DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Fifth Season
I still love Legends of Tomorrow. The show has a sense of fun and playfulness and not-taking-anything-too-seriously that is so necessary to keep from getting bored of superheroics on TV. So many of the episodes and seasons follow formula — and those expectations are part of the genre, and there’s nothing wrong with that — that I want a little something more to keep my interest.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Fifth Season came out in September, but since I didn’t rush to watch it, I’m only talking about it now. Which is convenient, since Amazon currently has the Blu-ray set for half-price — only it won’t arrive until after Christmas, if that matters.
And if you order from the first release, you’ll get a bonus disc that is worth the trouble. It contains all five episodes of the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” CW crossover event — individual episodes of this show, Supergirl, Batwoman, The Flash, and Arrow, in its final season — as well as a number of great special features.
Watching these five episodes all in a row is mind-altering, not in a good way. There’s just constant yelling and death and cameos and people you’re supposed to care about but may not remember who they are… Ultimately, none of this has much impact because it’s all too much. Which is another reason I appreciate Legends of Tomorrow. Instead of all the doom and drama, to wrap up the event, they had an attack by a giant blue stuffed toy, and I finally got to laugh at all these team-ups.
There are also more special features on the bonus disc than on the main season. Most of them feature original comic creators Marv Wolfman, George Pérez, Jerry Ordway, show runner Marc Guggenheim, and Dan DiDio (reminding me that I’m so glad he’s gone from the comic company). The individual extras are:
- The Architects Return (12 minutes)
- Crisis Management (13 minutes)
- Crisis Past and Present: Kevin Conroy Bat Legend (3 minutes)
- Crisis Past and Present: Superman vs. Superman (5 minutes)
- Characters in Crisis: Pariah (4 minutes)
- Character in Crisis: The Anti-Monitor (5 minutes)
I found out Wolfman’s take on the original Crisis on Infinite Earths comic miniseries, the first and best of the major modern era crossover events. Originally pitched in 1981, it began in 1985. The goal was to “convince the Marvel readers how good the DC characters are.” It was neat remembering how much of a game-changer it was. But almost half the time, they spend on the TV show tie-in comic illustrated by Tom Derenick which I had completely forgotten about.
Back to the 14 episodes of the Legends of Tomorrow season. It opens with a fake documentary that works well as a reintroduction. John Constantine’s (Matt Ryan) former victim is now sending villains out of hell, which allows for various time travel stories. Those that appear include Rasputin, Benjamin Siegel (in a retro gangster piece), a slasher movie type that attacks a class reunion, and a headless Marie Antoinette. She’s played by Courtney Ford, who also plays Nora, who’s now Ray’s (Brandon Routh) girlfriend (and the actors are married in real life) and a fairy godmother.
The former future hacker (Tala Ashe) returns as a social media star, and she does a fabulous job in both roles. A bunch of the characters get stuck on a version of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. That turns into a mythology-tinged quest for the Loom of Fate in order to give Constantine and Charlie (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) things to do. Constantine has terminal lung cancer, at which point he goes to light up a cigarette, saying “no point in quitting now”.
That kind of dark humor is fun, and the show creators seem to have a similar attitude. For instance, Genghis Khan walks into a tea shop in 1997, and a dove randomly flies by behind him in slow motion, echoing action movie cliches. This season also has zombies, taking down a mystically powered frat boy, a dystopian alternate universe, and getting stuck on TV show satires of Star Trek and Friends, among others.
For extras, most episodes have deleted scenes, and there’s a gag reel, along with extended footage of several scenes, most involving the Mr. Parker (Mr. Rogers-like) character. It was a wonderful binge, full of imagination.
Find out where you can watch DC’s Legends of Tomorrow here: