Green Arrow’s Former Sidekick is Becoming DC’s Newest Villain

Roy Harper, Green Arrow’s former sidekick, returned to life during Infinite Frontier, and now fans learn he may be heading down a dark path.

Warning: contains spoilers for Infinite Frontier: Secret Files #2!

Roy Harper, the former sidekick of Green Arrow, was recently resurrected as part of DC’s Infinite Frontier era. While fans were happy the classic hero – variously known as Speedy, Arsenal, and Red Arrow – was back in the spotlight, a recent comic suggests he could actually be on the way to becoming DC’s newest villain.

A former Teen Titan, Roy’s early adventures were typical teen sidekick fare, but his character took a dark turn in the infamous Green Lantern/Green Arrow #85 and #86, which introduced heroin addiction to Roy’s story. Though struggling with addiction on and off, Roy went on to become a father, only to tragically lose his child. He was thought killed during the events of Heroes in Crisis, but in the recent Infinite Frontier #0, he was shown to be alive and well. Since then, readers have been clamoring to learn more about Roy Harper’s return and in the DC Digital First Infinite Frontier: Secret Files #2, they learn his destiny may be a dark one.

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The issue, written by Stephanie Phillips and Joshua Williamson, with art by Inaki Miranda, colors by Nick Filardi and letters by Tom Napolitano, opens with a primer on Roy Harper, courtesy of agent Cameron Chase of the Department of Extranormal Operations. She reflects on the various twists and turns that have been the hallmark of Roy’s life, running through the various tragedies he has suffered. She wonders how much Roy remembers of his past life, and how such knowledge would impact him as he regains those memories. Her fear is that, as the memories come back, it could pair with his already unstable nature and drive him over the edge; this would, in her words, make him “more enemy than ally.”

Chase’s notes are interspersed with scenes of Roy Harper in a bar fight, where he is initially losing but manages to turn the tables. The issue ends with Roy riding off into the horizon on his motorcycle, while DEO Director Bones, who has been listening to Chase’s notes, gives a warning for Chase not to get close to Roy, as the multiverse is at stake. While all of the original Teen Titans have been through the ringer personally, the issue gives readers a crash course in the particularly extreme ups and downs of Roy’s life – all of which provide the context for Chase’s worries of Roy becoming a bad guy.

Roy has been through so much, and yet the issue seems to imply that his resurrection has left him with some residual healing powers, making his efforts to provoke a bar fight in which he’ll be justified in beating a man unconscious seem even darker. Chase is right to wonder if Roy has retained his heroic nature, since a true turn to the dark side would make him incredibly dangerous, especially given his inside knowledge of the hero community. Infinite Frontier: Secret Files is intended to bring readers up to date with heroes who will have significance in upcoming multiversal adventures, suggesting Roy’s decisions may have consequences even he can’t foresee. And if those decisions do begin to hurt others, it’s a sure bet that Green Arrow will be the first to hunt down his former sidekick.

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