Supergirl Review: “Legion of Superheroes”

Almost dead from her battle with Reign, Supergirl must gather her strength to defeat the Kryptonian madwoman.


Supergirl

Supergirl – “Legion of Superheroes”, Season 3, Episode 10
Airdate: January 15, 2018
Writers: Derek Simon and Eric Carrasco
Production Company: Berlanti Productions / Warner Bros. Television


What You Should Know:

The newly awakened Kryptonian villain Reign battled Supergirl, leaving her unconscious and near death.

Meanwhile, Supergirl’s time-displaced ex-boyfriend Mon-El has reappeared in a spaceship from the future, filled with cryogenically frozen beings, one being his now super-powered wife.


What You’ll Find Out (Spoilers):

Kara (aka Supergirl) wakes up in her bed to the sound of a knock at the door. When she opens it she finds a strange looking man with blue skin and white hair who introduces himself as Brainiac 5 (or Brainy), a being from the 31st century who is 1/2 computer and 1/2 organic life form.

Brainiac5

He explains that he is a friend of Mon-El’s and that he was awakened from his cryogenic sleep so that he could interface with Supergirl to make sure her neural pathways are clear and intact after her battle with Reign. He explains to her that she has been in a coma for the past 2 days and has not yet awoken. When Kara points out the fact that she’s in her apartment, Brainiac 5 explains to her that the apartment is just a representation of a place she finds comforting. He tells her that in order for her to wake up, she must walk out of the front door. Kara tries repeatedly, but the door is now locked. Despite her many superhuman attempts to get through the door, it won’t budge. Reporting back to the others in the real world, Brainiac 5 tells them that Supergirl is now subconsciously awake and very angry.

Still unaware of her dark persona, Samantha Arias plays with her daughter Ruby before sending her off with a friend. Once Ruby leaves, Sam sees a newspaper article with a photo of her alter ego Reign. It triggers something in her mind, causing her to fly to the dark fortress of solitude in the desert. The A.I. system within tells Reign that she must cleanse the world of sinners and those that harbor them. Immediately after, Reign kills a carjacker, dropping the body off at CatCo. Enterprises. She then makes the reporters there film her telling the world that she will now make it a goal to kill bad people and those that do nothing to stop them, thereby announcing war on both criminals and the justice system combined.

At the DEO, Mon-El explains to J’onn, Alex, and Winn that he and the other Legion members on the ship can’t get involved with current day battles without jeopardizing the future. Hidden within their DNA is a code his team needs to deliver to the future in order to stop a catastrophic event from taking place. If they were to die, the future will die as well. He wishes that they could provide more information to the DEO team on how to defeat Reign, but that in 2455 A.D. there is a 3rd-degree extinction phenomenon on Earth that not only destroys most of the humans on the surface but all of the data/history on Earth as well. All he knows is that Supergirl will eventually make it out okay and that Reign will somehow leave. Not happy with such little information, J’onn suggests that they use the anti-Superman weapons on Reign. Alex agrees but says that she needs to talk to someone before they go ahead with the attack. That person turns out to be the Kryptonian religious zealot Thomas Coville. Alex visits him in prison, but he is of no help. He tells Alex that Supergirl has been defeated by Reign, and now Reign must cleanse the world as foretold.

After Reign kills everyone at a meth lab, including the police officers present, J’onn stages a false bank robbery. When Reign appears, they use a combination of sonic weapons, red sun grenades, and Kryptonite. The attack greatly weakens Reign, but she is still able to escape but not before breaking Alex Danvers’ leg. J’onn and Alex surmise that the only way to finally stop Reign is to inject her with liquid Kryptonite.

Brainiac 5 continues to visit Kara’s subconscious, trying to aid her in waking up. He surmises that the person who is not letting Kara walk through the door is Kara herself. Kara looks around the room and finds a photo of her younger self-holding a black cat.

Streaky

Kara explains that the cat is named Streaky and that she found him shortly after landing on Earth. She felt a bond with Streaky because he, like her, was a stray looking for a home. Kara then sees that Streaky is now sitting on a chair. She goes to him and holds him. She explains to Brainiac 5 that she was afraid to hold Streaky at first because she hadn’t yet learned to control her powers. She was afraid that she could accidentally crush Streaky, so she had to teach herself control. This helps Kara understand her predicament better. After Brainiac 5 tells her that he heard Kara’s sister Alex say that her favorite person is Kara, Kara embraces her alter ego persona better and is able to open the door to the real world.

Not yet knowing that Supergirl is awake, Mon-El realizes that he and his team are the only ones who are strong enough to hold Reign down long enough to inject her.

LegionRings

When Reign attacks the city prison and begins killing the inmates, Mon-El and his team of Legion members fight back against her. Using their special rings, they are able to fly. They use a combination of meta-human abilities and their ship’s missile defenses to attack Reign. Kara soon joins the fight and manages to inject the liquid Kryptonite into Reign’s neck. Weakened, Reign flies off to her dark fortress. The A.I. system asks her what happened. Reign replies that Supergirl had allies helping her. The A.I. system then tells her that there are others like her that can help her too. From out of the shadows walks out Thomas Coville, telling them both that he will help them find them all.

During all of this, Lena Luthor is unsure of her previous kiss with James Olsen. She asks him if his stand-offishness since the kiss is because of his reluctance to date a Luthor or that he possibly still has feelings for Kara. James tells her no and kisses her again.


What Does This Mean for the Future?

It looks as if there is going to be a large scale meta-human battle, similar to the recent Crisis on Earth-X crossover. Also, sparks are flying for Lena and James.


Rating: 8/10


Final Thought: This episode has a lot of really great, and not so great moments. First, let’s look at the great.

How fun was it to see the Legion of Superheroes use their flight rings? To see the rings go active and lift their wearers off of the ground was pretty awesome. For the non-comic book reading audience, the Legion is a HUGE team of many varied super beings in the future. They all come from different planets and have a variety of abilities. Each of them, though, have a Legion flight ring that allows them to fly, stay in contact with each other, and track each other’s locations. I’m glad to see that the rings made it over to their Supergirl series renditions of the heroes.

Another cool part of the episode was seeing Streaky appear. In the comic books, Streaky was an orange cat that Supergirl adopted. During one of her adventures, Streaky was hit by an energy beam that temporarily gave Streaky all of Supergirl’s powers. Hence, he became Streaky the Super Cat. Although the cat’s coloring was off in the episode, having Streaky appear at all was a big geek-out moment for me. I’ve loved that cat since I was a kid. A great big thanks to whoever it was at Warner Bros. that made it happen!

SupergirlBrainiac5

It was also interesting seeing Brainiac 5 and Supergirl interact as well. In the comic books, Supergirl (and Superboy) goes into the future and joins the Legion of Superheroes. While there, Supergirl forms a relationship with Brainiac 5. The depiction of Brainiac 5 being so nervous to meet Kara and form a good first impression with her was pretty cute to watch. I have no idea if the writers are going to play with this cannon or not, but as a comic book reader, my mind went many places with the possibility.

I also like where the storyline is taking Lena and James. They both are looking for more in their lives than just being a Luthor or just being a friend of Superman and Supergirl’s. They seem like a nice match.

MonEl

Now for the bad. I have to say, I’m really not loving the costumes being used for the Legion members. While the series production team went all out to give Supergirl a very true to form costume similar to what she actually wears in the comics, the same can not be said for the rest of the on-screen heroes. It was in this episode that we were finally able to see the official Legion of Superhero uniforms. Instead of Mon-El wearing a red bodysuit, Saturn Girl wearing a pink and white one and Brainiac 5 a purple one, (all similar to their comic book counterparts) they are instead wearing across the board black leather. Flashbacks to the first X-Men movie come to mind when they first appear in costume. Honestly, Mon-El could be a stand-in for that movie’s Iceman character. The Supergirl world is very fantasy driven and over the top. Why the production team would suddenly decide to tone down the look of the Legion costumes is beyond me. As is, these new costumes are very forgettable and boring. Color and personality would’ve looked much more vibrant on screen.

Brainiac 5 also looked very poor in contrast to what he normally appears in the comics. The comic book version looks very young, has green skin and blonde hair. The Brainiac 5 in the Supergirl series looks older, has blue blotchy skin and white hair. If I had to compare him to another existing character, I’d say he looks a lot like The Doc from the Back to the Future movie series, but with blue skin. The only reason I can come up with for the blue skin is that the series previously had a Brainiac character shown, (played by actress Laura Vandervoort) and she had blue skin and red hair. She looked very similar to the X-Men Mystique character. As Brainiac 5 is supposed to be a descendant of the modern day evil Brainiac, the blue skin makes sense in this regard. I do, however, give credit to the writers for at least giving him a mildly interesting personality on the show.

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Another confusing moment I had was with Saturn Girl and her powers. In the comic books, Saturn Girl is a very powerful telepath. In this episode though, they switched out her telepathy for telekinesis. While telekinesis is a more physical power to display on an action based television series, removing the trademark telepathic aspect of Saturn Girl just seems so wrong. Also, if this Saturn Girl will eventually be shown to have both mental abilities, (which could still happen) why was it that Brainiac 5 was sent into Supergirl’s subconscious and not Saturn Girl via her telepathy? Like I said, confusing.

Mon-El also at times looked like a homeless person in this episode. His facial scruff was very unkempt and in need of a trim. I know, this is a very superficial thing to mention, but there’s a reason. This is very unlike the Mon-El we’ve seen on the series, who is usually always very quaffed and pretty to look at. (One of the aspects his many fans have come to note on message boards all over the internet.) In the past, the worst he’d look was him having a dirt smudge on his face from being in a prior fight. So, yes, superficial, but still something fans have noticed.


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