"Not anymore. I'm now a Harbinger of things to come."
- —Oliver Queen and Lyla Michaels on her new identity[src]
Lyla Michaels is the director of A.R.G.U.S., a former high-ranking agent of the organization under the codename Harbinger, and a former special forces veteran of the United States Army. She is the sister of an unnamed woman, the wife of John Diggle, the mother of Sara Diggle and John Diggle, Jr., and a close friend/ally to Team Arrow and Team Flash.
Lyla served with the army in Afghanistan, where she met John. After their divorce, she was recruited into A.R.G.U.S. by Amanda Waller and rose through the ranks to become her right-hand woman. Lyla reconnected with her ex-husband when helping him locate Deadshot, eventually becoming affiliated with Oliver Queen and his team, whom she aided in The Siege. After remarrying John, Lyla grew disillusioned with A.R.G.U.S. and resigned as an agent. However, after Waller was killed in an attack by Shadowspire, Lyla took over her post as director of A.R.G.U.S. and sought to reform the agency, though was occasionally forced to stoop to questionable means if she deemed necessary.
In the face of the impending Anti-Monitor Crisis, Lyla was recruited by Mar Novu and endowed with superpowers as Harbinger to help the heroes fight the catastrophe. However, she was instead exploited by Mobius to ensure the success of the Crisis, causing her to be killed by an antimatter wave that destroyed all of existence. Lyla was returned to life along with the creation of Earth-Prime and her Earth-1 memories were restored. After attending Oliver's funeral to honor his sacrifice, Lyla and her family moved to Metropolis.
Lyla Michaels served in Afghanistan. One day during her time there, it was Lyla's turn to be on base duty. The rest of the soldiers went on a routine mission; however, there was an IED in the road that killed all of the soldiers. Lyla was filled with survivor's guilt, wondering why they died and not her. Lyla prayed to any god or other godlike being that would listen. Her prayers were eventually answered by The Monitor.
In a mission on Afghanistan, Lyla captures Gholem Qadir and met John Diggle for the first time, and the two later got married. At the end of John's second tour, they rotated back stateside but their marriage couldn't adapt to a civilian life and they eventually divorced. John went back to Afghanistan for a third tour, while Lyla was picked for service in A.R.G.U.S..
Two days before she was to leave for a mission to Pyongyang, Lyla met with John Diggle in Starling City, happy to see him again. John revealed to her the identity of assassin Floyd Lawton/Deadshot, who was a high priority on A.R.G.U.S.'s list, and provided her with a USB detailing the whereabouts of the man who arranged for Lawton's targets. Lyla was shocked, as A.R.G.U.S. wasn't even able to learn Deadshot's name. John claimed it was for something he was working on, a lie which Lyla easily saw through.
John later visited the main A.R.G.U.S. building, where Lyla spotted him. She scolded him for trying to use her to hunt down Deadshot, and told him to do otherwise. Sometime later, Lyla was to meet with Floyd Lawton and bring him in. However, Floyd did not show and tried to snipe her from a distance. Lyla was saved by John, who attempted to follow Floyd but was knocked unconscious.
Rekindling with John Diggle
Lyla meets with John and flirts with him when she discovers he is single again. She gives him information about military-grade weapons being stolen. She then reveals that she is single as well to him. They part ways soon after.
Lyla is missing in Russia, having been captured during an intel operation in a Russian gulag. John is recruited to break her out, because A.R.G.U.S. does not have sufficient resources for the op, and the political masters already consider her disavowed and dead to them. John arranges to get arrested and sent to the prison, where he finds Deadshot, whom he teams with to break Lyla out of jail. Returning to the United States, John and Lyla rekindle their relationship.
Lyla and John are enjoying a romantic interlude when they are sent on a mission by A.R.G.U.S. to lead the Suicide Squad in capturing and destroying a nerve gas in the possession of Gholem Qadir. During the mission, Amanda Waller kills Shrapnel when he tries to flee. This causes a rift between Lyla, who accepts Waller's methods, and John, who objects to their brutality.
Later Lyla poses as John's bodyguard to infiltrate Qadir's party. She removes a tracking device from Deadshot in order to evade an A.R.G.U.S. drone, and she and John reconcile their differences.
Lyla freed the Suicide Squad to stop Amanda Waller from destroying Starling City. During this coup, Amanda revealed that Lyla is pregnant with John's child but kept it a secret from him.
Fight against Onslaught
After the extremist sect Onslaught kidnapped a group of schoolgirls, Amanda Waller brief a number of A.R.G.U.S. agents, along with Lyla. Waller inquired as to how far along in her pregnancy she was, to which she stated four months. Lyla suggested that rescuing the girls be their top priority, but Waller simply believed that taking out the leader Khem-Adam would suffice.
Rounding up the Suicide Squad, Lyla went to Guantanamo Bay to recruit Ravan Nassar. She suggested that he'd become too soft, but he knocked out the guards and agreed to join the team to help his country of Kahndaq.
Lyla returned home and told John of her mission in Kahndaq. Dig refused to let her go, even offering to take her place. Allowing him in place of her, Lyla revealed that he'd be working with the Suicide Squad. Lyla returned to Waller, confirming that Ravan's chip had been implanted in his spine, as well as informing her that Diggle would be going in her place.
Lyla helped the team on their way to Kahndaq, wishing John safety. Once they'd secured the kidnapped girls, Lyla sent in a Black Hawk to pick them all up. After the team returned from their mission, with Bronze Tiger's dead body, Lyla reported to Waller, informing her that Nassar did not want to return to the team, but to prison.
War against the League of AssassinsLyla and John are expecting a girl and is only days away from labor. She is brought to the hospital but turned out to be a false alarm, only experiencing Braxton-hicks contractions. On her second trip to the hospital, Lyla gave birth to her daughter, with John by her side. Oliver and Felicity visited the happy couple to congratulate them. A couple days later, Lyla and John named their baby girl Sara in honor of their recently fallen friend, Sara Lance.
Several weeks later, Lyla went to Santa Prisca on an A.R.G.U.S. assignment.
Lyla was tracked down by Digger Harkness aka Captain Boomerang. Digger attempted to kill Lyla for her failed attempt of detonating his bomb located in his neck during his time in Task Force X. Lyla is hit by a boomerang and Flash took her to the hospital where John Diggle proposed.
Lyla, convinced John to go with Oliver to Nanda Parbat to help him rescue Malcolm Merlyn, as she knew that the last time he did not go with Oliver when he was apparently killed by Ra's al Ghul, John felt guilty, and she didn't want him to go through that again.
She married John for the second time. Their honeymoon was interrupted by Amanda Waller, who sent them with the Suicide Squad to rescue US Senator Cray from a hostage situation in Kaznia. It turned out Cray had staged the whole thing to boost his chances of winning the presidency. He and his men tried to kill the Suicide Squad and all the hostages, but the Squad managed to escape and free the hostages. Later, Lyla told John she had quit A.R.G.U.S. after Waller ordered her not to expose the senator, saying she wanted to set a good example for their daughter. She encouraged John not to leave Team Arrow.
Cisco Ramon contacted Lyla for information on General Wade Eiling, having been told by A.R.G.U.S. that he was on administrative leave and she told him that Eiling had been missing for three months and A.R.G.U.S. had been covering it up.
Oliver kidnapped Lyla as part of his trial to become Ra's al Ghul in order to force Diggle to bring Nyssa to him. When Diggle along with the rest of the Team Arrow arrived at the exchange sight to trade Nyssa for Lyla a fight broke out as Felicity managed to sneak Lyla a gun. In the end, Oliver managed to escape with Nyssa.
Director of A.R.G.U.S.
Sometime after Amanda's death, Lyla became the director of A.R.G.U.S. During her time as the new director of A.R.G.U.S. she has stared making decisions similar to her late predecessor.
Imprisoned husband and new son
After John killed his brother Andy, he went back to war to try to make amends. After a while, John discovered that General J.G. Walker was corrupt so the Walker framed him and John was arrested. Lyla asked Oliver for help to free John from where he was imprisoned.
Then Lyla and Oliver infiltrated the facility where he was being held and released him, hiding him in a Star City bunker.
On John Jr.'s birthday, Diggle still on the run, so Lyla went to her hiding place and had her son's party there, with the help of Team Arrow.
When a dominator ship landed in Central City, Lyla went to find out about the situation and inform Team Flash about the aliens. Afterwards, Lyla went to meet with the president and federal agents to talk about it. The aliens invaded the place and kidnapped the president.
After a while as a director of A.R.G.U.S., Lyla understood why Waller acted cold. Lyla realized that in her line of work the ends justify the means.
Lyla helped Team Arrow to arrest Ricardo Diaz and his criminal organization. Then she formed a new Suicide Squad to try to arrest a new threat, Dante and the Ninth Circle. Later, Lyla was discovered breaking A.R.G.U.S.' laws and was then removed from office.
Preparing for Crisis
Working with the Monitor
In late 2019, Lyla was contacted by Diggle to come to Hong Kong to assist Laurel Lance, who was attempting to return to her Earth while unaware that it had been wiped out of existence due to antimatter. Lyla helped her to gain access to a hideout belonging to her acquaintance David Chin and later assisted Oliver and Diggle in their fight against Chien Na Wei and the Chinese Triads. Later on, Lyla was revealed to be working for Mar Novu, helping him to secure the Chinese doctor Robert Wong.
Rescuing the Hawkes
Exposed to Team Arrow
The Monitor sends Lyla to speak with Laurel after he offers to restore Earth-2. Laurel is upset because she believes that Lyla's earlier comfort of her grief was just an act but Lyla states that it wasn't. She asks Laurel to stop Oliver from retrieving the weapon capable of destroying the Monitor, which she begrudgingly agrees to.
After Laurel returns to Star City, she meets with Lyla and reveals she didn't get the schematic for the weapon as she did not want to get her Earth back by being the person she used to be. Laurel tells Lyla that she should tell her family the truth of what she's doing but Lyla says she can't. Laurel reveals that she already told Oliver and John about her involvement with the Monitor, leaving John astounded by his wife's betrayal. Lyla apologises and then watches as John, Laurel and Oliver are knocked out with tranquilliser darts in the neck.
In Oliver and Laurel's visions, she shot Quentin Lance to make them learn to accept that some things are not meant to be.
When Team Arrow go to Lian Yu, Diggle was upset at her for hiding her affiliation with Mar Novu, but Oliver was now convinced that she and Mar Novu were genuinely trying to save the multiverse. After the team uses the dwarf star alloy and create a machine, it was thought the empowering ball would work on Oliver, but William Clayton realized the ball had Lyla's DNA. She grabbed that ball and went through a portal.
Recruiting the heroes
Shortly afterward, Lyla returned to Lian Yu as another being, Harbinger, in order to warn Oliver and Mia that the Crisis had begun. Later, Harbinger traveled to Central City, Gotham City, and Star City where she recruited Barry Allen, Kate Kane, and Ray Palmer and Sara Lance respectively in an effort to stop the Crisis. After sending Barry, Sara, and Ray to do reconnaissance and bringing Kate, Oliver, Mia, Lois Lane, and Clark Kent to Earth-38, where Argo City had just been obliterated by a wave of antimatter, Lois and Clark revealed that Harbinger saved them just before Argo was vaporized. After revealing her intention to help the heroes, Harbinger explained that a wave of antimatter was spreading across the Multiverse and would destroy entire universes if the heroes didn't successfully stop it in time. Afterward, Harbinger brought Barry, Sara, and Ray to Earth-38 as well to join forces with Supergirl's team and the other heroes, as it was there that the Monitor wanted them to make their stand.
After the heroes started the journey in gathering the Paragons aboard the Waverider of Earth-74, Harbinger started hearing voices in her head. Once as the Monitor explained his retrieving the Book of Destiny intact, and again just before Lyla discovered Lex Luthor stealing the Book for his own purposes, as Lyla learned that the Monitor planned. The voices soon caused her pain and teleported to the Anti-Monitor's lair. He told her he grew stronger from every universe he destroyed, making his mirror Mar Novu weaker.
With only Earth-1 remaining, Lyla appeared on the Waverider not remembering what had happened. Mobius then took control and possessed her and easily beat the heroes. Mar Novu entrusted Pariah with the final hope to defeat the Anti-Monitor. Pariah teleported all seven Paragons to the Vanishing Point, outside of Mobius' reach. While possessing Harbinger, the Anti-Monitor beat the Monitor, killing him and stealing his essence. He then created another antimatter wave that destroyed Earth-1, his host Harbinger, and the Waverider, succeeding in his goal to wipe out the whole positive matter multiverse.
Lyla was returned to life with the creation of the new multiverse, where she is still married to her husband and the mother of her son, with her pre-Flashpoint daughter also restored. When Oliver's son William is kidnapped by John Byrne, Lyla assists in finding William and later attends Oliver's funeral. After the funeral, Lyla and her family move to Metropolis to start a new life.
- "But love, children, family - it's all just a distraction to people like us."
"They make us better, and give us something worth fighting for."
- —Floyd Lawton and Lyla Michaels[src]
Lyla is a good-hearted, caring, and intelligent woman. She is shown to care for her ex-husband John Diggle and is on good terms with Team Arrow, providing occasional backup, intel and support during their missions. She is a disciplined, capable and driven warrior with a sense of duty from both her time as a soldier and as an A.R.G.U.S. operative.
Lyla displays the personality of a realist. Though by no means immoral, Lyla has been shown to be at least partially compliant with Amanda Waller's brutality during operations, particularly the recruiting of dangerous criminals for Task Force X (Ben Turner, Floyd Lawton and Mark Scheffer) and ensuring their cooperation by installing explosives in their heads. Such actions have resulted in arguments with her ex-husband and his more principled personality. Lyla counters that some people "operate in the gray" saying that who are they to judge such people when they have taken lives in their line of work and living in the reality being "sometimes bravery isn't enough, sometimes the world requires us to be bold".
Ultimately, Lyla is true to her morals, more loyal to her principles and the individuals she cares about than A.R.G.U.S. as an organization. She jumps into action to lead the drone away from Gholem Qadir's mansion sparing innocents and if Amanda had not called off the drone strike planned to bomb Starling City, Lyla most definitely would have gone through with killing her superior.
Lyla is a loving mother to her kids from different timelines Sara (the original timeline) and John Jr. (the current timeline) after the incident with senator Joseph Cray, and after Amanda prevented her from telling the world the truth that he was not kidnap by those terrorists, they were actually working for him, as Joseph was attempting to make himself look like a hero, so he could become the next president of the United States, Lyla resigned from A.R.G.U.S.; partly due to her morals and mainly because she wants to be a good example for her daughter, and wants Sara to be proud of her.
Lyla is quite mature and understanding, having bore no ill-will against Oliver for kidnapping her, knowing full well he had no choice but to do so if he was to defeat Ra's al Ghul and dismantle the League of Assassins.
Since becoming the new director of A.R.G.U.S., Lyla has taken it upon herself to undo all the damage caused by Amanda over the years during her predecessor's time as the director of A.R.G.U.S. However, she has begun to show qualities and use tactics similar to Amanda's without believing that what she is doing is morally and legally wrong, which has lead to tension between her and her husband.
While allied with the Monitor, Lyla retains a kind and caring heart towards others, with their alliance being out of a desire to keep the worlds and her loved ones safe. She expresses anger at the Monitor for not telling her about Earth 2's destruction and comforted Laurel over the destruction of her earth, which she later on noted was really genuine, looking hurt when she coldly noted what she did was just a lie, and when she decided against betraying Oliver, Lyla looked actually impressed and not at all angered. When faced with John and Oliver, who were shocked and distraught over her betrayal, especially her husband, Lyla sincerely apologized for not telling them and looked distraught as she knocked them out.
Powers and abilities
- Cosmic-empowered human physiology: Lyla's physiology was altered when Mar Novu gave her cosmic powers. After the restoration of the earths, Lyla went back to being the way she was before the Monitor.
- Interdimensional travel: Harbinger possesses the ability to teleport herself and others to any desired location within the Multiverse by releasing a beaming light from her body that arranges the wave functions of chosen particles in preparation of a quantum tunneling event. Lyla had traveled to Mar Novu and then back to Lian Yu on Earth-1 using inter-dimensional travel.
- Superhuman strength: While being possessed by the Anti-Monitor, Lyla wielded an extreme amount of physical strength that; allowed her to easily knock down Superman of Earth-96, who proved himself to be more powerful than Superman of Earth-38.
- Energy projection: While being possessed by the Anti-Monitor, Lyla was able to attack the Monitor with a beam of energy; so powerful that it eventually overcame and killed him.
- Energy absorption: While being possessed by the Anti-Monitor, Lyla absorbed the energy from the Monitor after having killed him; adding to the increasing power of the Anti-Monitor.
- Superhuman durability: This was displayed when she barely flinched when Kate Kane punched her in the face in frustration.
- Peak of human physical condition: As a former soldier and the director of A.R.G.U.S., Lyla is in top physical condition.
- Expert hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: Lyla is a highly trained hand-to-hand combatant, having developed her combat skills during her time as a soldier. Lyla also displayed a dramatic increase in skill when she was possessed by the Anti-Monitor, such as when she beat down John and easily knocked down the Superman of Earth-38.
- Bilingual: Lyla is capable of fluently speaking English and Arabic.
- Network: As the director of A.R.G.U.S., Lyla has connections within the organization.
- Culinary expertise: Lyla is a talented cook, with many of her family and friends praising her dishes.
- Mobius: As Harbinger, Lyla became vulnerable to the influence of Mobius which allowed him to brainwash and possess her to kill Mar Novu and absorb his essence into her body. Since Mobius is shrinking and Lyla not having powers these weaknesses aren’t around.
- Guns: Lyla primarily makes use of a pistol, wielding it quite effectively. She also is proficient in handling small caliber to high caliber firearms; such as rocket launchers and assault rifles respectively.
- Harbinger suit: After accepting her destiny and becoming Harbinger, Lyla was granted a full-body, blue suit by Mar Novu.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Arrow: Season 2.5
The Chronicles of Cisco
Crisis on Infinite Earths
- Since learning about Sara Diggle's existence prior to Flashpoint, Lyla admitted she sometimes wonders what her life would have been like raising a daughter instead of a son.
Behind the scenes
- In DC Comics' main continuity, Lyla operated as a superhero known as Harbinger and was a central figure of the massive DC comic book event known as Crisis on Infinite Earths.