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!
Alexei Leonev - Eugene Lipinski reprises his role as Alexei Leonev this episode. Leonev appeared in two episodes last season as Oliver's Bratva contact, including "Lone Gunman", which was also Deadshot's first appearance. As I mentioned last season, Leonev (which is probably an alias) shares his name with the first man to do a spacewalk. Interestingly, Lipinski also played a cosmonaut space walker in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.
Lipinski's a tenured actor, with bit roles in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and the aforementioned Superman movie. He also played an Observer in Fringe, and was the primary antagonist in Nickelodeon's Animorphs TV series.
Ostrander Hotel - Diggle and Lyla first meet up at the Ostrander Hotel, which is named after famed comics creator John Ostrander. Ostrander conceptualized the modern concept of the Suicide Squad, a team of supervillains working for the government on high casualty missions. He also was the writer responsible for turning a crippled Barbara Gordon into Oracle, the information and computer specialist of the DC Universe. Some of Ostrander's other notable creations include Michael Holt, the modern Mr. Terrific, and the Star Wars: Legacy comic universe, which features descendants of various Star Wars characters fighting in a darker, yet familiar, universe.
Lyla Michaels - Michaels' code name (which was first mentioned last season) is Harbinger, which is her nom de guerre in the comics. For more on Michaels, check out the annotations for "Salvation".
Gholem Qadir - Qadir is a made up character for the TV series, with no real roots in the comic book universe. In case you missed it, Qadir was revealed to be the attempted buyer of the earthquake machine, which Oliver and Roy stopped back in "Tremors".
A.R.G.U.S. - ARGUS makes another appearance this season. We first covered ARGUS back in the annotations for "Unfinished Business".
Khandaq - Waller mentioned that Qadir's criminal activity had been traced in the country of Khandaq. Khandaq is a fictional Middle Eastern country ruled by the Captain Marvel/Shazam villain Black Adam. Black Adam was born in Khandaq and first gained his powers while a prince of the country in ancient times. After the country was ravaged by the wizard Ahk-Ton, Black Adam killed the wizard, resulting in his centuries long imprisonment. When Black Adam returned in the modern day, he freed the country from dictorial rule and established himself as its new leader.
Qurac - Waller also mentions that Qadir has operated out of Qurac. Qurac is another fictional country, location on the Arabian Peninsula. Quraci operatives were a frequent foe of the Suicide Squad, and Brother Blood and his mother briefly lived in the country.
Markovia - Qadir's current headquarters were located in Markovia, another fictional DC country. We covered Markovia's history in the comics in the Annotations for "State vs. Queen".
Ted Gaynor - Ben Browder reprises his role as Ted Gaynor in Diggle's flashbacks this episode. You'll recall that Gaynor led the Blackhawks in last season's "Trust But Verify".
Task Force X - Waller mentions that the Suicide Squad's technical name is Task Force X. In the comics, Task Force X is a broader organization similar to ARGUS, and oversees the Suicide Squad, Checkmate, and Argent. The Suicide Squad is also occasionally referred to in the comics as Task Force X.
Deadshot - Deadshot's history in the comics can be found here.
Bronze Tiger - Bronze Tiger's history in the comics can be found here.
Shrapnel - Shrapnel's history in the comics can be found here.
Zoe - Deadshot mentions that he has a daughter named Zoe this episode. In the comics, Deadshot discovers he has a daughter living in Star City long after establishing his criminal career. Deadshot decides to clean up the neighborhood she lives in by attacking the local gangs, but later fakes his death after deciding that the hero business isn't for him. Before doing so, he convinces Green Arrow to keep a closer eye on Zoe's neighborhood.
Deadshot is later blackmailed by Lex Luthor (who was operating under the codename Mockingbird) into joining the Secret Six because of Zoe and her mother. After the Secret Six becomes a mercenary team, Deadshot sends his share of the profits to Zoe and her mother.
Harley Quinn - In case you've been living under a rock for the last two weeks, Harley Quinn makes a brief cameo this episode as one of ARGUS's prisoners. Quinn first appeared in Batman: The Animated Series as a sidekick for the Joker. Her creator, Paul Dini, later revealed in a graphic novel that Quinn was originally a Arkham psychiatrist named Harleen Quinzel who falls in love with the Joker while treating him and becomes his sidekick. Quinn's original appearance and personality were based on voice actress Arleen Sorkin, who voiced the character's appearances in the DC Animated Universe. Dini has cited Sorkin's appearance in this episode of Days of Our Lives as the inspiration for Quinn's costume.
Quinn proved so popular in the cartoons that she was transferred into the comics, and became yet another villain in Batman's rogues gallery. While Quinn started off as one of the Joker's associates, she eventually reforms and becomes more of a grey character, teaming up with the likes of Catwoman and Poison Ivy in various misadventures. When DC rebooted its continuity, Quinn was inducted into the Suicide Squad after being captured by Black Canary. She played a major role in that series, seducing Deadshot during one mission and suffering several psychotic breaks over the course of the series. She now stars in her own book, which features her trying to start a new life in New York City.
This wasn't Quinn's first appearance in a CW television series. Quinn was the main villain on the short lived WB series Birds of Prey. In that series, Quinn maintained her cover identity as Harleen Quinzel while secretly plotting to take over Gotham.
Quinn was voiced by Tara Strong in this episode. Strong previously voiced the character in various video games, including the popular Batman: Arkham series. Quinn's silhouette was provided by actress/model Cassidy Alexa.
Fifth and Giffen - Felicity tells Oliver about a robbery in progress at Fifth and Giffen. Keith Giffen is a well known comic writer best known for his work at DC. Giffen was one of the writers behind the beloved Justice League International series (which featured a more humorous take on the superhero team), and also had a lengthy run on Legion of Superheroes, and revolutionized Marvel's cosmic heroes with the Annihilation miniseries. Giffen also laid the foundation for the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie with a Starlord miniseries, which put the character in charge of a Suicide Squad-esque team including Rocket Raccoon and Groot. Giffen also created the DC characters Lobo, Ambush Bug, and the third Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes), and wrote twelve issues of the Suicide Squad. He's currently writing Justice League 3000, and will be co-writing/co-drawing the upcoming Infinity Man and the Forever People for DC.
Deathstroke's mask - Ollie discovers Deathstroke's mask pinned to a pipe on a rooftop. This is a homage to the end of Brad Meltzer's Identity Crisis, which established the rivalry between Green Arrow and Deathstroke. After Green Arrow jabs an arrow into Deathstroke's eye earlier in the series, Deathstroke vows revenge by leaving his mask with an arrow for Oliver to find. Deathstroke later attempts to kill Oliver during the hero's time as mayor of Star City.
Suicide Squad's explosive devices - In the comics, Waller and other leaders of the Suicide Squad keep its members in line via explosive devices implanted into their skulls. As shown in the episode, they can be set off remotely should a member go rogue or disobey orders.
And that's it this week. See you all next week for Arrow's take on the Birds of Prey!