Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Legion of Super Heroes: Who Am I?

Continuing my slog through the second season of the Legion of Super Heroes series. This one is called "Who Am I?" but it's more like "Who cares?"

We open with Persuader fighting Lightning Lad, Timber Wolf, Superman and Superman-X.  Considering that he regularly gets schooled by Phantom Girl, it's no surprise that he goes down.

But wait! It turns out that Persuader was really Cam in disguise. He's not doing a good enough job pretending to be Persuader so Brainy suggests imprinting him with the real Persuader's brain scan. Cam will believe that he's the real McCoy and his impersonation will be that much more convincing, and they can restore him to his normal  à la Total Recall when the mission is done.

So they strap him down and do the brain imprint thing and Cam turns into Persuader. He escapes and flees to Imperiex's headquarters on the second Death Star.

"Oh, I'm afraid the deflector shield will be quite operational when your friends arrive."

Prior to this episode, I wasn't even sure that the Persuader could talk in the cartoon. Now he's chatting up a storm. He says he wants to hook up with Imperiex's forces, and Imperiex pits him against Validus as a test. He walks all over Validus, being called off when his axe is only inches from the monster's brain. It's actually not a bad fight, but Validus just looks so goofy this season that the fight lacked gravitas.

Meanwhile, the real Persuader somehow escapes off screen. I'm not sure how. He's a jobber even with the axe. He breaks into Death Star II and tussles with Cam for a bit before Imperiex captures them both. Back on the cruiser, the Legion has been monitoring things so they launch a rescue effort.

It has a couple nice scenes. I like the controlled power you get from Superman here, where he drifts down and pushes the guards aside without any apparent effort.

He tries to restore Cam's memory with the Total Recall device, but Cam slices it in half first,  so they have to grab him and hustle him out of there.

Cam is having trouble shaking off the Persuader persona so we get a nicely done interlude of Superman trying to restore his own personality by reminding him of things that he loved as Cam.

After this is done, Superman-X says "We should start preparing a defense for Modda." (I didn't have subtitles, so I couldn't get the spelling, so I think the planet is either Modda or Moda. The closest name I could find was Mardu, the home planet of Chlorophyll Kid. God knows the Legion of Super Heroes has enough silly names for planets that you don't need to make up more. Also isn't preparing a defense for a planet something that you really should have started as soon as possible? Legion of multi-taskers they ain't.)

Superman is troubled by seeing a memory of his first meeting with Cam that he can't quite recall himself, so he asks Computo to scan him, whereupon we discover that Superman was really Ron-Karr. We did get a little bit of foreshadowing with this, when Superman was several moments behind the rest of the team and Lightning Lad asked, "Hey, where's-" and Supes responded, "Right behind you."

So, plan was to subdue and replace Superman in the space of a couple seconds while under attack without any of his team mates noticing? They even snagged his flight ring and gave it to the replacement, because you can see him wearing it in later shots.

And while they clearly didn't get the entire package, Ron-Karr seemingly has some of Superman's memories. I'm happy for Imperiex that his switchroo worked, I suppose, but that's Underpants Gnomes level of plotting right there.

I didn't even know what Ron-Karr's powers were. I just remembered that he was this guy who was there to fill out the crowd scenes with the LSV. The dialog suggests that he's a shapeshifter who's not a Durlan? Whatever. He's got a boring design and it's mildly appalling that he's now appeared in as many episodes of the series as Mekt.

Ron-Karr fights off Timberwolf, Lightning Lad and Superman-X (!!!) and escapes. I hope their GM gave them a lot of hero points for this scene, because that's bullshit.

He's eventually recaptured and since he still has Superman's memories,  he seems to genuinely want to help the Legion.

Ron-Karr as Superman: Let me help you. It might be my only chance in a long and wretched life to redeem myself.

Superman-X: Thanks, but I think we can stop the invasion of Moda without the help of a supervillain in the middle of an existential meltdown.

This was a nicely animated bit, too.

He does tell them that Imperiex was on to them from the beginning and  real target is Durla.

Meanwhile on Imperiex's giant space penis,

Most guys in your position would just get a Porsche and call it a day, Impy.

Superman is shackled and Imperiex is monologuing  to him. The Legion mounts an attack, and despite Superman X's comments earlier, it looks like they let Ron-Karr come along.

Ron-Karr is smashing the shit out of everything, and if he has Superman's powers when he's in his form, it makes me wonder why he spends most of his time as a weaselly looking dude with no super powers.

I suck.

Imperiex gives Ron-Karr the Total Recall treatment and turns him evil again and activates his doomsday weapon, which is a missile that splits into a bunch of smaller ones. I'm pretty sure we have those already. I'm not quite sure how that would revolutionize warfare, but whatever.

There's a bit more fighting, Ron-Karr, perhaps remembering his time as Superman, turns on Imperiex and disables this missiles and saves the day. He smiles at Cam before flying off.

We get some predictable platitudes at the end aboard the Legion cruiser, and then, the credits.

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