Supergirl: Legion of Super Heroes

LSH

Hey, didn’t our costumes used to have colors?

After a few weeks off for the winter break, Supergirl returns, and she’s not alone. Now, the Girl of Steel is allied with a version of one of DC Comics’ biggest and most powerful teams, which also gives us the episode title: “The Legion of Super Heroes.” Mind you, this isn’t one of the Legion’s bigger mission teams… maybe.

Kara suddenly wakes up in what appears to be her loft, and before she can figure out what’s going on, she hears a knock at the door. In walks Brainiac 5 from the Legion, who manages to confuse her by bringing her up to speed on her being in a coma. He also says he’s half-computer, which is a definite departure from the comic version. As an aside, Brainy and Supergirl are one of the long-standing Legion romances, so it may be significant both that he was sent to help her, as opposed to the telepathic Saturn Girl, and also that he said he’d thought about their first meeting many times. As she tries to fight her way out of the loft, which is her subconscious, we also see her in one of the healing tubes on the Legion’s ship. It’s theorized that Reign might be injured as well, and all they can come up with is a variation on “Let’s hope so.”

At home, Ruby and her mom have a Nerf war game, and all seems well. That is, until Samantha sees a headline about the rogue Kryptonian still being at large, and glares. Next, she’s at the Fortress of Sand-itude. The strange guiding spirit or whatever it is there tells her she’s doing well, but pushes her to do more. This takes the form of Reign smashing through a stolen van to beat on the robber.

James and Lena, now working together much better at CatCo, are worried about Supergirl, who has been missing for two days since her fight with Reign. Lena also starts worrying about Kara, somehow not making the connection, but kind of freaking James out. Lena’s fretting about James and Kara’s past relationship ends when Reign smashes in through a window, tossing the car thief to the floor, and demanding her message be broadcast. Essentially, it’s doing nothing is bad, and justice is more important than mercy. Fanatical thinking at its finest.

The DEO watch Reign’s address and try to figure out what to do next. Winn mentions they have a whole Legion of Super Heroes on hand, but Mon-El says they can’t help. They are on a critically important mission, and they can’t endanger it. Brainiac 5 interrupts him before he can give out any more detail. When the others press the Legionnaires for answers about what happens, the future heroes tell the agents that in the future there’s a major disaster that helps bring Earth together, but loses almost all of its records in the process. Short answer, they don’t know. J’Onn suggests Sundown, an anti-Superman plan, and as they debate about that, Alex leaves to pay a visit.

She goes to Albatross Bay Prison to see Coville, the man who has obsessively dug up so much information about Krypton. He’s sporting a black eye from his preaching to the inmates. Alex keeps asking him for help, and he keeps refusing, with new and different excuses and rationales as his allegiance seems to have shifted away from our heroine.

James and Lena have an awkward scene where she is convinced he’s trying to end things with her when all he’s trying to do is cover for Kara’s secret identity. She finally goes off to bring Kara soup, and James makes a desperate phone call. As this goes on, Kara struggles to wake up. The tube seems to tell her she’s fine, but she can’t leave the fake loft, much to her annoyance and Brainy’s confusion. Kara struggles with the door, denies being afraid, and unleashes a fair amount of power against it, to no avail.

Out in the real world, Alex is worried about her sister, and Mon-El is cheerily confident Brainy will figure it out. They finally reveal what their mission is, and mention another Legionnaire, Ayla, who has variously been Light Lass or Lightning Lass as her powers changed over time. In the Legionnaires’ defense, it is a really important mission.

As Alex comes up with a plan to trap Reign, Lena goes to visit “Kara.” As has happened before, J’Onn uses his powers to assume her form, and is far from happy about it, as well as talking really strangely. He used to be better at this. It’s pretty much the comic relief scene of the episode, and points to Melissa Benoist for managing to make it seem like she was utterly uncomfortable in her own body.

The plan is staging a bank robbery and then ambushing Reign. It’s not a bad idea, and the DEO brings to bear an impressive amount of different kinds of weaponry. In my professional hero-geek opinion, it should have worked. But Reign manages to escape after breaking Alex’s leg and being chased off by J’Onn finally remembering he has combat powers.

As the DEO licks their collective wounds, Imra reminds Mon they’re supposed to be heroes. They stand up for people who need them, and they’re needed now. As this debate goes on, Kara is cleaning her “loft” despite Brainy pointing out it’s not real. She goes on about things that made her feel human, and we get a cameo from what, in the comics, is Streaky the Super Cat. No, really.

Reign is off for Albatross Bay, and the heroes decide she needs to be stopped. The Legion agree to help, much to Brainiac’s initial surprise. They do a big scene of getting their Flight Rings off some storage pedestal, which is a bit odd as in the comics they just always wear them. While the heroes gear up, Reign smashes through the prison, going after guards and prisoners alike. She runs across Coville, who asks to serve her. So much for being such a big Supergirl fan.
The Legion makes a great entrance, with music blaring that’s been a running joke for a bit. The Legion joins the battle, which was cool to see. Brainy is flying their ship, which is huge, and we get to see the Legion symbol behind him. A bit weird is Saturn Girl suddenly displaying powers she’s never had in the comics, either telekinesis or magnetism, I’m not sure which. Magnetism is Cosmic Boy’s power, and he, with Saturn Girl, is a Legion founder in the comics.

As the battle rages, Kara gets a few clues and finally figures out how to get out. She goes to join the others just as Reign finishes stomping on the three Legionnaires and J’Onn, who seems to be badly de-powered here. With Supergirl’s help, the team manages to drive Reign off.

The team celebrates their win, with various thank yous all around. Saturn Girl is honored to have fought beside Supergirl, and Mon missed being at her side in a fight. Supergirl also gets to chat with Brainy in the real world instead of in her head.

Lena and James patch things up and kiss, vowing to continue their relationship. Kara signs Alex’s cast, and they have a good sisterly talk. And Reign gets a pep talk from her advisor, and a new ally. The advisor also delivers some news that is good for Reign and bad for everyone else. This is going to be a hard second half of the season.

What I liked: It was great seeing the Legion in action. I’m glad they’re finally doing something. I’m really curious to know if there are more of them tucked away in those tubes. It was also good seeing J’Onn finally do something that a human couldn’t have. Why they have him benched for the most part this season I’m not sure. Brainy was entertaining.

What I didn’t: I’m never happy with random changes from the source material, and Saturn Girl’s new powers seemed utterly unnecessary. I’d think a joint mental assault from J’Onn and Imra would have been better than her throwing weights around. Did anyone think that was going to work? Coville’s sudden shift was out of nowhere, and I don’t like the sound of Reign’s advisor’s news at the end there. It’s weird that Supergirl and Superman are allowed their traditional, colorful costumes, but everyone else (J’Onn, Guardian, Mon-El, Saturn Girl, Brainiac 5) get stuck in tones of black and grey.

It was a decent episode. They certainly came back better than Flash, but that’s another review. I’ll give this one a solid 3 out of 5.

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