Smallville Review – “Legion”

Last week’s “Smallville” finally gets its review posted. Sorry about the delay.


Tom Welling as Clark Kent
Allison Mack as Chloe Sullivan
Erica Durance as Lois Lane
Aaron Ashmore as Jimmy Olson
Cassidy Freeman as Tess Mercer
Sam Witwer as Davis Bloome
Justin Hartley as Oliver Queen / Green Arrow

Written by Geoff Johns
Directed by Glen Winter

Original Airdate

Legion originally aired on Thursday, January 15, 2009.


In the year 3009, Kal-El is a famous hero, known for his inspirations as well as his actions. In an attempt to rewrite history, the Persuader travels back in time to ensure Brainiac’s plan continues as planned. Thankfully for Clark, three members of the Legion of Super-Heroes travel back in time to lend a helping hand, even if that hand is needed to end the life of a friend.

High Point

Lightning Lad’s fanboy dialogue. It works in the episode, provides much of the humour, and echoes many of the online conversations among fans of the comics.

Low Point

I expected a little more in the resolution of this storyline, frankly. By introducing the Legion in the same episode, it diverted time and attention, making the conclusion feel a bit too pat.

The Review

There have been more original episodes. The Legion were brought in through a manner similar to their early comic appearances. I give it 3 out of 6.

The effects were solid. We’ve gotten a few of them here, and they’re pretty impressive. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is pretty good. If you like the Legion concept, you’ll get a big kick out of this, thanks in large part to bringing Geoff Johns in to do the script. He loves the Legion, and he’s been doing impressive work on Superman for the past few years. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting was impressive. The Legion were nice, but the real standout is Allison Mack. Brainiac has taken over Chloe Sullivan, and the amount of James Marsters’ body language that she brings to the performance is very, very impressive. That sells the role more than any dialogue could have. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response was strong. I’m not a huge Legion fan, partly because the appearances I’ve read are almost exclusively from the saccharine Silver Age, but here they were handled with respect and depth that pulls them out of the 1950s era and into a much more plausible epoch. I just wish this had been a two parter to give Brainiac a bit more time to operate. I give it 4 out of 6.

The production is solid. These guys know how to put a show together once they have a script in hand. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a significant episode in terms of status quo changes and reversions, and entertaining, but doesn’t quite deliver in the way I was hoping a Geoff Johns episode would. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Legion receives 31 out of 42.