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Arrow Annotations - S03E03 "Corto Maltese"

Written by Christian on Thursday, October 23 2014 and posted in Features

Arrow Annotations - S03E03

A look back at the comic references and Easter eggs from last night's episode.

Welcome back to Arrow Annotations, the Internet's number one Arrow column. If you want to know more about the comics that inspired the TV show and random factoids about the latest episode of Arrow, you've come to the right place. Past articles can be found here.

If you enjoy this column, be sure to check out Flash Facts, my new column on Arrow's sister show, The Flash. And feel free to follow me on Twitter at @OH_IGW. Now onto the comic references!

Corto Maltese - Corto Maltese is a fictional South American island nation that appears in the DC universe.  The island first appeared in Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, as the center of an international incident involving Superman and the Russians.  When Russian backed rebels attempt a coup, Superman is sent by the US government to fight them off in secret.  When the Russians discover that Superman is in Corto Maltese, they fire a nuclear bomb at the US.  While Superman manages to divert the bomb into a desert, the missile's detonation triggers an EMP that sends Gotham and the rest of the US into darkness. 

The island nation's civil war was mentioned in the 1989 Batman movie and was the subject of a photojournalism series by Vicki Vale.  Corto Maltese was also mentioned in Smallville as the location of an early mission of that show's Justice League.  Corto Maltese was also mentioned during the first season of Arrow, when Diggle mentioned that Deadshot sometimes operated out of that island. 

Corto Maltese is named after a Italian comic book character created by artist Hugo Pratt.  Corto Maltese is a sailor that travels the world during World War I, and interacts with a number of famous historical figures from that era.

Mark Shaw - In the comics, Mark Shaw is best known as the 1980s version of the Manhunter.  Shaw was a public defender who is recruited into an ancient society called the Manhunters after expressing dissatisfaction with how easily criminals are able to escape justice.  After discovering that the Manhunters were actually ancient alien robots (and were the predecessors of the Green Lantern Corps) he turned on them, and briefly turned to a life of crime.  Amanda Waller recruited Shaw into the Suicide Squad, and later became a bounty hunter for hire.  Shaw eventually retired and had his Manhunter name taken over by Kate Spencer, who was a recurring character in the first two seasons of Arrow.   In the New 52, Shaw was reintroduced as a US Marshal, and was named as one of the finest manhunters in law enforcement. Shaw was created by Jack Kirby.

Shaw is played by David Cubbitt, who's best known for starring on the TV series Medium.

Ted Grant - Ted Grant makes his first official appearance on Arrow, after being teased in this season's premiere episode.  In the comics, Grant was a Golden Age superhero and a member of the Justice Society of America.  A trained boxer, Grant became Wildcat to prove his innocence after his managers framed him for his mentor's murder.  Grant would later train many younger superheroes how to fight.  Some of his students included Batman, Black Canary and Superman.  While Grant was typically portrayed as having no powers, he briefly gained the nine lives of a cat during the 2000s run of Justice Society of America.

Wildcat was created by Bill Finger (the uncredited co-creator of Batman) and Irwin Hasen.  He first appeared in Sensation Comics #1, which is better known as the comic in which Wonder Woman first appeared.

This isn't the first time that Wildcat has appeared on television.  In addition to being featured in several episodes of the Justice League Unlimited cartoon (he starred in one episode that also featured Black Canary and Green Arrow) and Batman: Brave and the Bold (where he served as a mentor to Katana and the rest of the Outsiders), he also had a brief cameo in Smallville in some news footage during that show's Justice Society episodes.

Tom Bronson - Laurel first arrives at Ted Grant's gym to question the boxer about Tom Bronson, one of the Wildcat Gym's students.  In the comics, Bronson is Wildcat's son, and possesses werecat powers.  Bronson becomes a member of the Justice Society of America along with several other legacy heroes.

Collin Mullin - One of the boxing posters features a matchup between Collin Mullin and Sean Elliot.  Collin Mullin is a cameraman on Arrow. Sean Elliot, the other name mentioned on the poster, was a cameraman for Smallville.

Corey Robson - Corey Robson's name also appears on a boxing poster in Wildcat's Gym.  Robson is a digital imaging technician for the show.

Mia - Thea's alias on Corto Maltese is Mia.  This is a reference to Mia Dearden, one of Green Arrow's sidekicks.  Thea's middle name, Dearden, is also a reference to Mia. 

Gerry Conway - Felicity's new assistant is named after Gerry Conway, a prolific comic book creator who has written many comics for both Marvel and DC.  Conway wrote the famous Death of Gwen Stacy story in Amazing Spider-Man, and created a number of DC characters, including Firestorm, Count Vertigo, and Power Girl.  Conway also was the creator of Felicity Smoak and Marvel's Punisher.

The Streak Lives - Felicity is shown reading Iris West's blog about the Flash, which is probably why she decided to make the trip to Central City at the end of the episode.  In case you missed the many commercials about it, Felicity will appear in next week's episode of The Flash.

Milo Armitage - Marc Shaw's buyer is revealed to be Milo Armitage.  Armitage first appeared in Season 2's "Tremors". 

ARGUS's Database - A bunch of names pop up on ARGUS's database, most of whom are cameramen and TV crew members based out of Vancouver.  Some have received credits on past episodes of Arrow, but others have not, so I can't say with 100% certainty what the relationship is. 

Here's the full list:

John Carron - cameraman

David Ferreiera - rigging best boy

Rob Sykes - carpenter

Erkin Aycan - art department

Tom Scull - art department

Jody Lavoie - art department

Diana Patterson - costumes

Patti Wilson - costume department

OMAC - One of the weapon schematics Ray Palmer looks at during the end of the episode is labeled OMAC.  In the comics, OMAC (One Man Army Corps) is an advanced cyborg assisted by the Brother Eye satellite.  The original OMAC concept was created by Jack Kirby, and has been redeveloped several times by DC. Common themes used during the various OMAC reboots include Brother Eye rebelling against its creators and forcibly transforming innocent humans into OMACs.

And that's it for this week! Thank you for reading.

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