Sunday, March 04, 2007

Episode 1.11: Chain of Command

Wow, a really strong episode. I certainly didn't see that ending coming!

This is director Lauren Montgomery's fourth episode of the season, after episodes 2, 5, and 8 ("Timber Wolf", "Champions", "Lightning Storm"). I think her episodes have gotten stronger and better as the season has progressed. How much of that can be attributed to the episode writer (JLU writer/story editor Matt Wayne on the first two, then JLU/Batman veteran Stan Berkowitz, then Teen Titans veteran Amy Wolfram on this one) and how much to the director, I have no idea, so we'll leave that for discussion after the season's done.

Here's the regular and hi-def torrents.

A review roundup:

  • From the "Blast from the Past" department, I'll leave our first quote to Mike Chary, which will make sense to about 5 people out there reading this.
    The Chuck Taine Anti-Defamation League and Glee Club heartily approves of the new Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon episode.

  • Matthew at the Legion Abstract:
    Dashed good episode. There's no villain this time, and that's okay, because a villain would just get in the way of all the conflict. The episode title is 'Chain of Command', and appropriately so: while the Legionnaires are outwardly trying to cope with Winath's Perfect Storm, inwardly they're trying to cope with a team dynamic that's breaking down along a couple of different lines. On the one hand, Cosmic Boy shows up and expects to continue leading the team like he did before, without taking into account the changed nature of the team, and that people like Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl have been running the Legion just fine in his absence. On the other hand, Lightning Lad is fighting for his home planet, and that's not helping him see the big picture.

    ...Only when Bouncing Boy comes up with a plan and gets everyone to listen and obey does the Legion get control of things, and that's why he gets elected leader in the end. Teamwork has always been a theme not only of the Legion but of Saturday morning cartoons in general and it's not surprising to see it show up as an episode theme.

  • Rokk's Comic Book Revolution:
    Seeing Chuck take command and bark at his teammates was surprising. I dig that Bouncing Boy finally stood up for himself rather than constantly letting his teammates dismiss his ideas. And it is great to see the technically least powerful Legionnaire be the one who saved the day. It just goes to show that without a smart mind, all the impressive powers in the world are totally useless.

    Just one complaint. It is absolutely ridiculous that Cosmic Boy is not a core character for this animated series. Cosmic Boy is one of the three founding members of the Legion and was the first leader of the Legion. To not have Cosmic Boy as a re-occurring character on this cartoon is absurd.

    “Chain of Command” was another excellent episode. The creative team has done a fabulous job on the Legion of Super Heroes Animated Series. This cartoon is vastly exceeded my initial expectations. I love that the animators took the time to research the Legion’s history and take the essence of the Legion and give us a wonderful modern version for the kids of today.

  • Jeffrey Bridges at Superman Homepage:
    This was a great all-around episode. Initially I was worried that Cosmic Boy's appearance would just be handled as if he'd been around but off-screen the entire time, and I'm glad to see that they didn't take the audience for granted there.

    Then I was worried it'd simply be a case of Lightning Lad having to learn he can't always be the boss, so I was surprised again when they showed Cosmic Boy to be a less-than-perfect leader.

    These are happy, happy surprises.

  • Talkback at the LegionWorld (with some interesting theories on the possible fates of several Legionnaires in the season finale), ToonZone, and ComicBloc forums.

1 comment:

Terence Chua said...

I'm placing my bet on the idea that it's Garth that "dies" in the first season finale, which will set up the entry of Ayla in season two and his return some episodes later.

The way they've been turning Garth more and more sympathetic and the building up of his backstory more than any other Legionnaire (save for Timber Wolf, but he only had one episode whereas Garth has had what, three now?) makes be believe he's being set up for the big fall. Ferro Lad's a red herring for us long time fans, but in the same way, us long time fans know better — Garth was the first to die.

So that's where my money's going.

(Word verification: kzkml! An obvious name from the 5th Dimension!)