Well, it happened again. I’ve been banned from watching DCTV shows with my friends because I won’t shut up during the episodes. I can’t help it, there are so many cool comic book references to point out!
It’s all good. While my friends may not appreciate my sharp eye for trivia, I know all of you do, so I’m going to share my findings with you here in our first Easter Egg Hunt of 2020. We’re going to start with the post-Crisis episodes. If you want to see my rundown of all of the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” Easter eggs (or at least, the ones I was able to spot), check out my articles on parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 over on DC Universe.
It was hard for me to spot the Easter eggs during the final episodes of Arrow because my eyes kept watering up due to the SEVERE AMOUNT OF POLLEN IN THE AIR, mm’kay? But when I was able to stop crying for long enough to notice a few background details, I caught a Van Wayne Industries sign in the series finale. Did you catch that one? Van Wayne is a reference to Bruce Wayne’s inept cousin, brilliantly played by Alan Tudyk in the gone-but-not-forgotten series Powerless (below). Of course, Tudyk is currently crushing it as Joker on the animated Harley Quinn series, and he recently completed a brilliant first season as Mr. Negative on Doom Patrol, so he’s in no way retired from the world of DCTV. Still, it was nice to get a little nod to his first DC series. By the way, we recently got the scoop on why they chose the Van Wayne sign in our post finale interview with the showrunners.
The man who abducted William in the finale was named John Byrne, an homage to the comic industry legend. John Byrne wrote and illustrated a limited series called The Man of Steel, which revamped the Superman mythos after the comic book shape-ups of Crisis on Infinite Earths. I suppose it’s only natural for someone named John Byrne to show up after this Crisis as well.
As for the box that Diggle found, we have our theories (as you likely do), but we’ll be saving those for another time.
During the episode “Marathon,” Iris found herself the target of an assassin called Doctor Light. There have been a few versions of Doctor Light in the DC Universe, and this particular one is based off of Kimiyo Hoshi. In the comics, Kimiyo became Doctor Light during Crisis on Infinite Earths (picking up on a theme here?) after the Monitor gifted her light-based superpowers. Kimiyo’s comic counterpart was a hero rather than a villain, but she did have antisocial tendencies.
How many of you hit the pause button when Cisco revealed his map? Thank you, Cisco, for settling so many fan theories about the locations of these iconic DC cities. We saw the usual suspects like Central City, Freeland and Gotham, but there were also a few new ones—LIKE DINOSAUR ISLAND! Dinosaur Island is exactly what it sounds like, an island full of dinosaurs that survived extinction. It first appeared in Star Spangled War Stories #90, where it became a regular feature. World War II Allied and Axis forces would become marooned on the island and have to battle the dinosaurs. That’s right, World War II stories with dinosaurs, is there anything better?
Dinosaur Island also appeared in Darwyn Cooke’s amazing DC: The New Frontier, which my fellow collaborator Ashley V. Robinson wrote about in an excellent tribute post that you all must go read right now! Now that we know this place exists in the Arrowverse, I want it to be the backdrop of the next crossover. Please!
I could do a whole article detailing all the revelations of Cisco’s map, timeline and binder, but since some of you probably have places to be, let’s move on to…
During the appropriately titled “Bottle Episode,” an evil version of Brainiac revealed his plan to shrink and bottle various worlds, which has been his MO longer than you may think. When Brainiac first appeared in Action Comics #242, he shrank down several Earth cities and placed them in bottles. Famously, he inadvertently preserved the Kryptonian race by shrinking their capital city of Kandor. As a result, the Kandorians were off planet when Krypton blew up, and Superman was later able to rescue the bottle from Brainiac. Still, despite this unintentional silver lining, shrinking cities and placing them in bottles is super inappropriate and should not be done at home.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
There were so many great treats in the episode “Meet the Legends”! Viewers were shown John Constantine’s business card, complete with his phone number (646-396-8703). Have you called it yet? If not, what the heck are you waiting for?! I won’t spoil what happens, but it’s pretty great. (This is actually the second time John’s business card and phone number have gotten out—the first was during his still very much missed NBC series. Of course, we all know he’s made some significant changes to his business since then…)
The sympathy card Sara was given by Behrad contains art by Lord Mesa. If you haven’t heard of Lord Mesa, Google their work ASAP. Lord Mesa’s Arrowverse illustrations have been making the rounds on the internet for years, and they’re funny, clever and adorable. Now Lord Mesa is Arrowverse canon! I’m beginning to like this post-Crisis world!
Finally, during the congressional hearings you can see a news ticker announce that Ryan Reynolds has been cast as the title character in “Detective Beebo.” I think I’ve changed my mind about Dinosaur Island, I want THIS to be the next crossover. Or even better…Detective Beebo on Dinosaur Island!
I know we’re all excited about the Justice League references from the end of “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” but I’m really getting psyched about another awesome team that seems to be forming in the Arrowverse. (And yes, we can now include Black Lightning in the Arrowverse. Man, it feels good to be able to say that!)
If you haven’t been watching Black Lightning this season, you’re missing out on some thrilling storytelling. The city of Freeland has become a warzone, and Jefferson seems to be forming his own team to take back his city. In “The Book of Markovia: Chapter Three,” Black Lightning referred to the people gathered in the bunker as Outsiders, which is the name of one of DC’s most groundbreaking comic teams. The Outsiders were originally formed by the Dark Knight in Batman and the Outsiders #1, and their first assignment was a rescue mission to Markovia. Of course, DC readers know there have been hints of the Outsiders since the early days of the series, and their comics have frequently been seen in Grace Choi’s apartment. Further fanning these flames, Jennifer’s friend Brandon almost picks Geo-Force as his codename before he’s so painfully interrupted. Of course, lately Black Lightning has been a huge part of the Outsiders team, as you can see in the cover above. Are you ready to see the team brought to the show? Because I can’t contain my excitement.
In the episode “How Queer Everything Is Today,” the citizens of Gotham go a bit overboard shipping Batwoman with a handsome young cop named Slam Bradley. This one got me really excited because Slam is actually one of the first DC characters ever created, dating back to 1937’s Detective Comics #1 (where he was significantly less handsome, but still). Slam was co-created by Jerry Siegal and Joe Shuster (based on an idea from Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson), one year before they published their first Superman story. While the crime noir detective never reached the same heights as other Golden Age DC characters, he survived into the modern age and partnered with Selina Kyle during Ed Brubaker’s 2002 Catwoman run.
I could go on, but my Easter egg basket is currently full. Keep your eyes open as the next batch of DCTV episodes air, because we’ll be doing this again next month. If you caught something big that I missed, or want to geek out in general, feel free to tweet me at @TBUJosh.
Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for DCComics.com and DCUniverse.com, is a regular contributor to the Couch Club and writes our monthly Batman column, "Gotham Gazette." Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.