If there was anybody in the Arrowverse who was ever suited to fill the shoes of children's television legend Fred Rogers, it would have to be Ray Palmer. The eternal optimist with a doe-eyed smile, Brandon Routh's super-scientist draws on a lot of the same aw-shucks appeal that the actor had as Superman (in both Superman Returns and the upcoming "Crisis on Infinite Earths" event) -- and that makes the opening moments of the latest DC's Legends of Tomorrow trailer note-perfect, as Ray steps into the cardigan of "Mister Parker's Neighborhood." The trailer, which you can see above, also features puppets, bad visual effects, and a first official look at the new, glammed-up Zari.
The Legends will apparently be big in the public spotlight this season, with not Ray's TV series (which seems likely to be a one-off for a specific storyline), but Zari, who seems -- based on rumors and behind the scenes photos -- to be some kind of celebrity or at least social media influencer in the rewritten timeline.
"We're interested in how fame affects people [in season 5]," Klemmer said. "I really like the idea of tempting the Legends, that they're still susceptible. Even though they sort of get over themselves after [the first episode] I think you could always be tempted by the promise of getting to be a singular franchise-driving superhero."
Zari's change is part of a larger shift brought on by changes to the timeline made in the season four finale. That episode saw the Legends finally change their future/Zari's past so that her family isn't killed by ARGUS in a near-future dystopia. That meant, though, that her brother Behrad never died, and thus never handed over his totem to Zari. It seems from what little context we had before the season ended that Behrad will have lived through most of what Zari did with the team, with time tweaked slightly to account for their different personalities and goals.
In the fifth season, the Legends will also find themselves dealing with an older version of Astra Logue (Olivia Swann) who was recently confirmed as the Big Bad for the upcoming season. For those who might not remember, Astra is the little girl whose fate -- she was cast into Hell unfairly -- has haunted John Constantine for years. At the end of the Season 4 finale, Astra broke into a vault in Hell and stole coins representing the souls of some of history's greatest monsters -- including Genghis Khan and Charles Manson -- and cast them out of Hell.
"We [have] established that everybody's welcome on the Waverider because it's a place where people come to find second chances," executive producer Phil Klemmer recently told ComicBook.com. "But I think next season, we're going to deal with some of the historical pieces of s--t that don't deserve second chances, and it's probably going to be a tough thing for the Legends to realize. Maybe they've started to drink their own Kool-Aid and feel that Genghis Khan was just misunderstood, because whatever he did, he didn't get a pony for his birthday."
That last bit is especially interesting considering that the trailer features a shot of Zari with a literal pony.
Needless to say, Astra's new role will certainly create a big conflict for John Constantine (Matt Ryan), seeing as he blames himself for her trip to Hell in the first place.3comments
"She, unlike most people in Hell, isn't going to appear evil through and through," Klemmer said of Astra during the show's fourth season. "There's a flipside to the coin of this girl -- now woman -- who resents [John] and had been corrupted by her experience. She blames him for everything that went wrong in her life. Again, I feel like there's a chance to get underneath all that. For us, it's just always about revealing new sides of these characters that you think you know inside and out. I never would have thought that John Constantine would fit in with the Legends and onboard the Waverider, but I think for next season, we want to keep digging deep on this guy, because obviously he feels pretty bottomless. He's a bottomless pit of darkness, but also, there's no end to the pathos and the tragedy. There is such a pure impulse to what John does. Beneath all the self-loathing, he's such noble man. I guess that's why we keep wanting to know what happens next, because it's like he's endlessly fascinating."
Legends of Tomorrow Season 5 will debut in late January, after the season bows as part of the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover.