NOTE: This article contains moderate spoilers, including a major character death, for Arrow’s second season.
Vertigo is back on the streets of Starling for Arrow’s upcoming third season, and with The Count filled with arrows and dropped to his death by The Arrow during the previous season, the drug has found a new dealer; Peter Stormare!
Following on the heels of yesterday’s news that Devon Aoki would portray Katana in the next season’s flashback sequences, with Rick Yune portraying the character’s husband, The CW has now confirmed that they have cast Peter Stormare in the role of Werner Zytle for the show’s present day stories, better known in the DC printed panels as… Count Vertigo, specifically, the rebooted and re-tooled Count Vertigo character from DC’s universal New 52 reboot.
In the first and second seasons of Arrow, “The Count” was a recurring villain portrayed by Seth Gabel, and was meant to be the show’s interpretation of the character in question. Following poor fan reception to Gabel’s eccentric, Joker-esque portrayal of The Count however, the character was killed off midway through the show’s second season, and now appears to be being replaced by Stormare as an entirely new version of Count Vertigo.
Ironically, Stormare’s most recent portrayal was also as a drug pusher, in the now-screening comedy sequel, 22 Jump Street, which we thought was solid, even if it didn’t ultimately do much with Stormare’s character.
In the comics, Zytle’s version of Count Vertigo, once again a recurring nemesis of DC superhero, Green Arrow in the funny pages, just as he is in Arrow, rules the tiny fictional nation, Vlatava, and outwardly appears as a benevolent monarch to hide his dealings in organized crime. Though he and his family initially lose their money and power, Zytle eventually reclaims it and retakes his country, where he also uses a tampered hearing aid device to induce vertigo as a method of protecting himself, primarily from Green Arrow, who is unable to aim when under the influence of Zytle’s gadget.
It’s currently unknown whether any of these story elements will be maintained for Stormare’s portrayal, but as before, the character’s ‘powers’ will be portrayed in the series indirectly, as a street drug called “Vertigo” that The Arrow and his crew are trying to keep out of Starling City. As with Count Vertigo’s abilities in the comics, the drug, Vertigo causes confusion, numbing and a loss of balance, and has more than once been slipped to Starling’s vigilante protector himself, where it does indeed virtually nullify his ability to aim or effectively move around.
With this casting, The CW has confirmed that this new Count Vertigo will be the first villain that Team Arrow squares off against in Season Three, and he may himself be called, “Vertigo” as a nom de guerre, rather than “The Count” or “Count Vertigo.” This pretty well assures that Stormare’s re-tooled villain will be the antagonist of the Season Three premiere on October 8th as well.
What do you think of Arrow replacing the show’s version of Count Vertigo? Were you fine with Seth Gabel’s Count, or are you looking forward to a re-tooling by Stormare? As usual, your comments are welcome below.
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