Spoilers for tonight's episode of Powerless below!
In addition to introducing a new character from the DC mythos, tonight's episode of Powerless indirectly referenced the world of an iconic Justice League member - while poking fun at another current DC show.
In the episode, Van (Alan Tudyk) and Emily (Vanessa Hudgens) settled their differences by playing a Green Arrow-themed archery competition. The board featured a series of the Emerald Archer's foes - who, interestingly, seemed to be loosely based off of their live-action counterparts from The CW's Green Arrow series, Arrow.
So, who exactly were these villains? Click through to the next slide as we break them down one by one (going clockwise).
In a world where humanity must cope with the collateral damage of Super Heroes and Super-Villains, Emily Locke (Vanessa Hudgens) begins her first day as Director of Research & Development for Wayne Security, a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises that specializes in products that make defenseless bystanders feel a little safer. Full of confidence and big ideas, Emily quickly learns that her expectations far exceed those of her new boss (Alan Tudyk) and officemates, so it will be up to her to lead the team toward their full potential and the realization that you don't need superpowers to be a hero.
Danny Pudi, Christina Kirk and Ron Funches also star.
Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker, Len Goldstein, Marc Buckland and Dean Lorey are executive producers of "Powerless." Buckland served as the director of the pilot. The series is produced by Warner Bros. Television and is based on the characters from DC.
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This villain probably looks the least like any of his onscreen Arrow counterparts within the Powerless game. The character has had three separate incarnations over the course of Arrow's five seasons, the most well known of which was Cecil Adams, played by Fringe's Seth Gabel (above). A maniacal drug kingpin - of a drug appropriately called Vertigo - Adams was killed in the show's second season.
He was replaced in the show's third season by Werner Zytle (Peter Stormare), another crime boss who weaponized the Vertigo drug - particularly against Laurel Lance/Black Canary (Katie Cassidy).
A third version of the Vertigo character - albeit in a less official way - was introduced in the episode 'Second Chances' in the show's fifth season. Sean Sonus (Steve Bacic) was never officially deemed Count Vertigo, but he did possess vertigo-inducing metahuman powers that Adams and Zytle did not. This links him, in one way or another, to the art of Count Vertigo shown in Powerless.prevnext
A recent entry into Arrow's pantheon of villains, Noah Kuttler (Tom Amandes) brought a whole lot of baggage with him to the show. The hacking supervillain was revealed to be the long-lost father of Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) in the show's fourth season, eventually turning him from an adversary to somewhat of an asset to Team Arrow.
In the comics, The Calculator has made a myriad of appearances across the DC landscape, even leading the villainous group The Society in Lex Luthor's absence. A little bit of digging revealed that the version of The Calculator shown on Powerless is taken straight from the cover of Birds of Prey #87, and the woman shown on the face of one of his Rubix Cubes is Barbara Gordon/Oracle. In his appearances in Birds of Prey, Kuttler was obsessed with determining Oracle's true identity, which proved to be a problem for the team of superheroines.prevnext
The Dark Archer
One of the longest-standing Arrow villains, Malcolm Merlyn/The Dark Archer (John Barrowman) has gone on to establish himself throughout the DCTV universe. The former businessman - and member of the League of Assassins - recently appeared in Legends of Tomorrow's second season as a member of the Legion of Doom.
In the comics, The Dark Archer - initially known as Merlyn the Magician - actually inspired Oliver Queen to take up archery as a child. Once Oliver grew up and became the Green Arrow, the two frequently faced off. The Dark Archer went on to appear throughout the DC world, often due to his membership with the League of Assassins.prevnext
China White, a.k.a. Chien Na Wei, has been a frequent adversary of Team Arrow - and of Oliver in particular. She appeared in several episodes of season one as the an assassin and eventual leader of the Chinese Triad. Her escapades brought her into contact with several of the show's early characters besides Oliver, including Helena Bertinelli/Huntress and Malcolm Merlyn.
The character (played by Kelly Hu) briefly appeared in the season two episode 'Identity', in which she and her new partner Ben Turner/Bronze Tiger robbed a series of medical delivery trucks. The episode ends with China being arrested by the Starling City police.
Aside from that, she appeared throughout season three's flashbacks, in which she went to great lengths to obtain the Omega virus - which ultimately became a plot point in the season three finale. She later went on to appear in the season five episode 'The Sin-Eater', in which she joined a girl gang with Carrie Cutte
In addition, China appeared in two issues of Arrow's tie-in comic series. One issue was even entitled 'China White' and provided details about her backstory.prevnext
The final villain on Powerless' Green Arrow wheel almost needs no introduction. Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett) became a fan-favorite through his appearances in the first two seasons of Arrow, serving as the series' Big Bad in season 2.0comments
The military veteran began in the comics as an adversary of the Teen Titans, eventually becoming a frequent villain of Batman. The character has appeared in countless series and adaptations in the years since, including his own currently-running series as part of DC's Rebirth line. Wilson has also often appeared throughout additional comic media, most notably a recent appearance in the DC animated film Teen Titans: The Judas Contract.
There is a chance that Wilson will be making the jump to live-action yet again in the near future, with Joe Manganiello being cast as the character in the upcoming The Batman solo film. While the script for that film is currently being rewritten, meaning that Manganiello's version of Wilson could not appear in the final film, fans have certainly been advocating for the actor to inhabit the role since Ben Affleck released test footage of Manganiello in the Deathstroke suit this past fall.prev