Legends of Tomorrow Season 2: Complete DC Universe Reference Guide

All the Easter eggs, references and in-jokes from Legends of Tomorrow Season 2.

Have you been enjoying Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 on Netflix? If not, are you ready for its DVD and Blu-ray release this month? Are you just reliving the wonder of what might just be DC’s best superhero show in your head over and over again, like a time loop?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you, dear friends, are in luck, because we have a complete guide to every single DC Comics reference (and more!) in Legends of Tomorrow Season 2!

Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Episode 1: Out of Time

After the defeat of the immortal villain Vandal Savage and the exposure of the corrupt Time Masters, a new threat emerges.  Dr. Nate Heywood (Nick Zano), an unconventional and charming historian, is thrust into the action.  After making a shocking discovery, Nate seeks out Oliver Queen (guest star Stephen Amell) for help in finding the scattered Legends.  Once reunited, the Legends continue their new mission to protect the timeline from temporal aberrations – unusual changes to history that spawn potentially catastrophic consequences. Their first stop is 1942 to protect Albert Einstein from being kidnapped before the Nazis destroy New York City with a nuclear bomb.  Meanwhile, Ray (Brandon Routh) notices that Sara (Caity Lotz) has a mission of her own, which leads them both to face her nemesis, Damien Darhk (guest star Neal McDonough). 

OK, so this one doesn’t have a ton of specific DC Comics stuff out of the usual, expected stuff (and, of course, the inclusion of Damien Darhk and the surprise appearance of Eobard Thawne at the end), but there are still a few things to get into. The biggest deal, of course, is…

Nate Heywood. In the comics, a super-powered Heywood is known as Commander Steel. But we’re not quite there yet with him.

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While the Steel legacy in DC Comics stretches back decades, the Nate Heywood version of the character was introduced in 2007, during Geoff Johns’ tenure as writer on Justice Society. While his grandfather was cybernetically enhanced, Nate ended up being composed of living metal, with all of the advantages and drawbacks that brings with it. It’s not clear how far they’re taking that element of the character for the show just yet, but this is a pretty effective introduction for the Heywood aspect of him. His personality is quite a departure from the comics, though.

– I have to love how Green Arrow is kind of roped into this rescue mission. It’s just an appropriately comic book trope touch.

– Who else thought of Indiana Jones’ “Nazis, I hate these guys,” when Heat Wave confessed his own hatred of Nazis?

– When Brandon Routh is wearing that retro blue business suit in the 40s, anybody else get vintage Clark Kent vibes?

– Speaking of Superman, the best “Albert Einstein interacts with superhero lore” story ever isn’t even in a comic: it’s in the pages of Elliot S! Maggin’s Superman: Last Son of Krypton novel. I can’t stress this enough, if you like Superman, you need to read that book.

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– Also re: Superman. Somebody mentions the phrase “Somewhere in Time” which reminds me that Christopher Reeve starred in a kinda dull sci-fi romance by that title shortly after he achieved stardom as Supes.

– Is Rip wearing a Navy uniform in the ’40s? Can anyone explain that to me? I’m terrible with military stuff. If it is indeed Navy, I feel like that kind of plays into Rip’s general dorkiness. Why? Because James Bond’s rank of Commander is a Naval thing, so of course that’s what Rip would wear. If he’s wearing anything that indicates he’s a Commander, please let me know.

– Anyone spot Katana’s mask on the Waverider?

Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Episode 2: The Justice Society of America

The Legends travel to Nazi-occupied Paris, but find themselves surrounded by the Justice Society of America (AKA JSA.) The Legends discover a time aberration that threatens the JSA, but the JSA wants nothing to do with them or their help. Nevertheless, the Legends force their way into the JSA’s mission to intercept and seize a mysterious package. Nate (Nick Zano) is desperate to prove that he should be part of the team, but he has a secret that he shares with his grandfather Commander Steel (Matthew MacCaull) that might make it difficult. Ray (Brandon Routh) is so focused on impressing the JSA, he puts himself and Vixen (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) in danger. Meanwhile, Stein (Victor Garber) has stepped in as the leader with Rip (Arthur Darvill) gone, but when decisions aren’t being made Sara (Caity Lotz) seems to be the one calling the shots. 

– The Justice Society of America (although surprisingly very few of the members we meet in this episode) first appeared in All-Star Comics #3 in 1940. They are, without question, the most important superhero team in comics history, but their legacy is too complex for me to discuss here. Luckily, we have an entire article about them. 

– Commander Steel, amazingly enough, was NOT a product of 1940s comics, though, despite his patriotic name and costume. His legacy is even more freakin’ complicated if you can believe that, so allow me to present another article (this one not written by me) that should make everything clear to you about both Commander Steel and Nate Heywood.

– Obsidian first appeared in All-Star Squadron (one of my favorite comics) #25 in 1983, and was a member of JSA offshoot Infinity Inc. He was never a founding member of the JSA or anything, but what he is, is the son of Alan Scott, the first Green Lantern.

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– Rex Tyler’s costume looks a little bit more like the younger, Rick Tyler version of the character than his Golden Age counterpart, but I ain’t complaining:


– Stargirl is another second or third generation JSA character who they moved to the past here for convenience sake, but that’s fine. That cosmic staff she’s wielding was designed (at least in the comics) by founding JSA-er Ted “Starman” Knight, father of one of my all time favorite DC characters, Jack Knight…who would totally be perfect for a CW show of his own, but if you ask nicely I’ll write you a thousand words or so about why that’s the case.

She’s a great character, and you can see her kicking ass in more modern/recent JSA adventures. 

– They never make it clear if this Doctor Mid-Nite is Charles McNider or Pieter Cross. It doesn’t matter. He looks really cool. It’s like if Republic Pictures made a Doctor Mid-Nite serial in 1942, he kinda would have looked like this. I’m so happy I just got to type that sentence. Dr. Mid-Nite dates back to 1941, so this is some serious DC history on display.

– So, the “original” Vixen on display here isn’t “original” at all, but created especially for this series. She is indeed Mari McCabe’s grandmother, though. What’s cool about this is that the comic book JSA has always been about legacy, and heroes from this era passing their mantle on to the current generation. Right now, Vixen is set to be the first “legacy” character (other than the Canarys on Arrow, they kind of don’t count) in the CW DC Universe, which is pretty cool, right?

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– Baron Krieger is the given name for Captain Nazi, an old Shazam/Captain Marvel villain. He was first introduced in 1941. He’s the one who crippled Captain Marvel, Jr.’s non-powered form, Freddy Freeman, and he’s a member of Mr. Mind’s Monster Society of Evil. His powers were given to him in the comics by his father, who genetically modified him at an early age. He is, as one would expect from a super-powered Nazi, a very bad fella.

– I have no idea what the Askaran Amulet is supposed to be, BUT…it looks a little bit like the amulet that DC heroine Isis wears. Kinda. I’m not sure.

But Hitler’s fascination with the occult was very much a real thing, and that helps with the whole Indiana Jones vibe of this episode, doesn’t it? His ultimate prize, by the way, would be the Spear of Destiny, which would help him not to ever have to worry about superheroes interfering with his affairs ever again. Ever wonder why a world populated by DC superheroes didn’t just win World War II in like, a week? Yeah, the Spear of Destiny.

– On the Waverider, there was a prominently displayed Red Tornado helmet.

No, not the robot one. Ma Hunkel, the pot-helmeted lady who ran with the JSA for a bit in the ’40s.

– Max Lorenz was absolutely a real person, and I suppose maybe if you squint in the dark and have bad eyes there is a passing resemblance to Martin Stein?

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By the way, Victor Garber wore a Superman shirt (but it was the logo of the Sunshine Superman of Earth-47’s Love Syndicate) when he was Jesus Christ in Godspell in 1973…

And his little speech to the band right before he started singing (I don’t have to tell you this, I’m sure) was Marty McFly’s prep line to the band in Back to the Future before they ripped into “Johnny B. Goode.”

– “You’re not a wartime consigliere” is the nicest way to demote somebody, and probably the nicest thing Michael Corleone ever said to anybody in The Godfather.

– I know the motorcycle sidecar chase is right out of Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, but you know what was even more in the spirit of things? Ray’s inability to bring himself to “Seig Heil!” before saying “ah, hell” and punching that Nazi douchebag right in the kisser.

Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Episode 3: Shogun

Nate (Nick Zano) is shocked to learn that he has powers but then accidentally lands himself and Ray (Brandon Routh) in Feudal Japan.  After Sara (Caity Lotz) convinces their stowaway Amaya (Maisie Richardson-Sellers), AKA Vixen, that Rory (Dominic Purcell) is not a murderer, they all agree to find Nate and help him master his powers in order to defend the Japanese village from the Shogun and his army of samurai warriors.  Meanwhile, Jax (Franz Drameh) and Stein (Victor Garber) stay back to help fix the ship and find a secret compartment but decide not to tell the rest of the team what they learn. 

– Amaya tries to stab Mick with a Santoku when she should really be using a Chef’s knife for stabbing. The Santoku is good for slicing or chopping, not for plunging into the heart of your enemy.

– We’re there now! Nate turns to metal for the first time this week, after being injected with a modified version of the Nazi super power serum that gave Captain Nazi his powers. He jokingly asks if his name should be “Citizen Steel,” which, ha ha was actually his name in the comics.

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– Oh yeah, Masako. She’s the first Katana, and this episode is the origin of the Soultaker blade. The sword Ray, Nate and Misako use to kill the Shogun has an extensive family history, and continues to after this episode.

Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Episode 4: Abominations

When the Legends discover a time Aberration in 1863, they find themselves fighting for survival during the Civil War with Confederate soldiers who have been turned into zombies. With the Civil War outcome hanging in the balance, Jax (Franz Drameh) must participate in a daring mission by going to a slave plantation with Amaya (Maisie Richardson-Sellers). Meanwhile, Sara (Caity Lotz) begins to feel the burden of the decisions she has to make as the leader, and Ray (Brandon Routh) struggles to find his purpose on the team. Victor Garber, Dominic Purcell and Nick Zano also star.

– Henry Scott was real. Interesting that Jax ended up as his historical stand-in.

– The song the slaves were singing is an old African spiritual called “Follow the Drinking Gourd.”

Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Episode 5: Compromised

When the Legends trace a timequake to President Reagan’s White House, they are shocked to discover their old enemy Damien Darhk (guest star Neal McDonough) is now a Senior Adviser to Reagan. As the team works to uncover what Darhk has up his devious sleeve, Sara (Caity Lotz) struggles with the choice of getting revenge or helping with the team’s larger mission. Thinking that the JSA members could be of help, Amaya (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) and Nate (Nick Zano) break into the JSA and are surprised at what they find.  Meanwhile, Stein (Victor Garber) tries to prevent his younger self from creating an even bigger time Abberation.

– The vintage JSA team picture kind of reminds me of the photo of the Minutemen from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen. Is this a coincidence? Yes, probably. Do I care? Not at all, it’s a nice touch.

– The idea that the JSA was always a top secret government sanctioned organization is an interesting one, and it puts it a little bit more in line with JSA spinoff title the All-Star Squadron, who were specifically formed to fight in World War II (the comic book JSA was originally pre-War, and primarily concerned with domestic issues).

– The fact that they disappeared in 1956 is significant, as well. It’s generally accepted in the comics that the JSA disappeared in the early days of the Cold War (sometimes it’s earlier, sometimes it’s because of McCarthyism, there are conflicting versions), but they’re right in the ballpark here. But they aren’t necessarily dead, and I wouldn’t be remotely surprised to find them in the 21st Century sooner or later, or even more of them joining/replacing members of the Legends.

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– I looooove that there was a JSA Academy. The modern day JSA in the comics became a kind of training ground for newer and legacy heroes, so it seems like there were even more JSA members that we don’t know about from back in the day, both before we met them in WWII, and potentially in all of those years leading up to their disappearance in 1956.

– The reason Obsidian couldn’t be trusted could be an allusion to the character’s homosexuality.

Now, as for some other stuff…

– How perfect was the 1987 vintage Channel 52 news broadcast?!?

– Do…ummmm…I don’t really need to tell you what the “never cross the streams” rule comes from, do I? Please tell me I don’t.

– When Mick tells Ray that he’s “just gotta be cool” I half expected him to say “like Fonzie!” and then that made me want to watch Pulp Fiction.

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– “Surely by now women are equals,” Vixen says. Ummmmm…well…

– Even though we’ve seen them on these shows several times now, I will never not freak out when I see a Legion of Super-Heroes Time Bubble make an appearance, as it did this week.

Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Episode 6: Outlaw Country

The Legends are still reeling from the news that their time travel-nemesis is a speedster when they are alerted to an Aberration in the Old West.  When the Legends arrive they find their old friend Jonah Hex (guest star Jonathan Schaech) in trouble with his arch-nemesis, Quentin Turnbull (guest star Jeff Fahey).  The team soon discovers that they need to stop Turnbull and his gang from conquering the West and branding it his own lawless territory.  To Hex’s surprise, Sara (Caity Lotz) is in charge and dispatches the team.  Rory (Dominic Purcell) is ecstatic to be in the Wild West, but Sara makes Amaya (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) work with him to keep him on task, which is easier said than done.  Meanwhile, Nate (Nick Zano), Ray (Brandon Routh) and Jax (Franz Drameh) try to infiltrate Turnball’s gang, but find themselves in a shootout leaving Nate’s confidence shaken. 

– Quentin Turnbull is actually a Jonah Hex villain. Created by Michael Fleisher and Tony DeZuniga in 1974, Turnbull in the comics was a Virginia plantation owner looking for revenge on Hex for the death of his Confederate soldier son. It sounds like, from what Hex was yelling during the punching scene, they borrowed more from the Turnbull played somehow by John Malkovich in the inexplicably terrible movie, who was a former Confederate general who committed atrocities that Hex didn’t care for.

– Nate gets his new costume at the end of this episode, after Ray sees his drawings at the beginning. You’ll likely recognize Nate’s drawing as very similar to Alex Ross’s cover to JSA #7 from 2007.

– The most popular pop culture instance of a man with super strength punching a horse is probably Mongo from Blazing Saddles, and you cannot imagine my disappointment when Steel did NOT punch a horse despite multiple opportunities. Not cool, Legends of Tomorrow.

– Nate stops a train with his bare hands, and that’s a move as old as comics. Superman, Colossus, even Gambit (I think) have done it. They keep doing it because it’s pretty cool.

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Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Episode 7: Invasion

After learning the Dominators’ plan for the world, the Legends must work together with The Flash (guest star Grant Gustin), Supergirl (guest star Melissa Benoist) and Green Arrow (guest star Stephen Amell) to kill them once and for all. Meanwhile, Stein (Victor Garber) figures out, with the help of others, how the team can terminate the Dominators, but is distracted by the aberration he realizes he created in 1987. 

– This is Felicity’s first time travelling through time, so her “linguistic disorientation” shows up in her shouting “darmokandjaladatTanagra,” and me yelling SHAKA WHEN THE WALLS FELL back at the TV. She is quoting “Darmok,” the second episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s fifth season.

– So I think we need to talk about this G-Man played by Doc Cottle from Battlestar Galactica. Kara calls him “Agent Smith,” and that is complete and utter horseshit because he is quite clearly King Faraday. Faraday was created by Bob Kanigher and Carmine Infantino in 1950. He floated around the DCU as a generic spy for a while, though he was notably involved in John Ostrander and Kim Yale’s Suicide Squad for a bit in the late ‘80s. He resurfaced in a big way in Darwyn Cooke’s utterly incredible The New Frontier, where he is basically this exact character: he doesn’t trust metas, really gives the Flash a hard time, and eventually comes around on aliens because of his relationship with the Martian Manhunter.

– They have a little party in the Hall of Justice to celebrate their win, and as Kara’s leaving, Ray says to Felicity “You know what’s funny? She kinda looks like my cousin.” I love Brandon Routh’s superhero second act.

– Kara to Ollie and Barry before she leaves: “You’re Earth’s mightiest heroes.” KARA SHH! D’YOU WANT TO GET SUED?

– The song playing when Ollie and Barry go drinking is “The World (Is Going Up In Flames)” by Charles Bradley, who is excellent. You may also recognize him from the third episode of Luke Cage – his band was playing in Cottonmouth’s club while Luke was busting up Cottonmouth’s organization.

– Kara has a communicator that will let her chat with Barry and Ollie, or come back through if she wants. Smart money is on her only needing it one more time, though. If I were a gambling man, I’d bet that next year’s crossover is some sort of…Crisis.

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Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Episode 8: The Chicago Way

When a new Time Aberration is discovered by the Legends, they find themselves headed to 1927 Chicago.  The Legends quickly realize that they have been set up by Eobard Thawne (guest star Matt Letscher), Damien Darhk (guest star Neal McDonough) and the newest member of the Legion of Doom, Malcolm Merlyn (guest start John Barrowman).  While everyone is trying to help fix what they think is the mission, Jax (Franz Drameh) encourages a reluctant Stein (Victor Garber) to share his secret with the other Legends. Stein is taken captive and Sara (Caity Lotz) must make the tough choice of either stopping the Legion of Doom or saving Stein.  Meanwhile, Rory (Dominic Purcell) gets an unexpected visitor and is not sure how to handle it.

– I understand the budgetary restrictions on the show, but it is a little irksome to constantly reference Costner and Connery’s Untouchables from a set in Vancouver. They didn’t once have a baby carriage go down a giant flight of stairs in slow motion, and there was only a pair of oblique references to the Chicago way.

– Sara to the team upon finding out that they’re in 1927: “Grab your fedoras.” You got it m’lady!

– The Injustice Gang first showed up in Justice League of America #111 in 1974. They were originally a group of villains gathered by Libra to test a power stealing device. Later, in Grant Morrison’s 1990s JLA run, they were a dark reflection of the Big 7 Justice League: Joker (Batman’s arch-nemesis), Lex Luthor (Superman’s), Jemm (Martian Manhunter’s), Mirror Master (Flash’s), Ocean Master (Aquaman’s), Doctor Light (Green Lantern’s), and Circe (Wonder Woman’s). That’s why they feel like the better analogue than…

– The Injustice Society was originally created in 1947 by Sheldon Mayer and Bob Kanigher. They were the main nemesis group of the Justice Society. Over the years, folks like Per Degaton, Vandal Savage, Sportsmaster, Solomon Grundy, Shade, Count Vertigo, Gentleman Ghost, and Rag Doll have been counted as members.

– Jax: “Stein’s about to kill Sara in the library.”

Ray: “With a rope or a candlestick.” You nerd. But seriously, Clue was a good movie.

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– The Spear of Longinus is real. Or real-ish – it’s definitely a historical artifact, but it’s not immediately clear if it can be used to “rewrite the rules of reality” or thrown from the moon to impale a rogue Angel threatening to destroy one of our only Eva unites like was claimed by Thawne here and Gainax in 1996, respectively.

In the comics, it was “the Spear of Destiny” and this is what DC Comics used to explain why the Justice Society didn’t just go ahead and win World War II in like, five minutes. Hitler had the Spear, and with it in his possession, it meant that any hero who came near Berlin ran the risk of falling under the spear’s power, and thus Hitler’s.

Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Episode 9: Raiders of the Lost Art

When Damien Darhk (guest star Neal McDonough) and Malcolm Merlyn (guest star John Barrowman) try to capture Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) in 1967, they create an Aberration big enough to draw the attention of the Legends. However, when the team arrives they discover that Rip has no memories of his past due to “time drift” and is just a graduate film student. After trying to convince Rip of who he was, they discover that he possesses an incredibly powerful artifact known as the Spear of Destiny, which the Legion of Doom is after. Ray (Bradon Routh) and Nate (Nick Zano) realize that the Aberration has also affected them personally making it difficult to help the team.  Meanwhile, Rory (Dominic Purcell) asks Stein (Victor Garber) for help and makes him promise to keep it a secret from the team.

– Anybody else think that the existence of the Spear of Destiny, which can rewrite all of reality without causing timequakes, on Rip’s ship is going to necessitate a massive retcon later? Why would you go through all of season 1 if you could just fix shit, right?

– In the opening, when Rip is abandoning the Waverider, Gideon’s shutdown code is “shogun ballistic,” I think. And when Rip is grabbing the time core from the engine, the prayer he whispers  – “Angels and ministers of grace defend us” – is what Hamlet yells when he sees his father’s ghost in Act 1, Scene 4.

– Things that exist in the Legends of Tomorrow universe: Super Friends. That’s what Nate’s talking about when confronted about coming up with the name “the Legion of Doom.” He said it’s from an old Hanna Barbera cartoon he used to watch when he was a kid. So…he used to watch a cartoon of Batman and Superman and Flash but they’ve never seen a…you know what? I don’t think I’m going to put too much energy into this line of thought, as it could only ruin the show for me.

– Also, Disney’s Star Wars. It makes sense to include it, but it’s still a little surprising to hear reference to a series that Marvel is currently adapting and adding to.

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– Speaking of Marvel things that shouldn’t exist in this world (or any, really), Howard the Duck the movie. Amaya asks to watch it during the team’s movie night, and gets promptly and rightly shut down by Ray and Nate.

– And finally, the best thing that exists in both worlds, M.O.P. They’re a rap duo from Brooklyn, the ones who brought us that song that Nate was listening to in the Waverider at the start of the episode. And the song I walked into my wedding reception to! Not really, but it was on the first list.

– I don’t need to explain why George Lucas and a group of superheroes getting stuck in a trash compacter is funny, right? We’re all adults here.

Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Episode 10: The Legion of Doom

The Legends are determined to find and rescue Rip (Arthur Darvill), but first must focus on locating the Spear of Destiny.  Stein (Victor Garber) thinks he has the perfect person to help but knows involving her will be risky.  Meanwhile, Malcom Merlyn (guest star John Barrowman) and Damien Darhk (guest star Neal McDonough) realize that Thawne (guest star Matt Letscher) is pitting them against each other. 

– The intro was new and kind of unprecedented, so it’s worth going through all the notable points at once. Darhk narrates and explains that he was killed by Green Arrow in 2016 – that happened at the end of last season in Arrow.

– We then see him sitting in a Time Bubble with Thawne running really fast around him – that hasn’t happened on the show, but Darhk’s narration says it was 31 years ago, so 1986.

That’s kind of a turning point year for the comics industry as a whole. That’s the year Crisis on Infinite Earths ended, merging the entire DC multiverse into one Earth with one shared history that remained a continuity clusterfuck for 30 years. It’s also the year we got WatchmenThe Dark Knight ReturnsMaus, and Daredevil: Born Again.

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– Have we been over Time Bubbles? The Time Sphere is how Rip travels through time in the comics. It’s looped into all sorts of different DC mythologies, from the Legion of Super Heroes to Booster Gold to various incarnations of Superman on TV. It even saved Batman from THE DEATH THAT IS LIFE! in Grant Morrison’s run. I’m kidding, Batman was saved from that by Friendship.

– Later in the episode, Merlyn tells Darhk “The League didn’t call me The Magician for nothing.” I think that’s the first time his supervillain name from the comics was uttered on TV, right? He’s typically Green Arrow’s arch-nemesis in the comics, and he was Merlyn the Magician until early in the modern era, when it was mostly shortened to just Merlyn.

– MISSED OPPORTUNITY: It turns out Rip stored his memories in a safety deposit box in a Swiss bank in 2025. I would have put a $10 bill in the mail to the writers’ room if they had snuck a Per Degaton reference in there.

– Rip’s Swiss safety deposit box is number 4587. There’s something there, but I can’t figure out what it is. Help me out in the comments!

– The champagne is a 1998 Guggenheim, named presumably for Marc Guggenheim, writer and producer extraordinaire within the Berlantiverse, and writer of the upcoming X-Men: Gold series at Marvel.

Black Flash is like the Speed Force’s Grim Reaper. He takes any dying speedster back into the Speed Force. It was introduced in Morrison, Millar, and Ron Wagner’s Flash #138 in 1998. He’s also part of the Black Racer, the avatar of death for the New Gods, but we’ll get into that when the Berlantiverse gets to the Fourth World. So probably next season.

Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Episode 11

When The Legends find a new Time Aberration they learn they must travel to the winter of 1776 to protect George Washington and the American Revolutionary War. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned, forcing Sara (Caity Lotz) to send out Nate (Nick Zano) and Amaya (Maisie-Richardson-Sellers) to help.  Meanwhile, Jax (Franz Drameh) and Stein (Victor Garber) who are busy protecting the incapacitated Waverider from their new enemy, are forced to step into roles that they don’t think they are prepared for. 

– This is more or less a straight Harry Turtledove riff. Turtledove specialized in stories about time travel bringing modern weapons to an old conflict, and that’s what we get here, with the Redcoats getting a few crates of M16s.

– “Dammit Jefferson, I’m a physicist, not a doctor.” But you ARE a Star Trekfan, right Stein?

– You know what OTHER movie involved a bunch of makeshift traps on Christmas? That’s right, this episode is a Home Alonetribute.

– Love Ray whistling the show’s theme song.

– Mick’s speech to Washington – “When they march at you in formation, you pick them off from the trees. When they challenge you to a duel, you raid their camp the night before,” – is magnificent. One of the high points of the season.

Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Episode 12: Camelot 3000

The Legends continue their quest to hunt down the Spear of Destiny before the pieces fall into the hands of the Legion of Doom.  The Legends discover that pieces of the Spear are each being guarded in different time periods by members of the JSA.  Their first stop is the future where they find Dr. Mid-Nite (guest star Kwesi Ameyaw) which eventually leads them to the past and King Arthur’s Camelot, where Stargirl (guest star Sarah Grey) is protecting her piece of the Spear.  In order to protect the Spear shard from the now-evil Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill), the Legends must join forces with the Knights of the Round Table.

– Dr. Mid-Nite is in Detroit in the year 3000 and that is the closest we come to a Legion of Super-Heroes in this show.

– By the way, we get confirmation that this Dr. Mid-Nite is Charles McNider.

– Stargirl/Merlin must have some powerful magic to be able to crimp her hair like that in 507 A.D.

– This episode was good on its merits, but it feels like a missed opportunity for nerdery, something this show rarely does. There’s a whole expansive Arthurian world within the DC Universe – Etrigan the Demon, Shining Knight, Mordred, a whole host of people who stick around for a while get their starts here.

Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Episode 13: Land of the Lost

After capturing Rip (Arthur Darvill), he forces the Waverider to crash, leaving the Legends stuck seventy million years in the past. Ray (Brandon Routh) leads Amaya (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) and Nate (Nick Zano) to recover a vital piece of the ship. In an effort to get the “good” Rip back, Rory (Dominic Purcell) suggests they enter Rip’s mind, but what Sara (Caity Lotz) and Jax (Franz Drameh) discover in his subconscious is not pleasant and they must fight evil versions of themselves. Meanwhile, Nate and Amaya continue to get closer, but it could cause serious ramifications. 

– Not a coincidence that we get a montage of a bunch of spaceship doors closing quickly in an episode named “Land of the Lost.” Mystery Science Theater 3000 was a show where a comedian and two robots were forced to watch terrible movies in space.

– They went into the same forest that Gorilla City is in! There sure are a lot of lizards out in the middle of Vancouver’s winter.

– SUPER Marvel-heavy episode this week: “Gertrude” the dinosaur is, I think, a riff on Arsenic and Old Lace, the teen girl and her pet velociraptor from Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona’s Runaways.

– Subtle: the Waverider in Rip’s head is lit with green and purple, the classic supervillain colors.

– Ray tries to shut down Amaya and Nate by referencing things that the internet tells me happened in the Vixen animated series. Please correct me in the comments if I’m wrong and if Ray and Mari had a relationship on Arrow, but I…don’t really remember them interacting.

Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Episode 14: Moonshot

When the Legends track Commander Steel (guest star Matthew MacCaull) to NASA Headquarters in 1970, they learn where Nate’s (Nick Zano) grandfather hid the last fragment of the Spear of Destiny.  The team notices a time aberration during the Apollo 13 mission and believes that the Legion of Doom might be involved.  As the Legends journey into space to intercept Apollo 13, the Waverider suffers massive internal damage and Ray’s (Brandon Routh) life is left in jeopardy when he is stranded on the moon.

– The rule with the old Teen Titans cartoon was when the theme song was in Japanese, the episode was going to be comedy. I think that’s the same thing on Legends: when Mick does the introduction, something amazing is going to happen.

– That amazing thing would be the Victor Garber (with backing vocals from Dominick Purcell) singing “Day-O” to distract mission control from the fact that they were about to be unable to contact Apollo 13. Normally replaying that clip over the end credits would have felt a little self-indulgent, but…this was incredible. You really need to see it.

– I feel like I’ve been making Evangelion jokes about the Spear of Destiny since the first time it showed up on this show, and now I’m sure one of the writers has been biding their time with me waiting to drop an Eva reference in here. They finally did! The Evangelion Spear ends up on the moon after a battle with an orbiting Angel, and gets called back by Shinji in the last couple of episodes.

– Rocket man! Jax uses lyrics to William Shatner (and Elton John)’s classic song to introduce himself.

– Ray lifts the entire bit sandwiching the midpoint break from The Martian, Matt Damon’s movie about getting stranded on Mars that was an absolute delight. Otherwise this is mostly Ron Howard and Tom Hanks’ Apollo 13.

– Stein: “I won 6 Carlin awards.” Mike Carlin is a former executive editor of DC, and he ran the Superman books for a long while.

Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Episode 15: Fellowship of the Spear

The Legends must devise a plan to retrieve the last remaining fragments of the Spear of Destiny from the Legion of Doom.  They find themselves in France at the height of World War I faced with the knowledge that they must destroy the mystical object.  They enlist the help of a soldier by the name of John Ronald Reuel Tolkin (guest star Jack Turner) and find that the Spear is leading them into the heart of the war.  Meanwhile, the team must all resist the temptation of the Spear, and the return of a former teammate.

– Aside from the ridiculous amount of Lord of the Rings references, this was a fairly light episode for nerdery.

– I’m going to miss a few, so jump into the comments with more, but let’s take a swing at all the LOTR bits:

The spear has an inscription that only shows up when heated (like the Ring).

The spear glows when it’s near something (like Sting).

Stein saying “One cannot simply walk into the middle of a war zone” is basically begging the internet to meme it.

Rip’s speech to try and get a cease fire has him lift lines whole cloth from Aaragorn’s speech at the black gate in the movie version of Return of the King.

Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Episode 16: Doomworld

After obtaining the Spear of Destiny, the Legion of Doom rewrites reality, leaving the Legends changed, perhaps forever.  Frightfully, the Legends’ and the world’s hopes rest with Rory (Dominic Purcell), but being the “hero” is not easy for him.   Meanwhile, there is tension within the Legion of Doom and the reason why the Spear of Destiny needs to be destroyed is revealed.  Victor Garber, Brandon Routh, Arthur Darvill, Caity Lotz, Franz Drameh, Nick Zano and Maisie Richardson-Sellers also star.

– Thawne’s keeping Black Flash in one of the holding cells in the particle accelerator. Interesting that apparently the Speed Force is unaffected by the Spear of Destiny.

– Thawne is on the phone with “The President” when he first meets up with Mick and Snart, and he talks about golfing and tells him “Say hi to Mel for me.” So, to be clear, the Legion of Doom rewrote reality to make things easy for them, and they decided to make Donald Trump president of that dark timeline. I love this show so much.

– Ray is playing a Doom-style FPS where he shoots Dominators on their ship. I hope that someday I love my job as much as these writers do.

– Thawne’s monologuing this episode is the first time I really felt “oh that’s the smarmy fuck who put Toby Ziegler in jail.”

– Mick’s mouse is named Axel – is that for Trickster?

– I would like to point out that the climax of this episode is where the good guys get back together to fight one bad guy while the rest of the bad guys double cross him. Again: perfect show.

– The particle accelerator in Central City is basically the Legion of Doom’s headquarters from the old Superfriends cartoon (and they used it for like 10 minutes in Justice League Unlimited).

Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Episode 17: Aruba

As the Legends are about to take off for their next destination, a massive timequake rocks the ship. In order to try and fix what has happened, they are forced to break the one cardinal rule of time travel. But if they are able to destroy the spear, they will face the ultimate consequence. Victor Garber, Brandon Routh, Arthur Darvill, Caity Lotz, Dominic Purcell, Franz Drameh, Nick Zano and Maisie Richardson-Sellers.

Let’s talk fan service: if there was any chance that the writers had to insert something fanboyish into the show, not only did they take it, but they rolled around in it for a little while. If the fans started calling something by a name, the writers would co-opt it and put it in the show. If there was a nerdy reference that they could include, not only would they include it, but they’d have someone on the show lampshade it. They were calling their dark future Doomworld, for Highfather’s sake. They named their dark future after the Legion of Doom, the name they gave their arch nemesisesesses. That’s RIDICULOUS.  

Not for nothing, but if Doomworld Sarah disappeared after Thawne got shaken to death by Black Flash, wouldn’t Doomworld Waverider have disappeared too? Fuck you, time travel.

This episode was a bloodbath. Doomworld Ray got his heart ripped out by Thawne (props to Doomworld Nate for not shouting KALI MA). Doomworld Nate got stabbed in the chest by Darhk. Doomworld Jax got an arrow in his chest from Merlyn. And Doomworld Mick got an icicle through his chest by Snart. Brutal.

– ”What’s a Goonie?” Goonies never say die, that’s what a Goonie is AMAYA.

Seriously if you need me to explain the Goonies reference how did you find your way to this website?

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