|More Fun Comics #73 (November 1941)
|Mort Weisinger (writer)
George Papp (art)
Speedy is the name of two DC Comics superheroes that have each served as teenaged sidekicks for the Green Arrow.
Main article: Roy Harper (character)
The original Speedy's real name was Roy Harper Jr.. He first appeared in More Fun Comics #73 (November 1941), where he was identified as the orphaned son of Roy Harper Sr., a forest ranger who died saving a Navajo medicine chief named "Brave Bow" from a fire. Brave Bow raised the younger Roy himself, training him at archery. Roy Jr. took to this training eagerly, and idolized the archer superhero, Green Arrow. As a teenager, Roy is given the opportunity to perform at an archery competition judged by Green Arrow, where he assists the hero at foiling an attempted burglary, even proving himself to be a faster shot than the hero. Following the death of Brave Bow, Green Arrow asked Roy to serve as his sidekick, an offer Roy readily accepted, taking the name Speedy. Harper became the ward of Green Arrow's alter ego, billionaire Oliver Queen.
There was a second later origin in Adventure Comics #209 (Feb. 1955, The Origin of Speedy). His parents (John and Anna) were both killed when an experiment by his scientist father exploded. This was in the wilds of Arizona and Roy was found by Indians and brought up by Chief Thunderhead, a great archer who could do many fantastic things with a bow and arrow, who trained the boy in their use. Later he told Roy to seek his future with the great archer, Green Arrow. The Chief is now dead.
Harper also became an early member of the Teen Titans. After the original Titans disbanded, he joined a band called Great Frog and became a drug addict, a first in DC comics, in an award-winning story in Green Lantern #85-86 (Sept. & November 1971), part of a classic, 14-issue run by the writer-artist team of Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams. Roy spent some time in the Suicide Squad before returning to the Titans.
He fathered a daughter named Lian by the villainess Cheshire, and eventually took the name Arsenal in New Teen Titans #99 (1993). In Justice League of America #1 (vol 3), he is eventually referred to as Red Arrow. After his daughter is killed, and he has one of his arms cut off by the villain Prometheus in Justice League: Cry for Justice, Roy starred in the mini-series Justice League: The Rise of Arsenal during which he retook the name of "Arsenal".
Main article: Speedy (Mia Dearden)
Mia Dearden was introduced in Green Arrow (Vol. 3) #2 in 2001. Mia was a teenaged girl who ran from her home after being abused by her father and fell into child prostitution. Mia was rescued from one of her clients by Oliver Queen, who had just recently returned from the dead. Mia began to secretly train with Connor Hawke in archery and combat. Mia continually petitioned Green Arrow to allow her to serve as his sidekick, but Oliver continually demurred, not wanting to put another youngster at risk. Mia redoubled her efforts and Green Arrow finally allowed her to become the new Speedy. Shortly thereafter, she joined the Teen Titans. She has since left the team.
Speedy (like their mentor) has a wide variety of trick arrows, most famously his punching glove arrow which is capable of knocking out villains. Speedy also has several other arrows ranging from sleeping gas arrows, exploding arrows, and regular arrows. Roy Harper got his superhero name Speedy by being able to shoot more arrows quicker than the Green Arrow. His speed and accuracy of his arrows was recognized by the Green Arrow while training with him. Speedy's name is often confused with Kid Flash's superhero name; bystanders would mistakenly call Kid Flash "Speedy".
Along with his excellent archery skills, Speedy has mastered several different types of hand-to-hand combat including judo, kickboxing, and karate.
As Arsenal, Roy Harper displayed proficiency with a greater range of weapons, such as guns, truncheons, and boomerangs. He also became a master of Moo Gi Gong, allowing him to use virtually any handheld object as a makeshift weapon.
Roy Harper can speak Japanese and can understand Russian.
There was an Earth-Two version of Speedy who was a member of the Seven Soldiers of Victory and All-Star Squadron in the 1940s along with his mentor Green Arrow. Aside from their origin, having been trained on a mesa top together, their history nearly parallels the history of the Earth-One version up until the point when Speedy and Green Arrow, along with their teammates, were thrown into various periods of time during a battle with the Nebula Man. He and his teammates were later retrieved by the Justice Society and the Justice League to assist them in saving Earth-Two from the machinations of their old foe the Iron Hand. Speedy had been sent to the island of Circe in the past and turned into a centaur by Circe, but was restored. Years after returning to the present, Speedy came out of retirement, along with his mentor who died during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. This Speedy and his Green Arrow were retroactively wiped from existence by the events of the Crisis on Infinite Earths.
A Bizarro version of Roy Harper as Arsenal appears as one of the heroes of Bizarro World. In addition to sporting a robotic left arm (as opposed to his right one), the Bizarro Arsenal is shown wearing a quiver filled with dead cats, which he uses as weapons.
In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint event, Roy Harper is a member of mercenary squad working for industrialist Oliver Queen. Very early in the story, however, Roy and his fellow mercenaries were killed by an unshown explosion set off by Vixen and a group of anti-Queen activists. The explosion actually kills everyone in the facility save for Vixen and Oliver Queen, who is remarkably unscathed even though he had been standing right next to Roy, discussing the possibility of becoming a group of actual heroes rather than mercenaries, at the time the explosion went off.
In the Titans Tomorrow future, Roy Harper took on the role of Green Arrow and was killed in battle.
Batman: Thrillkiller is an Elseworlds story set in the early 1960s. Roy Harper is depicted as a biker who buys drugs to get friendly with schoolgirl Hayley Fitzpatrick (aka Harley Quinn), but a terrifying ordeal with drug runners leads him to alert the police after being helped by Batman and Black Canary. He is later shown practicing archery, though it is not clear if it is part of a rehab scheme or training for vigilantism.
During the Convergence event, the New Earth version of Roy Harper is shown following the events of the Titans series. Still struggling with Lian's death, he has now devoted himself to helping the community to make amends for his time with Deathstroke. When the Extremists attack the city, he dons his Arsenal costume and helps his former teammates from the Teen Titans fight off the villains. Dreamslayer then uses his powers to pull Lian out of the timestream shortly before her death and offers to return her to Roy in exchange for him turning on the Titans. Using trickery, Roy pretends to betray his friends, but instead scrambles Dreamslayer's teleportation field. As the Extremists retreat, Roy stays behind with Lian, finally reunited with his daughter.
Speedy has also made eight appearances in the comic book series Teen Titans Go! (based on the cartoon). His first appearance in issue #10 was a cameo. He made a reappearance with the rest of Titans East in #20 and 25. A super-deformed version of him posed as Cupid in #27. One of the two stories in issue #30 focuses on him and Aqualad. Thus far, he and Aqualad both have made appearances in each tenth issue. He appeared in issue #39 and after being struck by Larry's arrows falls in love with Cheshire, similar to the comics. In issue #48 he appeared as Arsenal in alternate reality in a group called the Teen Tyrants.
In the Arrow tie-in comic, Season 2.5, Roy Harper as Arsenal goes with Oliver on mission to stop "drug plane". While Oliver puts an autopilot device on plane's controls and kicks other enemies, one of the thugs fires on Roy and begins falling from the plane, but Oliver managed to rescue him and is put in hospital. While recovering, Felicity is kidnapped by Church of Blood and mercenary group Renegades. Oliver calls Roy for help and gives him kevlar-lined suit after he recovered from injury. Heading to the Church's base of operations, they are contacted by Clinton Hogue, a Church's new leader, who demands Oliver in exchange for Felicity, which Oliver accepts despite Roy's advice not to. Roy goes to Lyla Michaels for help and they, along with another backup released from prison named Huntress, go to Bludhaven where Felicity is held. Infiltrating their base, Roy fights against Cyrus Vanch and Winnick Norton, but after taking them down, he is knocked out by Lyle Bolton electrocuting them and taking the hostages, only to be knocked out by Helena who saves them. Roy and his friends bound the mercenaries and leave for helicopter piloted by Oliver. However, Hogue comes in helipack and attempts to kill Roy. In the middle of the air, the two are knocked out of the plane, held by Roy and Hogue attached to his leg. Roy kicks him and Hogue falls to the ground to his death.
Speedy appears in a photograph in the Stargirl episode "Brainwave".