Legends of Tomorrow: William Shakespeare Almost Invented the MCU in Romeo v Juliet: Dawn of Justness

Sometimes, the Legends of Tomorrow screw things up for the better -- and there's an argument to be made that's exactly what almost happened in tonight's episode, titled "Romeo v Juliet: Dawn of Justness." In the episode, Charlie led the team to London in 1594, where she revealed that she had left a piece of the Loom of Fate with celebrated playwright (and her old pal) William Shakespeare. Hoping for a quick and easy recovery mission, Charlie was disappointed to discover that the piece of the Loom -- which she had glamoured as a ring in order to hide its true form -- had been taken as collateral by a producer to whom Shakespeare was in debt.

An attempt to reclaim the ring led to a bar fight (as these things tend to do) and, being a bit drunk, the Legends showed their powers, revealing the existence of superheroes to Shakespeare and inspiring him to create the genre. As you can imagine, this led to a very different take on "Romeo and Juliet."

"I've a plan," Shakespeare tells Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) in one scene. "Romeo and Juliet will form a team, and I will henceforth introduce the allies Hamlet, Viola, and Puck, who will join forces to face Richard III."

The gag, of course, is that Shakespeare is essentially building The Avengers here: some of the most popular characters from his most beloved works come together to face the biggest of the bad in his canon. Hamlet is obviously the title character from the play of the same name. Puck appears in "A Midsummer Night's Dream," while Viola is featured in "Twelfth Night." And, of course, Richard III -- another title lead -- maybe just proves that Marvel's Thanos deserves his own movie?

In any event, Billy Shakes gets talked out of it, leaving it up to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster to invent the superhero centuries later. That's probably for the best, even if it does mean we never get to see the scene where Richard and Richmond's sword fight gets interrupted by a totem-bearing dude with wind powers.

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The episode was a sendoff to longtime series star Brandon Routh, whose character was married last week (to Nora Darkh, played by Routh's real-world wife Courtney Ford). Routh's emotional performance tonight not only mirrors how fans are feeling, but how he himself feels, as he has said in recent interviews that he and Ford were not ready to move on from Legends and that it was sprung on them unexpectedly.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow airs on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT, following episodes of The Flash on The CW.

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