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Review: The Legion of Super-Heroes #287

The Legion of Super-Heroes (1980) #287 cover
Cover by Keith Giffen and Romeo Tanghal

The Legion of Super-Heroes #287
Published and © by DC, May 1982

Title: “Save the Suicide Squad”
Synopsis: Chameleon Boy leads an ill-advised recon mission to the Khundian homeworld, and soon requires rescue from other Legionnaires. 

Writer: Paul Levitz
Penciler: Keith Giffen
Inker: Bruce Patterson

Review: Quintessential Legion artist Keith Giffen moves to the lead feature and the 30th century would never be the same. This issue’s visit to Khundia offers an early taste to the world-building that would help define Giffen and writer Paul Levitz’s legendary run. A solid start that would quickly turn spectacular.

•••

Title: “Prologue to Darkness”
Synopsis: Mon-El and Shadow Lass investigate a forgotten world – a world that is a harbinger of a Great Darkness to come!

Writer: Paul Levitz
Penciler: Pat Broderick
Inker: Larry Mahlstedt

Review: One of the Bronze Age’s greatest story arcs – “The Great Darkness Saga” – begins with this unassuming backup feature.

Grade (for the entire issue): A-

Second opinion: “Paul Levitz does an outstanding job of setting up events for ‘The Great Darkness Saga’ here. 3 out of 4 stars.” – Brent Frankenhoff, Comics Buyer’s Guide #1668, August 2010

Cool factor: Keith Giffen’s design flair is already giving the 30th century a much-needed visual upgrade.
Not-so-cool factor: It’s a shame Giffen didn’t get to draw the prelude to “The Great Darkness Saga.”

Notable: According to the annual statement of ownership on the “The Legion Outpost” letters page, Legion of Super-Heroes had an average total paid circulation of 117,038 for the 12 months preceding Oct. 1, 1981.
Collector’s note: According to MyComicShop.com, there is a Mark Jewelers variant of this issue.

Character quotable:Worship the darkness, fools … until the day it comes for you!” – Unidentified supervillain, whose identity is only obvious in retrospect
A word from the artist: “Favorite? Group-wise, The Legion, of course – I even volunteered for that one. Individually, I’d have to say The Creeper – if only for all the wasted potential. Same reason as The Legion.” – Keith Giffen, talking about his favorite characters, in Amazing Heroes #15, September 1982

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Sequential Reaction (Vol. 1) on April 19, 2016.

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