Nick Zano Leaving Legends Of Tomorrow In Season 7 Finale As Series Regular
When DC’s Legends of Tomorrow was conceived as the third of the Arrowverse series, it was always meant to feature a rotating roster of heroes. However, as the show morphed from superhero time romps into a show about found family, the makeup of that family changed. Only one member of the original cast, series lead Caity Lotz as Sarah Lance, remains. The other most tenured member of the Waverider crew was the lesser-known Steel. Yet, the season 7 finale of Legends of Tomorrow, Nick Zano is leaving the regular series as his powers have all been used up. Yet, no ends are final in the comic book world, but the finale wasn’t really an end at all.
We won’t be diving too deeply into spoilers for the episode, so if you’ve missed this season of Legends of Tomorrow, it’s worth a watch. The show constantly reinvents itself, and this year was all about what happens when you take away the time superheroes’ ability to time travel. It was a risky decision, yet this is always a show that runs not on the power of the time drive but of the characters themselves. This season also saw every current member of the roster start what appears to be an end-run for the series. Though the episode ended on a cliffhanger, producers still don’t know if they are coming back next year.
We’ll talk about this, that Nick Zano leaving the show as a series regular, and the rest of the season 7 finale of Legends of Tomorrow below.
Light spoilers to follow.
Nick Zano Leaving Legends of Tomorrow as a Series Regular and It Was His Decision
Image via the CW
While Commander Steel is not the best-known DC Comics hero, he does have a long history in the comics. Yet, the character of Nate Heywood as played by Zano differs greatly from his comics counterpart. One way is that he rarely uses his powers. This, of course, is a real-world reason, because the effect to make him look like Commander Steel is the most expensive on the show. There is a reason he hasn’t changed his hair in the six years he’s been on the show. To remodel the CGI overlays would have cost far too much money. So, one of the reason Nick Zano is leaving Legends of Tomorrow as a series regular is perhaps simply so he can grow his hair out a bit.
Once a Legend, always a Legend, though. If Zano should return for a future season (or perhaps a special to wrap it all up), he will be powerless now. We’ll let you see for yourself exactly how that happens, but more than half the Legends at this point are just regular folks, anyway. Even though it is one of the purest comic book shows on TV, Legends of Tomorrow has moved beyond simple adaptation. As a show made up of characters introduced on the other series, the show also is relatively disconnected from the rest of the Arrowverse. This means they are either free to do their own thing or simply disappear into the off-screen world now occupied by Felicity Smoak, Kara Danvers, and Jefferson Pierce.
For his part, Nick Zano said leaving Legends of Tomorrow as a series regular was his decision, mostly. He said that he decided to let his current contract expire without renewing.
As Nick Zano told Entertainment Weekly about leaving Legends of Tomorrow:
“It was my decision. My contract was coming to an end. I had a conversation with Phil Klemmer, my main man in Burbank, and I told him that I think I’m going to end it when it ends…. I do something called the Harvard test where your head, heart, and gut all have to say yes before you make a decision. My head, heart, and gut told me that it was time. So, I spoke with Phil, and then we started. To Phil’s credit, he gave me a beautiful, honorable exit that I’m forever grateful for.”
Image via the CW
Zano said that in the end, Nate got what he always wanted. He gets to spend his time with the love of this life and write the book of his adventures through history. For his part, Zano says that he will miss the connection he has with his coworkers. However, what Nick Zano says he won’t miss so much when he leaves are cold night shoots in Vancouver, such as the one where he shot his last scene in the Legends of Tomorrow season 7 finale.
His choice of words here, “honorable” specifically, may mean more than Heywood going out as a hero. When producers made the decision to send original cast member Brandon Routh off into Legends retirement, he openly spoke about how he didn’t want to leave. Other original cast member Dominic Purcell also left the series less than gracefully, at least to the public. It seemed rather than letting the hatchet fall out of necessity, Zano made the decision to walk away leaving both his character’s and his own legacy intact with the fans.
Is the Season 7 Finale of Legends of Tomorrow a Series Finale?
Image by Dean Buscher via the CW
According to the producers, who’ve given a number of interviews, no it isn’t. They deliberately ended the season 7 finale of Legends of Tomorrow on a cliffhanger to propel the story forward. They want to tell these stories for a long time, included with Nate Heywood. Just because Nick Zano is leaving and not a series regular on Legends of Tomorrow anymore, he told EW that the producers just have to ask if they want him back for an episode or two. Also, Donald Faison was introduced as a classic DC Comics character, Booster Gold. As per usual with Legends, this is a different version of the character than fans may be familiar with. That’s what makes it so exciting.
Yet, there is no guarantee that the network will renew the series. Ratings appear to be slightly up for the series, even with a disjointed airing schedule. Also, the Arrowverse series do very well on Netflix. Even though Warner Bros. has HBO Max, the deal they made with Netflix for their CW series released before Batwoman brings in significant revenue. Though I have no data to prove this, I feel like Legends of Tomorrow fans are not your typical comic book TV show fans. The niche this show carved out for itself may not be as large as say, Peacemaker’s niche in the zeitgeist. Whereas the Arrowverse was designed to capture the same eyeballs night after night, today’s version seems to be content with telling comic book stories for one audience that may not draw viewers to The Flash or the other series. Yet, only time will tell if we get another year with the knuckleheads on the Waverider.
Legends of Tomorrow is available on Netflix and the CW App.
Of course, the fate of this show might just be numbers. The CW is up for sale, and if Discovery Media buys Warner Bros., it may mean the end of the Arrowverse. In the history of The CW, the network has never been profitable. Yet, with WB and Paramount sharing ownership, the loss was worth it because of syndication and streaming. The new owners may not agree. With Nick Zano leaving as a series regular, and regardless of the cliffhanger nature of the season 7 finale, Legends of Tomorrow might not come back. While these characters definitely deserve to return, their run has been respectable for a series a lot of folks in the geek press wrote off before the first season even ended.
What do you think? Do you want the show to come back? Tel us why or why not in the comments below.
Featured image by Bettina Strauss via The CW.
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book of superhero short stories, Tales of Adventure & Fantasy: Book One is available as an ebook or paperback from Amazon.