Details Emerge On Count Vertigo's 'Arrow' Debut

Seth Gabel

by Ryan Rigley

Not too long ago, it was announced that Count Werner Vertigo would be the next super villain to join the ever-expanding ranks of DC cameos on the CW's "Arrow." With Seth Gabel, of "Fringe" and "The DaVinci Code," slated to star as the balance-manipulating mastermind, the Count Vertigo that will appear in "Arrow" is said to be a little different from his comic book counterpart.

"It’s a definite adaptation," explains Gabel in a recent interview with CraveOnline. "Count Vertigo in the comic book I believe is Eastern European. In this I play definitely American of some kind."

Simply put, the "Arrow" take on Count Vertigo won't be a real count at all but instead a deadly drug dealer.

"The adaptation of him being a count," continues Gabel. "It’s more of a nickname for this street thug drug kingpin who’s selling a drug known as Vertigo on the streets of Starling City. So instead of having a super power, my super power is actually manifested in the drug that I’ve gotten people hooked on." In the comic books, Count Vertigo has the power to disrupt his enemies' balance via his "Vertigo Effect" gained from a small electronic device implanted in his right temple.

"It gives people the feeling like they’re walking on air," Gabe details about the new Vertigo drug. "But that’s if you take it orally. If you inject it into your body, it has very different kinds of effects. That is extremely dangerous and a huge threat to Starling City and needs to be stopped." Basically, the "Vertigo Effect" can only be achieved by using said drug. This, of course, makes complete sense within the parameters of the "Arrow" universe.

"We’ve never been shy about saying that we’ve taken all of our cues from Chris Nolan’s 'Dark Knight' trilogy," states Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg. "How he took somebody like Ra’s al Ghul, played by Liam Neeson, who was immortal in the comics and presented a realistic take on how he could be immortal. We thought of Count Vertigo sort of the same way."

"First of all, how he gets the nickname ‘the Count’ is kind of fun and spooky," Kreisberg teases. "But also how he is able to create this vertigo effect without using certain superpowered means. And that’s what’s fun for us... Count Vertigo is our first real, complete overhaul. We’re really excited about it."

Same here, Kreisberg. Same here. Gabel's Count Vertigo will be making his "Arrow" debut on January 30th, in an episode appropriately titled "Vertigo." The show returns from its holiday hiatus next Wednesday, January 16th, at 8 P.M. ET/PT.