Tonight's episode of The Flash was a watershed for the series: the first steps on the road to DC's Legends of Tomorrow were taken and a pair of badass new villains introduced.
As you can imagine in such an episode, there were a LOT of winks and nods, Easter eggs and DC Comics references.
What'd we see? What'd we miss? Read on...!
"THE FURY OF FIRESTORM"
That's the title of Firestorm's second ongoing comic.*
(And the most recent one, for that matter.)
"The Fury of Firestorm" as a title might also be a nod to the fact that the relationship between Stein and Jax is a bit more like the relationship between Stein and Ronnie in the comics, than Stein and Ronnie on TV ever were.
*Originally it said first because I'm stupid.
Another title drop.
When Cisco refers to their "Rogue Air" adventure, he's referring to the episode "Rogue Air." In which Firestorm featured.
Well played, Cisco. Well played.
Jax has been presented in interviews as a creation for the show, but that's actually not true.
I didn't know it, of course, but according to Twitter (and retweeted by Gerry Conway, so...it seems legit...!
The CW describes the character as "a charming, but cocky scientist who was affected by the same Particle Accelerator explosion that created the Flash. When Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) recruits him to join the team at S.T.A.R. Labs, Hewitt jumps at the opportunity to fulfill his destiny as a powerful meta-human."
In the comics, Hewitt was the head of a corrupt energy conglomerate who tried to play hardball with Congress to manipulate markets on his behalf.
Tokamak's most notable accomplishment was probably the creation of Firehawk, a superheroine with powers similar to Firestorm's who was created when Hewitt kidnapped a Senator's daughter and subjected her to an experiment designed to recreate the accident that birthed Firestorm. He later attempted the process on himself, which is what gave him powers.
The character has made only sporadic appearances, most recently during the Dwayne McDuffie run on Firestorm in 2007. The New 52 villain Dataxen has been compared to Tokamak, but their only real commonality is having energy-based powers and operating in armor.
Who is King Shark?
He's a humanoid shark-man. In the pre-Flashpoint continuity he resembled a Great White, but more recently he's been depicted as a mutated hammerhead shark. Originally a Superboy villain, he was implied to have been descended from the Wild Men of Kamandi fame (his creator, Karl Kesel, was a big Jack Kirby fan). He would later go on to trouble everyone from Jimmy Olsen to Aquaman, and has served stints in the Suicide Squad and Secret Six. King Shark was rumored to be one of the characters in the Suicide Squad movie for a time.
Of course, by the time he appears here, he'd already been in the The Flash Season Zero comic.
Hudson University is the college where The F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M. Project took place, and where Professor Stein once worked with Jason Rusch (another former Firestorm in the comics).
"I've got the Titanic soundtrack in the back, there," Jax tells Martin Stein.
That's kind of funny, since one of the actors in Titanic -- Victor Garber -- bears a hell of a resemblance to the professor.
That's Amanda Pays as Tina McGee, a character introduced to the comics as a supporting foil for Wally West during his time as The Flash, but ultimately best known for her stint on the 1990 TV version of The Flash...where she was played by Pays, a potential love interest for John Wesley Shipp's Barry in a world where Iris was essentially a non-factor.
Since Batman Begins, every comic book corporation has to have an Applied Sciences Division.
Seems Lucius Fox is in a real growth industry.
That's a funny way to refer to it...!
When Stein and his partners merge, here it's referred to as a "convergence," not unlike the name of DC Comics's most recent (and multiverse-spanning) mega-crossover.
Seems...not coincidental, even if it's just a wink and a nod, not really a connection to the story.
Even aside from King Shark, we have a reference here that's worth a wink and a nod.
"Land Shark, Ma'am" is a reference to a classic Saturday Night Live sketch.
You can check it out above above.
The company where Henry Hewitt worked is apparently named for The Flash and Boston Legal writer Brooke Eikmeier.
It also kind of looks like the logo for the company founded by Hank Pym in the Ant-Man movie, but maybe that's just me.
Maybe it's just me, but it seems like the sleeves on Jax's jacket were a little...puffy from some of those angles.
That's one of the most memorable aspects of Firestorm's original costume -- puffy sleeves that, unlike most superheroes, didn't show off his biceps.
Tonight, Francine dropped a couple of bombs -- not only is she dying, but she has a son.
...Could that son be named Wally West?
Pittsburgh is a home to not only Firestorm in some comics -- but also to Daniel Carter, the ancestor of Rip Hunter, who will lead Firestorm in DC's Legends of Tomorrow.
It seems likely the "colleague" he speaks of is Emily Rice, who worked with Stein in that city in the comics.