Tonight's episode of DC's Legends of Tomorrow name-dropped a race of DC Comics aliens...but it wasn't in quite the same way as so many of their casual Easter eggs have been in the past.
Rather than just using a name, Legends of Tomorrow actually inserted the Thanagarians -- a war-like alien race who were repelled by Earth's forces, as assembled by Vandal Savage in the 2170s -- into the history of the series.
So...who are they?
Longtime DC Comics fans likely jumped at the mention of the Thanagarians -- who are one of the most frequently-used alien races in DC. They've also got deep ties to Hawkman and Hawkgirl.
In the comics, Thanagar is the homeworld of the hawk-like Thanagarians and known for its mineral deposit of Nth Metal. At one point, it was retconned that Hawkman and Hawkgirl were actually of Thanagarian descent -- a status quo that lasted longer than one might think becuase of the popularity of Hawkworld, a series set on Thanagar.
Thanagar's brutal queen -- deposed in the comics by Hawkman and Hawkgirl -- was Hyathis, who is currently appearing as an antagonist in Superman: Lois and Clark. Funny enough, the last time Thanagar got an other-media tie was in the Man of Steel Prequel comic, in which the race was mentioned by a member of Krypton's science council.
The Thanagarians were one of a number of races who participated in the Invasion! event in the '80s, where they tried to conquer Earth because so many cosmic-level threats seemed fixated on the planet, and it was determined by a number of other worlds to be a threat to the universe.
"I think in our season, the Earth is in such dire jeopardy that for us to take it upon ourselves to be sort of the galactic police is more than we can handle," executive producer Phil Klemmer told us when we asked him about Thanagar back in October.