Speedy (comics)

From Academic Kids

Speedy is the name of two DC Comics superheroes, both of whom have served as teenaged sidekicks for the Green Arrow (a.k.a. Oliver Queen). The original Speedy currently operates under the name Arsenal.

Speedy I / Arsenal (Roy Harper)

Template:Superherobox 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 had 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 jumped at, taking the name Speedy. Roy became the ward of Green Arrow's alter ego, millionaire Oliver Queen.

Green Arrow and Speedy were one of the few superheroes published by DC to survive the end of the Golden Age of comic books. Nonetheless, neither character seemed to distinguish himself as much more than a copy of Batman and Robin with a degree of Robin Hood references thrown in the mix. In the late 1960s and in the 1970s, however, both characters received substantial revisions. For Speedy, this included a changed personality which presented him as an inveterate womanizer, likely to contrast against the more serious Robin, with whom he served as a part of the Teen Titans. Additionally, in writer Dennis O'Neil's critically acclaimed, "socially relevant" Green Lantern/Green Arrow series in 1971, Speedy was revealed to be addicted to heroin, an addiction which Green Arrow, Green Lantern and the Black Canary help him overcome.

After this, Roy became involved with various anti-drug programs run by the federal government, which led him to make several contacts within the intelligence community. He eventually gets a job as an undercover agent of the fictional intelligence agency CBI. While working in Asia, Roy had a brief romantic liaison with Jade Nguyen, a.k.a. Cheshire, a notorious assassin. Roy eventually returns to the U.S., not knowing that he had left Cheshire pregnant with his daughter, Lian. Roy would eventually learn of his daughter's existence, and serve as a single father to her.

Back in America, Roy adopted the new name of Arsenal and rejoined the Titans, serving with them through several incarnations for a number of years before forming a new Outsiders group with fellow Titan alumni, Nightwing (formerly Robin). Lacking any superpowers, his main assets are his expertise with ranged weaponry (i.e., firearms and bows) and his excellent physical condition.

Speedy II (Mia Dearden)

Missing image
Mia Dearden, the new Speedy

Mia Dearden was introduced by writer Kevin Smith in Green Arrow volume 2 #2 in 2001. Mia was a teenaged girl who ran from her home after being abused by her father. Unable to survive on her own, she fell in with a man named Richard, who offered her shelter and food in exchange for exploiting her in child prostitution. Mia is rescued from one of her clients, a depraved local politician, by Oliver Queen, who had just recently returned from the dead. Mia continued to work with Oliver, who was busy trying to reconstruct his own life, and began to train at archery under his tutelage. 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 continued to appear in Green Arrow as a supporting character until 2004, when writer Judd Winick revealed that Mia was HIV positive, a legacy of her unsavory past. With this knowledge, Mia redoubled her efforts to convince Green Arrow to let her become the new Speedy, and Green Arrow finally relented. In Green Arrow volume 2 #45 (2004), Mia takes up the Speedy mantle, and in the following issue (2005), she joins the Teen Titans.

In other media

Missing image

Speedy has appeared on the Teen Titans animated series, where he is voiced by Mike Erwin. Although his real name is not given, his appearance is clearly based on that of Roy Harper. While not a member of the main Titans team himself, he appeared as a supporting character in the episode "Winner Take All," and later joined up with the team's sister group, Titans East. As depicted in the series, Speedy is serious and businesslike, leading Beast Boy to comment on his similarities to Robin. However, when he reappears in "Titans East Part 1," his personality has been changed to that of a bad-boy, refusing to apologize for buying fish tacos, which offends Aqualad to no end.

Speedy has appeared in:

  • Winner Take All
  • Titans East Part I
  • Titans East Part II
  • For Real (confirmed Season 5 ep)

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