Saturday, June 25, 2011

Legion of Super Heroes: Timber Wolf

I think this is one of the weaker episodes. (though "Lightning Storm" might beat it out. We'll see how it holds up when I review it)

This is the episode where Timber Wolf joins. He's familiar to long time Legion readers. Non-long time Legion readers may recognize him from his appearance in the opening credits.

Hold that pose, Brin.
I was never a huge fan of Timber Wolf. He's okay, I guess. As I observed in the Chain of Command review,   Timber Wolf predates Wolverine and has pretty much has the same power set of being feral and pretty strong and pretty tough, which isn't a bad package at all, unless Superman happens to be on your team.

We open with Superman and Lightning Lad trying to take care of some hideous space monster. They get a distress call from a Dr. Londo, who heads an isolated research facility, so Superman stops dicking around with the space monster and ties it in knots.

Brainiac 5 and Bouncing Boy maintain some low level bickering throughout the entire episode. Saturn Girl looks like she's going to have an aneurysm if she has to put up with the boys on this team for much longer.

They get to their destination, and  Dr. Londo is acting suspicious as fuck. He asks the Legion to find his son, Brin, and I've been reading LSH so long that Brin Londo actually sounds like a perfectly normal name.

Brainy and Bouncy stay behind to continue their feud and Superman, Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad go looking for the werewolf that's been attacking the robots. (Yes, the werewolf that's been attacking the robots. Only on the Legion of Superheroes, folks! )

The group gets separated, robots attack, and Saturn Girl uses some kind of TK blast that leaves her unconscious. The werewolf fights off the robots and leaves with Saturn Girl. The Legion Abstract notes in their review that presumably the robots belong to Doctor Londo and it's kind of like the stupidest thing ever to send them after the Legion if they're still there to help.

But anyway, Braniac 5 is fixing the ship when Bouncing Boy goes off for a walk to get away from him. He chastises Bouncing, reminding him, that "Doctor Londo asked us to confine ourselves to the hanger. He insisted!" Twelfth level intelligence, my ass.

Saturn Girl does some bonding with the werewolf and discovers that he's a nice enough guy, but then boys burst in and subdue him. She's knocked out in the struggle and goes into a healing trance, of which Lightning Lad observes, "Watch what you say, though. Sometimes, she can hear you. I found that out the hard way."

Hey, that healing trance is a pretty cool power! I think the only thing that could ruin it for me would be if the writers used it as an excuse to sideline her for nine episodes in season two!


Moving on...

Once they're outside the hanger, Bouncy and Brainy are attacked by a shitload of robots. Brainiac's disabling of the robots was pretty cool (it made it into the opening credits).

They head outside and Bouncing Boy wants to contact them through his flight ring, but Brainy tells him not to, because Londo will be monitoring the communication bands. This leads directly into an amusing exchange.

Brainiac 5: Perhaps if I think hard enough, Saturn Girl will notice my brainwaves.

Bouncing Boy
: Or I can just do this! (run out, waving his hands) Hey,  Guys down here! (To Brainy)  Looks like they caught it.

Bouncy remarks on the wound Lightning Lad took from the wolfman. "Nice scratch, hope you don't turn into one of those."  I'm going to pretend it's foreshadowing his love of horror movies for the Fear Factory episode.

Saturn Girl comes around and asks to me set down, and Lightning Lad tells her that she could be a little more grateful. She retorts, "It wasn't going to hurt me. If you hadn't charged it, fist a-zappin', I would have told you that."

Fists A-Zappin'!

(I love Lightning Lad's expression)
She calms the werewolf, which assumes the less feral, but still furry form of Timber Wolf, and then Doctor Londo shows up to take custody, flanked by a bunch of his shitty robots that everybody in the Legion was demolishing with contemptuous ease all episode long. The fight goes about like you'd expect, though there is an amusing moment when he releases a bunch of mutant dogs that pile on top of Superman. He snarks about "dogpiling" and then lifts the lot of them and tosses them away.

Friends again!

They win the fight and the episode ends with Timber Wolf being sworn in as a Legion member. A bunch of Legionnaires watch the ritual via monitor.  Among them is Shrinking Violet. I really like the character design for her. This is just a non-speaking cameo, but she gets a bigger role (as it were) in the season finale.

Overall? It's an okay episode of a great series. Not bad, but it pales in comparison to the better episodes.


  1. brainiac 5 is the best

    1. We all like him around here. My daughter was a fan ever since she was a little, little kid. She thought Brainy was a girl robot, and she had the same reaction to realizing that he was a boy that most kids have when learning Santa isn't real.

    2. Yeah, when he isn't ticking people off.

    3. I do like the cartoon Brainy. Not so consistent with how he's been presented across the fifty-odd years of Legion continuity, but he's an interpretation that's fun to watch.

  2. This episode is actually my favorite. It showed me everything I thought I knew about Timber Wolf was dead wrong. Now he's my favorite character.