Flashpoints – Legends of Tomorrow (Pilot Part 1)

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The year is 2166, and wouldn’t you know it, life is pretty shite! Vandal Savage, longstanding DC supervillain has taken over the world and does so through that oh-so reliable means: through force. The Time Masters, who protect the flow of time and the creator of the time sphere/ also Time Master Rip Hunter need to decide; what’s more important, keeping time safe or keeping humanity safe…

As I’s sure you can imagine, Rip Hunter just goes off and does his own thing, as lovable English rogues are known to do. To combat Savage throughout history, Hunter gathers together a group of extendible yet very skilled people from the year 2016, and no, I wasn’t one of them sadly. So, armed with his English accent, a time machine, Gideon, and a Men In Black device that lets him kidnap people (yeah he might have done that…) Rip travels 150 years into the past!

Great story right? Well as you might expect it’s a crossover special, with our Legends of Tomorrow trickling in from all over the DC TV universe, and hopefully we’ll be treated to even more in the epic crusade that has patched together B, C and D listers together and woven them into the Justice Leag- Legends of Tomorrow!

DC's Legends of Tomorrow -- "Pilot, Part 1" -- Image LGN101d_0406b -- Pictured (L-R): Franz Drameh as Jefferson "Jax" Jackson, Falk Hentschel as Carter Hall/Hawkman, Ciara Renee as Kendra Saunders/Hawkgirl, Caity Lotz as Sara Lance, Victor Garber as Professor Martin Stein, Wentworth Miller as Leonard Snart/Captain Cold, Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory/Heat Wave and Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer/Atom -- Photo: Jeff Weddell/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

So what do we learn just from cobbling together TV spots and trailers? Well it’s a patchwork really, the executives took the characters that work best in a team dynamic, gave them a heavy hitter to… hit, and all this time not calling it the Justice League. Hopefully Legends can shed some light on the mysteries of the DC timeline, and maybe straighten some things out (with regards to the Reverse-Flash) and give us a story that we haven’t seen before!

So does the two part Pilot do any of that? Well yes and no, because it’s a pilot it does get bogged down in getting its story told, and the assembly of the team left a little bit to be desired in terms of pacing and character exploration. That being said it was fun (and VERY inappropriate) to see Professor Stein get his way and get his partner on board (Get it?? Because he drugged Jefferson Jackson and brought him aboard the time ship!)

The pilot is ultimately testing the waters, both in terms of the show and the story itself; at no point does the show attempt to explain time travel in a very technical way, and its somewhat unbelievable that at no point one of the less *ahem* scientifically academic characters goes ‘But like…can you explain that in Leaving Cert physics terms please?’ There’s a lot of stuff to grasp there, just saying.

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Still the pilot does deliver a coherent story, there’s a beginning, middle and end, and because there needs to be some personal stakes in the matter somebody needs to die to motivate the team, y’know go all Phil Coulson! And even probably the coming back to life part too, so Horray on good narrative! Meh on who you killed off!

So, let’s talk about our Legends, their likes and interests, though crime/heroics is usually their preferred M.O. Last year we got a fairly lengthy introduction to our main brains: from Arrow, we got Ray Palmer aka The Atom! From The Flash we got Martin Stein aka Firestorm, and also his partner Jefferson Jackson!

Atom and Stein are actually a bit too similar for their own good, they both joined the team for the same reason; to make a mark on history, they’re both scientifically gifted and they both have like…projectile attacks! (Laser beams v. Flamethrowers) Though there are very enjoyable differences. Ray is excitable and puppy like in his innocence, while Stein seems to be becoming an adrenaline junkie.

In between the two is Jefferson, who is against the idea of putting himself in danger, but still has that little dab of hero in him! Jeff hasn’t really gotten to shine as much as the other characters, for now he is Arthur Dent to Steins Zaphod Beeblebrox.

On the more criminal end of the totem pole we have White Canary, a former assassin who came back to life after her sister Laurel (Ugh.) in typical Laurel fashion resurrected her with a half arsed idea of what to do. Sara Lance now don’s the white canary identity and kicks all kinds of ass! Sara seems much more the go with the flow type, and she even gets super high in 1975 for the craic like! I see her as the ‘Urverybody be cooooooooool’ person for the time being.

Speaking of cool (and also not) we also have Captain Cold and Heat Wave, who unlike the rest of the team, have each other’s backs but still insist of stealing stuff, there like the two bully’s or silent guys who remain on the sidelines for a good portion of the video game/ movie, and then kick serious arse when they are roused from their apathy! Though they actually dove into the action pretty quick! Poor Mick is taking a back seat to Lenny, who is working up a charming friendship with Sara and already butting heads with the would-be-leader The Atom!
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Lastly we have the hawks, repeatedly reincarnated lovers (ooooh saucy!) and the eternal prey of Vandal Savage Kendra Saunders and Carter Hall are winged warriors who are probably the warrior archetype of the team. I feel like Legends will go through their story more than anyone’s save Rip, though *Spoilers* one of the hawk heroes dies fighting Savage! Yes we lose Carter less than 3 episodes into the series, though as I said: ‘What a fecking cop out!’ I mean killing off the quasi immortal dude is just the easiest way you could have gone; there is quite literally a 100% chance he’ll come back. Buuuh.

Our Legends all come together under the guidance of Rip Hunter! An English time master and loving husband and father, Rip assembled the Legends to fight Savage after the devilish dictator killed his wife and child! A fairly standard motivation, but I can see it maybe conflicting a little bit with the hawks motive for killing him. I have to say that I quite like Rip, though the Doctor Who parallels drawn for him might be his characters undoing.

Arrow -- "Legends of Yesterday" -- Image AR408B_0005b.jpg -- Pictured: Casper Crump as Vandal Savage -- Photo: Katie Yu/ The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Our big baddie of Legends of Tomorrow is Casper Crumps Vandal Savage who spend 5000 years trying to take over the world and succeeds in the year 2166, prompting Rip Hunter to defeat him before Savage rises to power. Savage spends most of the Pilot having his plots foiled by those meddling kids! I do feel like Vandal won’t be the powerful, intimidating villain like Damien Darhk judging on what I’ve seen so far, he’ll be more of the very creepy and ominously powerful type. While he does a good job of being a villain, Savage has yet to WOW! Me.

Another Baddie we faced was Chronos, one of The Atoms arch-enemies from the comics, re-imagined as a bounty hunter who looks suspiciously like the elves from Thor: The Dark World. All I can really say is that he had a cool lookin’ gun!

Well that’s that, Legends is off to a good start, though it suffers from typical problems you’d expect from an ensemble cast in a pilot, but I sure am excited to see where the show will take us!

 

STRAY THOUGHTS

  • Rip’s stealing of a time machine against his super-powered contemporise reminds me of another fictional time traveller who Arthur Davrill worked beside…

 

  • Is it me or is there a brooding super/anti-hero in every bar fight ever?

 

  • Drinking age in US: 21, Jefferson’s age: 20, STEIN DONT GIVE A MINOR ALCOHOL!

 

  • Hey guys, Guys, remember that bag guy from Arrow, he’s totally not in this!

 

About the Author:

The lovable slacker type, Colm Sheppard is into all things comic book. He enjoys good food, good stories and lengthy anecdotes.

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About English Den

Experienced, qualified and professional English teacher working in Warsaw, Poland. Interested in pop culture, and using pop culture to teach languages. Available for private or in-business classes. International classes also available on Skype. Contact Cian.shep@gmail.com for further information.
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