Review: Legion of Super-Heroes #4

The Legion of Super-Heroes (1984) #4 cover
Cover by Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt

Legion of Super-Heroes #4
Published and © by DC, November 1984

Title: “Lest Villany Triumph”
Synopsis: A longtime member of the Legion of Super-Heroes sacrifices himself to disrupt a villainous plot involving a planetary heist.

Writers (plot): Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen
Writer (script): Levitz
Artist (designer): Giffen
Penciler: Steve Lightle
Inker: Larry Mahlstedt

Review: Despite launching with great promise (see reviews of Legion of Super-Heroes #1 and #2), this first story arc of the Baxter Legion officially loses its way this issue. So many unanswered questions: Why did the Legion of Super-Villains need to steal a planet to make there interdimensional scheme work? Why did they kidnap some members of the LoSH but let others go? If the goal is to kill all the Legionaries, why let any of them live? Why was Karate Kid willing to sacrifice himself to blow up a powersphere? Nobody – and particularly not the characters – seems to know.

Grade: B-

Second opinion: Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003.

Cool factor: This one could have been a contender.
Not-so-cool factor: Stretched thin, the creative team – plus recent addition Steve Lightle – delivers a confusing, inconsistent chapter. Karate Kid deserved better.

Notable: Death of Karate Kid. … This issue is dedicated to former LoSH writer Jim Shooter.

Character quotable: “The super-villains have committed every crime from burglary to mass murder – do we really need to know their motives, Element Lad?” – Ultra Boy, offering a rare moment of clarity

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on July 13, 2022.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.