DC’s television Arrowverse on The CW, made up of Arrow and The Flash have gotten so big it needs another show. Multiverses and mysticism alike have made Oliver Queen’s urban campaign against crime a real fight for the universe.
Composed of heroes (and villains) from its two shows the Legends of Tomorrow are a de facto Justice League wholly original to TV. With no established comic book continuity to adhere to, the possibilities are wide-open in this Arrowverse expansion pack.
Assembled by the Green Arrow, The Flash, and the gunslinger Rip Hunter (more on him later) to take down the villainous dictator of the future, Vandal Savage, these are the spandex and armor-clad men and women you, devoted Arrowhead or curious channel surfer, will root for in DC’s newest series.
Billionaire genius Ray Palmer is the CEO of Palmer Technologies who has created a powerful super suit that allows him to change size, thus becoming The Atom. He’s basically Tony Stark and Ant-Man in one dude, and he’s played by Brandon Routh who was once Superman, of all people. He was created by Gardner Fox and Gil Kane and first debuted in DC’s Showcase #34 in 1961.
Ray was introduced in Arrow season three as a rival to a penniless Oliver Queen who had sought to regain his family’s company, Queen Consolidated, and lost. But over time he slowly elbowed his way as an unofficial member of Oliver’s crusade, until his presumed death at the end of season three. He was revealed to be alive in season four, and has returned to full health. He’s been positioned as the unofficial leader of the new Legends of Tomorrow, even though Rip Hunter will probably call the shots.
Played by Caity Lotz, Sara Lance was once a bubbly college student sleeping with her sister Laurel’s boyfriend — none other than Oliver Queen — but washes up on the island of Lian Yu. She’s taken in by the League of Assassins and becomes a trained killer. She returns to Starling City in Arrow season two as the vigilante Canary until Thea Queen murdered her in season three while under mind control.
Recently on Arrow, she was resurrected from the Lazarus Pit and restored by Constantine, but the Canary mantle has been officially taken up by Laurel. Now Sara has become the White Canary and has been recruited into the Legends of Tomorrow.
The Black Canary is truly Dinah Laurel Lance, created by writers Robert Kanigher and Carmine Infantino. She first debuted in Flash Comics #86 in 1947. The White Canary, on the other hand, was created during the “Brightest Day” and debuted in Birds of Prey #1 in July 2010 from Gail Simone and Ed Benes.
One of the newer characters introduced, Rip Hunter is a gunslinging time traveler from a futuristic London. He’s arrived to assemble the heroes to become the Legends of Tomorrow and prevent Vandal Savage’s reign of terror in the future.
Rip Hunter first debuted in Showcase #20 in May 1959 by Jack Miller with Ruben Moreira illustrating him.
One of the villains from The Flash, Mick Rory, a.k.a. Heat Wave is one-half of a criminal tag-team with Captain Cold. Together, they possess two high-tech guns they stole from S.T.A.R. Labs that are capable of freezing or burning everything. Guess which one Heat Wave has.
He’s portrayed by Dominic Purcell who gained recognition from his starring role in Prison Break, and first appeared in Flash #140 in 1963 from writer John Broome.
Leonard Snart grew up in a rough household with a father who turns on his officer duties to become a criminal. Leonard himself enters a life of crime at an early age to support his sister Lisa, and it’s the only life he’s ever known.
After stealing the “cold” gun from S.T.A.R. Labs, he becomes Captain Cold (but calls himself just Cold) and a regular enemy of Barry Allen. Although recruited by Weather Wizard to take down Flash in the midseason finale, he tips off Barry as a thank you for saving his sister, further cementing his turn to ambiguous anti-hero from a comical villain.
Captain Cold was introduced in Showcase #20 in 1957 from John Broome. In The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, he’s portrayed by Dominic Purcell’s Prison Break co-star Wentworth Miller.
Unique in that he’s always been two people at once, Firestorm is both Professor Martin Stein (Broadway veteran Victor Garber) and the once-promising college football prospect Jefferson “Jax” Jackson (Franz Drameh). Basically DC’s answer to the Human Torch of the Fantastic Four, you can read up on our summary of the Firestorm character.
Firestorm first blazed onto DC Comics in Firestorm, the Nuclear Man #1 in 1978 from Gerry Conway and Al Milgrom.
Kendra Saunders has just realized she’s not who she thought she was. In this year’s crossover of Arrow and The Flash, Kendra learns she is the reincarnated Egyptian princess Chay-Ara.
When in danger, Kendra’s warrior identity presents itself along with massive wings that enable her to fly. She adopts the name Hawkgirl, and her centuries-long blood feud with Vandal Savage compels her to join the Legends of Tomorrow.
Originally Shiera Sanders Hall in the comic books, Hawkgirl debuted in Flash Comics #1 in January 1940 from writer Gardner Fox and artist Dennis Neville. She’s played by actress Ciara Renée in the Arrowverse, first showing up in a cameo in the season one finale of The Flash.
A hunky Egyptian prince — even though actor Falk Hentschel is German — Khufu is also fated to reincarnate with Chay-Ara throughout time and thought he was Carter Hall until his revelation came first (and offscreen).
Possessing similar powers as Hawkgirl, Khufu has become Hawkman and during the Arrow and The Flash two-parter teaches Kendra to embrace her true identity. It’s rocky, but eventually she comes around. Hawkman was also created by Fox and Neville and debuted within the same issue as Hawkgirl.
Legends of Tomorrow premieres January 21st on The CW.