This is a non-spoiler review. No plot information will be shared here, other than in very general terms, that is not already widely known thanks to pre-season interviews and other press.
This show is bananas now. Utterly.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow will kick off its second season in October, and the first episode features multiple romps through spacetime, a guest appearance by Arrow's Stephen Amell, and a restructuring of the team's mission -- and some of their methods.
The biggest difference is their mission, which is to get rid of temporal anomalies. It isn't immediately clear what's causing the anomalies, although by the end of the premiere audiences will start to get a sense for it.
At least at first, don't expect the DC guest star bonanza that some fans had hoped for when the announcement came that the Justice Society was coming to the series. The first episode is very much focused on the team, and introducing new star Nick Zano, who is fantastic in his role as Nate Heywood.
Why is it that Citizen Steel is joining the team in a full-time capacity as opposed to any of the other Justice Society members who have been teased? Well, there's a reason for that -- and it's easily explainable in one sentence. But that sentence is uttered in the premiere, and it's a pretty cool one, so let's not spoil that here.
Another standout performance comes from Dominic Purcell, who had a lot of story revolve around him season but as often as not didn't get to connect with the material too much. His churlish, emotionally-distant performance was always solid, but rarely impressive the way it is in the premiere simply because too often events were happening to him rather than his character, Mick Rory, doing anything to really instigate them. As a follower to Captain Cold, a follower to the Time Masters, and a semi-willing participant with the crew of the Waverider, he often just sat, grunted, and hit stuff. Here, he does plenty of that -- but he also gets a chance to do and say more, really showing off Purcell's chops.
The crew suffers a loss in the premiere. How they will handle that is going to be some interesting storytelling going forward in the season. It's a surprising moment, but it lacks some emotional punch because it's (probably intentionally) unclear exactly what happened.
Tonally, the show has shifted somewhat: it's more Supergirl or The Flash than Arrow. That was always true, but it feels like more of a conscious choice this time out. As with the craziness of the time-travel elements, the lightheartedness, the humor, and the camp is dialed way up this time around. We've got some real Bill & Ted-style comedy going on in this episode in terms of how they interact with historical figures.
So much of last season was spent trying to avoid changing history, and then repairing damage that they had inadvertently done, that this season's slightly-different mission statement, which opens the door to making small changes when they suit the bigger mission, is a welcome one.
Last season, ComicBook.com enjoyed the Legends of Tomorrow pilot quite a bit, and throughout the season found the series flawed but fun. The second season opens on what very much feels like one of the better season one episodes -- a great sign for people who enjoyed the series, but probably not enough of a departure from last year's show to really sell anybody who actively disliked last season. The promise of the JSA comes in the show's second episode, which we haven't yet seen.
The sort of wholesale changes some fans are expecting, then, aren't present in the premiere. It's a great stand-alone episode that brings new viewers up to speed, though -- not unlike the Arrow: Year One special episode that The CW aired at the start of that show's second year. This one, though, is an episode.
And a pretty fun episode: in addition to setting a new status quo, giving us some high-concept time-travel hijinks, and guest-starring Stephen Amell (always a plus), there's a framing device for the episode that makes it virtually impossible not to enjoy -- even if about halfway through the episode it loses some of its punch because you start to see where the story is going.
All in all, DC's Legends of Tomorrow starts out its second season strong. Hardcore fanboys there for the JSA will be disappointed, but if they stick around for just one week, they'll be rewarded for that loyalty.0comments