Supergirl: Legion of Super-Heroes Episode Review

In the mid-season finale, Supergirl was badly beaten by Reign, a new villain that is secretly her friend, Samantha. Reign’s purpose is to be a sleeper agent of the Kryptonian Worldkillers. The beatdown was very public, and witnessed by her friends at the DEO, including her ex-boyfriend, Mon-El who has been living in the future as a member of the Legion Super-Heroes, with his wife, Saturn Girl. Four more Legionnaires remain in stasis pods on their trapped ship. In this episode, Mon-El awakens another Legionnaire to help Supergirl while Reign continues to wage destruction on National City.

Oh, spoilers abound.

The episode opens with Brainiac 5 talking to Supergirl in her apartment, actually constructed by her mind to help the healing process.  This version of Brainy, as the Legionnaires call him, is derived from various versions of the character, including the animated version from Justice League Unlimited. The traditional role Brainiac 5 took from the 1980s Legion as he’s somewhat surprised by outcomes concerning his interactions with Supergirl. This comes from the latter interactions he had with her where his feelings for her were distracting to his computer mind. When piloting the Legion’s ship in the battle against Reign, he returns to the animated source where Brainy actively participated in the battle with his ship. Being described as part machine is derived from the animated Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes interpretation of the character, but that is about all that is drawn from that version. The character’s appearance draws from the Brainiac 5.1 version of the character from the reboot version of the Legion, circa 1998-2004. Very little is drawn from the Threeboot Legion version of the character, often written as more Machevellian in nature.

Jesse Rath does a great job, in my opinion, of making the character likable. Given the appearance that the character has been given, it’s Rath’s acting that makes him more human. Amy Jackson also gets to play Saturn Girl as the capable heroine that she is, even saving Mon-El from Reign with her telekinetic powers. Of course there will be those that will be upset that they didn’t have the character as a telepath, but having a character around that can easily divulge secrets isn’t good for a show where so much doubt about characters’ motives are in question. I question how low a level Mon-El’s powers are, especially for someone that’s gone toe-to-toe with Supergirl, even though it was established that he wasn’t as powerful as her. Still, the ice sphere that Reign captured him in should have been no problem for Mon-El, unless the massive amount of time the Legion has spent in stasis drained his solar reserves, and they were fighting Reign at night.

A high point for me came with Brainy dropping lines with Kara that reveal an awkwardness around her that could be a sign of a prospective relationship between the two. “Of all the 4,237,642 versions of our first meeting that I envisioned, you calling it “torture” wasn’t one of them,” is probably my favorite. Why Brainy has devoted that much brainpower to envisioning meeting Kara may just reveal a crush he has on her from across the centuries. An easter egg for Legion fans came in Mon-El recounting why they couldn’t go after Reign. The mission that led to them getting caught in a wormhole was rescuing the planet Winath, where their friend Ayla was from, from the Blight, which were the featured villain in the four part “Legion of the Damned” which ran in Legionnaires #79-80 and Legion of Super-Heroes #122-123. This also took the innocence away from the “Archie Legion” and set the stage for the twelve issue limited series Legion Lost. Their friend “Ayla” is a Legionnaire called Lightning Lass, Spark or Light Lass, depending on which version of the Legion you’re talking about and what time period. Coincidentally, Ayla’s twin brother Garth is often romantically paired with Saturn Girl, but with her married to Mon-El, his appearance will most likely not happen on Supergirl.

As far as the episode itself, I really enjoyed the Legion Flight Rings actually getting used for flight, and charging into battle to Bon Jovi. I also enjoyed Brainy admitting that he made his virtual self in Kara’s mind taller than he actually is, which gives another peek into Brainy’s feelings towards Kara, and making her more comfortable working with him is not the reason he made his avatar taller, and perhaps it was to make a better impression on Kara. I don’t particularly care for the uniforms, but perhaps the future will hold more colorful choices.

Overall, I liked the episode, and I would really like to see the team become popular enough to spin off into their own series, even with some of the characters altered a little for television.

Rating: 8.5 (out of 10)