Arrow Season 1: Count Vertigo is “terrifyingly awesome”

Arrow’s Andrew Kreisberg on how Seth Gabel’s Count Vertigo is inspired by Ra’s al Ghul

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Arrow Seth Gabel Count Vertigo
Count Vertigo in the 2010 DC Showcase: Green Arrow animated short

Definitely one of the most outlandish comic-book characters set to appear in The CW’s Arrow Season 1 so far, Count Vertigo is being reinvented for Fringe star Seth Gabel as a gangster who uses a vertigo-inducing narcotic.

It might seem on the surface, that Vertigo is a pretty outlandish choice for a villain in this more grounded show, no matter how much reinvention is involved, but for co-creator and executive producer Andrew Kreisberg there was simply no alternative as “Count Vertigo, I would say after Merlyn, is probably his most well known villain.

“The comic-book version of him, the Count Werner von Vertigo… when your last name is Vertigo of course you’re going to grow up to be a supervillain who uses vertigo as a weapon. That concept just doesn’t exist in our world, and we’ve never been shy about saying that we’ve taken all of our cues from Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, and 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, by having a frontman who could be killed and allowing him to survive.

“We thought of Count Vertigo sort of the same way, with Seth Gabel from Fringe and Dirty Sexy Money who’s terrifyingly awesome in the part. First of all, how he gets the nickname ‘the Count’ is kind of fun and spooky, but also how he is able to create this vertigo effect without using certain superpowered means. And that’s what’s fun for us.

“There’s some characters who for the most part have transitioned literally from the comics to the show – like Deadshot, who despite his costume is still the world’s greatest assassin – and Deathstroke, and China White, but Count Vertigo is our first real, complete overhaul. We’re really excited about it.”

Arrow will return to Sky 1 in late January 2013.

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