|Legion of Super Heroes|
|Based on||Superman by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster
Legion of Super-Heroes by Otto Binder & Al Plastino
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||26 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Warner Bros. Animation
|Original network||The CW (Kids' WB)|
|Original release||September 23, 2006– April 5, 2008|
Legion of Super Heroes is an American animated television series produced by Warner Bros. Animation that debuted on September 23, 2006, and is based on characters owned by DC Comics. The series centers on a young Superman's adventures in the 31st century, fighting alongside a group of futuristic superheroes known as the Legion of Super-Heroes. The show was produced by its main designer James Tucker, a co-producer of the Justice League Unlimited series, for the Kids' WB line on The CW network.
The series drew on the rich history of the Legion of Super-Heroes, taking inspiration from stories set during all time periods of the team's nearly 50-year history in comics. Continuity is internally consistent but is not shared with any previous incarnation of the Legion, either animated or in print. The series was cancelled after its second season.
Early reports had suggested the title of the series would be Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes, but the official announcement on April 24, 2006, confirmed the title as Legion of Super Heroes. The same announcement indicated that the series would air on the Kids' WB block of the new The CW network at 10 a.m.
At the 2006 Comic Con International, the production staff did not officially say whether current legal issues involving the ownership of Superboy had affected this series or whether changes were made to tie the series in with the Superman Returns movie, but one significant change had been made since the announcement of the series. The original press release referred to "the young Superboy", while the revised press release, published in June 2006, described the character as a young Superman. At the conclusion of the pilot episode, Clark adopts the superhero name of Superman, and not Superboy. In the second season, which takes place two years after the end of the first season, the character is called Superman, without reference to his "young" status.
The second season has a much darker and more mature tone than the first season and mostly focuses on Brainiac 5 and his relationship with his evil ancestor, the original Brainiac. In the second season, most of the Legionnaires have changed their appearances, e.g., Lightning Lad has longer hair and gets a robotic arm. Their appearances change based on the two years without Superman after he left in the episode "Sundown Pt.2", which is the finale of the first season. Triplicate Girl changes her codename to Duo Damsel because one of her bodies (the White Body) is lost in a temporal anomaly during one of their 41st Century's battles. The series logo was also slightly revised. As with the first season, a total of 13 episodes were created for the second season, which premiered on September 22, 2007. The show was not renewed for a third season.
A third season had been planned for production but was dropped because the Kids' WB! slot was taken over by 4Kids. The third season was intended to take place three years after the end of the second season in which an older Superman would return. Sensor, Wildfire, Magnetic Kid, Supergirl, Tellus, Princess Projectra and Shadow Lass were to be introduced, while background characters Blok and Dawnstar would have active roles. Kell-El was intended to be a regular character but with a reduced role. The main focus of the third season would have been Brainiac 5's return, while trying to redeem himself after the second season's finale and the evil Brainiac 6 trying to destroy the Legion. Also, producer James Tucker planned make an episode adaptation the story "The Ghost of Ferro Lad" to introduce Ferro Lad's long lost twin brother, whio would have become Kell-El's replacement in the Legion. The final episode of season two linked the two seasons together.
||Parts of this article (those related to UK broadcasts) need to be updated. (February 2013)|
The first season of the series began airing on Cartoon Network UK on March 5, 2007. The 13 episodes were shown weekdays through March 21, and the two-part season finale aired in the UK about five weeks before it was shown in the US. It also used to air on CITV 'Action Stations' and re-airs on Cartoon Network Too.
In the first season, the series revolved around a core group of eight Legionnaires but others appeared from time to time in recurring roles, similar in format to the Justice League Unlimited animated series.
The first season introduces a teenaged Clark Kent who is about to move from Smallville to Metropolis. He knows of his abilities but does not know what to do with his future (similar in nature to the Clark Kent featured in the Smallville television series). After travelling to the future, young Clark assumes the identity of Superman and gradually learns to control his abilities, becoming the hero he is destined to be. At the end of the first season, he returns to the present around the same time he left in the first episode.
In the second season, Superman returns to the future after spending two years in the past and gaining more experience with his powers. A second Superman, called "Superman X", also appears in the second season. This Superman, later given the name Kell-El, is from the 41st century and was created from Superman's DNA and Kryptonite as a living weapon with different abilities. His main foe in the 41st century is Imperiex, who travels through time to the 31st century, forcing Superman X to follow him into the past and recruit the Legion to help him.
Series producer James Tucker offered descriptions of the core team in a July 2006 interview at Comic Con International in San Diego. As with other DC team shows such as Justice League Unlimited, not every core character appears in all episodes. The following descriptions apply to the characters as seen in the first season.
XS appears in the final two episodes "Dark Victory" parts 1 and 2 as a background character. Dawnstar and Invisible Kid also appeared in these final two episodes along with many other rarely seen Legion members; however, none of the new members shown in these episodes did anything to the plot of the story itself.
In the first season, some Legionnaires were mentioned or shown as images before making an actual appearance. Fourteen members were shown during the season as already active: Blok, Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Dream Girl, Element Lad, Lightning Lad, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, Triplicate Girl, and Tyroc. Five more joined the Legion through the course of the series: Superman, Timber Wolf, Matter-Eater Lad, Star Boy, and Ferro Lad.
The opening credits sequences used for first-season episodes included a glimpse of the Mission Monitor Board signs for many Legionnaires as well as shots of flying Legionnaires who would be seen in later episodes (though not all of those with Mission Monitor Board symbols appeared). At least four members of the Legion as seen in the comics appeared in some way on the show but had not joined by the end of the first season (Ultra Boy, Lightning Lass, Wildfire, and Polar Boy).
In the second season, Karate Kid appeared in the opening credits with the other Legionnaires, though he did not appear until the fifth episode (in which Nemesis Kid also became a new member). Similar to Karate Kid, Sun Boy appeared in the second season opening titles and made semi-regular appearances but did not have a speaking line or have someone else refer to him by name. Ayla Ranzz, sister of Lightning Lad, finally made an appearance, but as a child without apparent super powers and not as the Light Lass of the comic books.
|Bouncing Boy||Michael Cornacchia|
|Brainiac 5||Adam Wylie|
|Chameleon Boy||Alexander Polinsky|
|Colossal Boy||Adam Wylie|
|Cosmic Boy||Wil Wheaton|
|Dream Girl||Tara Platt|
|Ferro Lad||Dave Wittenberg|
|Lightning Lad||Andy Milder|
|Karate Kid||Keith Ferguson|
|Matter-Eater Lad||Alexander Polinsky|
|Nemesis Kid||Keith Ferguson|
|Phantom Girl||Heather Hogan|
|Saturn Girl||Kari Wahlgren|
|Shrinking Violet||Kari Wahlgren|
|Star Boy||Bumper Robinson|
|Superman (21st century)||Yuri Lowenthal|
|Superman X (Kell-El) (41st century Superman clone)||Yuri Lowenthal|
|Timber Wolf||Shawn Harrison|
|Triplicate Girl/Duo Damsel||Kari Wahlgren|
|Ultra Boy||James Arnold Taylor|
Shadow Lass and Sensor were mentioned to appear in the third season, but were not actually in any of the two prior seasons.
|Emerald Empress||Jennifer Hale (Season 1)
Tara Strong (Season 2)
|Dr. Mar Londo||Harry J. Lennix (Season 1)
Dorian Harewood (Season 2)
|Alexis Luthor||Tara Strong|
|Legion of Super-Villains (originally the Light Speed Vanguard)|
|Lightning Lord (leader)||James Arnold Taylor|
|Mordru||Richard McGonagle (Season 1, credited as "Evil Wizard")
Jim Ward (Season 2)
|Computo (shown as the Legion's computer rather than a villain)||Adam Wylie|
|Grimbor the Chainsman||Lex Lang|
|Roderick Doyle||Wil Wheaton|
|Winema Wazzo, President of the United Planets, mother of Phantom Girl||April Winchell|
|Legion of Substitute Heroes|
|Chlorophyll Kid||Alexander Polinsky|
|Color Kid||James Arnold Taylor|
|Infectious Lass||Kari Wahlgren|
|Porcupine Pete||James Arnold Taylor|
|Stone Boy||Yuri Lowenthal|
|Ayla Ranzz, sister of Garth and Mekt Ranzz||Kari Wahlgren|
|Calamity King||Alexander Polinsky|
|R. J. Brande||Lex Lang|
This list is ordered by production number, which in some cases is different from the air date order. Production number 1.04 ("Fear Factory") and 1.06 ("Phantoms") were aired out of order, as were episodes 1.07 ("Child's Play"), 1.09 ("Brain Drain"), and 1.10 ("The Substitutes").
|Episode number||Title||Air date|
|1.01||"Man of Tomorrow"||September 23, 2006|
|1.02||"Timber Wolf"||September 30, 2006|
|1.03||"Legacy"||October 7, 2006|
|1.04||"Phantoms"||November 4, 2006|
|1.05||"Champions"||November 11, 2006|
|1.06||"Fear Factory"||November 18, 2006|
|1.07||"Child's Play"||February 24, 2007|
|1.08||"Lightning Storm"||February 10, 2007|
|1.09||"Brain Drain"||February 3, 2007|
|1.10||"The Substitutes"||February 17, 2007|
|1.11||"Chain of Command"||March 3, 2007|
|1.12||"Sundown", Pt. 1||April 28, 2007|
|1.13||"Sundown", Pt. 2||May 5, 2007|
|2.01||"The Man from the Edge of Tomorrow", Pt. 1||September 22, 2007|
|2.02||"The Man from the Edge of Tomorrow", Pt. 2||September 29, 2007|
|2.03||"Cry Wolf"||October 6, 2007|
|2.04||"Chained Lightning"||October 13, 2007|
|2.05||"The Karate Kid"||October 27, 2007|
|2.06||"Who Am I?"||November 3, 2007|
|2.07||"Unnatural Alliances"||November 17, 2007|
|2.08||"Message in a Bottle"||December 1, 2007|
|2.09||"In The Beginning"||March 8, 2008|
|2.10||"Trials"||March 15, 2008|
|2.11||"In Your Dreams"||March 22, 2008|
|2.12||"Dark Victory", Pt. 1||March 29, 2008|
|2.13||"Dark Victory", Pt. 2||April 5, 2008|
The first season was released on home video in three separate volumes, with four episodes on the first two releases and five on the third. Episodes are also available for online streaming. As of July 2016, the second season has not yet been released for home video. Season 2 was released on iTunes in HD and SD download format September 22, 2015.
|DVD Name||Release Date||Ep #||Episodes|
|Volume One||August 28, 2007||4||"Man of Tomorrow", "Timber Wolf", "Legacy", "Phantoms"|
|Volume Two||February 5, 2008||4||"Champions", "Fear Factory", "Brain Drain", "Lightning Storm"|
|Volume Three||September 9, 2008||5||"The Substitutes", "Child's Play", "Chain of Command", "Sundown: Part One", "Sundown: Part Two"|
A comic book based on the show's continuity was published under the title Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century. According to the comic's writer, J. Torres, the name was chosen to distinguish itself from more specifically youth-oriented titles such as Justice League Adventures and Superman Adventures. The first issue was distributed during Free Comic Book Day 2007 in addition to being sold.
An interview concerning the Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century comic confirmed that the comic was to continue publication despite the series ending, and that the comic would also be telling stories that were to have taken place after the second season finale. As of issue #20, the comic ceased publication.
While the comic incorporates the cast of the show, other characters from DC Comics have made an appearance.
A tie-in promotion with McDonald's Happy Meal took place in August 2007. The Legion show was represented by eight figures (Superman, Timber Wolf, Lightning Lad, Mano, Tharok, Brainiac 5, Bouncing Boy, and Validus). As Happy Meal toys often have a "girl toy" and "boy toy", this set was aimed at the boys.