This week saw the television debut of The Justice Society of America. A lesser known part of the DC Universe, JSA debuted in All-Star Comics #3 in 1940. With initial success because of the popularity from World War II JSA survived for ten years but then was cancelled and the focus switched to Justice League. Ever since then JSA has only seen a small amount of success in comics with a majority of its founding members being replaced with more popular known characters.
This week’s episode saw the Legends go back in time to save The Justice Society of America. A rag tag group made up of a thief, assassin, professor, mechanic, engineer, and historian trying to save a team of superheroes that stopped the Nazi’s seem like a stretch. The writers did a great job of making the Legends seem inferior to the JSA and the idea that they need to be saved like a joke. This episode hit all the right notes for me this week with the biggest concern is how long we will have to go without Rip Hunter.
Here are the Three Takeaways from this Week’s Episode
1. This show really needs Rip Hunter
This week was the first time that Arthur Darvill who plays Rip Hunter was not in an episode in the series. Last week we saw that Rip had sacrificed himself to save the team and the world vanishing into time. With this show focused on so many different characters that I didn’t think that it would miss a beat without Rip. I was wrong, the lack of Rip exposed that there is no unity amongst the team members which was the main plot of the episode. With Rip gone and the team deciding to go back in time to save the Justice Society of America the lack of a team leader is exposed early on when the team gets taken down by the JSA. Keeping in tradition with the 1940’s the leader of the JSA, Rex Tyler, assumes that Professor Stein is the leader because of his age and education. Without Rip there was a definite lack of cohesion with the team especially since they were working with the JSA. It looks like the Legends will have to survive without Rip for the foreseeable future or past or present.
2. It was very smart to keep the JSA during the 1940 timeline
When the announcement that the JSA would be debuting on Legends the biggest concern from most fans was how they would be incorporated into present day. For the original JSA members they are very specific to the 1940’s time period, very similar to how the Watchmen characters wouldn’t translate well to present day. By keeping the JSA in the 1940’s the style of the team and approach worked well. Also the costumes and look were accurate to the time period of World War II America. Even the choice of music when the JSA were in battle seem to fit very nicely. While I don’t think that this could translate to the JSA having their own show it was still fun to see the team interact on this show.
3. Making Reverse Flash the mastermind behind the alterations to the Timeline is genius.
Making Reverse Flash the main villain of this show was absolute genius. By doing this the viewers don’t need a wasted episode of an origin story or motivation of why he is doing this. The only mystery behind the Reverse Flash messing with the timeline is whether he was motivated by Barry messing with the Timeline or he knows that there are no more time masters to protect the Timeline. This also makes the transition to the big crossover event make sense now. Having everyone team up to stop Reverse Flash is going to make the anticipation to this major crossover event grow every week.
Overall this week’s episode continued the push that Legends of Tomorrow needs to be in the discussion of quality like The Flash and Arrow. While this show has the aspect of time travel that the other shows don’t it is not the major focus of the show. It continues to be the growth of the team trying to work together to save the Timeline.