Arrow: 11 Big DC Comics References Dropped in Tonight's Episode (Broken Dolls)

black-canary-sonic-screamTonight's episode of Arrow

on The CW featured a ton of new information, and did more to move the uber-arc of the series forward than almost any episode yet (excepting perhaps finales and premieres).

Perhaps the most exciting things that happened, though, were the various references to the DC Universe that took place this week. There were a lot of them, and they were handled pretty well, with just the right mix of in-jokes, flirtations with something bigger and outright giving the fans something awesome--both this week, and to look forward to in the future.

You guys might have caught one or two that we missed, but try these on for size and let us know what you think...!

Sonic Scream

Just moments after the start of the episode, we get to see Green Arrow and Black Canary "team up" for the first time. It's an uneasy and unexpected alliance, but Canary's "scream" is essential to their success, as she manages to incapacitate dozens of cops and blasting out all the glass in the area.

It's a high-tech equivalent of what is, in the comics, a flat-out super power...but it works well in the context of the Arrow universe, and its use here was clever enough that I let out a little whoop when I figured out how they had written themselves out of that corner they wrote themselves into at the end of last week.

tony-daniel-attorneyTony Daniel, Attorney at Law

This particular iteration of the Dollmaker (the third in DC's history) was co-created by longtime Batman writer and artist Tony S. Daniel.

Which, by luck and coincidence, turns out to be the name of the attorney who represented Barton Mathis! Fancy that!

Call him Arrow

In conversation with his daughter, Officer Quentin Lance refers to "the archer" as "Arrow." Not The Hood, but "Arrow."

Of course, it's not Green Arrow, at least yet...but it's something. It's definitely a step in the right direction and it sounds way better than "The Red-Blue Blur."

Bethany-Snow-Channel-52Channel 52

When Quentin and Laurel Lance are abducted, Oliver Queen gets a text message telling him to turn on the news.

He asks his sister to turn on Channel 52--which apparently is the local station, or maybe cable news. In any event, we get Bethany Snow--who has appeared in the pilot episode of Arrow before, so that's no surprise...but in the back of any given DC Comics comic book these days, fans will see Snow (originally a supporting character in the Teen Titans and an acolyte of Brother Blood) hosting the Channel 52 news.

Coincidence? Probably not.

arrow-slade-wilson-on-fireDeathstroke Disfigured

On closer examination, we can't be sure this is how Slade Wilson lost his eye--but it certainly seems likely, doesn't it?

We get a look at Slade, his hands and possibly face on fire, after munitions rained down on he and Oliver as they tried to rescue Shado.

And given the fact that Slade didn't want to head back at all, and was trying to convince Oliver that it was a foolhardy, even dangerous and irresponsible course, you don't have to be too creative to assume that the man sometimes called The Terminator might not be quite as friendly the next time he sees Ollie.

Metamorpho Arrow Season 2Metamorpho Chemical

We've known for a while that Metamorpho Chemical was going to appear in an upcoming episode of Arrow, and now here it is.

And it appears to be out of commission--so does that mean we won't get to see Rex Mason and company anytime soon?

Well, Rex was probably a long shot (at least in Arrow) anyway, but we might see some of his supporting characters show up later in the season...and who knows? A dude with powers could turn up after The Flash opens that floodgate.

league-of-assassinsThe League of Assassins

There's a lot of stuff that went on regarding the League of Assassins, Ra's al Ghul's organization who will be appearing next week on Arrow.

First of all, they actually name-dropped Ra's al Ghul! There was some doubt that, even with the League showing up, Ra's would be on the table so soon after he played a key role in the Christopher Nolan-directed Dark Knight Trilogy. Hearing his name come out of the assassin's mouth right away? Well, that's a good thing.

Second, we find that Black Canary was trained with the League of Assassins. That's interesting since, for those who have been doing some extracurricular reading and know who Canary secretly is, we can pretty much start to connect some dots as to the whys and hows of it.

Third...apparently, the League of Assassins have been active in Starling City all along. The costume worn by that League member when he came to get Canary was remarkably similar to the one worn by Malcolm Merlyn last season.

That probably also gives us a sense for when and where John Barrowman will be turning up in flashback...!

That boat has some power!

Anybody check out the name on the boat that takes Oliver away at the end of the episode?

arrow-amazoThe AMAZO.

We had already been told that there was going to be an appearance by Professor Anthony Ivo this year...but in the last shot of the movie, we got an interesting hint that maybe it's Ivo who has been orchestrating some events in the island flashbacks.

Check out the name on that boat...!



We originally listed eight, but there were two in the comments that really needed to be mentioned. We'll do it just briefly here, since there's discussion below:

  • Delta Charlie (DC) 52 is Quentin Lance's call sign on the police radio. DC 52? Hmm....
  • His call sign is DC 52. His middle name? Larry. As in, the original Black Canary's husband/Black Canary's dad, Larry Lance.
  • Yes, we discussed earlier in the week and somehow STILL managed to forget this time, Black Canary and Sin are headquartered out of a clock tower, just like the Birds of Prey.