5719 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Red Arrow (Young Justice ally) (animated TV series) drawing a trick arrow

Red Arrow

(Roy Harper)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Young Justice was an animated television series. It ran for 2 seasons (2011-2013). Young Justice wasn’t based on the prior comic book series. Instead, it took place in a series-specific version of the DC Universe (“Earth-16”) and with a different roster.

On Earth-16, super-heroes have been around for less than a decade, but the Justice League already has sidekicks. Yearning to be considered as real heroes, these teenagers form “the Team”. The Team specializes in covert missions and reconnaissance.

The show’s tone was a healthy blend of teen angst, humour, and action. Throughout the series, the plot remained fresh while respecting the source material.

At this stage, our Young Justice profiles cover the first 10 episodes of Season 1.


Background

  • Real Name: Roy Harper.
  • Former Aliases: Speedy.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Unrevealed.
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Gotham City.
  • Height: 5’9” Weight: 160 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Red


Powers and Abilities

Roy Harper is a natural born marksman. After countless hours of practice, he has honed his natural gifts into nearly unmatched skill in archery. Only the enigmatic archer, Green Arrow, is able to match or surpass his skill.

To the untrained eye, his bowman-ship seems to be a superhuman power in and of itself. With no apparent effort he can fire multiple arrows at different or the same target simultaneously, all of which striking their designated targets with unerring accuracy.

Red Arrow has augmented his formidable archery skills with a regimen of tumbling, acrobatic and strength training exercises. The goal was transform him into a more effective crime-fighter. While he may never win an Olympic gold medal for his form, his acrobatics are extremely effective. They allow him to avoid most missile and melee attacks.

Moreover, in preparation for the moment when his bow has failed him and congenital fisticuffs become a necessity, Red Arrow has trained extensively in martial arts. He has become an above average hand to hand combatant.

Finally, while he may not possess the same unnatural intuition that the Batman or Robin may possess, Red Arrow has proven to possess keen analytical and deductive skills. These allow him to come to accurate conclusions and piece together evidence at a level of competence that most private eyes or detectives wish they possessed.


History

(This is an abridged version of the history that can be found in the Young Justice (Main Article) writeup. See said article for a more detailed description of the Team’s History. This section also assumes that Roy’s early history is similar to that of his New Earth counterpart.)

Red Arrow was born Roy Harper junior. He was the orphan son of a forest ranger who died saving lives during a massive forest fire on a Navajo reservation just outside of Star City. In order to repay their debt to Roy senior, the tribe took in Roy and raised him as one of their own.

Despite their efforts, Roy grew up with few friends. He ended up living a somewhat solitary existence on the reservation. He filled his idle time with all manner of physical activity and quickly developed an intense love for archery.

Green Arrow

His prowess with a bow quickly became legendary enough to draw the attention of the hero, Green Arrow. Curious, Green Arrow travelled to the reservation to witness the youth in action and was suitably impressed by his skill.

Red Arrow shooting his bow over a white background

While Green Arrow was witnessing Roy’s skilled demonstration a pair of thugs was attempting to rob one of the establishments on the reservation. As the thugs attempted to escape, Green Arrow snapped into action and nocked an arrow to his bow.

To his surprise the young man who he had come to observe actually nocked, drew and snapped off a shot with his bow before he could.

The two easily stopped the attempted burglary. Green Arrow affectionately gave the nickname “Speedy” to young Roy due to the incredible speed that he could draw and fire his bow. The two exchanged jokes and pleasantries and something in the young man’s intensity spoke to Green Arrow.

Before he knew it, Green Arrow found himself talking to Roy’s adoptive father and offering to take the young man in as his ward. Realizing that Roy had an opportunity at something better than the life he was leading, the tribe agreed to let him go and Roy enthusiastically accepted.

Leaving the res

Roy spent the next year rigorously training and drilling in Green Arrow’s crime-fighting methods. He eventually gained enough skill to join Green Arrow as his partner. He took to the streets in a brilliant red and yellow costume next to his mentor and operated under the super-heroic name “Speedy.”

As Speedy, Roy assisted his mentor for several years on many of his cases. He worked diligently to gain the respect of the man who had given him a better life.

The pair tore a swathe through the criminal underworld of Star City. With every victory Speedy saw him becoming less and less of a sidekick to Green Arrow and more of a partner.

Eventually, Green Arrow began to see their relationship in much the same way. He decided that Speedy was ready for the “Big Leagues” and extended him an invitation to join the Justice League.

The very same invitation was extended to three other youthful protégés. On the fourth of July, Speedy assembled alongside them in front of the Hall of Justice. Unlike the other three who waited with mixed feelings of awe, anticipation and excitement, Speedy waited impatiently with a fierce surge of pride coursing throughout his frame.

In his mind, he would finally be recognized as a hero of his own right, and no longer be seen as a sidekick.

Break up

Unfortunately for him, this simply would not come to pass. It didn’t take long for Speedy to realize that despite the promises that were made, he and the other protégés would be relegated to a junior member status within the League itself.

Unlike the others (Robin, Aqualad and Kid Flash) Speedy became instantly infuriated and verbally berated all who present. He assailed the mentors’ condescending attitude and chastised the protégés casual acceptance of it.

Red Arrow hits a man with his bow

In the midst of his outburst, he revealed that Green Arrow had already told him several of the League’s secrets including the location of their real base (the moonbase called Watchtower).

When his words failed to convince anyone of his point of view, Speedy did the only thing he felt was left to him. He tossed his hat down at the feet of his former mentor and stormed out of the Hall of Justice.

A League of his own

Speedy returned to Star City. Over the next two weeks fought crime on his own. He started to establish himself as a solo act instead of a sidekick. At the end of this period while attempting to apprehend the criminal called Brick, Speedy received some unexpected aid from Aqualad, Kid Flash and Robin.

In the middle of the conflict, the three former protégés were bubbling over with excitement. They informed Speedy that they had formed a covert branch of the Justice League and were finally getting the respect that they deserved.

They told him about Mount Justice, their new teammates Superboy and Miss Martian and they saved the best part for last: they still wanted Speedy to join.

While the trio of Leaguers attempted to convince Speedy to rejoin them, Speedy casually defeated Brick. With Brick’s defeat within hand, Speedy was able to turn his full attention to his friends. With nothing less than derision in his voice, he flat out refused their offer and berated them for allowing the adults to keep them in their place.

With that he disappeared into the night, leaving his friends disappointed that they failed to recruit him.

League of Shadows

Three full weeks passed before Roy made his presence felt once more. On August the 7th, Roy appeared on Infinity Island. After sneaking into their private headquarters, he single-handedly rescued Dr. Serling Roquette from the clutches of the League of Shadows. Unfortunately, he was unable to do so before she had been forced to create a doomsday weapon for them.

But all hope was not lost at that point. What Serling had created, she could also devise a way to destroy. Roy realized that as long as she was capable of building a countermeasure to stop the League of Shadows weapon, that they would not stop searching for her until she had been killed.

Left with little choice, Roy took Serling to Happy Harbour and approached the only people he could trust to back him up and keep Serling alive: the Justice League.

Red Arrow draws his bow over a white background

Roy teleported into the Mount Justice headquarters of the Young Justice team. Despite the way they had last parted ways, he was pleasantly surprised to hear the automated voice notify the rest of the League of his arrival.

He immediately corrected the computerized voice though, it had mistakenly called him Speedy and he no longer operated under that alias. Before anyone could continue, he proudly told everyone to call him Red Arrow.

Artemis

As he walked into the main hall, he jerked to a halt when he saw a young girl carrying a bow and wearing a costume that had a passing resemblance to Green Arrow’s. A brief explanation later revealed that Green Arrow had taken on a new protégé (who he claimed was his niece) named Artemis.

Roy’s temper flared up once more, and after a few moments of verbal sparring he abandoned all pretense of caring. He simply informed the League of the danger that Serling was in and exactly how dangerous the League of Shadows had become.

When the League accepted the responsibility of protecting Serling, the newly christened Red Arrow divorced himself of the situation completely and stalked out of the mountain headquarters.

Instead of returning to Star City, Red Arrow used the League’s teleporter to travel to Gotham City. There he waited patiently for Artemis to return home.

It was a mystery how he knew what city she lived in, but as she stepped out of a phone booth he accosted her immediately and revealed that he knew that she wasn’t who she claimed to be. Before disappearing into the Gotham night, he left her with a warning to avoid hurting his friends.


Description

Roy Harper is a tall, lean athletic young man. His frame closely resembles that of a runner, and most of the muscle that he possesses is contained in his arms.

While operating under the alias Speedy, Roy wore a red and yellow costume made up of: a red tunic that covered his torso from his neck down to just above mid thigh, red spandex tights, yellow gloves that covered his entire hands to the middle of his forearms, and yellow boots.

A brown and black utility belt encircled his waist (this was where he stored his arrowheads) and a yellow quiver hung in the center of his back via a shoulder strap that ran from his right shoulder to his left waist. Roy topped his costume off with a yellow XVIth century styled hat (complete with a red feather) and a red domino mask that hid his identity.

Red Arrow draws his bow in a dark tunnel

As Red Arrow, Roy’s tastes have darkened somewhat. From top to bottom, his suit is made up of a spandex like material, but it is predominantly black. A red triangular pattern adorns his chest (with the point of the triangle pointing down towards his abs) and a high red collar runs up his neck.

Roy’s arms are now bare from the shoulders down to his mid bicept on his right arm, and all the way to his wrist on his left arm. Both hands are covered in black fingerless gloves, but his right handed glove extends over the entirety of his forearm and up to his mid-bicep (to protect his forearm from the bowstring as it fires).

His quiver, utility belt and boots are all a greyish brown and both his bow and his arrow fletchings are red in colour. He has abandoned his hat, and his short red hair stands up into the air above his head, but he retains his domino mask to help protect his secret identity.


Personality

Red Arrow seems to a brash, outspoken, and emotional young man. His extremely short fuse is driven by a singular emotion, Pride (note the capitalization of the P). He desperately desires to be seen as an equal to his mentor. He constantly demands to be treated with the respect that he feels he has earned.

He absolutely detests being called a sidekick – to the point where he will snap at anyone who calls him one or patronizes him in any way. No one is safe from his verbal assault, not Batman, Aquaman or Green Arrow himself.

Despite his deeply rooted desire for respect, Roy has a hard time giving the same respect to anyone else. He openly displays his impatience and frustration with those around him. It can only be assumed that his attitude and arrogance have contributed to the alienation he has received over the years.

Attitude issues aside, Roy is a stalwart hero and a loyal friend. He will go to great lengths to protect a friend or to save an innocent, even if it places him in great personal jeopardy.


Quotes

Robin: “Is this the first time all four sidekicks are in the same place ?”
Red Arrow: “Don’t. Call. Us. Sidekicks. Not after today.”

“That’s it ?!? You promised us a real look inside. Not a glorified backstage pass.”

Green Arrow: “Roy, You just need to be patient.”
Red Arrow: “What I need is respect. They’re treating us like kids. Worse, like sidekicks. We deserve better than this.”

Red Arrow readies trick arrow

Aquaman: “Stand down, or…”
Red Arrow: “Or what, you’ll send me to my room ? And I’m not your son, I’m not even his. I thought I was his partner. But… not anymore.”

Robin: “So Speedy, you in ?”
Red Arrow: “Pass. I’m done letting Arrow and the League tell me what to do. I don’t need a babysitter or a clubhouse hangout with the other kids. Your junior Justice League is a joke ; something to keep you busy and in your place. I don’t want any part of it.”

Doctor Serling Roquette: “What do you call this, the Arrow Boat ?”
Red Arrow: “I call it a rental. Now get down !”

(To Green Arrow upon the revelation of Artemis)
Kid Flash: “What happened to your old one ? To Speedy ?”
Red Arrow: (while teleporting into Mount Justice) “Well for starters, he doesn’t go by Speedy anymore. Call me Red Arrow.”

“I may… possibly… be in over my head.”


DC Universe History

The events of Young Justice are canonical and take place on Earth-16 within the DC Universe. Any travel through the DC Multiverse could potentially bring the player characters into contact with this version of Roy Harper.


Sharing

The links to follow us and/or subscribe to our monthly newsletter are at the bottom of this page.



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Red Arrow

Dex: 06 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 05 Wil: 05 Min: 04 Occupation: Super Hero
Inf: 05 Aur: 04 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 018 HP: 030

Skills:
Acrobatics*: 06, Detective: 05, Gadgetry: 05, Martial Artist: 05, Military Science (Danger Recognition): 05, Thief (Security Systems, Stealth): 05, Vehicles: 05, Weaponry (Archery): 10

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Star City), Scholar (Fletching), Shtick (Ammunition Freedom), Schtick (Lightning Release).

Connections:
Young Justice (High), Green Arrow (High), Justice League (Low).

Drawbacks:
MIA (Pride), Secret Identity.

Genre:
Action.

Equipment:

  • Longbow [BODY 04, Projectile weapon: 03, Range: 08, Ammo: 01, R#02. Bonuses & Limitations: Bow Advantage (actual Range is 05), Limitation: Low Penetration].
  • Quiver [BODY 02, Projectile Weapon: 03, Ammo: 36, Limitation: Ammunition load for his bow].
  • Arrows (x36) [BODY 02, EV 03, Bonus : EV can be Combined with whatever specialty arrowhead is fitted on them, Drawback : Grenade Drawback. Red Arrow has both hunting and blunt arrowhead, and thus can select Killing or Bashing Combat at will].

Design notes

Capped Archery at 10APs because he’s still relatively new with room to grow and I’m assuming that Green Arrow tops out at somewhere in the 11-12 AP range.


Arrowheads

The following are examples of the types of specialty arrowheads that Red Arrow has been seen employing in combat:

  • Cable Arrowhead [BODY 08, Gliding: 04, Note : includes a 4 APs long line, Limitation : Grenade Drawback].
  • Electro-Arrowhead [BODY 01, Lightning (No Range): 08, Grenade Drawback].
  • Explosive-Tip Arrowhead [BODY 01, Bomb: 08, Grenade Drawback, Bonus: May be set with five second delay].
  • Glue Arrowhead [BODY 02, Glue: 08, Grenade Drawback. Notes: Glue is actually a high-density polyurethane foam that engulfs the target].
  • Scrambler Arrowhead [BODY 01, Neutralize: 08. Bonuses & Limitations: Can only be used to scramble the workings of electronic equipment, for exemple the feed from surveillance cameras].

By Bryan Gittens.

Source of Character: Young Justice television series, episodes 1-9 (voiced by Crispin Freeman).

Helper(s): Young Justice Wiki, Darci.

Subscribe to our MINI-NEWSLETTER !

One bare-bones e-mail per month. Plain text. Short. To the point. Learn more.