Saturday, September 23, 2006


Legion of Super-Heroes

Anybody else check out the premier of The Legion of Super-Heroes this morning? I mean, sure, it's a cartoon aimed at eight year olds, which is a bit young for my internal age of twelve, but Georgia watched it with me, and if you split the difference between my arrested development at twelve and her real age of thirty months, we come out just about in the target audience.

I thought it was splendid. I grew up reading LSH, simultaneously taking in the Levitz-Giffen era and scads of silver age stories in reprints and back issues. What was nice about this show was that it felt like the Legion to me, much like Glen Murakami's Teen Titans had the feel of Wolfman-Perez's early eighties comics, even if the idiom was something aimed at an anime-friendly eight year old audience.

I'd actually forgotten that this was Tucker's show, whose work I've really come to admire after watching all of the supplemental stuff on the DVDs of the JLU and later Batman seasons. It was interesting to contrast Tucker's take on the Legion here with Bruce Timm's in the last season of JLU, which if I'm readin between the lines correctly was done after Tucker had left to start working on the new series. And, for that matter, the LSH appearance in the Superman animated series a few years before that. I wonder how much of that is the influence of Alan Heinberg, who Tucker mentions in this interview had already written the series bible before Tucker came onboard.

There are a few changes to the characters and concept that I'm sure LSH purists will find objectionable, but I really didn't mind any of them all that much. And I actually like Brainiac Five as a robotic "descendant" of the original Brainiac, rather than as a purely organic descendant of a Coluan "adopted' by Brainiac, or any of the other kludgey explanations cooked up over the years to cover for the fact that the character's original creator had forgotten that Brainiac was an android to begin with.

There are a few lines that fall a bit flat, since they clearly had originally included the name "Superboy," the rights to which DC and TimeWarner since lost to the heirs of Jerry Siegel in a much publicized lawsuit. (Similarly, in this last week's issue of Superman, a young Clark Kent in flashback makes a dismissive statement about stories of a Smallville based "Super-Boy" being nothing but urban legends, handily employing a hyphen to modify what would otherwise be an actionable reference.) But I imagine those will be fewer as the series goes along.

Oh, and how much of a geek does it make me that I dug the fact that they used the old Interlac alphabet in at least a few scenes? I mean, the biggest use was the word "tons" written in the futurisitic character set, but that at least suggets that the showrunners have done their homework.

So if there's an eight year old in your household, or you're as infantilized as I am, you might want to check it out. Saturday mornings on the Kids' WB (which, confusingly enough, is now aired on the CW network).

Crap! I forgot all about it.
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