Friday, October 24, 2014

EDITORIAL: Who is Thea Dearden Queen/Merlyn

EDITORIAL: Who is Thea Dearden Queen/Merlyn?

When Thea Queen was introduced, it immediately became clear to me that we would see the second version of Speedy, Mia Dearden. Further proof of this soon came when we learned that Thea's full name was Thea Dearden Queen. However, since then, we have seen her draw elements from various characters which include the likes of Cheshire, Mia Dearden, Artemis Crook (Young Justice Version), and Arrowette. This leads me to believe we will actually see one of two things: 

Roschev as The Queen (left) , on Arrow (middle) and Rose Wilson as Ravager (right)
1) An amalgam of all of these characters, judging by Isabel Roschev's portrayal on Arrow in Season Two, it would seem that the writers are ok with combining a minor character with one that is a little more large scale. In saying this and in terms of comics we have Mia Dearden who is a semi-major character, Cheshire also a semi-major character and then Arrowette and Artemis, both minor characters, one of which is only popular due to her portrayal in the Young Justice cartoon (which draw more from the canon of Mia Dearden and Cissie Jones [Arrowette] then Artemis Crook). 

2) An amalgam of all of the characters but Cheshire, for the same reasons above. If anything, Cheshire is the most different of the characters, and so, her being introduced as a separate character could easily be done.

Mia Dearden aka Speedy II:

A former prostitute on the streets of Star City, Mia Dearden picked up the bow and took the name "Speedy", crime-fighting student of Green Arrow. She is one of the few superheroes with HIV and was a member of the Teen Titans. Her current status is unknown. For more on Mia Dearden click here.
Mia Dearden's Second Speedy Costume
The most like Thea Queen, especially in name... is Mia begin her name is Thea...and that does rhyme with Mia. To boost that correlation she was called Mia in her time at Corto Maltiese. On top of this, her nickname is Speedy and Mia Dearden's most notable (and only?) alias is being the second Speedy/Speedy II. More name correlation stems from the fact that her middle name is Dearden. Her relationship with Oliver also suggests a partnership between the two, something that, of the characters on this list only Mia is known for, although YJ Artemis did have this trait as was drawn from Mia.

This quote from the DC TV Universe summarizes my thoughts exactly...with one possible deviance

"What I personally think it that they wanted to introduce both Arsenal and Speedy, and give them both meaningful story arcs leading up to their transformation into their comic counterparts. If Titans happens in the Arrowverse, it would be a great move to have Arsenal relocate himself to TNT and give Thea the opportunity to be Oliver’s #1 sidekick"

Mia Dearden's first Speedy costume
The Arrowverse has been shown to be dark and gritty, and I believe that is why the writers glossed over Roy using the moniker of "Speedy", because....well imagine Oliver and Roy running rooftop to "Hey grown man playing Speedy! Shoot the Arrow"...Speedy just doesn't sound very dark and gritty ... nor does it sound like a nickname Star(ling) City would give to a vigilante... that is why I could possibly see the dynamic shifting from Arrow and Arsenal to Arrow and Artemis (but an Artemis based heavily on other characters.)

Some may not know this, but Roy Harper, in the comics, struggled for a time with drug abuse. In my pinion this was represented on Arrow via his Mirakuru crucible. Similarly, a huge part of Mia Dearden’s character is/was her struggle with HIV. Personally I do not see this happening on the show, especially if the show “avoided” Roy’s drug addiction, I doubt they would touch on Mia’s HIV. They may however choose to adapt it differently, maybe through her transition from villain (Malcolm’s ward) to hero/vigilante (Oliver’s ward). This transition would surely be a very emotional one, and I doubt she would hope from one directly to the other without repercussions, so in that we could see some possible addiction…or later change in Thea .*addiction was touched on in Season 1 in terms of Thea* So that also isn’t very far out of the realm of thought.

Cissie King-Jones:

Arrowette is one of the few superheroes to retire and have it stick. After serving valiantly alongside Young Justice, she now lives the life of a normal girl... who happens to be an Olympic gold medalist. For more on Cissie King-Jones click here.
Cissie Jones in one of her Arrowette costumes

A master archer who is able to compete at Olympic levels, although subtle, Thea’s attitude, especially in Season 1 is very reminiscent of Cissie Jones.

Another version of Arrowette's costume
There are also hints such as the archery trophies in Thea’s room that suggest an element of Cissie Jone’ public level of archery skill. On top of this, if TNT were to put its Titan show in the Arrowverse, and Thea was to eventually make the shift (this is of course looking many seasons ahead in terms of both shows), it is more in the likness of Arrowette and Artemis (from YJ, who draws this trait from Arrowette), to be on a team.

Archery trophies that Thea has

Artemis Crook:

Pre-DC's New 52, Artemis Crock was a villain who most notably had run-ins with Stargirl, Hawkgirl, and the JSA. In the Young Justice cartoon, she was a hero, a member of Young Justice along with Robin, Miss Martian, Aqualad, Superboy, and others. Post New 52, she was one of the captives of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. kept in the Colony, who was subsequently murdered by fellow captive, Fist Point. For more on Artemis Crook click here.

Artemis as she appeared in the YJ cartoon
Artemis, a likely name, but an “unlikely backstory”…by this I mean Artemis in YJ was based on a few comic book characters herself, something many fans don’t know. However, the bit about Sportsmaster being her father is reminiscent of the original Artemis Crook aka Tigress, and Arrow seems to adapting part of this in the sense that her father is a villain, however he is not Sportsmaster (*cough* Jensen Ackles*cough*…if you want him to play any role…) in the form of Malclom Merlyn. Her possible change from villain to hero is also very reminiscent (although backwards and being a ploy in YJ) of Artemis’ Tigress transformation in the midst of Season 2 of Young justice.

Artemis' Tigress look in every other comic appearance

Jade Nguyen aka Cheshire:

Cheshire is one of the deadliest assassins in the DC universe. She is an expert in both martial arts and the use of poisons. To read more on Cheshire click here.

Lastly there is Cheshire, who could easily stand on her own as a character BUT could be played into Thea’s story as well. As far as I know, there has never been any relationship between Roy and other archers, but Thea and Roy did/do/will have? A relationship; something Cheshire is known for. Otherwise, it would seem that Thea wouldn’t just become an outright VILLIAN, but a change to an anti-hero much like Cheshire isn’t out of the question…again something Arrow seems to be touching on with her change between Season 2 and 3.  
Roy and Cheshire

In the end, it is pretty clear Thea will be some form of one, two, three or even four of these characters in an amalgam. I personally, as I am sure everyone will be or is content with the large scale evolution they have given both her and Laurel…from fan-least favorite (for some)…to eventually a large scale and most likely fan loved character.

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