How Does The 'Legends of Tomorrow' Comic Book Stack Up To The TV Show?

firestorm
Firestorm, Metamorpho, the Metal Men and Sugar and Spice Hollywood Reporter

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is a show about a ragtag group of lower-tier superheroes teaming together to stop a homicidal maniac. Unlike other DC shows, such as The Flash and Arrow , Legends of Tomorrow didn’t start as its own comic book title. Firestorm, The Atom and Hawkgirl all had their own books over the course of DC’s incredibly long history, but never together under the same title.

In an attempt to capitalize on the LOT’s growing popularity, DC released a comic book with the same name. It would have been super easy for them to just throw all the show’s characters in a super group and write stories similar to the show, but DC took a different route. They created one of the best anthology comic books I’ve ever read, combining four different stories in an over-sized comic that costs $7.99.

Legends of Tomorrow costs over twice the amount as an average comic, which is a lot to spend on top of every other comic book. Here’s a rundown of the four stories featured in the comic.

Firestorm

This one is the flagship story of the book, taking the most popular character from the television show and bringing him back to print. Firestorm used to have a comic, but was cancelled after 21 issues because of its low sales. The Nuclear Man then bounced around for a while, ending up in the Justice League of America comics for a while, until DC left him alone.

Firestorm is back, with Marin Stein, Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch trying to figure out why the Firestorm matrix is malfunctioning. They have to track down Stein’s old apprentice, Multiplex, who is trying to do some crazy science stuff. It’s definitely on the weaker side of the anthology; Firestorm is incredibly hard to write with his inner turmoil pretty much being the only dialogue we read.

It’s a good read, but definitely needs more time to develop a voice before it gets good.

metamorpho
Metamorpho smash! Photo: DC

Metamorpho

The weakest of the anthology stories, Metamorpho features the first appearance of the elemental shapeshifter in modern DC comics’ continuity. Rex Mason is an archeological explorer who touches the Orb of Ra, turning him into the hero Metamorpho. He’s then kept in a lab by an evil scientist and an intelligent caveman before being teleported to an alien world. It’s a lot like John Carter meets Superman written like an old penny novel.

It reminds me a lot of the O.M.A.C. comic book DC launched with the New 52, which got cancelled before it ever really had a chance to develop. Hopefully, this story goes somewhere because the rest of Legends of Tomorrow is starting to look worse by comparison. If you were a fan of the Outsiders or that one time he appeared on Batman Brave and The Bold , you might want to skip this story.

Sugar and Spike

What happens when superheroes have skeletons in their closet they don’t want anyone to know about? They call Sugar and Spike, hero detectives. Keith Giffen is one of the best comic book writers working today; he made Rocket Raccoon, and is writing one hell of a story. Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman all call on these detectives to get rid of some embarrassing problems, including colorful Bat costumes and an island shaped like Superman holding some kryptonite. Giffen is taking the embarrassing aspects of early day comics and poking fun at them.

The cover price is worth it for these stories alone. The two detectives have such a great chemistry I sometimes find myself forgetting that they aren’t real people. Sugar is mean and rash, who jumps head first into whatever problem she needs to solve. Spike thinks before he acts, often to his detriment. The comic is a buddy cop movie inside a superhero comic.

I don’t want to spoil anything, but issue two may have one of the funniest scenes in comics, involving Wonder Woman and a shape shifter.

metal men
It's not Beast Boy, I promise Photo: DC

The Metal Men

I’m going to be a bit biased here: the Metal Men are my favorite comic book hero team. JSA, JLA and the X-Men combined have nothing on the pure joy and charisma that these five robots and Doc Magnus ooze out of the page. They are a byproduct of a time when comics were much simpler, when optimism wasn’t considered a bad thing. The Metal Men have always struggled to find a place in comics because of this, appearing briefly in cameos since the launch of the New 52.

Now they have their own story and it’s fantastic. There’s hacker activating all sorts of crazy government robots trying to get his hands on the Metal Men. There all sorts of robot cameos, we got Red Tornado and even Robotman from Doom Patrol. The five robots, Tin, Iron, Mercury, Gold and Titanium can take any form and half the fun is watching what crazy things they transform into.

Overall, Legends of Tomorrow is a great spiritual successor to the television show. It may have some rough edges, but its heart is in the right place. Metal Men, Metamorpho and T.O. Morrow, it’s a comic book lovers dream.

 

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