“Legends of Tomorrow, episode 1”

It has always been a staple in comic books to find superheroes fight alongside each other, and lately, this shtick has gotten more attention with the likes of Marvel’s “The Avengers” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.” DC will soon have their own big screen team up with the impending “Justice League” film that combines all well-known DC characters such as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. But before DC unleashes the long-awaited team up on the big screen, they will assemble a much smaller and lesser known and unlikely team up of heroes known as “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.”


The show revolves around a cast that some people might be familiar with thanks to shows “Arrow” and “The Flash.” The show continues a trend that first started with “Arrow” back in 2012: to create a shared universe in which characters from their respective shows, have the chance to interact with characters on other shows. “Arrow” and “The Flash” have already entered this territory before with special crossover episodes. Now the universe will further expand with “Legends of Tomorrow.”


The premise is simple. Time traveler Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) is tasked with  assembling a team of unlikely heroes to stop the seemingly unstoppable and immortal Vandal Savage (Casper Crump). The characters should be familiar to those who’ve watched the shows they originated from, including brilliant scientist and inventor Ray Palmer/The Atom (Brandon Routh), skilled assassin Sara Lance/White Canary (Caity Lotz), the combination of Professor Martin Stein (Victor Garber) and former teen athlete Jefferson Jackson (Franz Drameh) to form the flame entity known as Firestorm. There are also the reincarnations of past lovers Kendra Saunders/Hawkgirl (Ciara Renee) and Carter Hall/Hawkman (Falk Hentschel), and the criminal duo of Leonard Snart/Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Mick Rory/Heatwave (Dominic Purcell). The show remarkably brings all of these characters together to fight a great evil and with any superhero assemblage, you can bet there will be chaos found.


The chaos can be either good or bad, and with “Legends of Tomorrow” it’s both. The bad comes first in this case. The beginning of the pilot was quite messy at times. Things were rushed too quickly to get to the main action. Rip Hunter goes on a brief montage to assemble the heroes and they’re already on their first mission within 10 or so minutes of the show. Fortunately, the second part makes up for the first by having better pacing and a more solid plot.


The show also brings the danger of having an already established cast originating from other shows. These characters will have to present themselves anew for a brand new audience that haven’t watched “Arrow” or “The Flash.” As an avid watcher of both shows, I can say that “Legends of Tomorrow” does a fair job of introducing these characters to new people, but will desperately need to flesh them out more in the future.


For the sake of the show’s quality, character interactions are going to be key. After the pilot, I’m admittedly still hesitant about how well the characters will interact with each other. The assemblage of the characters is pretty random but hopefully we will get to see them be a superhero family of sorts later on. There are some great parts to the characters such as Victor Garber’s Martin Stein which proves to be the highlight so far. Garber does a great job of radiating passion for the role and also proves to be quite the comedic fare.


Others, like Hawkgirl and Hawkman, might need more attention. I’m not entirely attached to these characters at all. Their story is rushed to the point where I’d like things to slow down in order to give these two more time, and for them to have better chemistry.


Crump’s take on the classic DC villain of Vandal Savage is also something to keep an eye out for. Crump really looks the part and in some instances does a great job at being the main villain, but I think will need more convincing if he really is an immortal menacing dictator.


Given the nature of the show and its large ensemble cast, I thoroughly enjoyed the many action scenes found throughout the episodes and was  even more impressed with the effects used, such as real explosions in hectic scenes. However, it’s hard at times to get the full effect of the abilities of the superheroes, especially The Atom, Hawkgirl and Hawkman.  It’s understandable given the show’s budget, but still, there’s so much more potential.
Overall, “Legends of Tomorrow” needs some work, but it surely has an exciting concept that has so much potential given the assemblage of these different characters. And with the show set on the backbone of time travel, there are endless plotlines it could follow. The characters will need great chemistry in order for the show to work, and we’ll see if the show is capable of that in the weeks to come.

Rating: 3.5 stars

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