By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
The second season two episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, “The Justice Society of America,” continues to set up the season with even further trials for the entire team with a few spotlights (namely listening to Victor Garber sing). While the first episode teased at Dr. Martin as being the de-facto leader, the next has Sara doing the opening narration. This entry shows the good doctor is not up to snuff when pressure is coming from everywhere and the team is attempting to deal with Nazi Captain Baron Krieger. Originally a character created under the Fawcett Comics label and a villain dealt with by Captain Marvel, could Shazam be in the future for this television series? I certainly hope so! I loved the original television series and comics (both the original and since the DC acquisition), and to see this callback has the DC nerd in me excited!
In the DC Comics purchase of this company’s heroes and revival, this villain proved to be very formidable. I’m hopeful he will come back, along with Damien Darhk. When considering CW’s Flash was dealing with Flashpoint (Paradox) where the hero created an alternate timeline, I’m guessing the inclusion of this character is not only a nod to the comics but also a building up to an eventual reveal that there will be some kind of Legion of Doom for all the heroes in this CW DC Universe to face. In what Krieger morphs into, both teams — the JSA and Legends — have to work together in order to bring him down.
The events from the other show is definitely important. Eobard Thawne (The Reverse Flash) made an appearance in the first episode to reveal Darhk is working with him. The implications suggest what Flash did with the creation of an alternate time-line will send not only this series but also others into a Crisis of Infinite Earths. Should this be the direction for all the shows to come to clash, I can not wait for the next season when this possibility might come to fruition. To wonder how the multiverses can unite might also suggest an eventual Rebirth of the DC Expanded Universe. I love to see another show added to the list, and I would go gonzo for a new Shazam!
Until that happens, this episode does not perform well as a standalone product. The JSA recognized the fact that Mick, Ray, Sara, Jefferson and Martin still have a lot of problems to sort through. They are hardly a functional team and they will never work out a proper chain of command. Some headway is made by the end of the episode to explain why Sara is now the opening credits narrator, and I’m hoping that stays. Stein may well become the Spock of this rag-tag crew because of his analytical methodology, and that’s a good position for him to be in. As for what’s next, to figure out who’s going to be the Bones McCoy of the group is going to be tough. That may be deligated to Gideon, the AI of the Waverider.
The members of the Justice Society get part of the spotlight. Rex Tyler (Hourman), Amaya Jiwe (Vixen), Stargirl, Commander Steel, Obsidian and Doctor Mid-Nite get proper introductions and I’m looking forward to seeing more of Vixen in future episodes. This episode introduces Mari’s grandmother, Amaya Jiwe and in due time, viewers might see the young girl inherit the totem that grants her superpowers. I’m hoping viewers will get to see S.T.R.I.P.E. the other partner who fights crime with Stargirl. It would be a shame to not see more of either heroes, but sadly this episode is more about seeing how Nate Heywood, the historian, becomes Commander Steel. I enjoyed the ongoing character development of Ray Palmer (The Atom) in how inadequate he feels as a hero. Without his suit, he is nothing but a brilliant inventor. He wants to make a difference and was originally going to use the super serum on himself until Nate gets hurt. The results will not be seen until the next episode Shogun, and with the following week offering Abominations, there is going to be a battle royale of clashing titans. Monsters and Mutants are going to collide!