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How the cast of Legends of Tomorrow should really look

Premiering in 2016 on The CW, Legends of Tomorrow united recurring characters from the network's so-called "Arrowverse" series Arrow and The Flash — along with newcomer Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) — to form a single time-hopping superteam. The show puts lesser-known DC Comics heroes like the Atom, Firestorm, and Commander Steel front and center, and the very first Legends roster includes two characters traditionally known as villains: Central City rogues Captain Cold and Heat Wave. 

Ironically, while Legends of Tomorrow mines DC Comics' history, the concept doesn't come from the comics — at least, there's no Legends of Tomorrow team in the comics. There was a Legends of Tomorrow miniseries released the same year as the show, but it isn't a team comic; instead, it's an anthology series with separate stories for characters like Firestorm, Metamorpho, and the Metal Men.

As the CW series progresses, the heroes go further from their roots, eventually rarely even dressing in their "super" costumes. It's understandable if when you spot them in the comics, you aren't sure who you're looking at. If you'd like a guide, keep reading to learn how the cast of Legends of Tomorrow should really look. 

Sara Lance/The Canary

The Arrowverse has consistently been kind of, well... weird when it comes to the comic book character Black Canary. In the comics, her real name is Dinah Lance, and while Arrow has had plenty of Dinahs and plenty of Lances, the show's seemed even more indecisive about who would be Black Canary than it is about the name of the city where the show is set. Multiple women have taken on the name Black Canary — without even counting the many alternate Earth versions — with one of the first candidates being Sara Lance (Caity Lotz). Sara's since moved from Arrow to Legends of Tomorrow, where she's now the captain of The Waverider, the ship the Legends use to bounce through time and space. 

Sara's been alternatively known as the White Canary or just the Canary. There's no plain ol' Canary in DC Comics, but there is a White Canary, introduced in 2010's Birds of Prey #1. Like Sara, DC's White Canary has worked as an assassin and is an expert martial artist. Unlike Sara, she's Chinese. She's also not quite on the side of the angels. When she first shows up, she's on a quest of vengeance against Black Canary and the Birds of Prey.

Ray Palmer/The Atom

First appearing as Ray Palmer in Arrow's first season, Brandon Routh's version of the character used to be much more attached to the suit that enables his shrinking than he is nowadays. Like most of the Legends, Palmer hasn't completely given up the suit, but we tend to see him in it less and less, and in the comics we haven't seen him in it much at all. 

In his brief appearances after DC's 2011 New 52 reboot, Ray Palmer uses a suit just like his counterpart in the Arrowverse. But for most of his comic book life, the Atom doesn't need any Iron Man-type suit to shrink. His suit shared the same basic color scheme, only with brighter shades. He also doesn't fly or fire beams from gauntlets like the Atom of Legends does. The most recent version of the Atom seen in DC Comics wears a suit like Brandon Routh's, but he isn't Ray Palmer. He's Ryan Choi, who recently worked alongside the strange Justice League of America team including Batman, Lobo, and Killer Frost, among others. 

Mick Rory/Heat Wave

Mick Rory (Dominic Purcell), a.k.a. Heat Wave, is perhaps one of the most evolved heroes of Legends of Tomorrow. He begins his time in the series as one of the most reluctant members of the team. As the less cranial half of the Captain Cold/Heat Wave duo, Mick even briefly works against the rest of the team when he takes on the alias Chronos and hunts down the Legends for the original version of the Time Bureau. These days, while he's still the least polite and usually the grumpiest member of the Legends, the fact that he's a good guy deep down has become clear, as has his passion for secretly writing romance novels. 

Except for his gun and his permanent five o'clock shadow, Mick has never looked much like the Heat Wave of the comics, even before jettisoning his costume. On Legends, Mick's costume didn't comprise much more than an overcoat and a pair of goggles. In the comics, Heat Wave's goggles are a part of a mask, and he has a white supervillain costume complete with an arsenal of pouches. Meanwhile on Legends, Mick hardly even uses his gun anymore (and the fire that comes out of it rarely if ever actually sets anything on fire, so it's just as well). 

John Constantine

Of all the Legends of Tomorrow cast, Matt Ryan's physical appearance as John Constantine is arguably the most comic book accurate. Constantine has almost always appeared as a smoking man in a trench coat. His knowledge and mystic abilities seem to often be paired with a constant hangover, as he usually appears to have just woken up from a long bender. It's enough to make you wonder why he even bothers with the tie. 

While it wasn't initially considered a part of the Arrowverse continuity, Matt Ryan first played the character on NBC's short-lived Constantine. Ryan's Constantine officially joined the Arrowverse when his character showed up in one of the many island flashbacks in the 2015 Arrow episode "Haunted." Two years later he joined the Legends in the middle of the third season with "Beebo the God of War," and soon became a regular cast member. 

Honestly, perhaps the least comic book accurate part of the Constantine's involvement has nothing to do with his physical appearance, but rather the very notion that he would spend so much time with a bunch of superheroes in a time/space ship — something the comic book Hellblazer could only tolerate for so long.  

Zari Tomaz

While she doesn't use a codename and her powers are very different, the closest comic book counterpart to Zari Tomaz (Tala Ashe) is Isis, an archaeologist who gains the powers of the Egyptian goddess of the same name when she comes upon an ancient amulet. But while DC Comics does have a character named Isis, she's one of those rare gems that didn't originate in the panels. Isis first showed up played by JoAnna Cameron in the Saturday morning show The Secrets of Isis. The show premiered in 1975, while the character wouldn't show up in DC's comics until a year later in 1976's Shazam! #25. After both the show and the tie-in comic The Mighty Isis were canceled, the comic book hero fell into fictional limbo, not returning until 2006's 52 #3. In The Secrets of Isis, the hero's alter ego was Andrea Thomas, while in her 21st century re-imagining it was changed to Adrianna Tomaz. 

With the exception of Zari's amulet, she looks quite different from the Isis of the comics and the '70s show. JoAnna Cameron's Isis wears an ornate headband and an outfit based on ancient Egyptian royalty. Zari doesn't call herself Isis and her powers are limited to the control of wind, while previous versions of Isis boast super strength, flight, and telekinesis, among other abilities. 

Nate Heywood/Citizen Steel

Upon first gaining his powers, Nate Heywood (Nick Zano) initially wears an outfit that looks similar in color scheme to the comic book Commander Steel — though it appears to be armor rather than the skintight costume of the comics. In season 4, Nate joins the Time Bureau with his dad, trades in his time-hopping for an office, and his costume for a business suit. Most episodes since have come and gone without even seeing him use his powers.

The current status of Nate Heywood in the comics is an mystery. Ever since DC Comics' 2011 New 52 reboot, Nate hasn't been seen. A hero named Commander Steel died as part of the 2018-19 DC miniseries Heroes in Crisis, but it wasn't Nate. 

There have been three different versions of Commander Steel — Nate Heywood, his grandfather Hank Heywood, and Nate's cousin Hank Heywood III. Initially, the Commander Steel in Heroes in Crisis is only referred to by his superhero name, so it isn't clear which version he is. But in Heroes in Crisis #5, we see a recording from before Steel's death in which he describes specific events that happened to Hank Heywood III — such as when he was killed by Doctor Light in the 2009-10 line-wide event Blackest Night

Wally West/The Flash

Played by Keiynan Lonsdale, Wally West — a.k.a. Kid Flash — only spent one season on Legends of Tomorrow, but while he was there he had one of the most comics-correct outfits. It's basically the reverse of the Flash costume's color scheme — yellow and red, with the yellow dominant. A side-by-side shot is all you need to see how close the Arrowverse's Wally West is to the comics. 

Or at least, it's close to the comic book version of Wallace West. Wally West was originally a white DC Comics character who replaced Barry Allen as the Flash when Allen died in the original Crisis on Infinite Earths event.  After the 2011 New 52 reboot, a new African American Wally West appeared in the new reality. When DC made changes yet again with its 2016 Rebirth relaunch, the original Wally West resurfaced. Afterward, in order to keep both characters while avoiding confusion, the New 52 Wally West — upon whom the Arrowverse's Kid Flash is based — started being referred to as Wallace instead of Wally. 

Both versions of West remain very active in DC Comics. The original Wally West was a pivotal figure in the 2018-19 miniseries Heroes in Crisis and the subsequent series Flash Forward. Meanwhile, Wallace appears every month in Teen Titans and event spent some time as a protege of Deathstroke

Leonard Snart/Captain Cold

Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller) hasn't been a series regular on Legends of Tomorrow for some time, though he's one of the founding members and he keeps making his way back into the Arrowverse in various ways. 

The Snart of the comics, unsurprisingly, physically presents himself with a lot more color. On Legends and in his other appearances across the Arrowverse, Snart's costume mainly consists of a winter jacket with a fur-lined hood and his trademark goggles. In the comics, his costumes tend to be much more involved. They're almost always blue and white from head to toe, with fur lining the hood as well as other parts of the getup. 

Snart's moral ambiguity is very much in line with his DC Comics portrayals. Recently in the Flash comics, Snart changed his codename to Commander Cold and started working on the side of the law in Central City, even taking Barry's place when the speedster took a prolonged leave from his hometown. Even before this, Snart has often been depicted as having a strict code of honor that allows for stealing and violence when necessary, but he's a far cry from someone like Lex Luthor or the Joker. In some ways he seems himself as much of a protector of Central City as the Flash even before his shift to heroics, and isn't beyond punishing the city's other rogues when they get out of line.

Rip Hunter

From a purely visual point of view at least, it's probably just as well that Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) made the ultimate sacrifice around the same time John Constantine became a regular on Legends of Tomorrow, because you can only have so many trench coats on the same super team. For most of his time on Legends, Hunter rocked the trench coat look, though toward the end after he joined the new Time Bureau, he could often be found in a much more official-looking professional suit. 

The Rip Hunter of Legends of Tomorrow – visually and otherwise — tends to give off something of a more desperate Doctor Who vibe. In the comics, while Hunter doesn't have any particular regular costume, a trench coat isn't something you regularly see him in. The Rip Hunter of the comics is bulkier and looks more like Nick Fury meets the Challengers of the Unknown. 

Firestorm

The Legends of Tomorrow version of Firestorm is interesting because while there have been multiple younger halves of the Firestorm — in both the Arrowverse and the comics — Jefferson Jackson (Franz Drameh) is purely a creation of the Arrowverse. When Firestorm first appears in The Flash, he's the merging of Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell) and Martin Stein (Victor Garber). Raymond is replaced by Jefferson Jackson, and it's this version of the Firestorm duo that appears on Legends until the middle of the third season when Martin Stein dies in the Arrowverse-wide "Crisis on Earth-X" crossover. Jackson remains with the Legends until the end of that season, returning to his roots as a mechanic to maintain The Waverider

While Jackson doesn't appear in the comics, there was an African American Firestorm introduced in 2004's Firestorm #1 who, like Jackson, takes on the powers of Firestorm after Ronnie Raymond's death. Raymond dies in the miniseries Identity Crisis while battling the villain Shadow Thief.  

Visually, Jackson's and Rusch's outfits are pretty similar. The most noticeable differences are that Jackson doesn't have a headpiece like Rusch and his gloves have more red than yellow.  

Vandal Savage

The first big bad of Legends of Tomorrow is Vandal Savage (Casper Crump), a millenia-old villain bent on world domination. Savage is first introduced in the 2015 crossover between The Flash and Arrow that also introduces Hawkgirl and Hawkman. In the Arrowverse, Savage is born as Hath-Set, an adviser to the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II who gains immortality, enhanced regeneration, and super strength when he's exposed to the same alien materials that change the couple that would later become Hawkman and Hawkgirl. He's spent all of human history murdering earlier incarnations of Hawkman and Hawkgirl in order to keep his powers — literally hundreds of times — and he spends the first season of Legends attempting to murder them once more. 

Physically speaking, the Savage of Legends is fairly similar to his comic book counterpart. The long, dark hair, the facial hair, and the dark overcoat are all common to most portrayals of the villain. Where Legends' Vandal Savage differs the most from the source material is his origin story. In the comics, Savage is much older than the Egyptian Empire and is a caveman when he gains his powers. His origin has nothing to do with Hawkman or Hawkgirl. 

Neron

The demon Neron is the big bad of Legends of Tomorrow's fourth season, though when we see him it's mostly while he's inhabiting someone else's body — first John Constantine's former boyfriend Desmond (Christian Keyes), and later Ray Palmer. When the demon comes to the surface, he transforms his host into a monstrosity without eyes, mouth, nose, or ears, with pock marks all over their face. When he finally emerges from Ray's body and Constantine kills him in the season finale, he appears only as a wisp of black smoke. 

In the comics, Neron looks much more like what you would expect from a comic book villain. Introduced in 1995's Underworld Unleashed #1, Neron appears as a large man with pointed ears, long white hair, fangs, and pale white skin. He wears a green and gold outfit, along with a green cape with red interior. It's tough to imagine reproducing the character in live action without it looking insanely corny, which is likely why Legends of Tomorrow chose to forego the green outfit — and everything else.