The Legends of Tomorrow Premiere hasn’t even aired and it already feels like our new favorite show.
Legends of Today/Legends of Yesterday
Even though Legends of Tomorrow won’t premiere for a week (only one left to go, whoo!) we have seen plenty of backstory featured in sister shows Arrow and The Flash. The two episodes, featured in the “Heroes Join Forces” crossover, gave us a dramatic introduction to the central Legends of Tomorrow villain: Vandal Savage. The immortal despot (or at least he will be a despot in Legends of Tomorrow) came to Central City hunting Khufu and Chay-Ara, known in heroic terms as Hawkman and Hawkgirl.
The crossover served to introduce us to the complex backstory the three characters share. Khufu was an Egyptian Prince in love with the priestess Chay-Ara, both of whom were killed by Vandal Savage, who at the time was also a priest in service to the prince. The three were locked in a cycle of reincarnation in which Savage continually kills the two heroes to gain more and more power.
Currently Khufu and Chay-Ara are living as Carter Hall and Kendra Saunders, the former of whom is well aware of his true identity as the ancient Prince. But it was not until this crossover that Kendra found out the truth about her past. With the help of Team Arrow and Team Flash, the ancient lovers were able to overcome Vandal Savage for the first time in centuries.
Legends of Tomorrow (Pilot Part 1)
The full plot synopsis for the series premiere is a bit too long to quote directly here, so I’ll let you read it at your own discretion. The general plot, as you may know, revolves around time traveler Rip Hunter gathering a team of heroes to take up arms against Vandal Savage. Despite dying (turning to ash, in fact) Savage seems to have reincarnated in the near(ish) future and become a highly formidable conqueror on a global scale.
With Hawkgirl and Hawkman introduced in the Crossover, Captain Cold, Heatwave, and Firestorm featured heavily in The Flash, and The Atom and White Canary in Arrow, team leader Rip Hunter is pretty much the only hero we have yet to meet. Played by time-travel veteran Arthur Darville, Rip Hunter is (as the showrunners have told us) the son of Booster Gold, a DC Comics fan favorite and a time traveler in his own right. While he has had a storied history in the comics, it’s hard to know what will cross over into the series and what will be completely new.
The first part of the pilot will likely take the entire episode’s run time to have the team come together under the singular cause and learn to (at least begin to learn to) cooperate. Because the second episode is considered the “part 2” of the pilot (despite not airing until the following week) it seems likely that this first episode will feel less than complete, which sounds disappointing but could instead mean it will keep us all hooked for weeks to come.
CW Execultive Mark Pedowiz has praised the series (not that a network executive would ever publicly criticize a yet to debut show):
It is fun, it’s big, it’s lighter than Arrow and The Flash. It has great actors with great auspices. I’ve seen four hours. I get popcorn every time I watch it. It’s a fun big show. It’s a lot of Guardians of the Galaxy meets Doctor Who. And it takes your mind off the troubles of the world.
Both Arrow and The Flash are considered darker shows, Arrow especially being lauded for being a down to earth take on superheroes. So to hear that Legends of Tomorrow is a light hearted, popcorn show means DC fans are in for something new and exciting on The CW.