Directors: Dermott Downs, Michael Grossman & others
Starring: Caity Lotz, Brandon Routh & Victor Garber
Synopsis: Legends of Tomorrow focuses on time-traveling rogue Rip Hunter, who has to recruit a rag-tag team of heroes and villains to help prevent an apocalypse that could impact not only Earth, but all of time.
Rating: 15 Duration: 686 minutes approximately Release date: 14 August (UK)
Some TV shows deserve a second chance. The first season of Legends of Tomorrow was a fun if vastly uneven show that dared to be the light in an ever darker universe. Unfortunately, for each thing that Legends got right it would get two things wrong and despite an intriguing cliffhanger hopes were not that high for season two. Luckily, there is much to enjoy here and Legends of Tomorrow is eager to mark itself as the best of DC’s television output.
After last season’s finale with the Legends losing Hawkgirl and Hawkman and the introduction of the Justice Society of America as the finale’s stinger, we knew things would be vastly different come season two. So much so that the new season kicks off with newcomer Nate Heywood (Nick Zano) risking his life to get a meeting with the Mayor of Star City – Oliver Queen. After breaking in and informing Oliver he knows he is the Green Arrow, Nate seeks his help in order to find the Legends who have been scattered across different time periods.
The opening episode offers a nice re-introduction to the team as Nate and Oliver seek out the Legends. Acting as a huge catch-up episode for anyone who needed it, it also acts as a neat jumping on point for new fans. The set up allows for Nate to feel like an immediate member of the team as he puts the Legends back together. Meanwhile, as the team is reassembled an alternate 1942 is introduced and the emergence of the Justice Society of America brings in another dynamic that our heroes must overcome and learn to work with. The mechanics of the JSA and the Legends proves an interesting scenario for the rest of the show and gives it a firm place to start the shows arc for the rest of the season.
What marks Legends of Tomorrow apart from the other shows and films in the wider DC universe, is the fact that it is massive amounts of fun. Arrow has remained a decidedly dark show by The CW’s standards, while even The Flash has plunged into some dark territory with Barry Allen’s ever more selfish actions bringing the show down. And, Wonder Woman aside, the DC Extended Universe has failed to put a smile on the faces of its audience. The tone has always been light here though and season two never allows itself to become too dark. The cast are feeling more like a family now and their camaraderie and arguments are always a source of entertainment. Season two also allows for some strong characters arcs for most of the cast, something which season one was loathe to consider.
Seeing Sara take over as the Captain of the Waverider is a wholly fulfilling turn for her character who has gone from being the briefly dead girlfriend of Oliver Queen in Arrow to the hard as nails ninja who now has her own team to command. Rip Hunter’s new role as ally/villain to the Legends is an interesting ploy and gives Arthur Darvill some interesting work to contest with and makes his character much more interesting than he ever was last season. Likewise, Mick Rory has lost his Partner, Captain Cold, but has gained a much more interesting angle as a crook coming to terms with being a hero and finding a new family to trust. Ray enjoys a nice bromance with with Nate who, conversely draws a nice relationship with newcomer Maya who joins the crew as the first iteration of Vixen – we saw what turns out to be her granddaughter in Arrow. Only Jefferson suffers with not much to do apart from being the Waverider’s mechanic when the story calls for it.
Another improvement on the first season is the decision to cast a trio of villains already established in the DC universe. Malcolm Merlin, Reverse Flash and Damien Darhk enter the fray midway through the series and provide the show with a much more diabolical threat than that of Vandal Savage. The three argue and bicker as much as the Legends and chew the scenery whenever they are together. What also helps is that they need no introduction and their potential as worthy adversaries to the Legends is immediate.
A familiar pitfall of superhero TV shows is that they are often hit by stuffy episodes that threaten to ruin the flow of the series as a whole and Legends does this is early on. Episodes like Shogun, Outlaw Country and Invasion! are serviceable but do little to further the overall plot or add anything significant to the characters. Once the inevitable crossover event with Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl is out of the way the show builds momentum to an absolutely balls to the wall finale that essentially takes place over the final three episodes.
Where Arrow and The Flash have faltered, Legends of Tomorrow has taken the mantle as the superior DC TV show and shown the others the fundamentals of a well thought out show with the right blend of action, humour and threat level and peaking interest for further adventures.
- 2016 Comic-Con Panel
- Allied: The Invasion! Complex
- Gag reel