When the Arrowverse began, nobody thought that it would eventually lead to a time-traveling team-up series called DC's Legends of Tomorrow. Starring Sara Lance, Ray Palmer, Jefferson Jackson, Martin Stein, and Mick Rory, it features a set of secondary characters from both Arrow and The Flash. The twist here is that they're aboard a time traveling ship called the Waverider, which they use all sorts of temporal problems across the universe. Now that the show is on its third season, we've been given a good look at how the team operates in the context of the DC Universe. However, there's another superhero team that is difficult to beat: the Justice League.
Starring the likes of Batman, the Flash, and Superman, how could a small scale band of misfits compare to a pantheon of gods? As it turns out, there are several reasons why the Legends of Tomorrow are better than the Justice League (and a few the other way around). Considering that DC's finest heroes have recently made their cinematic debut, now is a great time to look at these two groups and see which one comes out on top. Here are eight reasons the Legends of Tomorrow are better than the Justice League and seven reasons why they're worse.
15 BETTER: TIME TRAVELERS
No matter what the Justice League is capable of, time travel is not on their repertoire. They have certain temporal heroes on their side, but the Legends of Tomorrow specifically operate in every single period of history. This means that they are guardians of the timeline, having the ability to save more people than the Justice League could ever even think of.
It also presents another problem that the Legends have to juggle. They must aid the timeline, but at the same time they have to do so in a way that doesn't mess it up. They can't just change history to whatever they want it to be. They have to keep it intact while still dealing with unnatural threats. Arguably, they have to balance more consequences than the Justice League does just protecting Earth.
14 WORSE: MUCH WEAKER
The Legends of Tomorrow have a few heavy hitters. There's the combination of Firestorm, the invincible Citizen Steel, and the ferocious Vixen. However, when you compare them to the raw speed of the Flash, the omnipotent power of Superman, and the tactical genius of Batman, there's simply no comparison to the firepower that the League.
If the Legends and the Justice League were to get into a fight, the League would win without a doubt. The majority of their members are legendary heroes who can take a punch or two. Even their B-list members still boast a lot of impressive powers that would, no doubt, give the Legends a serious run for their money. They couldn't even compete with someone like Doctor Fate, so forget about even approaching the League.
13 BETTER: MORE GROUNDED
The Justice League is full of powerful heroes and literal gods. Beings like Wonder Woman and Superman have all the power in the world and are still figuring out their own ways in this new reality. However, when you present many beings with all of these insane powers, it becomes difficult to make them relatable. Even Batman is guilty of this, having way more money and combat excellence than is humanly possible.
The Legends of Tomorrow is primarily composed of people who have no powers. White Canary was trained by the League of Assassins. The Atom built a suit with the last of his money. Heat Wave just has a gun that shoots fire. Because of this, the Legends feel more grounded than the Justice League does. They feel like real people.
12 WORSE: NO TRINITY
White Canary, The Atom, Heat Wave, Citizen Steel. These are just some of the names that can be found on the Legends of Tomorrow roster. At first glance, most people aren't going to know who they are. After all, these are some of the more obscure characters that DC has to offer and aren't very culturally relevant, no matter whether they're on TV or not.
What the Justice League has going for it is that it holds the glorious Trinity of superheroes: Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman -- three of the most recognizable characters in the entire world. These three heroes alone make the League much more familiar to the public and much more impacting as a result. There's no wonder that the DCEU is constantly shoving these characters down our throats- they're immediately recognizable.
11 BETTER: SAVING ALL OF TIME
The Justice League has been able to save the world and the universe several times, but how does that compare to saving all of time? The Legends of Tomorrow were first put together to stop Vandal Savage from becoming an immortal tyrant in the year 2166. Not only did they have to stop Savage, but they also had to put an end to the corrupt organization that was supposed to guard time: the Time Masters.
By stopping both Savage and the Time Masters, the Legends saved the entire Arrowverse continuity as we know it. Furthermore, they saved all of time once again when the Legion of Doom obtained the Spear of Destiny and rewrote reality itself. No doubt, they're going to save time once more by trying to stop Mallus, Damien Darhk, and Gorilla Grodd. The point here is that the Legends have saved all of time multiple times.
10 WORSE: NOT AS THEMATIC
The Legends of Tomorrow are full with interesting and familiar characters to those who have been following the Arrowverse. However, they don't really stand for something. Sure, Sara has that whole "resurrected" thing going for her due to being brought back to life by John Constantine, but that's really about all she has going for her.
Place that in stark contrast to Superman. The "S" logo on his chest brings hope to the people of the world and Batman functions as an icon of fear to the criminal underworld. The characters in the Justice League stand for something that goes beyond their powers and costumes. Thematically, there's greater potential for more meaningful stories to be told. The movies that understand this remain some of the most well-received products to this day.
9 BETTER: A MOVING BASE OF OPERATIONS
The Justice League has a really cool base in the form of the Watchtower. Having Boom Tubes that are connected to various spots around the Earth, it makes it easy for the League to hop in them on a moment's notice. Then there's the Hall of Justice that sits on Earth for all the world to see. It's an impressive setup that the League has put together.
However, the Legends have a leg up in this department because their base is a literal time machine that is constantly in motion. This means that they are always ready to respond to a threat as it presents itself. The Watchtower is impressive, but it's little more than a satellite with teleporters. The Waverider is altogether more practical in the long run.
8 WORSE: LACK OF THREATENING VILLAINS
When Legends of Tomorrow showcased Vandal Savage as its first villain, there was excitement at first. Unfortunately, that excitement quickly turned into disgust, as Savage was a very underwhelming character, especially when compared to his comic book counterpart. In the same season, the Time Masters, the Pilgrim, and Chronos's bounty hunter friends were all uninteresting and not real threats to the timeline or to the Legends themselves.
While the show has brought on better villains going forward, the Justice League hasn't had that problem. When they get to face powerful or cunning foes like Lex Luthor, Deathstroke, Steppenwolf, the Joker or the impending threat of Darkseid, there's no comparison between the two. The Justice League's villains are more powerful and terrifying than the Legends' arguably ever will be.
7 BETTER: EACH CHARACTER HAS A STAKE
Look at some of the members of the Justice League: Aquaman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. They're powerful superheroes, but they don't face any immediate consequences by losing a battle with the villains. They don't have a home per say or a stake in the overall context of the world. Superman already lost his home. Batman could live anywhere. Wonder Woman already left Themyscira to join the League.
In regards to the Legends of Tomorrow, each one of them has a stake in the Arrowverse. Sara has connections with Team Arrow and already lost her sister. Martin Stein has Clarissa and his daughter. Jefferson has his mother back in Central City. Each character is given more motivation to get the job done because of the relationships they have with people in the present day.
6 WORSE: THE ROSTER DOESN'T GROW
The Legends of Tomorrow have a rotating cast of characters that make the show a bit of a revolving door for DC superheroes. However, we've largely seen the same faces on the Waverider that we did at the start. Rip, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and Captain Cold are no longer on the ship, but the roster has remained fairly intact since then, only bringing in a handful of newcomers.
The Justice League, prepared to face all threats in the universe, aren't exclusive to just the main six heroes. As time goes on, the League consistently expands by adding new heroes who've been operating all around the world. Young Justice was a brilliant example of how the Justice League can grow. Of course, they have to get Batman's approval first.
5 BETTER: WILLING TO BEND THE RULES
In the first two seasons of Legends of Tomorrow, everything seemed to be going pretty normally. Rip, Sara, and the rest of the team were all coming up with unorthodox solutions to various problems, but for a TV show on the CW, it seemed to be just another day at the job.
In season three, when Rip came back with the Time Bureau, it was revealed just how messy the Legends were. Yet, their tendency to bend the rules of time travel and fix anachronisms has still managed to define them going forward. The Justice League, on the other hand, is a bit more stiff in how they operate, being headed by the Batman himself. In Young Justice, the powerful sidekicks were denied entrance to the League because of how much of a stickler the team was for the rules.
4 WORSE: IRRESPONSIBLE
If there's one word that could define the Legends, it would be irresponsible. Many times in the show, they've acted rashly or without a second thought that give off the perception that they're mere children at times. This point was hit home in the current season when Rip Hunter crafted a time traveling organization and trained them to do nothing that the Legends did.
Guess which team doesn't operate like this? If you guessed the Justice League, you would be 100% right. Because these heroes are stronger, faster, and dealing with more catastrophic threats, they have clear rules and guidelines that they follow. The issue of cleaning up their messes efficiently has never really been presented. The League has been very responsible as protectors of the Earth.
3 BETTER: A FRESHER CAST
It's an unspoken rule that all superhero teams will have different rosters as they move on. The Avengers, the Suicide Squad, and the Justice Society have all had different heroes fighting on their ranks. The Justice League, on the other hand, mainly consists of the same main heroes over and over.
The Legends of Tomorrow are, so far, reminiscent of older comics where superhero teams would have rotating casts. While the main cast members are still on the show, Hawkman and Hawkgirl have already left the Waverider in favor of bringing Vixen and Citizen Steel. Furthermore, various heroes from different time periods join the Legends for a few rides to get the job done. It ensures that the team will constantly be evolving as the series continues.
2 WORSE: THEY CAN BE STOPPED
Take the Reverse-Flash, Dark Archer, and Damien Darhk, and there's a formidable army that can take on the Legends of Tomorrow. Because they're much more small-scale superheroes, they don't have the power or experience necessary to take on many villains all at once. As a matter of fact, the show has depicted them losing several times.
Bring in Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons, and the Justice League has still managed to come out on top. The League will face much more serious threats than the Legends could ever hope to go up against and will, undoubtedly come out on top. Having heroes from every corner of the universe has made them a nearly unstoppable force. Even when War World threatened the entire planet, the League was able to neutralize it.
1 BETTER: CROSSOVERS
This argument is largely due to "Crisis on Earth-X" and Justice League being released within a week of each other and one was a clear success and the other was mostly a dud. Obviously, we aren't going to compare a Legends of Tomorrow crossover with something we'd find in the comics, as they are solely based on live-action.
Justice League was a fun time, but suffered from dodgy special effects, a lackluster villain, and the clashing of two different directors. "Crisis on Earth-X", on the other hand, had more time to flesh out the characters and their contributions to the overall story. It's pure comic bliss in every sense of the word, while Justice League and the DCEU as a whole were more focused on crafting a successful franchise.