Warning, this page contains spoilers for the latest episode!!!
There’s a recurring pattern between obscure superhero teams, my scepticism and me being proven wrong. Four years ago, when Marvel Studios first announced they were making 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, I thought it was a baffling decision. It turned out to be potentially Marvel’s best movie yet.
That same year when Warner Bros and DC revealed they had plans for the upcoming Suicide Squad movie, I thought they may have been making a mistake. My mind was soon changed after seeing the Comic Con sizzle reel, with the most recent trailer suggesting Suicide Squad will be all levels of awesomeness.
And when The CW declared they were making a spin off to Arrow/The Flash in the form Legends of Tomorrow, I definitely had my doubts. As usual, my misgvings were immediately erased after watching the first episode.
The pilot starts in the year 2166, with futuristic London coming under siege from the fiendish immortal Vandal Savage (Casper Crump), who we met in the latest Arrow/Flash crossover. It turns out Savage wasn’t killed like we first thought and his eventual rise to power leads him to conquer the world in the future.
To prevent this outcome, “Time Master” Rip Hunter (Doctor Who’s Arthur Darvill) travels back to the present day and assembles a crew to battle Savage. The team consists of familiar faces from Arrow and The Flash: the Atom, White Canary, both members of Firestorm, Captain Cold, Heat Wave, Hawkman and Hawkgirl.
Similarly to The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, watching the newly formed team interact with each other is just as entertaining as seeing them lay the superhero smackdown. Whether it’s Ray and Professor Stein’s scientific squabbles or White Canary partnering with rotten eggs Captain Cold and Heatwave in a bar room brawl, there’s plenty of humour arising from the jostling or joining of larger than life personalities.
We see also more a serious side to some character relationships. It looks like the bond between Hawkman and Hawkgirl gradually grows stronger and stronger.
Despite Professor Stein’s rather strange (and creepy) drugging of his Firestorm co-pilot Jefferson Jackson by the end of the episode it appeared the two had made strides towards a closer understanding of each other.
And Ray’s early heartfelt conversation with the guest starring Oliver about his brush with death was a very nice touch.
Tonally, Legends of Tomorrow appears to be just like its sister shows Flash and Arrow as it has both a dramatic and comedic edge to the action. Thanks to some impressive looking CGI, especially for a TV budget, the show looks like it will be the most cinematic of any small screen superhero adaptation.
In regards to story, I liked the twist about Rip’s motivations for bringing the team together turning out to be a lie. Regardless of learning that they don’t turn out to be legends in the future, the rag tag group decide to stick it out in a bid to change the timeline.
Rip himself is a charismatic new addition to DC’s television universe and I look forward to seeing how he leads the super powered motley crew, especially with the two villains under his command. Captain Cold and Heatwave are on a different wavelength to their heroic teammates and it’ll be interesting to see whether their nefarious ways cause trouble for the group. Even though they are two of my favourite villains on The Flash, I thought it was odd that the dastardly duo were included in a superhero team but now I see exactly why. It appears that Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell have as much fun with their characters as the audience do watching them.
One thing it seems Legends of Tomorrow does better than its sister shows is handle an ensemble cast. Of course Arrow and The Flash need to focus on their titular characters but they are still an ensemble and at times some members of their respective teams feel wasted.
Legends of Tomorrow is able to manage a large cast of characters and give each one the spotlight but it does come at a price. While the episode allows us to spend time a fairly equal amount of time with each character, it does mean that the story being told feels a bit rushed. We’re introduced to our new bunch of heroes and their mission in a pretty pacey fashion and this could have been better executed over two episodes.
As a result the big bad Vandal Savage doesn’t appear much in the episode but hopefully as the series continues we get to see a lot more of the villain.
Overall, judging by the pilot, Arrow and The Flash creators Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, Marc Guggenheim have successful show on their hands with Legends of Tomorrow . Their most ambitious effort yet isn’t perfect but it’s certainly big, bombastic fun. With a Guardians of the Galaxy meets Doctor Who meets Terminator vibe, Legends of Tomorrow should be enjoyable for anyone who loves superheroes and sci-fi on their TV. The pilot episode scores a:
What did YOU think of this episode? Feel free to leave a comment