Bargain Comic Reviews

New Reviews of Old Comics

Legion of Super-Heroes #309 (Mar. 1984)


Legion_of_Super_Heroes_309Purchase price: $1

First things first.  This has to be among the most unattractive covers I’ve ever seen.  It’s not just the splotchy oranges that make up the background, or the heavy inks with oddball shadowing, but what the heck is wrong with Mon-El He looks like he’s squatting, his right arm is totally out of proportion and his left hand could either be holding on to something or covering part of a shadow.  And Mon-El is one of my favorite Legionnaires!  Nice little play on words though, even if Prophet looks ridiculous, which means he matches this cover.  No, that’s not a compliment.

Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen teamed up for the plot of “As the Sky Burns” with Paul doing the actual writing and Keith doing the actual pencils.  I’m assuming this picks up where #308 left off, with the Legion in the midst of a tough fight with Prophet, who is cajoling them to join him so they can fight Omen together.  Between not knowing who Omen is and the way Prophet has trashed the planet, the Legion is less than inclined to throw in with this crackpot.  This little battle wages on and off for most of the 13 pages of the story.  When that fight scene isn’t happening we get a little foreshadowing until Shadow Lass knocks out Prophet’s power based on an observation by Invisible Kid.  This story ends with Omen making his presence known to the Legion, in the form of a giant white/yellow head floating in the sky.

Next we have a back-up story with Queen Projectra and her soon-to-be husband Karate Kid relaxing on a secluded planet as part of their honeymoon; in this case “honeymoon” means before the wedding, not after it.  Boy, things sure have changed in the 30th century. Maybe they decided it’s good to give the car a test drive before buying it.  The story itself was rather blah, but I did find some interest since I read (and reviewed) the Legion annual where these two get married.  I didn’t realize this was such a big storyline that it lingered on over the course of a year or so.  Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen again plotted “Monarchs of All They See”, but Pat Broderick and Mike DeCarlo took care of the art for Keith.  The art was fine, albeit fairly generic; good enough for a back-up story, which seemed more like an afterthought anyway.

I’m a big Legion fan and always grab them up when I find issues in the dollar box, but this one really fell flat for me.  The lead story was just there; nothing spectacular, but also not horribly offensive.  Maybe that’s just the nature of an issue that is the middle part of a storyline, but even still this seems like padding as they’re getting to something good.  I guess I like them more when the Legion stories are goofy and self contained, and this issue was neither of those.  I’ll never pass on a chance for some Legion stories, I just hope they’re a better read than this one.  And don’t get me going on that cover again.

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