April has begun, and that means Easter is right around the corner. We know that this year, traditional Easter egg hunts may be in short supply—but we can still have them Couch Club-style! Every month, I break down our favorite Easter eggs we caught while watching #DCTV. It’s all the fun of a regular egg hunt, but you don’t have to leave your couch and we get to talk about cool DC lore. With that in mind, let’s begin!
Flash fans had plenty to be excited about this month, thanks to the return of Wally West. When he sped onto the scene once again in the episode “Death of the Speed Force,” I knew it was going to be one of my favorites of the season. Wally mastered the Speed Force, and he knew things about it that even Barry didn’t.
It might be hard to believe if you’re not familiar with Flash history, but that’s comic book canon. During Mark Waid’s legendary Flash run from the 1990’s, the Speed Force was introduced and Wally learned how to use it to boost his powers. By the time Barry Allen returned from a 23-year absence (it was a Crisis thing), Wally had surpassed his former mentor and had powers he didn’t realize were possible. In fact, Wally had learned about the existence of the Speed Force years before Barry could even comprehend it.
Later time travel shenanigans suggested that Barry created the Speed Force, but it doesn’t change the fact that Wally West had a better relationship with it. Of course, the Arrowverse version of Wally didn’t use those powers to realize his sister has been stuck in a mirror for a few months, so they do have their limits. (I have a lot to say about Wally’s powerup, so don’t be surprised if there’s an entire article devoted to it in the near future.)
The episode also namedropped Quimby Labs, which is likely a reference to Ira Quimby, one of the DC Universe’s many mad scientists. Quimby first appeared in Mystery in Space #87 where he battled Hawkman. At the time, he was calling himself I.Q. and had an arsenal of goofy sci-fi weapons. We could only speculate, but I hope this namedrop is setting the stage for a future appearance. I want to see Flash fight a guy with rocket boots!
Was anybody else creeped out by Obsidian Platinum in the episode “Alex in Wonderland”? That virtual world was pretty unnerving. Don’t get me wrong, it was cool to see Alex kicking butt as Supergirl, but terrifying to see her get lost within this digital world of mindless NPCs. I did get a smile when the evil Hank Henshaw summoned her, though: “Supergirl, this is Hank Henshaw. There’s only one thing alive on less than four legs that can hear this frequency, and that’s you.” It’s the exact same message that Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor sent Christopher Reeve’s Superman in the 1978 Superman movie.
Of course, Hackman’s Luthor didn’t identify himself as Henshaw, and he got Superman’s gender correctly, but otherwise it’s the same message. David Harewood even used some of the same vocal inflections Hackman did. If Jon Cryer needs a day off, we know where to find our substitute Luthor. And before you call me crazy, just remember that this is a universe where shapeshifting and body-swapping are par for the course.
All rise for the honorable judges—and trust us, these two judges deserve your highest honors. In the Black Lightning season three finale “The Book of War: Chapter Three: Liberation,” Jefferson gave an explosive testimony to a panel of judges, with two of them having very interesting names. Judge Isabella and Judge Von Eeden were played by none other than Black Lightning’s creators, writer Tony Isabella and artist Trevor Von Eeden. If it wasn’t for this creative duo, the world would never have met Jefferson Pierce, Lynn Stewart, Tobias Whale, Peter Gambi or Garfield High. It’s not every day that our heroes come face to face with their creators, and I think Jefferson handled the situation well.
Seriously, can you imagine a better way to end the season?
What did you all think of Duela Dent, the psycho slasher from the episode “Grinning Ear to Ear”? If you thought she was a nutjob, wait until you get a load of her comic counterpart.
When comic readers first met Duela in Batman Family #6, she was calling herself the Joker’s Daughter. This early version of the character dressed up as gender-swapped versions of Gotham’s greatest criminals and caused mischief for Robin. She later revealed that it was a ploy to get invited to join the Teen Titans…and amazingly, it worked! (What can I say? It was a different time.)
Duela’s changed her identity dozens of times since then, and at one point took on the name Harlequin years before Margot Robbie picked up her first mallet. For a while the mystery of her parentage was a running joke, until it was revealed she was the daughter of an alternate universe version of the Joker. Currently, Duela’s living literally underground in Gotham and wearing a mask made from the actual Joker’s carved-off face, so let’s not make too much light of her. (Her shocking final scene in “Grinning Ear to Ear” was almost certainly a nod to this.) The Joker’s Daughter can be a formidable villain when she sets her mind to it and there’s no guarantee we’ve seen the last of her on Batwoman. For more on Ms. Dent’s bizarre history, check out this article I wrote for DC Universe.
Duela’s uncle Harvey was also mentioned, and longtime Gothamites might know him better as the villain Two-Face. It sounds like this version of Harvey hasn’t had his face scarred yet, so let’s hope he remains careful. In the comics, there was a brief period where Deula claimed that Two-Face was her father, which explained her unusual first name. It turned out that she was lying, though. She does that a lot.
We could go on, but my basket is getting full. To be honest, I want to hear what you found. Did I overlook something big? Feel free to send your tweets over to me at @TBUJosh so we could geek out together.
Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for DCComics.com and DCUniverse.com, is a regular contributor to the Couch Club and writes our monthly Batman column, “Gotham Gazette.” Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.