Monday, March 28, 2016

Lego Justice League: Cosmic Clash

The Lego DC Comics Super Heroes series of adventures have been a lot of fun, and for folks like me who grew up in the not-so-grim-and-gritty Silver and Bronze Ages of comics, they are much preferable to the darker and edgier animated DC movies out there. All that and we get semi-serious super-heroics mixed with fanboy inside jokes, good stories, and even the Bizarros and the Legion of Doom. And in this particular feature, we even get the Legion of Super-Heroes. Does it get any better than that?

Now despite what I have said in the past about Lego videogames, I really love the Lego animations. And I'm not the only one, as the popularity of The Lego Movie alone has shown. Add in DC Comics superheroes, especially the Legion, and I'm sold. I bought Lego DC Comics Super Heroes Justice League: Cosmic Clash the morning it came out, sight unseen. It even came with a free Cosmic Boy Lego figure. Hello, fanboy heaven, now where can I get the rest of the Legion???

In this adventure, obsessive collector of planets Brainiac wants to add Earth to his shrunken planet collection. The New 52 Justice League tries to stop him. Brainiac's skull ship is even menacing in Lego, and I love when Cyborg burns a mustache on it. Brainiac's plan is to lose Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern in time so the Justice League can't beat him.

So Batman and the Flash build a Cosmic Treadmill onto the Batmobile (out of Legos of course) to retrieve the lost Justice Leaguers, while Cyborg raises an auxiliary team to fight Brainiac. The trip to find Wonder Woman in vaguely prehistoric times pits a caveman costumed Batman against the Neanderthal Vandal Savage, and an amnesiac Amazon warrior princess.

In the present, Cyborg recruits Supergirl, obviously to cash in on the hit TV series. The problem is her characterization, a combination of naïveté, enthusiasm, and every cheerleader stereotype from "The Brady Bunch." It's sad. Everyone else in these things is semi-serious if amusing. This Supergirl was just plain annoying.

Next stop for Batman, in another nod to Grant Morrison's The Return of Bruce Wayne, is the high seas of the 19th century to find Green Lantern. Batman, I mean Batbeard crossed swords with a charming surprise for this fanboy, Captain Fear. I was loving this, a classic and obscure character like that rendered in Lego was just awesome. I would have loved him as a free figure too!

Batman is next stranded in the 22nd century where Cyborg Superman, or rather Brainiac-Superman is lying in wait for him. It's the future so Brainiac knew he was coming and prepared. Batman has guardian angels however - Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, and Saturn Girl - quote, unquote, what's left of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Two fun notes: Saturn Girl is voiced by Kari Wahlgren, as she was in the "Legion of Super Heroes" animated series, and Yuri Lowenthal, who played Young Superman in that show, is Cosmic Boy here.

This is a nice twist, although it's a fishy timeline. That said, in early Legion stories they were from the next century until editorial put their foot down and made it clear they were from a thousand years in the future, not a hundred. Their appearance seems to be rebootish and sadly they're given very little to do while Batman battles Brainiac-Superman with a giant Bat-mech.

There's other weirdness along the way, like the Power Ranger jets and the giant Transformer robot the Justice League uses at the end, and Brainiac-Superman's song in the future Batcave, but all in all, it was quite enjoyable. I just wish there was more Legion in it. But one step at a time, perhaps we'll get a Lego Legion feature next.

Mega-Leaguer, indeed...

1 comment:

  1. Fun cartoon. Nice to see the Retroboot versions of Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy portrayed. I hope that's the version that continues in the DC universe. Too bad they didn't play a bigger role. But alas, perhaps this is intro of the Lego Legion for future movies.

    The best thing is that the Legion is still being spotlighted, with the Retroboot Legion as the norm. Hope this is just the beginning of the Legion's revival.