DC's Legends of Tomorrow: The Comic That Could Have Inspired "The Fixed Point"

By Russ Burlingame
In this week’s episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, titled “The Fixed Point,” the team decided to save the life of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, stopping World War I. In actual fact, they didn’t want to save Ferdinand, because it would do catastrophic damage to the timeline. Instead, they wanted to briefly save him, catching the attention of the corrupted Gideon and “evil Waverider” who have served as the season’s big bad. The idea was, they could take over the alternate Waverider while the evil robot Legends were busy trying to clean up the timeline abberation and their Gideon was alone.
One little problem: time, in the DC Universe, has kind of an immune response to these huge moments being changed. And that’s an idea that comes right out of the comics.
As a result, Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) spends most of the episode trying and failing to save Ferdinand, then trying again and learning from her mistakes. While a never-ending line of time-travelers have attempted it before, and most have died, Sara’s regenerative abilities allow her to, as she says, “live, die, repeat.” And while that reference to Edge of Tomorrow is a fun one, the story itself feels evocative of a 2007 issue of Booster Gold.
In Booster Gold #5, written by Jeff Katz and Geoff Johns and featuring art by Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund, and HiFi Color, Booster sets out to insert himself into the events of Batman: The Killing Joke and prevent Barbara Gordon from being shot and paralyzed by The Joker. As with the Legends episode, the mission is not an end in itself. Booster wants to go back in time and save his best friend, Blue Beetle Ted Kord, from being murdered by Maxwell Lord. Trying to convince Booster that such a thing would prove impossible, Time Master Rip Hunter sends Booster to do something nice for Ted’s superhero crush, Barbara Gordon.
In the pages that follow, Booster’s suit — which features a force field, energy blasters, and gives him super-strength, among other things, can’t protect him from getting constantly beaten and bloodied by The Joker and his gang of freaks in a montage of botched attempts to save Barbara. The message, Rip explains to him when he gets back to Vanishing Point, is simple: you can’t make changes to moments of “solidified time.” The universe just won’t let you.
Of course, things are slightly more complicated than that in Legends, as Sara discovers the nature of time’s “immune response,” and it turns out to be a familiar face working against her interests. Still, the premise of a fixed point, coupled with the “montage of failure” storytelling device, parallels nicely with Booster’s doomed mission.
This would not be the first time Booster Gold vol. 2 and the stories that spun out of it have influenced Legends of Tomorrow. In the show’s first season, during a visit to the set, showrunner Phil Klemmer told ComicBook that copies of Jurgens, Rapmund, and HiFi’s Time Masters: Vanishing Point were on the shelf in the writers’ room, and that the series was helping to shape the identity of the show.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, before episodes of Batwoman
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