Legion of Super Heroes: The Complete Series

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.)

Legion of Super Heroes: The Complete Series

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…



8 comments

  • James Schee

    I remember being a bit harsh on this series when it came out, as it wasn’t *my Legion.* I actually picked up a dvd of some episode for a $1 a few months back though, and was impressed and entertained by it.

    Its so weird how the LSH have been used far more in other media in recent years, more than in the comics util recently. Hopefully that bodes well for the series being around in various forms for a long time to come, as DC and the comics world undergoes their currents shifts.

  • It’s a terrific concept with all kinds of potential, but it requires some marketing. DC’s X-Men, they were, until Titans took over that slot.

  • James Schee

    Yeah I personally have always had a take. I don’t know if anyone but me remembers the old 1980s Saturday morning cartoon Galaxy High. Where 2 humans are invited to enter a multi species high school in space..

    I’d do that, have 2 Earth people going to a galactic high school for first time ever. Where there’s a club called the legion of super-heroes. lol Its a concept that allows for so many various takes and directions, with characters for anyone.

  • And yet the times they’ve shown up in media, they weren’t the right versions for me. I started losing interest in Supergirl when they had her fall for Mon-El, and although I love the TV Brainy, the rest of it left me cold.

  • James Schee

    Yeah I liked the Smallville ones somewhat.

    I liked the actor who played Mon-El on Supergirl, but he was much more a Dev-Em than Mon-El to me. I also sort of wondered why they never mentioned why he has name El like her Kara-El and Kal-El.

    The others didn’t do anything for me like you said.

  • Smallville? I didn’t know there were Legion characters on Smallville, but I didn’t pay much attention to that show.

  • James Schee

    Yeah 3 founders showed up on it, plus Brainiac 5 showed up for a later episode too played by James (Spike) Marsters.

    https://smallville.fandom.com/wiki/Legion_of_Super-Heroes

  • Oh, right, I remember that now! I think that was the only episode I watched, just for him. :)

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