Review: The Legion of Super-Heroes #301

The Legion of Super-Heroes (1980) #301 cover
Cover by Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt

The Legion of Super-Heroes #301
Published and © by DC, July 1983

Title: “Different Paths, Different Dooms”
Synopsis: Chameleon Boy’s quest to restore his powers sees him and his father, R.J. Brande, fighting for their lives.

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

Review: Superheroics. Soap opera. Sci-fi. These three S’s are the hallmarks of Paul Levitz’s run on the Legion. The first two are present in many of the best series from this era – think X-Men and New Teen Titans – but it’s the sci-fi that sets LoSH apart. Levitz does some excellent world-building here, giving us a glimpse of Chameleon Boy’s home world, Durla. Likewise, Keith Giffen’s design sensibility is perfect for this futuristic book; be it architecture, natural environments or alien creatures, Giffen excels. The creative duo’s strengths are a near perfect fit for chronicling DC’s 30th century.

Grade: A

Second opinion: “Levitz is a master craftsman who squeezes more into an issue than any other writer, both in terms of quality and quantity.” – Kevin McConnell, Amazing Heroes #24, June 1, 1983 … Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003.

Cool factor: Keith Giffen’s Durla is not a place you’d want to visit.

Notable: “The Legion Outpost” letters page includes the third installment of a Legion of Super-Heroes index.
Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 75¢ Canadian variant of this issue. … According to MyComicShop.com, there is also a Mark Jewelers variant.

Character quotable: “I already have a home – with the Legion.” – Chameleon Boy, turning down an invite to a permanent old-home week 

Editor’s note: This review was written June 25, 2021.

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