Episode Title: Pilot
Original Airdate: 1-21-16
It’s time for the second of the new midseason series before Lucifer wraps things up for now next week. Legends of Tomorrow is the spin-off from the CW’s Flash and Arrow where it takes several of their secondary characters and turns them into a team of time traveling misfits led by an Englishman from the future who feels an awful lot like a slightly nicer version of Constantine. And while I haven’t watched too much of Arrow, the pilot feels like it was cut from the same cloth as Flash, only with a little more humor, a little more action, and a little less gravitas. For now anyway. And for what it was worth, I had a lot of fun with it.
Since this is the pilot, it suffers from what many pilots have to go through which is a lot of set up and exposition. Even though the only character that’s really new to me coming from a Flash-specific background is Black-now-White Canary, I still had to wade through a little bit of getting to know all about them. It does start off in the post-apocalyptic future where Vandal Savage apparently likes to be right at the forefront of the battles. I suppose it makes sense with him being immortal and all. There’s a few flashy guns, he kills a kid to show us that he’s completely, 100 percent evil right away, not to mention that we eventually find out that the kid belonged to Rip Hunter.
So far, what works the most with this show is the right mix of humor and action. Here just in the pilot there were several gun fights, a bar brawl, a couple sparring matches, and a few others that I’ve forgotten. And this isn’t the Flash where everything is solved by running really fast, there’s a nice mix of different types of action. The humor also is a lot of fun, especially coming from Victor Garber’s Dr. Stein. Just the fact that he straight up drugs the other half of Firestorm so he can go on a time travelling trip is priceless. Not only that, but there’s a great bit of Atom trying to seek praise or recognition from him and he gets absolutely nothing in return. Captain Cold and Heatwave are also a great bit of anarchy thrown into the mix to keep things interesting, though the current weak points of the team are Hawkman and Hawkgirl. At this point there’s just a bit too much going on with them to get a firm handle on as an audience member. They have all these past lives that will obviously come into play at various points, as they end up meeting one of their sons in this episode. So they have to deal with their current incarnation, their previous incarnation, and the fact that they can turn into these winged warriors. Surprisingly it’s a lot easier to accept the guy who has a combination Iron Man slash Ant-Man suit.
The time travelling aspect also seems like it will be an important part of the show, but I imagine that it will still be kept within the scope of a television budget. As they entered the 70’s, the scope was limited to the front of a University building and a bar. I wouldn’t be surprised if the rest of the show kept the locales to similarly small-scaled and/or timeless places without entering something like Victorian England, but the show could surprise me on that one. I’ll definitely be back next week to see where these Legends end up.