One of the big hooks of the early episodes of “Legends of Tomorrow” was the introduction of the Justice Society of America. The Legends met up with the JSA — in the prime of their operating power — in the early 1940s, but the beauty of time travel allows the team to see these characters years later without having aged themselves.
“Legends of Tomorrow’s” fifth episode finds the team at the White House in the 1980’s during the Reagan administration and running into Obsidian (Lance Henriksen) — one of the JSA members they previously ran into — who’s now much older.
Variety spoke with Henriksen about playing the aged hero, how he reacts to running into the team again and more.
What was it like stepping into Obsidian’s shoes?
When I was a kid, I was an avid comic book reader. I thought it was better than television. To be asked to be a superhero, a super anything, at my age was cool.
What’s Obsidian’s reaction to running into the un-aged Legends, especially Vixen?
It’s really shocking for him. There are so many unresolved things that are still floating in his life, but it’s kind of healing. It’s like meeting an ex-wife and really liking them after many years. There have been some deaths that have happened over the years. Time heals a lot of wounds, especially in a case like this.
How has Obsidian changed in the last 40 years?
There’s a humbling thing about time. It doesn’t take pity on anybody, and you end up really grateful for anything that’s alive and of value. You learn to do that because you’re running out of time. It’s the drama of life.
There wasn’t a huge focus on Obsidian in the JSA episode. What do we learn about him in this episode?
He’s the son of the Green Lantern, but he went a little dark in his youth. We also learn about elements of abandonment and rage about misunderstood things that have happened. There’s been a lot of confusion and disappointments over the years.
“Legends of Tomorrow” airs Thursday at 8 p.m.