The CW’s big DC TV superhero crossover has finally come to a close and while there were many things for fans to love one new item stood out – the Hall of Justice. Or should I say the S.T.A.R. Labs “hangar thing.” Thinking about this rather large site made me wonder, is Barry Allen swimming in cash? And if so, where is all that money actually coming from?
While Legends of Tomorrow was the final installement of the “Heroes v Aliens” four-show crossover, it was actually very Barry/Flash heavy. Which was sort of appropriate since, well, this whole Dominator invasion turned out to be all his fault. But putting that aside, in the first part of the crossover in The Flash (we really can’t count that Supergirl episode), we were introduced to something brand new in Central City (for viewers anyway, since apparently this thing has just been sitting in the middle of nowhere).
That entirely fake building should be familiar to fans of DC Comics and Saturday morning cartoons of yore as it’s the spitting image of the Hall of Justice from Super Friends lore. The building has served as a base of operations for the team, and later the Justice League, as well as acting as a museum and was eventually depicted in the comics themselves. The Hall has also appeared on the animated series Justice League Unlimited, Young Justice, Teen Titans, and more, sometimes going under a different name but serving the same purpose. Here’s how it was introduced on The Flash:
Thea: What is this place?
Barry: It’s this old hall, hangar, thing that S.T.A.R. Labs owns. Or I guess, I own it.
Thea: Well you should do something with it.
We’re meant to believe that enormous property is the front of the same location as this actual hangar they used for a set but we’ll suspend disbelief.
I love how Barry just casually drops that he owns the place. In all honesty, I’d forgotten he actually owns all of S.T.A.R. Labs. In the first episode of Season 2, “The Man Who Saved Central City,” Harrison Wells (the then-disguised Eobard Thawne) bequeathed S.T.A.R. Labs to Barry in his video (which is probably also a legal will as a lawyer delivered the video). That was the same video in which he really screwed with Barry’s head, confessed to the murder of Barry’s mother, and basically told him his life sucks. It was really weird but I quickly forgot about the S.T.A.R. Labs ownership and it seems the creators did too because we hadn’t really heard a peep about it since. And that presents a slight problem…
How is Team Flash paying their rent?
We’ve known since the start of the series that S.T.A.R. Labs wasn’t in great financial shape. Since the particle accelerator explosion, much of the facility was shut down (because it was a class-four hazardous location) and the company was going into bankruptcy. Since then, as far as we know, the building has only been used as Team Flash home base and a meta-human prison, neither of which generates money. We also know there’s another research facility in Central City, Mercury Labs, which does similar work. So even if anyone needed scientific research, S.T.A.R. Labs likely wouldn’t be their first choice.
There’s a Starling/Star City branch of S.T.A.R. Labs (which we saw in a previous crossover) that could be running just fine independently and bringing in money but in Central City we’ve never seen anyone but Cisco, Caitlin, and the various Wells work there. We assume they don’t even have a security guard as the facility constantly has people strolling in who shouldn’t be there (metas or not). Barry, who up until recently was still living at home and working at the Central City police department has somehow been paying his friends’ salaries to work at a building that doesn’t actually have a legitimate purpose to continue running. The one thing they have going for them is they probably don’t have to pay an electric bill thanks to the particle accelerator.
Our newest Wells, H.R., recently told the team he wants to turn S.T.A.R. Labs into a tourist attraction because sooner or later someone was going to question the building’s use. He thought a museum would be a great cover and while no one agreed, it could have also served as a source of income (there’s a Flash Museum in the comics that I could easily see the lab becoming down the road). As it stands, besides the second facility, there are a few ways there could be money coming in. One is, of course, general investments Wells made. At his peak he was likely pretty wealthy and would have had his money spread far and wide.
We can also assume S.T.A.R. Labs has several patents and licenses that could bring in money as well but they’d have to be from past work as everything they’ve made since the particle accelerator explosion isn’t really safe to give to the general public (at least not in their intended, complete forms, and perhaps not even as separate components). Maybe with the exception of the high calorie protein bars Cisco made for Barry? In the last few seasons Cisco has created things that would likely make a fortune on the open market so it’s actually too bad they can’t really sell any of it. The cold and heat gun components alone would probably have a lot of use elsewhere. Oh and don’t forget the meta-apps they use to track villains.
It may not bug everyone wondering where the money comes from but especially now that Barry is unemployed (and not even living in his own place), it might be a good time to add a throwaway line before the end of the season to explain none of them needs to be worried about money. Especially considering that giant hangar that’s apparently housing work on a classified satellite labelled “WT-052.”
Sadly, I can’t make out what it says on the satellite logo but we can see in another scene it includes components by Stagg Industries and Queen Consolidated so at least S.T.A.R. Labs isn’t footing the bill alone. But a satellite, particularly a secret one, is going to pricey. Don’t forget, S.T.A.R. Labs already has a satellite up there, so I wonder what this one is for, whose idea it was, and who’s actually working on it…
In case you missed it, the “Hall of Justice” was actually first teased in a series of posters promoting the crossover. Looks like The CW really does have its own Justice League now, even if they aren’t calling themselves that. Here’s hoping they actually get to use the Hall for future team-ups.