Isabel Rochev (The Queen)

Isabel RochevThe second season of Arrow has finally begun, and the first episode City of Heroes already introduced a couple of new characters. The first and most notable one is surely Isabel Rochev, portrayed by the beautiful and creepy Summer Glau. In the show, Rochev started buying Queen Industries the moment its CEO Walter Steele resigned, Moira Queen was arrested, and her son Oliver disappeared. When the latter comes back from his “European trip”, Rochev finds in him an unexpected adversary, and the company is literally split in two, with a 50% of it controlled by the woman and Queen. Well, in the comics Isabel Rochev is quite a known character, and one of the few ones that battled both Oliver Queen and his costumed identity Green Arrow. Let’s see together who The Queen is in the comics.

Well, first of all, despite the surname, Isabel Rochev wasn’t born a rich girl at all, quite the opposite. She was born in a small village in Siberia, an orphan who had to learn the hard (and quick) way to survive on her own. She started working in a diamond mine, in a life of near-slavery, earning the minimum necessary to buy something to eat and drink for every day passing by. The mine was at the time owned by Queen Industries, but Rochev didn’t know it, she only knew she had to work if she wanted to live. One day, anyway, a day different from any other for her, Robert Queen himself came to her village, and she met him for the first time. She saw in Queen a strong man, self-confident, handsome, a powerful man who had achieved everything he wanted in his life. She decided she would have become like him, that she would have found her inner strength and she would have turned from a skinny poor girl into a rich and self-accomplished woman. Her attraction towards Robert didn’t go unnoticed, but what became of it is unsure. Robert’s fidelity towards his wife, Moira, was more than questionable, and it’s more than likely that he started a sexual relation with the Russian girl. Being it like this or not, it’s a fact that Isabel’s thequeencomics1life changed forever from her meeting with Robert. It took years, decades, but Isabel managed to came out of her state of poverty on her own, linking herself to this or that business man. She became a powerful woman in Russia, and, when she had money and influence enough, she started buying shares of Queen Industry through small organization she owned. She freed herself from the shadow of the men who “helped” her reaching the top, and she became the sole owner of the companies and industries she administrated. Determined and always trying to emulate her hero/lover, Isabel also started surrounding her personality with mystery, always wearing a black mask while appearing in public, underlining the distance between her, a woman who built herself and reached the top from the very bottom, and all the other people, mere pawns in a business game much wider than they perceived themselves.

Meanwhile, in America things had evolved much faster than imaginable. Robert Queen had died during a safari, and his young son, Oliver, inherited everything. The boy was young, and grew up to be a spoiled brat who could do nothing but waste his father’s fortune. When he disappeared during a shipwreck, Walter Steel, head of Queen Industries’ board of directors, started running the company, trying to bring it back to the levels of Robert’s era. Unfortunately (?), Oliver came back, and he took the company’s direction back. On the island he lived on for years, he had deeply changed, and back in Star City he secretly became the superhero Green Arrow…thus being a bad CEO nevertheless, since he didn’t have much time to dedicate to business. Then, quite a huge chrisis happened: a battle between Green Arrow, Merlyn and Dr. Light almost destroyed Star City completely, and many people became homeless; plus, the hooded hero ended up killing the deranged Prometheus during a fight, and, almost giving up to madness, he went thequeencomics2missing. With Oliver gone for the second time, Steel became once again director of the Industries, but not for long: the moment Isabel had waited for all her life had finally arrived. First of all, taking advantage of the corruption spreading among Star City Police Department, she made available for the city her own private security force, helping to control a population now composed mostly of desperate and starving thieves. Then, she posed as the ultimate benefactor, using her fortune to help with the reconstruction. For last, as the major shareholder, she obtained from Steel to become the new CEO of Queen Industries, thus fulfilling her dream and becoming the “new Robert”. Isabel, now calling herself “The Queen”, took possession of Moira Queen’s clothes and jewels, and arrived to the point of putting her wedding ring on, claiming to be the one and only true love in Robert Queen’s life. Then, she started administrating Queen Industries with an iron grip, bringing it back to its old glory, thus abandoning the ethical policy imposed by Oliver. Just one thing remained to Isabel Rochev to finally make the memory of her beloved shine: eliminating the one shade that still ruined his name, his irresponsible and unreliable son..who was also the evidence of the love between Robert and Moira. By any means possible, Oliver Queen had to die, and for good this time.

Isabel Rochev is a strong, determined and pitiless woman, ready to do and suffer whatever it takes to reach the top, honoring this way the man she loved, Robert Queen. Deranged and obsessed, she believes herself to be Robert’s only true love, and she’s willing to do anything she can to erase even the memory of any part of Robert’s life that didn’t involve her or their common (?) dreams. Rich and powerful, Rochev is a woman not to be underestimated.

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3 Comments

  1. […] counterparts, in a way or the other. In The Man Under the Hood, Summer Glau‘s Isabel Rochev had been shot and killed by John Diggle, but at the end of the episode Slade Wilson had injected […]

  2. […] worker was in reality the assassin Nix, who had been paid by new Queen Industries‘ CEO, Isabel Rochev, to press on Altman and to make him accept the Royal Guard, a private force of police trained by […]

  3. […] all was to chose the biggest shareholder as the new CEO of the company. The investor at issue was Isabel Rochev, a deranged woman who had been one of Robert’s lovers. In her madness, she saw herself as […]


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