Warning: SPOILERS for Legends of Tomorrow ahead
Welcome to Doomworld! It’s a nice place to visit, and if the Legion of Doom has their way, no one will ever leave or change it.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow‘s vastly improved second season has been an engaging race across time and space between the Legends and the coalition of Big Bads known as the Legion of Doom: Eobard Thawne the Reverse-Flash, Malcolm Merlyn, Damien Darhk, and Leonard Snart. Both factions have tangled across such far-flung locales as the 31st century, the medieval times of King Arthur’s Camelot, World War I, and even the 1960s film sets of George Lucas. Their goal: to acquire the pieces and assemble the Spear of Destiny, the weapon that pierced the side of Christ during the Crucifixion and, in DC Comics lore, possesses the power to re-write reality itself.
Last week’s episode, “Fellowship of the Spear,” saw the Legends team up with a young J.R.R. Tolkien to acquire a vial containing the last remaining sample of the blood of Christ, which is needed to activate the Spear’s powers. Mick Rory, who had been torn all season long between the camaraderie he’s found with the Legends and the loyalty he feels to his original partner Leonard Snart (who was killed in season 1 but has since re-emerged), chose his side at last. Rory betrayed the Legends and gave the vial of Christ’s blood to the Legion of Doom. With the Spear and all of the components necessary to activate its powers (including the mystic Book of Kalabros) in their possession, the Legion of Doom won. They promptly followed through on their plans and rewrote reality itself.
Thus, the Legends of Tomorrow now live on Doomworld, the new reality as the Legion of Doom has remade it. Interestingly, though much has changed in Doomworld, the events in Legends don’t seem to affect any of the other Arrowverse shows. The Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl seem to be ignoring the events of Doomworld altogether, suggesting that what the Legion did was create an alternate reality completely separate from the “real” reality of the other Arrowverse shows.
Regardless, it’s time to take a tour of this brave, new Doomworld, and make ourselves at home:
WHERE ARE THE LEGION OF DOOM?
To the victors go the spoils, and the Legion of Doom wasted no opportunity to spoil themselves once they mastered and remade reality.
Eobard Thawne returned to STAR Labs, where he spent fifteen years posing as Harrison Wells. Now acknowledged as the smartest man in the world, Thawne is the toast of Doomworld. Even the President of the United States, strongly implied to be Donald Trump (“Give my best to Mel”), wants to honor Thawne with medals and wine and dine him at his hotels. For an evil, selfish supervillain from the future, Thawne’s rule has actually had a number of benefits to the world. With the technology of STAR Labs at his disposal (no mention of his former aides Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon), Thawne has “figured out cold fusion, saved the polar bears, fixed global warming, and made desalinization sustainable.” Thawne also contained his greatest fear: the Black Flash that had been chasing him through time is now imprisoned in STAR Labs.
Thawne has built a second laboratory, which amusingly resembles the Hall of Doom, the headquarters of the Legion of Doom in the Superfriends cartoon (fitting as STAR Labs also owns a hangar facility identical to the Hall of Justice, as we saw in the “Invasion” crossover.) At the Hall of Doom, Thawne is building a reactor that burns “a thousand times hotter than the sun.” His ultimate plan is to use the reactor to incinerate the Spear of Destiny, sealing Doomworld as the permanent reality for all time.
Malcolm Merlyn is once more the richest man in Star City. All of the things that have gone horribly wrong in his life since Arrow season 1 have been repaired: his wife and son Tommy are once more alive, his daughter Thea adores him, and he even has both hands (“You can clap again,” Thawne jests). In addition, it’s implied that Malcolm once more controls the League of Assassins as Ra’s al-Ghul; Thawne makes a point to mention Nyssa al-Ghul is “living a miserable, closeted life somewhere in the middle of Ohio.”
Damien Darhk has replaced Oliver Queen as the Mayor of Star City. The first thing he did when Doomworld became reality was get his magic powers back, so he’s again as powerful as he was during Arrow season 4. As Mayor, he successfully purged the vigilantes (“the pest problem”) from Star City, and he proudly keeps a trophy case containing the masks of the heroes he’s killed: Green Arrow, The Flash, Black Canary, Spartan, Wild Dog, and Ragman. The newest trophy he adds to his collection: the mask worn by Felicity Smoak, who is – or rather, was – a superhero in this reality (using the T-spheres of Mr. Terrific).
Leonard Snart and Mick Rory lead the least creative lives of the Legion in Doomworld. Snart and Rory own “half” of Central City and can commit crimes like robbing banks as they please, with the police happily looking the other way. They basically assumed the role of henchmen to Thawne; but neither are satisfied with their lot in Doomworld.
Unbeknownst to Thawne, the rest of the Legion feel the balance of power is decidedly and unfairly in Thawne’s favor, as Thawne retained possession of the Spear of Destiny and destroyed the Book of Kalabros. Darhk, Merlyn, Snart, and Rory have secret plans to kill Thawne and acquire the Spear for themselves. (Strangely, they fret about how they will kill Thawne, a speedster, despite the fact that they somehow killed the Flash and have his mask in Darhk’s trophy case.)
WHERE ARE THE LEGENDS?
Instead of wiping the Legends from existence, as Darhk and Merlyn pragmatically suggested, Thawne decided to punish them by making them live in Doomworld in humiliating ways – though it would be more humiliating if the Legends retained their memories of their previous lives, which they (mostly) don’t.
Sara Lance and Amaya Jiwe are Damien Darhk’s personal assassins. Though the Legion used the Spear to strip the Legends of their powers and weapons, Sara and Amaya remain fearsome hand-to-hand combatants and gleefully serve the Mayor of Star City as his hit-girls; at Darhk’s behest, Sara and Amaya capture and execute Felicity at the onset of “Doomworld.” In a rather creepy insinuation, Darhk and Thawne each pointedly refer to Sara as “delicious,” suggesting Sara does more than kill for the all-male Legion.
The two former halves of Firestorm, Jefferson Jackson and Martin Stein, work for Thawne at the Hall of Doom. Stein is held hostage and forced to work ungodly hours to complete Thawne’s reactor, while Jefferson is Stein’s brutal overseer, cracking the whip and keeping Stein from seeing his wife and family. Also working at the Hall of Doom is Ray Palmer; the once brilliant inventor is now merely a janitor.
Nate Haywood is an unemployed conspiracy theorist living in his mom’s basement, though benefiting from the incredible sandwiches his mom makes. Nate, however, is the first to notice that reality has been rewritten – he retains flashes of the previous reality which he calls “scars.” Ray also has his own scars, which compelled him to build a purple ray gun called a Transreality Multiplexer. (The purple ray gun is perhaps a shout out to a similar device in classic Wonder Woman comics, which was a healing ray used by the Amazons.) With the Transreality Muliplexer, Ray, Nate, and Rory (who betrayed Snart and the Legion), are able to restore the memories of Sara, Amaya, and Jefferson to reform the Legends.
As for Captain Rip Hunter, he’s been reduced to being a drunken sod baking cakes on board the missing Waverider, which is revealed to be a miniature toy on one of the desks at STAR Labs. (There’s a continuity error where Gideon says Rip has been trapped on the Waverider for a year, but the title cards specify that Doomworld is happening in the present day of 2017).
CAN THE LEGENDS END DOOMWORLD?
By the time “Doomworld” concludes, the answer is… no. Despite the Legends’ best efforts – and even with Merlyn, Darhk, and Snart making their power play to betray Thawne, they all fail to wrest the Spear of Destiny from Thawne’s grasp. Thawne forces Stein to activate his reactor and Thawne is able to hurl the Spear of Destiny into it. We see the Spear completely incinerated, thus sealing Doomworld as the permanent reality.
In addition, tragedy strikes when Snart uses his Cold Gun to encase Amaya in a block of ice. He then shatters the ice into a million pieces, murdering Amaya. Rather than also murdering everyone who opposed him, Thawne, in his hubris, leaves them all to remember how they were defeated and to live with their failure in Doomworld.
However, this being Legends of Tomorrow, there’s hope, and that hope naturally involves time travel. In next week’s season finale, we’ll see if the Legends can indeed reunite with Rip and the Waverider, travel back to 1916, and prevent the Legion from acquiring the Spear in the first place. If they succeed, fans can take heart at what a wonderful “Doomworld” it was while it lasted.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow season 2 finale airs Tuesday, April 4 @ 9pm ET on The CW.