protagonist, who in fact, was a good person (Oliver Queen/Green Arrow for Darhk and Norbit Albert Rice for Latimore).
    • When they tried to kill their enemies, an angry mob, armed with several objects, appeared to help the protagonist from them.
    • They were finally defeated after stab something in their bodies (however, Oliver killed Damien stabbing an arrow in his chest; while Rasputia survived the final battle with Norbit but ended with a rake into her ass, making her escape from the town to Mexico).
  • Dahrk is also similar to Russ Cargill of The Simpsons Movie:
    • They were leaders of a powerful organization (H.I.V.E. and the E.P.A. respectively).
    • They had their own ideas about their cities (however, Darhk thought that Starling City, among the world, needed to be rebooted; while Cargill thought that the nature was more important than Springfield, that in fact, is technically correct).
    • They deceived a public figure (Quentin Lance for Darhk and Arnold Schwarzenegger for Cargill).
    • They used a dome for their evil plans (however, Darhk used the dome for protect his people, while Cargill used the dome to lock people in).
    • Their domes were destroyed, but they resulted unharmed (although Cargill's clothes were ripped by some pieces of glass; while Darhk's clothes weren't, due his dome not being built with glass).
    • They finally tried to kill the protagonist with their weapons (Darhk's magic and Cargill's shotgun), but they were finally defeated (however, Darhk was killed in fact, while Cargill's survival to the blow with a rock to his head was still unknown).

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           Arrowverse Villains

Arrow
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Legends of Tomorrow
Black Flash | Bud Ellison | Cassandra Savage | Chronos | Colonel | Damien Darhk | Dominators | Eobard Thawne | Grant Wilson | Hawk-Beasts | The Hunters | John Valor | Krieger | Leviathan | Malcolm Merlyn | Mr. Blake | Per Degaton | The Pilgrim | Quentin Turnbull | Samurai | Leonard Snart | Shogun | Stillwater Gang | Valentina Vostok | Vandal Savage | Zaman Druce