DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: A Eulogy for The Best Arrowverse Show

Friday is supposed to be the beginning of the weekend, a place to relieve stress during the week. But just before the April 29 weekend began, the CW finally made the official announcement that DC’s Legends of Tomorrow would be canceled after seven seasons. It’s been a painful cancellation for its devoted fan base, possibly fueled by an impending net sale, that sends us into a state of horror. It feels like a good friend has left us.

This is the third or fourth show to join the Arrowverse, depending on whether you consider the CBS season of Supergirl as part of it. Legends of Tomorrow shouldn’t work. It all started with a terrible pitch: What if we took a bunch of side characters from different shows and turned them into time travelers?

And for the first season, that’s true. Like many other shows with devoted fans — Star Trek: The Next Generation and Parks and Recreation — the show has taken a while to find its footing. The first season was too dramatic, focusing on the show’s least beloved characters – Rip Hunter, Hawkman, Hawkgirl and Vandal Savage – and on the characters’ bad decisions, unnecessary secrets , and worst of all, a love triangle.

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However, a few episodes into the second season of Legends, the adults left the room and then didn’t bother to check on the weird kids for six seasons.

Things immediately get weird, with Reverse-Flash/Eobard Thawne migrating from The Flash with the remaining face – played by Matt Letscher instead of Tom Cavanagh – to fight the Legend. He then joins Arrow villains Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) and Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) to form the Legion of Doom. Throughout the season, the Legends will battle confederate soldiers, meet Jonah Hex, join the first full-size Arrowverse skirmish, and meet all of the historical figures from Al Capone to George Washington. Ray goes to the moon with Thawne, forcing them to work together to get home. The villains win and temporarily rewrite reality, creating the first of many alternate timelines the show will explore.

This second part feels more laid-back than the first. It made good use of the previous villains, for one. This is something both Marvel and DC have struggled with. Villains tend to be the Big Bad Guys for a season, they get killed, and then they disappear. They rarely get a chance to recreate the way the villains do in the comic book source material. Damien Darhk, for example, is a badly written Arrow villain that brings the stakes too high to a movie about the man handing out colorful spiked sticks and his girlfriend who hacks everything. with her iPad. However, when up against a time-traveling team consisting of an atom man, an atom-sized man, and a person who can summon any animal they want, he is a better fit. a lot of. Darhk will continue to reappear throughout the show, first as a villain, and then as a reluctant anti-hero, redeemed by his daughter and the unrelenting optimism of the Legends. He has developed into a sympathetic character, which is the perfect definition of a recurring villain, and is allowed to change and evolve throughout. He’s one of my all-time favorite characters in the Arrowverse even though his patch on Arrow was tough, and it’s all thanks to Legends.

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The show also became completely unafraid to be silly and actively chatted with its fan base. When a stuffed animal named Beebo accidentally becomes a prophet for a viking band, the fandom latches on to him, making him a hilarious recurring character. The Season 3 finale featured the Legend of Voltron-style transformation into a giant Beebo, and then showed off its Shaolin style to a time demon.

Legends also has hypertext – making fun of itself and for television – in a way that’s reminiscent of something like NBC’s Community. For example, the demon of that time, Mallus, was voiced by actor John Noble. In the episode “Guests Starring John Noble” they kidnap John Noble from the set of The Lord of the Rings, where he plays Denethor so they can ask him to pose as Mallus to try control an evil character. sinister. So they had the actor play the villain, playing the villain himself.

After that, the show will revolve around parodies and make great combinations of TV genres and other trivia. Sara Lance once told a character that the crew wasn’t allowed to talk about MacGuffins before she had her coffee. MacGuffin is the term used in narrative criticism to talk about the item everyone is after – the Holy Grail, the Allspark, etc. – but that’s not really the point of the story. They parody Star Trek, Friends, etc. But it’s always, always with the intention of telling us something about the characters.

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These characters are by no means static, and even loose jokes become central to the characters. Zari, in an episode going back in time, learns that tough thief Mick Rory has a secret knack for writing romance novels, which would later become an important part of his personality. It’s not a silly joke that teases someone with feelings and shows them off. . Over the course of his six seasons with the show, Rory has grown from a hardened criminal into a loving father (if very strange) and someone who is proud to be part of the Legends team.

It’s hard to write things like this, winking at audiences but not doing so to the detriment of the characters, and Legends cleverly balances this throughout its run.

One thing that can be a problem for other shows has become Legends’ strong point: a massive, rotating cast. The first season saw the departure of three of Waverider’s characters, and that started a tradition that would last for the duration of the show. Each season will see some characters leave the show and others join. That means the core crew from Season 1 dwindles down until only Sara Lance is left, but it also puts great characters like John Constantine on board the team’s time ship.

Actress Maisie Richardson-Sellers joined the film as Amaya Jiwe, and then switched to Charlie, a shapeshifter who got stuck in Jiwe’s form and ended up liking it. Matt Ryan joins as John Constantine, but will later play Gwyn Davies. Tala Ashe played two different versions of her character, Zari; one is a flannel-clad hacker who loves to eat donuts, and another from an alternate timeline where she’s the first ever Kardashian-like fashion media mogul. The show took such care of its actors, giving them both a reason to stay on the show if they wanted to, and to flex their acting by playing different characters and showing off different looks. difference.

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Even characters that feel so random and weird at first become beloved members of the group, such as when a timeline change replaces Zari with her brother, the lovable kicker Behrad . Mistakes here are few and far between characters, even initially obnoxious characters like Gary Greene have found a way to blend in with the show and grow into a full-fledged human.

Over the course of its run, Legends will face historical time anomalies, souls rising from hell, aliens, and mythical creatures, ensuring that nothing will ever happen. It’s like a villain machine of the week. While the show has a similar, if not smaller, budget than other Arrowverse shows, Legends is constantly ending up in new places and time slots, designers, and directors. never make them feel cheap no matter how cheap they may actually be. The show doesn’t care too much about realism, but instead understands the fine line between capturing the essence of something and meticulously recreating every detail.

Legends is so silly and true to itself throughout its run that it makes other Arrowverse shows look worse by comparison. It isn’t afraid to transform itself and take the opportunity to give the cast and characters the space they need to thrive. It feels like the series is playing pranks on the net and all the other shows. It’s so horrible that the show got canceled, it’s hard not to be grateful that we’ve had these seven seasons of complete nonsense.

I wish we got to Booster Gold more than the second half of the Season 7 finale. Donald Faison would fit into the Legends team swimmingly. We can say goodbye to Sara Lance and Waverider.

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Legends of Tomorrow wasn’t supposed to be a hit, but the writers and cast loved the movie so much that they wanted it to work. They mold and carve it until the worst parts fall off to reveal even more silly character and character. There are still Arrowverse shows on the CW; The Flash will get Season 9, Superman and Lois a Season 3. But as CW Prepare to sell yourself to the highest bidder, it seems to remove those programs that are not very successful. Legend slipped in the spotlight for too long, and it felt like someone had finally checked the books and realized that, somehow, this show was still being filmed and broadcast by the network.

When Legends of Tomorrow dies, it’s hard not to see it as the beginning of the end of Arrowvers. And that doesn’t even account for the fact that it was canceled on the same day as Batwoman, effectively ending both LGBTQ-led superhero shows at the same time. Both Legends and Arrowverse are weird, ambitious experiments that, despite their flaws, work better than they should. For those of us who’ve found Legends of Tomorrow, it’s a true gift of a show, a jewel in the CW’s crown, and one of the few superhero shows that stands out as the bow. offers something different to the overly dramatic, apocalyptic tone of so many other superhero shows and movies.

Image credit: © 2016-2022 CW Network, LLC. Copyright Registered.

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