Legends of Tomorrow Just Delivered This Week's Best Superhero Show

Bringing up the rear of The CW’s four-pronged superhero series slate, Legends of Tomorrow this Thursday not only delivered one of its strongest episodes ever, it bested the most recent adventures of Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl.

Legends was not without its problems throughout its freshman run, and I myself noted that the Season 2 premiere was quite creaky, weighed down by so much hard-to-swallow exposition while also introducing a new lead character — Nick Zano’s Dr. Nate Heywood.

The season’s second outing had its issues, too, pitting the self-righteous Justice Society of America against the second-tier Legends, as it needed to do in the name of building dramatic tension. But this week’s episode, “Shogun,” took all of that set-up — coupled with the introduction of Nate’s own new power, decently rendered by TV-budget CGI — and let it feed into an hour that was highly entertaining and, most significantly for a show that tends to believe “more is more,” almost serene at times.

Channeling some sort of cross between 1980s Val Kilmer and Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang (aka Ant-Man), Zano this week particularly shined as Nate clicked with the local Shogun’s begrudging betrothed, while also struggling to master his ability to “steel up.” And though the storyline (Rex Tyler used his last breath’s to ID a “time traveler” as his killer) demanded that Amaya/Vixen stow away on the Waverider to stalk its crew, thankfully that case of mistaken identity has been resolved, because Maisie Richardson-Sellers is another nice addition to the cast, especially now that the character is finding some common ground with Mick, Sara et al.

Even Brandon Routh’s Ray Palmer has been taken in some interesting new directions, spending much of the past two weeks coming to terms with the fact that his “power” lies in his suit, not within him — a reality that crystallized when this week’s adventure necessitated the Atom suit’s destruction. Though he surely will whip up a Version 2.0, the weight of the sacrifice was not lost on anyone. Dominic Purcell, meanwhile, got to express Mick’s excitement at the prospect of finally meeting some of the ninjas whose movies he is so fond of, while teaching Amaya some lessons about what he is and isn’t.

As for the aforementioned Sara, who has stepped into the “captain” role during Rip’s mysterious absence: We must never underappreciated that which Caity Lotz physically brings to the table, because whereas some superhero shows all but dare you to not notice the “seams” as physically mismatched stunt doubles do the heavy lifting, the accomplished dancer-turned-martial artist sells her fight scenes — and the acrobatics that often come with them — like nobody’s business, making for an especially visceral viewing experience.

Throw in a mysterious, unheard “voice message” from Future Barry Allen Circa 2056, and “Shogun” very much marked one of Legends‘ most super hours ever.

What did you think of “Shogun”?

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36 Comments
  1. Bob says:

    Loved how citizen steel looked like colossus from xmen 2 and I hope mick never leaves cause he’s awesome

  2. ndixit says:

    I’d beg to disagree about the ep quality in question. I thought it was a bit of a come down from the last ep, which was awesome. This was still fun, but this ep felt messy in comparison.

  3. Mary says:

    It is getting better.

    I had thought the message from Barry was part of the set up leading into the crossover, but now I don’t know.

  4. Sarah says:

    I’m really loving Season 2 so far. Definitely an improvement from last season. Another great episode tonight!

    • Patrick says:

      Agreed, but I miss Rip. I liked him, and I think he’ll be “better” once he’s not focused on Savage. More jolly and Dr. Who-esque.

  5. jj says:

    Season 2 as a whole is much improved from Season 1. And Caity Lotz kicking butt will never get old.

    • xyz says:

      Sara was my choice for the leader and she is great. Is Rip Hunter actually gone from the series?

      • analythinker says:

        He was on the Comic Con panel, in which the moderator said “this is the cast for season 2”, so I guess he’s still floating around somewhere. Pun intended.

  6. datdudemurphy says:

    Caity is always awesome….
    Ray is becoming more interesting.
    Mick is great.
    Not sure why, but I like NuVixen more than OGVixen.

    Firestorm is kind of there…..disappointing more than anything. Love the two characters that make him.
    Nate has potential.

    This season is off to a good start…I’m pretty happy so far.

    Is this a 22 episode season or a 13 episode season?

  7. Nellie says:

    I completely disagree. This episode was good but not as great as this review is making it out to be.

    Sarah was great in this episode. I enjoyed her taking the leadership position and Lotz is always fantastic in the fighting scenes. I liked Mick and Rays storylines in the episode. And I want to know more about that message from Future!Barry but other than that the episode was dragged down by Steel and Vixen. I mean I get that this is the CW so we can’t expect really good actors all the time but at least keep up with the OG cast and they could not even do that.

    The actress who plays the new Vixen is horrible. There’s no charm and likability factor about her character. I mean the fact the character assumes Mick killed Rex because he says “time traveler” is so stupid! But that’s more of a writing fault tbh. Also these new actors acting is so subpar! Even Jax is better than them as he’s the least capable of the OG bunch.

    And Nate. I’m sorry but I don’t see why I am supposed to care about this guy. With his character the writing is a little bit better because they go into his background but the actor is not pulling it off. This stupid romantic subplot with Masako was cringe worthy.

    We lost Rip Hunter for these idiots! I mean the character may have been a bit frustrating in S1 but Arthur Darvill is a really great actor. He makes you give a crap. I actually cared about Rips storyline. Does anyone know if he’s gone for good? I doubt it because his dissaperance seems to be apart of the story. But if it turns out that he is gone than I need to start getting used to these time fillers.

  8. Joey Padron says:

    New episode was so good. Good to see Sara kicking butt as always. Mick had a some great lines in episode. Ray is a good teacher to Nate on using his new powers. Vixen did good with the team. Can’t wait to find out what future Barry Allen’s message to Rip is.

  9. ndixit says:

    I will say that one thing that too often draws me out of this show is that it really clearly doesn’t have the budget to handle all the superpowers on the show. I find it funny how rarely we actually see Firestorm in action. And in this season, they have gone out of their way to incapacitate the Atom suit to the point of destroying it.

  10. JC1 says:

    It was a good episode. And it’s always fun to watch Sara kick ass. :) I think Amaya is going to fit into the team well, and it’ll be interesting to see where that grudging relationship with Mick goes.
    .
    I’m not so sure about Nate. I don’t dislike the guy, but as a replacement for Snart (and Rip), he’s kind of boring, even with his new superpowers. Mick is carrying the burden of the snark all by himself these days. :)
    .
    I have no idea where they’re going with Ray now that they’ve destroyed the suit. I’m surprised they did that after all the talk about how expensive it was.

  11. Brody77 says:

    They destroyed the ATOM suit?
    Oh blessed be!

    Please give us a better version that doesn’t look so wannabe Iron Man & maybe let Routh shine again as he did in Arrow?

  12. JCPrime1 says:

    I loved it too, Matt. Great episode. Caity Lotz is just amazing. Also loved Mick and Vixen.

  13. Lala says:

    Season 2 is incredible…Every episode is better than the last. It’s finally become a must-watch show. Loved the episode and the chemistry that the characters all have. Nick Zano and Vixen are killing it…

  14. Legends of Tomorrow is the best show. I hope for more episodes! Caity Lotz is so talented in so many aspects, she plays such ans awesome Canary, I kind of miss her on Arrow too. Sara Lance is the best character on Arrowverse, even more bad ass than Green Arrow. But I think this is how it is in the comics too ;)

  15. Ryley says:

    The cliff hanger of Barry’s message had me on the edge of my seat the whole time it’s getting much better but I can tell it’s gonna be very hard to keep up with all the new things going on between the upcoming crossovers. Really happy with this episode

  16. peterwdawson says:

    Episode definitely had a solid theme and they didn’t feel like their budget was entirely in tatters this time out. I mean you still have some goofy moments due to budget, general TV restrictions and the problem with such stories in general: Shogun’s lack of men when he rules all of Japan, only having 40-something minutes to address the plot when ideally Nate should have had more time growing close to the family he ended up swearing to protect even if it was a given he was going to protect them, the translators working except when they don’t, and of course the problem that even if the Shogun is dead there’s no way his successor wouldn’t want to squash the village where his father was killed. Then again maybe they changed history and a new shogunate rose instead. I mean in the end these complaints are basically tropes you just gotta sort of roll with.

  17. 20.00 says Barry warned them about the Dominitors

  18. e. says:

    I don’t understand how this show improved so much. Last year I out and out hate watched the thing and now its the most consistent of the CW DC properties.

  19. Phun says:

    So far, enjoying this Season of LoT. What a major improvement over season 1.

  20. QueenB says:

    Agreed. I’d add that it was always fun. I smiled multiple times.

  21. dasein314 says:

    Now that the Atom suit is destroyed, they should make it into a belt, like the comics. He’s got access to the future tech in the hidden compartment (the message wasn’t the only reason they found it), so he should get to engineerin’.

    I’m surprised they haven’t discussed Flash and his timeline wranglings more. I would assume the speedsters would’ve been particularly annoying and disruptive to the Time Masters…and where are the Time Wraiths from Flash? Shouldn’t we have seen one of them already? or is Thawne’s presence supposed to address all that?

    Other things we should see — Booster Gold. The Legion of Super-Heroes (I need to see some Fatal Five). And what about alternate timelines? Lots of potential still left in this show.

  22. Cari says:

    I still wish Rip would come back.

  23. Ninamags says:

    I liked this show since the beginning. It’s fun to watch, the action sequences are cool and the Legends have great chemistry.

    I’m not sure about the new girl yet. She’s annoying. Nate is cute and I loved how he channeled his inner Yoda and imparted wisdom on the girl.

    This show is the most light-hearted of the bunch and it lets you forget the angst and heavy responsibilities that Oliver, Barry and even Supergirl carry.

  24. herman1959 says:

    I stopped watching the show last year after episode 5, but based on this review and the posts, I may return. I’ll need to catch up on the rest of last season, though.

  25. Jeff Kidd says:

    2056, the year from which future Barry sent his message, is also the year that Bart Allen/Impulse is from.

    Maybe Legends is getting its own speedster to help fight Eobard.

  26. Jared S says:

    I finally got to watch the episode today. I really liked this episode. The CGI was much better this time around. I guess they shortchanged the Nazi Hulk guy to make Citizen Steel look better, which I support. I think this show is at its best when it doesn’t take itself too seriously. They should just lean into the fun aspects more, rather than try to go dark and broody like Arrow, as The Flash keeps trying to. Bring on the knights with laser guns while Sara is getting busy with the queen of France to be. Or, like one of my favorite scenes from last season, the bar fight with Sara, Snart and Mick. Go crazy and over the top. It works for them.

    From the episode: I love a good Sara fight scene, letting her show off her League of Assassins skills. Also her “technically, I am a ninja,” born from Mick and his love of ninjas, which was great. Loved his enthusiasm when he got to fight some. I like the scene with him and Vixen and the throwing star.

    I might be alone in this, but I’m actually glad they blew up the Atom suit. Ray needs a better reason to be on the team, because he does have more to offer. He did make billions of dollars by being a genius tech guru. When he inevitably rebuilds the suit, I really hope they redesign it a bit, though. I always hated that clear visor/screen thing over his face. Maybe it’s because he came from Arrow where secret identities are more important than on this show with the time travel aspect. Idek. It just bugged me.

  27. tvdiva says:

    I really enjoyed this episode and I am loving Sara as the new Captain and always love watching her stunts during the fight sequences. Mick Rory is the character that developed the most over the first season and is holding his own in this one. It will be curious to see how Mick reacts to Captain Cold and if Mick gets emotionally pulled to go with his former partner. It will also be curious to see who takes the Captain’s chair if Rip ever returns. Sara has always been the level headed conscious of the mission when Rip and others failed to see the big picture. I am looking forward to seeing how this season develops.