It’s pretty crazy to think how far the DC tv universe has evolved since its original conception. When Arrow premiered four years ago, the show was simply about a street-level superhero trying to save his city from the criminal underworld. Now we have metahumans, demigods, sorcerers, monsters and alternate dimensions on this show and its sister series The Flash. And with DC and CW’s latest project, the newest comic book/sci-fi element to come to the forefront of this universe (despite being used on Flash multiple times) is time travel.
Having been previously set up on both these shows, particularly with the most recent Arrow/Flash crossover, Legends of Tomorrow features a ragtag team of metahumans who join forces to prevent an apocalypse in which the ruthless Vandal Savage rules the world. Assembled by the time traveling Englishman Rip Hunter, this unlikely team of heroes and villains is in for the adventure of a lifetime.
Given that each character’s backstory has been laid out in the aforementioned shows, the Legends of Tomorrow pilot wastes no time in getting straight to the action. Opening with a glimpse of the Terminator-like apocalyptic future, we see Savage gun down a mother and child who try to resist him, a plot element which comes back later in the episode. From there, Hunter takes it upon himself to put together a team, despite opposition from his employers, who call themselves the Time Masters. And given that the team roster consists of The Atom, Firestorm, White Canary, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Captain Cold and Heat Wave, rather than ask each of them one by one Hunter simply zaps them with a stun gun and brings them all together before he makes his proposal.
The rest of the episode is a pretty beat by beat superhero team origin story, with a few welcome Arrow cameos. Some of the characters are more excited about Hunter’s proposition than others, and the thing that brings them together is of course their first adversary, who in this case is a time traveling armored bounty hunter named Kronos.
Like The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow totally embraces its comic book feel. The humor, stylish action, lovable characters and great world building in this episode make for an undeniably entertaining hour of television. Creators Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg and Phil Klemmer really prove their love for this universe by placing a team of B-listers together in their own series. And if you’ve been a little irritated by the amount of setup for this show on Arrow and Flash, trust me when I say that the end result makes it worth it.
While the cast as a whole exhibited flawless chemistry with one another and delivered great ensemble work, the one that stole the show for me was Arthur Darvill as Rip Hunter. If you’ve missed Constantine, Hunter fills the DC British protagonist void left by that series. Playing a character with a dark secret from his past which drives him, but who is not without humor, Darvill merges those elements together effortlessly and gives us a charismatic team leader who will no doubt become a fan favorite.
My only slight disappointment is that Casper Crump as Savage is still a bit underwhelming. His debut on the Arrow/Flash crossover was pretty lackluster, and it doesn’t seem like he’s come far since then. And since Savage is one of my favorite villains from the DC universe, I really want to see him evolve into an antagonist like Malcolm Merilyn or Reverse Flash.
All in all, Legends of Tomorrow is off to a fantastic start and has me ecstatic about where the DC tv universe will go from here.