Legion of Super Heroes: The Complete Series
Review by KC Carlson
Recently issued on Blu-ray by Warner Archive is Legion of Super Heroes: The Complete Series. This three-disc set collects the animated cartoon series, which originally aired beginning on September 23, 2006, as a part of the Kids WB! line on the CW network. Producer James Tucker (who was also one of the series’ main character designers and a co-producer of the Justice League Unlimited series, also for Kids WB!) oversaw a total of 26 episodes.
The show generally revolved around a core team of eight Legionnaires (although not every core member appears in every episode). They were Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Brainiac 5, Phantom Girl, Bouncing Boy, Triplicate Girl, Timber Wolf, and Chameleon Boy. You’ll note that most of these (excepting Timber Wolf) are characters that were introduced in the first year or so of the team’s run in Adventure Comics. Later in the series, several more characters joined the cartoon Legion, including Superman, Matter-Eater Lad, Star Boy, and Ferro Lad. (Due to legal action at the time, he was called Superman, not Superboy, even though the Legion of Super-Heroes were created to be super-powered friends for the teenage Superboy.)
As most Legion fans know, the comic book was popular for having a huge cast of characters. During the early run of the title, there were almost 40 characters (not all at the same time) — and that’s not even counting the Substitutes, Reserve and Honorary Members, the Expelled members (there were five of them, including regular member Star Boy), and other odd choices. (Like Lori Morning, who initially, was largely my fault. Sorry… Thankfully, she doesn’t make it onto this Blu-ray collection.)
Anyway… This collection of the complete animated Legion is awesome, and this new Blu-ray set is a great way to introduce the characters to even larger numbers of “proto-Legion fans”. (Sorry, Proty…)
Here’s the episode listing:
|Disc 1||Disc 2||Disc 3|
|Man of Tomorrow||Brain Drain||The Karate Kid|
|Timber Wolf||The Substitutes||Who Am I?|
|Legacy||Chain of Command||Unnatural Alliances|
|Fear Factory||Sundown Part 1||Message in a Bottle|
|Champions||Sundown Part 2||In the Beginning|
|Phantoms||The Man From the Edge of Tomorrow Part 1||Trials|
|Child’s Play||The Man From the Edge of Tomorrow Part 2||In Your Dreams|
|Lightning Storm||Cry Wolf||Dark Victory Part 1|
|Chained Lightning||Dark Victory Part 2|
There is a short special feature, dating from 2007, called “We Are Legion”, that’s said to be on disc 1 but appears on disc 3, and commentary on the two-part “Dark Victory” by producer James Tucker, director Brandon Vietti, and Kari Wahlgren, who played Saturn Girl.
Interestingly (according to Wikipedia), a third season of Legion of Super Heroes was planned, but it was dropped when the Kids WB! was taken over by 4Kids. It was intended that this season would be set three years after the end of the second season, where an older Superman would return. Other characters introduced would have included Sensor, Wildfire, Magnetic Kid, Supergirl, Tellus, Princess Projectra, and Shadow Lass, and Blok and Dawnstar would be more active.
Also, there was a spin-off comic book, titled Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century, and the first issue was distributed during Free Comic Book Day 2007 (as well as being sold). It ran 20 issues. The first seven were collected as a trade paperback. Notable guest-stars included Lex Luthor, Booster Gold, Impulse (Bart Allen), Circe, Perry White, Lois Lane, and, of course, Arm-Fall-Off-Boy. Surprisingly, action figures were not produced by Mattel because of a lack of retailer interest. Silly retailers… I think an Arm-Fall-Off-Boy action figure would at least bring in 50 cents…