Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Flash/Arrow 'Legends of Today/Legends of Yesterday' Crossover Review

Last year The Flash and Arrow gave us a fairly standard television crossover, where Team Arrow visited the Flash, and the Flash hopped over to Starling City to guest star on Arrow.  It was okay, but it wasn't anything special, especially as the two characters appeared on each others show again towards the end of the seasons.

This year, however, CW has given us an actual crossover event.  Gone was the idea of having two separate episodes that feature the Flash and Green Arrow on each other's show and in it's place was one cohesive story that spanned both shows and involved the whole cast of both Flash and Arrow.

The crossover event, 'Legends of Today/Legends of Yesterday', as the name suggest is not just a crossover event, but acts as a partial set up to the CW's new series 'Legends of Tomorrow'.  Legends of Tomorrow will feature both Hawkman and Hawkgirl (introduced in this crossover) and Vandal Savage (also introduced in the crossover).

Whilst some might complain about the show being used to set up another spin-off it works well enough in the world of Flash and Arrow, especially given that so much of Arrow's season is being used to introduce the mystic element of the CW's universe.  Having reincarnated Egyptian's and an immortal with a magic staff fitted into that well, without feeling too sudden or forced.

The evolution of Kendra into Hawkgirl is given enough time over the two hour event without it feeling overly quick or it outstaying it's welcome, and serves as a good contrast to Hawkman, who enters the show with a crash.  Some people have complained that the Hawks costumes are too dull and not bright enough, but when standing next to Flash, Green Arrow or the rest of the heroes they definitely stand out and look unique.

Whilst the two episodes built up the Hawks and Vandal Savage they also took the time to add a little something to each series ongoing story.  In Central City, Patty discovers the existence of Harry and shoots him, believing him to be the Earth One version of Harrison Wells, leading to Jay Garrick using a chemical to regain limited use of the Speed Force in order to save Harry life.  There's no way Patty finding out about Harry is going to be forgotten about, and the idea of the chemical that can induce the Speed Force raises some very interesting possibilities.  Will it be used to make Barry fast enough to take on Zoom?  Will it be used to give Jay back his powers so we can have a Flash/Flash team up?  Is Jessie Quick or Wally West going to become a speedster?  It certainly seems likely that one or more of these is going to happen some point down the line.

On the Arrow side of things the show picks up a story thread that I actually forgot about, Ollie's son.  Back in season two of Arrow it was revealed to the audience that long before Ollie was marooned on the island he got a girl pregnant, who moved away to Central City to have their child in secret.  Due to some terrible timing Ollie sees his ex and their child and realises that he has a son.  Ollie manages to get permission to build a relationship with his son, on the condition that he tells no one about it.  Now, due to some time travel shenanigans we get to see how Ollie hiding this from Felicity leads to the end of their relationship, but thanks to Barry giving the gang a do over this doesn't happen again, but Ollie still hides it from Felicity, meaning that there could be some drama on the horizon for the two of them.

Whilst the episode gave us plenty of action, humour and drama all whilst establishing a whole new group of characters there is one small complaint I have.  Vandal Savage.  I like Vandal Savage in the comics, I think he's a very interesting, scary and powerful villain, and was super excited when they said he was going to be the villain in Legends of Tomorrow.  Who else would be good to use in a time travel series than an immortal villain?

The only problem is, this isn't Vandal Savage.  At least, not really.  In the comics Vandal Savage has existed since the stone age.  He was a cave man who became irradiated by a meteor and became immortal.  In the CW universe he's been given Hath-Set's origin story.  Whilst that might not seem like a big change it really goes chance what the character is about.  He's tied to Hawkman and Hawkgirl, he's got different motivations and his abilities came from a different place.  It might seem like a small gripe, but it really spoilt something about the CW version of the character for me.


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