Tonight on DC's Legends of Tomorrow, several members of the Justice Society of America made their live-action debut, in an episode that pretty clearly set up what's going to drive a few of our heroes for the rest of the year.
And with a story that was so focused on introducing characters and putting events into motion, there wasn't too too much time for Easter eggs, winks, nods, and sharp nudges to the audience's ribcage.
That doesn't mean there were none, of course. And so we went hunting.
So...what did we see? What did we miss?
Read on, and comment below.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow airs on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
THE JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA
The Justice Society of America is DC Comics's first superhero team -- both in the real world and in terms of publishing history.
The Justice Society of America was conceived by editor Sheldon Mayer and writer Gardner Fox. The JSA first appeared in All Star Comics #3 (Winter 1940–1941), and ran for 57 issues until it ended around the time superhero comics started to really wane in popularity.
After Congressional hearings changed the comics landscape in the mid-'50s, superhero comics started to make a comeback, in no small part due to the Silver Age reinventions of a number of characters who had been on the Justice Society in their original incarnations. In 1961's The Flash #123, it was revealed that the classic versions of heroes like The Flash, Green Lantern and The Atom had taken place on an alternate Earth, named Earth-2 for the sake of convenience.
From 1963 until 1985, the JSA would cross over with the Justice League of America, their successors as comics's dominant super-team, but in 1985, DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths realigned the multiverse into a single timeline, which meant that the JSA wasn't taking place on another world, but in the past.
The team was fairly sidelined until 1999, when a volume written by Geoff Johns, David S. Goyer and James Robinson rejuvenated the team and built a focus around the idea of legacy. That version of the team, albeit with constantly-changing rosters, continued until Flashpoint in 2011, when the JSA was reinvented more or less completely with a new take on a new Earth-2.prevnext
Probably the most recognizable member of the JSA's cast this time around was Vixen -- at least for fans of the CWverse.
In addition to having her own animated series, Vixen -- an African-American woman who derives the power of animals from the Tantu Totem she wears around her neck -- had a memorable guest appearance on Arrow last season.
Of course, that's all Mari. This woman? Mari's grandmother, Amaya Jiwe, who passed the totem down through their family.prevnext
Rex Tyler, also known as Hourman, is a Golden Age superhero and the first of a number of characters to use the Hourman name.
Tyler has a number of superhuman abilities, like enhanced strength, reflexes, and healing -- but only for an hour at a time. His abilities are given to him by Miraclo, a drug he designed himself.
There is an Hourman legacy including Rex's son Rick and an android from the 853rd Century programmed to act as a member of the Tyler family. The android, at a point in the past, presented Rex with an hourglass infused with tachyons -- time in its most basic form -- and that hourglass would become part of both his and Rick's costumes. Said hourglass has been seen on board the Waverider on previous episodes of DC's Legends of Tomorrow.
In late 2013, The CW was developing a TV series based on Hourman, but in that case he had the psychic ability to see an hour into the future and would use that ability to prevent crimes before they happened.prevnext
Stargirl is Courtney Whitmore. In the TV series, she exists in 1942 -- but in the original comics, she was created (and existed) in 1999, and was part of a "next generation" of Justice Society members who came up in the late '90s and early 2000s.
Her stepfather, Pat Dugan, was the original Stripesy, the partner to a superhero in the '40s known as the Star-Spangled Kid. When Courtney first took on the role of Star-Spangled Kid, he got into a giant suit of armor and designated himself S.T.R.I.P.E. to keep her safe on missions.
Later, after inheriting the cosmic staff of Starman Jack Knight, she started calling herself Stargirl and worked primarily with the Justice Society. She's also worked with the Justice League, the Suicide Squad, and Young Justice.
Courtney Whitmore was created by Geoff Johns and Lee Moder, and has a famous backstory: Johns named her after (and based her personality on) his sister Courtney, who died in the explosion of TWA Flight 800 in 1996.
On TV, she has previously appeared on Justice League Unlimited, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and Smallville.prevnext
Commander Steel is Hank Heywood, Sr., the first in a line of DC heroes to use variations on the Steel moniker. A legend in the World War II era and a member of the All-Star Squadron and later the Justice Society of America, Heywood's body had surgically-implanted mechanized steel devices that allowed his body to work on a superhuman level.
Originally just "Steel," he was promoted to Commander Steel by President Roosevelt in 1940 -- so while this is his first appearance in live action, it's timeline-accurate to call him Commander Steel by this point in his career since the story takes place in 1942.
Among those who would carry on the Steel name are Heywood's grandson, Citizen Steel -- Nate Heywood, played here by Nick Zano -- and longtime Superman ally John Henry Irons.
There's a number of characters that tonight's villain, "Baron Krieger," might be from the comics -- and one of them, Baron Blitzkrieg, is the man who injured Heywood, necessitating his mechanical upgrades.prevnext
Doctor Mid-Nite is a name shared by a number of blind super-heroes and physicians with the ability to see in the darkness, using blackout bombs and martial arts to gain an advantage over criminals.
Charles McNider was the original version during the Golden Age, going on adventures with his pet owl Hooty and becoming a member of the Justice Society of America. Beth Chapel was his successor, becoming Doctor Midnight, a member of Infinity, Inc. alongside Obsidian and Commander Steel.
The most recent Doctor Mid-Nite is Pieter Cross, a Norwegian surgeon with a pet owl named Charlie. He has only appeared briefly -- and as a doctor, not a superhero -- in the post-Flashpoint DC Universe in the comics, although he was a major part of the JSA from 2000 until 2011, when Flashpoint reset the DC Universe, and so he served with Stargirl for most of that time.
Doctor Mid-Nite was created by Charles Reizenstein and Stan Aschmeier, first appearing in All-American Comics #25.prevnext
Obsidian is the son of Golden Age Green Lantern Alan Scott, a founding member of the JSA in the comics. He and his sister Jade would go on to play an important role in the Justice Society's sinoff groups the Young All-Stars and Infinity, Inc., as well as eventually joining the Justice Society itself. He was also briefly affiliated with the Justice League.
He's able to tap into a shadow realm, using it as camouflage, as an offenseive weapon, and as a means of transport.
In the comics, Todd (Obsidian) was abused by his adoptive parents, which made him unstable and not always the "good guy" in the early days. He also eventually came out of the closet, and -- as mentioned -- was the son of Green Lantern.
So how much of this could possibly have stuck around for TV?
"It's all in there. It's all in there, every bit of it," Henriksen told ComicBook.com. "Yeah, being Green Lantern's son and all that stuff and him being gay is all in there. It's treated, honestly, kind of ungently. It's a real thing....Even one of my lines says 'If you're lucky enough to find love again, after anything has ever happened to you, well, embrace it.' [Obsidian] says 'Son, he's waiting for me at home.'"
Henriksen also noted that, as in the comics, Todd had a troubled past and "got up to no good" before settling into his role with the Justice Society.
Now, whether we'll ever get to see Alan Scott onscreen might be another thing entirely, of course. But some fans will be happy just to know that the mythology is preserved, and hope for something like the brief cameo of Alan's ring on the Justice Society-themed episodes of Smallville.prevnext
The United States Penitentiary, Leavenworth is a medium-security United States federal prison for male inmates in northeast Kansas.
Last night on Arrow, it was revealed taht Leavenworth is where John Diggle is being held while awaiting his court martial.
It's where the JSA suggests tossing the Legends in the early dialogue before they start to believe the time travel story.
They also mention Bellevue, a psychiatric hospital in New York City, but that doesn't rate its own pane because it wasn't mentioned already this week on another show.prevnext
There are basically two figures who could have inspired Baron Krieger, even though there is no specific Baron Krieger in DC Comics.
The first is Baron Blitzkrieg: Originally a World War II German army officer, the man who would be Baron Blitzkrieg was blinded when a concentration camp prisoner threw acid into his face. German scientists experimented on him, giving him injections of experimental drugs which would give him incredibl powers for brief periods of time.
Baron Blitzkrieg's ties to Steel (later Commander Steel), who was a prisoner at the concentration camp when this happened, make him a pretty likely candidate, as well as his primary ties being to the All-Star Squadron, a JSA-affiliated group.
The other possibility is Albrecht Krieger, who was basically Captain America, but for Nazis. A genetically-modified super-soldier, Krieger also had a mad scientist brother and a psychic sister we might have to worry about if it's him -- and while the backstory feels a lot more like Blitzkrieg's, Krieger has not only the name but the general look of this week's threat.prevnext
Max Lorenz was a famous singer, who lived in Germany around the time of World War II and is widely known as "Hitler's favorite tenor."
Of course, its' a handy thing that Legends of Tomorrow star Victor Garber has the pipes to make that scene convincing.prevnext
There is no direct corollary for the Askaran Amulet, either in the DC Universe or in real life, as far as we can tell with a quick Google search.
That said, when you search the phrase on Google you get plenty of entries germane to Isis, the bride of Black Adam and an antihero in the Shazam!/Captain Marvel comics. She draws her powers, in part, from an amulet that's part of her costume.
Of course, that's likely a coincidence -- an interesting one, though, especially becuase Albrecht Krieger was a frequent Captain Marvel foe.prevnext
It's worth noting that there are several references to "Übermensch" in here, which is derived from Nietzsche in Thus Spake Zarathustra, one of the influences for Superman, which is more or less what the word translates to directly.
The term can literally translate to "Overman," which in the DC Comics universe is an alternate-universe version of Superman who lives on an Earth where the Nazis won World War II.prev