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Legends of Tomorrow boss talks death and new life

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Katie Yu/The CW

Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Thursday’s episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Read at your own risk!

With death comes new life.

During Thursday’s episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, the Reverse-Flash shockingly claimed the life of Hourman (Patrick J. Adams), marking the first Justice Society casualty. Eobard Thawne (Matt Letscher) killed the hero in order to steal an amulet the speedster wanted from the Nazis, who were earlier thwarted by the JSA and the Legends.

“When we introduced Hourman, we actually had a whole bunch of different potential scenarios,” executive producer Marc Guggenheim says of the character’s quick death. “One of the things we talked a lot about was at what point do we show the audience the moments just after the end of [episode] 116? We talked a lot about how we were going to reveal the information, all the different ways to deal with the ramifications of 116. We had a lot of different notions that were fighting their way to prominence in the writers’ room, and this is obviously the one we went with.”

But Eobard’s plan somewhat backfired. The Reverse-Flash had given the Nazis a serum that would imbue superpowers to one individual. After being captured, Ray (Brandon Routh) was forced to replicate the serum, but instead tinkered with it to make it better, ultimately using it to save the life of hemophiliac Nate Heywood (Nick Zano). Hence, with the death of one superhero came the birth of another.

“One of the reasons why we wanted to bring the character of Nate into the show was we wanted to play with something that The Flash got a chance to really play with in season 1, which is the fun of telling an origin story for a hero,” Guggenheim says of Heywood, who becomes Citizen Steel in the comics. “In the evolution of a hero, there are all these fun, seminal moments that we want to put our own Legends spin on — part of that is discovering you have powers; part of it is learning how to control those powers; part of it is the first time you go out in costume, the first time you fail, the first time you realize you have a weakness. You can safely assume that the reason we brought in Nate was so we could tell those kinds of stories, including the unpredictable nature of his powers. The next episode, 203, really shows how difficult it is for Nate to get his powers under control.”

But Nate won’t be the only newcomer on the Waverider, as Hourman’s death will lead to Vixen (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) joining the Legends of Tomorrow — though she may not be an ally. “We’ll deal with it very directly in episode 203,” Guggenheim says. “You have a clue to it in Rex’s final words to her. If you’re Vixen and you’ve got Rex Tyler dying in your arms and you heard the words, ‘time traveler,’ who would you think is responsible?”

In the meantime, it’s still unclear what Eobard is planning, though viewers know he’s currently working with Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) — and, eventually, Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman). “We’re going to see Malcolm Merlyn join the Legion in episode 208, which is our midseason finale,” Guggenheim teases. “You’ll see Wentworth Miller back also in Legends’ midseason finale.”

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.