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Easter Egg Hunt: A Hush Comes Over Gotham

Easter Egg Hunt: A Hush Comes Over Gotham

By Joshua Lapin-Bertone Thursday, June 4th, 2020

Easter eggs abound in DC’s many TV shows. In this recurring column, Couch Club member Joshua Lapin-Bertone digs up some of the month’s best, offering insights on what each of them is referencing…and speculation on what they might mean.

Everyone grab your baskets because it’s time for our final Easter egg hunt for the 2019-2020 television season! Weren’t those finales insane? I’m still taking them in and I’ll probably be speculating until the new seasons start since they set up so much! In addition to some awesome cliffhangers, the finales and the episodes leading up to them also had some clever nods to DC comics and other superhero lore. Let’s dive into what I found for the Arrowverse finales, before checking in with our newest DCTV series, Stargirl

The Flash

I’ll be honest, I never paid much attention during geography class back in high school, but I still couldn’t take my eyes off of the Central City map we saw in the season six finale, “Success is Assured.” The map featured some of Central City’s little-known districts, like Leawood, University Town, Windsor Heights and more. These neighborhoods were namechecked in various Flash comics over the years and organized onto a map in 1990’s The Atlas of the DC Universe (above). This is one of the reasons why I love doing Easter egg hunts, even the small background details are fully researched comic book references.

Or sometimes they’re just fun connections to other DCTV shows. During the prior episode, "Pay the Piper," Killer Frost can be seen reading the novel Uncaged Desire when Ralph drops in to visit her. If you're a Legends of Tomorrow fan, then you might remember that this steamy romance novel was written by Mick Rory, making this a nice crossover Easter egg. Since Mick got his start on The Flash, it's nice to see that his former STAR Labs opponents are enjoying his newest profession. If you recall, Barry had been spotted reading the novel during season 5. Perhaps he enjoyed it enough to recommend it to Frost?
 

Supergirl

All season long, Supergirl has been doing some great nods to the Christopher Reeve Superman movies, and the tradition continued with “Immortal Kombat.” During this action-packed season finale, Eve Teschmacher is convinced to help Team Supergirl after they guarantee they could save her mother. Lex and Leviathan should’ve really known better than to threaten Eve’s mom because that’s what caused Luthor’s downfall in the 1978 Superman movie. In the film, when Miss Teschmacher realized that her mother would be one of the casualties of Lex’s nuclear missiles, she freed Superman from Luthor’s Kryptonite trap so he could save her. Now that the Teschmacher family is back together, it’s time for Lena and Kara to kick some Luthor butt!
 

DC’S Legends of Tomorrow

When you have a time machine, every week is Rush Week! During the episode “Freaks and Greeks,” the Legends went to college, specifically Hudson University. While some people might assume this is a reference to the college on Law and Order, Hudson University was actually a DC Universe institution decades before the justice procedural aired it’s first episode.

Hudson University was first mentioned in 1969’s Batman #217 when Dick Grayson left Wayne Manor for college. Remember Duela Dent from that recent Batwoman episode? She was one of Dick’s Hudson U classmates. The university is located in the town of New Carthage and Robin attended for a few years before dropping out in Detective Comics #495 because he couldn’t juggle a full coarse load and his superhero life. Truth be told, if the party atmosphere was anything like what we saw on Legends of Tomorrow, it’s amazing Dick got ANY schoolwork done! And speaking of our friends from Gotham…
 

Batwoman

Batwoman has been KILLING it with their Easter egg game! During the episode “A Secret Kept From All the Rest” everyone was trying to decode Lucius Fox’s secret journals, and it turns out they could have just checked the internet. When Alice used Lucius’s glasses to read the journals, the pages contained text talking about characters like Talia al Ghul and Azrael, along with storylines like “The Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul.” That’s because the text was cleverly lifted from the Batsuit’s entry on Wikipedia.

Batwoman’s season finale, “O, Mouse!”, featured a football team called the Gotham Goliaths, and that name didn’t come out of thin air. The Gotham Goliaths were originally a basketball team in Detective Comics #392, and subsequent issues presented them as a baseball and hockey team. (Either this team plays year-round, or Gotham coaches have a liberal attitude about name sharing.) Regardless, the football version of the team first appeared in 1985’s Batman and the Outsiders #21.

Of course, we HAVE to talk about Tommy Elliot! “A Secret Kept From All the Rest” also established Tommy as Hush, and he practically jumped off the comic book pages! The bandages, the trench coat, the double guns—it was like Jim Lee’s original classic illustration had come to life. If you weren’t aware, Tommy Elliot was first introduced in a classic Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee storyline called “Hush” where Tommy organized all of Batman’s greatest enemies against him.

Not only did Batwoman adapt the character Hush, but they also brought in one of his most famous storylines as a cliffhanger! Thanks to some handywork by Alice, Tommy now has the face of Bruce Wayne. This is taken from a story called “The Heart of Hush” which ran in Detective Comics #846-850. In the story, Tommy Elliot’s obsession with Batman caused him to remake his own face to match Bruce Wayne’s. To make matters worse, Bruce Wayne disappeared shortly thereafter due to the events of Batman: R.I.P., and Tommy was able to steal the billionaire’s life. How much chaos can Tommy cause with Bruce Wayne’s face? I’ll be biting my nails in anticipation until Batwoman’s second season premieres.
 

Stargirl

The latest live-action DC Universe show has arrived, and it’s one of the greatest love letters to DC lore ever penned. The Easter eggs come a mile a minute, and it would be impossible to go over all of them in the space we have left. According to Brec Bassinger, the most important Easter egg of the entire season could be found in the first act of the premiere. As Courtney is packing up her Beverly Hills bedroom, we see a photo collage on a bulletin board. One of the photos is Courtney flashing a peace sign as she sits on a bench with a friend. The girl she’s sitting with is Courtney Johns, the inspiration behind the series. In 1996, Courtney was tragically killed in a plane crash, and her brother Geoff Johns (yes, THAT Geoff Johns) created Courtney Whitmore in 1999 as a tribute to his beloved sister.

“Geoff brought in pictures of his sister. Obviously, they were from the 90’s so the picture quality was very different from what we got shooting Brec, but we made it work. That picture is there in Courtney’s room all season long,” graphic designer Shawn McBee explained on the Stargirl Aftershow Podcast. “The real Courtney was on set, all day, every day. She was in the hearts and minds of so many people on the set. Brec in particular felt the strong need to honor her. All of this only exists because Geoff wanted to honor her.”

Some of the other Easter eggs allude to well-known DC characters, like the helmet of Jay Garrick and the Lantern of Alan Scott, which were seen at the end of the episode “Icicle.” The show has also gone super obscure, particularly with a newspaper Courtney found in the pilot. The old headline spoke about the Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy fighting Doctor Weerd, a villain that hasn’t been seen since the Golden Age of Comics. The newspaper referred to Civic City, which was the Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy’s base of operations during those early stories.

If you want to take a deeper dive into Stargirl’s Easter eggs, I’ll be dissecting them every Wednesday in DC Universe’s news section. You can check out my rundowns for episodes 1 and 2 here.
 

Now that most of the shows have ended their current seasons, it’s time for me to put my Easter egg basket in the closet until they return. Once again, thanks for joining me, and remember, just because the shows are on hiatus, it doesn’t mean we can’t have fun on social media. There’s so much to speculate on. Who abducted Sara Lance? What will Tommy Elliot do now that he’s Bruce Wayne? Where did Iris disappear to? Can Lena and Kara take down Lex? Tweet your best theories my way as we countdown to the next great season of DCTV!
 

Catch new episodes of Stargirl every Monday on DC Universe and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CST) on The CW. Looking for more on DCTV's newest superteam? Visit our official Stargirl page for news, articles, videos and more on Courtney Whitmore's fight against injustice.

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.