Secret Origins: Green Arrow and Speedy: Targets, Chapter 3: The Second Green Arrow and Speedy Team

by Libbylawrence

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The introduction to Oliver Queen’s journal ended there. Diana Dare noted that Oliver had planned to retire on December 9, 1948, ironically just two months after he and the other Law’s Legionnaires disappeared in October of that year. She began to grow tired as she flipped through case by case, wondering what might have happened had neither she nor Oliver and Roy been caught up in their own respective time-travel abductions. She also noted the mention of Green Arrow and Speedy time-traveling to the ages of Robin Hood and Diana the Huntress in ancient Greece; that was ironic, because Green Arrow returned to the age of Robin Hood after the battle with the Nebula-Man, while Speedy went to ancient Greece. (*) Perhaps the Nebula-Man had chosen those destinations intentionally.

[(*) Editor’s note: See Green Arrow: Times Past, 1948: The Ballad of Green Arrow and Showcase: Speedy: Times Past, 1948: Transformations.]

She was about to take a break from reading the journal, when she wondered what to do about the prowler. He was a good shot, too. Could he be one of the foes listed in the journal? Flipping ahead through the rest of the cases in the 1940s, she came across a strange entry from 1972, not long after the pair returned from their decades-long displacement in time.

***

August 24, 1972:

I have learned an amazing thing — a second Green Arrow and Speedy team have carried on a career, with sensational success, during the years we were lost!

That Green Arrow had blond hair instead of my brown hair, while that Speedy had red hair instead of Roy’s blond hair, but otherwise they looked much the same as Roy and I did. They were apparently as skilled in trick archery as we were, too.

I must speak with Max Lord about this as soon as possible.

***

The entry ended, and when the next one continued, it was after several pages had been torn from the book. Soon afterward, the journal picked up with the red skies and the shadow demons of the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Oliver Queen had died during that epic battle after coming out of several years of apparent retirement. (*)

[(*) Editor’s note: See “Final Crisis,” Crisis on Infinite Earths #12 (March, 1986).]

So who had been the second Green Arrow and Speedy?

***

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. 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 was not 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 out of 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.”

A young man stepped forward. “I am Quorak,” he said. “My great-uncle was Quoag, the man who taught the art of the bow to the first Speedy and the second team known as Green Arrow and 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 along with the rest of the world 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. “Sorry about that!” said Arrowette.

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 the young man who first greeted her stepped up again with an older, red-haired man whose face was very familiar.

“Queen Arrow?” said the old 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 in 1932 after my dad and my older brother Roy here departed for Lost Mesa,” explained Rob Harper. “Mom couldn’t join them because she had just learned that she was pregnant with me. When Dad and Roy were lost, she grieved and gave birth to me, but died doing so. I was raised by the family’s Indian aides; Dad had been a forest ranger. I was taught the skills of archery that had been taught to Roy during my infancy. His teacher was Quoag, while I learned from Quoag’s brother, Quorak.

“When I was three, Quorak and I moved from the old house, since we could no longer afford it without the salary of my father. Thus, I never knew Roy had lived, and when Oliver Queen brought him back to the east in 1941, he only learned that mother had died. He never knew I even existed.

“Then, in 1948, Roy and Oliver vanished. A few months later, in January, 1949, a visitor came to visit. He had tracked us down while researching a possible 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 named his own son after Queen, whom he had known and respected since he was in his teens in the 1920s.

“Ironically, Professor Morgan was not a fan of Green Arrow when he first appeared, thinking him to be a publicity-seeking fake. He 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, he accepted the challenge and returned a few weeks later. Lamont Morgan not only admitted his mistake and made the donation, but hired a personal archery trainer 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. Green Arrow had also told his namesake, Oliver Morgan, his secret. So in 1949, Oliver Morgan wanted to take up the role of Green Arrow after the original was lost to us all. He had the skills, since he had been trained in archery for several years and 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,” said Diana. “Then he learned about your birth from neighbors?”

“Right,” said Rob. “When Oliver Morgan saw me shooting arrows with Quorak, he got the idea that we could be a new Green Arrow and Speedy team. We met up with Max Lord, Oliver Queen’s business partner, and he equipped us with the arrows, the car, and the other equipment. We retired after Oliver Queen and my brother Roy, here, returned.”

“You can imagine how surprised I was to meet my fifty-something kid brother!” said Roy.

“Yes,” said Rob, “and 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.”

“So you live here now?” asked Diana.

Rob Harper nodded. “The real Green Arrow was a swell guy,” he explained. “After he found out about our own heroic career, he embraced us. He had already been close to my Oliver, anyway, who was like a nephew to him. We quit the costumed game after he and Roy were rescued. But Oliver Morgan, my Green Arrow, died fighting Professor Million. We never let it get out that the second Green Arrow had died, and since Oliver Queen was back as Green Arrow by then, too, no one knew that one of the city’s great heroes had died.” (*)

[(*) Editor’s note: See Green Arrow: Times Past, 1972: The Final Bullseye.]

“I’m sorry,” said Diana, beginning to tear up as she heard the story. “I’m sorry for endangering you all, being arrogant, and just taking too many things for granted.”

Arrowette messed up Queen Arrow’s golden locks and smiled. “You’re forgiven.”

Queen Arrow smoothed down her curls and smiled back at all of them. “Well, I have learned a lesson. I guess I need a mentor myself. I can’t lead my team, I now realize, just finance it. I need a mentor. How about it, Rob?”

He smiled, and they talked into the night.

The End

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