DC’s Legend of Tomorrow is the third TV series in The CW’s “Arrowverse” following on from Arrow and The Flash.
Is this a bridge too far for the DC universe on the small screen or is this mish mash of heroes greater than the sum of its parts? Well, it has finally aired in the UK so let’s find out.
Before we go any further, Legends of Tomorrow is daft there is no denying that. Like any TV series based on a superhero comic, you have to be able to suspend belief. The big question is does the latest CW show expect too much from its audience?
The show opens with the evil Vandal Savage (we met him in the Flash/Arrow crossover, remember?) overseeing the slaughter of a city in the year 2166. We then cut to Rip Hunter, a time master standing in front of his superiors in the Time Council asking for help in stopping Savage from destroying the planet. After he is refused, he steals a time ship and goes about recruiting a team of heroes to help him take down Savage and save not only the earth but the whole of time. The team are made up of a mixture of heroes and villains that have appeared in Arrow and Flash over the last 4 years.
The opening episode is only part 1 of 2, so it is a bit unfair to judge it as a stand alone but on first impressions, it is just a bit of a mess. There are elements of Doctor Who, Firefly, Blake’s 7 and of course Justice League in there. While the episode was fun, it is difficult to see what tone they want to set. We open with the slaughter of a city, in particular a mother and son, suggesting a dark and somber journey but are then greeted with a wise cracking bunch of colourful heroes. There are also too many characters, 9 leads in total. I appreciate that Firefly pulled this off but that was written by Joss Wheddon, this is not.
The heroes themselves hit with varying degrees of success. Ray Palmer, The Atom, a hero just finding his feet is brilliantly played by Brandon Routh. Firestorm, the amalgamation of an aging professor and a young hothead makes for some good chemistry. I liked seeing Caity Loitz back, she reprises her role as Sarah Lance from Arrow and following her dip in the Lazarus Pit takes on the mantle of The White Canary. Wentworth Miller steals the show as Captain Cold, wonderfully sly and quietly heroic, he is really relishing this role. I would be happy if the team stopped there, other than the fact that seeing Miller and Dominic Purcell back together (from Prison Break) Heatwave seems to serve no purpose, why do they need a guy with a heat gun when they have Firestorm? Then we have Hawkman and Hawkgirl who are beyond ridiculous. The plot ludicrously ties there life force to Vandal Savage, it makes no sense and these characters seem so out of place in this world, not to mention the fact that Falk Hentschel is far to small to bring any real presence to Hawkman. Vandal Savage himself seems less of a world dominating despot and more of a campy pantomime villain.
I worry about the longevity of this show. As I mentioned, there are too many characters. This is a problem in as much as it will be difficult to give them all something to do and they all have powers, I would imagine that Legends of Tomorrow doesn’t have the biggest budget in the world so that would mean either dodgy CGI or a reduction in the use of the powers, either way its a worry. One way round it is that they take a ques from the brilliant Justice League cartoon, which split the team up for some episodes, rather than try to give everyone something to do in every episode. On the plus side I think the time travel element is good and will give them some real scope to explore the wider universe.
While it’s daft and it does have its faults, it was a fun watch and I look forward to seeing where they take it.
Just a quick round up of the other DC Shows.
The Flash – Not as fun as season 1, the Earth 2 stuff is a bit repetitive. Zoom is a bad ass but if the rumours I hear about his identity are true I feel a rage coming on.
Arrow – Best season yet for me, Neal McDonough is just brilliant as Damien Darhk and makes a great villain. It seems to have learned its lesson on the flashbacks, while they are still there, they are very short and don’t distract from the main story. While it is good to see every one suited up, there are just too many masks. Need to thin the heard a bit. Getting rid of Speedy would be ideal. Overall, a good season so far.
Lucifer – Getting better, works more when the focus on where Lucifer came from rather than the Police stuff which sees him saddled in an excruciating will they/wont they with a wooden police detective.
Supergirl – Great so far. The sooner they get Kara and Jimmy together the better, don’t mess about with the will they/wont they bollocks. Looking forward to its return in April especially with Barry Allen is coming to town, not to mention a teenage Clark Kent showing up in the flashbacks.
Gotham – Terrible, in every way.
Thanks for reading. Hope you folks enjoyed yourselves, catch ya later on down the trail.