Mia Dearden, the new Speedy.
Art by Marcos Martín
|First appearance||as Mia Dearden:
Green Arrow (vol. 3) #2
Green Arrow (vol. 3) #44
|Created by||Kevin Smith
|Alter ego||Mia Dearden|
|Team affiliations||Teen Titans
|Abilities||Accomplished archer with an assortment of trick arrows. Capable combatant and expert swordsman.|
Mia Dearden is a DC Comics superheroine, the second character to take the mantle of Green Arrow's sidekick Speedy. Created by writer Kevin Smith and artist Phil Hester, she first appeared in Green Arrow (vol. 3) #2 (May 2001). She is notable as one of the few HIV-positive characters in comic books. In The New 52, a mysterious man is currently searching for Mia.
Fictional character biography
Mia Dearden is a teenage runaway who was abused by her father. Unable to survive on her own, she fell in love with a man who offered her shelter and food in exchange for exploiting her in a child prostitution ring. Mia was rescued from one of her clients, a depraved local politician, by the costumed hero Green Arrow, who had just returned from the dead and to Star City. Sent by the Green Arrow to see Oliver Queen (his real identity) for help, Mia saw through Queen's disguise and became his new ward. Mia continued to work with Oliver, who was busy trying to reconstruct his own life, and after coming upon her crossbow, Ollie began to train her as an archer. In addition, she trains with Oliver's son Connor Hawke in martial arts and forges a close friendship with him. Mia continually petitioned Green Arrow to allow her to serve as his sidekick, but Oliver demurred, not wanting to put another teenager at risk.
Mia appeared in Green Arrow as a supporting character until 2004, when writer Judd Winick revealed that she was HIV-positive, a legacy of her exploitation. With this knowledge, Mia redoubled her efforts to convince Green Arrow to let her become the new Speedy, and the Green Arrow finally relented. Mia takes up the mantle of Speedy, and subsequently Oliver decided that she would do well to join the Teen Titans. In order to earn her spot on the team, Cyborg had the new Speedy face off against Robin. While Robin beat Speedy, Mia proved herself to be a very skilled fighter and worthy Titan. Shortly after her first official mission with the Titans, she revealed to the team that she was HIV-positive. They accepted her without question or fear.
The first Speedy, Arsenal (Roy Harper), gave Mia a set of his old arrows, including a mysterious blue arrow labeled: "Only use in an emergency". Not even Roy knew its power. Mia was tempted to use the arrow in her first mission against Dr. Light; against a possessed Superboy, Indigo, Lex Luthor, and Brainiac; and again when they faced off against the demon servants of Brother Blood. When she finally used the arrow, it turned out to be a Phantom Zone arrow, stolen from Superman's Fortress of Solitude by Roy when he was Speedy. Mia used the arrow to attempt to trap Superboy-Prime; however, he was able to escape almost immediately, apparently through his super strength.
After the events of Infinite Crisis, Mia recuperated from injuries on an island with Green Arrow and Connor, returning approximately a year later. In her time on the island, Mia trained in new styles of fighting and healing, and on working as a team with Green Arrow.
Jason Todd, the former partner of Batman, kidnaps Dearden. Jason believed he and Speedy shared similarities, though he kidnapped her to retaliate against Batman's interference in his gun smuggling operation. By involving Green Arrow, he was trying to show Batman the price of enlisting others into their conflict. Jason took Speedy to Smith O'Neil High School, where the former Robin untied her so that they could fight. Jason commented on how alike they were, living on the streets and having to do bad things in order to survive. He was also aware of her past and situations; with her family, as a prostitute, and her HIV status. Jason defeated Speedy but allowed her to escape, after telling her that neither Batman nor the Green Arrow would ever understand him, but that she would. Afterward, he blew up the school and left. Despite her vehement denial, Jason's words have apparently affected Mia on some level.
In the months since this event, things for Mia and the rest of her family have been in a constant state of upheaval. It all began when Green Arrow proposed to the Black Canary. After a ceremony in Happy Harbor that was then attacked by super-villains, it was revealed the Green Arrow never actually managed to marry Dinah. Instead, he was kidnapped and replaced with Everyman, who attempted to kill Dinah on her wedding night. Mia, Connor and Dinah manage to save Ollie who was kidnapped by Granny Goodness and the Amazons, but immediately after Connor is nearly killed by a gunshot meant for Ollie. The attack leaves Connor in a vegetative state, after which he is kidnapped by the supposed League of Assassins. Mia, Dinah and Ollie scour the world with Batman and Plastic Man in search of their missing family member. During this time, the group meet and work with a young British vigilante nicknamed Dodger, to whom Mia becomes attracted. Throughout the mission, Mia and Dodger work together, this partnership culminating in Dodger asking Mia out on a date.
After Connor's rescue, Mia moves to London to pursue a romance with Dodger, although she eventually returns from London, having broken up with Dodger since she found him 'snogging' the actress Emma Watson. She returns just in time to save Black Canary during a battle, and to witness Ollie leaving. She returns in a costume of black with black arrows, differentiating her from the green costume that Ollie wears and the red that Roy sports as Red Arrow.
During the Blackest Night storyline, Mia briefly travels to Coast City with Connor in order to fight off the Black Lantern invasion. She and Connor rescue Dinah from Ollie, who had been transformed into a Black Lantern by Nekron. They return to Star City following the end of Blackest Night.
During the events of Justice League: Cry for Justice, Mia is babysitting Roy Harper's daughter Lian, but is called away when the Electrocutioner is sighted planting bombs created by Prometheus in Star City, which are intended to move Star City to an alternate universe. The bombs, however, do not teleport the city but instead begin destroying it. To Mia's horror, the bombs destroy their home and kill Lian. This leads directly to the storyline of Rise and Fall.
In said Rise and Fall storyline, Mia helps out Green Arrow after the Justice League attempts to capture him for killing Prometheus. While Green Arrow distracts the League, Mia kidnaps the Electrocutioner and brings him to their hideout beneath Star City. Though Mia begs Green Arrow for the chance to kill Electrocutioner, he convinces her that killing is not the answer, and takes Electrocutioner into custody. Following Electrocutioner's arrest, Mia attends Lian's funeral alongside a number of prominent heroes, including her former teammates from the Teen Titans. During the service, Mia is attacked by Roy, who angrily blames her for getting Lian killed. Though Ravager intervenes and eventually causes Roy to leave, Mia is left visibly shaken by his accusations.
Alongside Damian Wayne and a group of other ex-Titans, Mia aids the then-current team of Teen Titans during their battle against Superboy-Prime and the Legion of Doom. During the battle, she and Ravager work together to successfully take down Persuader.
The New 52
In the first part of the Green Arrow storyline, titled "Kingdom," a mysterious individual tortures a man for information on the whereabouts of Mia Dearden, whom he somehow considers to be more of a threat to him than the Green Arrow. She is only shown in a picture. She says that her father, John King, is after her.
Powers and abilities
Mia possesses no superhuman powers and abilities, but is an accomplished archer. Unlike Connor Hawke, who relies on simple wooden shafts, Mia, like Oliver, employs trick arrows. In addition to a bow, Mia is also proficient in the use of a crossbow, much to Oliver's dismay. Connor Hawke and Black Canary taught her many forms of martial arts and self-defense prior to taking up the mantle of Speedy. One year after Infinite Crisis, she expanded her training on an island with Connor and, like her mentor, is now an expert sword fighter.
Mia is HIV positive, and as such she is forced to take antiretroviral drugs with all the attendant side effects. Due to her condition, she also has to be very careful when injured in combat.
In other media
- Mia Dearden appears in the 9th Season of Smallville and is played by actress Elise Gatien. The character appeared in two episodes; episode 6 "Crossfire" and episode 10 "Disciple". She first appears in the episode "Crossfire" as a member of an underground boxing ring. Faithful to the comic books, she is portrayed as a runaway who has turned to prostitution to survive. Oliver Queen spots her at the ring and impressed by her fighting abilities and realizing her current troubled situations, decides to take her under his wing. She briefly betrays Queen for a man named Ricky (Michael Adamthwaite), to whom she owes money. Oliver, with help from Lois Lane and Mia, fights off Ricky's men, and they are rescued by Clark Kent's alter-ego, The Blur. Despite the betrayal, Oliver still wants to help Mia. She learns Queen's secret identity as Green Arrow, but does not become his sidekick in the course of the series. Mia wears red and yellow clothing, which represents the colors of Speedy's costume in the comics. Unlike the comics, Mia is a brunette and is only seen with blonde hair when wearing a wig as a prostitute. The character features prominently in the comic book continuation Smallville: Titans.
- The 2012 TV series, Arrow, introduces Thea Dearden Queen (Willa Holland) the younger sister of Oliver Queen, who nicknamed her "Speedy" as a child. In the Pilot episode, an archery trophy can be seen in her room. In season 1, Thea is seventeen years old (eighteen in the season's second half) and is shown struggling to reconnect with her brother after his return. Having been only twelve when both her brother and father were lost, she slowly became subjected to alcoholism and drug abuse over the next five years to fill the gap of losing her brother - her personality is noted to be a construct of the image of Oliver, who was a notorious partygoer and playboy before his ordeal. After a court-ordered community service from taking “Vertigo” Thea steadily grows to be more responsible. She also falls in love with Roy Harper, a street criminal, who she tries to sway away from crime but he becomes fixated with the vigilante and tries to find him, which Thea tries to help, out of concern for him. The name "Dearden" is revealed as the maiden name of Moira Queen, Oliver and Thea's mother, in the season one finale, "Sacrifice". In season 2, Thea runs the Verdant nightclub and continues seeing Roy, but is frustrated by Roy's need to save people although she gradually comes to accept it. In the episode "State v. Queen" Thea is revealed to be the daughter of Malcolm Merlyn, through an affair between him and Thea's mother, Moira. Thea is the subject of exclusion as most characters keep secrets from her including her true parentage which she eventually discovers, when Slade Wilson abducts her. After her mother's death, she decides to leave Starling City. In "Unthinkable", Malcolm comes to save her and convinces her to leave with him, the two are now in parts unknown. It has been hinted that in season 3, Malcolm will turn his daughter into a villain. At the end of the second episode of season 3 we find that Thea and Malcolm Merlyn in Corto Maltese. In episode 3, it is learned that while in Corto Maltese she goes by the name of "Mia". When Oliver visits Thea, he asks her to reconsider her decision on staying there. Thea requested to her father to go back to Starling City but Malcolm believed that she hadn't gone as far as he'd thought. They got in to a quick duel where Thea was disarmed, however she quickly disarmed her father, therefore proving that she was ready to leave. At the airport, when coffee was split on her hand, she hardly flinched, much to Oliver's surprise. She eventually learns her brother's secret identity as Arrow after Oliver take her on the tour of his hidden safe house but begins to distrust Malcolm after learning that he already knew about Oliver's secret. When she and Oliver travel to the island Oliver was stranded on to train and prepare for Ra's, where Oliver reveals that Malcolm drugged her and made her kill Sara Lance, making Thea furious at her father and in a state of depression. She contacts the League of Assassins to kidnap Malcolm, but Oliver goes to rescue him not wanting Thea to experience killing a person willfully. Oliver and an injured Malcolm return while Thea struggles with the guilt of killing Sara. She starts dating Roy again and occasionally staying at his place. When Roy is captured by the police she encourages Oliver to try and rescue him, but Roy seemingly is killed before he can do so (though it's revealed that Roy faked his death to clear Oliver's name and leaves the city). Before Oliver comes home to tell Thea Roy's alive, she is attacked and killed by Ra's Al Ghul. They resurrect her in the Lazarus Pit, but in exchange Oliver must become the heir to Ra's and leave his family and friends behind. When Oliver (now seemingly brainwashed) fights his former friends in an exchange between Lyla Diggle and Nyssa Al Ghul, she shoots an arrow in Oliver's hand to prevent him from killing John Diggle and must snap Oliver out of his brainwashed. Felicity reveals to her that Roy is alive and moved to a new city. She visits him and brought his red costume, knowing he misses being a vigilante. Roy then leaves town the next day and leaves her a letter that says he wants to help her be her own person without Oliver, Malcom, or himself. He also leaves the red costume with Thea, claiming that "red looks better on you". In the season three finale, she dons the red costume and assists team Arrow with stopping Ra's Al Ghul's plans by shooting arrows into one of Ghul's henchmen. Before he leaves, Thea tells Oliver that she was thinking of going by Red Arrow before Oliver said that he already told everyone to call her Speedy. Holland said she would like to see her character gaining a costume similar to her comic-book counterpart, with the addition of "a bit of black", but was unable to confirm a change in costume for the show's fourth season.
Notes and references
- Greenberger, Robert (2008), "Mia Dearden", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 143, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017
- Green Arrow (vol. 5) #35 (October 2014).
- Green Arrow (vol. 3) #45
- Green Arrow (vol. 3) #64
- Black Lantern Green Arrow
- Justice League: Cry for Justice #7 (March 2010)
- Green Arrow #31 (March 2010)
- Green Arrow #32 (April 2010)
- Justice League: Rise of Arsenal #2
- Teen Titans (vol. 3) #99
- Teen Titans (vol. 3) #100
- Green Arrow Vol. 5 #35 (October 2014)
- Green Arrow Vol. 5 #37 (December 2014)
- Busch, Anita (May 20, 2014). "Arrow Season 3 Burning Questions Answered: The Next Big Bad, a New Canary and More". TV line. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
- Arrow Season 4 & DC's Legends of Tomorrow Interview - Willa Holland, Rila Fukushima & Karl Yune
- Speedy (DC)(Post Crisis)(02 - Mia Dearden) at the Comic Book DB
- Mia Dearden (DC)(Post Flashpoint) at the Comic Book DB