Who’s the New Legend?

Posted in Screening Room by - January 18, 2018
Who’s the New Legend?

Warning: spoilers for the mid-season finale of Legends of Tomorrow and Crisis on Earth-X

So by now we all probably know that someone new will be joining the Waverider at some point in the near future of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Who that person will be is at this point a mystery, but producer Marc Guggenheim revealed recently that it would be a character previously established across the CW shows returning to our screens. Never one to let a mystery go unspeculated, I’ve put together a list of all the major candidates I can think of. Now let’s get this out of the way, there’s one particular standout who is both the most likely and most popular choice, but these shows have offered some surprising characters before, and nothing is certain til we see it happen. So here’s the list of candidates.


Roy Harper, Thea Queen, Huntress

thea-legends-of-tomorrow

Three archers or adjacent archer characters. The deal with these guys is that their abilities are simple and easily sustainable over the course of the show, and each of their personalities could add to the team in interesting ways. Roy Harper as Red Arrow was something of a fan favorite, if for no other reason than his constant, superfluous flipping; Thea as Speedy was the MVP of Arrow’s otherwise dismal fourth season; and Helena Bertinelli as Huntress, while not the greatest of adaptations on these shows, represents a popular character from the comics who could easily be recontextualized on Legends and given the room she needs to shine. Considering the elements of comics Black Canary that has been grafted onto Sara Lance, Huntress could be expected to have an interesting relationship with our brave captain.

That said, none of these three add anything particularly unique to the team. Their skills amount to general fighting and long distance weaponry, but this is a team that has its share of hand to hand fighters and even long distance coverage in the form of Rory’s flamethrower already. What the team is currently missing is Firestorm’s power, and none of these characters come even close to that level.

Chances: 15%


 

Jay Garrick or Jesse Quick

Similar to the last entry, these are the other speedsters introduced on The Flash, and without a real place to call home on the show they originated on, there’s the possibility they could be added to Legends. Jay is the more likely of the two, considering his popularity in the comics and the persistent rumors that he would eventually join Legends going back as far as its second season, but in both cases, these characters are from alternate universes and are canonically busy in these other worlds as their resident superheroes, and there’s not a strong reason to believe they’ll drop everything to join the Legends.

Chances: 5%


 

Jonah Hex

Jonah Hex

An interesting choice, because unlike the previous examples, Hex was introduced on Legends and already has a rapport with (most of) the current team. Again, the main issue here is that he does not add much in the way of power to a team missing its strongest member, but he does add grit and grizzled experience, which could effectively make him an interesting replacement and counter to the kindly and textbook smart Prof. Stein. The writers have indicated a desire earlier this year to bring Hex back, whether or not that is long term remains to be seen.

Chances: 40%


 

Negative Woman

Another Legends alumni, Valentina Volstok, feels a little like something of a loose end. While we never saw her take on a full superhero identity on the show, her two-part episode premier introduced her as an amoral Russian scientist trying to recreate the Firestorm Matrix, eventually forming an unstable fusion with Prof. Stein and seemingly dying as a result. However, in the comics, Volstok is more famously known as Negative Woman of the Doom Patrol (a team which has been given multiple references across the CW shows). Her powers could easily be explained as a result of the experiment she conducted earlier and could be considered similar enough to Firestorm’s to take his place on the team easily. Additionally, her engineering background could make her a suitable replacement for Jax’s role of ship mechanic, something the team needs considering how often the Waverider takes a beating. Her previous role as a villain would make her addition to the team interesting, but not impossible.

Chances: 35%


 

Constantine

Longtime fan favorite, Constantine is already guest appearing on the show when it comes back in February, but many fans have been hoping that his appearance could become a long-term deal. As a magic-based character, Constantine would certainly add some interesting abilities to the team’s roster, and his knowledge of the occult could make for some interesting story possibilities. In a lot of ways, he really would work. However, his character is not necessarily a big team player, frequently taking a solo route as opposed to long-term team membership; additionally, he has a CW Seed animated short coming up soon, indicating that the CW’s interest in keeping the character around could be less as a permanent team member and more as an occasional guest star.

Chances: an even 50%. Honestly, it probably depends on Matt Ryan’s availability more than anything.

Now, there is an additional problem with all of the characters I’ve mentioned thus far, and that is they are white. It’s worth considering the optics of losing a black character on the team (and a prominently Jewish one, as well), and replacing them with another white guy (a demographic the team already has in spades). The female characters here might be able to balance out the representation a little bit, and Constantine adds something else by being bisexual, but overall the chances are high that the writing team understands that this wouldn’t look particularly great. For this reason, I rank the next several characters as having a little more possibility to them.

 


 

Bronze Tiger

Not a particularly likely candidate, but he is worth mentioning. Stein and Jax aren’t the only characters the show has lost; we also left Captain Cold behind back in season one, and with him, one of the two supervillains that made up the team. The dynamics of anti-heroic rogues running around saving time has been a constant delight on the show and has led to some of the deeper character studies, so having another supervillain would be a worthwhile addition. Bronze Tiger of the comics also has a history with the League of Assassins, and a backstory of having been brainwashed to be an assassin, aspects of which could be used to explain a shift towards more heroic behavior on the show and to give him a connection with Sara. That said, he is technically a part of the Suicide Squad, and is canonically dead in the CW-verse, having been killed off in the tie-in Flash comic. However, while Warner Bros. did remove the CW’s access to the Suicide Squad characters, the primary blocked parties seem to be Amanda Waller, Deadshot, and Harley Quinn; Bronze Tiger, while a Squad member in the comics, was not in the Suicide Squad film, and therefore might be more accessible.

Chances: 20%


 

Ragman

My personal favorite of the new characters introduced in Arrow’s fifth season, Ragman would be an interesting choice more as a replacement for Stein than for Jax. As one of the more vocally religious characters on these shows, he would provide an interesting counterpart to Zari, and the magical nature of his powers would similarly pair him well with Amaya. With his general quirkiness, he’s one of the few characters introduced on Arrow recently that I can legitimately see fitting in with the Legends. Also, add in his previously established work as a mechanic, and Ragman checks a number of the boxes Legends is likely looking for.

Chances: 55%


 

Connor Hawke

One last Legends alumni, Connor is an interesting choice considering the time travel shenanigans central to his origin. The Legends originally met him as the Green Arrow of a bad future Star City, a future the heroes hoped to prevent from happening. While the changes made to the timeline after Flashpoint recreated an infant version of Connor Hawke, the possibility of his dark future remains. The idea of plucking a character from a potential future is an interesting one, particularly considering he’s essentially the CW-verse’s answer to Batman Beyond. Interesting origins aside, there’s not a lot of Conner’s established personality, and his character may be too serious to join this team. He would, however, give the writers a lot of room to play around with, so the potential is still there.

Chances: 50%


 

Miss Martian

Now, I haven’t mentioned any Supergirl characters thus far, and this is mostly because of one main reason: much like the speedsters earlier, they all live on another Earth in the multiverse. But, for the sake of possibility, let’s just bring this up here and now: of all the characters introduced on Supergirl, Miss Martian is the most likely to be Legends material. That said, she doesn’t have good odds. The given reason she’s not on Supergirl more regularly is that she’s busy working on Mars, and if she wasn’t, they’ve introduced the possibility of a romance with Martian Manhunter to keep her on Earth-S. And really, this is the main reason almost no other alternate earth character has much of a chance to join Legends: they have no real reason to care about the plights of the Legends, and all have established things they could be doing back home.

Chances: 5%


 

Fire (Bea da Costa)

Well, most of them have things to do. Bea da Costa, however, does not, mostly because her show, NBC’s Powerless, was canceled in 2017. Now, let’s face it, she’s a long shot, not the least of which because her show was never officially considered a part of the CW multiverse. That said, this wouldn’t be the first NBC superhero the CW picked up after their show ended, and Bea da Costa has technically been namedropped on The Flash before (albeit in a list of people who died because of the particle accelerator explosion). There are some options here. One, they could simply use the Earth-1 version of Bea, establishing that she was not killed by the particle accelerator, but instead got powers and disappeared for a while; two, they could bring over the specific Bea of Powerless, leaving her world behind for reasons to be determined later. In either case, Natalie Morales is a favorite fan actress, and Fire is a character closely associated with the spiritual influence of Legends of Tomorrow, the Justice League International. Add to it that her powers of fire and flight closely match at least part of what Firestorm brought to the table, and she would make a fantastic addition to the team.

Chances: 10%. Low, but she would be one hell of a Hail Mary.


 

Kid Flash

It’s probably going to be him. Wally West joining the Legends of Tomorrow represents the solution to a problem that quietly reared its head at the very beginning of The Flash; from the moment Candice Patton was cast as Iris West, and the West family was officially black in the CW superhero universe, the potential of a black Wally West was around, and yet the problem of having a black superhero who cannot help but be overshadowed by the title character of the show he would be introduced on has been around for just as long. This creeping possibility was always there, and from the moment he was introduced on Flash, the problem was constant. Fans spent a whole season with the powerless Wally, waiting for the event that would give him powers, and time and time again it kept not happening. It wasn’t until midway through season three that he got his powers and his suit and his name, but even then the problem was still right there, blatantly evident every time an episode concluded with Barry saving the day. The problem was also compounded by another issue Flash has also dealt with since its inception; the difficulty of challenging the fastest man alive. The writers have always struggled with properly challenging a speedster, and adding a second only made the problem worse. Wally, being the second fiddle, frequently took the brunt of it, casually and lazily being written off at the beginning of action sequences so Barry would be forced to solve the problem alone. Wally leaving the main cast list earlier this season was an inevitability, and one that helped ease the problem of needing to figure out why he couldn’t just save the day every episode, but because this move also meant unceremoniously dropping the show’s one black superhero, it was also always going to be a problematic solution.

Enter Legends of Tomorrow, who have an open spot on the team at just the right time. Wally would not only have more room to stretch his legs on Legends, but he was also recently given a solid clean slate via his breakup with Jesse Quick. Not only do his speedster powers give the team the power edge lost with Firestorm, but Wally’s engineering background makes him a suitable candidate to fill Jax’s role as ship mechanic. Finally, giving the Legends’ writing team access to the Speed Force and all its rich mythology is only a good idea, considering they already handled Black Flash far better than The Flash did, and that was without a speedster on the team.

All this said he’s not without challenges. The biggest problem for Wally on Legends is mostly the same one he had on Flash; he’s too powerful. It didn’t take particularly sharp eyes to notice that Legends employed various methods for keeping Firestorm apart on a pretty regular basis. This was in part because of budgetary concerns, and also because Firestorm was essentially the nuclear option for battles typically fought with bows and arrows. Many fights and problems presented on Legends could easily be handled by Firestorm at his full power, so the show had to limit that power. Now, Firestorm was uniquely suited for these limitations, because even separated, both Jax and Stein had abilities they could offer the team. Wally would be equally hard to challenge but would be much less easy to separate from his powers. Without his powers, Wally is more of a liability than most of the rest of the team, not quite being on the super science level as Ray or Stein, nor possessing the fighting capabilities of Sara or Amaya. It’s also much harder to remove his powers from the equation; you can’t just throw in an EMP that knocks out the device that activates his powers: Wally’s abilities are inherent, and cannot as easily be written off.

Still, it’s no coincidence that the situations lined up just so perfectly for Wally to make it to this show. Even before the loss of Jax and Stein, his leaving Team Flash was already making fans hopeful that he might join Legends, and the storytelling possibilities he opens up for Legends are so vast they likely counteract any of the major negatives.

Chances: 85%


 

Bottom line, Kid Flash is the safest bet at the moment, but he’s far from the only option. Legends of Tomorrow has spent the last two seasons telling some of the best superhero stories on television, so I have quite a bit of confidence in the stories we’ll get out of whoever they choose. That’s what makes speculating on something like this so fun; there’s a little world of possibilities and right about now, I can see myself enjoying just about any of them.

This post was written by
He is a staff writer for Kulture Shocked, specializing in comic books and superheroes. Part-time web comic writer and full-time insomniac, he lives in Texas and writes think pieces for fun. Approach cautiously; he is usually very tired and probably isn't paying attention.
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