New 52 (2012-2016)
John Diggle first appeared in the TV series Arrow and did not exist in the DC Universe until the New 52. When Oliver was mourning the death of his mother, Diggle assumed the identity of the Green Arrow without permission and killed crime boss Ricardo Diaz (a.k.a. Ricardo Dragon). After a disagreement with Oliver, Diggle left Team Arrow. In the “Outsider’s War” in GREEN ARROW vol. 5 #26-31 (2014), Diggle returned to Seattle to ask for help from crime boss William Tockman (the Clock King) in taking down his son, Richard Dragon, who’d seized control of the Seattle crime world. But Tockman turned on Diggle when Dragon offered him more money, and the two villains kept Diggle as leverage against the Green Arrow.
In the “Broken” storyline in GREEN ARROW vol. 5 #32-34 (2014), Dragon still had Diggle in captivity and beat him relentlessly. Diggle learned that Dragon had a vendetta against Green Arrow, whom he held responsible for Dragon’s father Ricardo’s death. Oliver returned to Seattle and saved Diggle from Dragon, and the two worked together to dethrone him. After Oliver’s team recovered from Richard Dragon’s Attack in “Kingdom”—in GREEN ARROW vol. 5 #35-40 (2014-2015)—Diggle stayed in Seattle to help Green
Arrow in the field.
New 52: Futures End (#0-48, 2014-2015)
In New 52: Futures End, set 35 to 40 years in the New 52’s future, Diggle was one of the pallbearers at Oliver Queen’s funeral. It was later revealed that Oliver was not dead after all, and Diggle was seen helping him launch an assault on Cadmus Island.
In Rebirth, Diggle worked as a soldier for hire before receiving a message about Oliver Queen’s death. Returning to Seattle, Diggle learned Oliver was still alive, and blamed him for the death of a woman Diggle once loved. Eventually, however, Diggle joined Oliver and Team Arrow to take down the international criminal organization known as the Ninth Circle.
It was also revealed in the Rebirth era that Oliver’s enemy Malcolm Merlyn once saved Diggle’s life. When Oliver was on the verge of killing Merlyn, Diggle knocked out the Green Arrow, saving Merlyn, before tending to his wounds. Merlyn then told Diggle that he couldn’t keep playing both sides, and would eventually have to choose between his loyalty to Oliver and his debt to Merlyn.