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It’s arguable that Marvel’s superheroes are leading the way in terms of summer blockbusters, but DC Comics are largely winning the battle for audiences on live action TV. Since Superman (and his various friends and villains) is currently on the slate for the DC movie schedule, DC was likely looking for a different set of characters to occupy its TV universe. Thanks to the work of super producer Greg Berlanti, who’s managed to transform his revisionist take on Green Arrow into an entire TV based DC universe affectionately known by fans as the Arrowverse. Guided by the steady hands of Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg, and Geoff Johns, the Arrowverse has become one of the most comprehensive TV comic universes ever created. What first started as a gritty reboot of Green Arrow has now become a sprawling epic told across three TV shows all airing on the CW. The first obviously being Arrow and the second series was The Flash. The newest and most recent addition to the ever growing Arrowverse is Legends of Tomorrow. Below you’ll find a guide to all the new superhero characters you can look forward to in the series.
Professor Martin Stein: Firestorm
In the comics, Firestorm was always known for his integrated dual identity. The first part of the duality is Professor Martin Stein, played by Victor Garber. Stein is a nuclear physicist focused on transmutation and is also Ray Palmer/Atom’s former college professor. Stein made his first appearance in the Arrowverse in The Flash. Though his Flash appearance indeed was reminiscent of the comic book combination of Stein and Ronnie Raymond, the Legends of Tomorrow Firestorm is a combination of Professor Stein and Jefferson Jackson. Firestorm’s powers consist of the ability to rearrange the atomic and subatomic structure of inorganic matter, and rearranging subatomic particles to create objects of different atomic characteristics of equal mass. In short, he can manipulate matter. Firestorm can apply those same abilities to himself which allows him to shape shift, fly, render himself intangible and pass through objects, absorb radiation, and generate blasts of fusion energy from his hands making him one of the most powerful members of the Legends of Tomorrow.
Jefferson Jackson: Firestorm
Jefferson Jackson, played by actor Franz Drameh, is the other half of Firestorm in Legends of Tomorrow. The reason that the original member of the Firestorm duo Ronnie Raymond (played by Robbie Amell in The Flash) doesn’t return is because he sacrifices himself to close EoBard’s singularity threatening Central City. Barry Allen is unfortunately only able to save Stein, who eventually becomes unstable without a partner. Jackson is selected as the new partner for Stein. Jackson was a high school football star who was injured by the particle accelerator explosion. The injury kills his career and leaves Jackson working as an auto mechanic before he is approached to become the second half of Firestorm. Jackson is reluctant to join the team at first, but eventually comes on board realizing his opportunity to actually effect positive change in the world.
Ray Palmer: Atom
One could argue that Legends of Tomorrow would not exist without Ray Palmer. Berlanti and the rest of the creators of the Arrowverse reportedly had originally conceived of the Legends of Tomorrow with the intention of Palmer being the main character for the series. Dr. Raymond Palmer, played by Brandon Routh, first appeared in the Arrowverse as a reoccurring character in Arrow's third season. He’s a brilliant scientist and the CEO of Palmer Technologies. After Palmer’s wife is killed by Slade Wilson’s Mirakuru men, he builds a high tech suit of armor to assure that nothing like that happens again. Eventually Palmer figures out how to shrink his suit. Palmer is captured by HIVE and eventually saved by Team Arrow. Palmer then makes an appearance in The Flash where he teams up with Barry Allen to deal with a villain that is using cybernetic bees to attack people who ruined her career. Palmer returns again in Legends of Tomorrow after being recruited by Rip Hunter to defeat Vandal Savage across the timeline.
Arthur Darville: Rip Hunter
Ultimately driving the main plot of Legends of Tomorrow, Rip Hunter (played by Arthur Darvill) is a time traveler who arrives to present day to gather heroes and villains to fight Vandal Savage. Rip Hunter is after Vandal Savage, not only because he plans to destroy the world and time itself, but also because Savage killed his wife and son. Rip Hunter however later reveals that he was forbidden by the Time Masters to take on the mission. It is later shown that Rip Hunter may be responsible for their deaths when he goes back in time to fight Vandal Savage in 1975. It appears that Rip Hunter accidentally revealed the names and faces of his wife and son during that fight where he failed to kill Savage because of his immortality.
Sara Lance: White Canary
Played by Caity Lotz, Sara Lance/White Canary first appeared in Arrow. She’s a vigilante who becomes romantically entangled with Nyssa Al Ghul and Oliver Queen. Although she’s the White Canary in Legends of Tomorrow, she was originally the Black Canary in Arrow and before giving her sister Dinah Laurel Lance her Canary Jacket. Her sister takes over the mantel after her unfortunate murder. Sara Lance is resurrected from the Lazarus Pit in Arrow season four and becomes the White Canary. With some help from John Constantine, she gets recruited by Rip Hunter to defend the world and time from Vandal Savage. Though Sara Lance’s character appears to be largely good, there have been hints that there may be some extreme unintended effects from the Lazarus pit that come into effect later in the series. In the comics, Black Canary or Dinah Drake originally did not retain super powers and instead was mainly a hand-to-hand fighter. In later editions after DC Comic reboot, Black Canary received a superpower of the Canary Cry and then in an even later reboot, she became a super-powered heroine.
Kendra Saunders: Hawkgirl
Hawkgirl was one of the first female superheroes in the DC Universe, appearing in Flash Comics in 1940. The Kendra Saunders version first appeared in JSA Secret Files and Origins in 1999. Most iterations of Hawkgirl involve reincarnation of the ancient princess Chay-Ara, though which Hawkgirl you get largely depends on which period of the DC universe you’re looking at. Hawkgirl aka Kendra Saunders from Legends of Tomorrow is indeed a reincarnation of Chay-Ara, but doesn’t become aware of her powers until she is targeted alongside Carter Hall by Vandal Savage. With the assistance of Cisco, her current boyfriend, Barry, and Oliver Queen, Kendra learns about her re-incarnation and becomes Hawkgirl. Unlike the comics (though this could always change the in the future), Kendra is not romantically involved with Carter. Instead, she remains affectionate with Cisco in The Flash and then develops a relationship with Ray Palmer in Legends of Tomorrow while fighting with Rip Hunter against Vandal Savage.
Carter Hall: Hawkman
Hawkman is the obvious counterpart to Hawkgirl, originating in Flash Comics in 1940. In the comics, Carter Hall is the reincarnation of ancient Egyptian prince Khufu. Khufu discovered Nth Metal that was left behind from a futuristic spaceship that crashed in the desert. The material was used to make a scarab, a deadly knife, and a battle glove. Carter Hall made his first Arrowverse appearance in the second season of The Flash, followed by appearances on Arrow season four and then Legends of Tomorrow. Played by Falk Hentschel, Carter helps the others fight against Vandal Savage. Unfortunately, Carter is killed in the pilot. His body is stolen by Vandal, but the team is able to retrieve his body and give Carter a proper burial. But given the fact that he can reincarnate, it probably won't be too long before we see him again.
Leonard Snart: Captain Cold
Ranked one of the top 50 villains in comic books by IGN, Leonard Snart or Captain Cold is one of The Flash’s super-villains. After suffering as a child from his abusive father, Snart turns to a life of crime and forms his own group of thugs to escape. He takes on the name of Captain Cold after stealing technology and building a weapon that freezes things. Throughout the comics, Snart seems only motivated by money, the women he falls in love with, and fighting Barry Allen/The Flash. Snart, played by Wentworth Miller, first appears in the Arrowverse on The Flash. The series also shows Snart suffering his childhood abuse and then follows him after he was convicted for domestic violence. Snart and his partner Mick Rory spend most of The Flash series as the main sources of conflict for Barry Allen. Several circumstances lead to Snart leaving the city after a somewhat ceasefire with Barry. In Legends of Tomorrow, Snart and Rory are recruited by Rip Hunter to fight Vandal Savage. Snart claims he’s only joining to steal items from the past, but eventually betrays Rory because of his newfound support for the team. Unfortunately, Rory doesn’t take the betrayal too lightly and becomes hell-bent on revenge as he becomes the villain Chronos.
Mick Rory: Heat Wave
Mick Rory aka Heat Wave first appeared in The Flash #140. In most recent comics, Rory often looks to Snart for help with his pyromania. Rory’s pyromania began as a child when he set fire to his family home and did not call for help because he was too obsessed with watching. This began the trend of Rory sabotaging his life because of his obsession with fire. He eventually uses this obsession to become a villain with a gun-sized flamethrower, calling himself Heat Wave. Rory, played by Dominic Purcell, first appeared in the Arrowverse in The Flash when he’s recruited by Snart into a criminal gang. Rory sticks with Snart through most of the series before disappearing in the middle of an interrupted robbery. Heat Wave resurfaces in Legends of Tomorrow when Swart retrieves him from an alternate reality Star City 2046 against his will. After it’s revealed that Rip Hunter only recruited them both because he wanted Snart, Rory betrays the team and nearly kills Sara Lance. Snart knocks Rory out and abandons him in a different time period. Rory is rescued by the Time Masters and becomes their bounty hunter Chronos. He causes much disruption as Chronos, but is eventually captured by Rip’s team so they can attempt to rehabilitate him.