Can you believe the 2018-2019 television season is already over? It seems like just yesterday Barry and Iris began raising an adult daughter and Oliver was serving his sentence in Slabside Prison. Sadly, the end of the season means that this monthly Easter egg column will be going on hiatus. Don’t worry, though. We’ll be back in the fall, and I’m leaving you with one of the most exciting egg hunt columns yet! Each series closed out their season with some primo comic book connections that should keep us speculating all summer. Here’s what I found…
During the episode “Living Proof,” Alena calls Team Arrow “the Justice League” as a clever nickname. I’m going to assume that most of you know what the Justice League is, but the interesting thing is that three members of this incarnation of Team Arrow have actually been a part of the group. Oliver Queen first joined way back in Justice League of America #4 and Black Canary joined in Justice League of America #74. Interestingly enough, some time-travel and reality altering shenanigans shifted history so that Dinah was now a founding member of the team. Sorry, Ollie!
Roy finally got his chance to join in Justice League of America Vol. 2 #7. It was actually Oliver’s idea for his former sidekick to join, but he decided to keep it a secret and have Dinah be the one to invite him. That’s right, folks, even the comic book versions of Team Arrow have a problem with keeping secrets when it isn’t necessary. Still, imagine how short these episodes would be if people actually were honest with one another?
Now that the Cicada affair is over and done with, Ralph is ready to get back to detective work. Comic readers may have noticed something interesting about his upcoming case. The file that Ralph was holding was marked “Dearbon,” which is a name that holds considerable importance to the Elongated Man’s future. In the comics, a woman named Sue Dearbon became the love of Ralph’s life—and his afterlife as well (more on that later).
Sue first appeared in The Flash #119 as the Elongated Man’s new wife, and they spent many happy years together. Famously, Sue would eventually be murdered by the Atom’s ex-wife (Ray sure knows how to pick them), but her union with Ralph was so strong that it continued after her death. After Ralph was killed during the 52 maxiseries, he and Sue reunited and became…well, ghost detectives. The Dibnys eventually returned to life, which is cool I guess, but I think ghost detectives is a much cooler marriage status quo.
Ghost detectives! Hey, what can I say? It’s comics. Still, if your first thought is “sweet mother of Kal-El, that sounds like the most awesome marriage ever,” then you’re absolutely right. In fact, maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to discount Ralph’s love advice after all.
Whoa, boy! That Supergirl finale. Along with featuring some great Lex Luthor moments and what was likely the birth of the most heartbreaking villain Kara will ever have to face (she tried to tell you, Lena!), the episode was loaded with Easter eggs! Even the episode title, “The Quest for Peace,” was a reference to the film Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. By the way, the plot of that movie involved nuclear energy creating a double of Superman (called Nuclear Man, naturally) who pledged his allegiance to Lex Luthor. Does that plot sound familiar to any of you at all? Another fun bit of trivia: Jon Cryer (our current Lex Luthor) played Lex’s nephew Lenny Luthor in that film. You either die a villain or you live long enough to become your uncle.
Speaking of Lex, was anyone else shocked to learn that even he was being manipulated? It turns out that Eve was working for an organization called…drum roll…Leviathan! For any of you unfamiliar with that group, well, imagine a terrorist organization, only it’s made up of powerful super-villains and their reach is worldwide. Does that sound absolutely terrifying? That’s what Leviathan is, which means things are not going to get any easier for Supergirl! Just ask her cousin. Leviathan is currently creating problems for Superman over in Action Comics and in this summer’s must-read miniseries, Event Leviathan.
It’s funny that it’s causing so many problems for Superman, though, as the group was initially started by Talia al Ghul as a revenge scheme against Batman. Towards the end of the Batman Incorporated comic series, Talia revealed that she began Leviathan because Batman had spurned her advances and embraced a life of justice instead. We’ve all had problems with our exes but starting a terrorist organization is a new level of extreme!
The episode also saw the Monitor get into the business of family reunions by summoning J’onn’s brother. Ma’alefa’ak (sometimes called Malefic for short) was first seen in 1998’s Martian Manhunter #0 where he gave his brother a vicious beating. Don’t expect J’onn and his brother to be like Alex and Kara—Malefic is bad news. In fact, he helped wipe out his entire race because he was jealous of their telepathy powers. So yeah, the next season of Supergirl is looking like it’s going to be BRUTAL.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
Have the Legends of Tomorrow writers have been binge-reading some classic Hellblazer comics? During the episode “Nip/Stuck,” we got to see an ancestor of Constantine named Konstentyn. The name was taken from Hellblazer Annual #1, which featured another Kon-Sten-Tyn, John’s ancestor who became king of Britain during ancient times. While the characters come from different time periods, both of them were the first members of the Constantine bloodline to practice magic, and both of their names are spelled the same.
The episode “Terms of Service” contained a scene where John tried to bargain with the Triumvirate of Hell, which was a common theme in classic Hellblazer comics. In fact, the scene where John attempts to free Astra’s soul is similar to a moment from Hellblazer #96, except it had a very different outcome. In the comics, John succeeded, while the television Astra chose to stay behind and release some murderous souls. People like to say that Legends of Tomorrow is a comedy, but in this case, they did something darker than the original Hellblazer comic! But then they sang a song at a magical theme park one episode later, so I suppose we can’t take things TOO seriously with this show.
If you enjoy joining in my #DCTV Easter egg hunts, then head on over to DC Universe where I’ll be covering their original content all summer. I’m told that my next expedition will be taking me to the swamp, so bring plenty of bug spray. And as usual, if you found any cool Easter eggs that I missed, feel free to tweet me @TBUJosh. See you in the fall!
Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for DCComics.com and DCUniverse.com, and is a regular contributor to the Couch Club, our weekly television column. Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.