5. The Question
One thing that Arrow didn't steal from Batman was his detective skills. Ollie is just too trusting. The dude had five years to read his dad's ledger of one-percenterer nogoodniks and didn't notice the names of Malcolm Merlyn, Isabel Rochev, and his own mom. That's why he needs someone suspicious like The Question to dig through people's trash for him for info that Felicity can't hack. If they go with the ultra paranoid conspiracy nut version from JLU, it'd definitely make an impression. Wardrobe can definitely whip up a featureless mask , trenchcoat, and fedora to get the right mysterious look.
They probably can't use the Rene Montoya incarnation because her inclusion in Fox's Gotham will likely result in a Bat-embargo, but Vic Sage is still a classic. Better yet, use an androgynous voice synthesizer (similar to the multi-layered voice mix used for Ghost in the '90s Iron Man cartoon) so viewers can decide for themselves who's under The Question's Pseudoderm.
4. Ra's al Ghul
Characters have been talking about Ra's al Ghul so much this season that he has to show up soon. That worries me a bit because there's the possibility that they'll just crib from the last live action Ra's. Liam Neeson is a great actor, but The Demon's Head should never be an lily-white guy dishonorably hiding behind a Japanese scapegoat, without even having a single Lazarus Pit! Although the show is definitely takes plenty of cues from Nolan's Bat-trilogy, hopefully its showrunners have the good sense not to reinvent what O'Neil and Adams already perfected.
Cast a Middle Eastern actor who exudes gravitas and give him a devilish haircut and a green Dracula outfit. Just don't have him try to overeagerly betroth Talia to Oliver and then get into a shirtless scimitar fight with him, because those should remain Batman exclusive plot points. Instead, have him chill out in Nanda Parbat dispensing sage relationship advice to Nyssa and Sara. Audience expectations will be so confused when they see that Ra's al Ghul is the male equivalent of Moira Queen...but with more anecdotes about folks he met during The Crusades.
Even though the League of Assassins are a murder cult willing to die for a nigh-immortal ecologist, at least they operate under a code of honor. Cheshire isn't bound by such scruples. She may be a manipulative psychopath but at least a cliché broken heart isn't the driving force of her villainy. She's a triple-jointed acrobat as well as a princess of poisons. The only person deadlier than Cheshire is Lady Shiva, who's also welcome to appear next season - she'd make the perfect recurring archfoe for (Black) Canary.
More importantly, she'd be a means of justifying (and hopefully improving) Roy's continuing inclusion as the two had a torrid and ethically dubious love affair in the comics, and it's essential that she comes kitted out with the neko mask she wears in the Teen Titans and Young Justice cartoons. It's basically the only thing that justifies her otherwise arbitrary codename and a rad visual to boot.
2. Queen Bee
Remember how Deadshot keeps telling Diggle about H.I.V.E.? The Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Extermination (or Holistic Integration for Viral Equality if you live in the New 52) has to be season 3's Big Bad. Remember back in season 1 when a pair of elegant legs with a butler ordered Eddie Fyers to shoot down a Ferris jet? Let's murder a couple of birds with a rock by making both HIVE and the gams property of Queen Bee. I'm partial to Grant Morrison's and Howard Porter's alien queen version from a visual standpoint, but the one that's Queen of Bialya makes more sense for Arrow.
HIVE is sort of the DC equivalent of AIM, so expect plenty of mad science weaponry. Queen Bee could be the benefactress of the previously referenced Dr. Light, but his powers make him a better adversary to appear on The Flash. Actually, if they want to do a crossover between both shows uniting (Green) Arrow, Flash, and the Suicide Squad, Queen Bee would be the perfect threat as leader of both HIVE and Bialya. The past two seasons have been focused on mainpain-fueled revenge plots, so it's about time we got a villainess who's playing for all the marbles. After all, revenge is a sucker's game.
1. Printer's Devil
Printer's Devil may be the best Green Arrow rogue you've never heard of - not that the his rogues are that infamous to begin with. Two different disgruntled newspaper employees donned the Printer's Devil costume (hence the name) armed with a trident that fired flaming darts. How such a unique character fell into obscurity while DC keeps trying to make Hush happen is beyond me. The advantage to using Printer's Devil on Arrow is that there's carte blanche to adapt him, as the nerd-o-sphere isn't filled with millions of die-hard Printer's Devil fans that will boycott the show if they screw him up. This could be another golden opportunity to reinvigorate a character that is specifically tied to Green Arrow instead of Batman or Teen Titans, in much the same way they made Merlyn a villain worth caring about. Someone tell Jeff Lemire this theory also applies to working Printer's Devil into the New 52 Green Arrow comics.
Why not draw some inspiration from Superman to remake Printer's Devil into an evil Lois Lane who manufactures her own sensational headlines no matter who gets hurt? The trident can be an experimental weapon given to her by HIVE test out in the field with plausible deniability. The second version of the character caused mayhem with the electrified Bad Penny and the ball bearing shooting Pinball Wizard so they can be in her HIVE-empowered posse too. Even if they're not the deepest foes, their gimmicks could still provide a new variety of action set pieces.
The Printer's Devil costume is so pants-on-head crazy that it'd be a welcome change of pace from the gritty "realism" fad, but it's still not so out there that it'd be cost-prohibitive. Even if they opt for something way toned-down like a nutter in a store-bought rubber ram mask stabbing citizens with a regular pitchfork it'd still be a palate cleanser from the show's typical gamut of and rich dirtbags, assassins, and rich dirtbags that also happen to be assassins.
By this point, Arrow's built up enough fan goodwill that making Printer's Devil the villain of an episode wouldn't be jumping the shark. It couldn't be any worse than their take on Count Vertigo. At the end of the episode we'd still get a bow and trick arrows vs. trident fight. That's exactly the novelty that makes for great television!
You may remember Matthew Catania from such Daily Lists as
:The 10 Worst Adaptations of X-Men on Film (So Far)
10 Ways to Make a Wonder Woman Movie Not Suck
Top Ten Reasons X-Men and Doctor Who Are Secretly the Same Franchise
Eight Reasons Why a Superman/Batman Movie Might Not Be Such a Great Idea