Friday, October 28, 2011

Legion of Super Heroes: "The Man from the Edge of Tomorrow", Pt. 2

Okay, I just watched this episode and ten minutes later, I can't tell you what happened. And in a sense, that's by design, because the purpose of this episode wasn't as much to tell a story as it was to set up the new status quo. So, while this review will cover the little bit that did happen, it's going to be in the form of the top ten list of where I think the season went wrong.

1.) Grim & Gritty:
I can't find the piece, but I recall an interview with showrunner James Tucker where he said that a lot of the changes that I hated about the second season were mandated by focus group, and the second season had higher ratings than the first.

I'm glad that the show got a second season, but I'm sorry that it had to come at the expense of what made the first one so unique. I can get grim and gritty anywhere! Keep it out of my Legion!

If I had to sum up the Legion of Super-Heroes in a single word, it would be "optimism". The property has been in existence for over fifty years and there have been many different conceptions of the characters in that time, but I think it all really comes down to that. Even the definitive Legion stories like the Great Darkness Saga and the Death of Ferro Lad have at their core, an optimism that heroism wins out in the end, that the world does sometimes change for the better. I'm reminded of two quotes, one by Margaret Mead and a longer one by Greg Rucka:

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

That's the Legion, folks.

And Greg Rucka:(edit, fixed the link)

There is a time and a place for gritty. I’ll take my Batman gritty, thank you, and I will acknowledge that such a portrayal means that my 11 year old has to wait before he sees The Dark Knight. But if Hollywood turns out a Superman movie that I can’t take him to? They’ve done something wrong. Superman is many, many things. Gritty he is not, something that Richard Donner certainly understood.

(Pet peeve time: for the contingent out there who sneer at heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman and Captain America, those icons who still, at their core, represent selfless sacrifice for the greater good, and who justify their contempt by saying, oh, it’s so unrealistic, no one would ever be so noble… grow up. Seriously. Cynicism is not maturity, do not mistake the one for the other. If you truly cannot accept a story where someone does the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, that says far more about who you are than these characters.)

2.) Same as everything else: This is a subset of the first complaint, but it's distinct enough that it gets its own entry. I never thought a Legion of Super Heroes show would ever get made because it is such a niche property. Teenagers a thousand years in the future who fight crime? But the same things that made it so hard to adapt also let it tell stories that couldn't be told anyplace else. That all goes out the window with the second season. This entire season could have, with a few changes, been a Justice League or Teen Titans story. There is nothing uniquely Legion about it, and the show is worse for it.

3.) Superman X: Oh God. He's a yelly space asshole, and his characterization all over the map. He reminds me of Poochie. Remember Poochie, from the Simpsons?  Itchy and Scratchy were slipping in the ratings, so the show introduced a character called Poochie, who was just a collection of "cool" attributes.("The name's Poochie D./And I rock the telly./I'm half Joe Camel and a third Fonzarelli./I'm the Kung-Fu hippie,/from Gangsta City./I'm a rappin' surfer./You the fool I pity..") There's really nothing about him that's in any way appealing, but more importantly, he's just not interesting.

Also, he goes by Kell-El? That's a terrible name.

4.) Superman X in relation to Superman: Superman occupies a unique place on the team and that presence is diluted by another Superman. I really think they should have gone with Mon-El, or failing that, Drax, from the first season episode Phantoms, who shows more personality in one episode than Superman-X does in an entire season.

5.) Redesigns: Some of the designs are updated. Lightning Lad looks nice with the beard.

The awkward, gangly Superman from the first season eventually grew on me, but I like the new design too.

But Bouncy Boy is conspicuously muscular in certain shots in a way that doesn't work for the character and Brainiac 5 just looks uncomfortable with the crewcut. (The design in the first season was one of the things that really made the character work.), Validus looks, for lack of a better word, fucking ridiculous. (Specifically, he's drawn in such a way to show that he has no teeth, and that's a weird thing to emphasize in a 20 foot tall purple and grey unitard-wearing brain monster, but there it is.)

And the Emerald Empress. She sounds different. That's because Tara Strong is voicing her rather than Jennifer Hale. And that's not to disparage Tara Strong's fine work. The Empress just sounds different. I'm sure if Hale were replacing Strong rather than the other way around, I'd be making the same complaint. But it's noticeable and it's distracting.

6.) Imperiex: I don't like the character of Superman-X, but at least he has the benefit of having a really nice design to go with it. The same can not be said of Imperiex. Everything, from the name to the suit to the voice to his dialogue looks like it came out of a 5th grader's sketchbook. Wikipedia says that DC let the LSH show use an established villain for whom they had no active plans. I can see why Imperiex was sidelined.

7.) Destructobots: Really a subset of Imperiex, but too awful not to mention. His robots are called "destructobots". They make the "Roger, Roger" robots from the Star Wars prequels seem like ED-209.

8.) Just lame:
Compare the finale of Season One. It had pathos, sweep, sacrifice, the two teams headed by Bouncing Boy and the Emerald Empress circling each other and countering each other's contingencies. This one they just slug it out until the strongest side wins.

9.) No Girls Allowed:
When we first see Phantom Girl, Timber Wolf has to rescue her.Then Saturn Girl is benched for almost the entire season. A big part of the appeal was the fairly even mix between male and female characters and we don't see that in the second season.

"Oh thank goodness! I've been waiting forever for a boy to rescue me!"

10.) Lazy characterization: When did the Light Speed Vanguard become the Legion of Super Villains? I made the joke before about not needing to change their monogrammed sweaters. They were a bunch of asshole mercs in the first season, but they were mostly out to make a quick buck. It could be argued that they were hardened by their time in Takron-Galtos, but nobody even bothers with that fig leaf. Suddenly, they are just there, twirling their mustaches right alongside the Fatal Five.

Also, the little details that were present in the first season are mostly absent. When Mano was imprisoned the first time around, his hand was sheathed in some kind of containment unit, presumably so he wouldn't disintegrate his way through the walls of his cell. From this shot, you can see they didn't bother with that the second time around.

I've generally just talked about the season as a whole and only briefly mentioned the episode that I'm reviewing. That's because there's not much here. The Legion returns to the 31st century. Superman wants to rescue the Legionnaires being held on Takron-Galtos and Superman-X wants to defeat Imperiex. It takes almost the entire episode to figure out that these goals are not incompatible, that twenty Legionnaires are going to have better odds than two. It takes them 25 minutes to conclude what I figured out in three seconds and I'm not even a 12th level intelligence.This is even more ridiculous than it seems at first glance, because the imprisoned Legionnaires seem to be entirely unguarded. It's only later, after the endless dilly-dallying, that the Fatal Five and the LSV return to keep an eye on them.

The irony is that when the show was aimed at younger kids, it had a greater attention to detail and more constant characterization.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Roger Zelazny Book Review: Nine Starships Waiting

I've been a fan and admirer of the works of Roger Zelazny for almost twenty-five years now. (Though I'm a Johnny-come-lately compared to the Chrises who read this blog.) I assembled my library piecemeal in the pre-Internet days, visiting random bookstores and slowly accumulating new works.

By time The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny had been released, I had read almost every major story written by Zelazny. There were a few oddballs that had never been collected, but I eventually got my hands on most of copies of most of his stuff. I've raved about The Collected Stories before, but they really are a mammoth achievement. I like the annotations, but the real triumph of the collection was getting everything in one place.

I had read about "Nine Starships Waiting", but had been unable to find a copy of the story, but the Collected Stories remedied that. I think it's one of those pieces where it's more interesting to discuss the circumstances surrounding the story.

In its simplest form, Nine Starships is an update of Tourneur's Revenger's Tragedy. To take a more nuanced look at's pretty much the same thing. Zelazny said so himself. It's The Revenger's Tragedy in spaaaaaaaace! He took a bunch of elements from Jacobian drama (the Revenger's Tragedy was the subject of his thesis for his MA) and threw them all against the wall to see what would stick. This seems unusual for him, as he didn't seem to attempt to update the story for the era, but rather lifted the elements in toto and transplanted them in their entirety. The result is a mess, but a fun one.

It's the story of Vindici, the revenger. (Vindice, the revenger, is the main character in The Revenger's Tragedy.) If you're keeping count at home, this is another Zelazny story with a main character with green eyes. (But only sometimes.) He's an assassin buried in the psyche of another man, which reminded me a bit of Timyin Tin. At the opening of the story, Vindici is being awakened under the guidance of Doctor Karol Channing.

I'm not sure how to take that name. I kept expecting him to belt out some show tunes from Hello, Dolly. When I looked at the characters from Dune, I noted that Herbert could hardly been unaware of author Peter De Vries when he came up with the character Piter De Vries. Zelazny gets a pass here, because Carol Channing's most famous role didn't begin until 1964, one year after the story was published. Still, it's distracting.

It amuses me to believe that all of Zelazny's straight sci-fi stories (the Furies, the Keys to December, the Sandow stories), take place in the same continuity, but there is nothing to suggest that. Stat could have been a predecessor to Morgenguard (from Angel, Dark Angel), but I think a more likely explanation is that Zelazny simply lifted elements from a story he felt best forgotten.

It lacks the heft of most early Zelazny works, though I did enjoy the resolution to story and I particularly liked this line, "I am Vindici! The son of Death! Bred in the Senecan twilight of Jacobian demigods, and punctual as death!" If one had to come up with a a succinct phrase to sum up the Zelazny archetype, I really think "Jacobian Demigod" nails it.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Storybook Love, or Alas, Poor Ratsy, I knew him, Horatio; A rodent of infinite size, of most excellent fancy

Lily is now five, so we’re letting her watch more mature movies. I saw on a blog that the surviving cast of the The Princess Bride got together and that got us talking about the movie and we thought we’d put it in and see if Lily liked it.

I remember the first time I saw The Princess Bride. My grandparents were stealing cable. I was about fifteen or so, and I turned it on maybe about a half hour into it. The Man in Black had just killed Vizzini and he and Buttercup talk about Westley.(Also, I would have sworn that the characters named was spelled “Wesley”, but the imdb has it as “Westley”.) Then he gets distracted by the arrival of the Prince and she pushes him down the ravine, and he says “AS YOU WISHHHH!!” and we realize that he is Westley.

I’m happy that I came in on the movie when I did, because even as a an obtuse fifteen-year old, I was probably savvy enough to figure out that Westley was the Man in Black. But entering In Media Res as I did, I got the scene at the perfect time.  The banter let me know who Westley was, but I didn’t have enough information to figure out that he was the Man in Black.

(And yeah, those are spoilers up there, which I’m usually pretty good about avoiding, but A.) It’s a 25-year old movie and B.) If you’ve never seen The Princess Bride, what are you doing reading my blog when you could be watching it?)

Every now and then you get a movie where everything is done right. I think Scott Pilgrim is one of these.  The Princess Bride is another. I wouldn’t call either film perfect,  but I think the end product is as close to ideal as you can get.  Anything that would improve any one element of the work would take away from somewhere else.I’m not sure if I like the book or the movie more. They’re very different beasts. I will say this, though. The movie is a perfect adaptation of the novel. The changes that were made have produced a movie perfected suited for its medium. The book is a richer work, but a line-by-line adaption would have been the wrong way to go, and the film boils the story down to its essence and presents that.

Even the smallest player gives a memorable performance. Christopher Guest in particular creates a villain for the ages in Count Rugan. Wallace Shawn is one of those rare actors even more awesome offscreen than on, but even if he were not, he could coast for the rest of his life on the goodwill from his role as Vizzini.

Cary Elwes. Huh. Apparently he’s had dozens of roles since Bride. I vaguely remembered Robin Hood, the X-Files and Liar, Liar, but it’s kind of sad that his career peaked as early as it did.

Mandy Patinkin  has said that Inigo Montoya was his favorite role.  He’s certainly my favorite character in the movie, and I suspect that’s true for a lot of people.

When I was younger, I didn't like the framing mechanism of the grandfather telling the story, but it's grown on me, and I really think it serves to ground the movie. By letting the audience know that the absurdity is not to be taken entirely seriously, it allows us to embrace it.

The Princess Bride has to be near the top of anyone's list of quotable movies. "We are men of action, lies do not become us", No more rhymes now, I mean it./"Anybody want a peanut?", "INCONCEIVABLE!", "I'm not left-handed either"," I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me", "-Murdered by pirates is good...", "You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is 'never get involved in a land war in Asia' - but only slightly less well-known is this: 'Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line!'", "Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something", ." "Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam...", "Humperdinck! Humperdinck! Humperdinck!/"I'm not listening!" "You mocked me once, never do it again! I died that day!"

And of course, "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

If I had to pick all an time best scene, I might go with this. It reminded me of Fantasia, with the score perfectly wedded to the action, with the musical stings accentuating the sword strikes.

But enough of my opinions. What did Lily think of it? She wanted to know when the Prince started acting nice, because princes are the nice guys in her experience. (We ran into this problem when watching Disney's Robin Hood too.) When Wesley kills the ROUS, she said, "Oh, poor Ratsie! I thought they would save him and keep him as a pet!" She liked it. There were parts that went over her head, but she followed the gist very well. More importantly, she liked it, and Buttercup has entered Lily's pantheon of princesses.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Josh and Tim play Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Some of these blog posts are of interest only to me, and I really think this is one of them. You’re welcome to read an account of two long time friends wasting a weekend playing a video game, gentle reader, but I’m not sure how much appeal that has to anyone else.

First things first though. Since the name Zelazny is featured pretty prominently on this blog, I’m probably going to attract a bunch of random searches for people looking how to complete the Michael Zelazny subquest in Deus Ex. I might as well post a link to the solution here so as not to disappoint them.(He's in the sewers near the Alice Garden Pods.)

This will have SPOILERS, so please don’t read any further if you want to discover things on your own.

In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, you play Adam Jensen, former  SWAT officer and current cyborg. You begin the game before he gets all his augmentations,  and Tim and I were pretty terrible and it took us about thirty tries and two hours to get through the prologue. Things actually got much easier after that, however, and eventually we were down to dying only once every three minutes.

It’s a one player game, so Tim and I would pass the controller back and forth once we got killed. This occasionally had me rooting for the bad guys to kill Tim, so I could get my turn.  This worked out pretty well, because there was more than one occasion where we would get killed three seconds after loading a game, and then we’d have to watch thirty seconds of loading screen before we could try again, and that time goes faster when you have a friend to joke with.

I like the game because it supports several different playstyles. You can sneak around, fight your way through, hack computers or try to talk your way past encounters. What typically happened was that we’d try to sneak around, bungle it badly and have to massacre everyone in the area.  This happened at a warehouse. And a police station. And a FEMA camp. And a hospital. And…you get the picture.

Another friend had warned me about the dialogue, and I didn’t think it was all that terrible. It wasn’t great, but nor was it "Jill, here's a lockpick. It might be handy if you, the master of unlocking, take it with you" level of awful either. In fact, I would call the dialogue pretty engaging in the some of the conversation trees, an aspect of the game that I thought was particularly well done.

Fights, as I mentioned before, are pretty lethal, but there’s usually a way to avoid them. An exception is the boss fights. The first was with a soldier named Barrett, who has a minigun in his arm. I mentioned that this seemed just a touch familiar and Tim pointed out that Square developed the game. He must have killed us two dozen times before I looked up a strategy to beat him, and upon executing it, I dropped him in less than ten seconds.

I don’t know what they were attempting with the second boss. She cloaks herself and tries to execute a guerilla battle against you, which would make for a challenging fight, except that my health regenerates and hers doesn’t. She’d come charging out, we’d exchange gunfire, I’d disengage if my health got low and we’d repeat it. She eventually died when off screen and the only reason I knew is because the game went into a cutscene. I assume she blundered into something that killed her.

Other general observations.  The plot twists went exactly as we expected them to. Your girlfriend from the beginning is alive, just as we thought. Eliza is an AI. Of course she is. When I encounter a character named Cassandra, I figure that she can see the future and when I meet one called Eliza, I just assume she’s an AI. In fact, when I meet women named Eliza in real life, I just assume that they’re AIs until I learn otherwise.

Sometime your opponents respond well, sometimes, they don’t. Tim and I were getting carved up until I came up with the idea to pick up a big copy machine and hide behind it. I guess detection is based primarily on line of sight and the sound of movement, and neither of those apply when I’m crouching behind a big piece of machinery that I move every time their backs are turned. At one point Tim observed “These guys are as bad at their jobs as I am!” and made the joke, “Where did he go?! Quick, ask that copier!”

I like it, though. I’m one of the few people who even liked the second Deus Ex game, and this one, while not as ambitious as the original, has tons of pop culture references, from Robocop to Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct novels. It’s not perfect, but it’s a novel approach to game-making and I wouldn’t mind seeing more games along this line.

Lily's second Birthday of the Week

It’s been a while since I’ve updated, but it was a pretty busy weekend. The first, on her actual birthday, was just family members, while this second one was at a local party place and was mostly for her little school friends. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I had taken off Friday because my buddy Tim was supposed to come down from New Hamster on Thursday night. (You can read about our previous adventures in this post. We went to the Barnes Foundation!) His arrival got pushed back a day, so I used the time to get my car inspected, since  I had already requested the time off and it would be a bigger hassle to cancel it at this late date.

So I hung out and goofed off for most of the day and when Jen and Lily got home, we watched the Princess Bride. It was Lily’s first time seeing it, and that will get its own post in a bit. (Edit: Here it is!)

Tim got in around 9 PM, and Lily was so happy to see him. We see each other once or twice a year
and I occasionally talk about him, but I wasn’t expecting this level of infatuation.

After Lily went to bed, Tim and I played Deus Ex, which will also  We stayed up all night and hit the local farmer’s market in the morning. Lily saw the comic book store near the market and we went there after it was over. Jen and Lily took off for a park (and many thanks to Jen for keeping her occupied. Left to her own devices, Lily would have spent the whole weekend pestering Tim. They had a very nice time at the park (it was the one where we had been married), so I guess that must have been karma in action.)

Left to our own devices, Tim and I returned to our video gaming. We’ve been best friends since the third grade, and this marks about a quarter century of staying out late, eating junk and playing video games all night.

Jen and Lily returned, and Tim and I took off.  Since his birthday was this week, I treated him to dinner at an overpriced but delicious Italian place. (I had the chicken torino and it may be one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten.)

We returned home, and we joined Lily in playing some games. There was the popular “The floor is made of lava” game, played by children all over the world, as well as the “Pretend to steal daddy’s stuff and give it to Mister Tim” game.  At times she would whisper to Mister Tim, “I like you more than daddy. But don’t tell him.”

That night was pretty much the same as the one before. I helped with bed time and then it was more video games. If it ain’t broke...

Jen and Lily went to church. Tim and I got some video game time in, then we picked up my nephew and went to Lily’s party at Bounce U.  She had attended parties there and at similar places, but all of her previous birthday parties had been in our house. She’s old enough now that she’s starting to want what her friends have, and while it was kind of pricey, I think it was worth it. She colored the rainbow herself, and I was kind of impressed that she got the sequence correct. (The omission of yellow is because they didn’t have a yellow marker. She asked for one, and said “That’s okay,” when they didn’t have one.)

Lily got winged by a wiffle bat right before they sat down for the picture, which would have ruined the day but didn’t. When asked afterwards how she liked it, the phrase she used was “I had a blast!”

Jen’s mom had mentioned a comic book store in the area. We hit it up after the party. Parking was absolutely atrocious, but the place was nice enough. Lily enjoyed it and we picked up some loose Magic cards and a booster of the newest set.

Then it was back home for nap time, at least for those of us who had been up until 4:30. Lily played very nicely while we napped. We woke up, hung out for a bit, then Tim and I did some grocery shopping. We got back in time to wrap up bed time. For a change of pace, Tim and I played some video games. Since I had to work, I turned in a little past midnight.

Great weekend all around.

Friday, October 7, 2011

View from the far side of the seesaw

A friend suggested that this would be a good name for a book. I didn't intend it that way; it's just the phrase that lept to mind when I took this picture, but I have to admit that I like it. It's got a very Shel Silverstein sound to it.

We continued our string of winning weekends.

On Friday, Jen and I wound up at seperate locations. Lily has a cousin almost exactly ten years older. Her party got moved from Saturday to Friday, and since we already had plans, Jen and I headed to different destinations. I went to the birthday party and Jen went to a haunted house with our friends.

The party was nice. The Karate Kid was on in the background. (So. much. feathered. hair.) My niece has a 100% average in all her classes except gym so go her! I remember her when she was Lily's age (and Lily is now half the age her cousin was when she was born) and it's weird to think that she can get her permit next year.

On Saturday we went to a local orchard. It was pretty fun. We went on a little hay ride, Lily found a turkey feather, and we picked a bunch of apples. We also found a couple groundhog holes that look like they were made by the Graboids from Tremors.

I'm growing a beard again and asked Lily what she thought of it.

Lily: "It's too black. It needs more grey."
Me: "Well, Lily, you're certainly doing your part to make that happen."

She also asked why I don't wear a monocle. I have one bad eye and one good eye. It's essential window glass in one lens of my glasses but the prescription for the other is very strong as I'm legally blind in it without assistance. I'm kind of amazed that she happened to remember something so trivial. Anyway, I told her that monocles are reserved for more elegant figures like Colonel Klink or Mister Peanut.

The evening before her birthday, we played the opposites game. We would come up with a word and Lily would provide the opposite. It's a fun enough way to pass the time, but more than that, it helps us get a better grasp on how she understands words. She does have a vast vocabulary with excellent grasp of the meanings, but for instance we learned that she thinks "spoiled" means much the same thing in people and in food, and that when people are spoiled, they get thrown in jail. It was kind of interesting, and not something we would have learned in the course of normal conversation, so I'm please we both learned something.

We were gearing up for Lily's birthday all weekend. I thought that the birthday would get its own post, and while it was pretty nice, it was uneventful. Look at Lily enjoying herself here.

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.