Better, Faster, Stronger
Was that Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” playing on the radio? Why yes it was. Barry even utters the same adjectives while he’s on the cosmic treadmill (there’s no official word on whether that’s the cosmic treadmill or not), but is Barry referencing Daft Punk or The Six Million Dollar Man. I guess the latter would make more sense than the former, considering what Barry was doing when he said the phrase, but I liked both references.
S. S. Tithonus
Whenever you see a name on a ship on either Arrow or Flash there’s usually some reason for the ship’s name, and S. S. Tithonus is no different. Vandal Savage disembarked the S.S. Tithonus, and the name Tithonus is a more recent comic book reference. In Justice League Dark, the villain Felix Faust is searching for the book of Tithonus, which he believes holds the answer to immortality. Tithonus is an interesting name for the ship holding Vandal Savage, since he is immortal.
As far as we know, there are no ties between Vandal Savage and Houdini in the comics, and he doesn’t have a relationship with Robin of Loxley either. The TV show made those up or those are such small details about Savage’s character that no one mentions them.
Savage is actually older in the comics (50,000 years old) than he is the TV show (4,000 years). He was given powers by radiation from a meteor storm, while living as a caveman. Incidentally, the comics color Savage as the inspiration for the biblical Cain story.
At any rate, he’s been around a long time and pulled the strings of some of history’s most powerful and worst men, not the least of which could be George R. R. Martin: Savage rocks the dothraki look. Savage also has an uneasy kinship with fellow immortal Ra’s al Ghul.
Cisco is on the nose with calling Savage a “Highlander.” The fantasy series he references is about an immortal warrior with magic elements and a very special weapon.
We’ve seen Hawkgirl (Kendra Saunders) many times on Flash this season, but “Legends of Today” marked the first time we’ve heard Chay-Ara, an important name in the Hawkgirl legacy. In the comics, Chay-Ara and her lover Prince Khufu were killed and that began a thousand year cycle of death and rebirth, where the two souls always found each other. This episode portrayed this somewhat but it gets real bloody in the comics.
Geoff Johns created Hawkgirl’s reincarnation origin because the two Hawks had too many origins and Johns didn’t know which one to use. He eventually said the heck with it, I’m using them all. The rest was history.
Hawkgirl may have made plenty of appearances in the Flash but “Legends of Today” marked the first time Falk Hentshchel as Prince Khufu/Carter Hall/Hawkman hit the screen. He has the same origin story as Hawkgirl, and he’s a regular member of the revolving Justice League of America lineup.
Hawkman goes toe-to-toe with Ollie often in the comics. Hawkman’s right-wing politics and brutal way of operating are at odds with the liberal Green Arrow. Those two teaming up is one of the most volatile pairings of Justice Leaguers.
The Staff of Horus
Vandal Savage has been after the Staff of Horus for millennia. That may or may not track with Savage as a character but it does with Hawkman. In early Hawkman stories, Horus was misidentified as Anubis, which led to some of the many revisions of the character’s origin. In Arrow’s “Haunted,” John Constantine found an artifact called the Orb or Horus from which he took the powerful part and left the shiny stuff for Baron Reiter. Coincidentally, The Eye of Horus, an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection, showed up in the TV show Constantine.
It’s actually Velocity 9 in the comics. Velocity 9 is a serum that can bestow (or in Jay’s case restore) super-speed powers. It’s funny Jay says he views the Speed Force as a sacred gift and no one should duplicate or enhance its effects when there are countless artificial ways to gain similar powers in the Flash-universe. The Speed Formula is a mathematical equation Johnny Quick and his daughter Jesse Quick—now more than ever I think Harrison Wells’ daughter Jesse is Jesse Quick—used this equation to gain super speed.
Getting back to the serum, Velocity 9 had some serious long-term health effects. The Speed Force would take its toll on people not prepared to connect to it. The most frequent user was Inertia, Impulse’s arch-enemy, who lost his powers all together. In an odd turn, Velocity 9 wasn’t created by Wells—he doesn’t exist in the comics—but by Vandal Savage, who had to start a drug empire after his distribution of Velocity 9 put him at odds with other more traditional drug pushers.
Cisco asked, “When did our lives become an Indiana Jones movie?” That’s a good question, and the answer is when Hawkgirl and Hawkman joined the cast. Many of the best Hawkman stories embraced Indiana Jones’ flair of searching for old and powerful artifacts.
It was during last year’s crossover with The Flash when it was revealed the ex-girlfriend Ollie had gotten pregnant almost a decade ago had moved to Central City after faking a miscarriage at the request of Moira Queen. The audience heard Ollie’s ex talk on the phone with her child and that let us know Ollie’s son existed, but now it looks as if Ollie knows.
1) The magnetic arrows are in the comics
2) ARGUS, one of many shady government agencies from the DC Universe, showed up briefly in this episode. They may be regular fixtures on Arrow but they haven’t physically shown up much this season.
3) Thea asking “Did I know we knew The Flash” was a legitimate question, but it speaks to the flowchart the writers’ room must’ve used when penning this episode.
4) Deathstroke got namedropped. Yay, Deathstroke.
5) Thea also said, “I’m not going to change my name” when Vibe tells her he could make up a better one. That’s funny since Thea didn’t like the nickname in season 1 and Roy Harper, original Speedy, went through countless name changes.
In case you missed our Flash review for “Legends of Today,” here’s a link. Thanks for reading.