Arrow: Easter Eggs and DC Comics References in "Corto Maltese"

Tonight's episode of Arrow was awash in some pretty flagrant DC Comics references, but they managed to sneak a few Easter eggs in there, too.

What did we spot? What did we miss? 

Read on...

Corto Maltese

Right there in the title, we've got our first.

Named after an island off the coast of South America, the locale was created for Frank Miller's classic The Dark Knight Returns. It was referenced in Arrow's first season, when Oliver said that Deadshot had been operating out of the island prior to arriving in Starling City.

In The Dark Knight Returns, Corto Maltese was at the center of an event very much like the Cuban Missile Crisis. Since that event involved the Soviets, it could also be that the KGBeast is involved. His alter ego, Anatoli Knyazev, appeared regularly throughout Arrow's second season.

The Corto Maltese revolution was an event referenced in 1989's Batman, repeatedly cited as the news story for which Vicki Vale won international acclaim.


Ted "Wildcat" Grant is a former boxing champion and Justice Society member in the comics, who has helped train Batman, Black Canary and dozens of others in hand-to-hand combat. Here, he's younger and rougher around the edges, but he's still going to be working with Canary.

As has been noted elsewhere, the name and logo of his gym are a reference to his character in the comics.

Tom Bronson

While it's very unlikely that Laurel's suspect is somehow the bastard son of Ted Grant, that's who Thomas Bronson is in the comics.

All we know here is that he's a bit of trouble, since he was spotted at a robbery and then Grant covered for him with the DA.


Thea becomes Mia this episode, embracing a name commonly associated with Speedy.

Thea was already "Thea Dearden Queen," named after Mia Dearden, a character created by Kevin Smith and Phil Hester. She said something this week about not being Thea Queen or Thea Merlyn, perhaps suggesting that when she returns to Starling, she'll adopt the identity of Mia Dearden explicitly?

Gerry Conway

Felicity's executive assistant is named after Gerry Conway...who created Felicity Smoak.

Mark Shaw

Mark Shaw is a former Checkmate agent codenamed the Manhunter, and one of a number of characters to go by that name in the DC Universe. He killed some of the others when he snapped later in life; he developed a psychosis that manifested as a second personality which was Manhunter's archenemy Dumas. Ultimately he was stopped by Manhunter Kate Spencer (who, in the Arrowverse, was never Manhunter before she was killed by Mirakuru soldiers in last year's finale).

Coast City

The city where Erica's boyfriend has a warrant out for him is the hometown of Green Lantern.


Milo Armitage was an arms dealer who was married to Sandra Hawke. He was abusive to her and was not trusted by his stepson, Connor Hawke. He's appeared in Arrow before, in the episode "Tremors," where he was trying to buy a prototype Markov Device from Bronze Tiger. It's he who was trying to buy The Actual from Shaw, according to the buyers.

Here's some things from our readers...

TurtleDude said ... (original post)

I think there was also a Flash easter egg (besides the obvious). I thought that Felicity was looking at a headline on her computer that said "The Streak _" Didn't quite catch the last word, thought it looked like Lives but that doesnt sound right

scarecrow said ... (original post)

the blueprints for the drone, palmer was reading, said OMAC in the corner.