TV Review: Legends of Tomorrow – “The Justice Society of America”

The Justice Society of America
Warning: this review contains spoilers. You can find all of my Legends of Tomorrow reviews here.
Legends of Tomorrow‘s second season is starting at a much better place than its first. After a rocky Season 1, it was time to hone in on what worked and reaffirm the show’s potential as a crazy time travel adventure that doesn’t take itself too seriously. And that’s exactly what Season 2 has been doing, continuing with this week’s showcase of Legends of Tomorrow‘s best strengths.
Last week’s premiere was Legends of Tomorrow‘s way of saying, “Okay, let’s have some fun!” Martin Stein knocked out Albert Einstein. Sara Lance seduced the queen of France. Ray Palmer was chased by a dinosaur. It was all absurd, but so very fun to watch. The big action sequence in 17th century France, for example, was exactly I’ve always wanted from Legends of Tomorrow.
This week’s installment continued to build on that promise, introducing the titular Justice Society of America. Yet again, the episode kicked off with an amazing action sequence. If you thought seeing one team of superheroes do battle together was fantastic, how about two teams?
Nate HeywoodAside from awesome action, “The Justice Society of America” highlighted another strength of Season 2 so far: fun time travel hijinks! Watching the Legends fumble around Nazi Germany was a delight. Between Martin Stein posing as a singer (allowing Victor Garber to show off his broadway talents) and Ray Palmer failing to even feign a Hitler salute, there was a lot of humour to be had this week.
There was also the inherent “cool” factor of having a legacy group like the Justice Society onscreen. Oliver Queen was far from the first hero in the Arrowverse after all. In fact, even 2016’s Vixen wasn’t the first Vixen.
The Justice Society’s ties to the present don’t end there though. The revelation that Legends newcomer Nate Heywood is the grandson of the JSA’s Commander Steel was a great detail. It acted as the catalyst that allowed the episode to flesh out this new character significantly.
Another improvement in Season 2 was dropping the elements that didn’t work, like Hawkgirl and Hawkman. For instance, Vandal Savage wasn’t a very good villain. But Season 2’s use established villains Damien Darhk and Reverse-Flash was a smart move. They’re both successful and well-liked villains, and they allow Legends to save time on exposition and introductions and spend it better elsewhere.
I only have minor gripes with “The Justice Society of America”. Mainly that it got a bit rushed towards the end, with the climax and what followed being too brief, especially compared to the awesome opening.
I also hope the show is not setting up a romance between Ray Palmer and Vixen. They developed a strong rapport this week, but Ray’s romantic subplot with Kendra was one of Season 1’s biggest weaknesses. Plus, she has a granddaughter in 2016 with whom we’re very familiar. Be responsible, Ray—you wouldn’t want to erase Mari McCabe from existence!


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