DC's Legends of Tomorrow is back in production for its second season, and so far we don't have any idea who the big bad is.
...Well, any official idea. I've got a crackpot theory that just might pan out.
During a 2015 visit to the set of DC's Legends of Tomorrow, I found myself talking to executive producer Phil Klemmer, chatting him about a time-traveling DC villain: Monarch. Almost a year later, that villain -- or at least a version of him -- seems like a pretty great candidate for a Season Two villain for Legends.
DC fans will remember Hank Hall as Hawk, one half of the superhero duo Hawk and Dove. After the first Dove -- his brother, Don -- died, Hall became increasingly violent and unstable -- not words that were impossible to associate with him even before that. The changes to Hall's personality culminated when he became the villain Monarch, the antagonist behind a number of crossover miniseries.
Of couse, in the original story it was Captain Atom, not Hawk, who would become Monarch in Armageddon 2001. Even at a time when fans weren't on the internet, though, that twist leaked, and rather than just roll with the punch, DC decided they had enough time to change the story.
Of course, the fact that Armageddon 2001 was a story all about a futuristic despot who was secretly a 20th Century superhero who killed his allies during his rise to the top meant that there were plenty of later-discarded clues that Captain Atom was the bad guy, but that's a story for another day.
Armageddon 2001's point of view character was a newly-introduced character known as Waverider (recognizable to fans of Legends of Tomorrow as the name of the timeship). It was his quest to change his future by becoming a hero in the past that set the story in motion, and the character would become bound to Hank Hall for years as a result. Besides appearing in numerous Armageddon-titled miniseries events, Waverider was a driving force in Dan Jurgens's Zero Hour: A Crisis in Time, which evolved Monarch into another new character: Extant.
During Zero Hour, one of the more notable things Extant did was lay waste to the Justice Society of America, a group of heroes who had been active in the 40s and who had, up to that point, remained artificially young by a variety of means. Extant aged them to their "proper" ages during the battle, resulting in some retiring and even some dying off.
It was that story that transformed Hank Hall into a primarily Justice Society villain, and Extant would reappear a few more times in JSA stories written by Geof Johns until his ultimate death, when he would be transported through time and made to replace one of his victims on board a crashing plane, where (having been rendered powerless moments before) he perished.
We don't yet know much about Legends of Tomorrow Season Two, but the things we do know would match up pretty well with Hank Hall as a potential villain.
We have characters struggling with the concept of legacy and generational heroes, in the form of Vixen and Citizen Steel. That could easily be as a result of a number of the older heroes dying off and passing their powers and responsibilities to the new generation.
We also have that introduction from Hourman at the end of Season One, in which he suggests that he's been sent by a future version of Heat Wave and that if they get on board the Waverider and head back to their destination, the team will die. Could that be tied to Monarch's initial rise to power, during which one of the first things he did was kill off all the superheroes?
We have producers who have said that the big bad will be "a slow reveal and a little bit of a mystery," something that would certainly appeal to Monarch's story, where the whole point of Armageddon 2001 was just to figure out his identity.
And of course we have the simple fact that we're looking for a time-traveling supervillain with a tie to the Justice Society of America -- not a TINY pool, but a pretty small one, and when it comes to guys who have a ton of influence, Monarch/Extant would be one of the best examples.
So...what do you think? Might we see Hank Hall turn to villainy in the second season of Legends of Tomorrow?