Walking through Yesterdays with the Legends of Tomorrow

Time travel shenanigans at its best and worst!

Walking through Yesterdays with the Legends of Tomorrow

When DC Legends of Tomorrow had come out, I was following the Arrow series and found it highly entertaining. I had also started watching Flash and found it worked well with the Arrowverse. It only made sense to continue the journey with DC Legends of Tomorrow. But the most important thing that pulled me to the series was time travel. Featuring a group of superheroes, who traveled through time to take down a supervillain, I was truly excited. However, I cannot say if it was the Vandal Savage story arc or my subsequent fallout with Arrow and Flash, I never fully followed the Legends journey. There was one time I remember watching a few of the episodes in a binge screening on Star World, but I totally dismissed the series.

It was only until I caught a recent episode on Colors Infinity that my interest was piqued. I found myself curious about the series and started up the second season on Amazon Prime. The season starts up after the destruction of the Time Masters and the Legends travelled through time fixing history. Somehow, the series had fallen through the cracks, but here I was enjoying the time travel shenanigans that the Legends get into.

Travelling through different periods, we get to see the world and meet a few of the historic legends like Julius Caesar and Ghengis Khan. The series doesn't shy away from playing around with the situations the Legends get into in each time period. I was reminded of Assassin's Creed and how the game plays around with history. As this was a TV series, the historical events that were adapted were many more in comparison. In certain cases, we also get to meet artistic talents like Elvis and Honda Ishiro and see the impact their work has on the world and the future. Many a time, the series works with a What If? scenarios, showing us the consequences of changes until its been fixed by the Legends.

Season 2: Legion of Doom

Season 2 Legends

The season 2 had antagonists in the form of Legion of Doom with Reverse Flash, Damian Darhk, and Malcolm Merlyn, and later on a special appearance by Captain Cold. Veteran villains from the Arrow and Flash series, the season features tangible threats from the villains across the timeline.

We get to see an episode of what happens if they won in the form of Doomworld as well, before our heroes undo the damage. Seeing Sara Lance grow into the mantle of the captain of the Waverider is one of the best parts of this season, with blossoming brotherhood of the Ray and Nate coming a close second and Rory's redemption arc (again) in at third.

Primary Antagonist: Legion of Doom

New characters:

  • Nate, a historian, who gets powers to turn to Steel,
  • Amaya, formerly a member of JSA, a totem bearer, with the ability to channel the spirit of animals

Season 3: Anachronisms

Season 3 shifted the tone by subtly introducing magic into the equation. It isn't directly thrust onto our faces with the main agenda of the season being to fix the anachronisms that plague the timeline because of the Legends interacting with their past selves. Using the stability of the timeline as the basis of the cage that holds the demon Mallus, the primary antagonist of this season, showcases the writer's ability to transition and blend the concepts of time and introduce new premises such as magic and later, aliens. It is the foundation upon which the show operates in establishing the villains to our heroes.

Damien Darhk makes a comeback through resurrection and just when you think the series is going down the same old road, we get to see a redemption arc from the bad guy. The ever optimistic Ray Palmer rubs off on Damien, even serving as an outlet to his concerns on raising his daughter, Nora and dooming her to being a vessel for Mallus.

The totems taking center stage in the final battle with Amaya back from 1942 and the newly introduced Zari, working it out together along with the rest of the team. Even with the world at stake, the series doesn't take itself too seriously and concludes with the creation of a huge Beebo doll to take down Mallus.

Rip makes a sacrifice to delay Mallus, but it is just like he was written off with no fanfare. In season 5, when Atom (Ray Palmer) exist the show with his wife, Nora Darhk, there is a better, more emotional sendoff to him. It is strange that the former captain did not receive such credits.

Primary Antagonist: Mallus

New characters:

  • Ava, the Director of the Time Bureau
  • Zari, the wind totem bearer, from 2042
  • Nora Darhk, witch, daughter of Damien Darhk
  • John Constantine

Season 4: Magical Creatures

Just where season 3 had an underlying element of magic, season 4 goes full on with Constantine becoming a part of the Legends and not just a supporting member. A number of creatures of lore are encountered by the Legends, including a kaupe, a dybbuk, a shapeshifter, a unicorn, a baby dragon and a fairy godmother. You can see the series getting comfortable with its wackiness.

This season feels more like a Constantine series with time travel instead of a Legends one, with the main antagonist directly tied to his past. We also get to see the girl, Astra, whom Constantine failed to protect and who got dragged to hell. Now a full grown woman, she has had no choice but to be wily to survive in hell. The demon, Neron, serves a threatening villain and in traditional Legends fashion, we get an episode where the villain wins, this time wearing the face of Ray Palmer, which is twice as stinging.

This time it is a magical theme park, Heyworld, that serves to end Neron's plan to open the gates of hell with fear. Not only does it save the present, but it also saves the future from become a dystopia run by ARGUS. This cause Zari to disappear from the timeline and be replaced by her brother, Behrad.

Primary Antagonist: Neron

New characters:

  • Charlie, a shapeshifter
  • Nate Heywood Sr., Nate's dad
  • Astra

Season 5: Encores

This time around, it is not the legends who are responsible to the threats to the timeline, but Astra, who in a fit of rage, releases some of the most evil spirits back on Earth. This leads to the rising of the dead, the Encores, back to creating havoc. Where previous seasons tried their best to reduce the repercussions to the timeline, that is not addressed much in this season with some of the Encores going on killing sprees.

Though the concept is well used to show a few interesting "What Ifs" including the rise of Rasputin and his revenge on the imperial family, Ghengis Khan in 70s China (trapped in a tomb for 700 years), the mob boss, Bugsy Seigel and French socialite, Marie Antionette.

The Loom of Fate serves as a Macguffin for the series, with the two sisters of fates serving as the main antagonist. Where previously, we had seen Charlie as a shapeshifter, it is revealed that she was a sister of Fate and the one responsible for breaking the Loom.

Finally, the Loom does get assembled and this time around our heroes find themselves stuck in a series of TV shows. It is amazing how the writers of the show make up the most crazy scenarios play up for the heroes to get trapped in.

Primary Antagonist: The Sisters of Fate

New Characters:

  • Behrad Tarazi, the wind totem bearer and Zari's brother
  • Zari Tarazi, the new timeline's Zari

Season 6: Aliens

Season 6 overall felt the weakest of all the seasons. Shifting the premise away from magic and hell, the series introduces aliens with the kidnapping of Sara at the end of last season. Gary is now retroactively transformed into an alien and it doesn't work so well, esp. if you go back to watch the previous seasons. There were no crumbs laid then for this revelation.

Even the new character, Esperanza Cruz, aka, Spooner doesn't stand as strong as every other character introduced in previous seasons. What's even worse is the main antagonist in the form of Bishop is weak and looks like the writing was mailed in. His motivations seem to have no standing and even the path he takes to achieve it seems very weak. I found myself losing interest in the series at this point and the only reason I stuck around was because of some of the Legends. Constantine was becoming annoying at this point and I wondered why he was still a part of the team. They shoehorned in the Fountain of Imperium arc, again trying to make him take the center stage, but it all felt so forced.

And then there was Rory's romance. It was just eck!

Primary Antagonist: Bishop

New characters:

  • Esperanza Cruz, aka Spooner
  • Rory's alien girlfriend

Season 1: Vandal Savage

After I was all caught up on the latest season, I returned back to the first season and to the grounded threat of Vandal Savage. Things were much simpler at that time with the series having established rules and the core logic in place.

Time wants to happen.

There was no fancy magic or demons or aliens. Just the threat of an immortal hungry for power. The series talked about a looming threat in the future for which Savage's rise to power was essential, but it seems that plotline was abandoned for much more wackier storylines. Comparing the first season to later seasons, we can see how the tone shifts to a much more light hearted and jovial one. I guess the Arrowverse had a fair share of dark, serious tine with the Arrow itself and they wanted to reorient themselves to a lighter tone.

Final Thoughts

Overall, it was a fun series to watch and I loved their reinterpretations of history. I was reminded closely of Assassins Creed and how we get to witness key events in history in the game. The series in fact replicates that feeling and having a number of episodes, it allows us to look on many more events in history, some even from lore.

I found the series getting weaker around season 4 and the shift towards a more Constantine oriented drama, but the chemistry between the Legends and their respective character arcs kept me going back for more. Overall, season 6 was the most boring and I was happy to be done with it. I hope that season 7 will be handled better.