‘Legends of Tomorrow’s Brandon Routh on Being a Hero Without Atom’s Suit

DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Cate Cameron/The CW
DC's Legends of Tomorrow -- "Blood Ties" -- Image LGN103A_0010b.jpg -- Pictured: Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer/Atom -- Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Legends of Tomorrow‘s Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) is dealing with a new challenge: How to be a hero without his Atom suit, which was destroyed in last week’s episode.

“He created the suit in order to be more of a hero—he couldn’t take out the Mirakuru soldiers when they attacked the city and killed his fiancee,” Routh told reporters on the show’s Vancouver set, referring to the character’s backstory from Arrow. “His whole mission in life since [then was] to create the suit to be a hero. So he is without purpose and lost in many ways without the suit, because that’s what made him—in his mind and everyone’s mind—kind of a hero. ‘Is a hero’s mind and a hero’s heart enough to affect change?’”

His teammates won’t be mourning the suit in quite the same way. “Out of necessity, they move on,” Routh said. “Ray takes on different roles, trying other things out for a few episodes, trying to give purpose. Not a lot of time is spent reverently on it.”

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Being sans the suit “gives him an opportunity to figure out this whole hero business,” Routh continued. “All this kind of stuff comes into play very heavily in the next three episodes.”

But in the meantime, the team will face an unusual challenge in the November 3 hour, as they face zombies (yes, really) in the Civil War era. “This one’s quite an interesting one, because it’s dealing with quite a delicate subject matter—slavery alongside the slightly comical subject of zombies,” Maisie Richardson-Sellers (Amaya/Vixen) teased. “I think we’ve done it in a very sensitive way. Certainly, for Amaya and Jax [Franz Drameh] to go back and experience slavery firsthand, they get into some pretty sticky situations, and that brings them closer, and it sort of opens her eyes to a world that she never really knew about, which is her heritage. So I think for those two especially, it’s quite an emotional episode.”

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Thursdays, 8/7c, The CW