Did you watch last night's episode of Arrow? Are you wondering what connections the episode has with the comics? Do you like Easter eggs (and not just the brightly colored kind?) Arrow Annotations is here to help, providing some additional notes and background info from last night’s episode. Arrow spoilers follow!
Task Force X - Task Force X is the official supervisory organization that oversees the Suicide Squad, a team of superpowered individuals (usually villains) that completes high risk missions for the United States government in exchange for early parole or other arrangements. Occasionally, the Suicide Squad is also referred to by the name Task Force X, but usually they're regarded as separate entities.
The Suicide Squad was formed in the 1950s as a response to the Justice Society of America disbanding in the wake of the McCarthy trials. It's earliest missions were to fight monsters, but the concept was later revived by John Ostrander as a supervillain team completing politically sensitive espionage missions. Task Force X is typically overseen by Amanda Waller, and is typically led by Rick Flag Jr. on missions.
Staple members of the Suicide Squad include Deadshot, Bronze Tiger, Count Vertigo, (all of whom we've seen before on Arrow), Captain Boomerang (a Flash villain) and Plastique. The Suicide Squad's current incarnation includes Harley Quinn, Deadshot and King Shark.
Amanda Waller - Amanda Waller AKA The Wall is a longtime government operative and frequent antagonist/ally of DC's superheroes. Waller is the head of Task Force X, and has led most incarnations of the Suicide Squad. She also founded the Agency, an international branch of Task Force X that later evolved into Checkmate. After Checkmate became a UN sanctioned organization, Waller became its White Queen (in charge of the organization's operational affairs) and nearly took over the entire organization before being stopped by Mr. Terrific (Checkmate's White King) and Sasha Bordeaux, who forced her to resign. Waller also served as the Secretary of Metahuman Affairs under Lex Luthor's presidency.
While Amanda Waller was originally portrayed as an overweight older black woman, she was significantly slimmed down and de-aged in the New 52, leading to a bit of controversy. Largely, her domineering personality has remained intact during DC's continuity reboot.
Waller has appeared in several television shows and movies, including Green Lantern (portrayed by Angela Bassett, where she was to act as a bridge between various DC superhero movies similar to Agent Coulson's role in Marvel's cinematic universe), Smallville (portrayed by Pam Grier, where she ran a version of the Suicide Squad) and Justice League Unlimited (voiced by CCH Pounder, where she intimidates Batman by hinting that she knows his real identity). Arrow's version is played by Cynthia Addai-Robinson, who also appeared in Starz's Sparticus series, where she was Manu Bennett's (Slade in Arrow) love interest.
Waller was created by John Ostrander, Len Wein and John Byrne.
Deadshot - This is the first appearance of Deadshot this season. We first discussed Deadshot in the Arrow Annotations for "Lone Gunman".
Particle Accelerator in Central City - Central City's controversial particle accelerator makes another appearance on Channel 52. I think the writers are hinting at something...
Das Uranverien - Ivo correctly names the German nuclear program as Das Uranverein, which translates to the Uranium Society in English. On a sidenote, if you enjoy alternate histories, you'd probably enjoy the absolutely delightful Manhattan Projects comic series published by Image. Seriously, one of the best comics on the stands today.
Mirakulu - For a moment, I thought Professor Ivo was calling the Japanese
supersoldier serum "Miraclo", which is the name of the drug used by the DC hero Hourman to give him temporary superstrength and invulnerability. Unfortunately, closed captioning confirmed that he was calling the drug "Mirakulu" (for reference's sake, the Japanese word for miracle is "kiseki"). However, we'll probably see more of Miraclo if CW's Hourman series makes it into development.
Tahiti - Tahiti's been frequently mentioned in ABC's Marvel's Agents of SHIELD as the site of Agent Coulson's recovery from his injuries sustained in The Avengers. Coincidentally, Coulson's team also rescued a government agent from a Russian gulag in Tuesday's episode.
Antoli Knyazev - We first discussed Knyazev in the Arrow Annotations for Vertigo.
The Russian Word for Optimist - Knyazev is correct, there is no Russian word for optimist.
Sheryl Sandberg - Rochev mentions Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook. Sandberg released a book in March 2013 entitled Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, which discusses the struggles women face in obtaining leadership positions at work.
H.I.V.E. - H.I.V.E. (Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Eliminations) is a mysterious evil organization in DC's comic universe that specializes in terrorism and assassinations. H.I.V.E. specializes in eliminating superpowered targets, in order to gain prestige and clout among the underworld community. H.I.V.E. hired Slade Wilson's son, Grant, to kill the Teen Titans, a mission that would ultimately lead to his death. Slade took up the contract after Grant died, and has held a grudge against the Teen Titans since. H.I.V.E. was later taken over by the DC villain Queen Bee.
That's it for the week. Two weeks until Barry Allen!