Shirley Li
October 15, 2015 AT 03:43 PM EDT

Saving the world sounds like serious business, but on The CW’s upcoming Legends of Tomorrow, that serious business will be coupled with plenty of humor, according to executive producer Phil Klemmer and cast members Arthur Darvill, Brandon Routh, and Ciara Renée, who stopped by the EW and SiriusXM studio during New York Comic Con to talk about the show.

“We just sort of found when you combine this eclectic group of heroes and villains, and you put them in the thrilling and preposterous conceit of being on a time-traveling spaceship, the tone kind of has to match the amplification of the characters and the tone,” Klemmer explained. “Our show, it’s funny to me. The only way to leaven a team trying to save the world and an immortal bad guy who destroys it is by having really funny character moments. You can’t put these eight guys in a room without cracking jokes, you know.”

So far, the series based on DC comic book characters about a group of super misfits teaming up to battle evil across time and space has finished shooting a few early episodes. The hard work left Darvill, who plays the time-traveling Rip Hunter, with a raspy voice. “We’re on episode 3, so we’ve just shot our big pilot things, which was great and we’re all still emotionally coming out of that a little bit,” he said. “I spent the whole day fighting someone … so I got very overexcited and screamed my way through it.” Darvill’s cast mates Routh and Renée, meanwhile, didn’t lose their voices, but spoke further about the challenges of playing characters who operate in the crossover-heavy universe of ArrowThe Flash, and now, Legends of Tomorrow. For Routh, his appearance on Arrow has primed audiences for the Atom’s return, while Renée’s Hawkgirl will be introduced to fans in an arc later this season on The Flash

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Ultimately, Klemmer says, the series won’t just be an opportunity to show off flashy time-traveling theatrics and eye-popping superpowers, but will also spotlight relationships between different pairs and group dynamics as the story continues. “There’s no coupling or pairing you don’t want to see,” he teases. “The more posed people are, the more interesting it is to see them butt heads.” 

And speaking of head-butting, when asked which member of the cast is the toughest and most like a superhero, Klemmer calls out Dominic Purcell (who plays Heat Wave) for always feinting headbutts when he greets him. Even though he fears the day the headbutt actually hits him, Klemmer says of Purcell with a laugh, “There’s a soft gooey center beneath the bar-room brawler.” 

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow premieres in 2016 on The CW.

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