John Phoenix was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba where he had lived a fairly normal life. He had been interested in computer science in high school, where he showed a special ability in robotics.
When he turned eighteen, he left home and headed for Toronto, Ontario, taking only his car and some money in his pocket. He had only recently discovered that he had been adopted as a baby and he was unsure of himself because he did not know who his biological family was and what he should do. He had always prided himself on knowing his family history. He believed that in order to understand the future one must first understand the past. He decided to bury himself in his studies.
Over the next several years, he worked his way through school at the University of Toronto and earned his Masters in both Computer Science and Robotic Engineering. He decided to use his knowledge in the service of his country. He had always been teased about his tattoo of the Canadian flag on his left shoulder; He has always been a patriot to the core. He applied and was accepted by the Metropolitan Toronto Police Department where served as a police constable before transferring to Research and Development. At this time, he also began playing the stock market, investing heavily in the Internet, Maple Leaf Entertainment, Sports Inc. and the Toronto Blue Jays. He was a sucker for baseball. He had dreamed of being a major league baseball player for the Toronto Blue Jays when he was a boy but never had the talent for it.
As time passed, Phoenix gained a modest fortune from his investments. He spent most of his free time performing charity work but still felt that his life was unfulfilled - that there was a higher calling out there, somewhere. Little did he know that his life was about to change forever.
His work came to the attention of James Storm, head of Storm Enterprises Inc. Storm was better known as Nova, a future member of Canadian Shield. Storm was so impressed with John Phoenix that he spent the better part of a year trying to gain his services. Phoenix and Storm were to become the best of friends.
Phoenix eventually became Senior Executive Vice President in charge of Research and Development for Storm Enterprises Inc. He even helped to design part of Novaís uniform and equipment. It was through this project that he had come up with the idea and design for a battle suit and so the Red Arrow project was born.
The project suffered several major setbacks over the next several months, but finally it was ready. Finding a test pilot for such a radical new machine would be difficult - no-one had ever done this sort of thing before. Phoenix decided that the only thing to do was to test the suit himself. He had designed it and he felt that he was the best person to operate it. He also decided to follow Storm's example, who had by this time joined Canadian Shield in the defense of his country. Ironically Phoenix, as he was taking the identity of Red Arrow and becoming an active member of Canadian Shield, was actually replacing his friend and mentor, who was forced to retire from active duty after an unfortunate scandal. Storm then renamed his company NovaCorp after his now defunct superhero identity. John Phoenix, pooling his investments, started his own high-tech business Phoenix Industries, intending to be a supplier for NovaCorp. Phoenix Industries became very successful, very quickly, thanks to John's keen business savvy and eventually became an industry giant equal to NovaCorp, although the two never directly competed for the same markets.
After two years of active service and several adventures, Phoenix discovered to his horror that his friend, Jim Storm had been murdered. Phoenix inherited control/ownership of Shield Enterprises Inc. as well as Stormís personal fortune, but his heart was heavy - he'd lost his oldest and dearest friend. Phoenix was surprised about the inheritance; He had no knowledge that he was Stormís beneficiary. What he also did not know until the reading of the will, was that Storm was in love with him but had never pursued a relationship with Phoenix fearing that he would have destroyed their friendship.
Now, John Phoenix owns both companies and has pledged to bring Stormís killer to justice, dead or alive.
Red Arrow is extremely patriotic and proud of it. He never misses an opportunity to expound upon his patriotism, right down to the Canadian Flag tatoo on his arm.
Red Arrow is the big gun of the group. He acts as the front line, soaking up damage that would otherwise be taken by his more vulnerable teammates. Red Arrow is a ranged weapon. With extensive mobility, his new "Arrow Attack" (a move through) is his primary offensive manoeuvre.
He is also the leader of the group, giving orders in battle and co-ordinating the team.
However, his sense of duty is at odds with his impulsive streak, which often gets him into trouble. He may fly off on his own on missions that are too dangerous for a single hero - even the nigh-invulnerable Red Arrow.
Red Arrow has one big gadget, and that's his power suit. He is constantly tinkering with it, improving its performance and efficiency. He experiments with different equipment, modifying items on a per adventure basis.