Arrowverse crossover event Elseworlds was packed with Easter Eggs for fans of DC Comics, as well as a number of other clever pop culture references and tributes. This is par for the course for the shows making up the Arrowverse, which have gone beyond merely adapting classic comic book heroes and villains in creating a whole new world and are now bringing whole storylines from the comics to life.
Fittingly this tribute to the various alternate realities making up the DC Comics multiverse comes at a time when the individual Arrowverse shows seem to have been pushing beyond the boundaries of what comics readers expect of a superhero show. This fall has seen Arrow sending Oliver Queen to prison, The Flash introducing a villain called Cicada whose only connection to his comic-book counterpart is the use of a lightning-shaped dagger and Supergirl fighting an anti-alien immigration movement. With the announcement that the 2019 Arrowverse crossover event will be based on Crisis On Infinite Earths, it doesn't seem likely that this trend of pushing the envelope will stop anytime soon.
What follows is a rundown of Easter Eggs and references hidden within the narrative of Elseworlds. This includes nods to the comics, other adaptations of the comics in popular culture and some of the references and tributes to other films and TV shows.
- This Page: DC Easter Eggs In Elseworlds - Part 1
- Page 2: DC Easter Eggs In Elseworlds - Part 2
- Page 3: DC Easter Eggs In Elseworlds - Part 3
The Elseworlds Name and Logo
This year's Arrowverse crossover event took its name from a special imprint of DC Comics. The Elseworlds label is applied to any story set in an alternate timeline or possible future. This includes such stories as The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Red Rain, which is set in a reality where Bruce Wayne becomes a vampire. The logo for the event is identical to the Elseworlds logo used by DC Comics.
The Book Of Destiny
The book which Dr. John Deegan is given is later named as The Book of Destiny. In the DC Comics universe, Destiny is one of The Endless - seven god-like beings who exist as personifications of primal forces that humanity believes must have an intelligence behind them, like Death and Destruction. Destiny is the oldest of The Endless and has the duty of reading the book that details everything that has happened, is happening or will happen in the history of the universe. Though the book is usually chained to Destiny, it has been stolen in the past and used to rewrite reality, as in the 2007 Brave and the Bold series.
Red Skies In Morning, Heroes Take Warning
As the story shifts to Central City, we see the skies turning red and odd lighting strikes. This specific weather phenomenon has always been a sign of bad things happening to reality in the DC Comics Universe, with the first instance of this coming during Crisis on Infinite Earths. Similar weather was described in the future newspaper article detailing the disappearance of The Flash during a crisis of some kind in 2024.
Ivo Labs and Amazo
First appearing in Brave and the Bold #30 in June 1960, Professor Anthony Ivo was a genius scientist obsessed with finding the secret of immortality. Professor Ivo also built Amazo - a robot capable of replicating the superpowers of any being it encountered. Shortly after waking up in Barry Allen's bed in "Elseworlds - Part One", Oliver Queen is sent to stop a robbery at Ivo Labs, where he accidentally activates the experimental Anti-Metahuman Adaptive Zootomic Organism that is later dubbed Amazo by Cisco. Amazo is revealed to have the ability to replicate superpowers thanks to a synthetic form of the miracle serum Mirakuru, which transformed Slade Wilson into Deathstroke.
Curiously, no mention is made of the Arrowverse version of Professor Ivo, who appeared in the flashback sequences of Arrow's second season. This version of Ivo piloted a ship called The Amazo around the waters of Lian Yu, searching for a sunken submarine containing samples of Mirakuru. Though he failed in his search and died, presumably Ivo left enough research behind for his company to create the synthetic form of Mirakuru that is said to empower Amazo.
Another Easter Egg comes later in the episode, when it is revealed that Ivo Labs is located on the corner of Waid and Augustyn, after the police are summoned to fight Amazo. This is a tribute to Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn - two former writers and editors on The Flash comic book. Augustyn is also notable as the writer of the first official Elseworlds story, Gotham By Gaslight.
When Barry Allen and Oliver Queen discover that they have traded lives, Barry Allen compares the whole situation to Freaky Friday, one of the most famous films ever made involving body-swapping. Originally a 1972 children's book by Mary Rodgers, Freaky Friday has been adapted into four movies and a stage musical by The Walt Disney Company. Amusingly, though the movies saw a mother and a daughter trading minds, the original book only had the daughter experiencing her mother's life. The moral of the book - appreciate your parents - was also quite different from the movies' message of mutual respect and empathy.
One running gag in Elseworlds sees the geeks on Team Flash and Team Arrow debating if the body-swap is more like Freaky Friday or Quantum Leap. Airing for five seasons on NBC, Quantum Leap detailed the adventures of Dr. Sam Beckett - a scientist who traveled through time by trading minds with different people. Though the audience saw actor Scott Bakula dressed as the various people that Sam had taken over, almost everyone else saw the person Sam had possessed and Sam would see another person's face when he looked into a mirror. As Curtis Holt notes, the surest evidence they have that the body-swap occurred is the fact that "Oliver Queen" is educated enough in classic science-fiction to make the distinction between Freaky Friday and Quantum Leap and actually cares about the difference.
Smallville: The Series
As Barry and Oliver make their escape to Earth-38 in search of someone who will see them for who they really are, the audience is treated to a familiar sight and sound as we cut to the Kent farm."Save Me" by Remy Zero plays in the background, as we see the same aerial shot of a small rural town that appeared at the start of Smallville's opening credits. Sadly, there are no Tom Welling or Michael Rosenbaum cameos, but it's still a nice shout out to the long-running Superman series.
As Clark is telling Kara about his and Lois taking a trip to Argo City so that he could finally learn something of his Kryptonian heritage directly, he describes himself and Lois as "strange visitors." This is a reference to the introduction of the very first Superman TV show, The Adventures of Superman, which described the Man of Steel as a "strange visitor from another world."
Superman: The Movie Reference
After Cisco tracks Barry and Oliver to Earth-38 and informs them of the rampaging Amazo, Kara asks her cousin if he'd like to tag along and help. Cisco is agreeable but asks Clark, "Who are you?" Clark smiles and says "a friend," before opening his shirt to reveal his Superman costume. This whole exchange is a tribute to the moment in Superman: The Movie, where Lois Lane asks Superman who he is and he smiles and says, "A friend."
The Day The Earth Stood Still
After being defeated by Amazo, Ralph Dibny notes that the android "just Klaatu Barada Kickto’ed our asses." This is a nod to a famous line from the 1951 classic The Day The Earth Stood Still. It was here that the phrase "Kaatu Barada Nikto" was used to activate the robot, Gort.
It's Not Even Tuesday!
As Cisco is inventorying all of the strange things that have happened - the red skies and lightning storms, Barry and Oliver trading lives, his sudden vision of The Monitor and the activation of Amazo - Ralph Dibny comments, "It's not even Tuesday!" This is a reference to the fact that The Flash, which normally airs on Tuesday nights, was airing at a special time on Sunday evening as part of Elseworlds. It's also a clever nod to the fact that, since many episodes of The Flash are specifically set on the same dates the episodes first air, most of the weirdness in Central City occurs on Tuesday nights.
A Familiar Style To Ollie's Speed Sketch
The speed sketch that Oliver draws of John Deegan and The Monitor after Cisco shares his vibe-vision with Kara, Barry and Oliver may look familiar to DC Comics fans. This artwork was provided by Jim Lee - a legendary comic book artist, writer and editor who is currently employed as DC Comics' Chief Creative Officer. Lee is perhaps best known for his creation of the WildStorm universe and for being the visual architect of DC Comics' New 52 reboot.