With a nice series of lead-ins from the CW shows Arrow and Flash, Legends of Tomorrow is slated to start airing in January. A mix of heroes and villains from both shows are brought together to fight an immortal foe throughout time. Below is a brief explanation about who the main characters are.
Atom– Professor Ray Palmer. In the comics, Ray was a scientist who became the size-changing hero called the Atom. He eventually joined the Justice League. He was never their most powerful member, but he was valued more often for his scientific expertise. On Arrow, he was a supporting character who was more like Iron Man until very recently. He’s played by Brandon Routh, who also played Superman in Superman Returns.
Captain Cold- Leonard Snart. In the comics, he leads Flash’s Rogues, a loose collection of supervillains. He has no powers, just a clever mind and a cold gun he stole (until the reboot for a while). On Flash, he’s very close to his comic counterpart. He’s one of the more enjoyable recurring characters on Flash, brilliantly played by Wentworth Miller.
Firestorm- Ronald Raymond, Martin Stein, et al. Firestorm has a complex history. He’s usually the bonding of two characters, although in the comics for a short time he was just Ron Raymond. He has many powers, including flight, enhanced strength, energy blasts, the ability to atomically transform things, the ability to animate inanimate objects, and going through walls. His tv version so far has just shown flight and fire blasts. Martin Stein is played by Victor Gerber, and Jefferson Jackson (made up for the show) by Franz Drameh. Robbie Amell, who played Ronnie Raymond, appears to have moved on to other acting jobs, his character missing believed dead. Maybe he’ll be back.
Hawkgirl and Hawkman- Kendra Saunders and Carter Hall. The Hawks also have a very complicated history. Originally from ancient Egypt (except for the version from outer space in the Silver Age), they were murdered and reborn into many different lives. They had many lifetimes of adventures throughout history before becoming superheroes in the modern age. They have no powers (aside from being reborn), but fly with artificial wings and use various ancient weapons in the comics. Their tv versions seem to have natural wings that sort of magically appear and vanish. Hawkgirl is played by Ciara Renee and Hawkman by Falk Hentschel.
Heatwave- Mick Rory. Another of Flash’s comic book Rogues, Heat Wave is a pyromaniac with a fireproof suit and a compact flamethrower. Later, his powers were internalized. He occasionally gets distracted by his love of fire. On Flash, he seems a bit crazier than his comic book version. Heatwave is played by Dominic Purcell.
Rip Hunter- The most recent comic book version of Rip Hunter is a man dedicated to preventing interference in timelines by malicious time travelers. His real name is unknown, carefully hidden so no one tries the “kill him when he’s an infant” trick. His father has recently been revealed as another famous time traveler, Booster Gold. Hunter has no powers, just tech and knowledge gathered throughout the ages. On the show, he appears to be the driving force behind the team. Hunter is played by Arthur Darvill, amusingly best known as Rory Williams, a companion to Doctor Who and another time traveler.
White Canary- Sara Lance. Not counting half of Firestorm, this is the only character with no comic book version. Sara Lance was made up for Arrow, sister of Laurel who eventually became Black Canary. There was a White Canary in the comics, but it was a very short-lived alias for a much better known character. The Canary has no powers, but is a highly trained fighter, both empty hand and with various weapons. She’s played by Caity Lotz.
Vandal Savage- Vandal Savage in the comics was a Cro Magnon who gained immortality after exposure to a meteor. He’s been a disruptive, evil force throughout mankind’s history. At times, he has claimed to have been some of history’s best known warlords, including Genghis Khan and Atilla the Hun. In the modern era, he’s been a foe of superheroes since there have been superheroes. In at least one version, his modern descendants included Roy Harper, Green Arrow’s former sidekick Speedy/Red Arrow/Arsenal, and his daughter Lian. He has no powers save immortality. On tv, he has at least some additional powers which are not yet really well defined. He’s played by Casper Crump.