Legends of Tomorrow is goofy as hell.
CW’s newest foray into televising the DC Comics universe, which follows a potpourri of B-list DC characters on a time-traveling adventure, is a serialized Hanna-Barbera soap opera. The action and the drama are in constant competition with one another to get both feet over the top first and as a spectator that competition is an absolute delight.
I enjoy watching Legends of Tomorrow as a grown ass man, but boy oh boy what I wouldn’t give to watch Legends of Tomorrow as a ten-year-old. I imagine it would occupy the same space that Dragonball Z did in my actual youth: that first exposure to serialized storytelling, where characters are still big and bombastic and cartoonish, but suddenly their actions carry reverberating consequences.
Legends of Tomorrow is this perfect little stepping stone somewhere between Adventure Time and Game of Thrones. Sometimes it puts in a bit too much of one and not enough of the other with silly or melodramatic results, but more often than not, particularly in the back half of its first season, Legends of Tomorrow perfectly blends cartoonish fun with, you know, grown up stuff like talking and kissing.
One particularly well done episode set in 1958 features both werebird monsters from a spooky mental asylum and the directly stated sentiment that the 50’s were only really Happy Days if you were a straight, white man.
If you haven’t seen Legends of Tomorrow its greatest weakness is its premise, because on paper it sounds so, so dumb. But Legends doesn’t try to dodge its own inherent ridiculousness, it leans so far into it that it might as well be laying down on top of it. Legends of Tomorrow is so very genuine. It knows exactly what it is. It never tries to be Adventure Time and it never tries to be Game of Thrones, it just sets out to be the best time-traveling Avengers soap opera it can be. And it can be a pretty damn good one.