Publisher: DC Comics
First Appearance: Impulse #28 (August 1997)
Created By: Tom Peyer and Craig Rousseau
Cissie’s mother Bonnie was Miss Arrowette, an extremely minor Silver Age character
who popped up in a handful of appearances to tag along after Green Arrow and Speedy
and try to get them to let her join the team. When that failed, she took journalist/fanboy
Bernell ‘Bowstring’ Jones on as her ‘sidekick’ until her carpal tunnel syndrome forced her to retire from archery. Bowstring died a few years later, leaving Bonnie with a young daughter to mold into the repository of all her failed hopes and dreams…I mean, raise.
Bonnie became the ultimate stage mother, training Cissie to be the new Arrowette,
endangering and verbally abusing her. Eventually Cissie was taken away by Child Welfare Services and placed in the Elias School for Girls. She continued fighting crime and became a member of Young Justice. However, when her state-appointed therapist and close confidante was murdered, Cissie flew into a rage and nearly killed the murderers before being stopped by Superboy. Realizing she couldn’t trust herself as a vigilante, Cissie quit being Arrowette.
She didn’t retire from archery, however, and wound up winning the gold in the 2000 ‘Summer Games’ (read: Olympics) and becoming a minor celebrity. She also volunteered as medical aid during the Imperiex war alongside her former YJ teammates. Since the end of Young Justice, Cissie’s appearances have been few and far between, but she’s shown up a couple of times, usually helping out her best friend Cassie Sandsmark (Wonder Girl II). In the most recent of these, the Wonder Girl miniseries, Cissie donned the Arrowette costume again, but it remains to be seen whether she’s back in the game for good.
So What’s So Great About Her?
As is probably clear by now, I loves me some plucky teen girls, and I loves me some archers. Cissie fits the bill both ways.
But I also love Cissie for what’s going to sound like a weird reason. I love that she doesn’t really get along with other girls. I know that sounds odd, especially since I love strong depictions of friendship between girls, but hear me out:
Cissie and Cassie (Wonder Girl II) hated each other in the early issues of Young Justice, not least because Cissie was good at flirting with the boys on the team and Cassie wasn’t. And Cissie and Anita had a fairly fractious relationship when Anita ‘replaced’ Cissie on the team. And the sad truth is that that’s how a lot of women view each other: as competition.
The great thing about Cissie’s story, though, is that she gets past that. She becomes close friends with both Cassie and Anita, not to mention their other teammate Secret and her roommate Traya. She’s not unaffected by the intense social pressure to view other women as the enemy (probably in large part thanks to her mother, who raised her to view all of life as a competition), but she has the maturity necessary to move past that and make deep and abiding friendships. And that’s a wonderful thing to see.
She also has the maturity to give up the superhero lifestyle when she realizes it’s not right for her. How many other superheroes have pulled a Spider-Man No More and stuck with it? (Heck, Ted Kord ‘retired’ four times before his death!)
Also, one time she told off the Justice League. And she has really pretty hair. And having been a tween in the 90s, that Britney-Spears-circa-1998 costume really charms me.
Basically, Cissie is fantastic. And even though it seems like she and Young Justice have been retconned out of the DCnU, pick up some back issues. You won’t regret it.
Cissie was a regular cast member of Young Justice from issues #4-17 and appeared frequently afterwards, most notably in:
Young Justice #23-24 (the Summer Games)
Young Justice #33-34 (Cissie guest stars on Wendy in the Werewolf Stalker)
Young Justice #35-37 (the Imperiex War)
Other appearances include:
Impulse #28, 41, and 59
Teen Titans v3 #7
Teen Titans and Outsiders Secret Files 2005
Wonder Girl #2-4