A Hero Gains Powers, Another Loses Them on 'Legends of Tomorrow'

Warner Bros. Television.

When last we saw the ragtag team of time traveling heroes from the CW’s Legends of Tomorrow, they had just come back from the age of the Second World War, and newbie Nate Heywood had been injected with a modified Nazi super serum to save his life. The infusion gave him new superpowers, but after an unexpected trip to feudal Japan, another Legend had to sacrifice their own abilities.

Vixen, out for justice after the death of Rex Tyler at the hands of Reverse-Flash (though she doesn’t know it yet), stows away on the Waverider. That’s when Nate rouses and find that he can turn his entire body into living, impenetrable metal. He is now Citizen Steel, after his grandfather, JSA superhero Commander Steel.

It’s a better deal than the comics version of Citizen Steel got, since he couldn’t ever turn back to normal flesh and blood. Nate, meanwhile, has the opposite problem — he can’t summon his powers on command.

A training mishap strands Nate in feudal Japan, and the Atom rushes to rescue him. Once in the land of the rising sun, Nate meets a girl, and the Atom, who was already feeling down about not having organic powers of his own, gets his suit stolen by an evil shogun.

In the process of defeating the shogun to prevent him from using the suit to take over all of Japan, Nate learns he needs to be defending someone to turn his abilities on. The Atom, meanwhile, knows that the only way to stop the shogun is to destroy the suit — the source of the Atom’s powers. It’s a sacrifice he’s willing to make.

Say goodbye to these powers, Atom.

Warner Bros. Television

This episode of Legends made it very clear who the most powerful characters are, and the types of storytelling knots the show needs to create for itself to prevent the Atom, Firestorm, and now Citizen Steel from just solving every problem. In this episode, Firestorm, who could’ve easily defeated the shogun, was left behind on the Waverider. (That’s where he discovered a mysterious, important message from future Barry Allen, but we don’t get to hear what it was yet. Tune in next week!)

Nate, meanwhile, has trouble summoning his powers, so he’s not reliable. And now the Atom is just a regular, life-sized joe.

Oh well. At least they’ve got Vixen on the team for now.

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