Monday, August 27, 2007

LSH DVD reviews

To buy your own copy online, see this PriceGrabber listing of internet retailers. Or you can use my Amazon link:

No screener copy for me, sadly. A number of reviewers around the country did get them, though. I'm including the reviews since a lot of them would be new to the show and it's interesting to hear some insight from those who were not familiar to the Legion mythos prior to this.
  • UGO (UnderGround Online):
    First, a warning - if you're a hardcore fan of superhero animation, DON'T buy Legion of Super Heroes: Volume One. I don't advise that because the show is that awful or because the DVD is particularly bad, but it's an undeniably weird release. This first volume of the hit show only includes the first four episodes of the first season and only serves as a brief (89 minutes total) sampler for the entire series. You can almost be assured that the other nine episodes from season one will be included on a future season set, making this one obsolete (except for maybe its lone special feature).


    As you might imagine with a single disc, four-episode release, there aren't many special features to speak of. In fact, there's only one - "We Are Legion: From Comic Book Origins to Animated Series Stars." One can presume that they're saving the commentaries, the storyboards, and the deleted scenes for the full season set. One can also presume that this standard-but-informative featurette won't be included in the full season set, making this a must-purchase for hardcore Legion fans. Like the rest of the package, there's nothing particularly wrong with the one extra included on the DVD, but it's going to leave you wanting more. In some ways, that's just what the WB wants.

    Show: B
    Sound: B
    Extras: C
    Overall: B

  • The San Antonio Express-News:
    I was eager to pounce on the problems that were sure to abound in "The Legion of Super Heroes: Vol. 1" DVD of the Kids WB animated series.

    The series, which first aired Sept. 2006, looked like a cheap imitation of the awesome "Justice League" series, which was written by some of comicdom's top names. "Legion" had the trappings of a cheap knockoff to appeal to snot-nosed kids who couldn't sit through a "to be continued."

    I was wrong. While I'm not a fan of the animation, which looks like Bruce Timm meets "Pokemon," the stories and direction are good action-packed fare.


    These episodes really were fun to watch. There was little in the way of special features aside from a 10-minute segment called "We Are Legion" that talks about taking the comic and turning it into an animated series. Geeks abound in this segment.

  • DVD Talk:
    The young hero-themed "Legion of Super Heroes" nicely fills in the hole that was left when "Teen Titans" went off the air last year. Which makes sense, as "Legion" is pretty much "Titans" recast for the 31st century - even if comics fans will be quick to tell you that the "Legion" comic book was created years before "Titans." No matter. Both teams focus on teenage superheroes, and both series, from the seemingly infallible combo of Warner Bros. Animation and DC Comics, supply a terrific mix of colorful action, lighthearted comic relief, and exciting visuals.

    Indeed, for a youth-oriented show, the series finds a commendable amount of time for character growth. Superman is a teen coming to term with his destiny, while other characters have to deal with famous parents, or loneliness, or jealousy, and so on. Even though the stories whiz by, we're still given solid characters, a rarity in this genre and a specialty of Warner/DC.

    There's some minor controversy surrounding this release, as it counts its "first four episodes" in terms of original air date and not by production number. Considering that episode-to-episode continuity does not play a major role during the middle of the first season, this does not seem to be a problem.

    "Legion" is a fantastic series and a worthy addition to the Warner/DC animated line. And yet we all know that a full season set is bound to be released eventually, and at only a slightly higher price than this collection. Why waste your money now, when all 13 episodes will be yours later? Still, this is an excellent introduction to the series, so those curious about this new show should definitely Rent It to see that the studio's still churning out solid work.

  • The Trades includes good reviews of each of the four episodes too, from someone who's never seen the show:
    With the demise of Justice League Unlimited and Teen Titans, it looked like The Batman was going to be the only outlet for animated superhero adventure. And when I first saw some of the advance artwork for Legion of Super Heroes, there was a lot I didn't like. Being an LSH purist, my largest concern was the Clark Kent (voiced by Yuri Lowenthal) recruited by these future heroes would go by the costumed identity of Superman, not Superboy. Not that I don't understand the reasons why, of course ... but for me the team will always and forever be Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes (hyphen included.)

    And then there was the slightly more cartoony look to the characters than what we had in Justice League Unlimited. And the selected main cast. And... and...

    And now I've got the DVD in hand of the first four episodes, and I've yet to see a single show broadcast. So my initial first informed impressions are these:

    I'm liking me some Legion.

  • MovieWeb gets the title wrong (I mean geez, it's only right there on the DVD itself, the cover, and the image on your web page!):
    This was a very well done show. While I think that people sometimes make too much of a big deal about Superheroes, comics and those kinds of things in general, all in all I liked Legion of the Superheroes, Vol. 1's light touch. This isn't to say that the genre shouldn't be taken seriously, (maybe we are having too much of a Superhero renaissance now?), but I find that the characters in these stories be it Superman, Batman, Wolverine, etc. all seem to somewhat be the same. Then it seems like these characters get overanalyzed to the point that anything that may have been interesting about them is lost. Here I didn't find that to be a problem. The subjects in the Special Feature all seem to know where they wanted to go with these stories, but I never felt like any of the motives or actions displayed were entering the aforementioned, over-analytical territory.

    Legion of the Superheroes, Vol. 1 is yet another solid release from our friends at Warner Bros. The animation is well conceived, the execution flawlessly put across and overall this is one of the stand out, smaller Superhero releases that I have had the pleasure of reviewing.

1 comment:

Matthew E said...

MovieWeb gets the title wrong (I mean geez, it's only right there on the DVD itself, the cover, and the image on your web page!)

Maybe they're just going by DC solicits, which has had the main title listed as 'Supergirl and the Legion of the Super-Heroes' for a long time now. (Unless they stopped while I wasn't watching.)