SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Green Arrow #36 by Benjamin Percy and Juan Ferreyra, on sale now.
Since the advent of DC Comics’ Rebirth initiative, writer Benjamin Percy has made a conscious effort to restore many of the beloved elements that were so sorely missing from Oliver Queen’s life during the New 52 in the pages of Green Arrow. Most notably, of course, is the hero's romance with Black Canary, his friendship with Hal Jordan, and let’s not forget the quintessential Van Dyke beard.
Still, no iteration of the Emerald Archer is quite complete without a sidekick, and with Roy Harper/Arsenal’s hands full over in Titans, Ollie’s half-sister Emiko Queen has managed to fill that void with flying colors… well, one color, since dubbing herself Red Arrow back in issue #15. However, if the final page of Green Arrow #36 is any indication, that mantle may very well be vacant once again.
The return of Oliver’s mother Moira always promised to be problematic for Emi, whose very existence is the result an affair between Moira’s late husband Robert and the assassin known as Shado. Nevertheless, it isn’t Emi who’s in Moira’s crosshairs when she arms herself with a bow and arrow (apparently archery runs in the family) but rather Ollie and Black Canary, who appear poised to be turned into human pincushions. However, as they’re staring down the speeding projectile, Emi throws herself into harm’s way to save them, taking an arrow straight through the heart.
Whether or not this is truly “The Fall of Red Arrow,” as the next issue’s title implies, remains to be seen. (This is comics, after all). Still, that Emi is willing to put her life on the line to save Ollie represents a significant evolution from the version of the character we were first introduced to in Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino’s Green Arrow run back in 2013.
Although she’s the daughter of Robert Queen and Shado, Emi was kidnapped as a child by Simon Lacroix, better known as the villainous Komodo. Raising her as if she was his own, Komodo spent years turning Emi into the perfect killing machine. In fact, she even managed to stick the Emerald Archer with two arrows during one of his and Komodo’s early encounters.
Eventually, Emi would discover the truth about her parentage, and, in turn, her relation to Green Arrow, prompting a shift in her allegiances. This didn’t sit too well with Komodo, though, who saw Emi’s change of heart as a betrayal, but before he could kill her, Robert, Shado, and Green Arrow arrived on the scene. However, in the ensuing battle, Robert and Komodo were both killed – Robert, from an arrow to the chest by Komodo, and Komodo, from an arrow to the chest by Emi.
All things considered, Emi taking an arrow to the chest like both her father and her father-figure almost brings her tumultuous journey full circle. Hopefully, this is only a pit-stop, though, and not the end.
Green Arrow #36, written by Benjamin Percy with art by Juan Ferreyra, is on sale now. Green Arrow #37 hits stands February 7.