It’s that time of year again, where all of our favourite DC superheroes hang up their capes for the hiatus. Despite more superhero shows being on air than ever before, we’re going to take a look at why Legends of Tomorrow has stood out from the DCTV crowd this year.
I won’t lie, it’s pretty unusual these days for a show to have its third season be its best one yet. It certainly hasn’t been the case for the other DC shows currently in the Arrowverse. So, what is it about Legends of Tomorrow that makes it different? Well, that much should be obvious – it’s utterly ridiculous. This season, the show has taken it up a notch and well and truly capitalized on its enjoyable comedic aspects. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, which makes it that much better when Obama is being attacked by a gorilla, or a blue, furry Tickle-Me-Elmo knockoff is being worshipped as a God.
As we know, Legends of Tomorrow began when time traveller Rip Hunter formed the team at the beginning of Season 1. By the end of Season 3, only three founding members (Sara, Ray, Mick) remain on the team itself. The constant shuffling of the team has opened the doors to many great additions. For me, the most notable of those have been Amaya, Zari and Wally, who jumped over from The Flash and has made a new home on the Waverider. Not only are these some of the best characters to hit the Arrowverse, but they’re all people of colour. Such diversity is rare on a show like this, coupled with multiple LGBT characters (like our captain Sara Lance, Time Bureau director Ava Sharpe and DC legend John Constantine), makes Legends appeal to a wide variety of audiences.
My favourite shows are ones that can balance well-written and diverse characters with a compelling and interesting story, and Legends does just that. This season, the team goes up against time demon Mallus, as well as the return of Damien Darhk and the introduction of his daughter, Nora. To make matters more complicated, Rip’s organisation from the future, the Time Bureau, also entered the fold. Normally, I’d be wary of this amount of antagonists, since other Arrowverse shows have tried and failed to balance various villains in the past. However, besides the recurring annoyance that is Darhk, I found myself enjoying each challenge the Legends faced. Also, consider this my formal request to have Nora Darhk return for Season 4.
One of the major players this season, and my personal favourite, is Zari Tomaz, who’s introduced to the Legends early in the season. Played by Tala Ashe, Zari is an intelligent and dry-humoured hacker from the future who holds one of the six totems of Zambesi, which is vital in stopping Mallus. She’s also the first Muslim superhero to ever hit television screens. However, Zari doesn’t just exist as a way of defeating Mallus, she becomes a vital member of the family, and her bottle episode in the back half is my favourite of the series so far. She, along with Amaya, become key players in the fight against Mallus, as they’re both totem bearers by birthright.
We can’t talk about those we’ve gained without mentioning those we’ve lost. When Stein is killed in the crossover, Jax decides that it’s also time for him to leave the team. We also say goodbye to another favourite at the very end of the finale – Amaya – but there are reports that actress Maisie Richardson-Sellers is staying on as a series regular. In a universe of cloning, future and past selves, and relatives from all corners of history, there are plenty of ways we can see Amaya’s face once again.
Each episode is fraught with brand new challenges in a brand new part of history. One of the best parts of Legends is the historical figures we get to meet along the way. This season we not only met a young Obama, but also Helen of Troy, Elvis and Blackbeard. Nothing is ever the same twice on this show – except when Zari is stuck in a Groundhog Day style time loop – which is what makes it compelling. It’s exactly the kind of show people should be watching, even if it’s not taken as seriously as the others.
Legends of Tomorrow has found its groove, operating uniquely in a universe where its counterpart shows are much of the same season after season. Many may say it’s childish and silly without giving it a chance. However, we all love an underdog, and it’s exactly the kind of misfit show we need in a world like ours.