SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for “Green Arrow” #15, on sale now.
Star City is positively crawling with archers, especially now that the Dark Archer Merlyn has returned in order to frame Oliver Queen for a series of murders and attacks. Luckily for Green Arrow, he’s got at least one bowslinger watching his back — or at least, he usually does; his history with sister Emi is a bit complicated, after all. In “Green Arrow” #15 by Benjamin Percy and Juan Ferreyra, Emiko Queen takes an important step toward becoming Ollie’s official partner, whether he likes it or not: declaring herself the Red Arrow.
Who is Emiko Queen?
Introduced during Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino’s New 52 run, Emiko Queen is the daughter of Robert Queen (Oliver’s father) and the assassin Shado, though she was raised by yet another villain, Komodo. By the time Rebirth launched, she had seemingly come over to the side of angels and was living with her brother in Star City. However, she betrayed him by the second issue as part of a long-game strategy to save her mother from the Ninth Circle. This plan eventually worked out for everyone, more or less, but still — trust is going to be hard to rebuild.
Emi might have earned a few points toward reconciliation this issue, though, by saving Ollie from Sergeant Notting, a disgraced police officer who now leads a squad of vigilantes called the Vice Squad serving as judge, jury, and executioner — but mostly just executioner — to the city’s criminals.
The story of Emiko Queen blends elements of many previous Green Arrow partners, and adopting the role of Red Arrow, a nom de guerre last held by original sidekick Roy Harper during his Justice League days, would continue that trend. In addition to bringing Roy’s “troubled youth” aspect to the partnership, there are also similarities to Connor Hawke, Oliver’s son in pre-“Flashpoint” continuity who eventually took on the mantle of Green Arrow himself.
Like Connor, Emi is a long-lost relative, though this time a sister rather than a son; she also once tried to claim the Green Arrow name, but was shot down. And, if the hero-sidekick dynamic can be viewed in terms of family — Roy was Ollie’s “ward” but was very much a father figure, while Oliver was literally Connor’s dad, though an absent one — his relationship with Emi may track more closely to that his pre-Flashpoint self held with Mia Dearden, who took up the mantle of Speedy. As he did with Mia, with Emiko Green Arrow will likely see himself as big brother, mentor and protector, a father figure to a strong young woman who isn’t necessarily looking for such.
If the newly-dubbed Red Arrow is following in Roy Harper’s footsteps — let’s hope not too closely — she could find herself a place on the new Teen Titans. Roy was a Titan during his Speedy days, and now as Arsenal serves on the grown-up team of Titans led by Wally West. Of course, if Emiko does join the Teen Titans, she could pose a threat to Damian Wayne’s leadership, matching him in wits, fighting skills, and ruthlessness. But if that group could work together, they could become DC’s most formidable team.
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