July 18, 2024

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #146: Speedy

Green Arrow's second Speedy didn't really last past the start of the New 52.

Green Arrow was, in almost every possible way, a Batman rip-off.  Like Batman, he was a billionaire playboy in a large manor house with a cave-headquarters underneath.  Like Batman, he had a sidekick.  Green Arrow’s sidekick was a boy named Roy Harper, but he used the codename “Speedy” when he was wearing his bright red version of Green Arrow’s costume.  Yes, the name “Speedy” probably works better as the Flash’s sidekick name, but we can’t always get a good name out there.

Also like Robin, there was a successor to the original Speedy.  Roy Harper eventually grew up and moved on, and Oliver Queen acquired a second Speedy in the form of a teenage girl name Mia Dearden.

She hasn’t been seen in a while.

Red costume? Check.  Bow and arrow? Check. Yes, this is someone we should call “Speedy”.

Mia Dearden first appeared, not as a potential superhero sidekick, but as a teenage prostitute who was rescued by the back-from-the-dead Oliver Queen during a Green Arrow run by writer Kevin Smith.  Green Arrow had rescued Mia from an abusive customer, whom happened to be a local politician, and later when Mia met Oliver Queen she easily recognized the man as her rescuer.  As such, she became his new ward and eventually gained the name “Speedy”.

Say what you will about that superhero name:  it is not exactly gender specific.  “Speedy” could be a male or female hero, and heck, it was actually both.

Mia was something of a natural at fighting crime with a bow, but she did have one little thing to maybe set her apart.  Smith’s successor as writer was Judd Winick, and Winick revealed that Mia’s prostitute status left a more permanent mark in the form of Mia testing positive for HIV.  That didn’t stop her crime fighting.  It just meant she took medication and had to be extra careful about bleeding.  She even briefly joined the Teen Titans.

A bit less red in this version…

But then Flashpoint happened, and aside from a reference in a New 52 storyline, where a mysterious person is looking for her, she hasn’t been seen as a character since.

Or has she?

The TV series Arrow has a take on Mia in the form of Oliver’s half-sister Thea, or, if we use her full name, Thea Dearden Queen.  Thea from the pilot episode of that series is revealed to have the nickname (that she doesn’t care for) of “Speedy” and does eventually join her brother for a period as another archer.

Thea Dearden Queen as Speedy.

Since then, the comics have introduced a new half-sister for Ollie, one Emiko Queen.  She’s not going by “Speedy,” but she is something of an archer herself.

So, while Mia may be gone, Emiko may be a Mia, or she may be a Thea, or she might just be an Emiko.

All I know is, none of them are Roy Harper.