As a longtime Superman fan, the trip to the Fortress of Solitude on tonight's episode of Supergirl was just this side of perfect. A ton of fun, a ton of Easter eggs and even an appearance by my favorite Kryptonian service robot!
Let's dig in...
So what did we see? What did we miss?
Read on, and comment below.
In case casting Dean Cain as Jeremiah Danvers and former Supergirl Helen Slater as his wife wasn't enough, we get another former member of the House of El this week.
Who? Well, the villain is Laura Vandervoort, who played Kara Zor-El (never actually called Supergirl until the very last season, but same character) on Smallville.prevnext
In case anybody's forgotten, Winn Schott is the son of Winslow Schott, the classic Superman villain known as the Toyman.
We saw him a little earlier this season.prevnext
The vanity plate on the truck that was speeding toward a car Kara saved? "PLASTINO."
That would be a reference to Al Plastino, one of the most prolific Superman artists of all time.
Plastino began his time with the character in 1948 and continued to draw the Man of Steel (and his friends, foes and tie-ins like Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes) regularly until about 1970 and periodically for decades after that.
Plastino co-created Supergirl and Brainiac, and his name has already appeared on the show once before: in the episode "Stronger Together," as pictured above.prevnext
Noonan's is the restaurant they use in basically every episode of Supergirl, and got name-dropped repeatedly today.
It originated in the '90s antihero series Hitman as a dive bar.prevnext
In the Superman/Supergirl mythology, "Indigo" is the name taken on by Brainiac-8, a time-traveling android who despite her dubious family history (Brainiac isn't exactly the best father figure to look up to) spent time as a member of the Teen Titans and Outsiders.prevnext
The scene James is talking about, in which a number of "office drones" go ballistic on an uncooperative printer, is one of the most memorable scenes from the '90s comedy classic.
Of course, here it seems to be a fairly infrequent occurence that the copier is not working, and it's likely Siobhan's stress level rather than the actual device that's got her riled.prevnext
THE FORTRESS KEY
This one's kind of a mix of a few things.
In the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths era, Superman had a comically-oversized key and a pretty obvious entrance to the Fortress of Solitude. While this one isn't SO HUGE IT'S BIGGER THAN SUPERMAN, which that version was, it's still pretty big to be a key. And the reversed "S" shield in the door isn't exactly subtle.
It's also roughly the same shape as the key that Kal-El used to unlock the Fortress and its computers in Man of Steel...albeit much larger, and gold instead of black.
Lastly, the whole thing about how he doesn't need to hide it becuase it's made up of compressed dwarf-star alloy that only he and a few others can lift? That one's been used before, too. The most recognizable version of that is in Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's All-Star Superman.prevnext
THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE
The Fortress of Solitude itself was a highlight of the episode. From Kal-El's getaway rocket to the very clear nods to Superman Returns in the design of the place, to the giant sculptures of Jor-El and Lara holding a globe aloft (a staple of every version of the Fortress), it hit all the familiar notes.prevnext
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
Within the Fortress, one of the best things we saw was that Clark Kent apparently owns a Legion of Super-Heroes flight ring.
In the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths era, Superboy was a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes and often time-traveled to the future to interact with them. Legionnaires always wear flight rings, even if they can fly, since the rings also provide other services like serving as universal translators and communications devices.
Not long ago, a Legion ring was spotted in the Bleed between universes on The Flash episode "Welcome to Earth-2."prevnext
As a fan of the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths, pre-Flashpoint Superman, Kelex is an instantly recognizable character...and they nailed it.
Kelex is a robot whose job it is to look after the Fortress. Created -- like the Fortress -- by The Eradicator in the post-Crisis continuity, Kelex was a replica of the original Kelex, which served Jor-El on Krypton. Kelex played a key role in The Reign of the Supermen and later was the only Fortress robot to survive the fall of the Fortress of Solitude at the end of that story.
He was later loaned to the superhero Steel and made his final appearance in the final pre-Flashpoint issue of Justice League of America.
Kelex has appeared in live action twice before: in Man of Steel, in which he was liquid metal and had somewhat less personality; and in the "For the Girl Who Has Everything" episode of Supergirl, as part of her Kryptonian fantasy.prevnext
There have been a lot of versions of Kryptonese writing over the years, but this isn't the version from Man of Steel.
No, this is the substitution font version that DC started using in, as far as I can remember, about 2000. That means all of these characters could be decoded if you were clever and had a lot of free time.
Anybody want to see if this Matrix-looking thing has any significance?prevnext
We already had this one (you can even see I nearly got the screen capture above), but a reader called it before we published this story, so I want to give credit where it's due:
monitor-earthprime said ... (original post)
Fort Pemberton could be named after: John Pemberton (father of Sylvester Perberton)
Sylvester Perberton a.k.a. Star-Spangled Kid/Merry Creamer Perberton a.k.a. Merry Girl of 1,000 Gimmicksprevnext
In the closing moments of the episode came the revealation that Non was using The Omegahedron.
What's the Omegahedron, you ask? Well, if you're a longtime comic book reader...
...you might still be clueless.
Yep, it's that kind of thing.
The Omegahedron actually comes from the 1984 Supergirl movie directed by Jeannot Szwarc and set in the world of Richard Donner's Superman films.
Of course, the fact that Donner's vision for the Man of Steel heavily influences Supergirl is nothing new...and neither, actually, is the fact that there would be a tie to the Helen Slater-starring feature film.
"That Supergirl movie obviously has its many flaws but when I was a kid, I didn't realize those flaws as much and I used to watch it all the time," showrunner Andrew Kreisberg told me in an interview back in November. "There's a couple of shout-outs to the Supergirl movie coming up that I think the fans are going to be excited about."
Could this be what he meant? It doesn't seem unlikely.0comments
For those who haven't seen the not-entirely-beloved film, The Omegahedron is one of two great power sources vital to Argo City in the Supergirl movie. Along with its partner, the Alphahedron, the Omegahedron powers the entire city, its devices and provides its people with light, heat, air, and all the things necessary to survive. Its power is seemingly limited only by the imagination of the user, and it can do things like creating a simulation of life, or bringing the greatest desire of the user into reality.
What will Non use it for? Is that really Indigo it brought back, or just "fancy shadow of the real thing?" Those, and many more questions, will likely be answered soon...!prev