Legion of Super Heroes Animated Series: Episode 7: Brain Drain

I can’t believe it. We actually are in store for a new episode of the Legion of Super Heroes: Animated Series! It has been forever since we got a new episode. In fact, it was November 19, 2006 when we last got a new episode. The WB trotted out six episodes and then gave us re-runs for two and a half months.

Anyway, this new episode appears to center around Brainiac 5. It should be interesting. All right, it is time to blogcast this episode.

Episode Title: Episode 7: Brain Drain

Synopsis: We being with the Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Timber Wolf and Superman worried about Brainiac 5. That Brainy has been in his room for weeks and hasn’t talked to anyone. Brainiac 5 then exits his room, tears off a piece of machinery from the wall and enters his room and shuts the door again.

Superman asks if Brainy is all right. Brainiac 5 says he is ok and to leave him alone. Superman orders Computo to override the door lock. The Legionnaires enter and ask Brainiac 5 what in the world is he building. Brainy answers that it is a containment chamber. They ask him who it is for. Brainy responds that it is for himself.

And cue snappy theme song. And run commercial. And we are back. The Legionnaires ask Brainy what is going on. Brainy explains that every third solar cycle every Coluan undergo the Alignment where their intelligence is uploaded and shared with every other Coluan. Normally, this is a harmless occurrence. However, since Brainy has separated himself from the Coluan hive mind, known as the Collective.

Without this balance, Brainy will have no control of himself. He will be unpredictable, aggressive and maybe even incoherent. Brainy says this is his first Alignment without the Collective and what may happen may be embarrassing. That is why Brainy kept this hidden from the other Legionnaires.

A light starts to flash and Brainy says that it is beginning. Brainy asks the Legionnaires to keep him locked in the containment unit. No matter what he says they should not let him out. He could be a danger to himself or to them.

Brainiac 5 enters the containment and begins the process of the Alignment. Brainy begins to act completely odd and freakish. The ten hour period passes and Brainy is still acting like a freak. Brainy yells for the Legionnaires to let him out. That something has gone wrong. The containment chamber begins to spark and overheat. Computo announces that there are micro fissures in the power relay and that the containment chamber’s power is overloading.

The Legionnaires then break Brainiac 5 out of the chamber. Brainy says that this wasn’t supposed to happen. Brainy then continues to act like a madman. Superman uses a steel bar to wrap up Brainy to keep him from doing anything. Saturn Girl says that Brainy’s neural pathways are degrading and that if they don’t stop it soon his system will go offline permanently.

Computo says that exposure to high doses of Zoonium radiation will correct Brainy’s problem. That this can only be found on Planet Zoon. (Yeah, I decided to go with the orignal spelling of Brin Londo’s home planet as it was in Adventure Comics #327 as an homage to the original Timber Wolf.) It is the planet where Timber Wolf grew up. It is an inhospitable planet. Superman says that Timber Wolf should lead the mission. Brainy keeps raving about red ants and that Superman shouldn’t play with red ants.

We cut to the Legionnaires arriving at a transporter station. They request a transport to Planet Zoon. The Legionnaires then fire up the transporter to Zoon and step through it. Timber Wolf jokes that the last time he walked through it he lost his tail. The Legionnaires don’t laugh.

Timber Wolf goes through the gate first. Then Superman. Then Brainiac 5. Then the gate malfunctions and Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl are unable to follow. We cut to Zoon and see that only Brainiac 5’s head made it through the transporter. Superman then tells Timber Wolf that he has lost his powers. And cue commercials.

Superman says that he doesn’t know what happened. Brainy says that too much red isn’t good for Superman.

We cut to Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad talking to the guy who runs the transporter station. Saturn Girl tells the manager that Brainiac 5 lost his body. The manager says that Brainy’s body has been found at Gate 35.

We shift back to Zoon. Brainy tells Superman that green rocks killed the last sun. Then he says there are red, blue gold and purple. Suddenly, miners approach Timber Wolf and Superman. The miner’s helmets are cracked. Timber Wolf says that the air is toxic and causes mutations. The mutated miners then grab Brainy’s head. Superman and Timber Wolf brawl with the miners and get Brainy’s head back. The Legionnaires then run for it while the miners chase them. Superman carries Brainy’s head to the mine’s lift while Timber Wolf holds off the mutant miners.

We cut to a crystal planet called Divus III where Brainy’s body was transported. A tour robot greets Brainy’s body. The tour robot tells Brainy’s body that the crystal towers are one of the universe’s greatest wonders and are extremely fragile. Brainy’s body is running around like a chicken with its head cut off and smacking into the crystal pillars. Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl appear through the teleportation gate and attempt to get Brainy’s body.

We shift back to planet Zoon. Superman goes up the mine’s lift with Brainy’s head. Timber Wolf can’t get there in time to get in the lift with them. So, Timber Wolf jumps on top of the lift and brawls with the mutant miners as the lift goes deeper into the mine.

We hop back to Divus III. Lightning Lad blasts Brainy’s body to stop it from running around. Unfortunately, the lightning blast causes Brain’s body to transform into super Gundam battle mode. Brainy’s body takes down Lightning Lad. Saturn Girl then uses tries to reason with Brainy’s body to get him to stop. The body ignores Saturn Girl and runs off. Lightning Lad then tells Saturn Girl he has a plan.

We cut back to Zoon. Timber Wolf fends off the mutant miners and tears open the roof of the lift and hops inside. Timber Wolf says without Superman’s powers, they will need an active mine to get to the Zoonium. Timber Wolf says there is only one active mine, the Core.

They walk into the Core. They then hide from a robot spider machine. Timber Wolf explains that it is a mining robot and those spider robots are the only things that can survive down here. And they are irritable robots. Suddenly, Timber Wolf and Superman are surrounded by a horde of these spider mining robots. And cue commercial.

And we are back. Timber Wolf grabs Brainy’s head and fights his way through the spider robots. Unfortunately, Timber Wolf loses Brainy’s head which bounces down the mine. Superman gets separated from Timber Wolf and ends up in a room and sees something in the shadows that makes him smile.

We see Timber Wolf brawling with the horde of Spider Robots. Suddenly, Superman appears wearing a huge armored attack suit and he takes out the Spider Robots and rescues Timber Wolf.

They find Brainy and see that Brainy’s head has grown an insect body like the spider mining robots. Timber Wolf tells Superman that Brainy is reaching critical and they have to hurry.

We cut back to Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl tracking down Brainy’s body. Saturn Girl creates an illusion of the tour robot and Brainy’s body chases it into a crystal wall. Brainy then disappears. The illusion disappears and the wall is actually the teleporter gateway. Saturn Girl is happy that the plan worked. Lighting Lad retorts that of course it worked. After all, it was his idea.

We cut back to Superman and Timber Wolf fight off the spider mining robots while trying to grab Brainy to throw him into the gave where the Zoonium radiation is located. Superman picks up Brainy and then both fall deep into the shaft. Superman’s suit begins to fail. Brainy runs out of energy and can’t walk. Superman picks up Brainy and takes him over to the Zoonium and holds Brainy next to it to allow him to soak up the radiation.

Superman passes out. When Superman wakes up he sees that Brainiac 5 has recovered. Timber Wolf has finished defeating all of the spider mining robots. Superman look terrible. The three Legionnaires then teleport off of Zoon and back to the Teleportation Station. Lighting Lad and Saturn Girl greet them. Brainy announces that he is all right and back to full capacity.

We shift to the Legion HQ where Brainy thanks Superman for all that he did. Superman then asks why his powers did work on Zoon. Brainiac 5 answers because Superman’s powers come from a yellow sun. Superman retorts that if Brainy knew this then shouldn’t Brainy tell him about things like this. Brainiac 5 responds that he shouldn’t have told Superman. That there are some things that Superman has to find out on his own in his own century. Brainy says it is hard, but that is the way it has to be. Brainy walks off and Superman wonders what else Brainy hasn’t told him.

Commentary: This was a pretty good episode; however, it was my least favorite of all the episodes up to this point. I can’t say that the roster for this episode was that great. Personally, I don’t dig the “furball” design for Timber Wolf. I hated it when they did this in the comic book. It makes Timber Wolf more of a cheesy knock of The Wolf Man. Plus, I find this Timber Wolf to be a pretty boring character. His personality is so bland and not particularly engaging. I greatly prefer the current comic book version of Timber Wolf to the animated version of Timber Wolf.

I would much rather have had Phantom Girl and Bouncing Boy in this episode rather than Timber Wolf. Bouncing Boy is by far the funniest character and always steals any scene he is in. Phantom Girl is a much more engaging character than Timber Wolf. I love Phantom Girl’s personality. Her unapologetically spoiled rich girl attitude combined with the heart of a hero who knows how to get the job done makes her entertaining.

We do get treated to plenty of action with Timber Wolf and Superman having to brawl their way to the Zoonium deep inside of the mine. The scenes involving Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad trying to corral Brainy’s body was funny. The writers of this show have made a nice effort making sure there is enough comedy in this cartoon to keep it fun and upbeat.

For me, Brainiac 5 stole the show. He was absolutely hilarious! The line of the show is when Brainiac 5 looks at Timber Wolf and says “Oooh, I like his pants!” It was great seeing the normally reserved and always in control Brainiac 5 just totally loosing it and acting like a total freak.

The best part of this episode were all the little clues that Brainiac 5 kept making with reference to Superman’s weaknesses. Brainy mentions how Superman shouldn’t play with red ants. This was a cool teaser to how the red sun of Zoon would rob Superman of his powers.

Also, while on Zoon, Brainy makes reference to green rocks that killed the last sun. Then Brainy says there are red, blue, gold and purple. It appears that Brainy is referencing all the various forms of Kryptonite that all have a unique effect on Superman. It is nice to see the writers hinting at all the different versions of Kryptonite that hopefully will make appearance in later episodes.

Plus, Brainy’s cryptic references make the ending of this episode all that much better. Brainy is correct in that Superman has to learn some things on his own in his own century. That would include the effect of a red sun on Superman. It would also include Brainy knowing about all the different types of Kryptonite and how they effect Superman.

I like how the writers are handling the relationship between Superman and the descendant of one of Superman’s greatest enemies in Brainiac 5. Brainy has the benefit of knowing all about Superman’s future battles with Brainiac and it certainly puts our green hero in an uncomfortable position. I like that the writers have made Superman so close to Brainy while still giving the viewer the uneasy feeling that Brainy isn’t being totally truthful with Superman.

I also dig Computo. The best part of Computo being a part of this cartoon is that you know at some point we are going to get treated to an episode involving Computo turning evil. That will rock.

We get teased with a preview of the next episode that involved the Lightspeed Vanguard. Sweet! The Lightspeed Vanguard appears to be the animated version of the Legion of Super Villains. I immediately recognized Tyr. STX-Superhero has some screen shots and reports that the characters in Lightspeed Vanguard will be old Legion of Super Villain members: Lightning Lord, Tyr, Esper Lass, Hunter, Ron-Karr, and Wave, who was known as Spider Girl in the comic book. This definitely looks like a fantastic episode!

1 thought on “Legion of Super Heroes Animated Series: Episode 7: Brain Drain

  1. Even the closed-captioning said “last sun”, but that has to be a reference to the “Last Son” of Krypton. “Green rocks killed the Last Son” makes more sense.

    Also, Timber Wolf was on the team because they were going to his home planet of Zuun (not “Zoom”.)

    And TiVo-ing the end credits reveals that Ronn-Karr is actually a shapeshifter, not just a flat guy. Colossal Boy and Triplicate Girl also showed up in the closing credits.

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