Episode Title: Episode 10: “Child’s Play”
Synopsis: We begin with Superman still stunned by the advance technology of the 31st century. Suddenly, strange things start to happen. It literally begins raining cats and dogs. We then see an impish character that seems to be a version of Mr. Mxyzptlk. And cue snappy theme song.
Superman and Brainiac 5 fly over to the impish kid who is the source of all the anomalies that are occurring. We see the imp give a train wings and it flies into the air. Superman disables the wings and lands the train safely. The imp is impressed by Superman’s powers and asks what type of magic is the source of his power.
Brainy says that magic doesn’t exist. Superman then introduces himself to the imp and asks him his name. The imp says his name is Zyx. Superman then tells Brainy that they need to bring Zyx back to Legion HQ to figure out who he is and where he is from.
We cut to the Legion HQ. Zyx is stirring up trouble. Saturn Girl chases after Zyx in order to run a mind probe to figure out where he comes from. Zyx says there is nothing fun about where he comes from. It is nothing but rules.
Brainiac 5 and Phantom Girl are trying to locate where Zyx is from. Phantom Girl says that her mother told her about a Sorcerer’s world called Zerox. Phantom Girl calls her mom and asks her about the Sorcerer’s world. Her mom tells Phantom Girl that Zerox is a backward planet that broke off from the U.P. centuries ago. That unless the imp leaves, then they may be stuck with him.
We shift to Lightning Lad telling Phantom Girl, Bouncing Boy and Saturn Girl that Drax’s two creatures from a few episodes ago escaped from their cages at the New Metropolis Zoo. Zyx offers to help, but Lightning Lad tells him to stay out of the way.
We cut to the Legionnaires attempting to capture the two creatures. Brainiac 5 runs diagnostics on the creature’s containment habitat and says that the shields are intact. That there is no way they could have escaped. Lighting Lad then realizes that Zyx freed the creatures. Lightning Lad orders Zyx to put the creatures back in their habitat.
Zyx puts on his version of a Superman outfit and helps round up the creatures and put them back in their habitat. Lightning Lad says that if Zyx isn’t going to follow the rules then he has to be sent back home. Zyx yells that he will never go back. Zyx then turns Lightning Lad into a rat. Zyx yells that he hates rules. Zyx then turns into a cat and dives after Lightning Lad. And cue commercial.
We cut back and see Zyx swallowing Lightning Lad. Lightning Lad blasts his way out of Zyx’s mouth. Zyx transforms back into his regular form. Zyx then blasts Bouncing Boy into a pile of goo that lands all over Phantom Girl. Brainiac 5 says that Zyx is creating too many anomalies and it must end. Superman tells Zyx that this isn’t how a super hero acts. Zyx responds that he doesn’t want to be a hero. That it is more fun to be a super villain.
Zyx then starts beating up Superman. Phantom Girl then realizes that Superman is vulnerable to magic. Phantom Girl decides that she is going to go ahead and go to Zerox to try and end this. Saturn Girl then creates a diversion to allow Phantom Girl to escape to the Legion cruiser.
Saturn Girl distracts Zyx long enough for Phantom Girl and Triplicate Girl to escape in the Legion cruiser. Zyx blasts at the ship before it jumps into hyperspace. Phantom Girl is glad that Zyx missed hitting them. Suddenly, Triplicate starts replicating bodies and tells Phantom Girl that maybe Zyx didn’t miss.
We shift back to Zyx having the Legionnaires getting beaten up by his magic. Zyx gets tired of the Legionnaires and decides to fly around Metropolis and cause more trouble.
We cut back to the Legion cruiser where Triplicate Girl has replicated hundreds of bodies. Phantom Girl calls her mother. Phantom Girl’s mother tells her that she has been to Zerox before. That their ways are arcane and humiliating. Phantom Girl says that she must try. Her mother responds that diplomacy won’t work with these people.
Suddenly, a police officer from the planet Zerox appears in the Legion cruiser and sites Phantom Girl for unauthorized use of a replicating spell outside the magic barrier. The officer tells Phantom Girl must appear in from of the Sorcerer’s counsel. The officer then de-cloaks the planet Zerox and tells Phantom Girl to land on the planet.
We cut back to a giant sized Zyx rampaging through Metropolis. We see the magical spells cast on the Legionnaires finally wearing off. The Legionnaires, except for Lightning Lad, all return to normal. Brainiac 5 notes that Zyx’s magic must have some type of finite limitation.
Bouncing Boy comments that if one sorcerer can cause this much damage then how dangerous is an entire planet of them. The Legionnaires are worried for Phantom Girl’s safety.
We shift back to Phantom Girl on the Sorcerer’s planet. Phantom Girl is asking the clerk for the Sorcerer’s council for help stopping Zyx. That it is an international crisis. The sorcerer then sends her to customs. There Phantom Girl has to box a giant white rabbit. We see Phantom Girl all bandaged up from the fight getting her request approved.
Phantom Girl is then sent back to the long line that she was in before to meet with the Clerk for the Sorcerer’s council. Phantom Girl is frustrated and comments that she understands why Zyx would want to leave. A sorcerer then approaches Phantom Girl and says that without these rules, how else could their powers be controlled. The sorcerer noted that Phantom Girl is determined and he tells her that the Sorcerer’s Council will hear her now.
We cut back to Metropolis where Zyx is brawling with Superman. Zyx takes away all of Superman’s powers. The giant sized Zyx then threaten to squash Superman like a bug. And cue commercials.
We see Saturn Girl swoops in and rescue Superman. Saturn Girl begs Zyx to stop. Brainiac 5 then tells Zyx that he concedes. That magic does indeed exist. Bouncing Boy then tells Zyx that it isn’t much of a victory if he beats the Legionnaires when they have been stripped of their powers. Zyx says he can beat them even if they have their powers. Zyx then takes Superman to a nearby stadium and gives him back his powers. Zyx says this fight is one between magic and super powers. Zyx and Superman begin brawling.
We shift back to Phantom Girl in front of the Sorcerers’ Council. The Council says they have come to a verdict concerning Phantom Girl’s request. The Council has agreed to send an emissary to come and retrieve Zyx. However, according to their By-Laws, Phantom Girl’s uninvited presence on their planet constitutes a hostile act and therefore, as of now, the Sorcerer’s world is now at war with the U.P. The Council orders their forces to prepare to attack the U.P.
We cut back to Zyx and Superman still brawling with each other. We see Zyx assume a fiery form identical to that of the Human Torch. We shift back to Phantom Girl begging the Council to bend their rules and not attack the U.P. They reply that they are bound by their rules.
We shift back to Zyx fighting Superman. Brainiac 5 decides to lend a helping hand by using the stadium’s sound system to try and distract Zyx. We cut back to Phantom Girl saying that Zyx has broken a ton of rules. The Council responds that he will be taken care of after the war with the U.P. is over. Therefore, Phantom Girl says as an official representative of the U.P. that the U.P. surrenders. The Council accepts Phantom Girl’s surrender and calls off the attack. The Council is not clear to stop Zyx.
We cut back to Zyx brawling with the Legionnaires. The Legionnaires push Zyx to his limit and wear him out causing him to pass out. Suddenly, the Sorcerer’s Council appears and fixes all the damage caused by Zyx including turning Lightning Lad back into himself.
We shift to the Sorcerer’s Council spokesman apologizing for Zyx’s behavior. The sorcerer addresses Phantom Girl’s mother and tells her that her daughter did such an excellent job that he thinks it is time to re-open dialogue between the U.P. and his planet. End of episode.
Commentary: “Child’s Play” was not as fantastic as the past two episodes, but it was still quite good. The only reason I didn’t like this episode as much as the past two was because it was not loaded down with cameo appearances. However, it was still enjoyable. Michael at the Legion Omnicom reports that this episode is actually an older episode that has been shown out of order. And you can tell that it fits more the episodes from the first half of the season than the episodes from the second half of the season.
I liked the line-up of Legionnaires in this episode. I like that Bouncing Boy was in this episode. He brings the comic relief like no other character. But, the best part of this line-up is Phantom Girl. And I was psyched that this episode spotlighted her. I’m going through Summer Roberts withdrawal now that the O.C. has been cancelled. So, it was great to see an episode centered on the Summer Roberts of the Legion.
Phantom Girl is an excellent character. I dig this animated version of Phantom Girl more than the one that we get over in the comic book. Tinya is all spoiled rich girl and makes no apologies for that. But, don’t think that is all there is to her. She is smart, determined and has the heart of a true hero. I dig that the animators are showing that all different types of people are capable of being excellent heroes.
Zyx was a neat villain. The animators did a good job using Mr. Mxyzptlk as the inspiration for Zyx. It was also cool that Zyx is from the Sorcerer’s planet Zerox. Once again, the animators show that they spent the time thoroughly researching the Legion’s storied history. In the comic book, Zerox is where the White Witch learned her sorcery. But, even more notorious is that one of the Legion’s greatest villains, Mordru, is from Zerox.
I thought it was pretty neat that when Superman is talking to his fellow Legionnaires about brining Zyx back to their HQ, you see Zyx in the background making different items appear out of the thin air. Among these items I recognized the Emerald Eye, Green Lantern’s lantern and Dr. Fate’s helmet. I also liked how the animators drew Zyx to look exactly like the Human Torch when he used his flame powers.
We got plenty of quality action and humor in this episode. This was a quick paced episode that kept the viewers attention from start to finish. The creative team continues to impress me with the nice character development with each Legionnaire. Every character is fully developed and has their own unique personality. The creative team also creates good chemistry between the various Legionnaires.
The Animated Legion continues to evoke the same positive and fun feel of the Adventure era Legion without being a retro cartoon. The creative team has given us a thoroughly modern Legion that retains the essence if its roots in the Adventure era.
As always, this episode teaches a lesson to the viewer. After all, it has to be remembered that this is a kids show. This episode shows that determination and self-confidence, despite when others tell you that you can’t succeed, can lead to success. We see that youthful optimism and the determination to not take “No” for an answer can win out at the end of the day.
Overall: Child’ Play was another good episode. The creative team is really impressing me with their consistently solid work on The Legion of Super Heroes Animated Series. This cartoon is one of the better Saturday morning cartoons that I have seen in a long time. Now, if we can only get some Legion toys all ready!
What is up for next week? Cosmic Boy, baby! I cannot wait. Plus, we get Colossal Boy and Ferro Lad. Next week appears to be a pretty sweet episode.