Legends of Tomorrow “Pilot, Part 1” Review (Season 1 Episode 1)

After months of teasing and set-up on Arrow and The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow finally debuted on The CW last night, with the first half of its pilot uniting nine disparate superheroes from across the Arrowverse to travel through time and stop Vandal Savage. It makes for the most ambitious show yet from The CW and DC, but the burden of set-up drags this first hour down a bit.

Really, though, given that this episode is called “Pilot, Part 1,” it’s perhaps not a surprise that so much of this episode is spent on establishing stuff. With nine superheroes that need to be reintroduced to a potential new audience, there really is a lot of ground to cover before we can get into the action. For the Atom, White Canary, the Hawks, Firestorm, and Cold and Heat Wave, we not only get a brief action scene to introduce them, but then a scene for each explaining why they would choose to go along with Rip Hunter.

These scenes worked well in a quick, snapshot way, but obviously, with so many characters, it was hard to go very deep into characterization for anyone. Worse, some of the characters were introduced in a fairly negative light, with Stein drugging Jefferson in order to bring him along on the mission. Still, I think the emphasis was placed where it should for now; the Hawks get the most development in the episode, which is necessary given how little they’ve appeared in the other shows so far.

Really, though, the bigger issue is that the show feels a bit like it’s forcing the characters to stay together just because we wouldn’t have a show otherwise. In particular, after Rip’s deception is revealed, some of the heroes’ reasons for not leaving the mission outright seemed a bit out-of-character. Still, now that they’ve all agreed to work together, we’re hopefully in for a good journey seeing them grow into a true team of legends.

What did you think of this week’s premiere? Let me know in the comments!