A look at all the ties between the comics and this week's episode of Arrow!
While we provided a pretty comprehensive recap of Arrow’s pilot episode last night, but there were plenty of easter eggs and references to the comic book that we didn’t touch upon. Luckily Arrow Annotations is here to help, providing some additional notes and background info from last night’s episode. While there's not nearly as much to cover this week, the Arrow writers still threw plenty of little easter eggs for readers. Arrow spoilers follow!
Royal Flush Gang - This week's villains are a reimagined version ofthe Royal Flush Gang, a longrunning group of DC villains. The original incarnation of the Royal Flush Gang appeared in Justice League of America #46 way back in 1966. The group was originally affiliated with Amos Fortune, a Justice League villain with luck alteration powers, The RFG started off with five members (each based off one of the cards in a royal flush hand) and were armed with weaponized cards and wore costumes with a "spades" motif.
A second Royal Flush Gang, this time wearing clubs, was started up by Green Lantern villain Hector Hammond, this time with variant power sets and utilizing a powerful android as their "Ace". That gang grew in size and eventually gained a national presence. Local chapters of the RFG typically consist of low value “pip” cards such as 2s or 4s.
I think it's important to note that, despite what some reports said, the Royal Flush Gang has typically not had powers in the comic books. Most of the time, gang members are simply crooks with technologically superior gizmos and a giant robot. The one exception to this is the King of Clubs, who gained immortality as a result of an metagene bomb.
This isn't the first time that the Royal Flush Gang has made an appearance on TV. The Justice League fought a Joker-led incarnation of the Royal Flush Gang in an episode of the Justice League cartoon. That episode was notable in that it a) marked the last time the Joker appeared in the cartoon and b) featured most of the voice actors from the Teen Titans episode in an unofficial crossover of sorts.
Stagg Industries - Laurel mentions at the beginning of the episode that Stagg Industries had pulled out from funding her legal aid firm. Stagg Industries, in the comics, is owned by Simon Stagg, a rather unscrupulous businessman. Stagg inadvertently led to the creation of the superhero Metamorpho when he sent adventurer Rex Mason, who was trying to win Stagg's daughter's hand in marriage, to Egypt to retrieve the Orb of Ra. Stagg tried to have Mason killed in Egypt, but the Orb of Ra instead transformed Mason into Metamorpho, a superhero with transformative abilities.
Keystone - Diggle mentions that the Royal Flush Gang had hit banks in Keystone, a well-known DC Comics city. Keystone City is home to Jay Garrick and Wally West, the first and third characters to take up the Flash mantle. Keystone is located in Kansas.
Coast City - Tommy namedrops another DC city, Coast City. Coast City is best known as the home of Hal Jordan, one of Earth's Green Lanterns and one of Ollie's best friends in the comics. Coast City was destroyed in the 1990s, causing Hal to go insane and become a villain, but both the city and the character got better. Hal also was responsible for bringing Ollie back from the dead in 2001.
Derek Reston - Derek Reston, the "Ace" of Arrow's Royal Flush Gang, has ties to the android Ace in the comics. Reston created the Ace android while under Hector Hammond's mind control. While under mind control, he briefly fought Black Canary and the Elongated Man.
Kyle Reston - The actor who played Kyle Reston, Kyle Schmid, had a brief one episode stint as a Smallville villain named Sebastian Kane. His previous character had psychic powers and was killed by Chloe Sullivan after he discovered Clark's secret identity.
Dr. Carter Bowen - The douchey doctor is a new character (to the best of my knowledge) but he does share his last name with a popular sculptor of superhero statues, Randy Bowen, who manufactures the collectable statues through his company Bowen Designs.
So that’s all the comic book references for this week, or at least the ones I caught. Join us next week as we break down Arrow’s ties to the comics!