Hopes and Dreams for where DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Should Go

22 Jan

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

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The episodes building up to DC’s Legends of Tomorrow on the CW are far more entertaining than the pilot premiere — to which only part one aired. The network should have paired the episodes from Arrow and The Flash along with the two episodes comprising the pilot together in a four-hour extravaganza instead of having parts one and two spread a week apart.

Sadly, as with any new program, a part of the show needs to be dedicated to getting newcomers up to speed about the heroes gathered by time-traveller Rip Hunter. Arthur Darvill is certainly having fun playing a serious but over zealous officer of a police force guarding the time stream. He argues to the Time Master Council (they have a rule of non-interference in the natural course of events in the galaxy) must intercede to prevent despots like Caesar taken out earlier in life instead of later. Vandal Savage has completely taken over Earth and is killing innocents as he firms his rule. Anyone coming into this series without watching the other two super-hero shows will still get to see that he is worse than Hitler.

For Hunter, despite his pleas to the Time Lord council, he steals a TARDIS — the Wave Rider — so he can travel to January 2016 to recruit Sara / White Canary (Caity Lotz), Ray Palmer / Atom (Brandon Routh), Kendra / Hawkgirl (Ciara Renée), Carter Hall Hawkman (Falk Henschel), Leonard Snart / Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Mick Rory / Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell). Jefferson (Franz Drameh) Professor Martin (Victor Garber) make up Firestorm. For such a motley crew, they are not off to a good start. Martin’s act to convince Jefferson to travel space and time feels totally out of character for him. As this episode later reveals, all these recruits are technically nothings in the grander scheme of things, and only in the final act a seed of hope for thoughtful storytelling — can people escape pre-destiny and have free will — is planted for this series.

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The Doctor Who style nuances are totally tongue-in-cheek by me, but people familiar with Darvill’s past cannot help but notice the similarities. His wardrobe is totally borrowed. He wears the trademark long coat that a certain Time Lord loves to wear, and as Martin says it, in order for a time-ship to blend with the surroundings, holographic indigenous camouflage projection has to be used. Okay, so the atoms of this spaceship cannot be altered to become an object smaller than its internal architecture, but the idea is there. I can’t wait to see it turn into a telephone booth at some point in the series! For this type of cloaking technology, mass will always be considered about where the ship can hide.

Can I enjoy the series? Despite a rocky first episode, I’m hedging my bets on part two instead of part one. The potential is there to see a dysfunctional team become a tight fighting force. All the motivations are in place for why they decided to remain, and as for who will fully trust whom will still have to play out. The potential exists to perhaps see this team travel to alternate earths in alternate time-lines too, but will we see the return of Robbie Amell, who played Ronnie Raymond aka the “first” Firestorm? That depends on the budget allocated to produce season two. The potential exists to explore the DC universe with this series. Producers have already confirmed a visit to the Wild West with Jonah Hex appearing. But what’s next? Could a look at Vandal Savage’s past victories appear?

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Since this series does not follow the comics canon, he will not be revealed as an immortal green-skinned barbarian from Green Lantern #10, printed December 1943. This character’s defeat is pivotal to this television series, and this villain’s origin is tied to that of Hawkgirl and Hawkman’s star-crossed love. This story is recounted and goes into deeper depth in The Flash vol 1 issue 1 in “The Origin of Hawkman,” expanded upon Green Lantern vol, issue 46, and recounted in Hawkman Secret Files and Origins Vol 1 issue 1. The series might look into how Carter discovered his past lives. When the camera places emphasis on the dagger Savage held during the flashback, that weapon will materialize again. In the comics, when Carter saw and touched the blade, all his past life memories came flooding back. Perhaps the same will happen in the TV series.

Whether three characters like their destiny or not, their lives are intertwined. Their conflict started back in Egyptian times.

As Professor Aldus Boardman explained to Kendra, “4,000 years ago, Vandal Savage was an Egyptian priest secretly in love with the priestess – you, or rather you in your first life – but you were in love with another, Prince Khufu. Savage (or Hath-Set as he was then known) learned of the affair and was consumed with jealous rage. Which drove him to murder you both … and create from the hawk-guard, Horus, to damn objects of his hate for all eternity. Chay-Ara had a prayer of her own where Horus would protect them forever — but another life was bound to theirs by accident, Vandal Savage’s.”

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Because of the meteorite impact that took place when this act happened, and the radiation that everyone nearby soaked up, this cosmic energy is what gave these three Egyptians their power. Every time Savage killed Chay-Ara and Khufu, that energy would transfer onto him and grant him immortality. It’s only through either the priestess or the warrior’s act of slaying can Savage die.

In the flashback scene that plays out, the staff of Horus is visible along with a dagger that Savage held. The former item was used in the Arrow and Flash cross-over episodes “Legends of Yesterday” and “Legends of Today.” Little is said about where that has gone since, and perhaps future episodes may reveal who possesses that now. It would not be surprising if the new Ra’s al Ghul has it. The dagger will no doubt surface again, but what of the star-crossed story? Is there more to tell. If the show runners are to follow the comic books, that could mean an appearance of more guardians from the galaxy. In print, Chay-Ara’s body was spirited away from its earthly prison, and the Star Sapphire Corps acquired it. Even Khufu’s body found its way to the stars. Both their bodies, since their love was pure, powered the Violet Power Battery — devices held by soldiers who are from different divisions but not part of the Green Lantern Corps. Should the Legends of Tomorrow follow down this route, the writers certainly have dug deep to respect the lore from the comics and that will mean an appearance of DC’s version of the Guardians of the Galaxy. However, these details may not get worked into the series until season three, when viewers have decided on how much they love this goofy and over the top show. The dialogue is very driven by its comic book tone.

In where season one is going, the writers are building upon what Savage is doing throughout time in his attempts to destroy the Earth. Sometimes he is trying to track down Hawkman and Hawkgirl’s current whereabouts to renew his power. When he’s not, he has a world to destroy. Doesn’t he have anything better to do in his down-time?

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One Response to “Hopes and Dreams for where DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Should Go”

  1. issue47 2016-01-23 at 7:53 pm #

    Liked that the professor from 70’s that was referenced in either the Flash or Arrow episode was part of the story line of the pilot.

    Like

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