Roy Harper, the first Speedy. Art by Tom Grummett.
|First appearance||More Fun Comics #73 (November 1941)|
|Created by||Mort Weisinger (writer)
Paul Norris (art)
Fictional character biographies 
Roy Harper 
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. Harper became the ward of Green Arrow's alter ego, billionaire Oliver Queen.
Harper became also 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 by the villainess Cheshire, and eventually took the name Arsenal in New 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 will star in the mini-series Justice League: The Rise of Arsenal during which he will retake the name of "Arsenal".
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 continued to try to convince Oliver, who was busy trying to reconstruct his own life, and 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 but has since left the team.
Powers and abilities 
Speedy (like his/her 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.
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.
Other versions 
Speedy of Earth-Two 
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 in order to assist them in saving Earth-Two from the machinations of their old foe the Iron Hand. 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 has not been seen since this time.
In other media 
The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure 
Speedy's first animated appearance was in the Teen Titans segments in The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure. In those episodes, Speedy serves in the effective place of Robin.
Teen Titans 
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. He is described as employing "a veritable arsenal" of arrows, in a nod to his future persona. While not a member of the main Titans team himself, he appeared as a supporting character in the episode "Winner Take All", and fought Robin, trying to convince him if winning is really that important. Speedy later joined up with the team's sister group, Titans East. As depicted in the series, Speedy is serious and businesslike as in his Arsenal years in comics, leading Beast Boy to comment on his similarities to Robin. However, when he reappears in "Titans East Pt. 1", more of his traditional bad-boy Speedy personality is seen, as he refuses to apologize for buying fish tacos, which offends Aqualad that the tacos might be his fish friends. He was mind-controlled by Brother Blood in "Titans East Pt. 2" but saved by the Teen Titans. Speedy's bow was broken by Cheshire in "Calling All Titans" when she overpowered him. However, in the episode "Titans Together", Speedy somehow regained possession of his bow when he was freed from his suspended animation.
Speedy returns in the Teen Titans Go! episode "The Date" where he is voiced by Scott Menville. In the episode, Robin tries to ask Starfire out on a date. However, she goes out with Speedy because he has a lot of similarities with Robin. To do so, Robin kidnaps Speedy and poses as him to ruin the date and win over Starfire. However, Speedy manages to escape and poses as Robin to battle Robin (as Speedy). Although Robin defeats Speedy, he felt guilty about his actions and told Starfire the truth. Starfire's reaction went from gentle to violently hitting Robin towards a wall.
Justice League Unlimited 
Speedy appears in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Patriot Act". Speedy clearly states that he is Green Arrow's "ex-partner", and is visually designed as a slightly older, better built version of his Teen Titans incarnation - his costume is the same; he is voiced by Mike Erwin here as well. Speedy is also featured in issue 30 of the Justice League Unlimited comic book in which he and Booster Gold have to protect the watchtower from Doctor Polaris.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold 
Speedy appeared in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Dawn of the Deadman!", voiced by Jason Marsden. In the episode, Speedy serves as Green Arrow's sidekick, and is possessed by both Deadman and the spirit of Batman, in order to recruit him and Green Arrow into a battle against the undead army raised by Gentleman Ghost. In "Sidekicks Assemble!", Speedy teams up with fellow sidekicks Aqualad and Robin to battle Ra's al Ghul. This version of Speedy differs greatly from the comics, in which he is more sweet and less confrontational than Robin or even Aqualad.
Speedy (Mia Dearden) appeared in Season 9 of Smallville in the episode "Crossfire". This Speedy is the Smallville version of Green Arrow's apprentice, Mia Dearden, played by Elise Gatien. She is a prostitute who has trained herself in streetfighting and is attempting to raise enough money to get away from her pimp, Rick. Oliver Queen sees her as a kindred spirit and takes her in to train her and teach her how to overcome her anger. Rick forces her to lure Oliver to a remote location so he can kidnap him, but Mia turns against him. Rick is arrested and Mia continues to partner with Oliver, recently discovering he is Green Arrow.
Young Justice 
Roy Harper is a major character in the Cartoon Network series Young Justice voiced by Crispin Freeman. Speedy becomes tired of being treated with low respect and quits being Green Arrow's partner, changing his name to Red Arrow. He is not a founding member of the series' unnamed team of young heroes, and turns down two invitations to join them, but he does consider himself friends with the team's members, and they have made it clear that he has an open invitation should he change his mind. In the first series' finale, it is revealed that Roy had been kidnapped by Lex Luthor and his associates three years prior and cloned to produce a mole, who later became Red Arrow. His unconscious programming led him to aspire to join the Justice League. When he is finally given membership, he allows for Vandal Savage to come aboard the Watchtower and mind control the League. His programming falters after his prime objective is carried out, and he is devastated to learn of his supposed imposter status.
In series two, set five years later, Roy has had his child Lian by Cheshire but has become a dishevelled substance user due to his grief over the original Roy. Cheshire and Red Arrow later find the original Roy in stasis, who has had an arm amputated, and reawaken him. The original Roy blames Ollie for not rescuing him from Luthor, and later attempts to get revenge against Luthor using a variety of stolen weapons. He is ultimately unsuccessful, and Luthor buys his own safety by offering Roy a prosthetic robotic arm. The original Roy accepts and takes on the codename Arsenal.
In the live-action series Arrow (2012–), Queen's sister, Thea (Willa Holland) is nicknamed Speedy by Oliver (Stephen Amell). As with the original Speedy of the comics, she has occasional issues with substance abuse. Actor Colton Haynes is set to appear as Roy Harper on the series as a love interest to Thea. Roy Harper may in fact be the series' Speedy, showing impressive gymnastic skill and fighting ability while taking out a couple of thugs. At the time, he was wearing a red hood, an allusion to Speedy's red superhero costume. Harper was, in fact, determined to locate the Green Archer. However, his ordeal ended with little success.
- Titans Annual #1 (2000)
- DC One Million #1 (November 1998)
- "Blog Archive » One on One with John DiMaggio". HoboTrashcan. 2008-12-12. Retrieved 2010-09-19.
- "‘Smallville’ Targeting Green Arrow’s Sidekick, Speedy, For Season Nine Debut?". Splashpage.mtv.com. 2009-08-27. Retrieved 2010-09-14.