written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
Whether hero or villain, the common factor is anyone who makes a mark on history will live forever as legends. DC’s CW universe grows exponentially with their newest series and the pilot episode hits the ground running. Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill), a time master with a ship that can travel through space and time, decides to take matters into his own hands after bearing witness to the violent rise of the immortal Vandal Savage. With his timeline in burning disarray, he turns to legends of the past to save his future… and that there is where we start DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, featuring an all-star cast from both Arrow and The Flash.
Dr. Ray Palmer/The Atom (Brandon Routh) and Sara Lance/White Canary (Caity Lotz) join Captain Hunter’s crew by way of Star City. Dr. Martin Stein (Victor Garber) and Jefferson Jackson (Franz Drameh), the two men who become Firestorm, are recruited along with two of Central City’s more roguish citizens Leonard Snart/Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Mick Rory/Heat Wave (Dominic Purcel). Newcomers to the DC CW-verse Kendra Saunders/Hawkgirl (Ciara Renée) and Carter Hall/Hawkman (Falk Hentschel) round out this rag tag group of heroes and villains.
With this being considered a part 1 to the Pilot, this first half of the premiere focuses highly on introducing these characters tasked with taking down an immortal dictator. Tensions shift into high gear as Rip Hunter wastes no time beginning the investigation into where in time they can find Vandal Savage. This takes them to 1975 where they search for Dr. Aldus Boardman, a college professor with considerable interest in the history behind Vandal Savage and the Hawk-Duo. You may remember Dr. Boardman briefly from the Arrow/Flash crossover episode this season, the first featuring Vandal Savage. His role in history is further deepened when meeting Kendra and Carter and the pair discover that the good Doctor knew them in a previous life.
While Captain Hunter takes a small group to the college; Sara Lance, Mick Rory, and Leonard Snart decide to get a bit weird in 1975 and take their party on the road… which leads to one of the more enjoyable parts of the episode, a bar room brawl set to Captain and Tennille’s “Love With Keep Us Together.” I don’t know if it’s thanks to the Lazarus Pit or if these three just have such great chemistry together, but Sara Lance has never been funnier. Pairing her with Cap Cold and Heat Wave make for a fun trio, despite the latter’s proclivity for thieving and all around super-villainy. I don’t know if they plan to explore it, but I sense a bit of a spark between Sara and Lenny here.
The series also debuts its first villain… aside from Savage of course. Originally appearing in the comic pages as a foil for The Atom, Chronos acts as an inter-dimensional bounty hunter tasked with chasing Captain Hunter’s band of misfits through space and time. We get a glimpse of the team working together for the first time as they face down Chronos and his BFG (Big F**king Gun). Though brief, it felt like more of a tease for battles to come. Throughout the whole episode, the high point for me is still the bar room brawl.
Balancing all these personalities can be a daunting task for the showrunners, something that takes meticulous planning and spot on writing. Movies like the first Avengers film did a fantastic job balancing their large cast. I felt like they did a outstanding job finding a certain zen with these eight misfits. It isn’t easy but somehow they did it. It feels like getting the chance to see all new sides to each of these characters. Sara seems more whimsical, Dr. Stein exhibits more character in his first few scenes than he’s been able to show in all his appearances on The Flash. Dr. Ray Palmer always had an aloofness to his personality that still shows, but is tempered with a sense of leadership he was never able to show on Ollie’s turf. When looking at the resident villains, while Leonard and Mick are more likely to rob you than save your life, when faced against a heavily armored bounty hunter wielding a big ass gun… these two leap into battle acting more heroic than maybe they seem to notice.
As the de-facto-leader, Rip Hunter brings this group together. With Darvill's more famous appearance as a companion to the Eleventh Doctor on Doctor Who, there were obviously going to be some similarities. With good old "Rory Williams" finally getting his own "TARDIS" it seems some of the lessons he learned from The Doctor stuck with him... The Doctor always lies, and time-travelers are not exception.
As a taste of things to come, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow thrilled me and as long as it continues to produce episodes of such a high caliber, I can see it fitting wonderfully in the already fantastic universe where a billionaire with a bow and arrow can fight crime and a super powered forensic scientist can run faster than the speed of time.