Set in the same fictional universe as Arrow and The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow starts off in the year 2166 where
Voldemort Vandal Savage (these “V” villain names always get me confused with He Who Must Not Be Named) is killing everyone, destroying the world and the fiber of time. Having witnessed the horror of the future, Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill), a time-traveling rogue travels to the year 2016 to assemble a series of eight heroes and villains from Arrow and The Flash. The “Legends” must work together to defeat Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) and restore the future.
Having marveled viewers with Arrow in 2012 and subsequently a spin-off, The Flash in 2014, it was only natural to assume that gathering a number of side characters from the two already very successful shows and throwing them in a series of their own, would work. It does, partially. While the show offers us a plethora of characters borrowed from its sister shows, viewers are also introduced to a brand new hero: Rip Hunter. Unsurprisingly, Darvill excels at portraying the time master; he gives the character a degree of charm and charisma that fits him right into the DC-verse.
Legends of Tomorrow oddly feels like an eight-piece boy band. There are so many characters that viewers might be confused on who to focus on. The issue with having such a large main cast is the division of focus on the characters along with their backstory and this is where Legends fails. With all rounded characters like Rip Hunter, White Canary (Caity Lotz), Atom (Brandon Routh) and the undeniable chemistry of Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell), Legends had a lot to work with in terms of dynamic backstories. Instead, they focused on the very stagnant Hawkman (Falk Hentschel) and Hawkgirl (Ciara Renée) and the fiery (yet boring) relationship between Professor Stein (Victor Garber) and Jackson (Franz Drameh). Conveniently enough, Hawkman and Hawkgirl are directly related to Vandal Savage so this means that even more screen time will be allocated to the very characters that cannot stand alone.
There is a major reason why MARVEL works (and I am not just saying that because of my obvious MARVEL bias). MARVEL’s Avengers works because the members of The Avengers are all substantial and interesting enough to stand on their own. Agent Carter commanding her own show goes to show how powerful the MARVEL-verse is in terms of characterisation. In the case of Legends, the characters seem to be leaning on each other for support, with the exception of the criminal duo who already proved themselves in Prison Break (hah!). However, the need for support does go in line with Rip Hunter saying that by themselves, the heroes are insignificant to the timeline but together, they become powerful. If the show manages to find that chemistry, it will only contribute to its greatness.
Forgoing the obvious lack of
willingness to act chemistry of Hawkman and Hawkgirl, along with them moping around about their past lives, the rest of the cast stand their ground very well. The only concern with the writing of the series is Vandal Savage. Vandal Savage is immortal and can only be killed by Hawkgirl with a sacred blade. When did immortal change its definition from “never dying”? Immortality in any work of fiction requires rules and Legends seem to have twisted these rules in an illogical manner. By granting Savage immortality, the show becomes heavily dependent on his fate, with the clear risk of dragging it out too much. Writers will have to figure out an independent arc because once Savage is caught and killed, there is no more purpose to the story. It remains to be seen whether DC’s Legends of Tomorrow will make it through time uncancelled.
Q U I C K • C E N T S
b r i e f • s u m m a r y
Something, something superheroes. Lots of superheroes and supervillains trying to save the world.
t h e • g o o d
Purcell and Miller heighten the show.
Great concept that marries well with the sister shows.
Rip Hunter and Gideon make for a funny tandem.
Fun, new and the CGI is not bad.
t h e • b a d
Show’s foundation depends on one character: Vandal Savage.
Huge cast might cause lack of focus.
Limits the use of the characters in other shows (e.g.: Atom).
p r o g r e s s
f o l l o w • u p
f i n a l • t h o u g h t s
Great show if you like superhero shows.