'Arrow' Tommy's Return Has a Rare DC Comics Easter Egg

After weeks of speculation, Tommy Merlyn came back from the dead to save his ol’ pal Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell). Kind of. But don’t think too hard about it, because there’s a major comic book Easter egg hiding in plain sight.

Spoilers for Arrow are ahead.

In “Docket No. 11-19-41-73,” the latest episode of the DC CW series Arrow, Oliver Queen stands trial for what feels like the hundredth time. Being a superhero means, at some point, you’ll be on trial. Just ask Daredevil, the Flash, or even Jean Grey. And for six seasons of Arrow, Oliver has withstood hundreds of (correct) accusations that he is the vigilante known as “The Hood.”

In the end, Oliver Queen is found guilty, but is let go thanks to a judgement notwithstanding verdict, or “JNOV.” It’s a real thing in U.S. law, and the reunited Team Arrow use it to their advantage, along with a few other tricks. This time, they pull off the impossible: Getting Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell, back again from the set of his regular gig on Chicago Med) to crash through the court roof and reveal he’s been the Green Arrow this whole time. Only, not really.

In a twist die-hard fans saw coming a mile away, “Tommy,” who died in Season 1, was actually Christopher Chance, aka the Human Target (Wil Traval), who can mock his face and voice into anyone else’s. This isn’t some dumb trick Arrow pulled off out of nowhere — it was the first time Human Target showed up that was a dumb trick out of nowhere. Back in Season 5, to trick Prometheus, the Human Target posed as Oliver Queen who faked his own assassination attempt.

Tommy returns as the Green Arrow. Kind of.

The CW

The Human Target stuff aside, “Docket No. 11-19-41-73” is a busy episode with so many of Season 6’s storylines converging into a really satisfying place. Laurel (Katie Cassidy) is finally rebelling against Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) after heaven knows how long. Oliver has buried the hatchet with Rene (Rick Gonzalez). Team Arrow is pretty much back together, unofficially. The mid-season slog the CW superhero shows tend to suffer is now behind Arrow, leaving the next few weeks until the finale the last peak on this rollercoaster.

Lastly, did you figure out the Easter egg? Check the title: “Docket No. 11-19-41-73.” On November 19, 1941, the Green Arrow debuted in the pages of More Fun Comics (what a great title) issue #73. The biggest case of Oliver Queen’s life — which actually doesn’t end in his favor! — is rooted in his very own history.

The cover of 'More Fun Comics' #73, which featured the debut of the Green Arrow by Mort Weisinger and George Papp. The cover features another DC character, the supernatural Dr. Fate.

DC Comics

Arrow airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. Eastern on The CW.

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