Arrow: What Is OMAC?

The O.M.A.C. Project is coming to Arrow.

Among other things, that may be very bad news for Ray Palmer.

On tonight's episode of the hit CW superhero drama, Palmer -- currently in charge of Queen Consolidated -- got Felicity Smoak to recover some old data on a burned-out hard drive destroyed last year when Team Arrow were trying to keep Queen assets out of the hands of Slade Wilson and his Mirakuru Army.

She somehow succeeded and the result was that after she walked out of her office for the night -- to head to Central City, where she'll cross over with The Flash next week -- Palmer found a number of files marked "O.M.A.C."

A missile launcher, a one-man tank and a drone are all clearly marked O.M.A.C., with an additional item -- round and not clearly identified -- also in blueprint form on the server.

That last item we'll come back to later.

So...why might this be very bad news for Ray Palmer? And what the heck does it mean anyway?

Ray was, as showrunners revealed at Comic Con International: San Diego, meant to be Ted Kord, the second Blue Beetle and the only one who is firmly a "tech" hero rather than a traditional superhero.

Ted was not made available, with producers apparently being told that DC has other plans for him somewhere else. His company, Kord Omniversal, is referenced on Arrow periodically and one of their buildings showed up on a teaser poster for The Flash this year, so he exists in this universe, but apparently wasn't free for Arrow this year.

In any event, Kord was killed in the comics (in a story written by The Flash executive producer Geoff Johns) when he discovered that he (among others) had been the victim of embezzlement. When he followed the money, he ended up with something called the O.M.A.C. Project, run by Checkmate (a quasi-governmental organization in the DC Universe not entirely unlike Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D.) under the orders of Maxwell Lord, a former Justice League liaison to the United Nations and apparently not a big fan of superheroes.

O.M.A.C. in this case was a bit like the "future Sentinels" of X-Men: Days of Future Past. With the ability to single out metahumans or other designated threats, they were also capable of infecting humans with a nanite virus that would allow their body to be "commandeered" by the O.M.A.C. program and Brother Eye, the satellite that controlled the O.M.A.C.s.

Historically, O.M.A.C. is a character created by Jack Kirby. It stands for "One Man Army Corps." That version is an offbeat superhero. Described as "Captain America in the future," the character was controlled and given power by the Brother Eye satellite.

Later, when the "Observational Metahuman Activity Construct" version fo the O.M.A.C. Project came along (that's the aforementinoed robot version), Brother Eye had been something created by Batman to monitor superhumans who might go bad and ultimately was co-opted by Checkmate. It became a frequent thorn in the side of the DC superheroes.

The problem for Arrow's Ray is that when Beetle found out what was going on, he was almost immediately killed by Lord. Considering how closely Palmer's arc is following the comic book version of Kord's, it may be worth bolting his door at night, at least.

And...could that last item, which appeared to have three separate pieces of blueprint and no name on any of them, be Brother Eye? Could it be that Slade and Isabel, or even the Queen Family before them, were planning on building a massive spy satellite for...some reason? Possibly to monitor metahumans?

Hmm...!