- "Shadowspire is a U.S. Army Special Forces unit. A.R.G.U.S. took them down three years ago when they were exposed as war profiteers in an Op run by Alan Chang."
- —Lyla Michaels on Shadowspire[src]
Shadowspire is a unit of U.S. Army Special Forces that operated in Afghanistan during the war. Shadowspire consisted of an organization of war profiteers, slave-drivers and criminals, previously led by Baron Reiter, and once had a slam operation on Lian Yu as a cover for Reiter's search for power. Shadowspire's movements were targeted by A.R.G.U.S., resulting in Reiter's death and the end of their Lian-Yu operations, and the organization was considered "crippled" by 2013. However, a resurgent Shadowspire led by Lieutenant Joyner managed to gather as a well-armed terrorist group that targeted A.R.G.U.S., intent on taking revenge against Amanda Waller and stealing Rubicon, the greatest secret weapon of A.R.G.U.S. and the United States. Their efforts were prevented thanks to Team Arrow, but not before they managed to murder Waller. Joyner and his men are all now presumably incarcerated.
During the Afghan War, Lieutenant Joyner made an attempt to recruit John and Andy Diggle. Andy initially declined but ultimately joined their organization. According to John, there were a lot of other Shadowspire agents in his unit in Afghanistan.Joyner praised Andy to Baron Reiter, the leader at the time, and Reiter gave Andy a bonus. Reiter then told Andy about the island of Lian Yu - legendary place of immeasurable power.
Sometime around 2010, Reiter found his way to Lian Yu, bringing with him men and slaves, cultivating slam. Eventually, Oliver Queen found himself on the island, sent by Amanda Waller to infiltrate their organization. Despite the Shadowspire soldier Conklin finding Oliver suspicious, Reiter trusted him for some time until he realized the truth about him. Oliver learned that Reiter was actually looking for a magical idol that would provide him supernatural abilities, and thanks to an artifact from John Constantine, Reiter located the idol in a subterranean cave. Oliver and his friend Taiana Venediktov freed the slaves and prisoners, killed Conklin and several other Shadowspire soldiers, and took the idol from Reiter and escaped. Hoping to kill Reiter, they left him in the caves and bombed them shut. However, with power from the other Shadowspire soldiers' deaths, Reiter escaped the cave, more powerful than ever. With the rest of the Shadowspire soldiers dead, Oliver and Taiana went to help the other escapees, but the idol started to affect Taiana and drive her mad. Reiter confronted Oliver and Taiana and he demonstrated his power by destroying a Shadowspire plane that a group of escapees had been flying away on, and he revealed that unlike Taiana, he wasn't going insane because of magical tattoos on his arm. Taiana and Reiter fought, with Reiter coming out on top and attempting to drain her life force with his magic powers. However, Taiana managed to turn the magic around and drain Reiter's instead, and with Reiter losing his life force, Oliver took the chance to end him by stabbing him in the back with his own blade. Afterwards, Oliver killed Taiana and called A.R.G.U.S to clean up what remained of Shadowspire's Lian Yu operation, including the magic idol.
Two years later, in 2013, Shadowspire was crippled in an operation run by Alan Chang with help from Amanda Waller, and they were exposed as not a Special Forces unit, but war profiteers.
In 2016, Joyner, now leading an alive and well Shadowspire, came to Star City to get revenge on Waller and A.R.G.U.S for the multiple times Shadowspire was foiled by them, and for a special weapon kept at A.R.G.U.S. Joyner and his men began by kidnapping Alan Chang, but this alerted John Diggle, who they shot in the arm, and his wife, A.R.G.U.S agent Lyla Michaels of their presence. Joyner and his men took their time torturing Chang, pulling his fingernails and giving him multiple lacerations to the knees, a broken arm, and contusions before ripping out his left eyeball and finally killing him. His body was found by private security at the start of a graveyard shift, who called the SCPD to the scene. Laurel Lance and John Diggle saw the body and deduced that Shadowspire had tortured him for information, and that they also needed his eye. Upon inquiring about it to Amanda Waller at A.R.G.U.S, Diggle and Lyla quietly received a flash drive with the Shadowspire symbol due to Waller fearing that Shadowspire had breached their security surveillance. The flash drive revealed that Shadowspire had kidnapped two more A.R.G.U.S agents aside from Chang, John Le and Tim Sullivan, both of who were a part of Shadowspire previously. With Oliver and Team Arrow now aware of Shadowspire's return and motives, they used information from Andy Diggle since he had been with Shadowspire previously in Afghanistan to locate a Shadowspire base at Pacific Freeport. However, Joyner already had both agents killed. John and Oliver were trapped by Joyner and his men, allowing Diggle to remember him and realize he was now leading Shadowspire, and Oliver managed to get them away.
Since Le and Sullivan were guarding a shipment of railguns, Joyner hoped to distract A.R.G.U.S with a fake railgun heist on the same night that Shadowspire made its move against A.R.G.U.S. Despite warnings about this from Andy Diggle, Team Arrow went to the fake railgun heist, while Joyner and Shadowspire came to A.R.G.U.S headquarters and broke in using Chang's eyeball. Shadowspire agents charged in and shot several guards before taking everyone else at A.R.G.U.S headquarters, including Amanada Waller and Lyla Michaels, hostage. Joyner walked in last and spoke with Waller, revealing that they didn't come just for revenge, but for codes to access Rubicon as well. Joyner told Waller that he was only keeping her people alive so she would tell him the codes, and showed her what he meant by murdering a random A.R.G.U.S agent. Joyner told her that he would shoot another random agent in 20 minutes if she did not tell him then. When those 20 minutes had passed, Joyner prepared to take another life, but Waller informed him she would not speak if he shot everyone of her agents.She told him to just ask her most trusted agent Lyla because she also knew it to be true. However, deducing that the most trusted agent would also know the Rubicon codes, Joyner shot Waller dead and told Lyla that she now had 20 minutes.
John Diggle, meanwhile, witnessed what was occurring from the surveillance cameras and called Team Arrow for aid while formulating a plan with Andy, who agreed to work with him against Shadowspire, but secretly only because he was working for H.I.V.E, who also wanted to get their hands on Rubicon. Laurel, Oliver, and Oliver's sister Thea Queen arrived and began to fight with Shadowspire agents, while John and Andy Diggle got captured by Shadowspire agents and brought to Joyner, who was still waiting for Lyla to give him the codes while holding the rest of the A.R.G.U.S agents hostage. Lyla decided to give in after Joyner threatened to shoot John, her husband, dead, but John's friend Felicity Smoak remotely hacked A.R.G.U.S and interfered with Lyla's inputting of the Rubicon codes with help from Thea and Laurel, stalling the situation. Unfortunately for Lyla, Joyner deemed that she was lying and put his gun to John's head, threatening again to kill him if she did not access Rubicon. Suddenly, Andy attacked Joyner and knocked his gun away, and Oliver Queen as the Green Arrow dropped in soon after, freeing John. Fighting broke out and Joyner faced off with Andy while Lyla, John, Oliver, and the rest of the A.R.G.U.S agents took on the forces of Shadowspire. Andy managed to knock out Joyner, while A.R.G.U.S and their allies defeated Shadowspire.
Afterwards, Joyner and the remnants of Shadowspire were presumably taken into custody.
- Lieutenant Joyner (leader; incarcerated)
- Baron Reiter (former leader; deceased)
- Andy Diggle (formerly; deceased)
- Conklin (deceased)
- Oliver Queen (formerly; undercover)
- Kenny (deceased)
- "The Candidate" (flashback)
- "Restoration" (flashback)
- "Beyond Redemption" (flashback)
- "Haunted" (flashback)
- "Lost Souls" (flashback)
- "Brotherhood" (flashback)
- "Dark Waters" (flashback)
- "Blood Debts" (flashback)
- "Genesis" (mentioned)
- "Second Chances" (mentioned)
Behind the scenes
- In DC Comics Shadowspire was a secret, villainous, global organization led by Baron Reiter and they served as enemies of Deathstroke.
- Shadowspire was created by the comic book writer Tom Joyner. The writer was referenced with the name of the organization's latest leader in Arrow, Lieutenant Joyner.