Review: Legion of Super-Heroes #5

The Legion of Super-Heroes (1984) #5 cover
Cover by Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt

Legion of Super-Heroes #5
Published and © by DC, December 1984

Title: “An Eye for an Eye, a Villain for a Hero!”
Synopsis: Queen Projectra claims her revenge as the Legion of Super-Heroes rallies against their villainous counterparts.

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

Review: The final arc of Keith Giffen’s first Legion run ends with the artist only tangentially involved. Still, it’s hard to understate the impact Giffen had on updating the look and feel of the LoSH for the ’80s and beyond. Replacement Steven Lightle shows promise, but still struggles with anatomy and isn’t quite ready to make the book his own. (Note: Lightle would eventually become a fine Legion artist in his own right.) On the story side, things remain a bit confusing but Paul Levitz does land strong character moments throughout. This arc sputtered, but it’s still good fun.

Grade: B

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

Cool factor: Did Queen Projectra just beat Nemesis Kid with a dirty look?
Not-so-cool factor: The Legion’s Baxter relaunch ultimately feels like a missed opportunity.

Character quotable: “For my world – for my people – for Val Armorr – and for my soulI claim your life.” – Projectra, queen of Orando

A word from the writer: “If there were villains, and the stakes were higher in this new format, there would be a price paid for victory in the storyline, and artist Keith Giffen selected one of his least favorite Legionnaires to pay that price. And I got to write one of my best-remembered scenes, as the Legion even the score.” – Paul Levitz, in the introduction to “Legion of Super-Heroes: An Eye for an Eye,” September 2007

Editor’s note: This review was written July 15, 2022.

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