DC's Legends of Tomorrow is a bold time travelling show that brings several heroes and villains together from across the Arrowverse to defend the timeline and ensure that nothing goes wrong. Obviously, everything goes wrong and they have to find ways of fixing it. Whether it’s alternate timelines, giant robots or even dinosaurs, Legends of Tomorrow has it all. But what would a show be without its characters? There’s plenty of comics characters populating the Arrowverse for the show to play with.
But unfortunately, The CW stumbles on a few of them. Whether it’s just overuse from other shows, using villains as heroes or even just the tone of the character -- they can’t get everything right. But that’s not to say there aren’t some absolutely fantastic heroes in the series, because they really draw from all corners of the Arrowverse and beyond. Villains from the distant past and heroes from the far flung future all make up the cast of the show. Golden Age heroes and modern interpretations of classic characters also have their place on the Waverider, and it’s a wild trip. Here are 8 Legends of Tomorrow characters The CW keeps getting wrong (and 7 they get right).
15 GETS WRONG: MALCOLM MERLYN
Let’s cast our minds back to when Arrow first debuted on our screens. He was faced against a variety of grounded gangsters and a cabal of businessmen and women who wanted to raze the Glades to the ground. One of these men was a close family friend, Malcolm Merlyn, aka the Dark Archer.
But The CW have long since forgotten his roots in archery and being a Green Arrow villain. He’s now a villain that threatens the entire timeline, he was Ra’s Al Ghul and joined the Legion of Doom. Sorry John Barrowman, but Malcolm is best kept with rooftop fights and hostile business takeovers. The Legion of Doom storyline last season felt like a very bizarre direction to take. It seemed like Greg Berlanti needed an excuse to include these actors again, not because he had a great story to tell.
14 GETS RIGHT: VIXEN
Although the modern Vixen, Mari McCabe doesn’t appear in the series, her ancestor Amaya certainly does. And she is formidable. Her powers allow her to use the strength of various wild animals. The reason why we loved her so much? She’s past of the Justice Society of America during World War II and then joins the team. It’s a whole new dynamic as someone from the past is brought onto the team.
Seeing her grapple with modern concepts and technology is both funny and interesting simultaneously. How would someone from the past deal with a time travelling space ship? And then there’s her powers. She’s a fierce fighter, and more than proves her worth to the team on numerous occasions. And with her powers growing in the latest season, she’s only going to become more formidable.
13 GETS WRONG: STEEL
Look, we do like Nick Zano as Nate Heywood/Steel, honestly. He gives a good performance and he’s a likable character for sure. But when The CW introduced him into Legends of Tomorrow, we were led to believe that he was an incredibly intelligent historian. So why do they consistently make him a naïve young man who has a frat-bro type friendship with Ray Palmer?
For example, when Ray is testing Nate’s abilities, they both get accidentally blasted into the past in Japan -- nearly letting a warlord get away with Palmer’s Atom suit. Two incredibly intelligent, university educated men think it’s a good idea to use explosive blasts on a time travelling ship. Come on, they’re smarter than that! Plus, don’t tell Greg Berlanti, but Nate uncovering the identity of all the Legends, felt a bit far-fetched to us. Sorry.
12 GETS RIGHT: REVERSE-FLASH
Unlike his Legion of Doom counterparts, the Reverse-Flash is one villain that makes complete sense to have onboard a time travel television show. A key nature of his character is messing around with timelines and changing the past. So it feels completely logical to have Eobard Thawne concoct a plan that involves pulling apart key moments in time to achieve his goal.
And plus, the series really allows Matt Lescher to shine as Thawne in a way that he didn’t get to during The Flash purely because Harrison Wells was the one we were used to seeing as the villain. And Lescher has so much fun playing such a gleeful villain, it’s hard not to be enthralled when he’s on screen. Give us more Reverse-Flash, please.
11 GETS WRONG: WHITE CANARY
Sara Lance is one of the best characters in the Arrowverse. She’s unwavering, brutal and a truly devoted leader. Plus, she’s been trained by Ra’s Al Ghul in numerous styles of martial arts. Sara Lance is anything but a weak character, both in strength and character. So why do the writers have some bizarre obsession with killing her off every so often?
It’s irritating that one of the most formidable members of the team is frequently killed off. During her time in the Arrowverse, she’s been killed off and subsequently resurrected a whopping six times. Is there a single writer that just enjoys murdering the character? It loses the dramatic weight to any deaths on the show if characters can return so easily. Leave Sara Lance alone.
10 GETS RIGHT: THE ATOM
When Arrow first brought on Ray Palmer as the Atom, we weren’t sure how the show would take his character into a grounded superheroic world. And once the suit came to life, it worked like a treat. It’s a step away from the usual leather outfits, using metallic armor and lights to bring his suit to the screen. But Legends of Tomorrow gives him a bigger chance to shine.
And we do mean bigger. Just look back to the first Legends of Tomorrow season when he reversed the polarity of his suit and turned into a giant to fight a robot. Who doesn’t love giant mech suit fighting robots? Legends of Tomorrow can never be criticized for the bold scale it goes for regularly. Ray Palmer’s suit regularly utilized as part of missions, and we hope it stays that way for a long time.
9 GETS WRONG: HAWKGIRL
Did you know that Kendra Saunders was a barista? We certainly didn’t. Oh wait! She mentioned it every single episode when she was faced with some kind of difficulty that required her to step outside of her comfort zone. Great. It’s not that we don’t like the actress, she’s a good fit for the role she was given. But the writing feels incredibly sloppy.
They clearly wanted to hold her back until the latter half of the season in a bizarre way of prolonging her character development. But that’s not the way to build her up. Sure, use the barista background as a baseline, but continuously build her skills across each few episodes! Instead we were given a whiny version of a potentially really slick character. Shame.
8 GETS RIGHT: FIRESTORM
Out of all the popular DC superheroes given a live action debut, Firestorm wasn’t exactly high on the list of realistic ideas. Mainly because his powers require a heavy amount of special effects, something The CW haven’t neglected at all. He doesn’t just have a simple flame emerging from his hands, but a whole inferno.
And even though Jax is a character written solely for Legends of Tomorrow, he’s proof that sometimes being comics accurate isn’t always the best route to go down. Plus, the partnership between Jax and Martin Stein has been great to see, especially as it evolved from reluctant to partners to genuine friends. With a wicked costume and incredible powers, Firestorm is one of the most visually captivating heroes on the show.
7 GETS WRONG: HAWKMAN
So whilst Kendra Saunders was off whining about how she wasn’t prepared to be a superhero, Hawkman just ominously warned her they were going to die at some point. Great. Brilliant way of bringing the mood down Carter. Hawkman could have been a seriously cool addition to the team.
But the way they producers underused his powers and his drive to defeat Vandal Savage was a huge disappointment. He could have been the catalyst for plenty of missions and storylines that circled around Vandal Savage without focusing on him directly but still furthered Hawkman and Hawkgirl as characters. Nope, we occasionally got to see them punch people and that was about it. He was rarely in Hawk-suit mode, which was a huge let down. We’re not mad, just disappointed.
6 GETS RIGHT: HOURMAN
We always thought that the Justice Society of America were doomed to only appear during animated series and movies. But thanks to Legends of Tomorrow, we’ve been introduced to the whole team, and we loved it. But the brief appearance of Hourman was our favorite.
Sure, it’s annoying that he wasn’t in it for longer. But his appearance at the end of the first season got us incredibly excited for things to come. It showed that the series was pushing the boundaries and looking to expand the roster of the team. And even when he meets the Reverse-Flash, it became such a huge revelation for Amaya that it’s hard not to respect the writer's’ choice to kill him off. Added bonus, he’s played by Patrick J. Adams from Suits, and his performance is brilliant.
5 GETS WRONG: VANDAL SAVAGE
Oh, Vandal Savage. The CW Arrowverse is well known for the occasional cheesy moment across all of its TV shows. But the cheesiest character of all timelines has to be Vandal Savage. The character in the comics is quite possibly one of the most formidable villains in the DC Universe. In the Arrowverse? Not so much.
He comes across with cheesy monologues and jealous lusting over Kendra Saunders that just reduce us to eye rolling reactions. Each episode he appears in seems to get worse with his near moustache twirling plotting and scheming. By the end of the first Legends of Tomorrow season, we were incredibly bored by Caspar Crump’s Vandal Savage. Thankfully the Legends managed to kill him off. Let’s hope he stays that way. We’re not sorry whatsoever.
4 GETS RIGHT: JONAH HEX
When it was announced that Jonah Hex would be making an appearance on Legends of Tomorrow, the world breathed a collective sigh that the Josh Brolin film wouldn’t be the only live action Hex we’d get. And when he finally stomped on-screen, we were in for a treat.
The gruff Western cowboy truly owns every piece of screen time he’s given, even amongst the bright leather costumes and crazy abilities. Sometimes, all a show needs is someone to come along that hasn’t a care in the world, but because of that, changes the entire dynamic. And that’s exactly what Jonah Hex does. Plus, when it turned out he knew Rip Hunter, we were thoroughly intrigued as to how and why. Hopefully, Jonah Hex will make more appearances in the Arrowverse.
3 GETS WRONG: HEAT WAVE
Remember that time that Heat Wave made his appearance on The Flash after being recruited by Captain Cold to help him murder the Scarlet Speedster? Not the most of heroic characters. And neither is he the ideal candidate to join a team made up of legendary heroes to save the world.
Look, Dominic Purcell does a great job with playing Mick Rory, but he’s just not the right fit for the team. Sure he provides the gruff bravado of the Legends, but from a logical standpoint, it seems stupid to keep him around. Especially since he’s betrayed them before and even tried to murder them several times. But yeah sure, let’s keep the homicidal maniac with a heat gun on a timeship, what could go wrong? The writers keep him around, and we just don’t get it.
2 GETS RIGHT: RIP HUNTER
So you know Booster Gold? Well, we have a live action version of his son on Legends of Tomorrow. Played by charming brit, Arthur Darvill, Rip Hunter leads the team in the first season, he gives the team to Sara but still plays vital roles in season two and three. And he’s the thing that consistently drives the series forward.
Whether it’s being led by him, searching for him or even going up against him -- there wouldn’t be a team without Rip Hunter. And his relationship with each member is slowly explored across each season in new and interesting ways that also let the audience get to know him better also. He’s one of the strongest elements of the series and although we’re never expecting to see Booster Gold, who needs him when the best time traveler is already on our screens?
1 GETS WRONG: CAPTAIN COLD
The villainous Rogues are some of the most iconic villains to face down The Flash and his team in Central City. So why did they suddenly decide that Captain Cold was a hero? He had led groups of villains, bank robbers and mercenaries to steal from banks and commit crimes. Snart was known for having his own personal agenda, not a great team player.
Plus, do we need to mention that his one useful power is his cold-gun? If he gets that taken away from him, that’s it. His unique specialty that he brings to the team is gone. We just don’t understand why Wentworth Miller was kept on Legends for as long as he was. Aside from the fame appeal of having the Prison Break brothers on the same show. Okay, that gimmick’s been done now. Move on.
Which do you agree or disagree with? Let us know in the comments!