After months of waiting, DC fans were psyched to finally be introduced to Greg Berlanti’s newest project, The Legends of Tomorrow. The series is set to focus on eight minor characters from parent shows The Flash and Arrow, as well as Rip Hunter, a time-traveling rebel played by the fantastic Arthur Darvil.
The opening scenes show Rip’s world, the year 2166, when Vandal Savage (an immortal psychopath who appeared briefly on The Flash) has conquered the world. Against the wishes of his fellow Timemasters (“Timelords” was taken), Rip travels to 2016 and collects a team of quasi-heros and morally ambiguous villains to form a team bent on taking down Savage. Many of us would have gone straight to Batman or the Green Arrow or The Flash himself; but Rip chose Hawkgirl and Hawkman (immortal Egyptian priests with past lives), White Canary (an assassin brought back to life) Captain Cold and Heat Wave (human villains with cool guns), Firestorm (a 2-person nuclear reactor), and DC’s answer to Iron Man, The Atom. Contrary to what the previews would have you believe, The Flash and The Arrow are NOT official Legends, but rather, will show up in crossover episode only.
The Pilot episode itself was hit-and-miss, and, sadly, wasn’t quite as good as fans expected. Arthur Darvill was fantastic, presenting a dynamic, rebellious character that audiences are already rooting for, and the hilarious chemistry between Captain Cold, Heat Wave, and White Canary is perfectly portrayed during their adventure at a ‘70s dive bar. The villains actually add a lot to the dynamic of the team, including sharp one-liners like “We go out for ONE lousy drink and you guys manage to pick a fight with Boba Fett?”, but some of the finer plot points were hit-and-miss. Rip is constantly stressing the importance of preserving the timeline, yet certain events (retro bar fights and abducting dying people) seem to have had no consequences on the future, which is pretty inconsistent with Rip’s warnings. The lack of action also made the pilot episode seem bland, since so much of it was focused on characterizing heroes fans are already familiar with.
Despite a few shortcomings, the LoT Pilot was entertaining, and the series itself is glowing with promise and potential. If the success of the Avengers tells us anything, it’s that audiences love teams of heroes, and the Legends are a team of underdogs one can’t help but root for.