“Legends of Today” – aired 12/1/2015 – ***** stars
Story by Greg Berlanti & Andrew Kreisberg
Teleplay by Aaron Helbing & Todd Helbing
Directed by Ralph Hemecker
*Spoilers are contained within
This week’s episode of The Flash began our second major crossover for both The Flash and Arrow, along with serving as an introduction to the big bad of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow – Vandal Savage. There was a lot of material to cover and just like the double sized comic issues that are annuals, “Heroes Join Forces” in many respects is the annual issue for both shows on The CW. Fans got to see Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Vandal Savage, and Team Flash and Team Arrow team up to save the day as DC heroes do. After a little worry going into this sprawling crossover and prologue of sorts, there is little worry over this week’s episode of Arrow, “Legends of Yesterday”, along with next month’s DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. It’s a very good time to be a fan of DC Comics.
Vandal Savage is a well known and established character within the comics and to students of the DC Universe. He’s most recently known for being the architect behind Superman’s problems in the current DC comic books; most likely as a devise to get readers and fans familiar with him as he’s set to be the main villain in DC’s Legends. We’re introduced to him on The Flash and he’s depicted as a murderous stowaway revealed to be an immortal. He’s after Kendra Saunders as he knows that she is the reincarnated Egyptian priestess Shayera.
Vandal Savage, being too great and mystical a threat to Team Flash, leaves Barry with no other option but to turn to his friend, Oliver Queen, for help. In the opening ten minutes or so of The Flash we get a stylish fight scene between Team Arrow and Damien Darhk. The Flash saves Arrow, Thea, and Diggle and it’s an excitingly fun scene. The strength of DC’s characters is of how iconic and mythological they are. They also happen to be really fun so getting a scene that features a crossover is wildly entertaining.
While the second major crossover for The CW’s The Flash and Arrow does seem a bit “marvel”ous at times, especially with a party scene reminiscent of an early scene from this summer’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, “Legends of Today” still works incredibly well. Seeing both casts interact and having scenes with the likes of John Barrowman’s Merlyn and Neal McDonough’s Darhk with Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen is not just pure fan service. It’s effective and reminds us of the connected nature of the universe. It’s a formula that works well and also helps establish the themes of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.
Despite being an episode filled with the revelation that Kendra Saunders is a reincarnated Egyptian priestess, along with the introduction of Carter Hall as a 4,000 year old reincarnated being, the emerging of greater mystical concepts never seems too much for the world established in The Flash and Arrow. Barry tells Oliver that he believes “the rules keep changing” as he can’t understand the magical world he’s now a part of, but Oliver, especially after having associations with Constantine and fighting HIVE, knows that the world and universe is a big place with larger concepts. Oliver encourages Barry to just accept it and we, along with Barry, open ourselves to the world of DC Comics on screen.
The Flash airs 8 PM ET, Tuesday nights on The CW. Check you local listings. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursday, January 21st on The CW.