Arrow: Easter Eggs and DC Comics References In "The Climb"

Okay, folks. It's been nearly three crazy hours of Arrow coverage following that mind-bending [...]

Arrow-The-Climb 0397b

Okay, folks. It's been nearly three crazy hours of Arrow coverage following that mind-bending midseason finale, and it's time for us to take a trip around the DC Universe looking for Easter eggs and clever references.

There were a handful this week, although as much as that's true, there wasn't a ton of time what with all the life-and-death craziness going on and the resolution to the murder mystery and all.'s what we spotted. Let us know what we missed in the comments!



It's been a while, so we'll refresh you on this; the reason Oliver thought that the first League of Assassins member to take a shot at him was Malcolm Merlyn is simple: That's what Malcolm dressed like in the first season. Malcolm is a former member of the League who, as this episode reminded us, owes a blood debt to Ra's al Ghul. Ra's had previously put a bounty out on his life, and when Merlyn was seemingly killed by Oliver at the end of Season One, that was good enough for Ra's, who considered the matter put to rest. When Merlyn showed up at the Queen home trying to blackmail Oliver's mother into giving him access to their daughter Thea, Moira contacted Ra's and reported that her former lover was still alive.

Thea's reaction

Thea's reaction to the news that Sara Lance has died is one of those things I couldn't quite get a bead on. I was pretty sure from the start of this episode that we would find out she was the one who killed Sara, and so when she seemed genuinely baffled and sad while talking to Laurel, I was almost fooled...until we got to the "are you the only one who knows?" trope. I thought there was a chance she'd try to kill Laurel then and there.


Torturing himself

When Oliver beats himself up over torturing that terrorist in the flashbacks, I can't help but think of that time when he accidentally killed a guy during the Green Lantern/Green Arrow run, and then proceeded to beat himself up over it for far longer than seemed necessary.


This isn't actually a drug in the DC Universe that I know of or can find (correct me if I'm wrong), but if I don't point it out, readers will: Omega is a common name in the DC Universe, from the Legion of Super-Heroes villain Omega to Darkseid's Omega Beams and the spacefaring team of misfits known as the Omega Men.


Yellow blur

Yeah, there's a pretty obvious reference to the events of The Flash's midseason finale, "The Man in the Yellow Suit," on Felicity's computer screen.

For some weird reason, though, the dateline in the article is Starling City instead of Central.

"You shouldn't be the one"

When sending Oliver to see Thea, Diggle says that he (Oliver) shouldn't be the one to talk to her, indicating the Arrow costume.

This ties into the ongoing theme of identity in the third season -- the question of whether Oliver Queen truly serves any purpose to the story anymore now that he has basically no family and the Arrow is such a success.

They toyed with this last week during the crossover with The Flash, as well, when Barry said that Oliver could be an inspiration, but "not the Arrow; that guy's a douche."

67 years

It's been sixty-seven years since anyone challenged Ra's to a duel? Well, that would make him much older than actor Matt Nable looks. I wonder what his secret is to looking so young!

"I think there's a way to do it," executive producer Marc Guggenheim told us about the Lazarus Pit. "That's not necessarily to say that we will do it but yes, I think there's a way to do it that's in keeping with the show, but that's a far cry from me saying 'Yes, we're going to do it.'"


Shirtless duels

It's easy to just think this was about fanservice, getting Stephen Amell out of his shirt again, or trying to limit their "outs" in that final scene by showing that he didn't have anything protecting his torso. Instead, many fans will note that it's a pretty obvious homage to some classic Batman/Ra's al Ghul stories. And, yes, executive producer Marc Guggenheim knows it.

"Yes. That was 100% intentional," he told IGN. "That's our little nod to the Neal Adams Batman Ra's comic story from the 70s. Obviously, when people mention Ra's, just because the Chris Nolan films, they think of Batman Begins. But certainly one of our touchstones has been those original Batman stories. So the shirtless duels are a staple of that. One of the other things is usually it's a shirtless duel in the desert and you know we shoot in Vancouver so that wasn't really -- there was no way to do that in a way that would look good so we leaned into the strengths of Vancouver, which are some pretty remarkable vistas."

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China White

We haven't really made it a point to talk about her when she's shown up in previous flashbacks becuase it was in name only, but China White was a villain created during Green Arrow: Year One by Andy Diggle and Jock, who appeared in the first season of Arrow and then briefly again in Season Two as the employer of Bronze Tiger before Arrow caught him and he was drafted into the Suicide Squad.


Wow, Ray Palmer is super excited about miniaturization, isn't he?

We get not one but TWO name-drops in this episode: Apparently before Ray took over and rebranded things, the A.T.O.M. armor was actually an O.M.A.C. suit. In the comics, Ray Palmer is the Atom, a superhero who uses technology to shrink himself to very small sizes while retaining his full density and strength, making him useful in a fight.

O.M.A.C., meanwhile, is a character created by Jack Kirby. Short for One Man Army Corps, it's a guy who has a technological set of powers which can be controlled and monitored remotely by Brother Eye, a satellite. In most modern interpretations of the story, Brother Eye is eventually corrupted and the O.M.A.C.s turned into drones who attack the superhero community on behalf of paranoid elements for the government including Maxwell Lord in Infinite Crisis and King Faraday in The New 52: Futures End.


Mister_E said ... (original post)

Not really that big but the Thea and Oliver snowmen have scarfs matching the color of their alter egos. Green for arrow Red for Speedy.