From the satirical novella confinement of Jane the Virgin to the open world moral dilemmas of The 100, the CW has rapidly improved their roster television shows into must watch programming. Where they’ve really hit their stride is with the Greg Berlanti-verse of DC superhero programming. I’m personally an enormous fan of The Flash (as evidenced here and here) and Arrow got good again so I’ll endorse that too. The only major issues with this shared TV-verse of DC properties are

  1. Supergirl isn’t connected (but it really should be)
  2. There are still limits to which characters can appear where (Arrow season 3 went through extensive re-working to accommodate change of plans with the Suicide Squad and Harley Quinn arcs).

There’s still time to fix both of these problems but it looks like they’re inconsequential to the present material. Where the DC movie properties have a statement of making their world more “grounded” and “realistic” (dark and gritty, yada yada) the DCTV universe has a giant gorilla, a hot tub that brings people back from the dead, and multiverse exploration. Now we’re going full steam into time travel stories. Flash has already tapped into this so it’s not out of left field.

While we may never see an official Justice League lineup in this universe, we are seeing no less than eight different superheroes and villains joining forces to combat an immortal warlord through different periods in time. This is the comic book stuff of legend. The Atom, White Canary, Firestorm(s), Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Captain Cold, Heat Wave, and Rip Hunter are all leading this ensemble. It probably means diddly squat to people unfamiliar with the characters (even I don’t know much about Rip Hunter) but anyone can appreciate how we’re in the right time and place for great superhero stories to be told on the small screen as well as the big ones.

People will die. *Minor spoilers for Arrow season 4* Nyssa destroyed the Lazarus Pit earlier this season because she realized all the ridiculousness it caused in season 3 would only pour into the future of the series if she wasn’t careful. In a smart move by the writers, live or die stakes will be present in Legends of Tomorrow which is ironic since the villain’s primary point of notoriety is he physically can’t die. As a fan of the character and the Justice League cartoon, I’m hoping the villain can’t be defeated by traditional methods, i.e finding a way to take his power through magic or science mumbo jumbo. In the trailer Rip Hunter mentions having to stop Vandal Savage before he becomes the monster they know and fear. That separates the series from other superhero stories and marks a specific emotional core found in Flash and the rejuvenated series of Arrow.

 

When heroes alone are not enough… the world needs legends. Having seen the future, one he will desperately try to prevent from happening, time-traveling rogue Rip Hunter is tasked with assembling a disparate group of both heroes and villains to confront an unstoppable threat — one in which not only is the planet at stake, but all of time itself. Can this ragtag team defeat an immortal threat unlike anything they have ever known? DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW stars Victor Garber (“The Flash,” “Alias”); Brandon Routh (“Arrow,” “Superman Returns”); Arthur Darvill (“Doctor Who”); Caity Lotz (“Arrow”); Ciarra Renee (“Pippin”); Franz Drameh (“Edge of Tomorrow”); with Dominic Purcell (“The Flash,” “Prison Break”); and Wentworth Miller (“The Flash,” “Prison Break”). Based on the characters from DC Comics, DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “The Flash,” upcoming “Pan”), Marc Guggenheim (“Arrow,” “Eli Stone,” “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters”), Andrew Kreisberg (“Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Eli Stone,” “Warehouse 13”) and Sarah Schechter (“Arrow,” “The Flash,” upcoming “Pan”).

Legends of Tomorrow premieres January 21, 2016.

Final Note: Also mentioned by Vandal Savage in the trailer: “I’ve watched Men of Steel die and Dark Knight’s fall.” I will remain professional but HOLY LORD YEEZUS those are some big reference bombs to drop. There’s almost no chance we’ll see the blue boyscout or the world’s greatest detective making appearances but you can’t help but wonder…