The CW's Arrowverse of shows have been trucking along for several years now, bringing fans 23-or-so weeks filled with DC Comics-inspired fun.
As fans have noticed over the years, the shows often contain references to the DC Comics mythos or to other pieces of pop culture. But one interesting facet of that has been Marvel Comics, which has been brought up or alluded to several times over the past few years.
Yes, Marvel -- the comic book company that gets pitted against DC in the common consciousness pretty regularly -- has a wealth of Easter eggs and references for the Arrowverse's shows. Some homages to the Marvel Comics world are pretty obvious, while others might pass by fans on a first watch.
So, with Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl currently trucking on -- and Avengers: Infinity War just a few weeks away -- here are some of our favorite times that the Arrowverse has referenced Marvel.
One character who gets brought up pretty frequently, especially in recent episodes, is The Incredible Hulk.
Most of the more noteworthy Hulk references have come from The Flash, particularly with regards to Caitlin Snow's Killer Frost storyline. In the Season Four premiere, Caitlin told a henchmen "Don't make me frosty. You wouldn't like me when I'm frosty," a play on the iconic catchphrase from the green Avenger.
And just a few episodes later, in "Girls Night Out", Felicity came clean about her war with Killer Frost to the other ladies at Iris' bachelorette party. This prompted Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) to exclaim "Ooh! You're like the Incredible Hulk!"prevnext
But if we had to pick a Marvel hero who is singularly referenced the most on the Arrowverse, Spider-Man would probably take the cake.
In The Flash's "Therefore I Am", Barry remarked that his "spidey senses" were tingling in response to his bad vibes about Clifford DeVoe. And in the first portion of "Crisis on Earth-X", Legends of Tomorrow's Jax Jackson joked that his potential new set of powers would be "trying to make him Spider-Man."
So, it's pretty abundantly clear that Spider-Man exists as a fictional character within the Arrowverse itself. But another Easter egg just might hint at what live-action versions of the web-slinger Earth-1 is used to.prevnext
In the most recent episode of The Flash, "Run Iris, Run", Team Flash tried to figure out exactly how to outsmart DeVoe. Harry suggested that they use the cerebral inhibitor on himself as a way to potentially become a fair rival to DeVoe.
Cisco did not get on board with the idea, pointing out the following: "He's trying to match his intellect with a mad man whose innovations are warping his brain. Have you not seen Spider-Man 2?!"
This is a pretty direct reference to Spider-Man 2's iconic villain, Doctor Octopus, who was essentially overpowered by his mechanical arms in a fusion experiment gone wrong.
So, the Arrowverse's Earth-1 has definitely also had the Tobey Macguire Spider-Man movies. But what about Earth-2? After all, Harry remarks quickly after that he hasn't seen the film.prevnext
'Captain America: Civil War'
Speaking of Marvel films, there are two Arrowverse moments that have felt like a somewhat-intentional nod to 2016's Captain America: Civil War.
In Legends of Tomorrow's first season, the episode "Leviathan" saw the team battle a weird future robot, requiring Ray Palmer to use his Atom technology to essentially grow stories tall. Conveniently right around that time, Marvel fans were speculating about whether or not Ant-Man would transform into Giant Man in Civil War, something that was confirmed via LEGO sets a few months before the Legends episode came out.
And a year later, in the "Invasion!" crossover, fans were treated to another pretty sly nod to that Civil War airport fight. When Barry and Kara had to team up with New Team Arrow, the other vigilantes were somewhat skeptical about Kara's abilities. Kara then did a full superhero landing, before remarking "Hey, everyone." As fans who have seen Civil War know, those beats play almost exactly the same way in Spider-Man's entrance to the fight.prevnext
"Earth's Mightiest Heroes"
Speaking of the "Invasion!" crossover, its final portion gave a pretty intentional Marvel homage.
When all of the heroes were celebrating their victory, Oliver apologized for his previous attitude towards Kara, and argued that her abilities were more powerful than the rest of them combined. Kara then said that that wasn't the case, and that "Metahumans or not, superpowers or not, you are Earth's mightiest heroes."
Of course, "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" is one of the most common monikers given to the Avengers, making this line stand out for a lot of comic fans.prevnext
'Avengers: Age of Ultron'
But the crossover prior to that arguably gave fans the best Avengers reference yet.
In the fight against Vandal Savage, Team Arrow and Team Flash decided to hide away in a farm house. This prompted Thea Queen to say, "Bunch of superheroes in a farm house? I think I've seen that movie before."
Comic book fans got that reference pretty quickly, as it essentially called out the trip to Hawkeye's farm that the Avengers took in Avengers: Age Of Ultron.prevnext
Just a few episodes ago, Legends of Tomorrow introduced a device with a...familiar moniker.
When Damien Darhk tried to travel back and forth to his past self in "No Country For Old Dads", he did so with a black rock known as the Time Stone.
Sure, Legends' version doesn't look very similar to the Marvel version of the Time Stone. But still, intentional or not, with Infinity War -- and the hunt for the remaining Infinity Stones -- on plenty of comic book fans' minds, the line definitely raised some eyebrows.prevnext
And finally, we hop back to The Flash's Season Four premiere to point out one of the most delightful homages.
The episode saw Barry Allen return from his months-long imprisonment in the Speed Force, and with longer hair and facial hair to boot. That, combined with the lot of gibberish that Barry spoke in that episode, felt like a bit of an homage to "Buried Alien".
Per the Marvel Wiki, "'Buried Alien' (not his real name, but he recalled it as being 'something that sounded like that')...was discovered by the Runner and invited to participate in his great race. He beat several other speedsters and was declared to be the fastest man alive, but never recovered his memory. He later adopted the alias 'Fastforward.'"
The character of Fastforward wore a tattered red costume with yellow accents and boots, felt like he had a "ball of energy -- like lightning -- inside of" him. Arriving just few years after Barry ran himself essentially to death in Crisis on Infinite Earths, Fastforward's last memories were of "running," and he happily accepted the title of "fastest man alive," saying it "feels...right".5comments
Legends of Tomorrow's season three finale airs Monday, April 9th, at 8/7c. The Flash returns with new episodes on Tuesday, April 10th, at 8/7c. Arrow currently airs new episodes on Thursdays at 9/8c. And Supergirl returns with new episodes on April 16th at 8/7c.prev