If that old STAR Labs facility being used to headquarter the heroes of the Invasion! crossover on tonight's episode of The Flash looked familiar, there's a reason for that: it's the Hall of Justice.
Originally created for the Superfriends cartoons of the '70s and '80s, the Hall of Justice was the home base for the Justice League, although this is the building's first appearance in live action.
There were several establishing shots using the building, and one has to wonder: will this be a setting reserved for crossovers, or might it turn out to be the new home for Team Flash, since Barry and H.R. Wells keep talking about making the existing STAR Labs facility open to the public (a new career opportunity since Barry left the Central City Police Department at the end of last week)?
Ironically, the Hall of Justice was originally drawn by Al Gmuer, background supervisor for Hanna-Barbera, who modeled it on the art deco Union Terminal in Cincinnati, Ohio -- a train station turned museum.
"We were talking about where to put it—we were talking about maybe it was an old warehouse or whatever," Marc Guggenheim told reporters during a screening of the crossover on Monday. "Someone said something that made me think, 'You know, there's this building in Cincinnati that is the basis for the Hall of Justice in the Super Friends. I'm sure there's stock footage that we could then alter.' That's what we ended up doing. I was so giddily happy. It's probably my favorite thing in the whole crossover: the Hall of Justice. Props to Encore who did an amazing job of altering it in all the right ways. Putting the waterpool in the front and the sculptures ... 10-year-old me can die happy."
In either case, the Hall of Justice has appeared in the comics, as well as numerous animated series, before appearing on The Flash tonight.
We'll see the setting at least a few more times: that staging area seen in tonight's episode was featured in trailers for the crossover which also included members of the Legends who weren't on The Flash this week, and a map of the world featuring many more Dominator attack sites.
Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl will cross over with DC's Legends of Tomorrow this week in "Invasion!" a three-part crossover that starts in the final moments of an episode of Supergirl and then plays through the other series. Based on the 1988 comic book event miniseries Invasion! from Keith Giffen, Bill Mantlo, Todd McFarlane, Bart Sears, and the crossover -- with its marketing title "Heroes vs. Aliens" -- will closely track the plot of that storyline: aliens will be assembled by The Dominators and descend on Earth to bring an end to the "threat" of Earth's burgeoning metahuman community.
In the comics, the Dominion were secretly hoping to build their own super-race, and as a result created a handful of new superheroes in the course of the story.
In the TV version, rather than assembling a loose alliance of dangerous alien races, the Dominators will apparently be mind-controlling the aliens that join them. That's a revelation that suggests even the heroes might be forced to take one another (or at least the alien Supergirl) on at some point in the story.
NEXT: The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow Crossover Trailer / First Look At The Dominators / Invasion! Crossover Promo Photos / Potential The Flash Spoiler Spotted On Set / Will Joe West Die During The Invasion! Crossover? / Enter To Win An Ultra-Rare Invasion! Crossover T-Shirt
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT; The Flash on Tuesdays at the same time; Arrow on Wednesdays and DC's Legends of Tomorrow on Thursdays. All four series air on The CW. The "Invasion!" crossover will air beginning November 28.