warning: spoilers for the season finale of Legends of Tomorrow, as well as plot points from Daredevil and Jessica Jones.
This week, fans of the much hyped Legends of Tomorrow TV series were treated to some awesome potential superhero connections during the season finale – namely the appearance of the Hourman and his affiliation with the Justice Society of America (JSA). The potential connections to the other reaches of the DC Universe seems promising, and it was a convenient addition seeing that the Flash was a member of the JSA. While many diehard comic fans would be rejoicing with excitement, I wasn’t impressed.
Why we don’t need more superheroes in the show
Marvel has one-upped DC by keeping most of its visual properties together in the shared Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). There are minor references at least from the TV series to the films as well as propagations of events from the films into the TV shows (see how Captain America: The Winter Soldier made Agents of SHIELD, well, no longer agents of SHIELD), as a way for Marvel to remind us that we are indeed being told stories in the shared universe. These references are however minor at best and does not do much to bring about big disruptions to each show’s own plot that it focuses on.
And that brings about my point – the way Marvel has handled character development in its TV series (especially the Netflix ones) is superb. The storytelling in Daredevil and Jessica Jones, and its reflection to issues in real life, really sucks me in and makes me ponder about your opinions towards societal issues. The various life experiences of the superheroes constructs the empathy I have for them when these experiences fueled their choices in different events. It’s how Jessica Jones went from I don’t care to I want to help to it’s time to end Kilgrave’s life. How the Punisher justifies his killings for the greater good. The conversations about difference in ideology between Daredevil and the Punisher in episode 3 (which is my favourite scene from the second season) is an example of a well constructed storyline. It is what a good quality superhero show should have, in my opinion, aside from well-choreographed action scenes.
Legends of Tomorrow has neither.
The lack of exciting fight scenes may be attributed to a lack of budget (correct me on this) or the nature of the superheroes in question, but there is really no excuse in dishing out a forced romance between Atom and Hawkgirl and not having a convincing backstory and / or experiences in the two characters. I watch Legends of Tomorrow because of my emotional attachment towards some characters from other shows in the Arrowverse, such as Sara Lance and Captain Cold (why did he have to die?!), but the lack of a good plot is really making me consider dropping the series if it still doesn’t recover. (I’m looking at you too, Arrow.) Vandal Savage, who is supposed to have amassed thousands of years of experience in deception (and also has the gift of immortality), doesn’t seem to be using his skills well, as compared to say, Wilson Fisk who really uses his power and influence to great extents in Daredevil. And the only reason that Savage took 16 episodes (and more from the Arrow / Flash crossover) is because of some stupidity in Kendra’s actions. All. The. Time. But coming back to my topic of contention..
Why are more superheroes bad?
Sure, Rex Tyler is definitely gonna spice up CW’s DC Universe more, but let’s consider the fact it will be really difficult for bigger named superheroes (who, let’s face it, are those that you subconsciously relate to when the JSA was mentioned) to make their appearance in the shows. Green Lantern? Wonder Woman? Shazam? What we need, instead of these, is a better storyline. A better plot that gives more sense to how the characters (so many of them in Legends of Tomorrow) behave. A way for us to make an emotional connection to them. It’s how we will care for, and subsequently be interested in what happens to, the superheroes. I pity the Punisher for what happened to him and I subconsciously do not judge him for his actions, even though it is probably morally wrong.
Without a solid plot, I’m really apprehensive about the direction of Legends of Tomorrow. Let’s hope that Rex Tyler brings the team to fight with either some really badass-powerful supervillian, or with some crazy-scheming villian that plays them like pawns.
Oh and did I mention that I’m so happy about Hawkman and Hawkgirl’s departure from the team? Yes I just did!