Thursday, January 21, 2016

On The Air: Legends of Tomorrow (2016)

This ain't exactly the Justice League, not even close.

Greg Berlanti's latest addition to his growing DC TV Universe, Legends of Tomorrow, adds one more name from the DC Archives to the mix. That would be time traveler Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill, ex-Doctor Who), who has gathered together an unlikely crew to take down immortal despot Vandal Savage (Casper Crump). Consider:

*--The Atom (Brandon Routh): Dr. Ray Palmer has been rebooted on Arrow as not only a scientist but, up until the end of last season, he had his own company, something he never had in the books. Not too fond of the armored costume he was given, which really is a waste of the budget.

*--Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), soon to be known as White Canary: Raised from the dead earlier this season on Arrow, and prone to berserker rages due to having been resurrected in R'as Al Ghul's Lazarus Pit.

*--Hawkman & Hawkgirl made their TV debuts in November on Arrow & The Flash. In Berlanti's world, Kendra Saunders had just relocated to Central City as a barista, and fell for Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes). However, fate has her tied to Carter Hall. Comics fans among you know the story, which, in the Berlanti-verse, is tied to that of Savage.

*--Leonard Snart, alias Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and best pal Mick Rory, aka Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell), are the two wild cards. They're in not so much to save the future, but to loot history.

*--Professor Martin Stein (Victor Garber) and Jefferson "Jay" Jackson (Franz Drameh). Jackson replaces Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell) as 1/2 of Firestorm, the Nuclear Man. At first, he's not too keen on the mission, but, predictably, changes his mind by the end of tonight's opener. Personally, I don't get why they needed to create a new African American character when an established one, Jason Rusch, had already been introduced, in a way, on The Flash last season. Only Berlanti knows the answer.

Before I go further, here's the network trailer:

Now, let's talk about tonight's episode.

Hunter assembles his team, but under false pretenses. It all unravels when Chronos, a foe of Atom in the books, surfaces, bent on capturing Hunter. In the comics, Chronos is a common thief, and has been repackaged here as a far more sinister adversary. In 1975, the crew locates a man who Hunter claims can help them locate Savage, but it turns out he has ties to certain of the team. Perhaps the best part of the show finds Sara, Mick, & Len at a bar, and then, the shizzle hits the fanizzle, if you get the drift.

Miller & Purcell figure to be two of the busiest guys on the tube this season, as their earlier series, Prison Break, is being revived on Fox later this year, in much the same way X-Files is returning, starting Sunday, in a limited run format. The one scene where it seems Sara is flirting with Len opens the door to some interesting possibilities.

However, after an uneven start, and a script that read more like something you'd read from Marvel, not DC, Legends needs to find its footing, and quickly. Otherwise, it will be the weak link in the chain, and you'll start reading more rumors about the CW's 3 Berlanti-verse entries linking with a certain CBS show........

Rating: B-.

No comments: