Monday, December 7, 2015

Legion of Super Heroes S01 E03: Legacy

"Legacy" was written by Scott Sonneborn and directed by Tim Maltby, original airdate: October 7. 2006.

Mission Monitor Board: Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Brainiac 5, Phantom Girl, young Superman

Opponents: Alexis Luthor, Wodehouse, the Scavengers

I suppose I should have guessed from the red hair, purple and green outfit, and battle suit, that Alexis was a descendant of Lex Luthor, but if I'm being honest, my head was in a whole different direction. Although, in hindsight, was anyone else freaked out by how much Alexis looked like a female Jimmy Olsen? Young Superman will be in therapy for years if he remembers this one.

 When Alexis showed up I was thinking she was the descendant of someone completely different. I was thinking of Laurel Kent from "Future Shock for Superboy," the second story in Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #217. In that tale of tragedy and romance, Superboy falls in love, only to find that Legion applicant 'Elna' is not only his descendant, but also a dead ringer for the woman he marries someday. Talk about tricky time travel. It's a good thing there's a post-hypnotic suggestion that makes Superboy forget details of his own future when he goes home.

But that's not where this episode was going. Alexis, sort of a spoiled brat 31st century Paris Hilton, is courting young Superman for friendship and possibly more, but she's competing for his time with the Legion. His absence has prevented the team from capturing the Scavengers, sort of zombie-Borg who scavenge tech and are as nameless as the hordes of Hydra. So Alexis tries to eliminate the competition by luring Superman away, and arming the Scavengers for an assault on the Legion. Hmmm... how very Luthorian...

We get to see Saturn Girl not only kick ass as a physical fighter but also see her project images of herself. Phantom Girl similarly displays new powers. As opposed to simply passing through objects and people a la Kitty Pryde, she is shown molecularly disrupting opponents like the Vision. We also get more hints that Brainiac 5 may be all machine as he loses and rebuilds/regenerates an arm in this episode.

One thing bothers me. We are not told implicitly that Alexis is a descendant of Lex Luthor, but come on, it should be pretty darn clear. You mean to tell me that no one, no one on the team, especially time paradox careful Brainiac 5, figured it out? When Superboy met Laurel Kent, they got him away from her immediately. Why wouldn't they save him from Lex Luthor's bad seed? Wow, and Alexis thought she didn't have any friends…

I have a few Science Police Notes for this episode. Alexis and her robot companion Wodehouse were played by voiceover superstars Tara Strong and John DiMaggio, their appearances in this series. Also Alexis steals a motorcycle early in the episode from someone who looks suspiciously like Lobo. There's also a namedrop of the planet Rimbor, that wretched hive of scum and villainy that gave birth to Ultra Boy. And was that the Justice League Watchtower that young Superman hit that baseball off of?

Also, Brainiac 5 makes mention of Boston, intimating that it was now part of New Metropolis. In the present day DC Comics, Metropolis is in Delaware, across the river from New Jersey's Gotham City. Perhaps in the 31st century, New Metropolis is much bigger, maybe taking up the entire Eastern Seaboard? It would not be the first time this was suggested. As a matter of fact, the first time I saw it was in the imaginary story in Superman #300, clearly Boston was part of Metropolis in that story.

Another mention from the mouth of Brainiac 5 is that of the Great Crisis, obviously referencing the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Over and above other effects (some of them catastrophic to the Legion continuity), one thing the Crisis is responsible for is a hazy area in time from which the future cannot see the past clearly. In other words, some events of our present day are unclear in the Legion's time, history is fuzzy. Brainy brings it up when spying on Clark at the Superman Museum, noting he won't find much to really damage him there. How wrong he was…

Next: Phantoms!

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