Legion of Super Heroes: The Complete Series Blu-ray Review: Back to the Future

Based on the comic of the same name, Legion of Super Heroes ran for two seasons (26 episodes) from 2006 to 2008 on the CW. Aside from Superman, the Legionnaires, a team of young adults from the future, aren’t well known outside of fans of the comic books. Those new to the characters will be introduced to an intriguing group of individuals.

The series opens with “Man of Tomorrow” which finds 31st century heroes Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, and Saturn Girl traveling back to 21st century Smallville to obtain Superman’s aid in fighting the villainous Fatal Five. While they find Clark Kent, he’s a young man just learning about his powers not the legendary hero they know. Instead of jumping a few years into the future, they talk this Clark into joining them in New Metropolis with the promise that they will return him to the point in time he leaves so no one will miss him. Oddly, there’s no mention of concern about tampering with the timeline as Clark learns about his destiny.

The first season as a tone of a kids’ show with many stories that are lighthearted, like the new group of heroes trying to show their worth in “The Substitutes” but show has serious moments, such as at end of season when a hero makes a sacrifice for the greater good in “Sundown, Part 2.”

Time has passed when Season Two begins, demonstrated in the look of some characters’ hair getting longer and Superman’s body filling out. Echoing the first season, “The Man from the Edge of Tomorrow, Part 1” opens with a Superman from the 41st Century needing the Legion’s help to fight against Imperiex, the main villain of the season. Unfortunately, Imperiex travels back to the 31st and causes mayhem and destruction, which leads to the return of 21st Superman.

The passage of time also has affected the stories. They are more serious and seem better suited for an audience of young adults as characters deal with matters like loss and identity. “Message in a Bottle” deals with the city of Kandor, which was shrunk by Brainiac 5’s ancestor. In this episode, we finally hear some concern about Superman’s knowledge of the future messing with the timeline, but it seems rather late to be worried about it now. There’s a great twist in the two-part series finale “Dark Victory” when the Legion has to save the universe from an unexpected villain.

The video is presented in a 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC encoded transfer displayed at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The image delivers vibrant hues. Blacks are inky and whites are bright, contributing to a strong contrast. The characters are outlined with very thin black lines. Effects to soften objects in foreground and background are use to create a sense of depth. Banding appears on occasion but isn’t enough to hamper the image. The audio is available in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. Dialogue is always clear and is mixed along with the music and effects to create a balanced track. No noticeable defects from age or wear were heard.

The Blu-ray comes with two Special Features on Disc 3. “We Are Legion” (SD, 9 min) is a featurette about the origin of the series. There are commentary tracks for the final two episodes, “Dark Victory” – Parts 1 & 2 with Warner Archive’s Daniel Ferranti and Matthew Patterson speaking with producer James Tucker, director Brandon Vietti, and actress Kari Wahlgren (voice of Saturn Girl). It’s more of a discussion of the series more so than episode specific, but fans should enjoy their stories.

Legion of Super Heroes: The Complete Series is an entertaining superhero show that is so good you’ll wish the creators had gotten got another season. Maybe if fans start tweeting #RestoreTheLegionVerse? It is refreshing to see a show focusing on a different group of characters from the DC Comics bullpen instead of the familiar faces from the Justice League. Speaking of which, the writers do a great job presenting different versions of Superman than what is typically presented, so those character feel fresh too. The Blu-ray delivers pleasing high-definition video and adequate audio.

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Gordon S. Miller

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of this site. "I'm making this up as I go" - Indiana Jones

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