Monday, October 3, 2011

Legion of Super Heroes: "The Man from the Edge of Tomorrow", Pt. 1

Even though I don’t especially like the second season of the Legion of Super Heroes cartoon, I think I’ll review it here. If you’re new to my reviews, this link will take you to the index.

While I think the second season is ultimately a failure, it does have its moments, so I’ll try to point them out whenever I can. Maybe we can get a DVD release someday.

We open on Brainiac-5 acting out his man-crush with a holographic Superman.  Brainy’s redesign is part of what I don’t like about the new season. I loved his look back in Season One. Series Producer James Tucker said Brainiac-5 was modeled after Little Man Tate, and the old look really captured that and I think this revision is a big step away from that. Also, I had to explain to my daughter, who is convinced that Brainy is a girl, why he suddenly looks like a boy. (We decided that this is Brainiac-5’s brother, so now we make the distinction between boy Brainy and girl Brainy when we talk about the character.)

Suddenly a super dickhead from the future shows up and starts bossing the Legion around.

Pictured: Space Asshole.

The other Legionnaires are like, yeah, we’ll come to the future with you, but Brainy is more skeptical. Here’s my dramatic reenactment.
I’m from the future and I need some cannon fodder for my fight against an evil alien warlord. Who’s in?

 Seems legit. Which way to the portal?

I’m not falling for it.
  I should have known you were too smart to fall for that.
Really?  What type of smart?  Book smart?  Because there are a lot of people who are book smart but it takes a special type of  genius…Okay, I’m in!
They travel to the future and start fighting. I don’t like much about the character, but Superman-X has some really nice visual effects, like the cape effect that follows when he’s moving at superspeed or the S-shield energy blades.

They smack the shit out of Imperiex and a bunch of his…*sigh* Destructobots, a name that makes the Glitterbots in Rainbow Bright and the Star Stealer seem cool and edgy. They kill Imperiex, but not really, and he steals the Warp Key and time travels back to the 31st century.

Brainy improvises a way back, but not before the temporal disruptions propagating from the 31st century due to Imperiex's actions kills one of Triplicate Girl's bodies. Huzzah! If he had dragged his feet a little more, we might have gotten rid of another one, but he gets things going and they return to the 31st century in time to see the mess Imperiex has already made of the place.

To be continued!

My opinion? It's pretty disappointing. Even when it was at its darkest, there was always an optimism to the Legion stories, and this grim n' gritty turn is not a good match. Plus, they sidelined a bunch of the female characters. I'll expand on each of these complaints in the review of the second half. I did like that Kari Wahlgren got billed as both Triplicate Girl and Duo Damsel, though,

and a Superman from a thousand years in the future recruiting the Legion for help is a neat twist on the pilot episode in concept, though somewhat lacking in the execution.

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