The highly-anticipated spinoff of the DC Comics-based series The Flash and Arrow on the CW, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, debuted Thursday on the CW. While the occasional cameo from the Flash or the Green Arrow is expected, Part 1 of the pilot introduced the cast of characters that will drive the story of Legends. The ensemble includes characters who have been featured in the Arrowverse to varying degrees before. From a heat gun-toting arsonist to reincarnated lovers with wings, this band of gifted individuals will have to form a team to take down an immortal dictator from the future.
In crossover episodes of The Flash (Season 2, “Legends of Today”) and Arrow (Season 4, “Legends of Yesterday”), several of these characters teamed up to defeat Vandal Savage. Most notably, Hawkman and Hawkgirl have been enemies of Savage for centuries. At the end of the cross-over episodes, the body of Savage is destroyed, and Malcolm Merlyn collects his ashes. As the Legends of Tomorrow are about to find out, that wasn’t the end of Vandal Savage.
— Legends of Tomorrow (@TheCW_Legends) January 21, 2016
Note: The following contains spoilers for the episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow — Pilot, Part 1 — which aired on the CW January 21, 2016.
Arrowverse characters in this episode
- Rip Hunter (Arthur Darville) — A member of the “Time Masters Council,” he has the technology to time travel and possesses a great understanding of chronology.
— Comic Book Resources (@CBR) January 22, 2016
- Time Masters Council — A council of time masters in charge of protecting the timeline from human interference.
- Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) — An immortal villain with global domination aspirations.
- Gideon (Amy Pemberton) — The name of the artificial intelligence on Waverider, the ship commanded by Rip Hunter.
- Atom (Brandon Routh) — A businessman/inventor with a suit that gives him the ability to shrink. Legal name is Ray Palmer.
- The Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) — Shown here helping Atom learn to use his suit and giving him advice about joining Hunter. Legal name is Oliver Queen.
- White Canary (Caity Lotz) — Formerly just “Canary,” she died in the Arrow series and was resurrected by the Lazarus Pit. She is a protege of Black Canary. Legal name is Sara Lance.
- Black Canary (Katie Cassidy) — Makes a cameo here while training White Canary and giving her advice about joining Hunter. Legal name is Laurel Lance.
- Firestorm — Comprised of Professor Martin Stein (Victor Garber) and Jefferson Jackson (Franz Drameh), this is the second incarnation of this combined character in the Arrowverse, as Ronnie (Stein’s previous other half) sacrificed himself in The Flash.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) January 22, 2016
- Hawkgirl (Ciara Renee) — Just now coming to terms with the fact that she has been reincarnated many times over the centuries. She was originally a warrior and can manifest wings. Legal name is Kendra Saunders (but originally Chay-Ara).
- Hawkman (Falk Hentschel) — As seen on The Flash, he has reincarnated repeatedly along with his soulmate (Hawkgirl) and is drawn to her in every life. His super powers are essentially the same as Hawkgirl’s powers. Legal name is Carter Hall (but originally Khufu).
- Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell) — An arsonist and thief with an incredibly impressive heat gun. Parter of Captain Cold. Legal name is Mick Rory.
- Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) — Killer and thief with an incredibly impressive cryonic gun. Legal name is Leonard Snart.
- Professor Boardman (Peter Francis James) — A professor of Classics at St. Roch University in 1975. The son of Hawkman and Hawkgirl from a former life.
- Chronos — Time travelling bounty hunter with some very dangerous weapons and technology.
The show opens with a shot of a dystopian London in the year 2166 during “The Second Blitz.” Vandal Savage, “an evil dictator blessed with immortality,” has conquered the entire planet. Apparently, he wasn’t dealt with as thoroughly as some thought from the recent Flash/Arrow crossover, as noted by Gamespot.
Captain Rip Hunter, a Time Master, has requested permission from the Time Masters Council to go back in time to stop Vandal Savage, so as to prevent his eventual conquering of humanity. He is denied permission, as that is exactly what they are sworn to protect — the timeline, not humanity. He takes his ship (the Waverider) anyway. “Gideon” is the J.A.R.V.I.S. of his ship. They travel back to 2016 to recruit a team of eight super heroes (and villains) to help with his renegade campaign.
— Charlie Schneider (@AwesomEmergency) January 22, 2016
Hunter gathers all eight of the legends and explains what the world looks like in 2166 and tells them they are the future’s only hope. He tells them they are legends in his time (not true) and that they need to go back in time to stop Savage (true). He gives them 36 hours to decide.
They do not trust him at first. When Atom is asked what he knows about Hunter, he confesses his ignorance.
“He’s a time master from the 22nd Century. It’s hard to Google him.”
Eventually, they all join in, although about half of them do so reluctantly. They travel back to 1975 to visit Professor Boardman, who has studied Vandal Savage extensively. We learn that Boardman is actually the son of the Hawks from a previous life, and that Vandal killed them in that life. While in 1975, their ship, which is normally cloaked by camoflauge technology/invisibility, comes under attack by Chronos.
As they escape his attack, Hunter is forced to admit the full truth to the rest of the crew. They aren’t actually legends in 2166 as he knows it. He is on a rogue mission, and the Time Masters Council has sent Chronos to bring Hunter and the Waverider back before he can interfere with the timeline.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow : Who is Chronos? https://t.co/fnv1cxQlQx
— ComicBookMania101 (@ComicBookMania) January 22, 2016
We learn that Chronos has the technology to determine whether or not eliminating someone will alter the timeline significantly. While using this technology in front of two clueless humans, he explains this power.
“I’m determining whether you’re integral to the timeline. You’re not.”
He then proceeds to kill the innocent bystanders, effortlessly and emotionlessly.
As the Legends escape their attacker and wrestle with the truth, they are given a chance to reconsider. But after learning that Hunter was motivated by the fact that Vandal Savage killed his wife and son and that the Time Masters Council seems completely unconcerned, they all agree to join the mission.
And so Season 1 of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow has begun.
Where to watch
Replays of the series premiere of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow can be streamed on-demand at the CW’s website. The Legends Pilot, Part 1 can also be streamed with a Hulu Plus subscription.
[Image via The CW]