10 Comic Book Heroes Improved Through Retcon

9. Arsenal

Jason Todd Robin Red Hood
DC Comics

Roy Harper was originally the son of a park ranger who died. He was raised by his friend, Navajo Indian chief Brave Bow. The young Roy was an archery prodigy and impressed Green Arrow with his skills. Knowing he was dying, Brave Bow asked the hero to look after the boy. The Emerald Archer trained Roy and made him his sidekick, Speedy. The young bowman also joined other sidekicks in the Teen Titans.

After the Titans broke up and Ollie was hard traveling with Hal Jordan, Roy turned to drugs for comfort. Enraged, Arrow fired Harper. Roy got clean with the help of Black Canary and went on to become a spy, Outsider, and Justice Leaguer. He also had a daughter with assassin Cheshire.

In the New 52, the future Arsenal was raised by Big Bow of the Spokane Indians in Seattle and was accused of Bow's murder, which he couldn’t refute because he was blackout drunk. The Titans had forgotten about their time together because of the villainous Mr. Twister and did not reunite until years later. Instead, Roy joined the Outlaws with Red Hood and Starfire.

Harper was killed at the Sanctuary by Savitar, although it was staged to look like Wally West had committed this act. Roy returned to life when the Multiverse was reset at the end of the Dark Metal Saga but declined to inform any of his former friends or teammates. He set down his bow and signature trucker cap and started hitchhiking.


John Wilson has been a comic book and pop culture fan his entire life. He has written for a number of websites on the subject over the years and is especially pleased to be at WhatCulture. John has written two comic books for Last Ember Press Studio and has recently self-published a children's book called "Blue." When not spending far too much time on the internet, John spends time with his lovely wife, Kim, their goofy dog, Tesla, and two very spoiled cats.