The Toyman made his way to National City tonight, as CBS's Supergirl returned from its week off with a new episode.
He was there for his son, Winn Schott, but along the way he encountered Supergirl, cousin to the hero he's best known for fighting. And, as you'd probably expect, it didn't go all that well for anybody.
...Except us, of course, who got to enjoy the episode and will now talk about all the in-jokes and Easter eggs the producers left for us.
So...what did we see? What did we miss? Read on, and comment below.
Supergirl airs at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
Bryan Q. Miller, who wrote this episode, is a well-known name to comics fans.
Among the many reasons for that? He was an executive story editor and frequent screenwriter on Smallville.
One Smallville episode he wrote? Toyman uses a device to control Lois, urging her to kill for him.
It was also the final Smallville appearance of Kara Zor-El...!
Winslow Schott is a long-running villain in the Superman family of comics, with a variety of different depictions over the years.
Calling himself Toyman, Schott is a brilliant inventor who constructs advanced and highly destructive devices in the form of toys. He is a master roboticist and a specialist in creating miniaturized mechanical devices.
In the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths, pre-Flashpoint continuity that informs most of the stories on Supergirl, Schott's company was bought up by LexCorp, leaving him out of work and unappreciated. After Superman stopped him trying to kill Lex and threw Schott in jail, he started to take his anger out on the Man of Steel instead.
Schott had a soft spot for children and always said he would never intentionally hurt them -- even though he would (though his robots and deadly toys) gladly kill adults. After one breakout, though, he kidnapped a number of children whom he believed to be neglected by their parents. One, Adam Morgan, was the son of Cat Grant and a big fan of Superboy's. Inspired by his hero, he freed the rest of the children -- and was killed for his troubles. Schott, now wearing dark clothes and a shaved head instead of his usual colorful get-up, was destroyed emotionally by the experience of intentionally hurting children and was quickly apprehended.
After that capture, Toyman would have ties to Intergang -- he would make his toy-weapons for them -- as well as teaming for a time with the Cyborg Superman in an attempt to destroy Superman during a brief period when the Man of Tomorrow's powers had taken on an energy-based form and changed his physical appearance. Rather than killing Superman, the pair inadvertently split him into two energy-based beings for a time.
Eventually, Schott would die -- but it would be revealed shortly thereafter that it was an impostor -- a sophisticated robot Schott had created. It had been in prison while Schott lied low, because the impostor -- not Schott -- had been responsible for killing Adam Morgan.
This is far from the character's first appearance on TV; he's been on a number of series, both live-action and animated. Probably the most memorable version was on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, in which he was played by Sherman Hemsley. "Season's Greetings," the Season Two Christmas episode, reunited Hemsley with Isabel Sanford, his longtime wife from The Jeffersons.
Cameron Chase is a federal agent who specializes in metahuman threats.
In the comics, her father was a low-level costumed vigilante when she was a kid, who was murdered by a supervillain along with most of the rest of his team.
One member who didn't die? The Bronze Wraith who, unbeknownst even to his own teammates, was in fact J'Onn J'Onzz, the last survivor of Mars.
We're sure that won't come up, though.
Chase has a secret, though: she actually has powers: the ability to "turn off" the superpowers of others in her vicinity.
THAT TOYMAN DOLL
The doll Winn gets with a message from his father? Well, if that looks familiar, there's a good reason.
Toyman has been redesigned a bunch of times over the years, and sometimes it isn't even Schott in the suit. One of the most radically different looks for Toyman, though, is the one introduced in Action Comics #432.
That issue introduced Jack Nimball, the second Toyman, who teamed with Schott against Superman. As you can see above, Nimball looked very much like that toy. That's the version of Toyman that carried over to the Superfriends cartoons in the '70s -- no surprise, since it was introduced in 1974. The cartoon never clarified which version of the character it was by name.
Later, in the DC Animated Universe of the '90s, Winslow Schott Jr. would create a killer robot that looked very much like the Nimball Toyman. Versions of the Nimball Toyman would also appear in both The Batman animated series and Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
There's a rocket outside the arcade that has the Superman "S" on it.
No, not a real one. Like, one that a kid would put a quarter in and ride on for 3 minutes or something. Still, kind of fun.
It's no surprise that Toyman's hideout would be an arcade or a toy factory, but it's worth mentioning that it's been done before -- in the comics, and on TV.
In Lois and Clark, his "lair" was hardly a lair. His scheme was to use a scented toy to brainwash people, and so he was selling the toy legitimately out of a factory until he was caught.
In The Adventures of Superman #475, Schott and another villain named Thaddeus Killgrave designed a theme park where they battled Superman on behalf of Intergang.
In the comics, Chester Dunholtz wasn't the boss who screwed over Winslow Schott.
In fact, that was Lex Luthor, as mentioned in an earlier pane.
Instead, Dunholtz was a childhood bully who stole one of the first toys Schott ever made -- a toy airplane he made for himself -- and in the Silver Age it was explained that's what led him to become Toyman.
...AND ANOTHER THING!
Some comments from our readers:
monitor-earthprime said ... (original post)
The Van Kull Maximum Security Facility is a metahuman prison located just outside Metropolis.It was introduced in Power Company: Bork #1 from (March 2002).
Mister_E said ... (original post)
I may be mistaken but I think this is the first time "Martian Manhunter" has had a name drop.
Supergirl breathing in poison gas is something Superman has done in the comics before.
To that second point, yes. Michael Bailey, co-host of the excellent From Crisis To Crisis: A Superman Podcast, pointed out on Twitter that it's something Superman did in John Byrne's Superman #9.
The gas thing is right out of Superman issue nine from 1987. #Supergirl— Michael Bailey (@BaileysPodcasts) January 19, 2016