Check out Our Review [WITH SPOILERS] of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Episode 11: “The Magnificent Eight.”
Well, fans probably saw this episode (or something like it) coming the second the timey- wimey Legends of Tomorrow was announced. DC Comics has such a robust history when it comes to Westerns, how could the creators behind Legends resist visiting the iconic DC west?
And that’s just what we got this week, although my inner comic nerd kind of laments that DC didn’t take a Western Easter egg deep-dive. I mean, I was primed and ready to see Bat Lash, Cinnamon, El Diablo, Pow Wow Smith, Scalphunter or any other of DC’s Western legends in fan-friendly cameos. I didn’t get any of that but I did get Jonah Hex, and believe me, I’ve been waiting for a comic-accurate, live action Jonah Hex since I was knee-high to a cactus. And no, that cinematic bit of IBS that had the audacity to call itself Jonah Hex does not count. At all.
Now don’t get me wrong, this Western-themed episode is totally filler. Vandal Savage is barely even mentioned and none of the major plot points, save the star-crossed and time-tossed romance between Ray and Kendra, went anywhere. But listen, it’s a live action DC show set in the Old West, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that, hombre.
The plot is simple: Rip Hunter and his crew land in the Old West to hide from the Time Masters’ Hunters. There, the Legends can’t resist checking out cowboy times and end up embroiled in a war with a bunch of ‘owlhoots’ terrorizing the town. Meanwhile, Martin Stein defied Hunter’s warnings and nursed a very sick boy back to health using future medicines. Into this drama stepped Jonah Hex and it was revealed that Hunter and Hex used to be very close; they even fought the same gang terrorizing the town the Legends are now defending.
What follows is a passel of Western action that evolves into a classic superhero fight when the time hunters arrive. There is just something so incongruously cool about seeing Firestorm unleashing his fury in the Old West. Of course, there’s whole lot of hand-ringing before the action starts over whether the team has the right to interfere with history, but of course they do. Heck, even Rip gets involved, taking part in a climactic gun duel.
It’s all a load of fun but not without inconsistencies. First off, at one point, the outlaws captured Jax and the Legends were forced to retreat because they were out of ammo despite the fact that Jonah Hex was wearing a giant bullet bandolier! Pay attention to wardrobe, guys. Secondly, the team had to choose who represented them in a gun fight for the life of Jax. Rip and Ray both wanted to be the one to drawn down and there was a long debate. All this despite the fact, that you know, Jonah Hex, is there! Not choosing Hex to take part in a draw was like debating which member of the team should shrink. Dopey.
There was some nice stuff with Hawkgirl though, as the winged warrior met an older version of her past-self. It was a nice touch in making the old West version of Hawkgirl’s true love Hannibal Hawkes, the classic DC Western hero known as Nighthawk (see, we had one obscure cameo at least). Western Hawkgirl warned modern Hawkgirl that she would never find true love outside Carter Hall, a warning that didn’t not bode well for the always earnest Ray Palmer.
So despite deep-rooted inconsistencies and the fact that the whole thing was filler dressed up as a period adventure, the episode still had a sense of fun (because how can a bunch of classic DC heroes fighting time-traveling bounty hunters in the Old West not be fun?). So, I’m calling this one a win.