After an action packed, but somewhat rushed, first episode, Legends of Tomorrow returns to form in "The Justice Society of America", as the team-up with the JSA creates one of the show's best episodes to date. The JSA offer a fantastic contrast to the Legends — smoothly operating and dedicated to their mission, the Justice Society are exactly what we hoped to see from a wartime superhero team.
But far from showing up the Legends, the JSA make us appreciate what we love about the mismatched, rag-tag band of B-List heroes. The Legends show themselves to be fractured, true, but thanks to Sara Lance's natural leadership, they are also highly adaptable, thinking on their feet in the heat of battle, and provide much-needed backup to the somewhat rigid JSA.
Season 2 Episode 2 was well paced and exciting, developing the team dynamic nicely. As Stein learned his tendency to overthink made him a good theoretician, but not a leader, Sara stepped up to the plate, mentoring Nate and taking the lead when things got tough.
But the highlight of the episode was definitely getting to know the Justice Society, who'll be teaming up with the Legends again later on in the season. And while Vixen is the one to join the Legends team, one of the most interesting characters was someone who was lurking in the shadows.
Son Of Green Lantern
The Justice Society is arguably the first superhero team — first appearing in 1940, the JSA were the precursor to the iconic Justice League, formed of Golden Age heroes that continued to exist in DC canon, moving from the '40s to Earth-2.
The version of the JSA that we saw in Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Episode 2 has a different lineup than the classic team, but that's par for the course with a superhero show. And shaking up the team allowed the showrunners to subtly introduce Todd Rice a.k.a. Obsidian, the son of original Green Lantern Alan Scott.
He didn't say much in the episode, but Obsidian's presence was definitely felt, as he showed off his impressive shadow powers in the fight against the Legends.
According to Lance Henriksen, who will portray an older version of Obsidian later on in Season 2, Todd's relation to Green Lantern will be part of the show.
"It's all in there. It's all in there, every bit of it. Yeah, being Green Lantern's son and all that stuff and him being gay is all in there. It's treated, honestly, kind of un-gently. It's a real thing.... Even one of my lines says 'If you're lucky enough to find love again, after anything has ever happened to you, well, embrace it.' [Obsidian] says 'Son, he's waiting for me at home.'"
So does this mean we'll see Green Lantern onscreen? It's certainly possible, but with Obsidian being part of the JSA in the '40s, this means that Alan Scott must have become Green Lantern even earlier, possibly close to the turn of the century.
Now that one Green Lantern has been established within this canon, this could open the door for the second Green Lantern — the far more popular Hal Jordan — to appear in one of The CW's DC shows.
Easter Eggs & Comics Hints
Other than setting up Obsidian for a bigger role later on, there were plenty of nods to the JSA's storied background, from Stargirl's staff (inherited from JSA member Starman), to Red Tornado's helmet displayed on the Waverider.
That would be a different Red Tornado to the robot Supergirl battled in Season 1 of her show — this Red Tornado is the working mother Ma Hunkel, who was inspired to fight crime in her neighborhood by her son's fascination with Green Lantern.
There were other mementos from the JSA's history scattered around the Waverider, like Sandman's gas mask and Hourman's hourglass — though to be honest, the hourglass doesn't look any different from a normal hourglass, so that Easter Egg may have been just a bit too subtle. If nothing else, these nods prove that Rip Hunter is a giant nerd for the Justice Society, and it's a shame he wasn't around to meet his heroes.
Other than DC Comics Easter Eggs, there were some impressive pop culture references. As the Heywoods fled from the Nazis in a motorbike and sidecar, we couldn't help but be reminded of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
And Stein's little aside to the band was straight out of the original Back to the Future:
"Watch me for the changes, and try to keep up."
Overall, this was a stellar episode stuffed full of Easter Eggs, with plenty of plot threads set up for the rest of the season. Keep an eye out for Vixen, as she'll return to plague the Legends next episode, before the JSA make their return later on.