Based on the first ten minutes of "Think Fast," tonight's episode of The Flash, one might have thought that there would be a barrage of Easter eggs, DC Comics and pop culture references coming.
It was not to be, and the references came hard and heavy for the first bit but then mostly petered out toward the end.
Still, along the way we discovered that Blackhawk Island is safe and secure, The Castle belongs to ARGUS and not checkmate, and that "Frostbite" is a terrible name for a cold gun.
What does all this have to do with tonight's episode of The Flash? Read on, and comment below if we missed anything!
One of the locations Barry checked out at super-speed toward the beginning of the episode was name-dropped as "Blackhawk Island," home of the Blackhawk Squadron, an elite military group who are coming to the big screen soon.
Blackhawk Island should be familiar to anybody who is currently reading DC Comics, since it reappeared as part of the recent Dark Nights: Metal event from writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo.
Per the DC Wiki, "Situated somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, Blackhawk Island is home base for the Blackhawks, a paramilitary group known to exist during World War II. The island is not listed on any navigational charts, nor is its location known to any government. Blackhawk Island housed the members of the Blackhawk Squadron, their planes, maintenance equipment, storage facilities, and more. Toward the end of World War II, when the Blackhawks shifted their campaign to the Pacific to fight the Japanese, a new Blackhawk Island was located somewhere near Japan. In the post-war adventures, it seems clear the main base was still in the Pacific, since several missions took place on Pacific islands that were "near" Blackhawk Island. At the same time, it was apparently close to the continental United States, since it was a short flight from their "mainland barracks", which seemed to be on the west coast of the the U.S., and they could respond quickly to emergency calls which mostly came from the U.S."
Superstar director Steven Spielberg will produce, and may direct, a feature film based on the Blackhawks in the coming years.
The throwaway reference to Super Friends, the beloved animated series that featured the Justice League, is an interesting one. Is it actually a reference to the cartoon, implying that such a show exists in-universe?
Likely not -- it's almost certainly an in-joke where Cisco just references Team Flash as the "Super Friends" this one time.
That said, there is indeed a Legion of Doom in the Arrowverse. They battled the Legends in season 2 and were composed of Damien Darhk, Malcolm Merlyn, and Eobard Thawne. Ray Palmer revealed during that season that he named the villains after the bad guys from a cartoon he had seen once....!
The above reveals that ARGUS has been holding Fallout at "The Castle," known to comic book fans as the site of Ted Kord's murder by Maxwell Lord.
The Castle is the headquarters to Checkmate, an organization that is, depending on the writer, either used interchangeably with ARGUS or a competing organization for ARGUS. Checkmate was once the premier intelligence operation in the DC Universe, but ceded that role to ARGUS after its leader, Maxwell Lord, turned out to be evil, and to have compromised all of Checkmate.
Because Checkmate was a major part of the DC Universe for a while, both the organization and The Castle appeared on Smallville during a stretch of time when Amanda Waller and the organization was a big part of the story.
"Don't go storming The Castle just yet," Cisco says shortly after the team realizes what Thinker is up to.
"Storming the castle" may theoretically be a phrase that can be applied generally to attacking a stronghold or specifically to storming The Castle, the location just discussed...but realistically, especially coming from Cisco, the phrase is a reference to The Princess Bride.
In a famous scene from the 1987 film (seen above), Miracle Max (Billy Crystal) and his wife Valerie (Carol Kane) see our heroes off with the iconic line "Have fun storming the castle!"
Ironically, Kane has appeared in a DC TV series: she played Oswald Copplepot's mother on Gotham.
Frostbite is the name of another, unrelated character in the DC multiverse who has cold powers but, like Spartan on Arrow, it seems more unlikely that it is meant to be a direct reference to the WildStorm character.
Created in the '90s by Jim Lee and other writers and artists working at his WildStorm Studios, Frostbite was part of the title DV8, a spinoff from the more popular Gen 13. He (along with all other WildStorm characters) became DC property when Lee sold the imprint to DC in 1999.
There have been several other extremely minor characters to use the name "Frostbite" in the DC Universe.
Another Frostbite that may actually have been getting a wink-and-a-nod reference on The Flash was one from Powerless, the short-lived DC Comics sitcom that ran on NBC last year.
Seen only briefly, that Frostbite was female and evil...not unlike early Killer Frost.
At the end of tonight's episode, Clifford DeVoe (Neil Sandilands) began his Enlightenment Protocol, using Eobard Thawne's futuristic version of Gideon to take over the STAR Labs satellites in order to do it.
Now, with moments before "The Enlightenment" removes free will from all of mankind and hours before Cecile gives birth to the latest West,
Promotional material for the episode promises that a "surprising ally" will join Team Flash in their fight against The Thinker in the finale.
At this point, it's anyone's guess as to who that ally could be, considering the direction that the season has gone in recent episodes. There's a chance that it could be Marlize DeVoe/The Mechanic (Kim Engelbrecht), who definitely appeared to be at odds with her husband's plan of "Enlightenment" in this week's installment.
“Marlize DeVoe is the true believer,” executive producer Todd Helbing recently told ComicBook.com. “She was somebody that really wants to fix humanity and she really believes that, but as this season has progressed and DeVoe got more and more intelligent and less and less emotional — that’s the reason why he created the Weeper, was he knew that going gin, ‘I’m going to needs something to keep my wife by my side.’ But I don’t think that he even saw how detached emotionally he was going to become and how that was going to affect Marlize and the two of them.”
But with the title of the episode - a reference to a frequently-memed line that emerged earlier this season - it sounds like the ally could end up being a new sort of speedster -- possibly the Mystery Girl, whose identity has kept fans in suspense since this year's "Crisis on Earth-X" crossover.0comments
“You get the question answered as to who she is,” Helbing recently revealed. “There’s actually an extra little bonus where something happens where you’ll realize exactly how she’ll play a part in the future.”
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW. "We Are The Flash" will air on Tuesday, May 22nd.