Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Episode 2.05 "Karate Kid"

You may recall last spring when I mentioned Wil "Cosmic Boy" Wheaton was doing voices for some of the episodes. In late March, Wil was apparently working on this episode, where he mentioned the "It's a trap!" line from early in the show. Later, he wrote of this episode:

Legion was awesome today, and in a cruel twist of fate, I'd really like to write all about the various jokes we made, the outrageously talented guest stars I got to work with, and how fucking awesome the show is . . . but it would reveal way too much that Warner Brothers wants to keep secret (and spoil the show for the audience, which sucks) so I'll just have to file those notes away and use them when this episode airs. And no, I can't even say the title, because that would give too much away.

I've asked him to unfile those notes, we'll see what happens.

I saw the ending as soon as they showed how Nemesis Kid's powers worked. However, I anticipated that it would be Karate Kid vs Nemesis Kid, of course, not Karate Kid vs Grimbor using a weapon to simulate Nemesis Kid's powers. Up until the very last minute, I thought for sure Nemesis Kid was going to reveal that he was working for Imperiex, the Dominators, or Grimbor.

Torrent: via Torrent Portal
Legion Wiki: The Karate Kid

  • Occasional Superheroine:
    This episode was the most mind-bogglingly patronizing thing I've ever seen since viewing the silent movie "Shadows". In that movie, Lon Chaney takes the role of the wise, stomach-churningly humble, hardworking Asian laundryman. The fact that around 80 years have passed since that film & this cartoon but the Asian protagonist has been portrayed so very similar is troubling.

    Some good discussion as well as some good trackbacks.

  • Legion Abstract:
    But unfortunately the thing that struck me the most about this episode was the scene where they made Karate Kid do laundry. It was not the most racially sensitive thing I've ever seen. Now, I'm not accusing anyone of anything, and I know there was the other scene at the end where Nemesis Kid made nice, but... are we really sure that this scene was such a hot idea?

    I'm kind of getting sick of this characterization of Cosmic Boy. Maybe it's useful in the story, but it's not what the character's like. And I don't mean it's not what he's like in the comic books--he wasn't like this in Season 1 either. On the other hand, we're seeing more of Superman's greater experience: he's now showing Legionnaires what being a superhero is all about.

  • Superman Home Page:
    What a complete and utter mess.

    Characters are forced to do and say things they wouldn't simply to move the story forward, and don't do or say the things they should. I speak chiefly of Superman, and that is never going to sit well with me.

    ...Superman then brings Karate Kid back and introduces him as a Legion member... and nobody accepts it and assigns him to laundry duty?! Okay, if Nemesis Kid had done that, I'd expect that response, because he's new and they don't know him very well. But this is SUPERMAN. The best there is, even by Legion standards. They went into the past just to get HIM and revere him and they don't listen to him when he says Karate Kid is worth being a Legionnaire?

    I don't buy that. Not at all.

    And does Superman stand up for Karate Kid? No. Nah. Why would he? He only found him and believes in him and brought him to the Legion. But they want to act like he's worthless and make him do laundry? Well, that's okay by Superman!

    Not any Superman *I* know, actually. That angered me more than anything else in the episode. Superman should have told them Karate Kid deserved a fair shot and should have seen to it that he got it. But Superman did none of those things and that's just incredibly out of character.

  • Luagha's LJ:
    The best definition of Karate Kid's power is 'good enough at martial arts to beat Superman if Superman doesn't use super-speed, or just fly away and eyebeam/cold-breath him for a few hours until he gets too tired to dodge.' And here he is basically weak and pointless except for spirit and determination and happening to have the right (lack of) powers for this particular episode.

    ...This was a classic example of the 'fight that Cosmic Boy should have won before he walked in the door so he should have been left out of this episode' but they needed him to be the harsh taskmaster so they kept him in. I mean, Grimbor uses metal chains, metal nets, and explosives attached to metal chains and metal nets... which Cosmic Boy shows the demonstrated ability to control so he should never be hit by them, affected by them, he should be able to tie Grimbor up with his own chains or at least rip off all his metal technological equipment.

  • Talkbacks on the ToonZone, Legion World, and DC Comics message boards.

1 comment:

MaGnUs said...

Laundry? They gave the Asian kid laundry duty? In the 31st Century, where everything should be automated? And he's Asian?