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When We First Met – The Life of Roy Harper

by  in Comic News Comment

Every week we spotlight the various characters, phrases, objects or events that eventually became notable parts of comic lore. Not major stuff like “the first appearance of Superman,” but rather, “the first time someone said, ‘Avengers Assemble!'” or “the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny” or “the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth” or “the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter.” Stuff like that. Here is an archive of all the When We First Met features so far! Check ’em out!

Today we look at some various firsts in the history of Roy Harper, based on a request by Travis Pelkie.

Roy Harper, Speedy, debuted along with Green Arrow in More Fun Comics #73 in 1941.


His name, Roy Harper, is introduced on the next page…


Speedy first met the Teen Titans in 1966’s Teen Titans #3….



He helped them once more as a guest star and then, in 1969’s Teen Titans #19, while he is ostensibly a guest star…


Aqualad leaves in the issue and while Speedy makes it like this is just a temporary thing…


He just never leaves. He stays with the team for the next 24 issues until the series ended at the end of 1972.

Also during 1972, Green Lantern #85 famously shows us the beginning of Speedy’s drug problems…



In 1976, Speedy returns to the Titans in Teen Titans #44…



I still love how pissed Kid Flash is that Speedy is back to get in the way of Wally’s attempts to woo Wonder Girl.

In The Best of DC #18 in 1981, Roy meets the New Teen Titans and we first learn that he is now working for the government…



In 1983’s New Teen Titans #27, Roy meets up with the Titans for the first time in their own book…



In #32, we see more of that government connection…


Also in 1983’s New Teen Titans Annual #2, we meet an assassin named Jade…


who is introduced later in the issue with her codename, Cheshire…


In 1986’s New Teen Titans #20, we get a major reveal…


The next issue explains their connection further…




In the end of the issue, we meet Lian…



In 1988’s Action Comics #618, Roy gets custody of Lian…



In 1993’s New Titans #97, Roy takes on a new identity, Arsenal…


In 1993’s New Titans #100, we finally meet Lian Harper as she was for the rest of her comic book life (you know, actually looking like a half-Asian kid), wwhich sadly ended a few years back with her death (I won’t show you that)…


In 2007’s Justice League of America #7, Roy changes his name from Arsenal to Red Arrow…




In 2010, after his daughter was killed and he lost an arm, he went back to Arsenal…



After the new 52 reboot, he regained his arm and is mostly just going by Roy Harper, although Arsenal is his official codename…