Why The Legends Of Tomorrow Trailer Has Us Worried

DC Comics and parent company Warner Bros. are hard at work assembling their live action super teams, from the villain-centric Suicide Squad to the upcoming Justice League in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But the weirdest assembly of heroes will be in the CW Network's Legends of Tomorrow. Gathering heroes and villains from CW's other properties, Arrow and The Flash, Legends promises to deliver a time-travelling adventure for an unusual collection of C-list characters. It could either be Guardians of the Galaxy levels of awesome...or Batman & Robin levels of terrible. The Legends of Tomorrow trailer reveals a show that could go either way, and here's why that has us worried.

Time Travel Is Tough

It's hard enough to create a story in a different time period without accidentally introducing anachronisms into the script, but how difficult will it be for a sixth-place network to get it right while Legends' time period is constantly changing? If we're very lucky, Legends will be like a super-powered version of Quantum Leap, with our unusual team of heroes seeking to make right what once went wrong. The trailer has revealed the future, the era of the American Civil War, and the 1970s, which Heat Wave apparently really, really enjoys because he can punch people in bars in ways that are rendered impossible in the 21st century. Here's hoping for a little more depth than that...

Vandal Savage Is Boring

The big bad guy in Legends is Vandal Savage, who is basically a caveman that refuses to die. While he's appeared in a variety of Top 100 Villains lists, he's never seen in a list of top 25 or less, and he usually shows up alongside other losers like Kingpin and Mark Zuckerberg. Savage doesn't have any amazing powers other than being an unrelenting megalo with the boring desire to dominate the world. While he's respected by most of the Justice League's villains for his tenacity, his inclusion in Legends may be at the cost of other cool DC bad guys, especially if our team spends a lot of time in the 1800s. It may be an interesting time period, but there was a distinct lack of Bizarros and Blue Beetles back then.

Ant-Man Redux

It looks like Legends' Atom is a lot like Marvel's Ant-Man, both in powers and temperament. When you have two optmistic guys with shrinking powers and disturbingly similar suits running around, one is bound to be better than the other... and no one beats Paul Rudd. Sections of the Legends trailer looked like they were shot-for-shot copies of Ant-Man footage, which is also a bit disappointing. Shrinkage is an interesting power to have, and it's fertile ground for killer special effects, but from what we've seen, it's just more of the same. Without giving Atom some truly unique flavor, he's just a cheap poser not fit to carry Ant-Man's royal jelly.

Captain Cold Is Terrible

Captain Cold was the worst possible choice of characters to yank from The Flash. It's not that Cold is an inherently bad character, but Wentworth Miller is just an actor who has no place outside of a car insurance commercial. Miller's portrayal of Leonard Snart is so wildly over-the-top that it's an embarrassment to the (already kind of embarrassing) DC Universe. He snarls, over-pronounces his dialogue, and generally acts like a weird Snidely Whiplash in a world that's supposed to have some resemblance to real human actions and feelings. If The Flash is the Mona Lisa, Wentworth Miller is what happens when you sneeze on the Mona Lisa.

Too Hot To Handle

The roster of available DC characters to steal for Legends was limited, so that apparently necessitated the inclusion of two guys whose main power is shooting fire. Between Firestorm and Heat Wave, the proliferation of really bad fire puns will become intolerable very quickly, and Legends will have to come up with a lot of ways to make their bad guys invulnerable to roasting and other cookery. Including the tempestuous bromance of Heat Wave and Captain Cold in a team of heroes is enough of a plot hole, but introducing hordes of fire-resistant bad guys will be too much to overlook.

Goodbye, Professor Stein

Now that Firestorm is joining the team on Legends, we won't be seeing as much of him on The Flash, where he's been a slightly crotchety highlight among a sea of pretty, 20-something bland-ohs. Every show needs a Professor Stein to ground the recklessness of youth; The Walking Dead has Dale, and then Hershel, and Gotham has Alfred. Even though The Flash has a way of treating its characters as kind of disposable, and maybe Professor Stein will be just enough to save Legends, he'll be missed on the show that spawned him.

Men Of Steel Die

In his monologue, Rip Hunter states that in his future-time, he's seen "Men of Steel die and Dark Knights fall," which is a not-too-subtle reference to the deaths of both Superman and Batman. If there's any coherence whatsoever to these live-action DC things—and there probably isn't—it would be nice to leave DC's top bananas out of this whole thing. You don't just casually mention that Batman bit the big one, because that's a big deal. "By the way, Timmy, your grandmother exploded. Finish your homework." The world is jonesing for a real TV show about Batman, and Gotham's l'il Bruce doesn't count, so let's not be so dismissive. And which Man of Steel dies? Is it Henry Cavill? Or maybe it's the invisible Superman from Supergirl? Is it a third one? Why should we even care anymore?

Just Shut Up

Between Captain Cold's dead-eyed, monotone delivery of his lines, and Firestorm's overemphasis on, "I don't just burn, PAL!", the dialogue in Legends already feels like a creeping disaster. If the trailer is any indication of what the series may bring, it's going to be a whole lot of sappy character development without subtlety, a barf-bag's worth of catch phrases and puns, and a desperate attempt at giving this cobb salad of superheroes some kind of relevance or depth, all through some heavy-handed dialogue. It's not as though anyone says anything with any grace in The Flash, so if this is more of the same, but with more superheroes to cry about stuff, we're doomed.

Miles Beyond Marvel

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been cinema's slowest burn, but it's amazingly effective, establishing a perfect foundation to launch a thousand more properties. On the other hand, DC Comics has always had a problem with overambitiousness, and the busted continuity of its many comic titles grew so tangled that they actually had to destroy their entire universe and start over...multiple times. Launching Legends into time travel and the distant future so early in the game seems like a huge mistake for DC, and a recipe for a reboot before anything even happens. DC isn't building a slow and steady world. It's just trying to sell action figures, and that's a problem.