Which one they will be included in or appear on isn’t being revealed just yet.
In interviews with reporters following a panel for the CW’s upcoming Legends of Tomorrow at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena. Johns was quoted by TVLine.com saying, “You’ll see a hint of the Legion on one of our shows.”
Long time fans of DC Comics know that Johns has a love of the Golden and Silver Age and a particular knack at not just making the old new again in the pages of DC Comics but making them critical and financial successes. Johns was instrumental in bringing back the JSA in early 2000’s, and won critical acclaim for his run on The Flash in which he revitalized the Rogues after years of disuse and ridicule. The list of properties Johns has pulled out of the continuity dust bin and polished off is very long at this point in his career, and the Legion of Superheroes, hailing from DC’s fictional 31st century, is one of them having spent some time writing them in Adventure Comics.
This won’t be the first time Johns has brought the Legion to television. In 2008 Johns wrote a fan-favorite episode of Smallville titled “Legion” that introduced viewers to the team’s core members Lightning Lad, Cosmic Boy, and Saturn Girl.
It’s important to note that Johns didn’t actually state that the Legion would make an appearance in the form of actors present on set, merely that they would be hinted at. Other “hints” have been dropped in both The Flash and Arrow including Batman, Superman, Ted Kord’s Blue Beetle, and the most on the nose example being Green Lantern. None have made an appearance on the shows and in at least two examples – Batman and Superman – have been ruled out completely. Fans may have to settle for a mere mention of the Legion at this point and adopt a wait and see mantra as to whether they will make actual appearances or not.
Speculation as to what show the Legion may make an appearance on has settled around Supergirl, The Flash or Legends of Tomorrow. Supergirl, as it has been pointed out, makes sense given the close association that both Supergirl and more so Superboy have had with the Legion in the comic books. The Flash has also been speculated at given that time travel is the theme of this second season and there are connections to the 31st century in the comic books via Bart Allan, the young speedster and distant relative of Barry Allan from the 30th century. He has yet to appear on The Flash.
These are both very good bets but my money is that they’re mention will come within Legends of Tomorrow. The show’s premise being what it is – time traveling hero Rip Hunter assembles a group of heroes to travel back in time to stop a horrible distant future – could easily feature some awareness of the 31st century. In fact, we already know that “Legends of Tomorrow” is meant to be something of an anthology series with new cast of heroes and villains popping up each season, although presumably Rip would be a constant. In the comic books Rip Hunter has traveled all through the time space continuum and in the modern era he is inextricably linked with fan favorite Booster Gold, a hero that also hails from the future (albeit the 25th century) but owes some of his powers to a Legion of Superheroes flight ring that he stole from a museum in his time period. Booster Gold is best friends with millionaire technologist Ted Kord, aka the Blue Beetle – a character already hinted at in Arrow – and all of sudden you’ve got an impressive cast for a second season of Legends of Tomorrow.
It has already been reported that executives at the CW are pouring cold water on a second season of Legends saying the cost of the first season has proven to be incredibly high. Is it possible that Johns is dropping hints early to whip up fan frenzy for a second season? Will we actually get to see Nathan Fillion and Allan Tudyk play Blue Beetle and Booster Gold? It’s all speculation right now, but that’s what makes all of this so much fun.