Though my stalwart pal and colleague The Rev. OJ Flow already talked about this on the ‘Rama Mothership, I still think that it’s appropriate to devote the LB space this week to one of the biggest media moments in the history of the Legion: their first live-action appearance on Smallville.
The Geoff Johns-penned episode, “Legion”, did a nice job of estabilshing Legion basics for those unfamiliar with the characters. I’ll use my wife’s viewing experience as an example. She knew of the Legion, primarily because I have a ridiculous number of Legion comics. She knew that there had been an animated series, and that there was one shelf in our basement occupied with Silver Age Superman and Legion figures. Past that, she didn’t know much about the team. She could probably tell you that they came from the future, and that was about it.
From her standpoint, this episode was extremely easy to follow. Johns distilled the Legion down to essential concepts, while throwing lots of bones to long-time fans. Seriously, between the Persuader and mentions of the Levitz Museum, Brainiac 5, the Time Institute, the Subs, the Legion code, the significance of flight rings, and the call of “Long Live the Legion”, one could almost picture Johns cackling with glee as he typed each word. Becky pointed out that she saw an expositional advantage in having the Legion use their powers in quick succession; even if you didn’t know everyone, you could check off magnetism, telepathy, and electricity pretty quickly (though this was reinforced in dialogue later).
In terms of the actors, we both thought that they all did a fine job. Becky even noted that Cosmic Boy was “cute”, comic-related praise that she usually reserves for the eyes of John Cassaday. Nevertheless, I have to say that I thought this whole affair was a pretty terrific achievement for a TV budget.
What about you, gang? Do we hear calls for a spin-off?