Appellate Judge Kent Dixon used to fight crime as "Haggis Man," but being Scottish, he got hungry and ate his own costume.
Teenage angst. Superhuman powers. 'Nuff said.
The Legion of Super Heroes has a proud legacy with DC Comics, dating back to 1958 as the first Silver Age comic-book superhero team. The flexibility of the concept allowed new writers to come on board every few years and incorporate their own take on the team and create new characters. As you can imagine, though, without an iconic and recognizable superhero figure to anchor the concept, it would be difficult to hold readers' attention. Enter Superman.
What happens when a group of teenage superheroes from the 31st Century return to the past to search for a leader? Despite having the best of intentions in their search for Superman and his peerless leadership abilities, the Legionnaires overshoot their time target and find themselves faced with a young Clark Kent who is aware of his powers, but hasn't yet decided his destiny. So as you can imagine, teenagers, a proto-Superman, and futuristic villains set the stage nicely for Legion of Super Heroes Volume 1.
Let me get two things out of the way at this point:
First, I loathe the "let's release a handful of episodes, instead of a full season, and fleece consumers a bit at a time" approach. With only 13 episodes in Season One, couldn't Warner Brothers just have released all of them at once? Sure they could have released a full season, but for some reason they chose not to, but I can forgive that, due to the quality of the presentation on Legion of Super Heroes Volume 1.
Second, I love superhero cartoons in almost any form. Superfriends, Batman the Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Justice League, Teen Titans and now Legion of Super Heroes. Bring. It. On!
Whether it's the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the Teen Titans, or any other legendary superhero ensemble, every solid team needs a good blend of strengths and skills to fight evildoers, and the Legion of Super Heroes is no different. So let's meet the central characters that make up the Legion team, shall we?
I've always wondered if there is any rhyme or reason to the episodes the studios decide to include in these less-than-full-season releases. In the case of Legion of Super Heroes Volume 1, it seems that, thankfully, some thought went into the selection of the four episodes that are included in this release. The selected episodes, "Man of Tomorrow," "Timber Wolf," "Legacy," and "Phantoms," do a nice job of introducing us to some core villains, while also familiarizing us with the central League characters and letting us in on their relationships.
Typical for Warner Bros. animated DVD releases, Legion of Super Heroes Volume 1 looks downright amazing. Colors really pop and the overall image is clean and crisp. Let me just say, I love the theme for this show! Simply put, it rocks! The impressive audio mix doesn't stop there. I noticed solid use of both my surround speakers and subwoofer during the episodes…not bad for animated TV.
Aside from a few trailers, the main extra feature is "We Are Legion," a quick primer on the show from the creative team, starting with the concept's origins with DC comics in the '50s, and ranging through the development of Season One and plans for the future. More than just a fluffy promo piece, this is a nice appetizer for the show itself. I can only hope that more thought will be given to additional supplementary features and extras with the inevitable full-season release.
Legion of Super Heroes Volume 1 is an excellent introduction that will undoubtedly leave fans of the show wanting more. Although Warner Bros. could be criticized for milking fans with this four-episode release, there's enough here to hook the uninitiated and to satisfy hardcore fans for the time being.
Not guilty. The Legion is free to go about its business, whether it be in the 31st Century, or right here in the plain old 21st!
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
• "We Are Legion"
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