Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Legion of Super Heroes: Champions

This is another solid episode of the Legion TV series. It's one of my daughter's favorites too. Lightning Lad is competing in the dodecathlon and assassins are trying to kill Phantom Girl's mom, the President of the United Planets. Complicating things are the presence of his older brother, Mekt, with whom he has a certain amount of sibling rivalry.

The episode had a lot of details I liked, from the Crustacean ambassador,

"Hey, crab legs!"  "Hey, monkey face!"

to Phantom Girl making fun of Superman's awkwardness around the President.

"Aww, shucks, ma'am, I ain't never met nobody! Uh-huh! Uh-huh!"

Superman and Phantom Girl provide security while Lightning Lad competes in the dodecathalon. The Fatal Five are in various ingenious disguises. Tharok disguises himself as a vendor, Validus as an adorable little kid (seriously!),

Emerald Empress as a judge, Mano as a painter, (in a scene that I like, because Superman figures out who he by reasoning that you're not going to have a painter working on a blimp on opening day of a big ceremony.)

The Persuader disguises himself as one of the President's guards, but gets schooled by Phantom Girl. Again.

"D'oh! This always happens!"

Phantom Girl is downright adorable in this episode. There's one scene where she goes to a booth and tries on a Zzok hat, designed to look like the burrowing alien competing in the games.

Hey, PG. If you and Ultra Boy don't work out, I'm right here in the 20th century!

I also like that even though she bickers with and is embarrassed by her mom, she is also fiercely protective of her.

It's not clear from where the animated Phantom Girl gets her powers. In the comics, she was one of the Legionnaires who come from one of those planets (Bgztl) where everybody has the same power and if that's the case here, presumably, her mom should be be able to phase too. (Actually, now that I think of it, in one of the more recent Legion continuities, Phantom Girl was the only one who could switch between phased in and phased out. The other Bgztllians are out of phase with the rest of the universe all the time.)

Mekt takes the gold medal because Lightning Lad stopped to help some of the contestants endangered by the cheating. I kind of like this message for a show that Lily watches. If you do the right thing, you may not win, but some things are more important than winning. Lightning Lad takes silver though, and they are both present at the awards ceremony. It looks like they're in the clear, because the dome above is impenetrable from the outside. However, Mekt triggers a device that destroys the dome in order to pay back a favor, and the Fatal Five strike a pose


and then attack.

This episode had two iconic Legionnaires, Ultra Boy and Matter Eater Lad as contestants in the games and not Legion members and they team up with the rest of the heroes to stop the bad guys at the end.  (The weird dude with the tentacles is Zzok of Sephia. He was the model for the hat that Phantom Girl was wearing in the earlier picture.) They strike their own pose


and fight back with their own powers.

Another fun episode. Humor on kid's shows is often, by definition, juvenile, but I thought the announcers giving a play-by-play during the fight with the Fatal Five were actually pretty entertaining.

"And Lightning Lad's down! That's another notch on the Persuader's axe. Waiting for Lightning Lad to get up, our coverage of this attack is brought to you by Little Deepzorg Snack Cakes. Little Deepzorg, the snack that made Deepzorg famous."

Also, I like Mekt. He's a great foil for Lightning Lad. Mekt gets a pretty decent arc over the series, even though he only shows up in a handful of episodes. In this one, he's just a bit of a jerk, who is cheating in order to win. He knows that what he's done is wrong, and even though he regrets the consequences, he's too small a man to step up and fix things.

Lily was saying "I think he's evil," and I was saying, "I don't know if he's a bad guy or just a cheater. We'll have to watch to find out."  (He was just a cheater and at the end Lily very graciously said, "Oh, I guess you were right.")

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