Legends of Tomorrow: The Justice Society of America
October 20, 2016 9:09 PM - Season 2, Episode 2 - Subscribe

The Legends travel to Nazi-occupied Paris to help the JSA. Meanwhile, Nate tries to prove he should be part of the team. (Also, Victor Garber gets a musical number)
posted by oh yeah! (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
First thoughts: Commander Steel was a bit too parkour for 1942. Vixen's accent seemed to start off strong and slide away. I didn't have the opportunity to be a big Infinity Inc. fan (no local comic shop, so no access to the higher quality direct market Baxter books) but for some reason I was thrilled to see Obsidian. For being a not-very original JSA team, I think they got a good balance of characters and powers.

The CGI on the super Nazi was laughably terrible. I kept trying to figure out what the Askaran Amulet was supposed to be and what it looked like, and the closest thing I could come up with is Dr. Fate's amulet, but I'm sure that's not it.

From the Back to the Future stuff to Edelweiss, it was pretty homage-heavy/cinematically referential but I'm willing to give them a pass because they're having fun with the time travel concept this season, which they didn't seem to be last season.

Any speculation on the historian's eventual super hero identity? I'll admit I'm stumped. I don't know what would be the best mix of missing powers and abilities to add to the team. I guess super strength in some form or another, and assuming Ray didn't alter the substance too much, I guess that's what we'll see, but that's still not giving me any obvious clues.

On the downside, after the last few seasons of The Flash, I'm so done and bored with evil speedsters killing people with that method, although I seriously doubt Rex is dead.
posted by sardonyx at 9:26 PM on October 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

Ah, never mind my speculation about Heywood. I just read the Commander Steel link on the posted recap. Somehow I missed a good deal of the Steel family history. Admittedly, I didn't really bother with the Detroit League, but the name should have been enough to trigger a Who's Who niggle in my brain.
posted by sardonyx at 9:40 PM on October 20, 2016

I'm over evil speedsters on The Flash, but Reverse Flash is sure welcome on LoT. He's more menacing than Vandal Savage ever was. The dude is just super evil for no real reason at all, and doesn't give a damn what damage he does to the timeline. Plus, he's fucking creepy.

I liked the JSA, but their introduction raises the usual sort of questions the Arrowverse shows raise and never bother to answer. Like: How were there superheroes in the '40s and this is the first we're hearing about it? Have there been superheroes that entire time? The Flash and Arrow felt like the beginning of a trend, but apparently not? You know. Anyway, the JSA themselves were cool -- I liked that their costumes had that vaguely steampunk aesthetic the Earth-2 heroes (and the Earth-3 Flash) have -- but Stargirl looked very modern to me, and...isn't Vixen a modern day hero? Is this like her grandmother, or...?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:57 PM on October 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

Liked this one more than usual. Stuff:

* I enjoyed watching the JSA kick their asses, both because it's sort of cathartic after how bad the Legends sucked for all of S1, and because it shows that the writers *could* perhaps depict them as competent down the line.

* Laughed out loud at Rory admitting to being a criminal, and outing Sarah.

* It's about time Sarah was in charge.

* I liked Vixen a lot, but I cringe at the thought of a Palmer/Vixen romance.

* I agree wholeheartedly with this:

I'm over evil speedsters on The Flash, but Reverse Flash is sure welcome on LoT.

Totally. On The Flash, speedster vs. speedster stuff always comes down to some boring race to prove who's the fastest, which lacks any sort of dramatic tension because the entire premise of the show is that Barry Is Fastest One There Is.

On *this* show, Eobard Thawne is complete nightmare fuel: smart enough to impersonate Harrison Wells, (so presumably in Palmer or Stein's general range, if not smarter), physically powerful enough to destroy the entire team before they could react, can time travel without a ship and he gives precisely zero fucks about murder or timeline damage.

Plus, while the actor is no Tom Cavanaugh, he's just more fun than Savage ever was - Vandal Savage always came across as a slimy creep who needed plot armor to be a credible threat. Thawne feels like a proper supervillain to me.
posted by mordax at 12:22 AM on October 21, 2016

[Thawne] doesn't give a damn what damage he does to the timeline

I thought Reverse Flash's shtick was that he was so smart that he knew how to change the timeline specifically without causing damage. He's implied that at least twice on The Flash.
posted by Servo5678 at 5:57 AM on October 21, 2016

Agree that I think Thawne will be a better villain here. The time traveling heroes vs immortal villain thing could have worked last year, but didn't and I'm happy to see a villain that can properly follow them in time. I might have just hated Vandal Savage and Rip Hunter so much that I'd accept any replacement villain of any sort.

I liked the JSA (though what was with the music when they introduced them? It felt weird and out of place), although I felt like writers couldn't decide if they were a secret force or not. Ray was excited to meet them, but also it felt like no one knew who they were? Deciding that there used to be a secret force of superheroes no one has heard of is a very comicy retcon, but I'd roll with it; they need to make up their minds though. I'm hoping they keep them around long enough to at least explain/play with their powers. Speaking of: I found Vixen's thing about Ray not being a real hero because all he has is a suit deeply odd. They sort of explained how that doesn't apply to her thing with the amulet, but her team has some people who could definitely be described the same way. Hourman is a guy who takes pills to make him super, Stargirl, I'm pretty sure just has her staff. Obviously they've yet to fill in the details on anyone other than Vixen really, so who knows (what is Commander Steel's power here? He seemed to be a dude with a shotgun and an outfit from what I could tell). All of that said, I like the team and I hope they hang around.

The arc of Stein realizing he shouldn't be in charge was predictable, but fine, although I'm not sure why you'd leave a powerful asset in the ship to coordinate things rather than out on the battlefield being Firestorm. I've also never been impressed by how they present Stein's intelligence which mostly seems to manifest as smugness. Sara is a great leader though, and I think that dynamic will be fun.

On the whole, I think the show is looking up and I'm hopeful for it to be enjoyable, if still sloppily written and predictable, this year.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:12 AM on October 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

I've been watching with the app and not a TV. The picture used for the show --- with all the permanent characters present --- is sort of a spoiler. Not sure if i should mention who is depicted.

All in all, it's better than last season, but still worse than the Flash. Several orders of magnitude worse than netflix's marvel shows.

They need to highlight the arsonist guy more. Not sure why palmer is the lead so often. I'd like to see the arsonist fuck with eobard as neither gives a fuck.
posted by about_time at 5:57 PM on October 21, 2016

Seconding "uh, is this modern day Vixen's grandmother or what?", please.

Otherwise, not too bad an episode for them. Kinda sad to see the professor paralyzed by analysis, though.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:55 PM on October 21, 2016

I'm not sure if it's grandmother directly or other female ancestor, but essentially you've got it (at least according to the promo stuff I read). Vixen was never a JSA member, and the Arrow version is the one from the comics (with some minor changes) so this version is new to all of us.
posted by sardonyx at 10:53 AM on October 22, 2016

The tolerability index for this show is steadily rising...
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:58 AM on October 24, 2016

I loved the DC-on-Marvel snark of Ray's line; "Uhhhh, 'super-serum'? You don't think that's a little... on the nose?"
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:00 AM on October 24, 2016

I'm thirding the "wait, Vixen, what?" though I suppose she could go back to Africa at some point and still be Vixen's grandmother.

I did also have some trouble with their utter rejection of time travel. Like, you have a guy who manipulates darkness, a girl who flies around holding a staff that shoots energy bolts (and has some kind of anti gravity that keeps her from dislocating her shoulder), a woman who magically channels the power of the great beasts, a blind man who can see in the dark and a guy who takes a pill to get super-physical for an hour at a time, but time travel? That's a step too far!
posted by Karmakaze at 11:39 AM on October 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

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