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I'm sharing a very small piece of the pain I've just gone through these past few days. The kind of pain thousands of kids are going through every day because an uncaring and unthinking society turns its back on them. Drugs are a symptom... and you... like the rest of society... attack the symptom... not the disease! But this symptom is worse than most -- it maims... it pains... it dims you. It drives you to the edge of insanity and over... and one day ends your trip on a slab in the morgue... with a tag around your toe.
~ Roy Harper.
I've made a lot of mistakes in my life, because life is messy... Simple right and wrong, I can handle. I know where I stand and what needs to be done. Less opportunity to screw up, you know? A good cause, a good fight...that's what works for me.
~ Prime Earth Roy Harper.

Roy William Harper, Jr. is a fictional superhero in the DC comics and universe, and is a longstanding character in the series since he originated in the 1940s. Harper originally started as the teenage sidekick of the Green Arrow, going by the title Speedy and helped his mentor fight crime. Speedy become a master archer like his partner, and later adopted the title of Arsenal when he became an adult, and later adopted the name Red Arrow to symbolize himself becoming equal to the Green Arrow. During his heroic career, Roy became a member of the Teen Titans, the Seven Soldiers of Victory, the Outsiders, the Justice League and the Outlaws.

He was created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp, and first appeared in More Fun Comics #73.

On the CW's Arrow series, he was portrayed by Colton Haynes, who also played Jackson Whittemore on MTV's Teen Wolf series.

Biography

Early Life

Roy William Harper, Jr. is the son of forest ranger Roy Harper, Sr. and an unnamed, whom Roy Jr. stated he never knew and never learned her name. Roy's father raised him for some time, but Roy Sr. died while saving members of a Navajo reservation during a major fire when he was two years old. Brave Bow, the shaman of the reservation, adopted Roy to honor his father's sacrifice. Roy was raised under Navajo traditions, and was treated as a member of the Tachini tribe.

Despite his young age, Roy showed talent for archery, and was trained by Brave Bow and other Tachini tribe members in the skill. Due to having few friends and a lot of time, Harper practiced his archery skills extensively, and became a master bowman.

Becoming Speedy

When the Green Arrow started his rise as a hero, Roy idolized him and developed an immediate hero worship of the archer. When the Green Arrow visited the reservation in order to judge an archery contest, Roy joined the contest and did his best to impress the hero. Though he impressed the Green Arrow, Roy was eliminated in the final tournament when he was given a magnetized arrow and missed his last shot. Later on, Roy helped stop a robber by quickly drawing and firing an arrow, and the Green Arrow noted that Harper was "speedier" than he was. Seeing Roy's potential, the Green Arrow offered to take the child in as his ward, and also his sidekick when fighting crime.

In the public, Oliver Queen had adopted Roy Harper, but in secret, Queen was training Roy in crime-fighting. Roy was trained in the use of standard and trick arrows that Queen had created, and gave Harper a costume and the title of "Speedy". Shortly afterward, Brave Bow died, and Oliver became the only father figure in Roy's life. As Speedy, Harper assisted the Green Arrow in many cases and fought supervillains, and later co-formed the Teen Titans alongside with Robin, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash and Aqualad. During his service with the Titans, Speedy and Wonder Girl developed a relationship, but later became close friends.

Addiction

After his time with the Teen Titans, Roy started to feel rootless and abandoned due to his relationship with Wonder Girl failing to progress, the team disbanding, and Oliver abandoning him to travel. Feeling alone and depressed, Harper turned to heroine and become an addict, and when Oliver discovered this, punched him and kicked him out. Left homeless, Roy was found by the Green Lantern Hal Jordan, and with the help of Black Canary and others, was able to quit cold turkey.

Though Roy managed to quit drugs entirely, his bond with Oliver Queen became strained and drove a rift between the two. Afterward, Roy worked as a counselor for teens with drug problems, and continued to pursue a solo career as Speedy. He also joined a re-formed Teen Titans team for a time, but left after the team disbanded once again.

Cheshire

During his time as a counselor and superhero, the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) saw potential in the young man, especially for his personal connection to the drug underground. The CBI recruited Harper and trained him in undercover work and firearms, and Roy became a drug enforcement agent. One one assignment, Harper was tasked with gaining the trust of a mercenary named Jade Nguyen, better known as Cheshire. Roy and Jade fell in love despite Harper being tasked with turning her over with the authorities, and the two had an affair. Roy couldn't bring himself to turn her in, and was unaware that she was pregnant with his child when he left.

When Roy learned that he was the father of Cheshire's daughter, Lian, he teamed up with Nightwing to track Jade down and prevent her from assassinating a group of diplomats. Speedy was captured and poisoned by Cheshire, but Nightwing rescued him and Jade escaped. Roy was given Lian by Nightwing, and he assumed the role and duties of a single father.

Becoming Arsenal

After leaving the CBI and the Titans, Harper struggled for some time to find his place in the world, and relocated to Los Angeles to start a career as a private investigator. He later assisted the latest incarnation of the Titans, but declined to rejoin the team as a full member. Eventually, Harper resumed working with the CBI, and later worked with the group's successor organization, Checkmate.

When the Titans were going through a crisis of their own, Nightwing voluntarily stepped down as leader upon making a deal with Roy's employer, Sarge Steel. Harper returned due to his connections to both the Titans and the federal government, and Roy decided to abandon his identity as Speedy to become Arsenal. Roy no longer used his bow and arrows, and had high tech gadgets and devices to use for crime fighting and leading the Titans. Despite Roy's dedication, the Titans suffers from a lack of commitment from various members, and was dissolved yet again. After the team was dissolved, Arsenal managed to reconcile his friendship with the Green Arrow, but it was short lived, as Oliver died in an airplane explosion.

Powers and Abilities

Powers

  • Cybernetic Enhancement: Harper received a cybernetic enhancement with his arm.

Abilities

  • Leadership: Roy has shown himself to be a capable leader despite his goofy nature, having led the New Titans and the Outsiders for a time.
  • Investigation Skills: Roy shows himself to possess gifted intelligence and possess keen analytic skills, allowing to him to develop deductive skills.
  • Skilled Drummer: Roy is a expert drummer, as he was one for the band Great Frog while being a member of the Teen Titans.
  • Master Archer: Roy is a master archer, and after receiving training from Brave Bow and the Green Arrow, gained incredible accuracy.
  • Marksmanship: Though Roy prefers using a bow, he is skilled with firearms and other ranged weapons.
  • Master Martial Artist: Harper received training from Green Arrow and Black Canary, two phenomenal martial artist who now many forms (with Oliver Queen being the most skilled martial artist on Earth). Roy is a master of the Moo Gi Gong, a weapons-based Korean martial art that he uses on his enemies. In addition, Roy would sometimes spar with Nightwing, and received training from Hal Jordan.
  • Expert Stick Fighter: Roy is an expert stick fighter, and used two eskrima sticks during his time as Arsenal.
  • Multilingualism: Roy can speak Navajo, Japanese and Russian along with speaking with native English.

Portrayals

Television

Gallery

Images

Trivia

  • Ranked 50th on ComicsAlliance's "50 Sexiest Male Characters in Comics" list in 2013.

Navigation

           Teen Titans Members

Main
Aqualad | Beast Boy | Cyborg | Kid Flash | Raven | Robin | Speedy | Starfire | Superboy | Wonder Girl |

Secondary
Anima | Aquagirl | Argent | Arsenal | Blue Beetle | Bombshell | Bumblebee | Captain Marvel, Jr. | Damage | Flamebird | Green Lantern | Impulse | Jericho | Jesse Quick | Kole | Mirage | Miss Martian | Nightwing | Power Boy | Power Girl | Ravager | Red Arrow | Red Star | Static | Steel | Supergirl | Terra |

            JL Heroes

Teams
Justice League | Justice League Dark | Justice League International | Super Buddies

Main
Aquaman | Atom | Batman | Black Canary | Cyborg | Elongated Man | Flash | Green Arrow | Green Lantern | Hawkgirl | Hawkman | Martian Manhunter | Red Tornado | Superman | Wonder Woman | Zatanna

Secondary
Adam Strange | Agent Liberty | Amazing Man | Ambush Bug | Amethyst | Andrew Bennett | Animal Man | Antaeus | Atomica | August General in Iron | Azrael | Aztek | Batwing | Big Barda | Black Condor | Black Lightning | Black Orchid | Blue Beetle | Blue Devil | Blue Jay | Booster Gold | Bronze Tiger | Captain Atom | Captain Cold | Catwoman | Creeper | Crimson Fox | Deadman | Detective Chimp | Doctor Fate | Doctor Light | Doctor Mist | Donna Troy | Element Woman | Elongated Man | Equinox | Etrigan | Faith | Fire | Firehawk | Firestorm | Frankenstein | General Glory | Geo-Force | Guardian | Guy Gardner | Gypsy | Hourman | Huntress | Ice | Jade | Jesse Quick | Jessica Cruz | John Constantine | John Stewart | Katana | Killer Frost | Kyle Rayner | Lex Luthor | Lightray | Lobo | Lois Lane | Madame Xanadu | Maxima | Metamorpho | Mister Miracle | Mon-El | Moon Maiden | Nightmare Nurse | Nightwing | Oracle | Orion | Pandora | Phantom Stranger | Plastic Man | Power Girl | Red Arrow | Red Tornado | Rocket Red | Shade the Changing Mann | Shazam | Silver Sorceress | Simon Baz | Starfire | Stargirl | Steel | Steve Trevor | Supergirl | Swamp Thing | Tasmanian Devil | Tomorrow Woman | Triumph | Vibe | Vixen | Zauriel

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