Michael Scott

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Apr 4, 2017
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Legion of Superheroes: The Complete Series

Movie: :4stars:
Video: :4stars:
Audio: :4stars:
Extras: :2stars:
Final Score: :3.5stars:


The 90s was the golden age of DC animated TV shows (Batman The Animated Series, Superman The Animated Series) and the very early 2000’s sort of finished up that golden age with shows like Batman Beyond, Justice League Unlimited, and Teen Titans. While those shows were kind of the last of the “greats”, the mid 2005-2008 period showcased some solid performers that continued on the legacy, included the much desired Legion of Superheroes that is only now getting physical releases. Warner Brothers released the first season in 2008 and 2009 over several volumes, but then shelved it till now. Luckily they decided now was the time and is not only releasing the entire second season of those (the final season) on DVD, but ALSO releasing the entire series on Blu-ray high definition! Something fans have been lamenting about for YEARS.

Legion of Superheroes was meant to pick up right after Justice League Unlimited, but with a few visual and storytelling tweaks. For those NOT in the know, the Legion is a justice league esque super hero group set in the 31st century. We caught a glimpse of them in the live action Supergirl show when Mon-El comes back, and another glimpse in the animated film Justice League vs. the Fatal Five, but they have been largely relegated to the comic book world until 2006. The show revolves around the main legion members, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Brainiac 5, Phantom Girl, Triplit girl and Bouncing boy as they have a big, BIG problem. The fatal 5 are back and they want blood. With some of the other members out on patrol elsewhere in the universe they attempt to go back in time to grab Superman (voiced by Yuri Lowenthal) and bring him back to help out.

However, their time machine brings them to smallville a few years before Clark becomes the man of steel. Right now he’s a young adult on the cusp of becoming a man, and the kid is barely discovering the true extent of his fledgling powers. Shooting forward in time, Clark agrees to help out the Legion and hone is super powers and turn him into the hero that the world needs. Along the way he’s going to have to deal with a whole host of advanced super villains, as well as some magic and even diplomacy in a world that he barely understands.

The short lived animated series, while not up to the legends that came before it, is still quite an engaging show. It’s tone is changed from the darker and grittier DC shows from the 90s and very VERY early 2000s, and instead goes for something more akin to Teen Titans Go!, albeit just a BIT more serious. The animation style also takes a drastic change, veering away from the Bruce Timm era and adapting to a more “modern” style of artwork. The show itself is good, but never really great, but instead works as complimentary work to the others in the same world. It’s fun, exciting, and ultimately geared towards a slightly younger audience (even though it has a really nifty 1970s spy sort of theme song and stylistic costume choices for the older ones).

The series was intended to get a 3rd 13 episode series and jump ahead a few more years, but the show was sadly cut short when the WB Kids morning cartoon lineup was sold to 4Kids TV in later 2008. The powers that be decided to do their own thing, and left Legion of Heroes to die a quick, if unsatisfying, death. This is a sad thing to a comic nerd as the show was really coming into it’s own at the second half of the show. Each season was supposed to jump forward in time several years, with the second season going 2 years forward, and changing the kiddy tone, for something much more dark and serious. The proposed 3rd season was going to have that 3 year jump, as I mentioned, and mature the characters and storyline even more, but the unceremonious axe to the back of the show’s head left that in the dust.


Not Rated by the MPAA

Video: :4stars:
Warner Archive did a fantastic job with the release, even though it’s not the most eye catching. The series showcases a rather flat animation style, ala Teen Titans, but the Blu-ray release is given ample room to breathe. I was honestly expecting Warner Archive to put both season on 2 discs, but they put 8 episodes per disc across 3 BD-50,s giving the show TONS of breathing room. I noticed a few instances of banding and some jagged lines around characters, but those are very fleeting and the jaggies are most likely baked into the master as I noticed the same thing from the streaming re-runs I was able to track down and compare against.

The image is razor sharp, and even though it’s flat, the colors and the animation lines are superb. Colors pop off the screen at every turn, and the nuances and details of the simple animation style are there to see with no signs of any major artifacting. Said simple animation style limits HOW much detail can be shown, but that’s no fault of the encode, but rather based upon the limited budget and artistic choices of the time. Overall it’s a very impressive encode, ESPECIALLY when compared against the 12 year old DVDs of Season One that I had tucked away in my movie shelf.

Audio: :4stars:
Legion of Superheros was a Saturday morning cartoon and it shows with it’s 2.0 stereo roots. The series 2.0 DTS-HD MA lossless track replicates that simple sonic nature, and does it well. The action is all up front for us and even shows some decent panning effects with the swooshing of Superman and the rest of the league. It’s not a massive powerhouse, but that’s totally to be expected from a 2006-2008 TV show that was never really intended to be that cinematic. Everything is handled well with zero major complaints on the encode, with crisp vocals, strong sense of front heavy immersion, and no audio artifacts to my ears.

Extras: :2stars:
• Audio Commentary featuring producer James Tucker, director Brandon Vietti, and voice actor Kari Wahlgren
• We are Legion Featurette

Final Score: :3.5stars:

For some reason Warner never really had much respect for the home release, carving up the first season into three 4 episode volumes, and then ditching the second season altogether. I’m not sure whether it was due to poor sales, or a change in management, but the 2nd season being ditched made it pretty clear to fans that the show wasn’t a high priority. Luckily Warner’s MOD (Manufactured on Demand) Archive program grabbed the show and is releasing said missing 2nd season on DVD, but the real jewel is this Blu-ray release. We get all 579 minutes of both seasons in one nice set, and beautifully rendered for High Definition as well. We may never get that 3rd season (more like WILL never), but at least we get one of the last really good DC animated shows from the old WB Kids Saturday Morning Cartoon block days. The Blu-ray looks rather good for an older animated show, and the inclusion of the lossless audio track is much appreciated. Sadly extras are rather meager, but the show itself is worth getting with or without a ton of special features.

Technical Specifications:

Starring: Andy Milder, Kari Wahlgren, Adam Wylie, Yuri Lowenthal, Shawn Harrison, Michael Cornacchia
Creator: James Tucker
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH
Studio: Warner Archive
Rated: NR
Runtime: 579 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: July 14th, 2020

Recommendation: Fun Watch

Last edited:


AV Addict
Jul 13, 2017
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Thanks for the review. Will check it out.
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