Carrie Cutter: 1977 - 2009
Carrie Cutter is a Midwest transplant to Star City. She was a stellar student throughout school and an all-state athlete on her high school girls' basketball team in Midway City. Coming from a low-income family with an uncle in the service, Carrie decided to pursue a career in the military to let Uncle Sam pick up the cost of her education. Upon graduating from the US Naval Academy, Carrie was discreetly recruited by Checkmate.
Carrie was deployed to the field but when her performance began to wane, Carrie's superiors began to lose faith in her. Fearing she might expose their operation, Checkmate captured Carrie and held her prisoner after faking her abduction overseas by a terrorist cell. Returned to the States and imprisoned, Carrie began to lose her grip on reality due to stress and repeated interrogations. Fearing that Carrie had outlived her usefulness to the program, Checkmate surrendered Carrie to Cadmus Labs where she underwent experimentation with the COBALT formula. The experiments were able to rejuvenate her physically, improve her memory and coordination, and further enhance her abilities. The formula even appeared to stabilize Carrie's sanity. Deemed a success and having undergone mental reconditioning, Carrie was released and sent to infiltrate the DEO as part of Cadmus' attempts to avoid further legal problems.
Carrie's tenure at the DEO did not last long. Director Bones suspected something was off with Carrie from the start. He would have sent her packing early on but Amanda Waller intervened on Carrie's behalf and had the woman assigned to her staff. When Cadmus was exposed and went underground, Carrie slipped through the cracks. Now weaned off the drugs used to make her Cadmus' puppet, Carrie was free to make her own decisions. One of her earliest decisions was to out herself as a metahuman to Amanda Waller. Waller utilized Carrie several times in the last days of the first incarnation of the Suicide Squad.
When the Senate hearings came after Waller, Cutter was quietly reassigned to Star City and instructed to keep a low profile. For a while, Carrie did just that. She married an employee of Queen Consolidated, Ross Hartnell, and was content.
Cupid: 2009 - Present
When the Senate hearings were concluded and having successfully avoided scrutiny, Carrie found work with the SCPD, using her government and military background to rise to the rank of investigator. As a former DEO operative, SCPD felt her talents were best suited to work as part of the "Greensleeves," a support unit known for their green armbands. The Greensleeves's assignment was to investigate crimes associated with Green Arrow and his team of authorized vigilantes, as well as facilitate arrests for the vigilantes and act as a front line oversight of the vigilante activities in the city. While working this assignment, Carrie first met Green Arrow. She didn't think much of him at first, but Miss Cutter caught the eye of the then single Green Arrow who made a habit of lingering at crime scenes longer than his usual to see if Investigator Cutter would arrive.
Team Arrow and the Greensleeves were not the only ones to notice the Emerald Archer's infatuation. A metahuman gang member with aspirations by the name of Danny Brickwell took notice of this too while he was being booked. Brickwell broke out of prison soon after and made a beeline to Miss Cutter's apartment. He mistakenly believed that Cutter's husband was the Green Arrow and took out years of aggression on the man and his apartment. Believing he had just killed the Green Arrow, Brickwell helped himself to the Cutters' fridge and waited for Carrie to return home to find his handiwork. When Carrie did return, finding her apartment ransacked and her husband beaten to a pulp, the traumatic event strained the remaining stabilization effect of the COBALT formula. The subsequent beating from Brickwell didn't help matters either.
In the course of the assault, Carrie was able to activate an alarm Green Arrow had given her, but it was several minutes before the archer could get there. Fortunately for Carrie, her COBALT formula had made her more resilient than Brickwell had anticipated. Still, despite her military background and peak-physical strength, Carrie was fighting a losing battle against the powerful metahuman. It was only a matter of time before Brickwell had her cornered and prepared for a finishing blow. Green Arrow shot an arrow through the apartment window which knocked Brickwell across the room, giving the archer time to crash through the same window and fire several more concussive arrows to Brickwell's face, rendering the metahuman juggernaut unconscious.
Seeing the condition of Carrie, Green Arrow left Brickwell for the Greensleeves to cuff and debuff as he focused on getting her to Royal Memorial Hospital. Green Arrow spent the rest of the night in Carrie's hospital room as a one-man protection detail in the event Brickwell's gang "Hard-Knocks" tried to finish the job. When Carrie awoke an hour before dawn, she was immediately smitten by the verdant vigilante and surprised Green Arrow by giving him a passionate kiss to thank him for saving her life. After that, the startled Green Arrow let the Greensleeves take over the protection detail for Carrie as she had given him much to sleep on... and dream about.
In the coming weeks, Green Arrow kept his distance from Carrie. He blamed himself for the death of her husband and took a break from being the vigilante archer to focus on his mayoral election campaign, only appearing in costume at events involving the return of the Justice League under the new UN charter. Of course, those particular outings required him to appear in the same room as Black Canary, which was difficult on Green Arrow, reopening the pain of their shared past and still recent divorce. Meanwhile, unknown to Oliver and the SCPD, Carrie's injuries were healed completely shortly after her release from the hospital and she had dedicated the remainder of her medical leave to fashioning a costume, practicing with a bow, and plotting her debut as the vigilante Cupid.
When several high-profile criminals in Star City dropped off the radar, Team Arrow began to fear there was a new murderous vigilante in town. As they investigated the last known whereabouts of the criminals, they found green envelopes addressed to Green Arrow. Inside the envelopes were love letters to the Emerald Archer. When shown these, Oliver Queen made the decision for Green Arrow to return to regular patrol. Within hours of making his first public "save-the-day" moment, Operator notified the archer of an alert on Carrie Cutter's transponder. Fearing the vigilante might be targeting Carrie, Green Arrow blasted his Arrow-cycle to the location, finding a dark and foreboding warehouse awaiting him. Green Arrow requested back up and ventured inside, fearing the worst.
Inside the warehouse was a makeshift prison where many of Green Arrow's most prolific enemies were in cages adorned with bows and ribbons. In the middle of the warehouse, there was also a table set for two and a candlelight dinner prepared. When Cupid dropped down from the rafters to show off her costume, Green Arrow's jaw dropped. Cupid took advantage of the vigilante's speechlessness, embracing him and planting a kiss on his lips which helped Green Arrow realize that Cupid was Carrie. Impressed at her handiwork (and more than a little turned on by it), Green Arrow convinced Carrie to take their dinner elsewhere and leave the bad guys for Team Arrow to clean up.
What followed after dinner on a portside rooftop was probably not Oliver's proudest moment. He drank too much and let his longing for Dinah get the better of him. When he woke up the next morning, Oliver was naked in bed with Carrie. Oliver gathered his costume, gear, and mask; but soon found they were not alone. Very surprised to find Amanda Waller in Carrie's kitchen, but not as surprised as she was to find Star City's mayoral candidate wearing nothing but a feathered cap and awkward smile, covering his privates with a green quiver. Even though Waller swore she could keep a secret, Oliver knew he had screwed up.
Turns out Waller was there to recruit Carrie as an ARGUS Agent. Though I suspect Waller's original intention was to have Carrie assigned to the new Task Force X, in light of the circumstances of that awkward morning encounter with Oliver, Waller agreed to make Carrie the ARGUS Liaison to Team Arrow. Cornered, Oliver agreed to this arrangement. Waller thanked him and wrote him a check, calling it a personal contribution to his election campaign.
Over the next few months, Oliver won his election and was sworn in as Star City's mayor. Meanwhile, Carrie took the job at ARGUS, quitting the SCPD. Since Carrie's job was to monitor Team Arrow and report to Waller, Carrie took to spending most of her time in costume as Cupid. The few times she was not in costume was when she had to report to Waller in person or during her off-time when she was living with Oliver in his penthouse, where I'm told she didn't wear much at all. While Oliver shared Team Arrow's concerns about Carrie's deteriorating mental stability, Oliver was not certain he could risk getting on Waller's bad side (and I'm sure Oliver didn't mind having the beautiful redhead infatuated with him around either).
Eventually, Cupid killed a man in the field during a tense hostage situation. SCPD ruled the death as justified, as did ARGUS, but Team Arrow felt the situation could have been avoided. Pressured to confront Carrie about it, Oliver told his lover that it was probably best if she took some time off from patrols to focus on training. He tried to stress that all the other members had undergone months of training before working in the field and it greatly improved the team's synergy, but Carrie took offense to this. Refusing to let Oliver "break up with her," Carrie grabbed an arrow from the Quiver's armory and carved into her chest the shape of a heart with an arrow going through it. When she was done, she presented this to Oliver as a sign of her devotion. Needless to say, Team Arrow was spooked.
The next week, Amanda Waller paid a visit to the Mayor's Office. In a private, closed-door meeting, Oliver gave Waller the address of a shipping container where Team Arrow had put the mentally unhinged Cupid after they had subdued her. He told Waller that their former base of operations had to be abandoned and a new one set-up for fear of Carrie's unsettling obsession with him. He also explained that while investigating Carrie's mental health, they uncovered links to Checkmate and Cadmus Labs. In Cadmus records obtained by ARGUS, Team Arrow had found a formula called COBALT which had one successful subject. Oliver told Waller he would be happy to finance the production of a derivative of that formula to help stabilize Carrie's sanity, but only on the condition that Waller re-assign her out of Star City and get her psychiatric help. Waller found these terms acceptable and a deal was struck.
That was the last Oliver saw of Carrie for close to six years. Waller had Carrie once again working as a chaperone for the Suicide Squad. The modified COBALT treatments reduced Carrie's insanity to a level where she could be functional in the field and less of a liability for Waller, but it was not a cure. The therapy helped, but by all accounts, Carrie took her reassignment as a chance to prove herself worthy of being reunited with Oliver Queen and the Green Arrow.
Much to Oliver's chagrin, a week after he proposed to Dinah, Carrie came back into town, sauntering unexpectedly into the new Quiver where she was eager to show her official transfer papers. Dinah was happy to inform her that Oliver was engaged now, to which Carrie replied "Challenge accepted," before making her exit. When Oliver approached Waller as the Green Arrow to confront her on this betrayal of their agreement, he found Waller acting ignorant of the arrangement and calling security to have him removed from her office. Upset over the whole situation, Green Arrow and Black Canary decided to confront Carrie in her apartment and lay some ground rules.
- Peak Conditioning: Due to her COBALT exposure activating her meta-gene, Carrie is shown to be in top physical condition. She has displayed incredible feats of speed and dexterity, incredible resilience, immense physical strength, and the ability to rapidly recover from traumatic injury.
- Enhanced Senses: All of Carrie's senses are at borderline superhuman levels, this includes the five basic senses as well as her sense of balance (equilibrium) and other auxiliary senses such as temporal and spatial awareness.
- Expert Markswoman: Carrie is an expert in the use of firearms.
- Archery: Carrie is a skilled archer. She has mastered the ability to simultaneously fire up to three arrows and make precision shots in a limited field of fire. While working with Task Force X, Carrie insists on using her bow instead of the advanced firearms at ARGUS's disposal and has proven herself quite adept at taking out multiple heavily armed mercenaries by herself. This level of mastery in such a short time is further evidence of her remarkable metahuman abilities.
- Tactics: Carrie is capable of designing complex plans and carrying them out accordingly, including contingency plans and extensive strategic operations. She was able to abduct heavily guarded mob bosses and elite criminals to lure Green Arrow to her. Carrie also is highly adept at using her surroundings to her advantage. According to notes from her ARGUS psychiatrist, Carrie is an expert judge of character and able to tell when people are being deceptive.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat: Carrie is known to be highly skilled in hand to hand combat. She has shown herself able to easily beat Roy Harper. In sparring matches, she seemed to be evenly matched with Oliver while she was unarmed as he was using his bow as a melee weapon, however after he lost his bow, she had the advantage and quickly overpowered and pinned him. In the field, she proved herself a dangerous fighter using her flexibility, slender build, and speed to her advantage.
- Law Enforcement: Carrie is quite experienced in police procedure and has received training in breach and entry and engaging dangerous criminals. She is highly skilled in restraining and cuffing dangerous suspects, including metahumans.
- Demolitions: From her Checkmate training, Carrie is highly skilled with explosives and disarming such munitions.
- Stealth: Carrie is known to be highly skilled in stalking people, blending with her surroundings to avoid getting noticed. She was apparently able to find the new Quiver by stalking Team Arrow members unaware of her presence.
- Manipulation: Carrie is skilled in manipulating others, often through seduction.
- Gardening: Carrie is a skilled gardener, having taken it up as a hobby for therapeutic purposes.
- Suit: As Cupid, Carrie now wears a revealing suit of Oriya Weave armored fabric. The suit has undergone revisions and improvements from Team Arrow and ARGUS, but ultimately the design has remained constant.
- Custom Bow: Carrie carries a bow built for her by Oliver Queen. It is a masterly crafted weapon and among her most prized possessions.
- Quiver: As Cupid, Carrie mostly uses custom-made arrows of her own design with red heart-shaped arrowheads made from carbon fiber-reinforced polymer. She also seems to have stashed some trick arrows from her days as part of Team Arrow, occasionally employing them in the field.
- Handcuffs: Carrie keeps several pairs of handcuffs on her person. They may appear to be novelties thanks to the pink fuzzy trim around them, but they are ARGUS grade and have inhibitive technology built-in.
- Obsession: Carrie is obsessed with Green Arrow (and to a slightly lesser extent, Oliver Queen). Her apartment is filled with news clippings of the vigilante and billionaire, as well as a shrine dedicated to him. Carrie truly believes that Green Arrow is in love with her and is only keeping her at bay as a test for her to prove herself worthy of him. Her psychiatrist diagnosed her with a severe attachment disorder.
Trivia and Notes
- She likes to point out she's a psychopath at weird times.
- The COBALT formula is a nod to a group which actually experimented on her in the comics.
- Being part of Suicide Squad is a nod to the Arrow TV series.