Tag Archives: The CW

iReview: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow “Pilot: Pt.1”

The latest spin-off from the growing DC TV Universe is moving the story in inspired ways. Here is my review of “Pilot: Pt.1”.

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Spoiler Alert: This is your last warning! If you haven’t seen the premiere episode of the latest DC TV Universe spin-off DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow, Pilot: Pt.1 than perhaps you might not want to read any further, but if you haven’t been tuning into this season’s Arrow or its sister series The Flash than you’re missing out on a truly unique television experience and one that millions of die-hard comic book fans have been waiting a very long time for.

If it wasn’t enough that almost out the gate The CW’s action-adventure series Arrow based on the often secondarily popular hero the Green Arrow immediately went to work on establishing a foothold on introducing the most number of DC Comics heroes and villains into primetime, when it helped launch The Flash — suddenly the superhero world in live-action exploded! The Flash which is more “powers” based than the street-fighting feel of its predecessor became an instant hit with fans.

The particle explosion that helped create that series hero Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) has always been a staple in the mythology and The Flash one of the top-tier characters in the DC Universe. When the multiverse was ignited in the Second Season of The Flash all bets were off, and having already introduced super-powered allies like Firestorm, the Atom, and even Vixen (in a companion animated series) it wouldn’t be long before these heroic individuals came together and formed a proper team.

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The element of crossing over the storylines on the series also introduced a much appreciated dynamic that hadn’t been seen before in superhero series in syndication or primetime. When the serialized adventures brought together all our heroes it had the same impact as when heroes came together in the pages of the books. Audiences were now privy to getting more bang for their buck and this season’s crossover team-up was nothing short of legendary!

A Time Master named Rip Hunter (Doctor Who’s Arthur Darvill) is determined to put an end to the conquering might of Vandal Savage (Casper Crump). The tyrant has all-but laid waste to the future with his armies. In order to stop Savage once and for all, Hunter requests that he be allowed to travel back in time and recruit some very powerful allies, but the Time Masters are convinced that Hunter will cause more damage than good traversing through history. Rip Hunter steals a time ship, the “Waverider”, anyway and gathers his forces.

Moving quickly and simultaneously Hunter systematically “kidnaps” Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) The Atom, the Nuclear Man Firestorm (Victor Garber and Franz Drameh), the resurrected White Canary (Caity Lotz) and the long-lived winged warriors Hawkgirl and Hawkman (Ciara Renée and Falk Hentschel). Hunter also employs the dangerously unpredictable rogues Captain Cold and his partner in crime Heatwave (Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell). Hunter warns them of his mission and shows them a hopeless future where Savage rules.

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The newly minted Firestorm (Franz Drameh) introduced this season on The Flash gets to really start a fire as a member of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.

Having only recently faced off against Savage, the Hawks are confused to learn that Vandal Savage still exists. After their last battle they teamed up with Green Arrow and the Flash and it appeared they had indeed destroyed Savage, but apparently the ancient evil has survived. Hunter hopes to convince the eight that he heroes (and villains) are needed, and that in the future history will come to know them as “legends”. That they have a legacy to live up to is attractive to them but most of all to Palmer and Prof. Stein.

The rest of the team will require a little convincing and so travel with Hunter back to the 1970’s to uncover a piece of the puzzle to help alter the grim future from coming to past. There they enlist the help of a historian Dr. Aldus Boardman (Peter Francis James) who reveals himself to be the son of both Hawkgirl and Hawkman, but a time-traveling mercenary named Chronus has followed Hunter and his intrepid team of heroes on their journey!

The group are able to outrace the mercenary’s attack but inadvertently get Boardman killed and learn the truth of why they were chosen by Rip Hunter for this mission. Hunter is himself a determined renegade out to prevent Savage from destroying anymore lives the way he destroyed his own family’s, but as for the heroes Hunter has collected…though he’s seen men of steel fall and dark knights shaken, these “legends” he’s assembled are lost to the ages.

In effect these “legends of tomorrow” are far from that; they are inconsequential and their lives — their heroics — won’t matter at all. Hunter brings them together in an effort to give them all a fighting chance to be remembered as more than just “secondary characters” in a plot line. In effect, these legends will themselves be endeavor to be the templates for all those to come! Convinced that unless the stop Vandal Savage the future will be lost!

From the moment that the group is assembled on the bridge of the time ship, their chemistry is almost immediate. In the DC Comics mythology Ray Palmer and Carter Hall are very good friends and team-up often to fight crime, so it’ll be interesting to see if that dynamic will also developed among the series’ characters. Victor Garber as the elder statesman and one-half of the powerhouse Firestorm is also wonderful invigorating, though fans may wish that Robbie Amell had been recruited instead of Jefferson “Jax” Jackson who is still developing.

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It’s an offer they can’t refuse, the “legends” gather to embark on their first adventure through time and space in the premiere episode of the series.

The anti-heroes of Captain Cold, Heatwave and White Canary make for an interestingly dynamic mix that is both volatile and sexy, and give off some kick-ass sparks. Though charmingly entertaining Heatwave and Cold just don’t have the gravitas that audiences might prefer to see take on the Scarlet Speedster from time to time, but perhaps when these two have exhausted their appeal it will open the door for two more proper heroes to take their place…maybe Blue Beetle and Booster Gold.

One thing for certain, after proving that Arrow had great dramatic potential in serialized television and that The Flash can make superpowers interesting, DC’s Legend of Tomorrow is set to plead the case for ensemble casts that work in team shows. Feeling a little bit like Firefly and throwing in plenty of Quantum Leap and Doctor Who DC’s Legends of Tomorrow are the primetime heroes we’ve been hoping for today!

Bonus Features: The iTunes bonus feature when you purchase a Season Pass includes the nearly half-hour documentary “The Time is Now” which sets up the world of the Legends from their origins and into primetime.

Care to check out more?! Go deeper into The HQ and goto ThrillseekerHQ.com for a look at episode data and additional features including “Legends: Who’s Who”.

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DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Have Arrived!

The CW rides the wave of success mining another hit from the DC Comics universe and giving Berlanti Productions more reasons to mine for gold!

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In the second season of The Flash the Scarlet Speedster played by Grant Gustin continues to gain momentum and is heralded as Central City’s guardian angel! After surviving the cliffhanging singularity that threatened to annihilate most of existence, it’s no surprise that the world regard the fastest man alive with such revelry — the Flash is certainly on his way to carving out quite a legacy for himself and has begun to inspire other super powered individuals to follow in his fast-footed steps.

There was of course the introduction of Firestorm in season one. The Nuclear Man quickly became a fan-favorite as realized by actors Robbie Amell and Victor Garber respectfully as the sum parts of the hero as Ronnie Raymond and Prof. Martin Stein, but at the conclusion of last year’s major dramatic arc, Raymond selflessly acts to help the Flash stop the growing singularity from swallowing up Central City. In the end Ronnie is lost, and Prof. Stein is left half-the-man he was before.

In order to survive a new host is found in Jefferson “Jax” Jackson a high school football star player played by Franz Drameh whose dreams of going pro are squashed by the advent explosion that unleashes all sorts of dark matter and energy giving rise to a generation of metahumans — humans with extra-ordinary super powers — like the Flash’s super speed. Fortunately for Stein and Jackson the two are a perfect fit and Firestorm is once again reborn with a new purpose.

After great coaxing from Caitlin Snow (played by Danielle Panabaker) the able S.T.A.R. Labs physician and scientist (and the Raymond’s widow) is able to convince Jackson that he has a greater purpose – a destiny to embrace – as the hero he was meant to be. Under the tutelage of Stein the two embark on a new adventure and leave Central City, but not before another mystery unfolds around a seemingly unassuming young woman named Kendra Saunders.

Having already won the heart of Barry Allen’s colleague Cisco Ramon (played by Carlos Valdes) the lovely Ciara Renée embodies the mythic elegance of another DC Comics icon and brings to life Hawkgirl. When a dangerous interloper comes looking for her, Vandal Savage (played by Casper Crump) proves more powerful for anyone metahuman to handle. The Flash calls in some powerful friends and heads to Star City and asks Green Arrow (the Emerald Archer originated by Stephen Amell) to join the fight.

During the course of this season’s first crossover event, Hakwman (played by Falk Hentschel) reveals himself to his soulmate Kendra, and together along with the Flash and Green Arrow take down Savage, but perhaps our heroes celebrated way too soon. As the newest spin-off from the DC TV Universe is suggesting Savage is alive and well and conquers the world nearly enslaving our future. One man, a Time Master named Rip Hunter (Doctor Who’s Arthur Darvill) travels back to today to assemble…

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow …the title itself appeals as a call to action, no doubt. For fans of the publishing imprint’s more than 75 year continuity it’s a momentous occasion. For the first time in primetime and presented in the form of a serialized hour-long format, the entirety of that history is about to be explored and brought to life! It started with Arrow when Berlanti Productions decided to take on the unlikeliest of heroes and evolve the texturized backstory of Oliver Queen on his journey to greatness.

As he embraced his purpose as his city’s silent avenger, a hooded vigilante that used otherwise primitive weapons – the bow and arrow – in his arsenal against the criminal underworld that plague the innocent. As Oliver’s legend grew and extended beyond the radius of his own Starling City (as it was known before assuming the current Star City moniker) and attracted the attention of an impressionable CSI investigator named Barry Allen from the neighboring Central City.

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The Green Arrow, the mighty Atom and the Flash – members of DC Comic’s premiere team of super heroes, the Justice League – were brought to life in primetime in a way unlike any other previous incarnation of their like before commanding the 8pm time slot on The CW.

These two aspiring heroes, their fates intertwined; the producers of Arrow soon introduced their initial spin-off and rebooted The Flash a series that had already coasted onto the small screen with its original 1990’s incarnation. With that show’s full-on fan appreciation and the crossover events that united the primetime universes, the ground work had been laid for what inevitable came next: a team-up show to rival the popularity of the competitors, who wasted no time dominating on the big screen.

Traveling to contemporary times from a fractured and not-so-distant future, Rip Hunter brings together an unlikely group of adventures including Firestorm, Hawkgirl and Hawkman, whom are also joined by the Atom (industrialist Ray Palmer) who joined the cast of Arrow in Season 3, and the mercurial White Canary (Caity Lotz portrayed Arrow’s original “Canary”) Sara Lance before passing the mantle to her sister Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) who is now the vigilante Black Canary.

Hunter also recruits the criminal malcontents Captain Cold and Heatwave (the actors who were cast to play the Flash’s two lead rogues Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell played brothers on the popular hit series Prison Break) and recruited with their own agenda to plunder the most prized artifacts history has to offer. Together, these legends will confront the insidious evil of Vandal Savage as they journey through time in an attempt to stop the tyrant from planting his seeds.

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The legends of today and tomorrow first gathered to defend the newly introduced Hawkgirl against the immortal villainy of Vandal Savage.

What Hunter does not reveal to his intrepid team of adventures is that unlike some of their more colorful costumed counterparts, these individuals that he has brought together will bare little remembrance in times to come. In other words, these legends of tomorrow are hardly that at all. Rip Hunter is giving these heroes an opportunity to change their fates, in effect inspiring them to be greater as a whole, effectively preventing a hopeless future from ever transpiring.

Next: Now that the Legends have been gathered, we’ll take a look at their first adventure together in a review of “The Pilot: Part 1”.

 

 

“The Flash” Goes Rogue for Mid-Season

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Talk about a holiday send-off! “The Flash” faces his most dangerous adversaries in Season 2 mid-season cliffhanger introducing yet another long-anticipated member of the Flash Family!

There are still many of us catching our breath from this year’s 2-part crossover event that (dare we say) was legendary! Some in the popular lexicon of network television production may be under the illusion that the “superhero” genre is on the inevitable “outs”, but if anyone needs a reminder about what makes for good serialized drama and adventure in primetime, you don’t have to look any further than at The CW’s hit series The Flash.

Going now into its mid-season slumber, no one can argue that CSI investigator Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) hasn’t earned a little r&r. In his super-heroic secret identity that Allen is trying very hard to maintain, the Flash has faced a cadre of new enemies including a threat from the parallel world of Earth-2 named “Zoom” that nearly crippled the Scarlet Speedster. If it wasn’t for the timely arrival of his father Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp) the Flash may not have gotten up to speed!

Along with his friends at S.T.A.R. Labs he helped send the intelligent ape named Grodd through a breach and into a “gorilla city”. The Flash also teamed up with his Star City allies including the Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) to challenge the merciless immortal Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) whom we are pretty sure we haven’t seen the last of yet…certainly not after Dark Archer (John Barrowman) helped himself to remnants left from the 2-part class of titans.

So if Barry chooses that he needs some time to use his speed force to get some holiday shopping done, we’re not going to judge him. Unfortunately some of his most dangerous adversaries have a different idea all-together…and these rogues mean to rub-out the Flash! In Episode #9 of Season 2, “Running to Stand Still” a prison break at Iron Heights has the Weather Wizard (Liam McIntyre) and Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) unlikely allies alongside a wildcard named Trickster (Mark Hamill).

Now that Mark Mardon is back in Central City, Det. Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten) is looking to exact her revenge on the man she blames for her father’s murder. While the Wizard and Trickster plan their attack on the Flash, Cold drops in on Barry and Iris (Candice Patton) to let him know that he’s in danger. Flash asks Cold to help him take on the rogues, but Snart declines — he’s not into playing heroics (at least for the meantime). Cold sets for parts unknown.

Meanwhile Iris has revealed to Barry that she has a brother named Wally, and that it’s about time she told her father Joe (Jesse L. Martin) the truth about him. Joe doesn’t take the news very well, but before anyone has the time to cope with it all, the rogues attack unleashing a plot against the Flash that has everyone rallying to save the day! The highlight of the episode one would suspect was the return of the Trickster, the role reprised by Mark Hamill from the “original” The Flash 1990 series.

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Mark Hamill returns to The Flash and takes over as the villainous Trickster bringing a whole new bag of tricks with him.

Though the Trickster’s maniacal gambit pays off in true comic-book style, the villain single-handedly distributes hundreds of bombs into the unsuspecting hands of innocent (though greedy) children throughout Central City! The Weather Wizard prefers to take a more direct approach and attacks the Flash with an arsenal of bad weather, including blizzards and lightning. Barry attempts to stop him using the “weather wand” Cisco (Carlos Valdes) had developed in an “alternate” timeline.

All the episode’s action plays out beautifully and is well integrated into further realizing this “comic book” world that our heroes, but the strength in the arc this week is provided by the revelation from Iris to Joe that they have an additional family member. Candice Patton hasn’t been given moments like this often to play, and her Iris is at her most vulnerable when tell her father (and Barry) about Wally West. It’s both tender and engaging to see the show return to its emotional base.

The relationship between Barry and Patty is beginning to grow and take on a whole new depth that is really coming together. It’s nice to see how comfortable Grant and Shantel are at playing intimate…it’s really endearing the character with fans. As the show takes its well earned winter break, fans are again left to ponder as the cast comes together to celebrate the holiday season and the West family welcomes home Wally, where in all this was Henry Allen? Fishing again?

DC’s Legends…In Print and Before Primetime.

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DC gets ready for its “Legends” coming to primetime, while we take a look at the print series that (re)established the legacy.

While the world gets ready for the DC Comics TV Universe (yes…we’re going to make that a “thing”) to unleash it’s latest effort in primetime, we’ll look back at a moment in DC’s comics history, when legends lived only in print. Where as now we live in a reality that has our heroes inhabiting almost every facet of multimedia. They come to life every fall on television, and the summer season is earmarked for all of the biggest blockbusters on the big screen. Where else can gods on earth face off against mortals in capes and cowls.

The success of The CW hit series Arrow and its spin-off The Flash, have literally opened the floodgates and unleashed the possibilities. Television executive producers Greg BerlantiAndrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim have made it their mission to not only adapt the world of superheroes into a action-packed, one-hour format that is engaging and entertaining, these producers along with their core team of show-runners and writers have dedicated themselves to honoring the source material. An idea that many entertainment executives have often tried to steer away from when adapting comics for life-action.

The fact that the television series Arrow has cultivated elements of the Green Arrow’s comic adventures to the small screen, and its sister series The Flash has also followed suit — it’s what has made these series ratings hits and brought them legion of fans. Berlanti and Kreisberg along with Allison Adler have also added to the palette the daring adventures of the Maid of Might — Supergirl premiered in the fall of 2015 on the major television network CBS. And the creative team hasn’t stopped there…while their premiere CW series may be going on hiatus for mid-season, this opens the schedule for the introduction of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.

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They’re ready for primetime! The new series – the third spin-off – in the line of DC Comics series on The CW premieres in 2016 and will feature an all-star line-up of heroes and villains from across the DC Comics Universe.

 

This will be the first “team show” to continue elaborating on the DC TV Universe continuity that began with Arrow and will feature an assemble cast of heroes (and villains) some already been introduced within the scope of the other CW shows.

A side note — though there has been some speculation that eventually the CW shows may overlap with Supergirl on CBS, it’s still now confirmed, so Legends may be the closest that fans will come to having the DC Universe continuing to unravel in primetime, bringing the total of hours of television to feature superheroes in a connective story arc to about 59! That’s incredible!

But Once Upon A Time…

The only way that audiences could digest their favorite superhero’s adventures were in the monthly publications of DC Comics. Big screen adventures were few and far between, and it wasn’t until the 1989 with the success of Tim Burton’s Batman starring Michael Keaton in the lead role, that the adapted media would be taken serious by Hollywood, though it would be a slow crawl until hits like Marvel’s Spider-Man and X-Men came along and opened up the market.

Nope. You could only get comics at your local newsstand or specialty store, and they were usually under a dollar! During the summer of 1985 DC Comics was taking a great risk. The long-running imprint was revitalizing their brand and that meant a publishing wide initiative to revamp all DC Comics. For the first time in its then 50 year history, DC Comics and its heroes would all belong to one seamless continuity establishing a legacy.

The first big move was felt during the earth-shattering events of the classic Crisis on Infinite Earths which revised most of DC Comic’s history and gave the world a new, more contemporary Superman, a darker and meaner Batman, and brought Wonder Woman up to her rightful place as one of the imprint’s “Big 3”, establishing the trinity. After the dust had settled with Crisis, the next step was to start to place the heroes into a more appropriate and modern context.

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The cover to the first issue of Legends the comic series introduced most of the characters into the contemporary DC Comics continuity after the events of the first “Crisis” which revamped history.

The series that would help make that happen was released the following year after Crisis ended and was called Legends. As told by comic legends John Ostrander and Len Wein (both wrote and scripted the story) and drawn by John Byrne and Karl Kesel (the two creatives were behind the revamping of the Superman title and mythology) the 6 part mini-series would help to reestablish the Justice League and reintroduce characters that were in a state of flux after the events depicted in Crisis.

In the story the menacing evil of Darkseid once again threatens the planet as he attempts to prove to the world at large that their belief in heroes, their faith in these “legends” is misbegotten at best. The heroic Captain Marvel — now more appropriately known as Shazam! is tricked into thinking he’s killed an innocent man, while the younger heroes in the pantheon including Firestorm and The Flash confront the responsibility that comes with being a hero.

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The Flash fitted prominently into the story, though the “Flash” that appeared in Legends would actually be Wally West, the successor to Barry Allen who went missing after the events in Crisis on Infinite Earths.

In the end, the heroes eventually succeed at stopping Darkseid’s plan, and many are introduced to each other for the first time. Helping to reestablish the Justice League, the “Golden Age” mystic Dr. Fate becomes a core member (if only for a short time) of the new team consisting of founding members BatmanMartian Manhunter and Black Canary (taking the place in the new continuity of original founding member Wonder Woman). Joining them in the relaunch is Blue Beetle.

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Another familiar face that took part of the action was a still relatively unknown and inexperienced Firestorm who faced the larger than life menace of Brimstone!

The series also depicts the contemporary introduction of Wonder Woman properly into “Man’s World”. The amazing amazon was one of the prominent casualties of the Crisis but was reintroduced into continuity with new powers, a new origin and mission in her new series, before moving into her place in the spotlight alongside the other big guns. It’s worth diving into this bit of nostalgia, although this 6-issue run will not necessarily be the story to springboard the TV Legends.

It’s still exciting to experience some of the story from its early conception, understand why these characters have come to mean so much to generations since and especially become a part of the first “reboot” in contemporary DC Comics history.

 

Flash and Arrow…Take Flight!

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In this season’s first crossover event the DC TV Universe spreads its wings and gives flight to more DC Comic’s legends!

Although by now televisions fans of The CW hit series Arrow and its sister series The Flash have been prepared for the upcoming third spin-off – and no… I’m  not talking about that Maid of Might minding over National City on CBS – the assembled DC’s Legends of Tomorrow have started coming together in the premiere crossover episodes of the season…and it’s a pretty brilliant take-off.

In the DC Comics mythology there are few more formidable opponents than Vandal Savage (played by Casper Crump) the immortal menace was a thorn in the side of the “Golden Age” heroes before plotting to destroy their “Modern Age” counterparts…and because Savage is a dastardly long-lived kind of baddie, he’s proven really hard to kill. Savage is the ideal candidate for the premise introduced to set-up Legends.

But most beautifully, the writing team with includes some of DC Comics most devoted fanboys, and I do mean show runners Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim — both writers have placed at the center of the controversy a character the although once once a “sidekick” of sorts, when Hawkgirl took a pivotal role as a founding member on the Justice League cartoon series, her wingspan peaked!

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Hawkman (Falk Henschel) and Hawkgirl (Ciare Renée) join The Flash and Arrow as they prepare to become Legends in the next spin-off set to premiere in early 2016.

Now the reincarnated form of Kendra Saunders has evolved again, and has been brought to life by the dashingly exciting and relatively new talent on the television spectrum Ciara Renée — the veteran of stage has given rise to the latest hero to come to life and borrow the spotlight from the boys, before taking her rightful place on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.

 

When the cast was introduced at San Diego Comic-Con in 2015, the young woman was already showing a ferocious eagerness to jump right into the suit and show everyone what she’s got. With Tuesday night’s first-part crossover on The Flash entitled “Legends of Today” Renée proves she’s no disappointment!

With the growing number of characters become part of a larger mythology — and rumors already circulating that Barry Allen may be popping over to pay Superman’s famous cousin a visit on Supergirl (more on that soon). fans can expect some very exciting stuff to take shape in the time-traveling adventures of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. In the meantime, I think it’s safe to say that Ciara Renée has earned her wings! Take flight! We’ll be watching you soar the friendly skies!

I’ll have my review of this season’s “Legends of Today” after Wednesday’s continuing arc on Arrow. Stay tuned!

 

The “Legends” are Coming!

10407249_1569952109946208_2615419563962142432_nThe DC Comics Universe is assembling its own team of “Legends” in primetime! The heroes of today, fight for our future!

As if having three major powerhouse series in primetime wouldn’t be enough, executive producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg including Marc Guggenheim are about to pool their resources, or rather their casts — to initiate the first team of super heroes in primetime. Hinted at in their sister series Arrow and The Flash these two are about to join the line-up of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.

With the arcs for both CW series having introduced several other characters from the DC Comics universe, including some of the more popular villains, it made sense that with the success of MARVEL Comic’s own Avengers heroes coming together in the movies, with DC dominating in primetime, the same would occur. With heroes like the Atom and Firestorm part of that team-up, you can bet there will be sparks flying!

Take a look at and enjoy the premiere trailer that sets up the backstory (which will also be explored in the upcoming 2-part crossover event in The Flash and Arrow) and let me know what you think!