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48 Reasons John Barrowman Is The Greatest 'Arrow' Villain Of Them All

Malcolm Merlyn, we salute you!

Happy birthday, John Barrowman! The amazing "Arrow" actor turns 48 years young today, and we're celebrating the big day by obsessing over one of his greatest characters: Malcolm Merlyn.

Merlyn, sometimes known as the Dark Archer, is easily the best bad guy on "Arrow," and that's saying a lot, given all the fantastic foes who have crossed swords and tossed arrows in Oliver Queen's direction over the past three seasons. But all the Deadshots and Deathstrokes in the world can't match Malcolm Merlyn in terms of sheer awesomeness — and here's why:

  1. Let's start with the obvious: Malcolm Merlyn is a bad dude.
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  2. But he isn't always a bad dude.
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  3. He even cries sometimes.
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  4. But more often than not, he's smug.
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  5. So smug.
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  6. See? Look how smug he is.
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  7. The smuggest of the smug mugs.
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  8. But sometimes, he's pensive.
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  9. Sometimes, he's magical.
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  10. Sometimes, he's wise.
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  11. And most of the time, he's mean.
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  12. But we can forgive him.
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  13. Because he's the only one who ever called Oliver by his true name.
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  14. And because he brought this little gem into the world.
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  15. Sure, Malcolm and Tommy didn't always get along.
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  16. Family dinners were awkward.
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  17. And Malcolm kinda sorta got Tommy killed.
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  18. At least he's halfway responsible for the best early "Arrow" bromance.
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  19. (Seriously. The best.)
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  20. Malcolm's also halfway responsible for bringing Thea into this world.
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  21. And he's a proud papa.
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  22. Even though she tried to kill him once.
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  23. Err, twice.
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  24. Just kidding, he was totally fine.
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  25. But he's trained Thea to be a badass warrior.
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  26. Which makes him the coolest dad ever.
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  27. Getting his own son killed notwithstanding, but, you know. Details.
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  28. Even then, Malcolm is a family man.
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  29. Merlyn's so nice, he's even invited Thea's big bro along for some training sessions.
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  30. Look at them, John! How cute are they?
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  31. Even though Malcolm hasn't always been so nice to Oliver...
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  32. ...he knows when he needs to play nice with his adversaries.
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  33. And even when he gets his enemies killed…
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  34. …he sometimes feels bad about it.
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  35. For selfish reasons, naturally.
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  36. Seriously, dude. That whole Oliver dying thing? Totally your fault.
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  37. Classic Merlyn move.
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  38. Sometimes, Malcolm's schemes catch up with him…
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  39. ...and he gets the beatdown he deserves.
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  40. But no amount of beatdowns will stop Malcolm Merlyn.
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  41. Try to shoot him, and you will fail.
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  42. Even when it looks like he's surrendering…
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  43. …Malcolm always has a plan.
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  44. In his eyes, anyone who thinks they're a threat, is really just a pest.
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  45. He's a monster, but who cares?
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  46. He's our monster.
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  47. So, rock on, Dark Archer.
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  48. Malcolm Merlyn. So hot right now.
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