Superman on Television

Legion of Super Heroes: Episode Reviews

Season 2 - Episode 12: "Dark Victory - Part 1"

Reviewed by: Jeffrey Bridges

5Rating - 5 (out of 5): Yes.


This is what I've been waiting for. This is what this show should always be. This is what the show has been in moments of greatness, all too often pulled down by mediocre filler. This is the kind of episode that could put this show on par with JL/JLU in terms of quality, if there were only more like it.

There are inconsistencies and problems, but the vast majority is so above and beyond that the small issues don't drag the final product down any.

A few clunky one-liners are easy to ignore in the face of character conflict, strong continuity and story development.

Brainy is trying to fight himself and his destiny, Superman believes in the goodness of people (and in this instance, it cost him his life)... these are really strong character beats and they were very nicely executed.

Imperiex is still just evil for the sake of evil, but we had continuity! We got a reference to his breaking into Computo, which was ignored and forgotten all season long until now. It actually served a purpose! Who'd have thought?

And they still have forgotten that Bouncing Boy is the leader, but can't decide who they think is the leader, either, with Cosmic Boy and Superman both filling that role at different points in the episode. But where that's a major sticking point with poorly written and poorly executed episodes, here it's but a footnote because it could not drag down the amazing quality of this episode.

This is the same issue with still knowing nothing at all about the Dominators, nor knowing why the Legion is suddenly completely unable to stop them or harm them in any way. But again, the rest of this episode is so strong that it doesn't even matter.

And now we have a MUCH better villain in Brainy. With his easy dispatching of an entire Dominator fleet and his even EASIER dispatching of both Validus and Imperiex (who both give the entire Legion a lot of trouble), they establish Brainy as the biggest threat this show has ever seen. And the best part is, he has MOTIVATION. He has a reason for his actions, unlike Imperiex.

Brainy isn't EVIL, he's trying to do good. He's trying to make the universe an ordered and safe place, which makes him the best kind of villain... the one who thinks he's the hero.

This episode is also the first of the entire series EVER to give me a "wow" moment... where I actually stopped and my eyes bugged out and my mind was blown.

And this episode had TWO.

The first was when Superman tried to stop Brainy from leaving, and it was clear he had to stop him immediately and proceeded to fly by at superspeed and tear Brainy's limbs off. It was surprising, shocking, and showed you how dire Superman thought the situation was.

And the other was sort of in two parts... when Brainy ran his first tentacle through Imperiex, I was wowed. And then... THEN he ran about six tentacles through him at once and killed him!

I think my mouth was actually hanging open.

And there were several nice nods to the fans, in the moment where Brainy takes over Imperiex's ship and the tentacles come out of his back - an image straight out of the Brainiac-13 story from the comics. And of course there was the more obvious - Brainiac's classic floating-robot-head ship.

In every respect this was exactly what I look for in an episode of this show. Strong character moments, character conflict and depth, amazing action, great forwarding of the story, actual moments you can't see coming from a mile away and things that make you jump out of your seat from the sheer awesomeness before your eyes.

This was just fantastic. THIS can almost make you forget about "Charles Boogerjuice".

How is this even the same show?

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