Friday, December 8, 2017

Series: Superhero of the Week -- Week 3 [Contributor: Jen]

The giant Arrowverse crossover, "Crisis on Earth-X," brought nearly all of the superheroes from across the universe into a four-night extravaganza. Everyone teams up to stop Earth-X Nazis when they crash Barry and Iris’ wedding and nearly every character has more than one stand-out moment. However, there is only one who truly shone more than all the rest...

SUPERHERO OF THE WEEK: Martin Stein (Legends of Tomorrow)

It is Stein who makes the ultimate hero’s sacrifice: he gives up his life to save another. He is shot when he charges into gunfire to turn on a console crucial to getting all the heroes home. His injuries are so severe that the only way to keep him alive and get him home is for Jackson to merge with him as Firestorm. Once aboard the Waverider, Jackson’s body is affected by Stein’s injury and he begins to die as well.

Professor Stein tells Jefferson that it’s time to let him go. It is the most moving scene in the entire crossover and one of the most devastating deaths in the DCTV universe. Professor Stein touched many of the heroes' lives, particularly those on The Flash, but he was universally liked and respected. No one felt his death more than the Legends and no one was more devastated than Jefferson Jackson.

Professor Stein uses his last moments to impart some final wisdom on Jefferson and us all. Stein does not want to die. He very much wants to retire from the hero business and live out the rest of his days with his wife, daughter, and new grandson. He was, in fact, on the impetus of this retirement and the battle with the Nazis was his final mission. However, Stein also recognizes he has lived a long, full, and happy life. In the years they were Firestorm together, Jackson and Professor Stein formed a father and son bond. Stein simply wants to ensure that his son has the same chance for the long life he has enjoyed. It is a wondrous act of heroism, and a simple act of fatherhood. No real father would do any less for their child.

Stein tells Jackson to live for today because life is gone in a blink. He wishes him love and joy. Stein also thanks Jackson “for the adventure of a lifetime.” He goes peacefully, with Jackson holding his hand.

Professor’s Stein’s final words are also the impetus for the impromptu wedding of both Barry and Iris, and Oliver and Felicity. These two couples take to heart that they’ve just come from the funeral of a fallen friend who lived his life for the fullest and decide not to waste another moment of their own. They are inspired to live their lives full of love, joy and adventure. Together.

And that’s the very essence of a superhero. They inspire us all to live our best life.


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