The news that Legends of Tomorrow has been canceled is certainly not a welcome announcement for those who have stuck around for the show’s seven seasons. But, as the series comes to a close, it’s important to realize that Legends of Tomorrow really did reach its natural end by the time the Season 7 (now series) finale came and ended on a high. The show is a spin-off of The CW parent shows Arrow and The Flash with the latter reaching its end and The Flash said to be on its last outing. Legends features a roster of constantly revolving B-list superheroes from both series such as White Canary/Sarah Lance (Caity Lotz) and The Atom/Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) from Arrow, Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller), and Hawkgirl (Ciara Renee) from The Flash among others. The series’ constantly rotating star cast was one of the best decisions the show made, along with its commitment to being the wackiest show on television.
Of course, both these core decisions were made in the aftermath of a collectively reviled debut season that featured an angsty love triangle between Hawkman (Falk Hentschel), Hawkgirl, and The Atom, a mustache-twirling villain with no sense of awareness in Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) and a dour tone that made little sense. However, once the series adopted its no holds barred approach to time travel insanity, what followed were six seasons of some unique superhero television. The series’ embrace of the comical, quirky corners of comic books that somehow never made it to live-action, made the show a delightful hour of television for six subsequent seasons.
However, in between all the changing cast and story beats, the one thing that was distinctly Legends and stood true for the entirety of its run was the show’s commitment to being diverse. From introducing the first Muslim superhero in Zari (Tala Ashe) to bringing the first asexual hero, Spooner (Lisseth Chavez), inclusion has been the series’ backbone. It’s no wonder that the show’s ever-changing cast was such a welcome turn for most fans, we got to see all kinds of interesting superheroes and villains, the likes of which had never made it to the big or small screen before. Rather than there be simply straight white characters or love interests, we got to experience a host of different characters from varied backgrounds throughout time periods, which made for some entertaining TV.
In its final season, the series has essentially seen all but one main character from the first season depart. From the founding members of the team, out of the duo of Firestorm, Jax (Franz Drameh) goes back to Central City after losing his powers as well as his partner in crime, Martin Stein (Victor Garber). Ray Palmer gets his happy ending and settles down with Nora (Courtney Ford), Hawkgirl and Hawkman go off into the sunset to live their lives together and Mick (Dominic Purcell) left in the Season 6 finale after giving birth to aliens. Other characters like Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) and Captain Cold also died along the way. Similarly, a lot of the longer-running characters from subsequent seasons also finished their arcs in Season 7, Nick Zano’s Nate managed to find a way to live with Zari (Tala Ashe) after their circumstances kept them apart.
Actors like Maisie Richardson-Sellers and Matt Ryan played multiple characters throughout the seasons and still managed to close out their respective stories. Captain Sara also found her love in Ava (Jesse Macallan) and married her, and the big twist of Season 7 is that the two find out that they have a daughter on the way. Even the AI Gideon (Amy Pemberton) manages to find herself a love interest in Season 7. So really, as much as fans could wish for endless seasons of this show, the series has already written the best possible endings it could give to its colorful characters. Suffice it to say, the series has effectively closed out all the necessary chapters it needed to before the show could end.
Thematically, the series’ found-family arc has been explored multiple times at this point. Many of the lingering mysteries that prevailed, such as who created the Ava clones, were finally answered in Season 7 with the revelations that mad inventor Bishop (Rafi Barsoumian) was behind her creation and Gwyn Davies is the inventor of time travel itself. We even got a resolution to Zari’s multiseason mission to save Behrad (Shayan Sobhian) with him joining the team and becoming a Legend and even finding love in Astra (Olivia Swann).
The show has also failed to justify its existence past its recent season. The inclusion of Donald Faison as Booster Gold should have been an exciting way to kick off a new season, but the show did him no favors, having him dress like a golfer instead of don his iconic suit. With him looking nothing like his comic book counterpart and the finale not setting up any new storyline for him, there was little chatter on social media about who he is. So, the gambit that Booster Gold’s mere presence would excite fans enough to want to continue the journey didn’t quite work, nor does the show provide any riveting twist for the series to carry on going past Season 7. If anything, the finale retcons the original idea that The Legends will be unknown heroes in the future, making their ending even more suitable.
We’ve also seen a disturbing trend of Arrowverse shows getting subsequently weaker the longer the run, and while Legends of Tomorrow remains a highlight to this day, it’s still nowhere as strong as it was back in its heyday around Seasons 3 and 4. Both Arrow and The Flash went from being much-beloved pop culture staples to being largely ignored past their sixth and seventh seasons. This was mostly due to there being a massive drop in quality in the later seasons, with Arrow never finding a smart way to integrate its flash-forward storyline, and The Flash becoming a jumbled mess of poorly CGI-ed speedsters. And although Legends’ writing team continues to be the very best that The CW has to offer, Legends ending while it still has its cult following and critical acclaim would make it the only Arrowverse series to still come out on top after so many years.
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