The highly anticipated Legends of Tomorrow debuted on January 21, 2016. And though the first and second episodes do stand on their own, as they were titled Pilot Part 1 and Pilot Part 2, we’re going to talk about them together. Are you ready?
Legends of Tomorrow Pilot Part 1
Legends of Tomorrow begins in London in the year 2166, with Vandal Savage wreaking havoc and spreading violence (killing a mother and child even) in a fiery landscape. A voiceover tells us that Savage has conquered the entire world. We then cut to a scene of Rip Hunter addressing the Time Masters Council (anyone else feel the Doctor Who love in this scene?). Rip Hunter wants to change the timeline to stop Savage from conquering the globe and destroying humanity. The Council does not seem to be in agreement, stating that their function as Time Masters is “to protect the timeline, not humanity.” We, and the team of “Legends,” are led to believe that he actually convinced the council to give him permission to change the timeline.
The episode continues with a series of scenes throughout the DC verse where Rip collects his crew: Ray Palmer aka The Atom; Sarah Lance, former member of the League of Assassins and also formerly dead; Firestorm, the merged superform of Jefferson Jackson and Martin Stein; Kendra Saunders and Carter Hall, the latest reincarnations of Hawkman and Hawkgirl; and Leonard Snart and Mick Rory, aka criminals. Rip collects and deposits them all on a roof and gives them this little speech:
“The future of the world is in peril…each of you as individuals is destined for greatness.”
He shows a bleak picture of the world in 150 years…the 8 are given 36 hours to decide yes or no.
Given the whole premise of the show, we know they all said yes. However, it was entertaining to watch each character debate the merits and a little surprising that Martin Stein was willing to drug and kidnap Jefferson to be a part of the team. Once decided, they head to New Orleans circa 1975.
In New Orleans, we discover who that helpful professor is (do you remember the one the whole superhero team watched a video of in that epic The Flash/Arrow crossover?). We see the temporal bounty hunter (entertainingly referred to as both Vader and Boba Fett at certain points), and we discover Rip Hunter’s mission isn’t blessed by the Council. In fact, the team was actually collected for the mission because their lives have minimal effect on the timeline. This is quite a disappointment to Ray Palmer who was already questioning the purpose of his life. But of course, this serves to spur the team to actually become the Legends they thought they became and stop Vandal Savage.
Legends of Tomorrow Pilot Part 2
The second part of the pilot begins with a pretty great intro that serves to concisely explain the premise. (Is it good or bad that so many of these comic shows require this sort of backstory? And is it actually needed?). As a result of damage to the ship from the bounty hunter, they cannot time jump, so they decide to try to take down Vandal Savage in 1975 in Norway. Who knew that terrorist groups had a conclave of sorts in Norway? And that the criminal element of the team would be so useful? And guess who else is in Norway too? (Here’s a hint – Oliver Queen would have loved to have been part of this time travel mission.) Unfortunately, Martin Stein has a bit of a slip of the tongue which clues Savage in to who they are and leads to a spectacular fight with all the toys on display. And fun fact: Firestorm can absorb the energy of a nuclear bomb! But this spectacular fight creates some impacts that change the timeline in a terrible way. Fortunately…
“Time is like cement. It takes time to become permanent.”
And the team splits up, with little help from Rip Hunter to track down two items. The two teams are very entertaining in their respective missions. Captain Cold is very quickly becoming the my favorite part of the show, followed very closely by Jefferson Jackson. Of course one of these missions puts the team right back in Savage’s path, leading to the loss of a teammate. I didn’t really see that coming, and I will be very interested to see what happens next.
I’ve got to say that Legends of Tomorrow is just plain fun. It’s Doctor Who time travel mixed in with DC Comics superheroes and more. There is so much going on and it’s quite the spectacle (which is why rumors say we will only have this series for one season, but as long as it tells the story right and epically, I’m okay with that.) Plus, rumor has it that we will get to see a goateed, one-armed Green Arrow in an upcoming episode! I don’t know about you, but I’ll keep watching just for that!
What did you think?