by Agent Nur Hussein (a.k.a. The Robot Whisperer)
Despite being a fan of superhero comics-related shows, I’ve never gotten into the Arrow-verse. When I heard of the CW’s take on Green Arrow, having already been bored by Smallville‘s long-winded run, I decided to pass on it. However, the universe of Arrow expanded to include other DC characters, including the Flash who got his own spinoff show, I began to regret not following it from the beginning. Since Legends of Tomorrow started, I was encouraged by my colleague Pandora to check it out, and so I did and I was hooked. Don’t get me wrong, this show is cheesy as heck, but it’s the fun kind of cheesy I can get behind.
When we last left our heroes, they were in 1975 and Professor Aldus Boardman had just died on board Captain Hunter’s timeship, but not before giving some clues on the whereabouts of their arch-nemesis Vandal Savage. Turns out Savage is about to sell nukes to international criminals at an international criminal weapons auction (that’s a thing, apparently). A haphazard team of Mick Rory (Heat Wave), Leonard Snart (Captain Cold), Professor Martin Stein, Ray Palmer (the Atom), and Sara Lance (White Canary), decide to go after Savage, despite Captain Hunter’s protestations that they should do things his way. They infiltrate the auction only to blow their cover, get into a fight with all the bad guys, and with Carter Hall (Hawkman), Kendra Saunders (Hawkgirl) and Jax Jackson joining the fray and having to stop a nuclear explosion that Savage tried to set off as he made his escape. To make things worse, some bits of Atom’s suit broke off in the battle, and found their way into the hands of Savage.
Back at the ship, Captain Hunter is pissed, and rightfully so; the tech that found its way into Savage’s hands will be reverse-engineered to create deadly weapons which wipe out Central City in the future. However, the future isn’t set in stone yet: just in some “wet cement,” as Captain Hunter puts it. They still have time to put things right before Vandal Savage goes all Biff Tannen with his proverbial sports almanac.
To get the piece back, Palmer suggests they use an alpha-particle tracker to find his tech. They don’t have an alpha-particle tracker, but Professor Stein suggests they steal one from a younger version of himself in 1975. In real life, alpha particles are just high-energy bundles of two protons and two neutrons, identical to a Helium nucleus, created from any source of alpha decay. Therefore an “alpha particle tracker” is just a fancy Geiger counter; perhaps Professor Stein’s device works from long distances, hence the novelty. Anyway, you have to give the hokey “science” a handwave here, as this show is as comic book-y as they come. The stealing of the alpha particle tracker lends us some funny scenes where Sara flirts with the younger Professor Stein, much to his chagrin, and they all find out what a smug, pot-smoking asshole he was when he was younger.
Meanwhile, in the
Hall of Justice Time Ship, Carter and Kendra do their sexy mind-meld thing to uncover knowledge from their past lives about how to kill the immortal Vandal Savage. Turns out there’s an ancient dagger that can do it, and it happens to belong to some rich Russian dude, and Captain Cold and Heat Wave volunteer to steal it. Palmer tags along, and they break into the Russian dude’s house, only for it to go all wrong again when the alarms are triggered and the “Russian dude” turns out to be Vandal Savage (what a coincidence).
After a showdown at the end, Savage escapes, but not all of the team members survive; the goofy, rag-tag team at odds with one another are suddenly brought together solemnly as they process this. They decide to stick together as a team as they join up Captain Hunter’s cause in earnest.
The premise of this show is fun enough for me to stick around and watch how it goes; a team of second-string superheroes travel through time to fight crime, that’s kind of a unique combo we haven’t quite seen before on television on a comic book show. Stay tuned for more hijinks and DC comics cameos in the weeks to come!