Legion of Super Heroes (TV series)

Legion of Super Heroes
Based on Superman by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster
Legion of Super-Heroes by Otto Binder & Al Plastino
Composer(s) Michael McCuistion
Lolita Ritmanis
Kristopher Carter
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 26 (list of episodes)
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) Warner Bros. Animation
DC Entertainment
Original network The CW (Kids' WB)
Original release September 23, 2006 (2006-09-23) – April 5, 2008 (2008-04-05)

Legion of Super Heroes is an American animated television series produced by Warner Bros. Animation that debuted on September 23, 2006, and is based on characters owned by DC Comics. The series centers on a young Superman's adventures in the 31st century, fighting alongside a group of futuristic superheroes known as the Legion of Super-Heroes. The show was produced by its main designer James Tucker, a co-producer of the Justice League Unlimited series, for the Kids' WB line on The CW network.

The series drew on the rich history of the Legion of Super-Heroes, taking inspiration from stories set during all time periods of the team's nearly 50-year history in comics. Continuity is internally consistent but is not shared with any previous incarnation of the Legion, either animated or in print. The series was cancelled after its second season.[1]

Development history

Early reports had suggested the title of the series would be Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes, but the official announcement on April 24, 2006, confirmed the title as Legion of Super Heroes. The same announcement indicated that the series would air on the Kids' WB block of the new The CW network at 10 a.m.[2]

At the 2006 Comic Con International, the production staff did not officially say whether current legal issues involving the ownership of Superboy had affected this series or whether changes were made to tie the series in with the Superman Returns movie, but one significant change had been made since the announcement of the series. The original press release referred to "the young Superboy",[3] while the revised press release, published in June 2006, described the character as a young Superman. At the conclusion of the pilot episode, Clark adopts the superhero name of Superman, and not Superboy. In the second season, which takes place two years after the end of the first season, the character is called Superman, without reference to his "young" status.

Second season

The second season has a much darker and more mature tone than the first season and mostly focuses on Brainiac 5 and his relationship with his evil ancestor, the original Brainiac. In the second season, most of the Legionnaires have changed their appearances, e.g., Lightning Lad has longer hair and gets a robotic arm. Their appearances change based on the two years without Superman after he left in the episode "Sundown Pt.2", which is the finale of the first season. Triplicate Girl changes her codename to Duo Damsel because one of her bodies (the White Body) is lost in a temporal anomaly during one of their 41st Century's battles. The series logo was also slightly revised.[4] As with the first season, a total of 13 episodes were created for the second season, which premiered on September 22, 2007. The show was not renewed for a third season.[1]

Third season

A third season had been planned for production but was dropped because the Kids' WB! slot was taken over by 4Kids. The third season was intended to take place three years after the end of the second season in which an older Superman would return. Sensor, Wildfire, Magnetic Kid, Supergirl, Tellus, Princess Projectra and Shadow Lass were to be introduced, while background characters Blok and Dawnstar would have active roles. Kell-El was intended to be a regular character but with a reduced role. The main focus of the third season would have been Brainiac 5's return, while trying to redeem himself after the second season's finale and the evil Brainiac 6 trying to destroy the Legion. Also, producer James Tucker planned make an episode adaptation the story "The Ghost of Ferro Lad" to introduce Ferro Lad's long lost twin brother, whio would have become Kell-El's replacement in the Legion.[5] The final episode of season two linked the two seasons together.[6][7]

Airings outside of the US

The first season of the series began airing on Cartoon Network UK on March 5, 2007. The 13 episodes were shown weekdays through March 21, and the two-part season finale aired in the UK about five weeks before it was shown in the US. It also used to air on CITV 'Action Stations' and re-airs on Cartoon Network Too.


From left to right: Bouncing Boy, Saturn Girl, Brainiac 5, Superman, Phantom Girl, Timber Wolf, and Lightning Lad.

In the first season, the series revolved around a core group of eight Legionnaires but others appeared from time to time in recurring roles, similar in format to the Justice League Unlimited animated series.


The first season introduces a teenaged Clark Kent who is about to move from Smallville to Metropolis. He knows of his abilities but does not know what to do with his future (similar in nature to the Clark Kent featured in the Smallville television series). After travelling to the future, young Clark assumes the identity of Superman and gradually learns to control his abilities, becoming the hero he is destined to be. At the end of the first season, he returns to the present around the same time he left in the first episode.

In the second season, Superman returns to the future after spending two years in the past and gaining more experience with his powers. A second Superman, called "Superman X", also appears in the second season. This Superman, later given the name Kell-El, is from the 41st century and was created from Superman's DNA and Kryptonite as a living weapon with different abilities. His main foe in the 41st century is Imperiex, who travels through time to the 31st century, forcing Superman X to follow him into the past and recruit the Legion to help him.

Core Legionnaires

Series producer James Tucker offered descriptions of the core team in a July 2006 interview at Comic Con International in San Diego.[8] As with other DC team shows such as Justice League Unlimited, not every core character appears in all episodes. The following descriptions apply to the characters as seen in the first season.

Other Legionnaires

XS appears in the final two episodes "Dark Victory" parts 1 and 2 as a background character. Dawnstar and Invisible Kid also appeared in these final two episodes along with many other rarely seen Legion members; however, none of the new members shown in these episodes did anything to the plot of the story itself.

In the first season, some Legionnaires were mentioned or shown as images before making an actual appearance. Fourteen members were shown during the season as already active: Blok, Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Dream Girl, Element Lad, Lightning Lad, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, Triplicate Girl, and Tyroc. Five more joined the Legion through the course of the series: Superman, Timber Wolf, Matter-Eater Lad, Star Boy, and Ferro Lad.

The opening credits sequences used for first-season episodes included a glimpse of the Mission Monitor Board signs for many Legionnaires as well as shots of flying Legionnaires who would be seen in later episodes (though not all of those with Mission Monitor Board symbols appeared). At least four members of the Legion as seen in the comics appeared in some way on the show but had not joined by the end of the first season (Ultra Boy, Lightning Lass, Wildfire, and Polar Boy).

In the second season, Karate Kid appeared in the opening credits with the other Legionnaires, though he did not appear until the fifth episode (in which Nemesis Kid also became a new member). Similar to Karate Kid, Sun Boy appeared in the second season opening titles and made semi-regular appearances but did not have a speaking line or have someone else refer to him by name. Ayla Ranzz, sister of Lightning Lad, finally made an appearance, but as a child without apparent super powers and not as the Light Lass of the comic books.



Character Voice actor
Blok N/A
Bouncing Boy Michael Cornacchia
Brainiac 5 Adam Wylie[9]
Chameleon Boy Alexander Polinsky
Colossal Boy Adam Wylie
Cosmic Boy Wil Wheaton[10]
Dream Girl Tara Platt
Element Lad N/A
Ferro Lad Dave Wittenberg
Lightning Lad Andy Milder[11]
Karate Kid Keith Ferguson
Matter-Eater Lad Alexander Polinsky
Nemesis Kid Keith Ferguson
Phantom Girl Heather Hogan
Saturn Girl Kari Wahlgren
Shrinking Violet Kari Wahlgren
Star Boy Bumper Robinson
Sun Boy N/A
Superman (21st century) Yuri Lowenthal[12]
Superman X (Kell-El) (41st century Superman clone) Yuri Lowenthal
Timber Wolf Shawn Harrison
Triplicate Girl/Duo Damsel Kari Wahlgren
Tyroc N/A
Ultra Boy James Arnold Taylor

Shadow Lass and Sensor were mentioned to appear in the third season, but were not actually in any of the two prior seasons.


Character Voice actor
Fatal Five  
   Emerald Empress Jennifer Hale (Season 1)
Tara Strong (Season 2)
   Mano N/A
   Persuader David Sobolov
   Tharok David Lodge
   Validus N/A
Dr. Mar Londo Harry J. Lennix (Season 1)
Dorian Harewood (Season 2)
Alexis Luthor Tara Strong
Drax Greg Ellis
Legion of Super-Villains (originally the Light Speed Vanguard)  
   Esper Tara Strong
   Hunter Khary Payton
   Lightning Lord (leader) James Arnold Taylor
   Ron-Karr Shawn Harrison
   Wave N/A
   Tyr Khary Payton
Starfinger Taylor Negron
Zyx Lauren Tom
Mordru Richard McGonagle (Season 1, credited as "Evil Wizard")
Jim Ward (Season 2)
Sun-Eater N/A
Controller David Lodge
Imperiex Phil Morris
The Dominators N/A
Computo (shown as the Legion's computer rather than a villain) Adam Wylie
Grimbor the Chainsman Lex Lang
Terra-Man Jeff Black
Brainiac Corey Burton
Roderick Doyle Wil Wheaton
Dark Circle  
   Gullug Dave Wittenberg
   Ontirr Bumper Robinson

Other characters

Character Voice actor
Winema Wazzo, President of the United Planets, mother of Phantom Girl April Winchell[13]
Legion of Substitute Heroes  
   Chlorophyll Kid Alexander Polinsky
   Color Kid James Arnold Taylor
   Infectious Lass Kari Wahlgren
   Porcupine Pete James Arnold Taylor
   Stone Boy Yuri Lowenthal
Ayla Ranzz, sister of Garth and Mekt Ranzz Kari Wahlgren
Calamity King Alexander Polinsky
R. J. Brande Lex Lang

List of episodes

This list is ordered by production number, which in some cases is different from the air date order. Production number 1.04 ("Fear Factory") and 1.06 ("Phantoms") were aired out of order, as were episodes 1.07 ("Child's Play"), 1.09 ("Brain Drain"), and 1.10 ("The Substitutes").

Episode number Title Air date
Season one
1.01 "Man of Tomorrow" September 23, 2006
1.02 "Timber Wolf" September 30, 2006
1.03 "Legacy" October 7, 2006
1.04 "Phantoms" November 4, 2006
1.05 "Champions" November 11, 2006
1.06 "Fear Factory" November 18, 2006
1.07 "Child's Play" February 24, 2007
1.08 "Lightning Storm" February 10, 2007
1.09 "Brain Drain" February 3, 2007
1.10 "The Substitutes" February 17, 2007
1.11 "Chain of Command" March 3, 2007
1.12 "Sundown", Pt. 1 April 28, 2007
1.13 "Sundown", Pt. 2 May 5, 2007
Season two
2.01 "The Man from the Edge of Tomorrow", Pt. 1 September 22, 2007
2.02 "The Man from the Edge of Tomorrow", Pt. 2 September 29, 2007
2.03 "Cry Wolf" October 6, 2007
2.04 "Chained Lightning" October 13, 2007
2.05 "The Karate Kid" October 27, 2007
2.06 "Who Am I?" November 3, 2007
2.07 "Unnatural Alliances" November 17, 2007
2.08 "Message in a Bottle" December 1, 2007
2.09 "In The Beginning" March 8, 2008
2.10 "Trials" March 15, 2008
2.11 "In Your Dreams" March 22, 2008
2.12 "Dark Victory", Pt. 1 March 29, 2008
2.13 "Dark Victory", Pt. 2 April 5, 2008

Awards and nominations

2006–2007 Season

The series was nominated for three Creative Arts Emmy Awards, a subset of the Daytime Emmy Awards.[14] None of the nominations won their category.

Home media release

The first season was released on home video in three separate volumes, with four episodes on the first two releases and five on the third. Episodes are also available for online streaming. As of July 2016, the second season has not yet been released for home video. Season 2 was released on iTunes in HD and SD download format September 22, 2015.

DVD NameRelease DateEp #Episodes
Volume OneAugust 28, 20074"Man of Tomorrow", "Timber Wolf", "Legacy", "Phantoms"
Volume TwoFebruary 5, 20084"Champions", "Fear Factory", "Brain Drain", "Lightning Storm"
Volume ThreeSeptember 9, 20085"The Substitutes", "Child's Play", "Chain of Command", "Sundown: Part One", "Sundown: Part Two"

Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century

A comic book based on the show's continuity was published under the title Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century. According to the comic's writer, J. Torres, the name was chosen to distinguish itself from more specifically youth-oriented titles such as Justice League Adventures and Superman Adventures.[15] The first issue was distributed during Free Comic Book Day 2007 in addition to being sold.

An interview concerning the Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century comic confirmed that the comic was to continue publication despite the series ending, and that the comic would also be telling stories that were to have taken place after the second season finale.[16] As of issue #20, the comic ceased publication.[17]

Additional characters

While the comic incorporates the cast of the show, other characters from DC Comics have made an appearance.

Collected editions

Issues #1-7 were collected in the trade paperback Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century, Vol. 1: Tomorrow's Heroes (March 2008, ISBN 978-1-4012-1668-9).

In other media

A tie-in promotion with McDonald's Happy Meal took place in August 2007. The Legion show was represented by eight figures (Superman, Timber Wolf, Lightning Lad, Mano, Tharok, Brainiac 5, Bouncing Boy, and Validus). As Happy Meal toys often have a "girl toy" and "boy toy", this set was aimed at the boys.

Action figures by Mattel were not produced because of a lack of retailer interest. Mattel holds the master license for toys based on any DC series in any medium.[18]

The collectible miniatures game HeroClix produced a special starter set of the Legion, including a figure of "Young Superman" during the first season.


  1. 1 2 Harvey, James (March 12, 2008). "'Legion of Super Heroes' To End After Current Season". World's Finest Online.
  2. "CW Sticks With Kids WB!". Mediaweek. Archived from the original on May 15, 2006.
  3. "Kids' Wb! on the CW Announces 2006-2007 "Too Big for Your TV" Saturday Morning Programming Schedule". TheFutonCritic.com. April 24, 2006.
  4. Allstetter, Rob (February 8, 2007). "The Batman, Legion of Super Heroes New Seasons". Comics Continuum.
  5. http://www.worldsfinestonline.com/WF/bravebold/backstage/interviews/wftucker.php
  6. Harvey, James (April 4, 2008). "The World's Finest: Tucker Discusses 'Legion of Super Heroes' History & Finale". World's Finest Online.
  7. Renaud, Jeffrey (April 9, 2008). "Producer James Tucker Looks Back on 'Legion of Super-Heroes'". Comic Book Resources.
  8. "SDCC '06: James Tucker talks WB Animation's Legion". Newsarama. Archived from the original on August 5, 2006.
  9. "Announcement on Adam Wylie's message board". February 28, 2006.
  10. "Announcement on Wil Wheaton's blog". May 2, 2006.
  11. Allstetter, Rob (February 17, 2006). "Legion of Super-Heroes Animated". Comics Continuum.
  12. Allstetter, Rob (March 21, 2006). "Legion of Super-Heroes Animated Update". Comics Continuum.
  13. Allstetter, Rob (April 15, 2006). "Legion of Super-Heroes Animated Update". Comics Continuum.
  14. "Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards - Childrens Nominations".
  15. Singh, Arune (February 9, 2007). "Torres Goes to the Future with 'Legion of Superheroes in the 31st Century'". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2007-07-22.
  16. "Exclusive J. Torres Interview". Superman Homepage.
  17. "DC Comics Solicitations for November, 2008". Comic Book Resources. August 18, 2008.
  18. SamuRon (November 16, 2007). "Interview with Mattel's Toy Guru, Part II". TheFwoosh.com.
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