While Warner Bros. has spent the last decade plus trying to whip DC Comics movies into some form of coherence in live action, its animated movie output has generally remained consistent. The 2010s saw over a dozen movies based on or inspired by the New 52 line of comics, and later rebooted into a new series of films beginning with 2020’s Superman: Man of Tomorrow and Batman: The Long Halloween. Next year’s Legion of Super-Heroes continues the now five-film franchise by using Superman and Supergirl to spotlight one of DC’s B-tier superhero teams.
The film sees Supergirl (Meg Donnelly) show up on Earth and ready to fight alongside her cousin, albeit with the speed bumps that come with being a first-time hero. To help her get the hang of things, Superman (Darren Criss) takes her to the 31st Century, where the Legion Academy is happy to teach her the superhero ropes. Having Brainiac 5 (Harry Shum Jr.) as a classmate isn’t great for Kara Zor-El, but something she eventually learns to deal with if it means that she won’t level buildings while fighting crime.
During her time at the Academy, Kara and her fellow trainees, like Mon-El (Yuri Lowenthal), Timber Wolf (Robbie Daymond), and Phantom Girl (Gideon Adland) learn that the school is being invaded by a criminal group called the Dark Circle. With the original heavy hitter Legion members missing in action, stopping the Circle and saving the school falls to Kara and the rest of the students.
Kara doing a team-up with the Legion isn’t new territory; even setting aside the futuristic team appearing in Supergirl, both Superman (through the Legion of Superheroes cartoon from 2005) and his son Jon (in Brian Michael Bendis and Ryan Sook’s 2019 comics run) have spent time in the 31st Century. More recently, Young Justice: Phantoms also included some members of the team during its run. What’ll be interesting to see is what else is in the Legion’s future, and what steps James Gunn and Peter Safran will take to ensure we see more of these heroes going forward.
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Legion of Super-Heroes will release on February 7, 2023.
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