Principal Cast : Meg Donnelly, Harry Shum Jr, Darren Criss, Matt Bomer, Jensen Ackles, Cynthia Hamidi, Gideon Adlon, Ely Henry, Robbie Daymond, Yuri Lowenthal, Eric Lopez, Darin De Paul, Ben Diskin, Victoria Grace, Jennifer Hale, Daisy Lightfoot, Zeno Robinson.
Synopsis: Kara, devastated by the loss of Krypton, struggles to adjust to her new life on Earth. Superman mentors her. Meanwhile, she must contend with a mysterious group called the Dark Circle who searches for a powerful weapon held in the Academy’s vault.
While not my favourite DC property of all time, the futuristic Legion of Superheroes remains a fan favourite thanks to a charming blend of ensemble humour, romance, galactic level threats and a widescreen aesthetic that comes from the setting and roster of astounding characters. The Legion is essentially DC’s far-in-the-future Justice League, a gathering of heroes with a variety of cool (and idiotic) powers that almost always assist defeating whatever menace the group face week to week. DC’s first animated feature film to bear the title is, at its core, a fairly generic Saturday afternoon time-waster, neither overtly bad nor astoundingly amazing – it’s a film that exists, put it that way. If you’re unfamiliar with ongoing animated DC film chronology, or unaware of just what the Legion is as a concept, this little movie doesn’t go out of its way to explain things so in some ways its made mainly for diehard fans instead of new viewers.
The film is set in what fans have loosely labelled the “Tomorrowverse”, a roughly joined continuity that began with 2020’s Superman: Man of Tomorrow, which was a very soft reboot of the DC animated canon to which this so obviously ascribes. As somebody not intimately familiar with DC’s animated output I found the rushed origin story for Supergirl – Kara Zor El (Meg Donnelly) – and her arrival on Earth, and then her journey far into the future, to be quite confusing and discombobulating, as if the writers couldn’t come up with a way for her to get between three distinct plot beats of the story and just kinda…. you know, went “oh she’s here now”. In the future she meets Brainiac 5 (Harry Shum Jr) who she initially resists but eventually falls for, despite him being the genetic descendant of Superman’s powerful arch-nemesis Brainiac. Together they try to unravel the mysterious connection between time-shifting agents of chaos, known as the Circle, and how their plan for universal destruction culminates in Earth’s far future.
Look, these films aren’t what you’d call essential viewing for fans of DC, but the animation is sweet enough to be enjoyable and some of the gags, while aimed at young children, are a decent chuckle. The story is as convoluted as anything DC have put out (to my knowledge this isn’t based on any existing printed storyline in the comics, but I could be wrong) and the voice cast are pretty much on point, with the exception of Darren Criss’ high register tones as Superman, which were hilarious to me. Legion of Superheroes won’t win any awards for creativity or breaking the mould but for fans of this material it’s decent enough. Nothing earth-shattering, and diversionary at worst.