Mia Dearden is the current ward and sidekick to Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, and is know as Speedy when wearing her mask.
Mia's life did not start out as a particularly privileged one. Her mother died at an early age, leaving her to be raised by a father who was both physically and sexually abusive. When she was eleven, she worked up the nerve to leave home, and began living on the streets of Star City. She survived the way many young women on the streets do.
She wasn't even quite fifteen when she first met the Green Arrow, who rescued her from a trick that was getting rough with her. He gave her the address for the Star City Youth Center. She didn't give it much thought at first, until her pimp tried to kill her that night. She fought him off, ran, and came to youth center the next morning, where she met Oliver Queen, who ran the center.
Figuring out that Oliver and the Green Arrow were the same person wasn't exactly brilliant detective work- the beard, the voice, the attitude. It was pretty obvious to her. Queen agreed to take the girl in, provided she go back to school and keep the whole superhero thing under wraps.
Oliver also trained her in basic self-defense and archery, and she proved to be pretty darn good at it. She started hinting at wanting to start going out on patrol with Ollie, who shot down the request every time. Oliver felt that taking another sidekick would just lead to another young ward growing up to resent him, like Roy Harper had.
When Ollie wound up kidnapped by an organized crime ring, though, she took it upon herself to don a costume and assist the friends who banded together to rescue him. After proving to him that she could handle herself in such a situation, he finally allowed her to become his protege. She's been training under him and operating as Speedy ever since.
Sharp, quick-witted and blunt, Mia comes off as older than her sixteen (nearly seventeen) years- partly due to her tendency towards "adult" language and humor (Ollie has compared her to Howard Stern). Never without an offhand quip or sarcastic comment, she doesn't seem to have a grasp on "appropriate" conversation topics- or if she does, she just doesn't care.
She's good at reading people, finding out just what buttons to push to get a rise out of them, which she enjoys just a bit too much. Her shock humor habit is something of a litmus test that she uses to gauge people by how they react to her. The better they're able to handle a dirty joke or playful teasing and flirting, the more likely she is to open up to them as she gets to know them.
Despite her unfortunate past, Mia refuses to think of herself as a victim; she is a survivor, plain and simple. She did what she had to do to survive, and she feels little shame for it. While she may not talk about it with everyone she meets, she's not afraid to talk about her history when asked about it, having taken the stance that being silent about it isn't going to do anyone any favours.
It's partly her unwillingness to be just a statistic that has her so determined to become a vigilante alongside the Green Arrow. It's not only a way to symbolically fight back, but to prevent others from going through anything similar to what she survived.
Unsurprisingly, Mia has issues with authority- be it in the form of the police or even her own guardian at times. She and Ollie butt heads on a regular basis, fighting like any teenage girl and father-figure, albeit their arguments aren't so much about borrowing the car or staying out past curfew so much as borrowing the archery equipment and being allowed to go out to fight crime.
- Archery: Living with one of the world's greatest archers and training intensively under him, Mia has become very skilled with all manner of bows and arrows as well as the crossbow. She possesses a natural knack for it, which has made her training move along quicker than it would for most. It also helps that Ollie is an excellent teacher.
- Athletics: Mia is a natural athlete and maintains an extremely rigorous training schedule (at least two hours a day, if not more) to keep herself in peak physical condition. She alternates between training for strength, speed, accuracy in archery and dexterity each day.
- Charisma: Mia is an accomplished manipulator, knowing how to read people just right and push the right buttons to get them to react the way she wants them to. She can be extremely persuasive, especially when it comes to men, using her looks and flirtatious nature to her advantage.
- Driving: Mia got her learner's permit shortly after moving in with Ollie and enrolled in her high school's driver's ed course. She can handle herself on the road as well as most other drivers her age, if not a little better. Of course, she hardly ever gets to drive, much to her dismay.
- Hand To Hand Combat: Mia became skilled in basic brawling while living on the streets, and began more formal martial arts training under family and friends since becoming the ward of the Green Arrow. She is a graceful and capable combatant, able to defend herself against most common thugs- and some of the less common ones.
- Survival: Mia may not have been stranded on a desert island, but she lived on the streets of Star City for three years, doing everything necessary to survive. She also learned to become keenly aware of her surroundings and to recognize the threats that other people posed by sizing them up and recognizing warning signs in their mannerisms.
- Technology: Like most most modern teenagers, Mia can use a computer without causing a minor technological disaster. She types fairly quickly and knows how to use most of the programs on her computer. She can't hack or do any of her own programming, but she knows how to avoid downloading a virus and not to click on mysterious-looking links.
- Thievery: Mia not only learned to steal to survive while on the streets, she also learned a few other valuable less-than-legal skills, from breaking and entering to picking pockets, she's done just about all of it at some point. She also knows the procedure to hotwire a car, even if she's never actually stolen one- she's seen others do it, though.
- Ward of Oliver Queen: Mia is the ward and protege of Oliver Queen, aka the Green Arrow. While she's still working her way to the status of 'sidekick', being the adopted daughter of a millionare superhero has many advantages- free room and board, training, and access to all sorts of neat gadgetry. Now, if only he'd let her borrow the Jag...
- Contacts (Street): Mia is extremely street smart, and she knows who to go to for what when it comes to the less-than-legal markets. She blends in with the other street kids, and even in an unfamiliar city, she can usually find a contact or two within a few days after earning their trust.
- Nimble: Mia is naturally quicker on her feet than the average person, and is able to use her small size to her advantage when dodging attacks from opponents. Her balance and reflexes are also above average, through both natural talent and extensive training. In another life, she could have been a gymnast.
- Natural Athlete: Mia just has an easier time withstanding physical training than most people. It takes a little more effort than average for her to become winded, and she seems to have a natural store of energy that she draws upon when engaged in physical activity. She takes full advantage of this gift, training as intensively as some professional athletes.
- Archery Equipment: Mia has access to a number of bows, arrows, trick arrows (such as smoke arrows, glue arrows, flashbangs and other, more exotic arrows) and various types of training and fletchery equipment, thanks to living with the Green Arrow. Her quiver is always well-stocked, and the bows she uses are top-of-the-line.
- Criminal Past: Mia has been arrested a few times for petty theft, prostitution and drug possession during her days on the streets. While none of the charges managed to stick or carry any heavy sentences, she does have the arrests on record until her 18th birthday.
- Headstrong: At times, it seems as if Mia is incapable of following orders, opting instead to march to the beat of her own drum, even if she knows that the person giving the order knows better than she does. She disobeys and clashes with Ollie on a fairly regular basis, as any stubborn teenager would with a father figure. In her case though, this often leads to dangerous or life-threatening situations.
- Hero Worship: While she certainly won't admit it in earshot of Ollie, she does hold her mentor on a very high pedestal. When confronted with his all-to-human flaws, she feels personally betrayed and hurt, even if his actions don't affect her directly.
- Small: At (just barely) 5'4 and about 110 pounds, Mia is not in the least bit imposing or intimidating in appearance. While she does on occasion use her small stature to her advantage by fitting in to small spaces, more often than not, it tends to impede her abilities as a crime fighter- even if it just means criminals being less likely to be frightened by her.