DC’s Legends of Tomorrow season 6 is about the Arrowverse’s time-traveling misfit superheroes facing aliens but the show’s failure to utilize DC Comics’ extensive pantheon of extraterrestrial races is a disappointment. Legends season 6 picked up on season 5’s ending, where Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) was abducted by aliens in a cliffhanger and fans anticipated the show would introduce DC’s alien beings. Instead, Legends of Tomorrow created its own aliens that have been underwhelming even if they suit the show’s wacky narrative.
Since its inception, Legends of Tomorrow has themed each season, beginning with the original crop of heroes assembling to take on Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) throughout the timeline. Legends of Tomorrow season 2 marked the turning point of the show’s quality as they faced the Legion of Doom, and season 3, where the Legends had to correct anachronisms they accidentally created, changed the show into a critical darling and it became hailed as the Arrowverse’s best installment. Legends of Tomorrow season 4 brought John Constantine (Matt Ryan) aboard the Waverider and was about apprehending mythical monsters called fugitives. Legends season 5 was about hunting down history’s worst villains released from Hell. Even as the cast lost main characters like Ray Palmer/The Atom (Brandon Routh) and Nora Darhk (Courtney Ford), Legends of Tomorrow entered season 6 with the promising scenario of the superheroes facing aliens.
Meanwhile, aliens have been part of the Arrowverse for years, thanks to Supergirl. The Kryptonian heroine Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) was joined by J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter (David Harewood) in season 1 and Supergirl has faced other evil Kryptonians, White Martians, Coluans, and many other malevolent extraterrestrials. Supergirl season 2 was even a parable about immigration as many alien refugees sought sanctuary in National City. In addition, the Arrowverse’s 2017 Invasion! crossover was about the Dominators coming to Earth, and they were repelled by the assembled superheroes from Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow. The young Ray Palmer even briefly had a pet Dominator when he was a child in the 1980s. Given how many of DC Comics’ aliens the Arrowverse has already utilized, fans were naturally excited at the potential of even more being introduced in Legends of Tomorrow season 6.
Instead, it hasn’t worked out that way. Although Legends of Tomorrow season 6 had some standout episodes such as the Western-themed “Stressed Western” and the bowling themed “The Final Frame,” and Legends continues its winning formula by focusing on the relationships of the heroes aboard the Waverider, the way the show has used aliens and the offworlders they’ve introduced has been a huge letdown overall and the extraterrestrial villains have been the biggest problem in Legends of Tomorrow season 6.
DC Comics is stacked with alien races who could have made their Arrowverse debut in Legends of Tomorrow. Once Sara was abducted and taken to space, with the Legends teased to chase after their Captain, fans naturally anticipated the Legends meeting aliens like the Thanagarians (Hawkman’s race) or reintroducing the villainous Khunds, who briefly appeared in Supergirl, or perhaps bringing in the shapeshifting Durlans, to name just a few of DC Comics’ extraterrestrials. The Legends might have even faced the android Manhunters, which would continue to evoke Green Lantern and follow up on John Diggle’s tease of becoming an Emerald Gladiator at the end of Arrow. Crisis On Infinite Earths also infamously teased Gleek, the Wonder Twins’ pet space monkey, and fans hoped Legends of Tomorrow season 6 would at least give an update on whether Zan and Jayna exist in the Arrowverse.
Instead, Legends of Tomorrow subverted all expectations and introduced their own aliens. Legends season 6’s new E.T.s have not been as compelling as seeing DC’s new and existing cosmic creatures in the Arrowverse. In fact, Legends of Tomorrow seems to largely divested itself of its DC Comics ties altogether. There have been scant DC connections in Legends season 6 and the show has become more insular. With only three episodes left in Legends of Tomorrow season 6, it seems like there’s no hope of the show expanding the presence of DC’s aliens in Supergirl and the Arrowverse. This feels like a gigantic missed opportunity and a waste of what started out as one of Legends of Tomorrow‘s best season-long concepts.
Meanwhile, the aliens Legends of Tomorrow season 6 did introduce were a big letdown. Legends season 6’s main villain, Bishop (Raffi Barsoumian), isn’t even technically an alien but a clone from the future who created the AVA clones, including Sara Lance’s fiancee and co-Captain, Ava Sharpe (Jes Macallan). Other aliens Legends of Tomorrow created for season 6 are the Zaguron, the Haverack, and the Gusarax, which was the show’s attempt to have its own Baby Yoda. The most prominent aliens in Legends season 6 are the Necrians, the race that Gary Green (Adam Tsekhman) was retconned to be part of, and also includes Kayla (Aliyah O’Brien), who impregnated Mick Rory (Dominic Purcell). Overall, every debut of a new E.T. in Legends of Tomorrow season 6 have been anticlimactic.
Legends of Tomorrow season 6 fumbling its aliens is especially glaring considering how well they utilized their season-long gimmicks in the past and used them to create interesting villains. Legends season 4’s fugitives introduced memorable mythical baddies like the Fairy Godmother (Jane Carr) while Legends season 5 had the heroes face history’s greatest villains like Marie Antoinette (Courtney Ford) and Grigory Rasputin (Michael Eklund). Further, the Necrian alien form that Gary transforms into is also an unconvincing rubber suit that doesn’t look ready for prime time and exposes the limits of the show’s visual effects. Unfortunately, the aliens being so underwhelming also undercuts the character of Spooner Cruz (Lisseth Chavez), who specifically joined Legends of Tomorrow season 6 to find and fight the aliens.
To be fair to Legends of Tomorrow, the show’s producers never promised that DC Comics’ alien races would be incorporated into season 6. Fans extrapolated this expectation, such as the Wonder Twins possibly joining Legends of Tomorrow, based on the idea of aliens as season 6’s villains, but this was never confirmed. Still, the lack of fascinating alien threats and the absence of Easter eggs for DC fans to obsess over hurts Legends of Tomorrow season 6 and threatens to curb the show’s momentum as the Arrowverse’s finest series, especially with Superman & Lois and Stargirl joining The CW’s lineup and delivering fan-pleasing superhero action and adventure with plenty of DC Comics connections.
It’s not clear why Legends of Tomorrow‘s creative team decided not to avail themselves of DC Comics’ treasure box of alien characters for season 6. It may be a case of DC’s extraterrestrials becoming the province of the upcoming Green Lantern series on HBO Max, and perhaps the pantheon of the most recognizable alien characters became off-limits. But whether or not it was a corporate mandate or an internal creative decision by its masterminds, Legends of Tomorrow season 6 may end up as the weakest season of the time-traveling show since season 1, and fans point to the lack of delivering on its promise of great alien villains as the show’s major fault.