Editor’s note: Newsarama contributor and Olympics fan Seth Robison wraps up his series of “tangentially Olympic-related” comics and pop culture moments. You can read more from Seth on the Olympics at his blog Off The Podium.
By Seth Robison
In reality, success and happiness are unfortunately linked to fame and popularity, giving rise to so-called “stage mothers,” parents who relentlessly push their children into careers in entertainment (i.e. following the American Idol auditions around the country) or athletics (been to a Little League baseball game lately?) in order to achieve the former though the latter. However, in a universe like the one that runs though the books of DC Comics, there is another way to make your child’s name last forever: being a superhero.
Cissie King-Jones, better known as Arrowette, is the daughter of the early ’60s era (that’s ‘published in’ era, not ‘taking place’ era) heroine Bonnie King, aka Miss Arrowette, a nearly forgotten Green Arrow tag-along in the vein of the original Batwoman. Bonnie never caught on with Oliver Queen as a sidekick or with the public as a heroine. Therefore, she transferred her dreams of heroic glory to her child, training young Cissie rigorously and pressuring her to take up the mask and bow. Feeling the pressure to succeed, she complied, and the young archer first appeared in costume in the pages of Impulse #28.
She befriended the ADD-afflicted speedster, but when young Bart Allen’s guardian, Max Mercury, caught wind of the abrasive Bonnie’s parenting style, he had Child Protective Services remove Cissie from her custody. But old habits are hard to break, especially if it’s that only thing in life you know how to do, and it wasn’t long before Arrowette was back, joining the super-teen/support group Young Justice.
Her return was short-lived, for when a beloved teacher at the boarding school she was sent to was murdered, Arrowette would have killed the murderer herself if it wasn’t for the timely intervention of Superboy catching the lethal arrow before it hit its target. Nevertheless, the intent was there, so Cissie abandoned heroics and left the team lest she succumb to the temptation to kill again.
This near tragedy led to a tentative reconciliation with her mother and their mutual decision for Cissie to enter the Games in Sydney (Young Justice #23-25). It’s there that Bonnie King’s full story is revealed; it was her bronze medal archery performance at a previous games that estranged her from Cissie’s grandmother, and mother and daughter bond over their shared experience of living up to the high expectations of parents.
Naturally this being a comic book, a team fielded by the super villain-harboring nation of Zandia (an island nation in the Mediterranean), threatened the spirit of fair play. So it’s up to Cissie and her old friends to help her win archery gold and save this license-free “Summer Games.” To her mother’s pleasure, in the end she achieves a modicum of fame with endorsements and a guest spot on Wendy the Werewolf Stalker and then retires to a normal life.
Happily, she seems to be enjoying it, appearing rarely in comics since then and even rarer still in costume. Although this may be because there is already a glut of blond-haired archers in the DCU to draw from, or maybe it’s that comic writers feel her story’s been told, reminding us that our pop idols, Olympic gymnastics stars and even our fictional teen superheroes are still little more than children first.