Roy Harper (comics)
|First appearance||as Speedy:
More Fun Comics #73
The New Titans #99
as Red Arrow:
Kingdom Come #2 (June 1996) (alternate)
Justice League of America (vol. 2) #7 (May 2007) (mainstream)
|Created by||Mort Weisinger
|Alter ego||Roy William Harper Jr.|
|Team affiliations||Teen Titans
|Notable aliases||Speedy, Arsenal, Red Arrow|
Roy Harper is a fictional superhero in the DC Comics Universe. The character first appeared as Green Arrow's teenage sidekick Speedy in More Fun Comics #73 (November 1941), a name by which he was known for over fifty years. The character's modern-day version was an early member of the Teen Titans who later assumed the identity Arsenal in The New Titans #99 (July 1993), and became a member of the Justice League of America under the guise Red Arrow in Kingdom Come #2 (June 1996) or Justice League of America (vol. 2) #7 (May 2007). In 2013, ComicsAlliance ranked Harper as #50 on their list of the "50 Sexiest Male Characters in Comics". The character made his live action debut in the television series Arrow portrayed by Colton Haynes, first appearing in the first season and while typically referred to as Red Arrow by the show, takes on the Arsenal moniker in the third season as the partner, sidekick and student of Oliver Queen.
- 1 Fictional character biography
- 2 Powers and abilities
- 3 Weapons
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Other versions
- 6 In other media
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Fictional character biography
1941–1992: Origin, Teen Titans, addiction and fatherhood
Roy Harper was raised by Brave Bow, a Navajo medicine chief, after his father, a forest ranger, died in a forest fire. Under Brave Bow's tutelage, Roy became a remarkable archer. After Brave Bow's death, Roy was adopted by Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) and became his sidekick: Speedy.
Speedy was initially a successful member and began dating 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 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 a fictional federal agency, and as a private investigator, and went on a single mission with the Suicide Squad (vol. 1 issues 11–12).
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 her daughter Lian. He went on a mission with Nightwing 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.
1993–2004: Becoming Arsenal and joining the Outsiders
Roy Harper later returned to the Titans, and was appointed leader by Sarge Steel. At this time, he adopted the new identity "Arsenal" now equipped with a vast array of high-tech weaponry. When the original members of this latest incarnation of Titans left the team, he gathered new members and led them until the team disbanded.
Soon, another team of Teen Titans emerged. This group consisted of a teenaged version of Atom (due to being de-aged by events in Zero Hour) and new heroes Argent, Risk, Joto and Prysm. The team was funded by Loren Jupiter, who had also funded a group of Titans during Roy's time on the team. Jupiter gathered together the original Titans (now going by the aliases of Nightwing, Tempest, Flash, Troia, and Arsenal) to combat the threat of his bitter, super-powered son Jarrod Jupiter (Haze). New and old Titans joined forces to defeat Haze – but at a price; Joto apparently lost his life, and Arsenal felt responsible for his death. Arsenal remained with this new group of Titans for a time, but eventually left the group before it disbanded.
Arsenal later came into conflict with Vandal Savage. Savage had discovered that both Roy and his daughter Lian were his descendants. Thus, their organs were suitable for him to harvest to prolong his life. Roy was able to save his daughter from Savage. After this ordeal, Roy adopted a new look to reflect his Navajo heritage. Shortly after, the original five Titans decided to re-form the team. Arsenal served as a full-time member on the team, and resided at the new Titans Tower with his daughter Lian.
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.
Arsenal was shot in the chest while attempting to stop Brother Blood from activating a global network of sleeper agents. He survived, but was sidelined for months. In the interim, he assigned the Huntress as his replacement. He was hesitant to resume active duty, feeling afraid of his own limitations, but returned with encouragement from Nightwing.
Not long after his recovery, the Outsiders took on a case which involved a child-slaver and molester named Tanner. One of Tanner's informants recognized Roy from years prior, and led Tanner to Lian. Lian's nanny was killed and the girl was branded with Tanner's mark. The Outsiders arrived just in time to save Lian and other children from being flown out of New York.
Oddly, his near-death from gunshot wounds saved his life when soon he met Deathstroke. The villain, Arsenal discovered, had been posing as Batman and feeding him information since the Outsiders began. Deathstroke and Arsenal fought, with Deathstroke intending to kill him, but when the mercenary discovered the bullet scars on Arsenal's chest, he figured Arsenal had suffered enough and gave him a "pass". About the same time, Arsenal was also kidnapped by Constantine Drakon, Green Arrow's nemesis. Drakon was working with the Riddler, and he slit Roy's throat so that he would have to apply constant pressure or die. The Outsiders helped search for and rescue Roy.
2005–2011: Tenure as Red Arrow, joining the Justice League
During Infinite Crisis, Arsenal served as leader of the Outsiders while 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.
One Year Later, Roy Harper 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 as well as Black Lightning (Thunder's father) 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 was not made for the life of a cloak-and-dagger hero, returning command to Nightwing and leaving the team.
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. However, the two ended their relationship and Roy left the Justice League following a disastrous confrontation with the Shadow Cabinet.
Following Bruce Wayne's apparent death in Final Crisis, Roy returns to the League after discovering that Hal Jordan and his splinter Justice League have been hunting down and torturing criminals. Roy and Green Arrow manage to settle their differences and work together, but things start to fall apart as Prometheus assaults Roy, cutting off his right arm with a poisoned, nanite-laced blade, and then has the Electrocutioner set off a device to destroy Star City, killing the young Lian. Roy wakes several days later, adversely reacting to his current condition and Lian's death, taking an angrier stance to the world. The flesh-eating nanites still dormant in his stump prevent him from getting a permanent prosthesis. He is given a removable, enhanced artificial limb, built by Cyborg and Doctor Mid-Nite. The prosthetic limb is built to "work-around" the contaminated nerve endings, but increases his phantom pain. His pain and the survivor's guilt for Lian's death bring Roy back to his former drug addiction, overdosing on painkillers and permanently locked in a state of delusional paranoia.
Haunted by visions of his deceased daughter and his former pusher, Roy regresses to his identity of Arsenal, lashing out against his former friends and driving away his extended family, blaming Green Arrow for having stolen his vengeance by killing Prometheus and Mia Dearden for having left Lian by herself in the first place. After a bitter meeting with Cheshire, Roy is unable to release the pent-up frustration for the loss of his arm, the death of his daughter, and his stress-induced impotence. Roy leaves Cheshire behind, hallucinating that a dead cat is his daughter, taking out his anger against a gang of drug dealers and stealing from them to fuel his addiction. As a result, when Batman finds him delirious on the street, he's forced to bring him to a rehab home, with Black Canary's consent. Roy manages to escape the center, and sets off to break into the jail where the Electrocutioner, the accomplice of Prometheus directly responsible for Lian, is held. Despite the intervention of Green Arrow, Roy cruelly butchers Buchinsky with his knives, then burns away his house and all his possessions, becoming a dark, broody vigilante enacting his brand of deadly justice on lowlifes and criminals.
After being approached by Cheshire to help murder Deathstroke, Roy apparently double crosses her and joins Deathstroke's new, villainous team of Titans, although Cheshire mentally congratulates him for his performance. Upon returning to the labyrinth, Deathstroke reveals to them that his proceeding items were used to create a healing machine called "Methuselah" for his dying son Jericho. After healing Jericho, Deathstroke claims the machine can also resurrect the dead, offering Roy and Cheshire the chance to revive Lian. Cheshire accepts, but Roy refuses, finally realizing that he has just been punishing himself for his daughter's death all this time, and that Lian is in a better place. Joined by Tattooed Man and Cinder, Roy fights the rest of the Titans in an attempt to destroy the Methuselah Device. The power source of the Device, a metahuman named DJ Molecule, is freed, and Cinder sacrifices herself to destroy the device. Roy lets Deathstroke go after he helped to save Jericho. Cheshire, Tattooed Man, and Osiris leave, and Roy and Jericho decide to form a new Titans team, to restore the legacy Deathstroke besmirched.
2011–present: Red Hood and the Outlaws
A part of The New 52 company-wide relaunch, DC continuity was revamped. Roy Harper subsequently appears in the series Red Hood and the Outlaws. Roy's history is altered, including Lian's existence and his now uninjured right arm. Roy's appearance has changed drastically in the Relaunch, as he wears his hair longer than before and has highly detailed tattoos on both shoulder. The location of any more tattoos, if any, is currently unknown, and whether the apparent ones have any significance is also unknown. In his Arsenal outfit, he wears a variety of baseball caps, but beside that and the loss of his knife, he still has the same basic design, only with a smaller vest and two quivers, instead of one. He acts as a humorous character with a lighter view of things, even in the middle of combat, though he is very serious when he wants to be. He has never been a father, but is still a recovering alcoholic (as opposed to heroin addict) with Killer Croc as his sponsor in a twelve step program. He became a freelance freedom fighter before teaming up with Jason Todd, and considers Todd his only friend.
Roy's "back-story" from the point at which he met Oliver was explained in great detail towards the end of the series, after Roy was accidentally and gravely burned by Starfire. He was at first Oliver's employee, and later Green Arrow's sidekick, but after discovering that Oliver was using Roy's technology as his own, Roy was kicked out of his position, and Oliver took the stocks that he gave him within Q-Core, leaving him to his own devices. Roy became a depressed alcoholic and death seeker who attempted to commit a variation of suicide by fighting Killer Croc to the death. Croc figures out what Roy's doing and refuses to help Roy die, instead becoming his sponsor to help Roy get back on his feet.  However, this does not keep Roy out of trouble, as he later ends up in an exotic jail due to trying to help a Middle Eastern nation overthrow a dictator. The now liberated people turned on Roy, and threw him in jail. However, he is quickly released by Jason Todd and, with the help of Starfire, they escape out of the country. Soon after, Jason helps him get up to speed on current events. Roy remembers Starfire, and is confused to discover that she has supposedly forgotten "the gang" (the Teen Titans) that they used to hang out with, and attempts to jog her memory by mentioning Dick Grayson's name, and also mentioning the names Garth, Vic, Lilith, Gar and Dustin, only for Starfire to announce that he is boring her.
Roy is very friendly with Jason and has his back, but his carefree personality has caused some friction, such as when he called the defeated reanimated corpses of Jason's All-Caste teachers and friends, trash. He also has a bit of a prideful streak, as he complains that he feels emasculated by Starfire's rescue of the team from a huge monster. But he's also shown that he has a more serious side, and is well prepared for a fight, as he takes on and defeats Crux, an altered human that was able to defeat Starfire single-handedly. He's also shown a softer side - particularly around Koriand'r, one example being when he cradles her and wipes away her tears when she's hurt. However, he tells her that he would like to keep his carefree facade, saying that she shouldn't tell anyone, because it would hurt his reputation.
He and Starfire eventually become a proper couple, thought Starfire still appears to be interested in little more than a physical relationship. However, when her memories are forcefully returned to her, Roy realises that she was only pretending to be uncaring and emotionless (she went so far as to say "love has nothing to do with it" when Roy asked her about "making love to a Tamaranean" ) and that her race processes emotions very deeply. He broke up with her soon after, due to his own issues with trust, but not long after they reconciled, forming a much more caring and tender relationship - both of them going so far as telling the other they loved them. When Starfire left for Tamaran with a gravely injured Blackfire, Roy knew that this family matter had to be something she undertook alone. He asked that she remember him, and she promised that she would for "forever and a day".
Powers and abilities
In the comic books, Roy Harper possesses no superhuman attributes, but he is extremely adept at the use of the bow and arrow, as well as a wide array of weaponry. He also has the ability to take virtually any object and use it in combat as an effective weapon. Harper is also a skilled hand-to-hand combatant and he possesses keen analytical and detective skills.
In the Pre-Flashpoint universe he has been known to speak Japanese and understand Russian. Before Flashpoint, after the loss of his right arm, Roy Harper received an advanced prosthetic, built by Vic Stone, designed to loop around his damaged nerve endings and restore his usual degree of hand-to-eye coordination, albeit with the price of a constant phantom limb pain.
Before Flashpoint, much like Nightwing and other members of the Bat-Family, Roy Harper's suit is capable of emitting an electronic pulse. It is unknown, however, whether or not his suit is capable of emitting only one pulse, like Batman's and Nightwing's, or several. After being dismembered by Prometheus, Roy returns to his original Arsenal costume: despite being unknown if he still carries the EMP device, the new costume comes along with an advanced prosthetic limb, shown as highly resilient to bullets and melee weapons, and nearly as mobile as his former biological arm. His enhanced limb comes with increased phantom pain, bolstered if the fitting isn't done with the right alignment.
As Speedy and Red Arrow, Roy Harper uses a custom bow and trick arrows (with a preference for the more mundane kind as Red Arrow), mimicking his mentor Green Arrow. As Arsenal he's known to also carry guns and other kind of ranged weapons. Roy also has been known to use an M40A3 US sniper rifle with a Kryptonite bullet on at least one occasion. His original Arsenal costumes were equipped with other exotic weaponry including a boomerang and electrified bola. His current Arsenal costume, reflecting his angrier stance, is laced with several bludgeoning and cutting weapons, mostly knives and billy clubs, strapped to his limbs and back. Despite not being technically part of his "costume", Roy uses his prosthetic right arm only when acting as Arsenal, removing it while going incognito.
Roy Harper is of Navajo heritage, and has a tribal tattoo to represent it. He was adopted by Oliver Queen (Green Arrow) and became his ward/sidekick, but soon joined a rock band called Great Frog, and got addicted to heroin. After his recovery, Roy had a daughter named Lian, now deceased, whom he raised as a single father. Roy is a natural thrill seeker, who has many connections in the government and metahuman community. His income comes from his work in the government.
Roy's first known superhero relationship was with Donna Troy during the Teen Titans. Although short-lived, the pair has rekindled the relationship on multiple occasions over the years, particularly during their time with the reformed Titans. Roy had apparently intended to propose to Donna, but she rejected him because of a prophecy that the Titan Lilith Clay had made, which stated that Donna's red-haired husband would die. This however was not in-regards to Roy, but rather Donna's husband Terry.
Roy's other main relationship was with the assassin Cheshire, who is the mother of his child. Roy would constantly flirt and buy drinks for women at bars and any social outing. When he formed the Outsiders, he had a fling with Grace Choi. At this time, it was learned that he also had a fling with the Huntress. His relationship with his JLA teammate Hawkgirl was strained because of his search for the missing Cheshire. Post-52, Lian was never born, and Roy does not know Cheshire, however in their brief encounters both flirted with the other very enthusiastically.
During the break given to the members of the Titans with Nightwing's exodus from the group to become Batman, Red Arrow spent his vacation with his child, and in the subsequent explosion caused by Starfire's traumatic nightmare involving a Justifier helmet, Red Arrow quipped "Either that was an earthquake or one of my exes. Please don't let it be one of my exes."
In the comic series Red Hood and the Outlaws, Roy had a relationship with Starfire. It started out casual until Roy broke it off after realising that Koriand'r had been lying to him (she had claimed that humans were mere sensory experiences, but in truth her race processed emotions very deeply). They later rekindled the relationship and it was much more affectionate, with the pair even confessing their love to one another. Koriand'r broke the relationship off at the end of the series when forced to return to Tamaran with a gravely injured Komand'r, but it was ended on good terms. In the new series Red Hood & Arsenal, Roy is shown to be missing Starfire and slightly hurt that she left.
The Earth-Two version of Speedy was a member of the Seven Soldiers of Victory and All-Star Squadron in the 1940s along with Green Arrow. Aside from their origin, having been trained on a mesa top together, their history nearly parallels the history of the Earth-One versions up until the point when Arrow and Speedy 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. Speedy had been sent to the Island of Circe in the past and turned into a centaur controlled by Circe, but was restored. During the Crisis on Infinite Earths a new solitary universe was created at the dawn of time, a universe whose history fused together the histories of several universes, including Earth-Two. Whether he ceased to exist or exists only as an aspect of the post-Crisis Earth has not been determined, although his mentor died during the final part of the Crisis defending the new Earth from the Anti-Monitor. It always happens on Earth-Two
A Bizarro version of 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.
Batman: Thrillkiller is an Elseworlds story set in the early 1960s. Roy Harper is depicted as a biker who buys drugs in order 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.
In other media
The first animated appearance of the Roy Harper version of Speedy was in the Teen Titans segments in 1967's The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure voiced by Pat Harrington, Jr.. In those episodes, Speedy serves in place of Robin. Curiously, Green Arrow never appeared in the series. Speedy also appeared on the main Teen Titans animated series, voiced by Mike Erwin, as a supporting character in "Winner Take All". His real name is never given, but the character is clearly Roy Harper. Speedy later joined the team's sister group Titans East, where more of his traditional bad-boy Speedy personality is seen.
The Roy Harper version of Speedy appears in Justice League Unlimited, voiced again by Mike Erwin. In this version, Speedy states that he's Green Arrow's "ex-partner" when Green Arrow calls him an "ex-sidekick". He has a slightly older, better built design than his Teen Titans incarnation. Speedy's appearance is also a nod to the original Seven Soldiers of Victory.
On Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Speedy is voiced primarily by Jason Marsden, and by Ryan Ochoa as Young Speedy in "Sidekicks Assemble". This version is the stereotypical kid sidekick, with phrases like "Golly!" or "Holy [insert uncommon phrase]". Green Arrow treats him badly at times, and, despite his usually nice personality, Speedy defiantly points this out at the end of "Sidekicks Assemble".
Roy Harper is a major character in the Young Justice animated series, voiced by Crispin Freeman. This appearance is unique in that it features both a Speedy who becomes Red Arrow, and a secondary version of Speedy who becomes Arsenal. In the pilot "Independence Day", Speedy forfeits his place as Green Arrow's sidekick out of frustration that the Justice League won't make him a full-fledged member. He takes on the Red Arrow name when he starts operating solo, and confronts Artemis, Green Arrow's new sidekick, who he suspects is a mole. In "Usual Suspects", Red Arrow finally gains membership in the Justice League, only to realize that he was the mole all along; he's in fact a Cadmus clone of Roy Harper controlled through programming and hypnosis. In the second season Young Justice: Invasion, Red Arrow engages in a constant search for his original self, to the detriment of his health and his friendship with his allies. Red Arrow and Cheshire eventually find the original Roy Harper cryogenically frozen in a temple in Tibet, missing one arm. The real Roy later obtains a cybernetic arm from Lex Luthor and announces that he will go by the Arsenal alias. Arsenal joins the Team, and while highly capable he also proves to be brash, reckless and disobedient. He is temporarily fired from the Team until he can learn to be a team player. By the end of the series, Arsenal (the original Roy Harper) is operating solo and Red Arrow (Roy Harper's clone) has retired to focus on being a father.
Colton Haynes portrays Roy Harper in The CW TV series Arrow, the character's first live-action appearance. Roy first appears in the season one episode "Dodger" as a thief who steals Thea Queen's purse. Eventually they reconcile and start dating, though their relationship is on and off. After Oliver saves his life in "Salvation", he gains an active interest in the vigilante known as the Hood and wants to emulate him.
Roy is a recurring character throughout the rest of the season and became a series regular in season 2. In season 2, Roy fights crime as a vigilante like the Arrow, but he is captured and injected with the super soldier drug Mirakuru. It gives him superhuman strength and healing, so that he can punch through solid concrete and recover from being shot through the hand at point-blank range, but it also causes his behavior to become hostile and violent. Oliver approaches Roy as the Arrow and offers to train him in order to teach him control over both his physical and mental performance, to keep those around him safe. Eventually Roy learns the Arrow's identity and officially joins Team Arrow.
Originally the nickname Speedy belongs to Oliver's sister Thea in the series. Oliver uses it on Roy in the episode "Birds of Prey", but Roy is not pleased, telling Oliver not to call him that. By the end of season 2, Roy is cured of the Mirakuru, and Oliver gives him a red mask, relying on his archery and martial arts training as a member of the team. Roy chooses to fight by Oliver's side to save the city, though it ends up costing him his relationship with Thea.
Producer Marc Guggenheim revealed that Roy would eventually take on the name Arsenal in the show, and wear red versions of Oliver's costume and equipment. The costume and red arrows appear in the premiere of Season 3. In the episode "Guilty", Oliver suggests the Arsenal moniker after the antagonist of the episode refers to Roy as "another weapon in [Oliver's] arsenal". In "Midnight City" and "Uprising", news reporters call him Red Arrow. He becomes a core and respected member of Oliver's team, leading their work in the field.
In "Public Enemy", Roy takes the fall for his mentor, allowing himself to be publicly captured in Oliver's costume so that the public thinks he, not Oliver Queen, is The Arrow. In "Broken Arrow", after being assaulted by other prison inmates, Roy is able to escape custody with the aid of a former A.R.G.U.S. agent by faking his death, convincing the public that the Arrow is dead and Oliver is innocent. He is forced to leave Starling City to avoid exposing the deception. Thea visits him once, and finds him working as a mechanic under the name Jason. He encourages Thea to live the life Oliver sacrificed his life for, and leaves her his red costume. When Thea talks to Oliver about possible codenames, she brings up "Red Arrow". In season 4 Roy's fall allows Oliver to re-brand himself as the "Green Arrow", a new hero different from "The Arrow".
- The Roy Harper version of Red Arrow makes a cameo appearance in Green Arrow's ending in Injustice: Gods Among Us.
- The Arrow version of Roy Harper appears as a playable character via downloadable content in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.
- 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 & #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 an alternate reality in a group called the Teen Tyrants.
- Wallace, Dan (2008). "Arsenal". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. London: Dorling Kindersley. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1
- Wheeler, Andrew (2013-02-14). "ComicsAlliance Presents The 50 Sexiest Male Characters in Comics". ComicsAlliance. Retrieved 2015-07-28.
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- Justice League of America (vol. 2) #7
- Justice League: Cry For Justice #5
- Justice League: Cry For Justice #6
- Justice League: Cry For Justice #7
- Justice League – The Rise of Arsenal #1 (2010)
- Justice League – The Rise of Arsenal #2 (2010)
- Justice League – The Rise of Arsenal #3 (2010)
- Justice League – The Rise of Arsenal #4 (2010)
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- Titans Annual 2011 (July 2011)
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- Titans (vol. 2) #38 (August 2011)
- "DC Comics Relaunch: Jim Lee’s Red Hood & The Outlaws Designs… Part Of Batman Inc.?". Inside Pulse.
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- Red Hood and the Outlaws #4 (December 2011)
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- Red Hood and the Outlaws #5 (January 2012)
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- Supergirl #50
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- Convergence: Titans #2
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- on YouTube
- "Exclusive: Teen Wolf Vet Colton Haynes Joins Arrow as…Who?!". TV Guide.
- "Roy Harper Revealed: 'Arrow' Actor Colton Haynes Describes His 'Troublemaker' Character". Splashpage.MTV.com. 2013-02-21. Retrieved 2013-03-10.
- "'Arrow' Promotes Colton Haynes to Series Regular for Season 2". Hollywood Reporter. 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
- "Marc Guggenheim Talks ARROW Season 2, Exposing Oliver’s Secret, the Suicide Squad, The Huntress, Harley Quinn Rumors, THE FLASH Crossover, and More". Marvel. March 20, 2014.
- Highfill, Samantha. "See Colton Haynes as Arsenal in 'Arrow' season 3". EW.com. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 23, 2014.