Saturday, September 22, 2007

Episode 2.01: Man from the Edge of Tomorrow (part 1)

So the long wait is over, Season 2 of "Legion of Super Heroes" premiered today.

I was concerned when I learned that for some reason, they did a housecleaning on the staff in the off-season: co-Producer Linda Steiner, Associate Producer A. J. Vargas, Story Editor Rob Hoegee, all three directors (Ben Jones, Tim Maltby, Lauren Montgomery), casting and voice director Kelly Ward, and probably others. The only top guy left is Producer James Tucker.

I don't have a clue what happened behind the scenes. We had what was apparently a high-rated show, with a high-profile toy tie-in at McDonalds... and not only do you clean house of the staff but you darken the series and jump a couple years in the future? What's up with that?

TiVoing through the opening credits, almost all of the footage was from this episode (with a bit from the next). At the very end during the roll call, there was a blink-and-you-miss-it shot of Karate Kid in his Grell-era costume. Based on the spotlighted characters in the credits, the core team this season will be Brainiac 5, Lightning Lad, Timber Wolf, Phantom Girl, Bouncing Boy, Duo Damsel, and Chameleon Boy (plus, of course, both Supermen). Shockingly, Saturn Girl doesn't look like a main character this season - she was only seen briefly in the opening credits.

Given all that - I thought the episode was pretty cool. Good story by new Story Editor Michael Jelenic; the fight scenes were unbelievable, some interesting storylines to be developed (what happens to Brainiac 5 in his future?). The red anti-matter bubbles are right out of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and I was shocked to see Lu-White get Kid Psycho'd - I sure expected Computo to be responsible for that. I was disappointed to not see Bouncing Boy (outside of that cameo), Saturn Girl, or Phantom Girl, though.

So that leaves Kell-El/Superman-X in the 31st century, the last survivor from his home world/timeline; Triplicate Girl reduced to Duo Damsel (according to the credits); and we're waiting for the return of Superman.

LegionWiki link to the episode here, and here's the discussion at TV.com.

I've got your regular-def torrent right here, but nothing yet on the high-def one.

Reviews:

  • The Legion Abstract:
    Why another Superman? I just don't get why this is something that they want to do. I mean, I know that the real Superman is going to show up at some point, but I don't get what they want Superman-X around for. I don't get why this is something they want to explore. We've had the naive inexperienced Superman, now... a pragmatic warrior Superman? Perhaps it will become clearer later.

    It all adds up to quite an intriguing and energetic season premiere. It's all very well done, but I'm unsure about the overall direction. Some of these new developments seem a little too extreme and proactive and totally in my face. We'll see.

    Promo images, the opening sequence, and the cast of this episode suggest that Bouncing Boy, Phantom Girl and especially Saturn Girl are going to play a reduced role this season. This sort of goes along with that thing I read, I assume on the Legion Omnicom, about how a focus group of eight-year-old boys advised the show's creators that there were too many female characters. To which I say, shove it, eight-year-old boys; Saturn Girl's awesome.

    I don't think I wrote about the focus groups here, that must have been somewhere else.

  • Some discussion over at J. Torres' forum on Comicbloc. He says that the "Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century" picks up with the new season starting in issue 11.

  • The Superman Homepage:
    So many of these Legion episodes focus on a small handful of the members, and that's the way it has to be on a team with so many people. But when you tell a story that plays up the threat THIS big, how can you not bring the entire team in on it? They wouldn't have even needed lines, but they should have been there, going through the portal and whupping some Imperiex drone behind. It would have been impressive, it would have leant a lot of credence to the threat level of Imperiex and it would have made logical story sense. "We need reinforcements! We need the Legion!" Well, Superman X, why didn't you get them then? Five people does not a "legion" make. They could use many team members for a Sun Eater, but not for this?

    I don't buy it.

    Off to a decent start, and I'm enjoying the more mature angle to the story (even if Chameleon is full of one-liners... that will at least keep the youngest of watchers amused), but still lacking some story elements that would really take it to the next level.

  • Commentary over at Toon Zone.

4 comments:

Terence Chua said...

The geek moment for me was totally calling that the time travel tunnel was based on boom tube technology. Even the warp key had Mother Box elements.

I'm not sure what to really make of it. I'm reserving judgement until the two-parter opening is over and see what the actual series tone is going to be. I don't really like Superman-X at the moment.

Jonathan Miller said...

Re: COMPUTO and Luornu's 1/3 death:

I've seen some speculation online that Computo is somehow tied in with the creation of Imperiex (who's apparently a cyborg or something), thus Superclone's nasty attitude towards Brainiac 5, and Computo still being involved in the death of one of Triplicate Girl's bodies.

Of course, that's just a guess at this point.

Lizard said...

Just a quick note, my review is up at http://www.xanga.com/lizard_SF/617888908/legion-of-superheroes-season-2----the-man-from-the-edge-of-tomorrow----review.html

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