“The Chicago Way” needs more than an Untouchable Feeling for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow

11 Dec

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is certainly having fun with “The Chicago Way,” and it is the perfect episode to bring back a past character — Leonard Snart (Captain Cold) — because he nicely fits in the era the team has to visit to correct the latest time aberration. While he’s back (sort of) as a ghost, just how important he will be to Mick’s narrative will require a wait as the series is now at a mid-point. The season is set to resume January 24th, 2017.

I was hoping to see him as part of the team, ripped from the timeline at a different point, and brought back to 1920’s Chicago, but instead to see him as Ghost of Christmas Past (or is that Future?) chiding Rory for becoming soft makes for a terrific character study. Just what has this hardened criminal become? Is Heatwave losing his mojo? Amaya has an interest in him, and just where that goes is seeing these two be the muscle for the team. It’s hard to say if there’s a romantic thing brewing, but I am curious about where their relationship is going.

This latest episode is more intent on developing who the Legion of Doom will eventually become. While Eobard Thawne and Damien Darhk are two key figures, just how involved Malcolm Merlyn is remains to be seen. While three figures exist against the six (Firestorm is made from two people), eventually other villains will have to be introduced. Gorilla Grodd is certainly going to be back. There’s no doubt about this fact since that story arc was never fully resolved. Since no Superman exists in the Flashpoint universe, the question of whether a Luthor exists or not needs to be asked. From Arrow’s roster of enemies, while Talia al Ghul is unlikely to be recruited, the question of who will eventually join can make for a fun game.

I certainly enjoyed this episode more than the others. Admittedly, I have a fondness for the Roaring 20’s. It was a turbulent time and Prohibition gave gangsters the ability to rule nearly unabated, especially in New York and Chicago. While this dark undercurrent marked this decade in America, radio broadcasting came into prominence worldwide to spread some of this fear and yet also entertain. Old-time radio (as its known now) helped popularize the pulps. Heroes like Black Mask and Tarzan were well-known during this time. While many of today’s well-known comic book publishers were not founded yet, the heroes we love did not emerge until the late 30’s (Batman, Flash Gordon) and well into the 40’s, to see Palmer or even Nate listen to a radio broadcast would have made the episode perfect than to have it be completely about The Untouchables.

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At least a bit of archaeological fun is being established to set the tone for the series when it returns. While I never expected any reference to the discovery of King Tut’s tomb to occur, to see the Legion of Doom going after ancient relics before the Nazi’s even considered it (perhaps ala Indiana Jones in the next episode”Raiders of the Lost Art”) will certainly rewrite history. I’m not sure if I should make reference to a certain Magnum P.I. episode right now, but I’m hoping the puns will not fly fast when this episode airs.

But as for who has been chasing down the parts of a compass to locate Spear of Destiny is in Thawne’s hands than Darhk’s, which is very surprising. Damien did not even know about it until his partner revealed what he has been after. I thought all this search for buried treasure was because of Darhk wanting to prevent his death in the future by Arrow’s hands. This version of Darhk is well aware of his fate and the Legion of Doom may well have other ideas in mind.

This archaeological treasure is generally known to allow the bearer to learns its secret to control the destiny (hence its name) of the world than of an individual’s fate. I’m okay with this bending of the legend, although in what I’m curious about is in whether the series writers will consider its DC universe canon. Eventually, this weapon will fall into the hands of Hitler and with magic, he will eventually corrupt the weapon’s purpose of existing. Already hinted at in a future episode of Arrow is “Spectre of the Gun,” to which the DC Hero of that name might make an appearance. This character first appeared in More Fun Comics Vol 1 #52, published in the late 40’s. Okay, while we will not see any of the early pulp heroes appear in Legends of Tomorrow, can we at least have Captain Marvel (Shazam)?

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