Unsung Heroes or C-List Sidekicks?
DC's ensemble enterprise, Legends of Tomorrow, takes a bunch of miscellaneous lesser superheroes and puts them on a time-travelling team mission to save the future.With the majority of the characters introduced across the seasons of both Arrow and The Flash - and thus existing in the same universe (one which will soon also house Supergirl) - Legends makes short work of a brief recap for each of them here, as ovetly slick wannable Doctor Who time master Rip Hunter (played by Doctor Who's Arthur Darvill) puts together a team of heroes (and villains) who he hopes will help change the course of history and prevent a future where the dastardly, immortal warmonger Vandal Savage basically destroys the world as they know it.The team he puts together - Firestorm (a flying, fire-spitting two-part Human Torch combining the brain of nuclear physicist Martin Stein with the body of athlete Jefferson Jackson); Atom (a shrinking man in a suit a la Ant Man), Lazarus Pit-reincarnated ex-League of Assassins killer White Canary (a bit Black Widow); criminal partners Captain Cold (think Mr. Freeze, only without any cold-related issues) and Heat Wave (think Firefly except without any heat-related issues); and Hawkgirl (and Hawkman - both repeatedly reincarnated eternal foes of Savage).
As you can see, the characters are remarkably familiar in terms of powers (in both DC and Marvel universes), and seem distinctly C-list (except for, perhaps, the Hawks) but actually that's quite cleverly worked into the plot - they were chosen because they were comparatively insignificant to the timeline and so their deaths would make little difference to it. As a result their quest becomes increasingly personally important to them in order that they may finally become the Legends of the title.
Legends can get a bit chaotic but its Quantum Leap-style time-travelling adventures do have high points
The first season offers up a strong enough two-part pilot, with plenty of time-travelling and explosive ensemble action, and the show maintains a relatively adult feel (certainly more Arrow than The Flash) despite its overtly colourful, oftentimes camp, cast, but the narrative can be a bit hit and miss with its Quantum Leap structure that sometimes feels like it will never end. The best episodes are clearly the cross-over events (the Arrow-centric future Star City in particular) and the final clutch of game-changers, so making it an inclusive 16-episode arc was probably the right choice, but we'll have to see if there's enough here to fuel a second outing.
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