This week Green Arrow reaches the climax of “Tale of Two Cities” and its story since the Rebirth relaunch in a special oversized issue. As Oliver Queen takes on Merlyn to foil his master plan, he’s relying on the dependable set of allies, sometimes affectionately referred to as Team Arrow, to keep him out of trouble. Even before the current run by writer Benjamin Percy, Green Arrow has always functioned as a de facto team book. It’s something that some of the character’s best known writers, like Kevin Smith and Dennis O’Neil, have known for a long time. This is a character who works best when surrounded by people.
That’s why we’re taking a look at the many friends, family, and other assorted allies who have given Green Arrow the most support in the past and present. They range from introductions as early as 1941 to this very decade, and come from all across the world of DC Comics. Green Arrow has been around for a very long time and his stories reveal a great set of teammates. These are the eight greatest allies to join “Team Arrow” in the comics so far.
Created by: Mort Weisinger and George Papp
First Appearance: More Fun Comics #73
No one has been by Green Arrow’s side longer than Roy Harper. He’s a superhero now best known by his real name due to the number of alter-egos he has maintained over the many years. Roy was introduced as Speedy, a ward and sidekick in the early tradition of Robin, and would appear regularly in Green Arrow-related comics, as well as become a founding member of the Teen Titans. Following an infamous story in which Roy is addicted to heroin, the character took a turn for the dark side. He has since used the aliases of Arsenal and Red Arrow, becoming a more violent hero and sharing a more contentious relationship with his mentor. That relationship appears to be on the mend as the two see one another more as peers after so many years spent together.
Created by: Mort Weisinger and Carmine Infantino
First Appearance: More Fun Comics #86
There are few superhero romances that have lasted as long as the one between Green Arrow and his “pretty bird." The two have been dating for decades and were even briefly married. No matter how many other relationships they might have, superhero fans always expect them to wind up together. That shouldn’t imply their road has been an easy one. Black Canary and Green Arrow have always been a contentious pairing, fighting just as passionately with as they care for one another. In spite of any conflicts, they see the hero at the heart of their companion and are dedicated to their dearest friend (and sometimes lover) when the chips are down.
Created by: Kevin Smith and Phil Hester
First Appearance: Green Arrow (vol. 3) #2
The second Speedy came from a much tougher background than the first. Mia Dearden had an incredibly difficult childhood when she first encountered Green Arrow. Yet under his tutelage she found a family of her own and a calling as a new superhero for Star City. Due to past experience with abuse, the trust formed between her and her teammates was hard-earned, but her loyalty has proven to be one of her most lasting characteristics. Mia also stands out as one of the few HIV-positive superheroes in comics.
Created by: Kelley Puckett and Jim Aparo
First Appearance: Green Arrow (vol. 2) #0
Given all of the wards Oliver Queen has adopted over the years, it came as a surprise when he discovered that he had a biological son. Connor was raised far from his father’s influence, but is still inspired by the legacy of Green Arrow and is more committed to his dad than his dad was to him. He has picked up the Green Arrow legacy more than once and was the featured marksman of JLA for a time. There are few characters on “Team Arrow” as noble as Hawke, and he makes his father and teammates proud on a regular basis, no matter what superhero name he carries.
Created by: Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino
First Appearance: Green Arrow (vol. 5) #18
Emiko is another recently revealed member of the Queen family, a half-sister to Oliver hidden from him and his father by her mother, the assassin Shado. Emiko was raised to be an incredibly deadly young woman, bearing some resemblance to Damian Wayne. However, after initially trying to kill her half-brother, Emiko came to accept their familial bond and care for the superhero who refused to hurt her. After lots of hard work, Emiko has taken the title of Red Arrow and become another member of the extended Arrow family in addition to the Queen family.
Created by: Mike Grell and Lurine Haines
First Appearance: Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters #1
Emiko’s mother began her career in comics as a new antagonist, but was quickly revealed to play the role of anti-hero. Since first appearing in “The Longbow Hunters”, Shado has regularly returned, sometimes as friend and sometimes as foe. In spite of her more deadly methods, the years have revealed Shado to have a strong sense of honor and to care deeply for the people she loves. Those characteristics have made her an invaluable ally to Green Arrow on more than one occasion.
Created by: John Broome and Gil Kane
First Appearance: Showcase #22
The Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams run of Green Lantern/Green Arrow served both to bring Oliver Queen back to the spotlight and cement one of the greatest superhero friendships of all time. The pair served as an odd couple in which Hal Jordan was the straight man who Green Arrow had to bring out of his shell. While these stories have not aged as well as others, the bond between heroes has survived death and all other sorts of travails.
Created by: Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim
First (Comics) Appearance: Green Arrow (vol. 5) #24
John Diggle may become a rare example of a superhero character introduced in movies or television who becomes even more successful in comics. He made the jump when introduced by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino in their stunning run on the series. Just like in Arrow, Diggle is a reliable friend who offers a wide array of skills and dedicated work ethic. It’s clear from the television series that Diggle is one of the best allies Oliver Queen has encountered, and his comics career has only just begun.