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Arsenal is the current mantle of Roy Harper. Originally Green Arrow's sidekick and ward "Speedy", Arsenal is skilled in the usage of various ranged weapons. Having sired a daughter with the international assassin, Cheshire, Roy now juggles his time between operating as an independent superhero and working as a single father; providing a better example for his daughter than what his mentor did for him.

BackgroundEdit

The son of forest ranger Roy Harper Sr., Roy Harper Jr. became an orphan at the age of two when his father died while saving members of a Navajo reservation during a forest fire. The shaman of the reservation, Brave Bow, raised young Harper in gratitude for Roy, Sr.'s sacrifice. Under Brave Bow's care Roy Harper was raised as a traditional Navajo and treated as a member of the 'Tachini' tribe.

Brave Bow recognized that Harper had a talent for archery, and under Brave Bow's tutelage, Roy became a remarkable archer. With few friends and a lot of time on his hands, Harper practiced extensively, eventually developing the skill of someone twice his age.
After Green Arrow's public debut, Harper developed an immediate fascination for the hero and followed his exploits avidly.
When Roy Harper turned thirteen, he was asked to leave the tribe after he began running his mouth off about marrying a woman within the tribe. Roy believed that he was being kicked out of the tribe because he was Hassasi; an "enemy of our people". Brave Bow, who was dying of liver cancer, began to search for a new mentor for Roy and asked Green Arrow if he would take the responsibility of raising him.
Devising a test for Roy at the Greenville Fair, with Green Arrow overseeing the contest as judge, Roy did his best to impress his hero and succeeded in doing so; however, he failed to win the competition when his arrows accidentally became magnetized; upsetting their aim. When Roy later helped to stop a robber by drawing and firing an arrow faster than even Green Arrow, the hero formally offered to take Roy in as his ward.
Publicly the two were known as Oliver Queen and Roy Harper; benefactor and foster child, in private Queen trained Harper to be his crime-fighting partner. When Green Arrow judged him to be sufficiently skilled, Roy was presented with his own costume and the identity of "Speedy" (for his "speedy" draw)). Shortly afterward, Brave Bow died, and Oliver Queen became the only father figure in Roy's life.

When a new "teen-heroes only" group known as the Teen Titans was formed, Speedy joined Robin, Kid Flash, Aqualad and Wonder Girl in becoming the team's first members.
Initially a successful member, Roy began dating Donna Troy, some time later, however, the Titans disbanded and Roy and Donna broke up after Donna received a prophecy that her "red-haired husband" would die. Soon after, Queen lost his fortune and control of his company; becoming distracted with his own career, Queen began neglecting Roy. While Queen was away on a cross-country adventure with Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) and Black Canary, Roy succumbed to feelings of abandonment and turned to heroin as a way to deal with the thought of being ostracized again and once Roy's habit was discovered upon Queen's return home, Queen punched his ward and threw Roy out on the street.

Hal Jordan later found Roy and left him in the care of Black Canary, who helped him through his withdrawal. Soon after, Roy returned and had a confrontation with Queen that saw the end of their partnership.
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 as a drug enforcement agent.
Given an assignment to go undercover and gain the trust of the assassin Cheshire, the two fell in love and had an affair. Unable to bring himself to turn her in, Roy quit the CBI and soon left her but eventually learned that he had fathered a daughter. After a mission where Roy had to stop her from assassinating a group of diplomats, Cheshire left "Lian" in Roy's care.

No longer a member of the CBI or the Titans, and still estranged from Oliver Queen, Harper struggled for some time to find his place in the world while trying to work out how to act as a father for his daughter. For a time, he relocated to Los Angeles, where he attempted a career as a private investigator. Though he assisted the latest incarnation of the Titans on several occasions, he declined to rejoin as a full member. Eventually, he resumed his working relationship with the CBI and then its successor organization Checkmate.
After being hunted by the Wildebeest Society, the Teen Titans had become mistrusted by the American government. After making a deal with Sarge Steel, the team became officially supervised by the government, with Roy replacing Nightwing as leader.
Harper decided at this point to start a new identity as Arsenal. No longer simply using bow and arrows, Arsenal's costume gave him several devices to use for crime-fighting. He would soon abandon his original Arsenal costume in favor of a more streamlined one, but retained his new codename and leadership of the Titans. Unfortunately, the team suffered from a lack of commitment from its various members, and was dissolved yet again.
Roy took this opportunity to re-open a dialog with his mentor and the two managed to forgive one another but the reconciliation was short-lived, as Oliver Queen died in an airplane explosion shortly afterward.

Changing his look yet again to reflect his Navajo heritage, the original five Titans decided to form yet another incarnation of the team and Arsenal chose to reside at the new Titans Tower with his daughter, hiring Rose Wilson to be Lian's nanny. At roughly the same time, Oliver Queen was resurrected by Parallax (Hal Jordan) and he and Harper's relationship was renewed.
When a conglomerate known as Optitron offered to sponsor the Titans and Young Justice, members of both teams encountered a cybernetic girl from the future at their complex. The android attacked both teams and disabled nearly half of the group. Those members who could teamed up to track down "Indigo", but instead they encountered a rogue Superman robot that Indigo had reactivated. The robot snapped Lilith's neck and then killed Donna Troy. Though Indigo returned to shut down the android, the rest of the Titans and Young Justice disbanded.
Roy took this opportunity to accept Optitron's offer and formed a new team of the Outsiders. Buying a headquarters beneath New York City, Roy outfitted the shelter with state-of-the-art equipment and recruited Metamorpho, Grace Choi, Thunder, a rebooted Indigo and Nightwing. However, when Roy was shot in the chest during a mission, he was sidelined for months and had to assign the Huntress to be his replacement, he had lost his confidence and had to regain it before he could resume active duty.

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 Harper from years prior, and led Tanner to Lian Harper. 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, Arsenal's near-death from gunshot wounds later saved his life when he met Deathstroke.

When Deathstroke was discovered to have been posing as Batman and feeding Roy information since the Outsiders began, Roy confronted the villain but only survived after the villain let him go. Following this, Roy was kidnapped by Green Arrow's nemesis Constantine Drakon and had his throat slit.
During the incident known as the Infinite Crisis, Indigo was revealed to be a plant of Brainiac's, and almost succeeded in destroying the team. Later, Arsenal and the Outsiders were among the heroes gathered to defend Metropolis from a mass attack by the Secret Society of Super-Villains.
After the disappearance of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, the following year the Outsiders continued to operate but found themselves handling low-level criminals and making little difference in the world. When Nightwing and Red Hood discovered that Black Lightning had been arrested for a crime he didn't commit, the Outsiders attempted a rescue. Ultimately, they failed in their attempt, and ended up believed dead by the outside world. Though the team saw this as an opportunity to operate covertly, Arsenal soon realized he was not made for the life of a cloak and dagger hero and left the team, returning full command to Nightwing.

InvolvementEdit

  • While Arsenal has yet to appear in DC Universe Online, concept art of him does exist for the game.

TriviaEdit

  • Roy Harper first appeared in More Fun Comics #73 (November 1941).
  • Roy is the great-nephew of the World War II mystery man, the Guardian (Jim Harper). Project CADMUS maintains a stock of clones of the Guardian to use as security administrators or personal agents.
  • Roy and his daughter are also descendants of Vandal Savage. Upon discovering this Savage hunted after the pair as their organs were suitable for him to harvest to prolong his life.
  • Roy is actually the third person to dub himself "Arsenal". The first Arsenal was a midget who created a robotic body for himself to inhabit. Equipping the robot with a wide variety of deadly weapons, he dubbed himself "Arsenal" and hired himself out as an assassin. Hired by Nicholas Galtry, the legal guardian of Garfield Logan, to assassinate his charge; Arsenal was defeated by the Doom Patrol and arrested. Undeterred, Galtry stole the suit and attempted to use it himself to kill Logan as the new "Arsenal".
  • Harper has a Navajo tattoo band around his right bicep, as well as six bullet wound scars on his chest and a surgical scar running the length of his sternum.
  • Roy played in the band "Great Frog."
  • While a dedicated father, Roy is far from abstinent and frequently dates and sleeps with heroines from within the hero community who are similarly looking to enjoy no-strings-attached rendezvous. Some of his past relationships and one-night-stands included Donna Troy (with whom he courted a relationship with during the first formation of the Titans group), Hawkgirl, Huntress and Grace Choi.


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