OPINION: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is the Arrowverse's Best Show
In a world over-saturated with superhero movies and television shows lies CW’s Legends of Tomorrow. Originally conceived as a dark and brooding spin off to both Arrow and The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow quickly evolved into one of the best written and most enjoyable superhero shows on television.
When Legends of Tomorrow first appeared on our screens it was extremely lackluster due to a boring and nonthreatening villain in Vandal Savage and a very dull main series arc. This wasn’t helped by Hawkman and Hawkgirl, two characters that the show insisted were important but it never really felt like they were. It wasn’t until the show ditched Savage and The Hawks that it found its voice as an ever-changing, genre-bending romp through time and space. Season two brought in rogues from Arrow and The Flash in the form of The Legion of Doom as well as Vixen, Citizen Steel and The Justice Society of America. The show got substantially better but still hadn’t found its identity.
Then Season 3 happened. The show adopted a campier tone with the sense of fun that shows like Doctor Who and Star Trek have and balanced that with the world-ending stakes of the first two seasons. What we ended up with is almost a superhero sitcom because the show stopped taking itself seriously and embraced the weird. During season three we got a Groundhog Day homage, magic fights scored by The Backstreet Boys and a giant teddy bear suplexing a magical demon from beyond time and space. All the while finding time for a good sing-song. Yes, you did read that right, Legends of Tomorrow isn’t afraid to let Broadway’s Victor Garber sing The Banana Boat Song at NASA during the moon landing.
What Legends did well was take characters that were side-lined on The Flash and Arrow and gave them satisfying arcs and made them some of the best characters in the Arrowverse. They took Damien Dhark from Arrow and turned him into a threatening villain. Heatwave from The Flash went from the man who wanted to leave at the sight of danger to the hero who would save the day on multiple occasions. Even Sara Lance has gone from a lone closed-off assassin to an open book in a committed relationship with her girlfriend. And most recently has brought back John Constantine from his cancelled NBC show and put him front and center with an arc that makes you really wish his show wasn’t cancelled.
With Legends, the CW has one of it’s most diverse groups of characters with two openly bisexual characters that aren’t defined by the overt stereotypes that are ingrained into television history. The show also has a strong group of female characters that are great to watch. Take the newer addition Zari for example, her backstory makes her very compelling to watch as she must resist the urge to save her dead family with the time ship. This leads to the episode “Here I Go Again” which is entirely focused on Zari as she gets stuck in a time loop. In the episode she learns that if she wants to save her family she needs The Legends because she can’t do it alone.
This message sums up the show really, only these characters can do what they do, Oliver Queen can’t send a fairy godmother to hell during the Salem witch trials, The Flash can’t fight a Kaiju in 1950’s Tokyo, only The Legends can. The show for me is one of the only network superhero shows that are consistently entertaining, it never feels like it’s part of the bigger machine that is the Arrowverse.
With Season 4 coming to its mid-season finale on Monday, for a four-month hiatus. Now is the perfect time to hop aboard The Waverider and join The Legends in a series of swashbuckling adventures that will make you laugh, cry and gasp.