Of all the #Arrowverse shows, it's probably fair to say that the one that has improved the most over its previous season is #LegendsOfTomorrow. Where Season 1 followed the Legends on their quest to defeat the immortal Vandal Savage, Season 2 has a completely new mission. And it's a much more watchable one.
While #Arrow has looked back to what worked in earlier seasons to improve this year and #TheFlash is being met with a more mixed reaction than in previous seasons, Legends of Tomorrow plows forward ever more successfully. Some viewers believe that it has become the best show in the Arrowverse.
Let's have a look at just what has improved this year.
1. Nate Heywood (Steel) Is A Fantastic Addition To The Team
Pretty much the first thing we see in Season 2 is the sight of Nick Zano's Nate barging through security in Star City's City Hall to have a word with Oliver Queen. Somehow he manages to get an audience with the Mayor and manages to convince Oliver to listen to him by mentioning the Legends being in danger — he also tells Oliver that he knows he is the #GreenArrow.
Nate is a historian who specialises in deductive historical reconstruction (he calls himself a "time detective") and it is because of his knowledge that he is able to notice a change to history — that being the Nazis winning World War II. After travelling with Oliver to find the Waverider, Nate encounters Mick Rory, who goes on to tell him what the Legends had been up to prior to this meeting. Together they travel throughout history and assemble the rest of the Legends. From then on, Nate goes on to become an essential member of the team.
He acquires superpowers after Ray Palmer engineers a super-soldier serum and injects it into a mortally wounded Nate as a last resort. The serum is able to not only heal his wounds, but give him the ability to turn his skin into steel.
Due to his background as a historian, Nate is highly excitable about meeting various historical figures or witnessing certain events. He often thinks he knows better than the other Legends but he really doesn't, and it is often played for laughs. He is a funny, charismatic character and he's a fantastic addition to the cast.
2. No More Hawks!
One of the elements that dragged Season 1 down was the story involving the two hawk-themed heroes. Though their story was intrinsically linked to Vandal Savage (more on him in a minute), really it just fell flat. Kendra's character wasn't given a fair stab in my opinion, especially because of the fact she loved to remind us that she was a barista until very recently.
The romance with Ray was also something that didn't really work for the character. It seemed to be shoehorned in and didn't make much sense when you consider that Kendra stopped seeing Cisco because of her destined romance with Carter. The whole thing seemed quite forced, as if it was thrown in purely to give Ray a romantic subplot — and as a consequence, when the two inevitably parted, it wasn't that big a deal.
3. No More Vandal Savage!
Which leads us nicely on to Vandal Savage. It was a good idea to set up the villain as an immortal who could appear throughout time, but the plot developed really slowly. There were episodes that didn't he feature in, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but often those episodes were the better ones. When you consider this was the big bad of the season, that really isn't a good thing.
Whether it was down to the writing or Casper Crump's performance, he wasn't a very convincing villain. He also lacked the gravitas to be the villain to carry the whole season.
Bringing in the charismatic Damien Darhk (the best part of Arrow Season 4) and Malcolm Merlyn (who exudes charm despite being a trained killer) is a much better route for the show. Despite the relatively negative reaction to Arrow Season 4, everybody agreed that Neal McDonough was an excellent villain; he brings the same quality of performance to Legends of Tomorrow.
The Legion of Doom is completed by the Reverse Flash and Leonard Snart (who will join up with them later). The Reverse Flash is an interesting addition to the Legion when we first meet him, we actually meet Harrison Wells. Really, this is Matt Letcher's chance to put his own stamp on the character and so far he's doing a great job.
The interplay between the Legion of Doom is a joy to watch. In the midseason premiere, "Raiders of the Lost Art," Darhk and Merlyn enjoyed a tremendously fun episode as they searched for a piece of the Spear of Destiny. The exchange between the two when Merlyn commented that he needed to see Frank Sinatra's star on the Walk of Fame was brilliant, as was the sheer joy in their faces as they threw George Lucas (yep, that one!) and the Legends into a trash compactor.
The Legion of Doom is shaping up to be much better than Vandal Savage ever was.
4. Rip Hunter's Absence
I should start this by clarifying that I like Rip Hunter, but his absence has allowed the other characters to develop. After an initial disagreement over who would take charge in Rip's stead, Sara in particular has become an effective captain. Stein originally volunteered as leader because he is a respected scientist and the senior member of the team; it quickly became apparent that he was too analytical and was unable to make snap decisions. This was where Sara stepped up.
The interaction between the Legends has been a key part of this season's success. Ray has had his fair share of bromances this season, and he has really grown as a character. He faced an existential crisis when his ATOM suit was stolen in medieval Japan and he had to destroy it, but he has also proved he is more than just a man in a suit. His partnership with Mick, taking the place of Snart, was a joy to behold and even allowed for some personal growth in Mick.
Ray's friendship with Nate has also been incredibly fun to see. The two men have bonded and became firm friends. This was cemented when Ray made a suit for Nate.
Mick Rory is my favorite character on the show and he has continued to be excellent this season. As mentioned, he has already shown some personal growth when he told Ray about his feelings regarding Snart's death. He also has a bit of a love-hate relationship with Vixen after she is made his reluctant babysitter. Mick shows her in "The Chicago Way" that sometimes, the criminal's methods are necessary to get what they want.
The banter between Jax and Stein remains as strong as ever. Firestorm works so well because it is a case of opposites attracting; Jax is a young engineer who acts first and thinks about things later, whereas Stein is an older scientist who thinks about everything methodically. The two may disagree on certain things, but when they need to, they become a highly effective team.
5. It Keeps Getting More Fun
Ultimately, Legends of Tomorrow is fun to watch. It was always fun to watch in Season 1 and it remains so now. The interplay between the heroes is brilliant, and the fact that we have the same with the villains now is great to see.
The Legion of Doom are, essentially, the evil version of the Legends: a group of people brought together to fight for a common goal. They may have their disagreements in terms of strategy, but they're striving for the same thing.
All of the characters are having a whale of a time; nobody is bogged down in romantic drama or personal strife. Even Mick is enjoying himself when he should really be grieving for his best friend. Nate has a great time meeting his idols — whether this was George Lucas or Ulysses S. Grant, he is enjoying his new life — and the same is true with his newfound superpowers. Now that he has mastered them, he is just enjoying having them!
It might be bold of me to say this, but Legends of Tomorrow has been the most consistent show in the Arrowverse this season. As much as I enjoy Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl, it has been Legends of Tomorrow that has been consistently enjoyable.
With a clear direction and a much happier tone than the other Earth-1 shows, Legends of Tomorrow promises to be a great ride for the rest of the season!
Why do you think Legends of Tomorrow has improved? Let me know in the comments!