Sunday, September 30, 2007

Legion of Super-Heroes #2-2 Review

What Happened That You Have To Know About:

The Legion's recon of their smashed-up HQ leads to a fight with the Fatal Five and Legion of Super-Villains, who Imperiex released from Takron-Galtos. It's a costly battle for the Legion and the villains get away. In the wake of the battle, the Legion brings Superman back to the future from the 21st century, and there's an argument with Superman-X about whether the Legion should go right after Imperiex or rescue their trapped comrades on Takron-Galtos. Eventually they decide to save the other Legionnaires, and get the Fatal Five and LSV back into cells where they belong. In the meantime, though, Imperiex plunders the Legion's data banks (Computo, basically) and forms an alliance with the Dominion.

Review:

It seems that some of my qualms about how much screen time the female characters would get have been allayed; both Duo Damsel and Phantom Girl were quite prominent in this episode and Saturn Girl was certainly present. In fact, the whole roster was there. So that aspect of things looks okay so far.

Another good episode, anyway. It doesn't present a complete story, because after all we need to have Imperiex still at large to drive the rest of the season. But the introductory phase of the season has definitely come to an end. One thing that's definitely changed is the basic character point at the core of the stories: last year, it was Superman learning the ins and outs of being a superhero. This year, Superman is much more confident and comfortable in himself (secret handshake!), but Superman-X has to learn to be a person and teammate and not just a war machine.

I wonder if there's something about the process of writing for television that forces the writers more rigourously to build or portray scenes which should logically happen, in a way that comic books can get away with not doing. Comic books, for instance, never gave us anything like the Brainiac-Superman friendship that exists in this series, despite that many of its ingredients were always there to be used. This episode's example: Matter-Eater Lad chomping into the Emerald Eye like it's a big cocktail onion. Why did that never happen in the comic book? It's perfect!

One thing I did not like. This whole subplot with Lightning Lad going all Charles Bronson on Esper because she put Saturn Girl in the hospital? Trite. We have seen this a thousand times before. And it always ends the same way. "If you kill her, you'll be as bad as they are!" Except, in this case, Phantom Girl's exact words were, "She wouldn't want you to go down this path." What, are we lost in the woods here? Eesh. I could have done without that whole thing. We need a moratorium on this particular plot element.

Other points:
- does this older Superman know who Brainiac is yet? It's an important point!
- in the last fight on Takron-Galtos, why did none of the Legionnaires start letting their teammates out of the cells? It's obviously the best tactical thing to do, and none of 'em even tried it.
- when did Light Speed Vanguard start calling themselves the Legion of Super-Villains?
- Cham's rich dad! I was wondering if he'd show up.
- unlike most people, I'm no expert on the exact mechanics of time travel. But I wonder about Bouncing Boy's notion that Triplicate Girl's third body is recoverable once Imperiex's 31st-century tampering is fixed. I think it's gone forever, unless it was somehow secretly saved before being antimattered out.
- it took me a few seconds to realize that Superman was comparing Superman-X to Batman. He really has learned a thing or two between seasons.
- one nice touch was the rescue of Phantom Girl at the start of the episode. Being trapped under rubble with a girder phased through your arms? Doesn't sound comfortable at all.
- an even nicer touch was the scene where Luornu tries to recreate the feel of being three people by standing angled in front of a mirror. This show is wasted on eight-year-old boys.

Keep 'em coming!

Membership Notes:

Superman rejoins this episode. I was hoping that Superman-X would join, because he'd be the only Legionnaire who had never been a Legionnaire in the comics. But he very specifically didn't join the Legion. Oh well; maybe later.

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10 Comments:

Blogger Ben Rawluk said...

The Luornu scenes in general -- and the mirror one in particular -- make the episode for me. Especially the notion that Chuck is playing at being the third with Lu-Purple and Lu-Orange. It's very sweet and caring, a piece of character development which is a nice nod to their comics relationship.

Agreed about Lightning Lad's revenge fetish.

Cham's going to be my favourite for this season, I think, along with Luornu -- lovely animation with his shape-shifting and his personality's fun. Plus R.J.! Maybe.

Matter-Eater Lad chomping the Eye and going all funky-town reminds me of his post-Miracle Machine insanity. Loved that jazzy moment of his Power Eyes being exposed.

It's nice to have this (almost) Adult Legion going on, and the 5 years later feel of it all..

12:57 AM  
Anonymous Nessor Sille said...

Those anti-matter spheres turned up in the 41st century because Imperiex warped the past in a major way.

That seemed to be what killed Triplicate "White", not the robot...so it's possible that by restoring the "normal" timeline they could avoid the appearance of the spheres.

Or something. *rubs temples*

5:01 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Ben: I agree about Chuck and Luornu. It's like I was saying... TV seems to be better than comics at coming up with the scenes that really ought to happen. Chuck helping Luornu work through her triplimation (a word of my own invention--it's like 'decimation' but for one-third instead of one-tenth) is one of them.

Nessor: Yeah, but... hold on, let me get this right... no, I can't do it. Basically I think she ought to be gone for good. Because the future that she was lost with is one that'll never happen exactly like it did the first time, right? Unless, maybe, they rig it so that Imperiex is allowed to become powerful just like happened the first time... but I can't see that happening.

It is a kids show, though, so they'll probably just fudge it and bring her back anyway.

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Nessor Sille said...

The thing to remember is: Time Travel (at least as portrayed in SF and Fantasy) is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE.

Thus, the writers are free to make up any rules they like for what is and isn't possible in time travel...it's ALL impossible.

(Not matter what comics and Star Trek try to claim to the contrary!)

So, I'm sure they can write a way. IF they do choose to rescue her.

7:11 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

The thing to remember is: Time Travel (at least as portrayed in SF and Fantasy) is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE.

You're putting me on!

I just don't think it makes sense, that's all, and I also don't like it when they bring characters back from the dead. If you're not prepared for them to be dead, don't kill 'em in the first place, that's what I say.

8:04 PM  
Blogger RavenScholar said...

Agreed. This show is way to deep to be seen simply by 8-year-olds. This sort of depth is why the Legion has such a devoted following.

Leastways, me, anyway.

12:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the matter of TV writers vs comic book writers,it comes down to one thing---TV writers aren't ruled by continuity.A comic book writer may have thought of M-E Lad snacking on the Eye,but censored themselves because it never happened before and doing it would "disrespect the Legion's rich history." A TV writer can put the LSV and the Fatal 5 together and not worry about how "impossible" the idea is.
A TV writer gets a good idea,they just go for it.
Been watching the 2nd season again.It's as good as I remember. Had thought to find out what the producers had in mind for the 3rd season,then thought better of it. Why annoy myself with what never came to pass? Better to enjoy what we did get.

4:07 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

A comic book writer may have thought of M-E Lad snacking on the Eye, but censored themselves because it never happened before and doing it would "disrespect the Legion's rich history."

Aw, come on; they're not that bad.

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bad enough.You have to wonder how many good story ideas got axed because they broke with precedent or would've shaken up the status quo too much.
In fairness,the TV scripters had a big advantage in having the comic books to use as source material. Easy to craft an episode when you're adapting another writers work.Adaptation is a skill in itself,but polishing a jewel takes less sweat than digging that gemstone out of the ground in the first place.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

You have to wonder how many good story ideas got axed because they broke with precedent or would've shaken up the status quo too much.

Well, it's a legitimate concern with serial storytelling. But I remember a story where Timber Wolf uses the Persuader's Atomic Axe on the Emerald Eye, and that's not at all different in principle from having Tenzil mow down on it. It's a harmless neat idea and the most rabid continuity freak wouldn't bat an eye at it.

2:19 PM  

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