Saturday, September 30, 2006

Superman and the Legion of Super Heroes #1-2 Review

What Happened That You Have To Know About:

The Legion (Superman, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5) is called to rescue a Doctor Londo, who's having trouble with a monster near his research station; apparently it's caused a lot of trouble and even caused the loss of his son. He wants the Legion to catch this monster so he can continue his research safely. While Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad and Superboy make the monster's acquaintance, Brainiac 5 and Bouncing Boy discover that Londo's experiments may not be so cool. Saturn Girl manages to restore some of the monster's humanity, and it turns out to be, of course, Londo's son Brin, the subject of some of these experiments. Londo demands the Legion turn Brin over to him, and there's a lot of fighting. The Legion finishes off Londo's robots and experimented-on creatures and leave with Brin, who joins the Legion as Timber Wolf.


Perfectly good job. The plot 'twists' seem painfully obvious to longtime Legion readers, but that's okay, they have to start somewhere. Still not sure about Lightning Lad's character; he seems to go out of his way to be antagonistic, although he's not quite bad enough to be called a jerk. Perhaps an upcoming episode will fix this. I liked Brainy's actions in the fight a lot better than I did last episode's; if he has to be an android I'd rather it be this kind (basically he was using his fingers to interface with the Fightin Robots and cause them to malfunction and shut down and stuff). Nice squabbling between Chuck and Brainy. That's the benefit of keeping the cast of characters this small: it's easy to pay attention to all of them.

The planet this episode was set on was called... it sounded like Braal, but I've also seen 'Rahl' cited elsewhere. I'd be interested in knowing why it wasn't called Zoon. I mean, it doesn't matter. Story's the same no matter what you call it. I'm just wondering.

I know you have to keep the plots simple for kids' programming, and I don't have a problem with that. But I think Londo's plan was a little weak. I get that he's crazy and that's why he did genetic experiments on his son. Fine. And I get that he doesn't want the Legion to know all the details of his work. Which makes it risky to ask them to help get his crazy feral son back in his cage, but hey, nobody ever said this would be easy. But why send his robots to attack the Legionnaires when they're looking for him for you? (Unless they were just random 'indigenous' robots, in which case, huh?) And why be so ready for trouble when they do bring him back? Anyway, if the robots and beasts can't catch Brin but the Legion can, what good are the robots and beasts going to be against Brin and the Legion? How did he think this was all going to end?

My favourite line was Timber Wolf, wearing a superhero costume for the first time: "Uh... a little tight."

Membership Notes:

Timber Wolf joins this episode.

As he's taking his Legion membership pledge, the scene rotates around to give us a look at pictures of a series of Legionnaires on various screens around the chamber. In order: Colossal Boy, Triplicate Girl, Blok(!), Element Lad, Phantom Girl, Dream Girl, Sun Boy, Cosmic Boy, Tyroc (!!), Shrinking Violet.

Rating: LLLl

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Blogger Michael said...

I had the closed-captioning on, and the planet was called "Rawl". No, I don't know why it wasn't "Zoon" (or "Zuun").

My favorite moment: after waking up, Saturn Girl gets a good one in on Lightning Lad: "It wasn't going to hurt me. If you hadn't charged in (her eyes go wide and she starts waving her hands) fists a-zapping I would have told you that!"

5:23 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I also liked, "She can still hear you, sometimes. I found that out the hard way."

5:30 PM  
Blogger Your Obedient Serpent said...

Saturn Girl's expression when she said "fists-a-zappin'" had me rolling.

I confess that initially, when she was in the cave with Feral Brin, I was on the verge of awarding her the Stupid Telepath of the Week Award...

SG: "I've got powers and I know how to use them!"

YrObtSrpt: "Your powers are to READ BLIPPIN' MINDS! So USE them already!"

...then they played the Ethical Telepath card, which trumped it. Don't Read Minds Without Permission is sufficiently ingrained in her that she had to REMIND herself that she doesn't need permission from a "monster" who can't speak. That was a nice touch.

Yes, there were plot holes, but nothing so gaping as you'd, say, Superfriends, Krypto the Superdog, or even a first-season episode of Justice League.

Or, for that, matter, a lot of live- action shows.

And won't we feel silly when Brin's father comes back in a later episode, and it turns out the whole thing was a ploy to destroy the Legion from within, using his Manchurian Candidate son?

9:32 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Never mind reading minds; surely she has some Titanian equivalent of the Ego Whip or Psychic Crush she could lay on his simple lupine mind. As long as she's not fighting plants, robots or undead, she's got an almost inexorable attack.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Chris Arndt said...

That's always the odd thing about telepaths... especially something I really do want to know as soon as we get into a story's universe.

With the telepaths, assuming the telepaths can and do fill central roles in stories, what are the limitations and typical extents that the manipulation of others' minds entail?

I want to know it early so it doesn't throw me later or I know when a certain telepathic action is normal or a special plotpoint.

Although it does seem that Saturn Girl can do telekinesis in the cartoon, which isn't more of a stretch than Brainiac's elongated man powers.

It does suddenly remind of the Justice League cartoon when in some scenes it looks like Brainiac is having an easy time electrocuting the robots and Lightning Lad can't quite do it. It's like all those scenes where Superman can't do it but Hawkgirl will fly up and over his prone form and then kick the bad guy's arse.

7:32 AM  
Blogger Chris Arndt said...

I'm also surprised that Saturn Girl didn't let Lightning Lad have it.... for slamming her into a rock wall with a monster on top.

7:33 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

The thing I wonder about is if aspects of this series, like Saturn Girl's and Brainiac 5's extra powers, will find their way into the comic book. I'm sure that the Justice League cartoon is the main reason why Hawkgirl has her own title now.

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that when saturn girl was in the cave that her actions were kind of stupid! I meen come on! If I was her I would just run out of the cave!

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Their actually was an opening in the cave. Cause' how could lightning lad and superman get in?

7:15 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Oh, I'm sure there was an opening; after all, Timber Wolf managed to carry Saturn Girl in in the first place.

But give Saturn Girl a break; she was still woozy from being knocked out at the point you're talking about. (Personally, I thought she should have used her mental powers to knock Timber Wolf out. I mean, before she found out he was an okay guy.)

11:23 PM  

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