Legion Of Super-Heroes Director Talks Animating The Movie’s Action Scenes And Why He Was ‘Excited’ To Tell This DC Superhero Team’s Story

Bouncing Boy speaking with Supergirl in Legion of Super-Heroes
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Animation)

While not as well known as the Justice League and the Teen Titans, the Legion of Super-Heroes has been one of DC Comics’ most important superhero teams for 65 years, so naturally the characters from this corner of DC lore have been adapted in other projects. The latest of these is the latest of the direct-to-video, animated DC movies, Legion of Super-Heroes, which follows the Aldis Hodge-led Green Lantern: Beware My Power in fleshing out the Tomorrowverse continuity. And like Beware My Power and its predecessor Justice Society: World War II, Legion of Super-Heroes was directed by Jeff Wamester, who talked with CinemaBlend about crafting the movie’s action scenes and shared why he was “excited” to tell this team’s story.

Legion of Super-Heroes marks another DC movie Jeff Wamester has direct featuring characters with a variety of powers and special abilities, as Justice Society: World War II saw Barry Allen, a.k.a. The Flash, teaming up with Earth-2’s Flash, Hourman, Black Canary, Wonder Woman and Hawkman, and John Stewart joined forces with Green Arrow, Hawkgirl and Adam Strange in Green Lantern: Beware My Power. Regarding Legion of Super-Heroes, I asked Wamester to discuss the process of animating the action scenes to make sure each character stands out, and he answered:

The characters we picked were there because they were visually easy to express… It’s real easy with Bouncing Boy and Arms-Fall-Off Boy and Triplicate Girl. Right off the bat, we can tell you exactly what their powers are, right? So when we go into the fight scenes, it’s kind of presetting that, and then because their powers are real unique, I mean, it’s kind of hard to beat Arms-Fall-Off Boy, right? You know what I mean? As long as you do something with it, it’s gonna be fun. The same with Bouncing Boy and Triplicate Girl, it doesn’t take much effort, to be honest, to make them look cool and have fun with them. They get their time.

Although Meg Donnelly’s Supergirl (who we’ll see fight Solomon Grundy) and Harry Shum Jr. are the leading characters in Legion of Super-Heroes, they’re surrounded in this movie by Bouncing Boy, Triplicate Girl, Mon-El, Arm-Fall-Off Boy, Dawnstar and Phantom Girl as fellow students at the Legion academy, and Shadow Lass, Timber Wolf and Chemical King as teachers, as well as Superman, Batman and The Flash all appearing in the movie’s present day scenes. As far as the Legion members goes, Jeff Wamester explained that he and his team this lineup because it helps them stand out more and viewers can easily keep track of who’s who. That’s on contrast to a scenario where there’s a bunch of people using the same powers, like super strength or super speed, which could still be cool to watch, but doesn’t have as much pizazz. 

Legion of Super-Heroes arrives four years after the team was previously spotlighted in fellow animated movie Justice League vs. The Fatal Five, and along with the team getting its own animated series that ran from 2006 to 2008, it’s been spotlighted on shows like Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League Unlimited, Smallville and Supergirl. On the subject of what makes the Legion such an appealing superhero team, Jeff Wamester had this to say:

For me, a lot of the Legion is seeing a whole new world of superpowers and characters and different interpretations, rather than trying to fit them into the world that we currently [live in]. Most of the comic books are, ‘What is it now? If these characters are here now, what would it be like?’ Versus seeing a future where it’s like ‘What challenges do they have? What are they dealing with? What kind of powers and how would we apply those powers in that kind of world in a different setting?’ It makes me excited to tell this kind of story.

Having struggled with her new life on Earth, Legion of Super-Heroes sees Kara Zor-El being taken to the 31st century by her cousin Kal-El, reprised by Darren Criss, so she can attend Legion  Academy and learn to hone her abilities. It doesn’t take long for Kara to make new friends, but in addition to clashing with Brainiac 5, a descendant of one of Superman’s greatest enemies, she’ll also come into conflict with the Dark Circle, a terrorist organization looking to obtain a weapon within the Legion’s vault, 

Written by Teen Titans Go! and Justice League Action’s Josie Campbell, Legion of Super-Heroes’ cast also includes Jensen Ackles back as Batman, Matt Bomer back as The Flash, Cynthia Hamidi as Dawnstar, Gideon Adlon as Phantom Girl, Ely Henry as Bouncing Boy, Robbie Daymond as Timber Wolf & Brainiac 4, Yuri Lowenthal as Mon-El, Eric Lopez as Cosmic Boy & Chemical King, Darin De Paul as Brainiac & Solomon Grundy, Ben Diskin as Arms Fall Off Boy & Brainiac 2, Victoria Grace as Shadow Lass, Jennifer Hale as Alura, Daisy Lightfoot as Triplicate Girl, and Zeno Robinson as Invisible Kid & Brainiac 3.

You can pick up Legion of Super-Heroes on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Digital from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment starting Tuesday, February 7. If you’d like to check out the past Tomorrowverse movies or delve into the DC Animated Movie Universe timeline, those offerings can be streamed with an HBO Max subscription.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.