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TOP 500 REVIEWERon March 14, 2011
Tomorrow, young Clark Kent embarks on his new job as Daily Planet copy boy in bustling Metropolis. But, for now, he's spending his last night in Smallville. Later that evening, he's visited by time traveling youths from the 31st century. They desperately need the untested Clark and his abilities in order to best the powerful Fatal Five. But Clark still has a ways to go before he becomes the celebrated Man of Steel. In fact, he's still growing into his powers (he's still shaky on the flying bits). And he's certainly never heard of this Superman fella. However, after being reassured that he'll be returned to the same temporal moment as his departure, he agrees to go on a jaunt. Clark Kent doesn't know it yet, but it's gonna be a loooong night.

In 2006, the Kids' WB line - on the CW network - raised the curtains on LEGION OF SUPERHEROES. It's a point of interest that this animated show doesn't bear the same continuity as Bruce Timm's Batman: T.A.S., Superman: T.A.S., or the JUSTICE LEAGUE/JLU series. Then, again, it doesn't really have to. LEGION OF SUPERHEROES was a darn good show that thrived on its own merits. It's baffling that after two really excellent seasons, this series was abruptly canceled.

The focus early on is mostly on this version of Superman (Superboy, really), but we get enough of a spotlight on the other kids to justify the series title. The ones I've gotten to like best, besides Clark, are Phantom Girl (who surely must have recessive Valley Girl genes), the robotic Brainiac 5 (a 12th-level intellect and a devout Superman fanboy, although "Phantoms" reveals his cautious, practical side), and the show's out-of-left-field choice, Bouncing Boy, whose personality and power lend themselves to levity. It's gratifying that Bouncing Boy becomes relevant in this series. Longtime champions of this underdog will get a kick out of Bouncing Boy's getting elected as Legion chairman. His stunned reaction: "I demand a recount!" Meanwhile, the three original Legionnaires are present. The brash Lightning Lad fills in the role of Superman's primary critic because, let's face it, it'd be too boring if Supes got along with everyone. Besides, Batman's not here. Calm and steady, Saturn Girl plays the mother figure of the lot, even if she could do with a personality infusion. The third founder of the Legion, Cosmic Boy, doesn't show up until late in the game, but you could see why he grates on Lightning Lad's nerves.

With a rich, rich history to draw from (LoSH debuted in 1958), there isn't a lack of story arcs to plumb here. In the villains department, the inaugural episode doesn't waste time in showcasing the fearsome Fatal Five. Further episodes treat us to the debut of a descendant of Lex Luthor's and a two-part adaptation of the classic Sun Eater saga (which significantly raises the stakes and introduces a more serious element that usually doesn't find its way into kids' cartoons). These episodes manage to balance awesome superhero action with humor and really good character development. I think it's brilliant that the writers decided to go with a Clark Kent whose powers are still developing and who's just beginning to realize how much of an impact his future role as Superman will play. You can chart his progress as he comes of age, but what this inexperienced (and initially insecure) Clark Kent does is allow the other more battle-tested Legionnaires to shine. The animation design looks fantastic. And the humor is a constant, with "The Substitutes" deserving a special nod as the season's funniest episode. Also, this show is very good at inserting Easter eggs, little touches and fleeting cameos and coded messages in Interlac which fans of DC Comics will eat up. For example, Booster Gold and Skeetz pop up for a nanosecond in the opener. Missing them won't hamper your enjoyment of that episode. Recognizing them and then connecting the dots will probably enhance your viewing experience. There's stuff like that spread out throughout the season.

Still waiting on the DVD release of Season 2, which features two Supermen! And waiting... and waiting...

I guess this is the closest we're going to get to a full-season release of Season One. LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES Volumes 1-3 collects all 13 episodes and includes the 9-minute-long featurette "We Are Legion." However, the reason I'm only rating this 4 stars out of 5 is that this set is basically the three previously released individual volumes packaged together (with tape). So don't go expecting new bonus material. Season One's 13 episodes are:

Episode 1 - "Man of Tomorrow" - To combat the Fatal Five, the Legion of Superheroes travels back in time to recruit the greatest superhero of them all. Except that the 31st century heroes land in Smallville and some time before Clark Kent puts on the cape and tights. Blink, and you'll miss Booster Gold vacuuming in the museum.

Episode 2 - "Timber Wolf" - The Legion responds to a distress call originating from a scientist being terrorized by a feral beast. But not all is as it appears. Surprisingly, I found this one to be a pretty dull watch, and dammit I like Timberwolf!

Episode 3 - "Legacy" - Clark hangs out with the richest girl in the galaxy and again discovers that wearing a cape is a fashion faux pax. Meanwhile, the rest of the Legion rumbles with the Scavengers, a gang of technology thieves. Keep an eyeball peeled for a quick glimpse of Lobo (at least I think it's Lobo).

Episode 4 - "Phantoms" - In the Superman museum, Clark inadvertently activates the Phantom Zone projector and releases Drax, who shares Superman's abilities plus an immunity to kryptonite.

Episode 5 - "Champions" - Lightning Lad competes against his brother in the Intergalactic Games even as Clark and Phantom Girl attempt to foil an assassination attempt on the President of the United Planets (a.k.a. Phantom Girl's mom). Or as the sports announcer remarks to the camera: "We've got a supervillain brawl brewin' here, folks, and it looks like it's gonna be a doozy. Uh, we'll be right back after a word from our sponsors."

Episode 6 - "Fear Factory" - The Legion of Superheroes as done by Hammer Films. A cosmic storm forces the Legionnaires to seek sanctuary in a spooky space station.

Episode 7 - "Brain Drain" - Brainiac 5 constructs a containment chamber for himself... so that can't be good, especially when Brainy's worsening condition necessitates the Legion's making a trip to Timber Wolf's inhospitable home world.

Episode 8 - "Lightning Storm" - Lightning Lad leaves the Legion to join an older, much hipper team. Lightning Lad's shady brother, Mekt Ranzz, returns.

Episode 9 - "The Substitutes" - With the Legion all kinds of busy as they try to avert a catastrophe in outer space, it's up to the hapless Legion of Substitute Heroes to take on Starfinger (each finger with a different power). Hands down, Season One's funniest episode. Stone Boy is a trip!

Episode 10 - "Child's Play" - The Legionnaires struggle to match the unlimited "Mr. Mxyzptlk"-type magical powers of a bratty boy sorcerer. Unfortunately, this kid is too annoying for me to really enjoy this episode, although the segments with Phantom Girl languishing in bureaucratic malaise on the Sorcerer's World is fun.

Episode 11 - "Chain of Command" - Away for months, Cosmic Boy returns and immediately clashes with Lightning Lad over leadership of the Legion, even as a natural disaster strikes Lightning Lad's home planet of Winath.

Episodes 12 & 13 - "Sundown, Parts 1 & 2" - The Legion must team up with the the Fatal Five to protect Earth from the Sun Eater, an ancient extinction-level weapon that consumes stars. I like how the epilogue nicely ties into Season One's first episode. Ain't continuity grand?
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on May 22, 2009
I got these three volumes when they came out seperately. I got copies for my young nephew. Not only are the cartoon episodes from the first season of the Warner Brothers Saturday morning catoon series "The Legion of Superheroes" entertaining for general audience, but they are great to introduce young kids to the "Legion of Superheroes."

The cartoon series is based on a long running comic book series (about 50 years) from DC Comics.

The series was a spin-of from a "Superboy" story tht appeared in "Adventure Comics" about 50 years ago. Three teenage superheroes (Cosmic Boy, Lightening Lad, and Saturn Girl) from Metropolis, one thousand years in the future come to Smallville in a time bubble (a time machine) to visit and meet their idol and role model from one thousand years ago, Superboy. These are the three original members of the Legion of Superheroes.

As well as the "Superboy" series running in its own title, it was also, at the time, running in "Adventure Comics." It was decided a number of issues later to spin-off the "Legion of Superheroes" into their own series in which Superboy takes up their invitation to come visit them in Metropolis, one thousand years in the future. The three members make Superboy an official member of the Legion. In the following stories, the membership would continue to grow.

The pilot cartoon episode is a reworked and updated account of when young Clark Kent meets the Legion of Superheroes who go into the pas the past to try to find and enlist the help of Superman in Metropolis, but end up accidentally in Smallville a number of years earlier before young Clark Kent before beginning his career as Superman and has fully discovered and mastered the use of all his super-powers.

The Legion of Superheroes can be looked at as being a combination of the superhero genere and the science fiction genere. Or you may look at it as a young Superman (or a Superboy)teamd with other teenage superheroes combined with "Star Wars." This all definitely adds to fun and entertainment.

I really would like to see the second season put out on DVD also.
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on June 11, 2009
The late, lamented "Legion of Superheroes" animated series took the best elements of the Silver and Bronze age comic books -- interesting and entertaining characters; a bright, optimistic future complete with sleek spacecraft, bizarre aliens and the proverbial flying cars; and DC's rich mythos of super-powered heroes, most notably the Man of Steel himself -- and gave them a fresh feel for young viewers as well as their young-at-heart parents. Enthusiastically recommended. Please bring us the second season on DVD soon!
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on February 23, 2011
This set of DVDs comprises the first season of the animated TV series Legion of Super-Heroes. The TV series was based on numerous comic book series over the last 50 years. There were a number of comic book versions of the Legion of Super-Heroes and the TV series drew inspiration from a more than one of them and introduced a few novelties of its own.

The basic premise remains intact. A group of super powered teens from a thousand years in the future return to the present day to recruit a young Superman into their ranks. Superman shares many adventures with his friends in the future. Unlike the comics, he is called Superman here instead of Superboy. At the time this series aired the name Superboy was the subject of a lawsuit and was being scrupulously avoided.

The Legion members are all recognizable with the exception of Brainiac 5. Here he is depicted as a robot of sorts who can undergo a lot of transformations like the, you know, Transformers. He is also depicted as the youngest Legionnaire. Most of the Legion members are background characters who show up when the plot requires. The regulars are Superman, Brainiac 5, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, Triplicate Girl, Phantom Girl, Timber Wolf, and Bouncing Boy.

The stories are well written and all that is not excellent is very good indeed. No previous knowledge of Legion comic book history is necessary to enjoy the episodes although if the viewer has such knowledge he can enjoy them on another level as well.

Physically, the set is the previously released 3 discs comprising the 13 episodes of the first season shrinkwrapped together. The only bonus feature is a brief interview with the various creators. There are also some trailers for other DVDs. The presentation is in full screen (4:3) as originally presented.

Highly recommended for kids of all ages. Let's hope season 2 shows up on DVD soon.
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on March 5, 2014
First of all, the series is aimed at young children. I would say age 8 or 9 is the optimal age group. But anyone of any age can enjoy the series if they can enjoy an animated superhero cartoon on that level. Which I can, anyways.

But I am much older, having grown up on the Legion in the 1960s, and having read it well into the late 1980s. Those who knew the Legion then will likely like this series. That said, this isn't the full-blown Legion. Superboy (called Superman as he was leaving for Metropolis when he joins the Legion) is in every episode, as is Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad. Lightning Lad in the series is brash and not at all the sort of sublime character he was in the Silver Age. Then, there are some regulars that rotate in and out of shows, these mainly being Brainiac 5, Bouncing Boy, and Phantom Girl. Less frequent but periodic members showing up are Timber Wolf and Duo Damsel. Towards the end of the season Ferro Lad, Colossal Boy and Cosmic Boy finally show up and are seen a lot. And you catch glimpses of others throughout the season, though most of the Silver Age members show up for the final Sun-Eater two parter. That two parter is written at a more adult level than the rest of the season and is very satisfactory.

Noticeably missing from the season is Mon-el, Chameleon Boy, Invisible Kid, Shadow Lass, and Karate Kid.

I do recommend this series and gave it five stars. Four and a half might be better. But beware, I am rating it as a series for nine-year-olds. For adults, the rating depends on whether you can watch this through the eyes of the child you once were.
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on October 7, 2014
I had to buy this. It's the can you not own a cartoon with them in it. It's better than I remember. I wish Season 2 was available. I would have loved if they had stuck with Superboy and not the clone and if they had brought in Supergirl. Oh well...still fun to watch and remember the Legion.
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on January 2, 2012
This is a really well done superhero cartoon. It is based on the Legion of Superheros comic. This has the 1st season. Unsure if there will be more after this as the show might have come to an end. If it has I wish they would consider continuing it.
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on March 4, 2016
My mistake, I'm a fan of the show, so when I thought I saw the entire series at a great price I jumped on it. Turns out it's ONLY the first season broken into three volumes to make more money. That's the main reason for the lower rating. The series is pretty good and worth watching. Season 2 apparently never actually made it to video, probably because no one bought season 1 at the prices charged.
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on May 26, 2013
I love this show because it shows how even superheroes make mistake and own up to them. Even they aren't perfect. I also like how this show has actual plots and characters you care about. Marvel seems to be in it for the money, but DC Comics seems to care about the relation between the viewer and the characters on the show; making sure you can connect to some of the characters in a personal way.
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on April 4, 2013
Another great cartoon series gone too soon because of the fecklessness of Warner Brothers and DC.

Very well written, but a touch more child oriented than it's more recent cousin YOUNG JUSTICE. Simple stories told very well. Top notch animation and voice acting.

The only drawback is that the second season is missing from the inventory.
Warner needs to get off their asses and put out the complete series.
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