Last night, we got an amazing first part to the second big crossover event between The Flash and Arrow, as the two series introduced the upcoming villain of Legends of Tomorrow Vandal Savage(Casper Crump). Meanwhile, Falk Hentschel also made his debut as Hawkman, and Ciara RenÃ©e’s Kendra Saunders began to discover the Hawkgirl within her.
David Rapaport, who is the terrific casting director of Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl, has done some outstanding work over these past few years with these superhero shows. However, the casting of Crump as Vandal is, without a doubt, one of the best casting decisions he has ever made, as Crump, who is the first actor to ever play the immortal warrior in live-action, nailed this character from the get-go.
As a comic book reader, Vandal Savage is a terrifying villain and it’s not just because of his immortality, but what he does as an antagonist. Seeing that aspect carry over from the comic book pages onto the television screen was a huge blast because he is a worthy opponent to these heroes. While it will be interesting to see how his arc gets wrapped up in the second part of the crossover tonight, just seeing Crump nailing this character on every level has me even more excited for Legends of Tomorrow, where he will serve as the big bad.
It’s always great whenever The Flash and Arrow come together, but seeing how improved the shared team dynamic has become since last year (which was still good) was a nice touch, because it showed us how much everyone has grown, both on an individual level as well as team-wise. You can feel a true equality in Oliver’s relationship with Barry as fellow heroes, whereas last year, Oliver was still acting a lot as a mentor to Barry since he was still new to the whole superhero gig. There were so many funny beats between these teams that it’s hard to pick just one, although the banter between Thea and Cisco might stand out the most. The only thing that was disappointing was that we didn’t see Iris and Laurel be part of the team scenes.
I get that Iris can’t just leave Central City like everyone else since she is working at Picture News, and I know they explained that Laurel was in Central City visiting her mom, but surely there must be a way where both show’s respective female ladies can be involved with something as big as the crossover? There is still part two tonight, where we know that Laurel will at least show up, but still, for something as fun as two shows crossing over, it would have been a great touch to actually feature both of them and let them be part of the fun that the rest of the gang was having. Besides, since Daddy Quentin and West have had their interactions, it would be sort of awesome to see two of DC Comics’ iconic women get to share a few scenes together. Hopefully, one day we will get that.
RenÃ©e really got to spread her wings (no pun intended) in this episode as we saw more of Kendra and her reaction to this crazy world with superheroes and villains coming for her. It seems that they have sort of merged the Shayera character with Kendra, which works from a Hawkgirl mythology standpoint, although I’m sure it will be even bigger once we see part two. The introduction of Hawkman was super fun, and Hentschel’s take on Carter was incredibly smooth as I’m still so used to Michael Shanks’ version on Smallville, where the character was a lot more aggressive. The way The Flash and Arrow are doing the hawk wings is neat; I knew that it would take a lot of the budget if the VFX had to have them walking around with wings all the time. Instead, when they aren’t flying, they go back into their “normal” backs, or however you want to put it. Seeing Kendra emerging and taking to the skies just raises my excitement for her becoming Hawkgirl even more.
“Legends of Today” ends with a very important moment for Arrow, as Oliver discovers that he may or may not have a son in Central City, which will definitely be a key point in tonight’s second hour Overall, aside from my issue with the lack of certain characters, “Legends of Today” was a fun, action-packed, superhero hour that will most hopefully have a great follow-up with part two, “Legends of Yesterday.”
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.
[Photo credit: Cate Cameron/The CW]