There’s no such thing as too much. That is, if you’re Marvel. Netflix lined up Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and the upcoming Luke Cage and The Defenders. ABC’s already got Agent Carter, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the recently ordered Marvel’s Most Wanted. And don’t even get us started on the insane amount of feature films slated ’til your granddaughter’s grandaughter’s generation. It’s only right DC Comics stake its claim somewhere, and that’s The CW.
With The Flash and Arrow proving to be big hits for the once tween-fangirl-driven network, series creator/ DC puppet master Greg Berlanti and co. decided to expand the universe. This time, by adding Legends of Tomorrow, a spin-off that collects the misfits from the aforementioned shows into one jam-packed action-drama that sees the heroes traveling back in time to save the entire world.
While The Flash on Tuesday, Arrow on Wednesday, and Legends of Tomorrow on Thursday might seem overwhelming to the reluctant viewer, LOT’s promising pilot, which premieres tonight, proves it deserves a space on the TV guide. That is to say, there’s enough distinctive elements in the series that separate it from the shows that set the precedent.
Here are three things Legends of Tomorrow offers that The Flash and Arrow don’t:
Not only is the cast stacked with badass out actors Victor Garber and Wentworth Miller (who play Firestorm and Captain Cold, respectively), but the show’s kickass heroine Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), a.k.a. White Canary, is an openly gay character. As fans of Arrow are already familiar, Lance was once the lover of Nyssa Al Ghul (Katrina Law), DC supervillain Ra’s Al Ghul’s assassin daughter. Minutes into the series, Canary isn’t afraid to make herself known. As she takes down a bar of brolic baddies who try to hit on her, she slyly proclaims her attraction to one of their girlfriends. Count on Lance to make these power moves throughout the series.
Do you ever watch Arrow and The Flash and think, ’Why are all these bad things only happening in their cities?’ Seriously, does any danger ever escape Starling or Central City? According to Legends of Tomorrow, absolutely. The series is all about time-traveling timemaster Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) recruiting several superheroes in order to stop ancient evil Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) from conquering the world by 2166. Thus, Legends of Tomorrow differentiates itself as an adventure series, as it’s built in the freedom to take you where no CW DC show has truly gone before: all around the globe.
In an effort to not spoil exactly what makes these eight heroes legends–it’ll reveal itself tonight–let’s just say they’re all inherently united by one thing: their own struggle with purpose. Hawkgirl (Ciara Renee) and Hawkman (Falk Hentschel) are both reincarnated souls cursed to drift through eternity; the Atom (Brandon Routh) presumably died once before in Starling City, where he realized the world hardly mourned him; half of Firestorm, Dr. Martin Stein (Garber), left his wife behind to get a hold of his abilities; his other half (Franz Drameh) is a former star athlete whose abilities sidelined his career; Captain Cold and Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell) are former criminals flirting with a change of heart; and White Canary has struggled with her humanity since her sister literally resurrected her from the dead.
In this way, every character is essentially solitary, disconnected, and forced into companionship, unlike the at-once established dynamics on The Flash and Arrow. In fact, this almost gives a pass to Legends of Tomorrow’s greatest weakness: the chemistry between its leads. The show’s playfulness leaves you hopeful that the actors’ chemistry will evolve as the characters’ does. But, again, that proves miniscule to the aforementioned greater themes at play on Legends of Tomorrow. Suffice it to say, LOT is The Breakfast Club of superhero shows, a title no other can truly proclaim.