[SPOILERS ahead for those not caught up on Legends of Tomorrow.]
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is back on our screens (along with the rest of the Arrow-verse), and the second half of season two is going to bring the Legends up against their very own Legion of Doom. In this week’s episode, ‘Raiders of the Lost Art’, we were treated to a love letter to geek legend George Lucas, as the team discovered a young Lucas (Matt Angel) in film school alongside the man who used to be Captain Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill). While the Legends battled to convince Rip that he’s not a filmmaker, but a time travelling spaceship captain, the Legion (who finally get their official name, and a nod to their animated origins) seek to find Rip and steal a magical artifact that he has hidden: a piece of the Spear of Destiny.
‘Raiders of the Lost Art’ ends with the episode’s time aberration fixed, and the Legends in possession of both Rip’s piece of the Spear of Destiny, and the amulet that contains a map to the other pieces. It’s not a total win, though, as Rip (who still believes that he is Phil Gasmer, the acid-dropping film student) has been kidnapped by the Legion of Doom, and the episode ends with him about to be tortured by Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) and Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough).
Wait, What’s A Spear Of Destiny?
DC gets a little biblical for this one, as the Spear of Destiny is believed to be the spear that pierced the side of Jesus Christ during his crucifixion. According to legend, the resulting Godly-blood-smeared artifact is imbued with magical powers – including the ability to rule the world. In DC comic mythology, the Spear (also known as the Spear of Longinus, Lance of Longinus, Lance of Christ, Holy Spear, and Holy Lance) first surfaced during World War Two, when the Nazis used it to protect themselves against superheroes – specifically, the JSA. Although Hitler was unable to use the Spear to do his worst (he attempted to end the world), his use of the spear tainted it, corrupting any who hold it. After the war, the Allies managed to take control of the Spear, and it was stored safely in the USA for many years. However, the Spear eventually came into play again, to battle the Spectre. Since then, the Spear has shown up several times, usually when there is an incredibly powerful magical threat to the world. This is because one of the Spear’s powers is the ability to harm and even kill magical beings. It always seems to make its way back into play, even when various heroes have attempted to throw it into space. It is incredibly powerful, difficult to control and can be combined with the Holy Grail (more religious symbols) in order to become even stronger.
We have now learned quite a bit about the version of the Spear that exists in the Arrowverse, including some key differences from the one in the comics. The Legion are primarily interested in the Spear for its ability to re-write reality – especially because this can be done in a way that the Legends cannot simply go back in time to correct. In this universe, the Spear has been broken up into multiple pieces, which have to be re-united in order for someone to access their power. The Askaran Amulet (another ancient magical artifact) is a map, pointing the way to the various pieces. Rip Hunter, one of several protectors of the Spear, may have also known the location of the other pieces.
The Legion’s Dastardly Plan
When we last saw Rip Hunter (or Phil Gasmer), he was trapped in a dark room, tied to a chair, sitting next to a collection of instruments of torture and being ominously loomed over by the Legion. He’s obviously not in a particularly good spot right now, and it will be up to the Legends to save him. In the meantime, however, what is it that the Legion actually wants?
The simple answer is that they believe that, as a protector of the Spear, Rip knows where the other pieces are – and they want to get hold of them. It looks like the Legion aren’t convinced that Rip doesn’t know who he really is, and believe that this is some kind of trick being played on them. This belief isn’t helped, of course, by the convincing bit of acting by Phil in the final battle of this week’s episode. The Legends know that Rip touched the time drive, and has now had his memories completely overwritten, but the Legion isn’t aware of this. They believe that it’s possible to torture the information that they want out of him, and they intend to do it.
This, of course, is only the first step in the plan. This season so far has been all about getting the Amulet, in order to find the Spear. Now the Legion is going to try and use Rip to find the Spear. What we still don’t know is why, exactly, the Legion is so focused on the Spear. They appear to be led by Reverse Flash, so which particular part of reality does Reverse Flash want to over-write? This question takes us down the tangled timeline rabbit hole of The Flash, but a good guess is that Reverse Flash wants something he has always wanted: to kill Barry Allen. Of course, he may also be more interested in saving his own skin by saving his ancestor, Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett). In season one of The Flash, Eobard/Reverse Flash was wiped from existence when Eddie killed himself – the current Reverse Flash may want to stop that happening. That said, he’s also a time criminal, and could well have any number of other nefarious master plans in mind.
Next Week: Legion Of Doom
Next week’s episode of Legends of Tomorrow is going to be all about rescuing Rip from the Legion, and it looks like Mick Rory (Dominic Purcell) has a plan to do it – trade the Amulet back to the Legion. This won’t give Rip back his memories, but it will bring him back aboard the Waverider until the Legends can figure out how to fix him. It will also provide the Legion with exactly what they want (a map to the pieces of the Spear) which is why they might be willing to make the trade. It’s likely that the Legends will either save the map data somehow, or attempt to collect the pieces before trading the amulet to the Legion, resulting in a race to the finish line and a completed Spear of Destiny in play… with the potential to see a growing Legion (maybe with Gorilla Grodd?), a journey to World War II and the JSA, and a battle for the Spear that will end in another epic Arrow-verse crossover episode at the end of the season.
We’ve got a long way to go before then, of course, and right now it’s all about getting Rip (the real Rip) back on the Waverider where he belongs.
Legends of Tomorrow continues Tuesday, January 31 with ‘The Legion of Doom’ at 9pm on The CW.