Roy Harper, Jr.
Powers and abilities
Roy Harper possesses no superhuman attributes, but he is a marksman of incredible accuracy. 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.
Before Flashpoint, much like Nightwing and other members of the Bat-Family, Roy’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 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 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, and, after Brave Bow’s death, Roy was adopted by Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow, and became the Green Arrow’s sidekick, “Speedy.”
Speedy joined Robin, Kid Flash, Aqualad, and Wonder Girl in the newly formed Teen Titans, a group originally formed from the various “teen sidekicks” active in DC comics at that time.
Speedy was initially a successful member and began dating Wonder Girl (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 the Green Arrow was away on a cross-country adventure with Green Lantern and Black Canary, Roy became addicted to heroin. 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.
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 Cheshire’s daughter, Lian. He went on a mission with Nightwing (the former Robin) 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.
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.
Roy is proud of his 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.
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.”