DC’s Legends of Tomorrow are back with what has so far been a very successful start to their third season.
We spoke with Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim about what to expect from coming episodes of the series that features a ratgag team of time-traveling misfits, previewing new characters like Zari and asking about an inevitable meeting between the Lance sisters. Enjoy!
DCLEGENDSTV’s CRAIG BYRNE: What can you say about Legends’ newest addition Zari (played by Tala Ashe)?
MARC GUGGENHEIM: She is awesome. She’s a real breath of fresh air, both in terms of Tala’s performance and in terms of, I think, the character. We always like it when there are people who can come in and sort of “take the piss” out of our not-so-heroic Legends. What’s fun about Zari is that she’s got this different perspective because she’s from the future. She’s seen that, despite everything the Legends have tried to do, the world’s still a pretty crappy place. So, she looks at things with a bit more of a jaundiced eye, and I think we play that for some comedic effect.
What kind of abilities does Zari have?
She basically can control air, so her powers are a little bit like Avatar the Last Airbender. As a practical matter, it means that she can fly. She can create wind blasts. She can manipulate the air around her. It’s a very nature-based power, which is a good contrast to our “water witch” Kuasa and her water powers. I think you’ll find that there are some interesting things going on with Zari and her power set.
Did you enjoy teasing fans earlier this year with the notion of a character that didn’t first appear in DC Comics?
I think any question that begins with “did I enjoy teasing fans” gets a resounding “yes” from me. But I particularly enjoyed this specific tease. Because it’s fun! The DC Universe has got such a length and breadth to it, and there are comic books, and there are movies, and there are TV shows… I grew up loving the Shazam! and Isis live-action shows on Saturday morning, and having this character be inspired by the Isis character of that live-action show… it tickles me enormously.
Speaking of comics, is it ever jarring going from writing the X-Men (in the X-Men: Gold comic book series) to playing with the characters of the DC Universe in Legends?
Yes, it can be. In my comic book writing, I jump back and forth between the DC Universe and the Marvel Universe, and I always say that as a writer they “handle differently,” as if they were two different kinds of cars. So it can be a bit jarring, in the same way it can be jarring in my day to go from Arrow to Legends and back and forth because they’re so tonally different.
When I first started out with my career, it was very difficult to go from one project to another in a single day, and now I’ve had so much experience doing it that it’s relatively easy. One morning I’ll be working on an X-Men script, and then jumped from that straight into the Trollhunters series that I’m doing on Netflix, and then straight from that to Legends. So, it is jarring, but it gets a lot easier with experience.
Do you have different approaches to how you handle the powers of Nate Heywood compared to, say, the powers of the X-Men’s Colossus?
The beauty of doing Colossus is that I don’t have to think twice whenever I want Colossus to steel up, because it’s free, whereas every time Nate steels up, it’s expensive. So, that’s probably the biggest difference: One is a little easier to achieve, or at least cheaper to achieve than the other.
I think the other thing is that they’re very different characters. I mean, yes, the powers are the same, but Peter [Colossus] is so different from Nate, and Nate is so different from Peter. Peter’s such a serious guy, and Nate’s a little bit more of a kook, so their voices as characters are different.
How long will we have to wait to see the White Canary and the Black Siren meeting, and what might that mean for both characters?
That’s a good question. I would say right now we don’t have a story planned, to have Sara and Laurel together… we always love to do that, and obviously that’s a confrontation that would be really awesome… it’s just a little tricky because the Legends are running around time, and because of the nature of the crossover this year, we just didn’t have the opportunity to tell that story.
I would say it’s on our bucket list, but we don’t have any plans to do it at the moment. We’d certainly like to!
Can you tease anything about upcoming love interests for Sara Lance, either male or female?
I can tell you that she will have love interests of both genders in upcoming episodes.
What can we expect from Damien Darhk’s role in Legends Season 3?
I would say Damien is very much the “Thawne” of the season, in the sense that last year, Thawne was driving a lot of what the Legion of Doom was doing. Even though Malcolm or Damien wouldn’t want to admit it, Thawne was very much in charge, and he was calling the shots.
This is Damien’s year to shine. He’s also the Damien Darhk of Arrow Season 4, so he’s got memories of all of the things that have happened to him, not just in Legends Season 2, but also in Arrow Season 4, and that also includes his command of magic. So, there are some fun things going on with Damien. Obviously, Neal McDonough is really wonderful in that role. You could see he’s always enjoying each of the scenes that he’s shooting. I’m looking forward to people seeing more and more episodes so that you can really see how Damien’s master plan is coming together as well as the team of super-villains that he is in the process of recruiting is coming together.
The critical response to Legends Season 2 was so good. How good are you feeling about Season 3, and what are you most excited for people to see?
I feel really good. I would say I’m just really excited about the episodes that we’ve got coming. I want to say that episode for episode, the episode’s that we’ve got coming up are stronger episode per episode than the first episodes of Season 2. They’re a little zanier; they’re a bit funnier… they’re even more emotional. I would say if you enjoyed the first half of Season 2, you’re really going to love the first half of Season 3.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs Tuesday nights on The CW. See some photos from the next new episode “Zari” here!