On today’s edition of our CarterMatt Unsung Heroes article series, we’re looking at DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and a legend who made the show a little more legendary during season 3: Zari Tomaz, played brilliantly by Tala Ashe.
Anytime that you bring a new character into a series with a fairly-established cast, there can be some growing pains that are associated with it. You have to figure out the chemistry, the backstory, and introduce them to viewers without disrupting the balance of cast. Yet, Zari as a character made things fairly easy. Despite having a snarky exterior and being relatively detached from the team at first, soon after that she showed a deeper, more personal side. She was a woman acting with family as her driving force, living in a world that was so dangerous that even the Legends could not fully comprehend it completely.
On the surface, it’s easy to call her a hero just because of who she is. She’s someone with a costume and a mystical totem who is working alongside other people with costumes to take down a terrible force of evil. Yet, she’s more than just that for a number of different reasons.
Inclusion – How often do you get to see a Muslim superhero on TV? Not often. While this is only one part of who Zari is as a person it’s incredibly important. It establishes her heritage and perspective and, beyond that, it provides Muslim viewers at home someone to identify with in a climate when there are very few superhero role models available.
Courage – It takes a lot of guts to join a group of time-travelers on a ship without really knowing any of them. Yet, she’s done just that, and she’s also thrown herself in harm’s way and done everything from tackle evildoers in multiple eras of history to trying to teach Rory how to harness some of his powers (certainly, no easy task in its own right).
Humor – She’s one of the funniest characters on the series and so much of that comes naturally. She’s innately curious, incredibly smart, and she forms quick chemistry with many of the characters she comes into contact with. We love the scenes with her and Wally West and the entire time-loop episode from earlier this year, especially her scenes with Sara Lance, were a joy to watch.
Tala Ashe is a perfect cast for this role
Without Ashe in this role, who knows if the time-loop episode would be anywhere near as effective. The fact that she, as a first-year series regular, was able to carry an episode of that magnitude shows the level of trust that she’s built with the team in a very short period of time. Thanks to her performance we’ve come to love Zari as this likable outsider with hacking skills and an immense knowledge of totems — while the future for many characters on Legends of Tomorrow is unclear following the showdown with Mallus, one thing is not: We absolutely don’t want to see her leave anytime soon.
Keep Zari on the Waverider — there are many more adventures for her as a character, and for us as a viewer so many wonderful chances to remain entertained. She is, alongside the additions of Ava Sharpe and Gary, one of the principal reasons why Legends of Tomorrow is propelling to the top of the Arrowverse for us.
What do you think makes Zari Tomaz an Unsung Hero? Be sure to share some of your thoughts below! Also be sure to cast your vote for her to win our Unsung Heroes poll at the link here!
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