DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Second Season
Review by KC Carlson
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow was my favorite DC show last season by a wide margin. I lost interest in Arrow halfway through its first season and never went back (except for crossover episodes). I’m not sure what happened with The Flash, but both Johanna and I apparently got bored with it about mid-season, and next thing we knew there were 11-some episodes on the DVR. (We are looking forward to catching up with the season set, however.) Supergirl was okay, but was hurt by some of their season two budgetary constraints — I really missed Calista Flockhart’s Cat Grant character, who only appeared twice — and just plain weirdness with Jimmy Olsen becoming the Guardian. (Must every civilian on these shows end up a superhero?)
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, however, really works for me, with its cast of broken-down, occasionally criminal, and frequently confused characters. Adding to the confusion, it always seems at least a few of them are lost in time or presumed dead (tropes that they really should get away from quickly before they get trite).
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Second Season (including all 17 episodes and several special features) was released today. (The studio, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, provided me with a free review copy of this DVD set. My opinions below are mine.)
Having (wisely) written off Hawkman and Hawkgirl at the end of season one, the series needed a new direction for season two, and it accomplished that nicely. The first episode introduced us to new cast member Nate Heywood (played by Nick Zano), an historian trying to find the time-scattered Legends of Tomorrow (from the previous season’s cliffhanger). Heywood sought out Oliver Queen for help (already sussing out Queen’s duel identity of Green Arrow) and ended up in WWII, encountering the Justice Society of America.
For the TV show’s purposes, the JSA is made up of Hourman, Vixen, Commander Steel, Obsidian, Stargirl, and Dr. Mid-Nite. (Commander Steel is Henry Heywood, who happens to be Nate’s grandfather!) Further, the WWII-era Vixen here is Amaya Jiwe, who is the grandmother of the current era’s Vixen (aka Mari Jiwe McCabe), who mostly just appears in comic books since 1981. (As well as a short CW Seed animated series.) The original WWII-era Vixen (played by Maisie Richardson-Sellers) also joined the Legends of Tomorrow cast this season as an ongoing character. She accompanied the time traveling Nate Heywood back to the “present” (is there such a thing as the “present” on this show?), and the two started a relationship.
Dancing in the Darhk
While the JSA crossover was well done (as well as another fascinating era for the show to explore), the overarching theme of season two was the teaming of four of the DC TV Universe’s most evil, rotten, yet compelling villains to date (all plucked from their original appearances on other DC shows). This Legion of Doom consisted of Damien Darhk (played by Neal McDonough) who originally appeared on Arrow, Professor Zoom (aka Eobard Thawne, played by Matt Letscher) who originally appeared on The Flash, Captain Cold (aka Leonard Snart, played by Wentworth Miller), who originally appeared on The Flash, and Malcolm Merlyn (aka Dark Archer, played by John Barrowman) who originally appeared on Arrow. These four characters appeared in various combinations (and solo) throughout season two — and rumor has it that one of them becomes a regular character in the upcoming season three!
Other highlights of the season included the return of Jonah Hex in the old west, an adventure that focused on film director George Lucas in 1967, and another involving both Al Capone and lawman Elliot Ness. Further name-dropping episodes featured J.R.R. Tolkien, General Ulysses S. Grant, and King Arthur.
Timeless adventures were set in the American Civil War, during the 1987 INF treaty signing between the USA and USSR, complications with the 1970 Apollo 13 moon landing, and the first Dominator invasion of Earth in 1951 Oregon! (Bet you missed that one in the newspapers!) Plus, we encountered a brainwashed Rip Hunter and celebrated Christmas on the Waverider. The season ended with dinosaurs cruising the streets of Los Angeles (although what that has to do with actual time travel is beyond me…).
“Allied: The Invasion Complex” (10 minutes) — A featurette about the crossover event with Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl with chats about how excited the various casts were to work with each other, and other general silliness. There’s also a quick recap of the storyline, because (alas) those crossover episodes are not included on this Legends of Tomorrow-only collection.
The “2016 Comic-Con Panel” (30 minutes) introduced the Season 2 cast publicly for the first time, where they talk about what their characters are going to be doing (on the episodes you just finished watching), plus general panelesque foolishness and Q&A. It also included the show’s producers, who reveal many spoilers (again, from episodes you just watched). But you do get to see which cast members are naughty and which are nice.
The gag reel (6 1/2 minutes) has pretty much the same malfunctioning props and flimsy scenery you see everywhere, but it also includes a lot of (questionable) dancing. I thought the funniest mini-montage here was the series of clips where it appears that nobody knows anybody else’s name! (Character or real.)
Plus oodles of deleted scenes, from 9 of the 17 episodes!
Season Three of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow debuts on The CW on October 10, 2017, in an episode entitled “Aruba-Con”. Maybe one of those dinosaurs we saw on last season’s cliffhanger will join the team this season! Stranger things have happened on this show…