Monday, March 14, 2016

Legion of Super Heroes S01 E05: Champions

"Champions" was written by Matt Wayne and directed by Lauren Montgomery, original airdate: November 11, 2006.

Mission Monitor Board: Lightning Lad, Phantom Girl, young Superman, and future Legionnaires Jo Nah (Ultra Boy) and Tenzil Kem (Matter-Eater Lad).

Opponents: Mekt Ranzz (not yet Lightning Lord), and Tharok, Mano, Persuader, Validus, and the Emerald Empress, teamed as the Fatal Five.

Live from Olympus 12, welcome to the 343rd Intergalactic Games! It's just like the Olympics, only with space aliens and other folks from Legion mythos who haven't been introduced yet. As the games begin, I can see Garth Ranzz, also known as the Legionnaire Lightning Lad; there's Tenzil Kem of Bismoll and Jo Nah of Rimbor; and isn't that Lightning Lord?? Yep, this episode is full of surprises...

A note about names. I have been rather painstaking in only using the codenames of Legionnaires in my reviews this far, because the show itself has only used the codenames. Here in "Champions," for the first time we are introduced to Lightning Lad as Garth Ranzz of Winath. It seems like a change might be in the air.

The episode revolves around the Intergalactic Games in which both Lightning Lad and his brother Mekt are competing and are apparently life long rivals. This is before Mekt takes on his Lightning Lord identity and curiously he displays no electrical powers. Here he is more pest, cheater, spoiled brat, and pawn to the Fatal Five than anything close to a super-villain. In other words, Mekt makes the usually unlikable animated Lightning Lad look good for once.

The Fatal Five's plan is to kill the President of the United Planets (Phantom Girl's mom Winema) and disrupt the Games. Their first ploy is a curious one - a dot bomb that would have blown half the planet into a black hole. My first thought was wouldn't it have taken the Fatal Five with it? The FF have never struck me as suicide bombers.

After that, their continuing attacks are handled by Superman and Phantom Girl in such a way as to not panic the attendees. The joke of Phantom Girl cheering Lightning Lad to cover up gets old very quickly. There's a lot of humor in this episode, mostly with the snail-like sports commentators, but my favorite bit was Phantom Girl's hillbilly imitation. It felt out of place in the 31st century but I still laughed out loud.

Science Police Notes this time around are focused on future Legionnaires Ultra Boy and Matter-Eater Lad who join in the fight against the Fatal Five at the end of the episode. Notably, it's a battle in which Phantom Girl does most of the heavy lifting once again. I was kinda saddened that Jo and Tenzil weren't recruited into the team here. They certainly showed they had what it takes.

Next: Fear Factory!


  1. Not just Jo and Tenzil, but this guy Zzok also, and Drake Burroughs was also in competition.

    1. I just checked out your review of the episode (nice site btw) and I'm ashamed to say my Interlac is rusty so I missed Drake, but I don't know Zzok. Who is Zzok? And thanks for reading and commenting!