The next day, Diana Dare flew her private plane out to California, where she met with Roy Harper at Stellar Studios, the headquarters of Infinity Inc. She was wearing her Queen Arrow costume, while he was dressed as the Red Arrow. She knew from his expression that he still found her as attractive as he had as a teenager. She gained confidence from that and smoothly explained her reason for the visit.
“So, as a new team leader, I realized I lacked something,” she said.
Fabric? thought Roy as he tried not to stare.
“Oliver was a masterful leader,” she said. “He offered me a role model, of sorts, so I asked Max Lord to give me access to his papers. That led to this journal and the comment about a second Green Arrow! I was time-tossed during their career, so this was news to me. The pages dealing with them were ripped out. Plus, someone attacked me and demanded a map to Lost Mesa!”
Roy was older than Diana, through the paradox of time displacement, but he still felt an attraction to her on an almost-schoolboy level. But he lost any feelings of awkwardness when she brought up this new topic.
“Diana, listen,” he urged her. “Stay away from Lost Mesa. It doesn’t need to be disturbed by us costumed — or barely costumed — types anymore. The Indians there live a peaceful life. There is no longer any gold there. Ollie and I took all of it when we started. Arrowplanes and Arrowcars don’t come cheap! As for the second Green Arrow, I can explain that for you.” Tossing back her blonde locks, Di leaned forward to listen.
“Shortly after the JSA rescued us from the time displacement along with the other Seven Soldiers, we resumed our lives, first as civilians, then as heroes. Well, we soon learned that in our absence, Star City hadn’t missed us, because a second Green Arrow and Speedy team had picked up as crime-fighters where we stopped. The ordinary citizens of Star City never knew we had disappeared. When we returned and learned of our replacements, we met them and accepted them as worthy replacements. They had already gone into semiretirement, since age had caught up with them, and now that we were back, they insisted on retiring completely. They deserved the peaceful retirement that poor Oliver was ultimately denied. I ripped out those journal pages to protect their privacy after Oliver’s death, but I left his parts intact to preserve his legend.”
“But who were they?” asked Di. “I mean, they were in your league, from all the press clippings I pulled yesterday. The Star City Journal is full of their adventures. They continued on right up to after the JSA returned from their own retirement. Different hair colors, but the skill was so obviously there that no one doubted they were the real pair with modified looks. Could one of them be the guy who attacked me?”
Roy shook his head. “No, no, no. One is dead, and the other is in retirement. I’ll say no more.” He rose from his seat and extended his hand to change the subject. “Nice to see you again, Diana. Oliver liked you very much. You can let me handle any would-be robbers at the estate. Just go form a team that would make us original Law’s Legionnaires proud.”
Diana frowned as she shook hands with him. Obviously, he wasn’t likely to accept her invitation to leave Infinity Inc. and be her sidekick, let alone join her team.
Diana Dare made her plans quickly on the flight from California. She piloted her private plane straight to the one place that seemed to hold the secret to the mystery — Lost Mesa. The map, as it turned out, had been hidden within the journal’s leather binding. She hadn’t bothered to reveal this to Roy, who apparently never found it. Of course, since he grew up there, he knew the way there already.
“Lost Mesa, here comes Queen Arrow!” she vowed.
Queen Arrow managed a smooth landing on the flat slope of Lost Mesa. She knew this was largely due to the advanced plane she piloted. Her wealth had made it easy to acquire the very best in terms of vehicles and headquarters for the new team. She was greeted by natives, who seemed intrigued by the general archer image she displayed with her bow and quiver.
“I am Queen Arrow,” she announced. “I come here seeking answers about Oliver Queen and the men known as Green Arrow.”
Two men stepped forward. “My name is Quorak,” said the first, an elder of the tribe. “My great-uncle was Quoag, the man who taught the art of the bow to the first Speedy. I taught the second man known as Green Arrow.”
“And I am Chief White Cloud,” said a man with a feathered war bonnet atop his head, “the son of Chief Thunderhead, the greatest bowman of my tribe, who taught the One of Speed known as the second Speedy. You see…”
Before he could continue, a sleek plane landed on the slope, and costumed figures jumped out to fire arrows at them.
Diana shoved the boy to safety and drew her own bow, but she was seconds too late as chains whipped from arrowheads to bind her tightly from the neck down. She fell forward and could only look up from the dust as the red, blue, green, and yellow boots of men and women stood over her.
“Well, well, well,” said a voice she had heard before. “Look at the prize fish we’ve caught, eh?” It was the gray-haired, goateed man who had attacked her at the Queen estate.
“I knew if I watched you long enough you’d lead us here!” he said, chuckling. “The Rainbow Archers shall take the gold of Lost Mesa in a just revenge upon the legacy of the man who defeated us so often — Green Arrow!” He planted one boot on top of Queen Arrow’s back as she lay there helpless.
“Take her to the caverns and bring out the rest of the squatters. This place is ours for the taking,” he crowed.
As Queen Arrow watched in horror, her chains were looped over a tree, and she was pulled upside down until she dangled helplessly.
“I’m sure you’re curious about who I am,” said the man calling himself the Rainbow Archer. “My name is Albrecht Raines, and my father was the waiter from the club who was lured here by Queen’s rash discussion of treasure. He set out for this desolate spot and was never seen again. Queen must have killed him to protect his gold mine. I was an artist and already a skilled counterfeiter when I was recruited by Professor Million a couple years after my father’s death to join a gang of criminal archers. We were trained by Superman’s old foe Mort Quigley, the Archer, and then by Green Arrow himself after tricking him into thinking we were just an archery club named after him. Ha! So I mastered the very skills old Queen used to slay my father back in 1941, and I later created my nom de guerre of the Rainbow Archer. I fought him for years, originally solo and then with my multicolored gang.
“When Green Arrow died, and I learned that he was Oliver Queen, it seemed that my life had taken on a pattern as if by fate. I already hated Queen, and I learned the skills that he had been using as Green Arrow without ever connecting the two men. So I realized Queen’s estate might hold the secrets to my father’s death and the treasure that should have been his. I had you watched constantly, having my men and women trail you. You do like to stand out! Now, I’ll have the gold, and kill you, too!”
Diana strained at her chains, but she had to admit that she was absolutely helpless. Some leader I am! she fumed. I’m trapped, all because my ego prevented me from listening to Roy Harper’s warning! Even Arrowette would not have been so headstrong!
Then the colorful gang raised a cry as several wooden shafts landed all around them, and vapors poured out.
As they fell, the Rainbow Archer covered his face and wrapped his arms around Diana. “Someone’s smart enough to subdue my gang from afar,” he said. “Gas arrows! Must be Red Arrow! He must have followed you, too!”
Queen Arrow coughed and tried but failed to see through the smoke. Then she heard a thud, and the Rainbow Archer toppled forward.
“Shhh! I’ll free you,” whispered a familiar female voice.
“Arrowette!” gasped Queen Arrow.
“Yes,” she said. “Red Arrow picked me up and brought me here. He realized you’d never accept his warning to stay away, so he gathered help and decided that all of the Green Arrow successors should come together here.”
She cut down Queen Arrow, who fell with an impact that raised dust around them. “Oops! Sorry about that!” Arrowette said glibly.
I’ll just bet, thought Diana.
Then Red Arrow appeared. He kicked the rising Rainbow Archer in the head and connected with a right cross. “Queen Arrow, hold on, and we’ll get to the bottom of this!” he called. Diana jumped up as soon as she could move again.
The Indians stood all around the beaten gang, and Chief White Cloud stepped forward again accompanied this time by an older, red-haired man whose face was very familiar.
“Queen Arrow?” said the middle-aged man. “My name is Rob Harper. I believe you know my brother Roy, here. He’s actually the oldest, believe it or not.”
As Diana rubbed her arms and legs to restore feeling in them, she listened to the story of the second Green Arrow and Speedy.
“I was born after my father and my older brother Roy here left on a plane trip out west in 1932,” explained Rob Harper. “Mom couldn’t join them because she had just learned that she was pregnant with me. When my father and Roy were lost, she grieved and gave birth to me in early 1933, but died during childbirth. I was raised by my Uncle John and Aunt Anna, who were really the only parents I remembered from my childhood. My dad — Uncle John — was a scientist who operated an independent laboratory on our ranch in the wilds of Arizona, not far from where my real father had gone missing.
“My father had been a forest ranger as a young man, and had developed good relationships with the local tribes that worked in his favor as a successful executive in a mining company. He paid old Quoag handsomely to work as his aide, since the old man knew each and every tribe in the Southwest. When the plane crashed on Lost Mesa, my father died on impact, but Roy and old Quoag survived, and they lived for years only thanks to the old Indian’s expertise and archery skills, which he taught to Roy during my infancy.”
“Did he teach you also?” asked Diana.
“No,” said Rob. “Roy’s teacher was Quoag, while I learned from White Cloud’s father, Chief Thunderhead. You see, when I was five years old in 1937, Uncle John and Aunt Anna were killed in an explosion caused by my uncle’s science experiments, and I was orphaned a second time in my young life. I wandered through the woods for days, faint from hunger, until Chief Thunderhead and his tribe found me. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but the chief had known my father and knew he and Roy had gone missing years earlier. So he took a fatherly interest in me and took me under his wing, bringing me on hunting trips with him and his young son, White Cloud. Thanks to the chief’s efforts, I became a master in archery by the time I was ten years old in 1943. Even though I’d never forgotten my true name, I won my tribal name of the One of Speed during my first tournament when I pierced five eggs with five arrows before any of them dropped to the ground.” (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Origin of Speedy,” Adventure Comics #209 (February, 1955).]
“Interesting name,” noted Diana.
“You’re paying attention,” said Rob with a wink. “Yes, I think Chief Thunderhead may have already heard of Speedy by the time he gave me that nickname, even if he wasn’t aware that he was my brother. All this time I never knew Roy was still alive, and even when Oliver Queen brought him back to the east in 1941, he only learned that our mother and our only other relatives, Uncle John and Aunt Anna, had also died. So Roy never knew I even existed.
“Then, in 1948, Roy and Oliver vanished. A few months later, in January, 1949, a visitor came to Arizona, having tracked me down while researching a planned book on the missing Green Arrow. His name was Oliver Morgan, and his father was Professor Lamont Morgan, Oliver Queen’s mentor and confidant who had named his own son after Queen.
“It was somewhat ironic that old Professor Morgan had not been a fan of Green Arrow when he first appeared, writing him off as a publicity-seeking faker. The wealthy benefactor had even issued a public challenge to the famed archer in 1942, not knowing that he was also his old friend, to make the headlines of every newspaper in the country in exchange for a donation of $50,000 to the USO. The only catch was that Green Arrow had to do so without using a single arrow. Being the man that he was, Oliver Queen accepted the challenge as Green Arrow and returned from California a few weeks later, after making national headlines stopping a sneak Japanese attack on America’s oil supply. True to his word, Lamont Morgan not only admitted his mistake and made the promised donation, but hired a personal archery trainer — none other than Quorak, here — for his then-seventeen-year-old son, Oliver Morgan, who worshipped Green Arrow. (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See “Hunting Headlines,” More Fun Comics #84 (October, 1942).]
“It was not long afterward that Oliver Queen revealed his secret to Lamont Morgan, who was overjoyed, albeit somewhat embarrassed for thinking his own protégé was a fraud. Later Green Arrow also told his namesake, Oliver Morgan, his secret. Thus, by 1949, Oliver Morgan was ready and able to take up the role of Green Arrow after the original was lost to us all. He had the skills, since Quorak had trained him in archery for several years, and Oliver picked up several more tricks directly from Green Arrow after graduating from college in 1947. While doing some intensive research for the book, he even discovered my existence.”
“So he had assumed Roy and Ollie were dead and thought a book would do no harm,” Diana surmised. “Then I guess he learned about your birth from neighbors?”
“No,” said Rob. “He learned it from me. You see, after Chief Thunderhead had taught me all he knew about archery, he sent me to find Green Arrow, known to him as the great American peace archer, so that I could seek my future at his side. But before I even arranged to travel to Star City, I returned to my old ranch to make my peace with my folks before taking on yet another father figure. I had been there for only a few days, practicing my archery skills, when Oliver Morgan arrived. He had been searching unsuccessfully for Lost Mesa when he decided to look into Roy’s family history and learned the location of John Harper’s ranch.
“I didn’t even know he was there, since the ranch had been abandoned for years,” Rob continued. “But when he heard the telltale sound of a bowstring and an arrow hitting a target, he decided to investigate, and saw me practicing my archery skills in a field behind the ruins. He soon introduced himself, and I was downcast to learn from him not only that my would-be mentor Green Arrow was missing and presumed dead, but that a brother I never knew had been Speedy and was also MIA. I took him up on his offer to bring me to Star City, since Lost Mesa still eluded him, and he needed to return home again, anyway. We traveled in silence and disappointment for miles, until something happened that would change the course of our lives forever.
“After we stopped in the hills for lunch, we spotted a fleeing car being chased by a police cruiser, and we realized that it might have some connection to a charity fund robbery we’d heard about on the radio shortly before. The police were stymied by a barricade on the road, but Oliver and I each thought we were in a position to stop the crooks, so we each made our excuses and went in opposite directions. I took my bow and arrow and clung to an overhanging branch on a cliff side, where I was able to shoot out the crooks’ rear tire. As I soon learned, Oliver had taken his own bow and arrow and shot a makeshift ‘paint-bomb arrow’ into the car’s windshield, making it impossible for them to see. It was only when we reached the car at the same time to capture the crooks that we realized what we’d each done. Leaving the crooks tied up for the police, who arrived soon after, we continued on our way to Star City.
“Well, who could remain quiet after that?” Rob laughed. “We spent the rest of the road trip talking, and Oliver finally confided to me that seeing me shoot arrows as expertly as I did back at the ranch had first given him the idea that we could be a new Green Arrow and Speedy team. But he’d thought it was nothing but a pipe dream until we worked so well together stopping the robbers, even if the teamwork had been accidental. The idea appealed to me as well, especially since the real Green Arrow and Speedy were gone, so as soon as we reached Star City, we met up with Max Lord, Oliver Queen’s business partner. He equipped us with the arrows, the car, and the other equipment, and the rest is history. After many years of the kind of adventure I never could have dreamed of, we went into semi-retirement in 1963. And after Oliver Queen and my brother Roy, here, returned, we decided to retire permanently.”
“You can imagine how surprised I was to meet my fifty-something kid brother!” said Roy.
“Yes,” said Rob, “well, just imagine how I felt back in ’49 when I found out my big brother had not died in 1932, but had not only lived but had been a real mystery-man!”