Roy Harper (Speedy Arsenal Red Arrow)

Real Name
Roy Harper
First Appearance
More Fun Comics #73 (November, 1941) [as Speedy], The New Titans #99 (July, 1993) [as Arsenal], Kingdom Come #2 (June, 1996) [as Red Arrow, non-continuity], Justice League of America (vol. 2) #7 (May, 2007) [as Red Arrow, in continuity]
Mort Weisinger, George Papp
Team Affiliations
Teen Titans, Justice League, Suicide Squad, Checkmate, Outsiders, The Outlaws
Speedy, Arsenal
Base of Operations
Skills and Abilities
Exceptional athlete, Expert archer, Expert marksman, Highly experienced hand-to-hand combatant, Ability to create highly advanced technology and gadgets
Tools and Weapons
Bow, Trick Arrows, Pistols, Robotic Arm

Arsenal (Roy Harper) is a superhero in the in the DC Comics Universe and was once Speedy, the sidekick to Green Arrow.

Origin Edit

Roy Harper was raised by Brave Bow, a Navajo medicine chief after his father, a forest ranger, died in a forest fire and was trained to be a skilled archer.

Biography Edit

Golden AgeEdit

Not much is revealed of Roy Harper's save that he had a mother and father named John and Anna Harper, both of whom died. Roy was orphaned and eventually trained in archery by a Navajo medicine chief named Brave Bow.  Brave Bow would later die and Roy was adopted by millionaire Oliver Queen, who was secretly the superhero Green Arrow.

Soon Roy was trained to become Green Arrow's sidekick, giving him the name Speedy, and the two became trusted partners since.  Along with the Green Arrow, he ended up joining two superhero teams: the All-Star Squadron and the Seven Soldiers of Victory.

Silver Age/Post-CrisisEdit

Roy Harper, Jr was raised by his father Roy Harper, Sr, a forest ranger (Roy never knew his mother). When Roy Sr. died in a forest fire, he was adopted by a Navajo medicine chief named Brave Bow, who raised him as his own son. Under Brave Bow's tutelage, Roy became a remarkable archer, being more skilled than even archers twice his age.  When Roy learned of the superhero the Green Arrow, he immediately saw him as a role model and was eager to impress him.  When Green Arrow arrived on the reservation Roy lived on to judge an archery contest, he impressed the superhero with his skill. After Brave Bow's death, Roy was adopted by Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow, and became the Green Arrow's sidekick, "Speedy".


Abilities: exceptional marksmanship; proficiency with a huge variety of weapons; hand-to-hand combat training; occasional use of trick arrows.

He was known for over fifty years as Green Arrow's teenage sidekick Speedy. He first appeared alongside his mentor in More Fun Comics #73 (Nov. 1941). The modern-day version formerly assumed the identity of Arsenal and became a member of the Justice League of America under the guise of Red Arrow.

Teen Titans and Roy's Addiction Edit

Speedy joined Robin, Kid Flash, Aqualad, and Wonder Girl in the newly-formed Teen Titans, a group originally formed from the various "teen sidekicks" active in DC comics at that time.

Speedy was initially a successful member and began dating Wonder Girl (Donna Troy). Some time later, however, Roy's fortunes took a turn for the worse. The Titans disbanded, Roy and Donna broke up, and then Green Arrow both lost his fortune and began neglecting Roy. While the Green Arrow was away on a cross-country adventure with Green Lantern and Black Canary, Roy became addicted to heroin; the award-winning story played out in Green Lantern vol. 2, #85-86 in September and November 1971. Once Roy's secret was discovered, Green Arrow angrily punched him and then threw Roy out on the street. Green Lantern later found him and left him in the care of Black Canary, who stayed by his side while he went through withdrawal. Soon after, he had a confrontation with Green Arrow that caused the two of them to stop working together.

In addition to some brief adventures with later incarnations of the Titans in the 1980s, Roy also served as a government agent for the CBI, and as a private investigator, and went on a single mission with the Suicide Squad (vol. 1 issues 11-12).

Agent of Checkmate Edit

While still helping the Teen Titans on occasional missions, Roy frequently worked as a counselor for various anti-drug programs. During this time, Roy established government contacts, and was soon hired by the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI, also known as Checkmate) as a drug enforcement agent.

Roy was given an assignment to go undercover and gain the trust of the villain Cheshire. The intention was to turn Cheshire over to the authorities, but the two fell in love and had an affair. Roy could not bring himself to turn her in, but he was concerned that his presence endangered Cheshire's life, so he left her, unaware that Cheshire was pregnant with his child.

Roy eventually learned that he was the father of Cheshire's daughter, Lian. He went on a mission with Nightwing (the former Robin) to track down Cheshire and prevent her from assassinating a group of diplomats. Roy was captured by Cheshire and then freed by Nightwing, who also brought Roy's daughter. Cheshire had left Lian in Roy's care.

The Outsiders Edit

Later, a mysterious conglomerate known as Optitron offered to sponsor the Titans and Young Justice after summoning them to San Francisco. Before any decisions could be made, a cybernetic girl from the future (known as Indigo) invaded the complex, and immediately engaged both teams in combat. With half the group out of commission, the remaining members tried to track down Indigo, but instead encountered a rogue Superman android, which had been activated. Caught by surprise, Lilith had her neck snapped by the Superman android, killing her instantly. Troia (Donna Troy's new identity) tried valiantly to defeat the Superman Android, but he released a deadly heat beam directly through her chest, killing her. Indigo arrived and shut down the Superman Android, leaving Arsenal and Nightwing to mourn the fallen Troia. Shaken by these losses, Nightwing decided to officially end the Titans.

Roy saw an opportunity. He accepted Optitron's offer and set about forming a new team: the Outsiders. He began by buying a massive secret underground headquarters beneath New York City. Roy outfitted the shelter with state-of-the-art equipment and began recruiting members for the new team. He successfully coaxed the veteran Metamorpho, as well as newcomers Grace and Thunder into joining the team. He also decided to accept Indigo as a member. Even though she had been responsible for activating the Superman android, and ultimately for Lilith's and Troia's deaths, her memories were wiped clean and she convinced Roy that she wanted to atone for what she had done.

Indigo's presence would prove to be a major sticking point for Arsenal's last recruit: Nightwing. The Titans' former leader was completely unwilling to renew his involvement in a team after such a devastating loss. Arsenal argued that the Outsiders were the next logical step for them beyond the Titans, and that perhaps a team of strangers would operate more efficiently than a team with so many emotional attachments. Nightwing, while still reluctant, agreed to join and lead the Outsiders shortly after defeating Gorilla Grodd.

Infinite Crisis and One Year Later Edit

During Infinite Crisis, Arsenal served as leader of the Outsiders and raising Lian as a single father. He was among the heroes gathered to defend Metropolis from an invasion by the Secret Society of Super Villains (see also: Battle of Metropolis). Following the Crisis, Roy attempted to keep the Outsiders running, but unfortunately they found themselves handling low-level criminals and making little difference in the world. When Nightwing and Red Hood discovered a fellow hero, Black Lightning, was arrested for a crime he didn't commit, Nightwing helped in a rescue mission that ultimately failed. The Outsiders are believed to be dead. Arsenal soon realized he's not made for the life of a cloak and dagger hero, returning command to Dick and leaving the team.

Red Arrow Edit

Roy was approached by Hal Jordan with membership in the new Justice League. While in battle, Hal referred to him as "Red Arrow" in an attempt to stop himself from revealing Roy's name (despite the fact that Roy's identity has been public knowledge for some time now). Roy accepted membership in the League and officially adopted the identity of Red Arrow, justifying it as a final "coming of age" and outgrowing his troubled relationship with his adoptive father, Oliver Queen (Green Arrow).Roy began an intimate relationship with his teammate, Hawkgirl.

Media Edit

Appears in Teen Titans, Justice League Unlimited, Arrow, Young Justice and Batman The Brave and The Bold.

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