'ARROW' Rehab Program: Bronze Tiger
San Diego Comics-Con (SDCC) brought a lot of new "Arrow" goodies to dissect and explore. Up first is the addition of Michael Jai White (The Dark Knight, Black Dynamite) as Suicide Squad member and premiere DC Comics martial artist, Bronze Tiger.
Kudos to the showrunners and casting department on "Arrow" for securing Michael Jai White to play Ben Turner aka Bronze Tiger. You couldn't possibly ask for better casting. Revealed at SDCC, White will guest star on season 2 of "Arrow" and will be a member of the Suicide Squad alongside Deadshot (Michael Rowe). (Click here to read the first installment which took a look at Summer Glau's Isabel Rochev.)
Comic Book History Ben Turner debuted in the 1974 novel "Dragon's Fists" from Dennis O'Neil and Jim Berry which focused on Richard Dragon. Stylistically, think Bruce Lee's "Enter the Dragon" which was released the year before the novel. Turner made his DC Comics debut in "Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter #1" in 1975. Turner grew up in Central City (home of the Flash) before developing a focus on martial arts and crime. Striking out East, Turner eventually met the master martial artist O-Sensei and became one of his pupils alongside fellow recruit Richard Dragon. However, circumstances (read intricate comic book plot, too nuanced to dive into here) lead to Turner becoming brainwashed and entering once again into the criminal underworld as the Bronze Tiger. He becomes a member of the "League of Assassins" and while there, notably trains fellow member David Cain's daughter, Cassandra (Batgirl). One of his most notable missions, is a trip to Gotham City to assassinate Batwoman where he encounters Batman instead. The two engage in combat and Batman is soundly defeated, proving Tiger the superior martial artist. Eventually, Tiger is captured and has the brainwashing effects undone but his criminal actions are not pardoned and he becomes a member of the Suicide Squad.
Show History The character has not been mentioned explicitly during season one of "Arrow" but there's one notable clue for his introduction. During the season finale, Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) mentioned that he trained in Nanda Parbat, a fictional DC Comics locale with close ties to League of Assassins master Ra's Al Ghul. Perhaps the League sends members after Oliver (Stephen Amell) to avenger their (presumably) fallen member? Also, there's the Suicide Squad's New 52 connection to A.R.G.U.S. which will touch on below.
Analysis Bronze Tiger is one of the best martial artists in the DC Universe. It's a virtual toss up as to who's the better fighter between he, Richard Dragon and Lady Shiva. At times, Tiger has been the leader or held a second-in-command position on the Suicide Squad which is set to be introduced this season. Most likely, the group of captured villains forced to do good by the US government will be deployed by A.R.G.U.S. which previously appeared during the first season. In DC Comics New 52 publisher reboot, the Suicide Squad members are assigned missions by A.R.G.U.S.
In DC Comics history, Green Arrow and Bronze Tiger have worked together in the past as members of Martian Manhunter's "Justice League Task Force."
Michael Jai White
Geek Cred: Al Simmons (Spawn), Osebo (Static Shock), Doomsday (Justice League), John Stewart (Justice League Heroes), Gambol (The Dark Knight), Black Dynamite (Black Dynamite), Jax (Mortal Kombat: Legacy), Tattooed Man (Batman: The Brave and the Bold)
"Badass" Skills: Staggering amount of black belts in various martial art forms including Shotokan, Tae Kwon Do, Kobudo, Goju Ryu, Tang Soo Do, Wushu and Kyokushin. He began training at eight-years-old.
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Running Time: 60 min
Release Date: (Season Two) October 9th, 2013
MPAA Rating: Tv-14
Starring: Katie Cassidy, Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Byron Mann,
Colin Donnell, Colin Salmon, Paul Blackthorne, Emily Bett Rickards, John Barrowman, Roger R. Cross and Willa Holland
Creators: Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg
Characters: George Papp (character) and Mort Weisinger (character)
"After a violent shipwreck, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen was missing and presumed dead for five years before being discovered alive on a remote island in the Pacific. When he returns home to Starling City, his devoted mother Moira, much-beloved sister Thea, and best friend Tommy welcome him home, but they sense Oliver has been changed by his ordeal on the island. While Oliver hides the truth about the man he’s become, he desperately wants to make amends for the actions he took as the boy he was. Most particularly, he seeks reconciliation with his former girlfriend, Laurel Lance. As Oliver reconnects with those closest to him, he secretly creates the persona of Arrow – a vigilante – to right the wrongs of his family, fight the ills of society, and restore Starling City to its former glory. By day, Oliver plays the role of a wealthy, carefree and careless philanderer he used to be – flanked by his devoted chauffeur/bodyguard, John Diggle – while carefully concealing the secret identity he turns to under cover of darkness. However, Laurel’s father, Detective Quentin Lance, is determined to arrest the vigilante operating in his city. Meanwhile, Oliver’s own mother, Moira, knows much more about the deadly shipwreck than she has let on – and is more ruthless than he could ever imagine."
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