Warning: this episode contains major spoilers for Arrow: “Unmasked.”
Oliver Queen may be out of prison, but his troubles have only just begun in Arrow’s seventh season. “Unmasked” finally revealed the identity of the new Green Arrow, and it’s someone with a direct family tie to Ollie – his half-sister Emiko Queen (played by Sea Shimooka).
Who is Emiko, and why does Ollie have another sister he doesn’t know about? Here’s everything you need to know about her comic book history and how she may play into the ongoing direction of the series in 2019.
Emiko’s Family Heritage
In the DC Comics universe, Emiko Queen was first introduced in 2013’s Green Arrow #18. She was revealed to be the daughter of Robert Queen and Shado, born on Starfish Island (the name used for Lian Yu in the comics) but stolen shortly after her birth by Robert’s vengeful business partner, Simon Lacroix. Lacroix raised her to believe she was his daughter, training her to become a skilled warrior and archer. However, after discovering the truth about her heritage, Emiko killed Lacroix and joined forces with her brother instead.
It remains to be seen how much of this origin story will be adapted on Arrow. “Unmasked” certainly suggests that Robert Queen is still her father in this universe, but her mother’s identity is up in the air. There’s been no indication of any connection between Robert and Shado in the past. Emiko could have a different mother in the Arrowverse, possibly Shado’s twin sister Mei or another character entirely. There’s also the question of whether she retains her connection to Simon Lacroix in this universe. Lacroix previously appeared as a hired mercenary named Komodo in Arrow Season 3, but again, there was no indication there of any prior history between him and the Queen family.
Whatever the plan for Emiko’s family heritage, it seems likely the series will be taking a page from the comics and revealing that Robert had much closer ties to Lian Yu than his son ever suspected. Which, in turn, could suggests a temporary return of the flashbacks this season.
The New Red Arrow
Emiko has remained a recurring character in the Green Arrow comics since her 2013 debut. Currently, she serves as the new Red Arrow and helps her older brother protect Seattle. Though given her unusual upbringing and dysfunctional relationship with Ollie, it should come as no surprise that the two heroes often butt heads. The Ollie/Emiko is similar to that of Batman and his headstrong son Damian. Not coincidentally, Emiko and Damian have struck up a friendship of their own.
We wouldn’t be surprised to see Arrow go down a similar road. While Roy Harper has returned for the new flash-forward storyline, the series is currently without a Red Arrow in the present. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Emiko cede the Green Arrow mantle to Ollie at some point in 2019 and become his partner/sidekick. Though given that there seems to be less of an age gap between the two characters in Arrow, their dynamic might play out a little differently.
We also have to assume Emiko will have her own part to play in the flash-forwards. This storyline has so far been very vague about the fates of characters like Ollie and Felicity (even suggesting that the latter has died). Expect Emiko to show up at some point during the course of the flash-forwards, though whether she’ll remain a heroic vigilante or go down a darker path is anyone’s guess.
The Outsiders and the Longbow Hunters
Emiko made her comic book debut around the time DC was making another big addition to the Green Arrow mythology. A storyline called “The Outsiders War” introduced a brand new take on the Outsiders, traditionally a secretive team of vigilantes sponsored by Batman. This new version instead consisted of 12 different clans, each one headed by an elite warrior and defined by a particular weapon – the Sword Clan, the Shield Clan, etc. The Queen family just so happened to be the rightful leaders of the Arrow Clan. But Simon Lacroix viewed himself as the rightful ruler of the Arrow Clan, and stealing Emiko was part of his decades-long plot to usurp control.
The fact that Season 7 has also introduced Kodiak (leader of the Shield Clan) leads us to believe that Arrow will begin drawing from “The Outsiders War” going forward. “Unmasked” already set up the Longbow Hunters to be a continued threat in the second half of the season, with Diggle and Lyla even forced to turn to Ricardo Diaz for help dealing with his former partners. And the series previously introduced another clan leader in the form of Katana. At this point three of the six clans are already covered.
We could easily see the rise of The Outsiders serving as a major plot catalyst in either the second half of Season 7 or a future Arrow season. And regardless of how loosely the series might draw from the source material, it’s a safe bet this conflict will revolve heavily around the rise of Emiko Queen.