Saturday, March 08, 2008

Legion of Super Heroes #2-9 Review, Plus Catching Up

What Happened That You Have To Know About:

Two episodes ago, Terra-Man came back from the 41st century to kill a little boy and prevent Imperiex's creation. Superman-X had some conflicts about whether to side with him or not, but eventually did what superheroes do and saved the kid. There were a lot of shifting alliances and stuff between Superman-X, the Legion, Terra-Man and Imperiex, and Star Boy got some good screen time. Not all that great an episode, really, and nobody seemed to have the idea of persuading the kid to go for an arts degree instead of science when he grew a little; that would have worked just as well as killing him.

One episode ago, Imperiex and Validus and some troops invaded the bottle city of Kandor in Superman's now-thousand-years-old Fortress of Solitude in pursuit of... aah, I forget; something useful or other. Anyway, red-sun rules apply in Kandor, so that made it tricky for Superman and the Legion to go in and fight them. The Superman-Brainy friendship came to a crisis, as Superman found out all the things that Brainy's been hiding from him, and it was very satisfying except that it wasn't stated that Brainy originally recruited inexperienced Clark Kent precisely because he'd never met Brainiac yet, which was my pet theory. Brainy accesses Brainiac's original programming to find a way to stop Imperiex, and ends up changing the sun to yellow so that all the Kandorians can have superpowers. Imperiex and Validus turn and run. Brainy and Superman patch things up, and Brainy uses Brainiac's knowledge to a) find what's left of Krypton, orbiting around its sun, b) reassemble the planet as much as possible, and c) deshrink Kandor and restore it to the planet's surface. (Although he has to wipe Superman's memory of this so he doesn't take it back to the 21st century.) A sinister little half-smile at the end of the episode suggests that a little knowledge isn't the only thing Brainy got from the Brainiac programming. Tremendous episode, if only because they had the audacity to do some truly huge things. Spill Brainy's can of worms and restore Krypton all in the same episode? Holy beans!

This episode, Grimbor and the Scavengers (which would be an excellent name for a rock band) crash a United Planets ceremony and kidnap R.J. Brande. A bunch of Legionnaires go in pursuit (including Saturn Girl, fresh from the hospital). On the way, Brainy finds the opportunity to tell Superman-X the story of the founding of the Legion. The Legion eventually rescues Brande and finds that the guy behind the kidnapping was Doyle, the same guy who was behind Brande's assassination attempt all those years ago.


It was okay. Nice to see the Legion origin on the small screen, but let's face it: we knew how it was going to turn out, and the framing plot was kind of an afterthought.

The season arc wasn't advanced by this episode. Not that it has to be! I'm just saying.

I'm not the only one to point it out, but it's interesting that in this portrayal of the Legion's founding, the three kids decide themselves to team up and become superheroes. It's not Brande's idea at all. I wonder if one could draw a connection between that and the fact that these Legionnaires are being written for/contemporary with a Hero generation in that age bracket. I also wonder what kind of origin story the threeboot Legion is going to end up having.

The abrasive relationship Garth, Rokk and Imra have in the cartoon is quite a departure from the close friendship they've always had in, well, just about every other version of the Legion. And I can't say I prefer it. But that's not to say it's a bad idea; quite the opposite. Don't let us get too comfortable!

Is it just me, or do they keep changing the visual effects on the various superpowers? I think Lightning Lad's lightning looks different.

(Of course, they act different, too. Just what was that Saturn Girl was doing to kill all those satellites at the end? Pretty wimpy satellites if you can wreck 'em with telepathy. My four-year-old son asked me what the deal was with that and I had no answer for him.)

- R.J. Brande with a southern accent? That's gonna take some getting used to
- I like how they just had Cham be Brande's son without bothering to explain it
- Somebody please explain to me how Cosmic Boy can be so hopeless against the metal-chain-using Grimbor
- Nice to see Saturn Girl sitting up and taking nourishment

Membership Notes:

That's Ultra Boy in the group shot there at the end! But no Timber Wolf, Karate Kid or Nemesis Kid. Or, for that matter, Superman or Superman-X. Unless I missed them?

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