Saturday, February 17, 2007

Superman and the Legion of Super Heroes #1-9 Review

What Happened That You Need To Know About:

It's open-mike night at Legion HQ, but auditions are interrupted by a mysterious critter who's eating the ozone layer. The Legion is up to the task of dealing with it, but then more of them show up. And more. And nobody knows where they're coming from. Meanwhile, some rejected Legion applicants are trying to make their own way as heroes, by teaming up independently of the Legion, with mixed results. They run up against Starfinger, who's in the middle of a crime spree. The rejected applicants eventually, with difficulty, take him down. One of Starfinger's powers seems to be creating little furry guys to do his fetching and carrying for him, and the rejects discover that these fuzzy things eventually fly up into the sky and become the creatures the Legion is fighting. Armed with this knowledge, the Legion is able to end the threat, and the rejected applicants decide to carry on as the Legion of Substitute Heroes.


Fun episode. Like last week's, a lot of the appeal comes from seeing old friends for the first or second time, but some of the characters were characterized in a particularly enjoyable way. (Notable examples: the unexpectedly sardonic Stone Boy, the consumptive Infectious Lass, the Eurotrash Starfinger, and a Color Kid who's convinced that his superpower is the perfect key to any situation... if only he could choose just the right colour.)

I'm at a loss to say anything else about it. It's comparable to the Booster Gold episode of Justice League Unlimited or the 'The Zeppo' episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in that the usual protagonists are offscreen fighting a dangerous but uninteresting menace while the underdog supporting characters are saving the world themselves in a more interesting way, but getting no credit for it. Except, this time, the Legion are actually pretty nice to the Subs, and do give them credit.

There's no significant character development here, as most of our time is being spent with characters who have just freshly been introduced. The action scenes are up to their usual standards, but that doesn't mean much because Starfinger and the Subs are both kind of incompetent, so there aren't a lot of cool things to show in the first place. It was a good episode, but it doesn't leave me with a lot to analyze.

Membership Notes:

Star Boy and Matter-Eater Lad join in this episode. Also, we get our first in-action look at Legionnaires like Sun Boy, Element Lad, Tyroc and Blok. Meanwhile, the Legion of Substitute Heroes is founded by Porcupine Pete, Chlorophyll Kid, Infectious Lass, Stone Boy and Color Kid. (I am genuinely surprised not to see Polar Boy, Night Girl or Fire Lad in there. But I don't have a problem with it.) Oh: one more point. Star Boy, in this episode, shows he has the power to make things light as well as heavy. That's bad news for Ayla fans, as it means she's not going to join the team as Light Lass, and they're not going to put her on the team as Lightning Lass while Garth's around, and they aren't killing off Garth on a kids show. So she ain't getting more than an occasional appearance.

Labels: ,