CW spin-off retains Arrow’s momentum

Since Sara Lance was one of my favorite characters on The CW’s “Arrow,” I was pretty devastated when she was killed off. She was one of the main elements that kept me watching. When it was revealed that she would be resurrected and be a main character on a spin-off, I was ecstatic and decided that I would watch it if only for her. However, the spin-off series, “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” which premiered on Jan. 21, ended up having many more attractions than just one character.

Having previously watched both “Arrow” and “The Flash,” which exist in the same uni­verse and often have crossovers with each oth­er, I was wary of the new spin off. I had quit “Arrow” in season three. I became bored with the show’s overly serious and dark tone as well as its unappealing main character. I enjoyed “The Flash” immensely in its first season, but season two fell short. I hoped that “Legends of Tomorrow” would impress me more.

The show’s premise is of a Time Master, Rip Hunter, traveling back in time and gathering eight heroes together to change the fate of the future world, which has been taken over by the villain, Savage. The first part of the pilot is rather campy and cringeworthy, but it soon becomes enjoyable and introduces a promising set of characters. Its light tone matches “The Flash” much more closely than “Arrow,” which is fortunate and the more popular choice with the audience.

“Legends of Tomorrow” balances all of its elements well, having the perfect amount of ac­tion and humor. It also has a set of well-round­ed characters with entertaining dynamics, which is probably the main appeal of the show. The characters can also be overwhelming, however; the fact that it has nine main charac­ters makes it difficult for the series to maintain a structure and give all the characters the de­velopment they deserve. The end result is that the show is a little too fast paced and chaotic. It definitely requires an attentive viewer who has an eye for action.

Though I was certainly biased from having seen her on “Arrow,” Sara Lance is definitely my favorite character, and “Legends of Tomorrow” maintains the strength and complexity that made her interesting in the former show. There is also an added darkness and melancholy to her personality due to her resurrection, and I’m excited to see that explored throughout the season. I was, however, upset that she uses the alias of White Canary, whitewashing the char­acter, since in DC Comics the White Canary is Chinese.

Kendra Saunders, or Hawkgirl, is the also one of the strongest characters, who also has one of the most interesting backstories, as she finds out that she is the reincarnation of an Egyptian princess, and has been reincarnated multiple times over the centuries. Her reincar­nated lover, Hawkman, didn’t leave as much of a strong impression and I hope future episodes flesh him out better.

I knew Ray Palmer, or the Atom, from “Ar­row” as well, and though I liked him well enough, I didn’t necessarily think he was wor­thy of a lead role. He is definitely one of the more entertaining characters, but lacks the complexity and depth that is crucial to a lead.

Jefferson Jackson, who is one half of Firestorm along with Martin Stein, is another one of my favorites. His dynamic with Stein is comical, especially because of their radically different personalities. Their scenes are always humorous and enjoyable, and their developing friendship is endearing.

The remaining two characters, Leonard Snart and Mick Rory, were former criminals, and their transformation from villains to he­roes makes them multifaceted characters, with complicated and evolving relationships with the rest of the group.

“Legends of Tomorrow” has a talented cast, but it could definitely improve with regards to representation. Only two of the characters–Hawkgirl and Jax Jackson–are people of color. Furthermore, there are only two main female characters, as opposed to seven male charac­ters, and thus far the dynamic between the two female characters doesn’t seem to be a priority.

The plot is repetitive, and the three episodes that have aired have all been about fixing some mistake as they time travel or failed attempts at taking down the villain. The great writing and three-dimensionality of the villain, Harri­son Wells, made “The Flash” so successful its first season. Savage, however, isn’t particularly interesting. A flat villain and stagnant plot drag the enjoyment down a little. The time travel aspect could be interesting, but can also lead to a lot of inconsistencies and confusion to an already convoluted plot.

The show’s strengths undoubtedly lie in its characters and how they interact with each other. The lighthearted and humorous tone of the show will draw many viewers and at the very least, make it fun to watch, even if it lacks in other areas like plot and consistency. The amount of main characters and even the prem­ise itself seems ambitious and taunting, and I hope that the writers can handle it as the sea­son progresses without the quality of the show suffering.

For fans of the comics or of “Arrow” and “The Flash,” “Legends of Tomorrow” has a lot of potential and is worth checking out. Even for viewers who are unfamiliar with the other shows and the content, it is promising, since it is easy to get into and is one of the more en­tertaining superhero shows on air currently. Hopefully, unlike its predecessors, it will keep improving by building on its already notewor­thy set of characters.

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