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Eventually a commercial freighter stopped by the island, and he swam out thinking they might rescue him.

Starfish Island is the island millionaire playboy Oliver Queen washed up. After accidentally falling off of his cruise ship he had been stranded on the island, where he learned to survive by any means necessary using a make-shift bow and arrows. He developed primitive Trick Arrows as advanced methods of hunting and foraging for food, then assembled a green suit for camouflage.


Pre-Crisis: Earth-One

Eventually a commercial freighter stopped by the island, and he swam out thinking they might rescue him.[1]


Oliver Queen was finally able to escape when he caught a group of drug dealers using the location for an illegal marijuana farm and turned them in to the authorities.

This was retconned with release of Green Arrow: Year One, where it was revealed that small group of drug dealers growing marijuana was actually an intentional coverup by Ollie to keep the story out of newspapers. In reality, it was a major opium growing operation that enslaved local populace using armed mercenaries, led by China White. Oliver manages to disrupt the operation and helps the natives free themselves, before turning slavers over to the authorities.


In this continuity, the island is called Lian Yu, Mandarin for "Purgatory", located in the China Sea. In ancient times it was recognized by an unknown civilization as a "nexus point", a place where unusual and exciting people and powers would be drawn together. That civilization built a barrow on the island where they stored an idol of a dark god.

During World War II, a Japanese submarine holding a super-serum was beached somewhere around the island. After the war the island was used by the Chinese as a penal colony. Subsequently abandoned, it was used as the staging area for a scheme by an unknown intelligence agency to attempt to frame a rogue Chinese general for the destruction of an American commercial airplane, as part of a scheme to murder noted drug mogul Chien Na Wei.

The scheme ended, the island was the site of a hunt for the Mirakuru, but was then taken over by a mercenary group to grow narcotics for sale. This was destabilized by a law-enforcement agent.

The island was taken over by A.R.G.U.S. as the site of a prison for super-criminals.



  • Starfish Island is the central location of Green Arrow origin stories since 1959. (Earlier versions involved the isolated Lost Mesa instead.)[3] It is only named as such in the first story it appears in.[1] The next retelling does not give it a name.[4] Green Arrow: Year One specifies that it is one of the Fiji Islands, but also does not give it a name.[5] In the television series Arrow, the island is a Chinese penal colony known as Lian Yu Dao (In Chinese "煉獄島"), literally "Purgatory Island".

See Also