Legion of Super Heroes: Animated Series: Episode 11 “Chain of Command”

The Revolution is looking forward to this episode more than any episode before. Why? Because Cosmic Boy finally makes his grand appearance in this episode! It is about time. And with Cosmic Boy we also get the first appearance of Ferro Lad. This should be a fantastic episode. Let’s go ahead and blogcast this episode.

Episode Title: Episode 11: “Chain of Command”

Synopsis: We begin with Colossal Boy, Superman, Brainiac 5, Triplicate Girl, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl and Bouncing Boy in the Legion cruiser racing on their way to save Lightning Lad home planet of Winath. And cue Legion theme song. Then cut to commercial.

We cut back with the Legionnaires en route to Winath. Lightning Lad gives the Legionnaires a brief history about Winath. Winath is the breadbasket for the universe. Winath has always been a target for violent storms. Therefore, a station was built to protect the planet from the electrical storms and convert the storms into energy. The Legionnaires first priority is to make sure the station is all right.

The Legionnaires finally arrive at Winath. Bouncing Boy and Triplicate Girl stay in the cruiser while the rest of the Legionnaires use a pod to land on Winath. The Legionnaires land on Winath. They enter the station. Suddenly, Cosmic Boy enters the scene!! He says “Say hello to your long lost leader.” Saturn Girl runs and gives him a hug. The rest of the Legionnaires are happy to see Cosmic Boy. Except for Lightning Lad who reacts jealously to Cosmic Boy’s appearance.

Cosmic Boy then introduces the Legionnaires to the newest member of the Legion: Ferro Lad. Ferro Lad says “hit” to everyone and then shows off his powers. Lighting Lad then interrupts and says they have a job to do. Lightning Lad begins to give orders when Cosmic Boy interrupts him and takes control of the scene. Cosmic Boy orders Brainiac 5 and Saturn Girl to come with him to stabilize the core of the station and orders Superman, Lightning Lad, Colossal Boy and Ferro Lad to stabilize the building. Everyone races off leaving Lightning Lad alone and dejected.

We see Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy working frantically to stabilize the core. We cut to the other Legionnaires trying to stabilize the building. Lighting Lad asks who Cosmic Boy thinks he is bringing in a new Legionnaire without having him go through an audition first.

We shift back to Cosmic Boy telling Brainiac 5 that he can’t contain the energy from the core much longer. The core explodes and Cosmic Boy and Brainiac fall to the ground. Brainiac 5 tries to communicate to Superman, but the energy is blocking the signal from his Legion ring. Saturn Girl telepathically contacts Superman and tells him that he needs to get the core as far away from here as possible.

Superman flies in and grabs the core. Superman flies into space and throws it far away where it harmlessly explodes. Bouncing Boy pilots the Legion cruise in an attempt to catch an unconscious Superman. Triplicate Girl places her hand on Chuck’s hand and tells him that he can do it. Bouncing Boy catches Superman with the Legion Cruiser. Triplicate Girl celebrates and gives Bouncing Boy a big hug. Triplicate Girl then goes and pulls Superman inside of the Legion cruiser.

We cut back to the power station where Brainiac 5 says that without the core there is nothing to control the violent weather. Cosmic Boy says they have to get the power station back online. Lighting Lad says that they can’t rebuild the station and that they must save as much of the planet as possible.

Lightning Lad asks who is with him. Colossal Boy and Ferro Lad say they will help. Brainiac 5 says he is staying at the power station to try and repair it. Saturn Girl then says that she is staying with Cosmic Boy in order to provide communication from the power station.

We cut to Lightning Lad, Colossal Boy and Ferro Lad performing damage control. Ferro Lad says that Lightning Lad doesn’t like him that much. Lightning Lad comments that it is hard to trust someone when you can’t see their face. Ferro Lad retorts that he is doing Lighting Lad a favor. That no one wants to see his face.

We shift to Triplicate Girl tending to Superman. Bouncing Boy notices that there is a pattern to the storm. That they can predict the next weather storm. Bouncing Boy radios Lightning Lad to tell him this information. Lightning Lad snaps that he has it under control and that he is from this planet and knows the situation. That Bouncing Boy should just mind the Legion Cruiser and take care of Superman.

Superman then flies from the Legion Cruiser and heads back to the planet’s surface. We cut to Cosmic Boy and Brainiac 5 rebuilding the core of the power station. Saturn Girl asks if she can help. Cosmic Boy responds for her to step back because he doesn’t want her to get hurt. Saturn Girl has a hurt look on her face.

We shift to Colossal Boy, Ferro Lad and Lightning Lad fighting a hopeless battle trying to save Lightning Lad’s family home from the storm. Superman appears on the scene to help. Superman tells Lightning Lad that there is nothing more they can do here. That they have to go. Lightning Lad flies into the house and looks at a picture of his parents, Ayla, Mekt and himself. Lighting Lad takes the picture and flies out of the house. The house then collapses into the ground.
We see Lightning Lad dejected and telling Superman that he did everything he could, but he couldn’t save his home. Saturn Girl then contacts them and tells them that Brainiac 5 has just repaired the core to the power station.

We cut to the power station. Cosmic Boy tells Brainiac 5 that he did a good job. Saturn Girl then heads to the shelter to calm the locals. Cosmic Boy tells her to stay. That she is too vulnerable and could get hurt. Saturn Girl snaps that she is not a child and that while Cosmic Boy has been away she has handled much worse than this.

We shift to Bouncing Boy reviewing his research and telling Triplicate Girl that the storms aren’t over. That he has predicted that another storm is going to hit before the power station is going to come back online. And that this storm is going to cause a mudslide that will create a huge sink hole under the shelters.

Bouncing Boy contacts Cosmic Boy and tells him that another storm is going to hit now and is going to hit the shelters. Lighting Lad says that he and Superman can start the evacuation. Bouncing Boy says they don’t have the time. Bouncing Boy gets unusually forceful and says that he is the only one that has the big picture of things and that they need to do exactly what he says so listen up. Triplicate Girl smiles at her dupes with pride about her man showing some spine.

Cosmic Boy tells Bounding Boy to tell them his plan. Bouncing Boy orders Colossal Boy to head to the damn. Ferro Lad and Lightning Lad go to the forest. Superman needs to go to the fields.

Bouncing Boy tells Colossal Boy to punch a hole in the damn. We cut to the shelters. Saturn Girl uses her powers to calm the locals. Bouncing Boy orders Lightning Lad to begin a forest fire. The intense heat will control the flow of the water. Bouncing Boy tells Superman to create a tornado to make a ditch for the water to flow into. The storm has been averted and the shelters are saved.

We shift to Cosmic Boy and Brainiac 5 getting the core online at the power station. The storms then clear up and disappear. Triplicate Girl breaks into her three dupes and they all give Bouncing Boy a big hug. (Lucky guy.)

The U.P. forces then arrive on Winath. We see Lightning Lad with a picture of his family arrive at the shelter.

We cut to the Legionnaires on their Legion Cruiser. Brainiac 5 says that he improved the power core and it should be able to handle any storm that comes their way. Cosmic Boy says it is a good thing they got the core back online.

Lighting Lad then snaps that Cosmic Boy always has to be right. Cosmic Boy asks Lightning Lad what is bothering him. Lighting Lad asks Cosmic Boy how he can leave the team for months and still be in charge. Cosmic Boy says he didn’t leave the team. That he is trying to bring the team legitimacy. That many people still don’t trust them. Lighting Lad says that maybe Cosmic Boy should be team diplomat instead of team leader.

Cosmic Boy says if that is how Lightning Lad feels then they should put it to a vote. A vote of the Legionnaires is taken and the new leader is announced. It is Bouncing Boy!! Triplicate Girl gives Bouncing Boy a kiss on the cheek.

Cosmic Boy then congratulates Bouncing Boy and shakes his hand. Bouncing Boy is still stunned that he is the new Legion leader. Lighting Lad then says Bouncing Boy’s term in office will be a breeze since all their enemies are locked up in prison.

We then see a mysterious ship suddenly appear in space. Inside is a man hooked into a massive computer system. End of episode.

The Good: “Chain of Command” was another excellent episode. And I’m not just saying that because I finally got to see my man, Cosmic Boy appear on this animated series. Sure, that definitely was a plus to this episode, but what made this episode fantastic was the attention paid to Bouncing Boy. Ol’ Chuck has been played off as a total goof so far in this series. It was cool to see Bouncing Boy show a totally different side to his personality.

Seeing Chuck take command and bark at his teammates was surprising. I dig that Bouncing Boy finally stood up for himself rather than constantly letting his teammates dismiss his ideas. And it is great to see the technically least powerful Legionnaire be the one who saved the day. It just goes to show that without a smart mind, all the impressive powers in the world are totally useless.

I love that the animators set up the big conflict between Lightning Lad and Cosmic Boy for the role of the alpha dog of the Legion. The viewer figured that by the end of the episode, Lightning Lad would make his move to displace Cosmic Boy as Legion leader. But, the animators threw in a great swerve by having Bouncing Boy winning the election to be the next Legion leader.

I totally dig the idea of Bouncing Boy as the leader of the Legion. Just because Chuck provides for plenty of comedy relief doesn’t mean that his character can’t handle the job as Legion Leader. It should definitely be interesting to see all the Legionnaires who used to dismiss Bouncing Boy as nothing more than a goof having to dutifully follow his orders.

The episode was also neat because we got to see another important Legion ritual for the first time. Two episodes ago, we finally got to see the time honored tradition of the Legion auditions. Now we finally got to see the equally time honored tradition of the Legion leader election.

It was cool seeing the various members casting their votes. Plus, it enabled us to get a couple of quick cameos from Block, Dream Girl, Tyroc, Shrinking Violet and Element Lad.

Cosmic Boy kicked ass. It was great to see Cosmic Boy finally make an appearance on this cartoon. I dig the costume design that the animators came up for Cosmic Boy. Poor Cos has had some less than fantastic costumes in the past. I’m glad that the animators bucked the trend of questionable costumes and gave us a nice design.

Cosmic Boy’s character was spot on. He was confident, calm and a natural leader. I also liked that the animators made him overprotective of Saturn Girl. Cosmic Boy certainly comes off as slightly older than the rest of the Legionnaires.

Once again, the animators did a great job with Lightning Lad’s character. We got more insight into Lightning Lad’s personality. Normally, we only see the brash, cocky and hot headed side of Garth’s personality. In this episode we get a peek at Garth’s softer side as he desperately tries to save his home. I dig that the animators keep fleshing out Lightning Lad’s character making him nicely well rounded.

It was nice to see Colossal Boy get some quality screen time for an entire episode. Gim doesn’t have much of a personality, but he definitely provides for plenty of good action.

I was glad to see that the animators chose to bring Ferro Lad into this animated series. Ferro Lad has always had a great design so the animators didn’t have to do much to this character’s look. I have always liked Ferro Lad despite the fact that he was a Legionnaire for an extremely short time. He first appeared in Adventure Comics #346. And he got killed destroying a Sun-Eater with a bomb in Adventure Comics #353.

Now, we have a Sun-Eater appearing in the next episode. That just doesn’t bode well for Ferro Lad. Is there a chance that the animated series version of Ferro Lad is going to have an equally short tenure with the Legion as the comic book version? Possibly. It is unusual for a Saturday morning cartoon to kill off characters.

We also got a nice hook ending. Just as Lightning Lad comments how easy Bouncing Boy’s term as Legion leader is going to be since all their enemies are locked up, we then see a mysterious ship appear out of nowhere. I know that the next two episodes deal with the threat of a Sun-Eater. Could this ship being piloted by a man hooked up to the massive computer system be the animated version of a Sun-Eater? I guess we shall find out soon enough.

The Bad: Just one complaint. It is absolutely ridiculous that Cosmic Boy is not a core character for this animated series. Cosmic Boy is one of the three founding members of the Legion and was the first leader of the Legion. To not have Cosmic Boy as a re-occurring character on this cartoon is absurd.

Certain characters have to exist in any incarnation of specific super teams. You can’t do the X-Men without the holy trinity of Professor X, Cyclops and Jean Grey. You can’t do the JLA without the holy trinity of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. You can’t do the JSA without the holy trinity of Alan Scott, Jay Garrick and Wildcat. You can’t do the Avengers without the holy trinity of Iron Man, Captain America and Thor. And you just can’t do the Legion of Super Heroes without the holy trinity of Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl.

Overall: “Chain of Command” was another excellent episode. The creative team has done a fabulous job on the Legion of Super Heroes Animated Series. This cartoon is vastly exceeded my initial expectations. I love that the animators took the time to research the Legion’s history and take the essence of the Legion and give us a wonderful modern version for the kids of today.