Legends of Tomorrow enters its second season this month, and promises a sophomore outing bursting with time-travelling adventures. Most of the original team is returning, along with a whole new gang of characters from the Justice Society of America, including Hourman, Stargirl, Citizen Steel, and an all-new Vixen. They’ll be back on the Waverider, attempting to save the timeline again (and undoubtedly going up against a brand-new villain, too). It’s action-packed comic-book sci-fi and we absolutely love it!
That said, we only get to see the most exciting bits – the fight scenes, investigations, subterfuge, etc. Life has to have some downtime, even for Legends, so we know that there are times when the crew is stuck on board their ship with nothing much to do…
While there is sure to be plenty of flirting, training, researching and even card playing going on at these times, we’d like to think that the Waverider comes equipped with some kind of library, and that even superheroes enjoy a good book. Although we may not see it on screen, we’ve come up with a few suggestions for the kind of reading material the Season One Legends would turn to in between saving the world.
Rip Hunter – Westerns
It’s clear that Captain Hunter has a bit of a penchant for the Wild West – and some history with that particular time period, too! He even has a six-shooter for a weapon, albeit one that is modified to shoot energy bolts instead of bullets. With a love for the romantic side of American history, we bet he’d prop his feet up on a desk and indulge in both modern and classic Westerns. He would read everything from Zane Grey’s Riders of the Purple Sage, to Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian.
Rip would probably also get into Stephen King’s Dark Tower series – it’s not a classic Western, but it’s just enough of a twist on the Gunslinger tale to suit him perfectly. Our final choice for the intrepid captain is True Grit by Charles Portis. Bloody revenge for a family murder with a Western backdrop? What could suit Rip Hunter more?
Dr. Martin Stein – Modern Classics
Dr. Stein is obviously a prolific reader already. He’s a scientist and a lover of literature, so we doubt that finding something to read would be a problem for him. The biggest issue for this half of Firestorm could be finding something that he hasn’t already read! Martin would go for novels that he could really sink his teeth into, which are sure to become classics in time (maybe he’d even start looking at the books that are classics in the future, just to pick the best ones!).
We think he’d love Cloud Atlas (David Mitchell), and The Fortress of Solitude (Jonathan Lethem) – both with superhero or time-spanning at their core, these books would resonate with Martin as he tries to adjust to this new life. Other must-reads like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See would also find their way onto his reading pile in the Waverider.
Ray Palmer – Science Fiction
For anyone else, living in a superhero sci-fi fantasy would be enough, but the Atom just can’t get enough! We’ve seen him geeking out over his new adventure and making Star Trek references in the Waverider Captain’s chair. A total nerd at heart, Ray would spend his on-board downtime soaking up as much sci-fi as he could. We’re certain that he would devour the Star Wars Expanded Universe novels (and we do mean all of them) as well as the various Star Trek expansions and novelizations… that is, if he hasn’t already read them all! Stories of space travel, such as Andy Weir’s The Martian, new sci-fi like Allen Steele’s Arkwright, or the time travel instruction manual (of sorts) that is Ken Grimwood’s Replay would certainly appeal to the scientist in this superhero.
Mick Rory – Comics
Mick Rory (Heatwave) doesn’t exactly strike us as a big reader. He’s a fan of fire, anarchy, and violence, and isn’t the brightest legend on board the ship. However, Heatwave has hidden depths and we have a feeling that Mick would enjoy some of the more adult comic offerings out there. Costumed superheroes aren’t his thing (even though he basically is one), but series like Preacher (a gory black comedy about a preacher, a vampire, and an assassin looking to kill God), Watchmen (a dystopian future where superheroes have fallen from grace), Transmetropolitan (another dystopian future with cyberpunk themes) and V for Vendetta (even more dark, dystopian tales) would be right up his alley.
Hawkgirl – Chick Lit
Hawkgirl Kendra Saunders may be hundreds of years old in spirit, but in this life, she’s still quite young – and only a few months ago, she was just a barista in her twenties. Although she’s becoming more and more like her old self every day, we’re sure that Kendra still occasionally thinks about the life she left behind… which is why she would be a big fan of lighter, chick-lit reads.
For someone whose problems are infinitely bigger than bad dates and awkward job interviews, these cheerful stories would serve as the perfect escape. From the big names like Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series or Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary, to some lesser-known titles like Laura Dave’s Eight Hundred Grapes or Menna van Praag’s The Dress Shop of Dreams, there’s nothing Kendra would enjoy more after a hard day saving the world.
Jefferson Jax Jackson – Biographies
Another Legend who probably isn’t the biggest bookworm, Jefferson, would prefer his reading to be rooted in the real world. Before he was a Legend, he was a mechanic and football star. Even though he no longer plays, we know that Jax is still a big football fan, and would love to read sports biographies like Friday Night Lights: A Town, A Team, and a Dream (H. G. Bissinger) or David Remnick’s profile of Muhammad Ali in King of the World. He’d probably also be a big fan of anything to do with mechanics and engines (even if there’s no manual for a time machine). Jax would appreciate Jeremy Clarkson’s flippant attitude in Clarkson on Cars, as well as the classic supercars explored in Richard Dredge’s Supercars: Masterpieces of Design and Engineering.
White Canary - Historical Fiction
Sara Lance may be a master assassin with a lust for booze and violence, but there’s so much more to her. She’s always been smart, and she’s still trying to figure out where she fits in the world. Combine that with her natural curiosity and feminist perspective, and we bet she’d love female-focused historical fiction. On one hand, it’s almost like training – learning about the times that she may well find herself in. On the other, plenty of violence can be found in historical fiction… and a little romance, too. Sara would love Philippa Gregory for her take on strong women throughout history, as well as Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Emma Donaghue’s Frog Music, and Anita Diamat’s The Red Tent.
Captain Cold – Young Adult Fantasy
Leonard Snart’s one of our favorite Legends because of his hidden depths. He’s a thief and a villain, but he’s also a smart, funny, and kind hero who made the ultimate sacrifice for his friends. On top of all that, we know that Leonard didn’t get much of a childhood, and as much as he hides it, he wishes things had been different. Put it all together… and you’ve got someone who would be pretending to read Playboy, but actually have Harry Potter hidden inside it. Captain Cold wants everyone to think that he’s a bad guy, but we know differently. Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Jace Lightwood… the heroes of Young Adult literature and their romantic struggles would suit Leonard perfectly. He could even enjoy a cup of tea in his reindeer mug while he reads them. We won’t tell anyone.
Hawkman – Thrillers
One of the most serious of the Legends crew, Carter Hall, doesn’t seem to have a lot of time for entertainment. He’s all business, but now that Vandal Savage is dead and he is reunited with his one true love, it’s time to have a little fun. Unlike Hawkgirl, Hawkman wouldn’t read anything too lighthearted. He’d probably enjoy more dark and fast-paced thrillers – and would even be able to relate to them, rather than escape into them. We’re guessing that Carter would enjoy popular books like Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, Paula Hawkins The Girl On The Train, and Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy.
Now, enough reading, crew! Time to go save the world again…