Welcome back to our monthly Easter Egg Hunt! If you’re new here, this is the drill: I’ve been banned from watching DCTV with my friends because they claim I can’t keep my mouth shut during the episodes. I get it, but there are so many cool DC Easter eggs to point out and the world must know! Absolutely! 100%!!
At any rate, since I can’t yell them out to my friends while we’re watching, we’ve created this column as a place for me to share my findings with you, DC’s truest fans. This Easter egg hunt isn’t just for me, though. I encourage all of you to play along each month and compare our findings. Feel free to tweet me at @TBUJosh if you found something cool that I missed. It’s more fun when we play together!
So, with that in mind, let’s start this month’s hunt in Central City…
It was an interesting month for the Flash, as Joe West fought for his life against the creepy villain Rag Doll in the episode “So Long and Goodnight.”
Usually, I only cover character Easter eggs for people making their first appearance, but since I didn’t get a chance to write about Rag Doll last season, I thought now would be a good time. Rag Doll is actually one of the Flash’s oldest enemies, dating all the way back to the Golden Age. The creepy-as-hell villain first appeared in 1942’s Flash Comics #36, where he fought the original Flash Jay Garrick. His MO was similar then to what it is now—he would use his contorting skills to hide INSIDE of a rag doll so he could rob stores.
If you’re suddenly eyeing your child’s doll collection in fear and suspicion, I can’t say I blame you!
Here’s a fun fact: Rag Doll is voiced by Phil LaMarr, an actor who is no stranger to the DC Universe. LaMarr voiced Static in the Static Shock animated series, John Stewart on Justice League and Aquaman on Young Justice. Heck, this isn’t even his only Arrowverse role! LaMarr also portrays J’onn’s brother Malefic on Supergirl. That’s quite a DC legacy!
And speaking of Supergirl…
The Girl of Steel has plenty to worry about, with Leviathan and the Luthor family each plotting their own deadly schemes. Gemma Cooper, the new Leviathan leader who is secretly an extraterrestrial named Gamemnae, unleashed her power in the episode “Deus Lex Machina,” and if you’re a Superman fan it might have seemed a bit familiar. Gemma’s transformation was reminiscent of one that Vera Webster went through in Superman III (above). If it’s been a while since you’ve seen that work of 1983 brilliance, Vera was a corporate villain who became corrupted by an evil supercomputer (the ’80s were something else) and attacked Superman.
Quite a few viewers noticed the similarities between Vera and Gemma’s techno-transformations, and since Supergirl has a habit of paying homage to the classic Superman films, the idea that it’s deliberate isn’t so far-fetched. By the way, did you know that the episode was directed by Supergirl herself, Melissa Benoist? She did a phenomenal job!
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
I can’t believe the internet hasn’t exploded after the last few episodes of Legends of Tomorrow expanded the Arrowverse. “Crisis on Infinite Earths” was cool, but Legends did something pretty amazing and added Riverdale and Supernatural to the multiverse while we weren’t looking. During the episode “Romeo v Juliet: Dawn of Justness,” Nate told a group of Shakespearean actors that they had been replaced by Riverdale. That offhand reference made me smile, and it raised some questions. If Nate watches Riverdale, does he also see promos for Legends?
That type of paradox is on brand for the Legends, but things went a step further in the episode “Zari, Not Zari” where the team actually traveled to the set of Supernatural! How weird was it to hear Sara say Sam and Dean’s names? We even got to see the Legends standing next to Dean’s car, Baby! It felt like my fanfiction was coming to life, and I want more. I mean, obviously we shouldn’t expect Archie Andrews or Sam Winchester to board the Waverider anytime soon…but with a show like Legends of Tomorrow, I wouldn’t rule anything out.
Of course, Legends of Tomorrow featured some great surprise DC characters as well. The episode “The Great British Fake Off” featured a powerful magical entity known as Enchantress. First appearing in 1966’s Strange Adventures #187, Enchantress is sometimes portrayed as an antihero and other times as a straight-out villain. She has a human host named June Moone, and like her television counterpart, she’s able to transform by saying “Enchantress.” Of course, I’d imagine that many of you were probably first introduced to Enchantress in 2016’s Suicide Squad movie.
Also in the episode “Zari, Not Zari,” Nate and Behrad playfully refer to themselves as the Wonder Twins, a brother-sister alien team. The shapeshifting alien teens first appeared in the Super Friends cartoon, alongside their monkey Gleek. You might also recall that Gleek was referenced at the end of the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover, which adds another piece of evidence to my “the Wonder Twins are coming” theory notebook. It’s right next to my “Supernatural-Riverdale-Arrowverse Crossover Ideas” binder. If enough of you tweet at me, I might share it.
The last stop in our Easter egg hunt is Gotham City, where Kate Kane is currently trying to keep the peace as Batwoman. Of course, Gotham being Gotham, the place is overrun with criminals and sometimes Kate bites off more than she can chew, like in the episode “If You Believe in Me, I’ll Believe in You” where she was captured by mobsters. The Batwoman showrunners did their comic book homework, and those gangsters weren’t just random nobodies. Vasily Kosov was namedropped, and he’s pretty obscure. Kosov first appeared in Detective Comics #742, written by Greg Rucka. (Rucka also wrote the critically acclaimed storyline Batwoman: Elegy, which most of this season has been based off of.) Johnny Sabatino was another one of the mobsters, and he was prominently featured in Detective Comics #844. By the way, Batwoman uses the callsign “Red One” during this mission, which was also her comms codename during her 2017 DC Rebirth series.
In the prior episode, “A Narrow Escape,” Batwoman faced off against a terrorist known as the Detonator. Although their backgrounds differ, Detonator shares a name and a demolition hobby with his comic book counterpart, first introduced in Robin #168. The comic book Detonator was a member of the League of Assassins, working for Ra’s al Ghul.
Oh, and don’t think I overlooked Tommy Elliot. Those bandages sure looked familiar, but it seems like our Easter egg baskets are full, so it’s time for me to….hush. Don’t worry, I have a feeling that I’ll have plenty to say about Tommy in our next column. For now, thanks for playing along, and if I missed anything huge, you know where to find me!
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.