Legends of Tomorrow delivered a less-than-average first season with a poor story arc and a delivery in character growth that was sorely disappointing. The team’s mission? Finding and defeating Vandal Savage at different points in time. Hit him when he’s at his weakest, you might say. They succeeded, but the cost was that the Legends were left to protect time after the Time Masters were destroyed. Legends of Tomorrow season 2 has set up an interesting story as the Legends are jumping through time as aberrations appear, but they’re being tested in a different way: there are three big villains to take care of. But is it too many for this CW show?
Vandal Savage proved to be a ruthless opponent, but mostly because the team didn’t work well together at all. Season 2 has created a much, much more difficult challenge for the Legends. Not only is there one villain they’re going through time to stop; they’re tasked with stopping three, but there’s a catch. Each is a villain from another Arrowverse TV series.
Eobard Thawne, or Reverse Flash, seems to be the biggest challenge, especially seeing as he’s a meta-human. He remains Barry’s harshest opponent on The Flash, but now he’s going through time to change his present. He’s the ultimate weapon for this legion of villains; his super speed is the only reason they’re able to travel through time.
Damien Darhk, the man who killed Laurel Lance in Arrow season 4, is teaming up with Reverse Flash for whatever evil plan they’re attempting to accomplish. His abilities became Team Arrow’s biggest challenge and assuming he still has those abilities in the past, he’s going to prove an interesting challenge for a team with far less experience than Oliver Queen.
Then there’s Malcolm Merlyn, Oliver Queen’s first villain, the man who is responsible for the deaths of Tommy, Robert Queen, and Sara Lance. His background with the League of Assassins means he would prove an interesting match against Sara; although she has less experience, she has the hatred toward the man who killed her to fuel her (which is also her motive against Darhk for killing her sister).
Not only does the threat these villains pose threaten the Legends’ lives, but they also threaten the past in more than one way. Their mission is to change history; they’re working together to complete a goal that will probably result in their victories in their futures.
Given that this season of Legends of Tomorrow has been focused majorly on time aberrations, what does bringing in three villains from other series do? Not only could the villains be defeated in the past and change history, but it also changes the course of time for each of the Legends. If Malcolm isn’t around to make Thea killed Sara, would she still be one of the Legends? If Sara wasn’t killed, would Laurel have ever become the Black Canary and been killed by Damien Darhk?
The Legends themselves also pose a threat to history. In order to take out each of the Legends, Thawne could travel to some point in their pasts to kill them and change history, meaning that, for instance, Slade could’ve taken down Starling City without Sara Lance’s involvement in the uprising.
Are There Too Many Villains?
Despite the many issues having these villains around poses, is it just too much?
The Legends struggled to take down just one villain in season 1: Vandal Savage. Now they have three; three villains that have been taken down by Teams Flash and Arrow, but the most important question is how? How can the Legends, a team that doesn’t work very well together compared to the others, take down three villains that took their fellow heroes complete 23-episode seasons to take down?
Technically, Malcolm Merlyn was never “taken down” by Oliver, or anyone for that matter. So how can a ragtag team of misfits take down someone that even the Green Arrow couldn’t stop? If each villain stood alone, it would seem plausible, but they are joined together to change history in a 17-episode season.
How can Legends of Tomorrow create a realistic, satisfying ending to the season when there are too many villains to fight against?
Legends of Tomorrow season 2 returns January 24 at 8/7c on The CW.