Review: The Legion of Super-Heroes #302

The Legion of Super-Heroes (1980) #302 cover
Cover by Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt

The Legion of Super-Heroes #302
Published and © by DC, August 1983

Title: “Family Matters”
Synopsis: As the Legionnaires continue to recover from the “Great Darkness Saga,” Lightning Lord comes looking for his sister.

Writers (plot): Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen
Writer (script): Levitz
Artist (layouts): Giffen
Artist (finishes): Larry Mahlstedt

Review: After the Claremont/Byrne X-Men and the Wolfman/Pérez Teen Titans, The Legion of Super-Heroes – under the guidance of Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen – was routinely the next best team book of the Bronze Age. And, really, it didn’t trail those other titles by much. This issue is a great example of how character-driven the book became during that creative team’s tenure; not a whole lot happens in this transitional issue, but readers can’t help but get sucked into Levitz and Giffen’s 30th-century soap opera. And the art team of Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt always make the era look cool.

Grade: A

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

Cool factor: The total-body-lightning effect during the big fight scene is pretty cool, as is Giffen and Mahlstedt’s all-purple-and-yellow cover art.

Notable: “The Legion Outpost” letters page includes the fourth 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: “Hmmm … I suppose you could be lying. But you Legionnaires are so bad at lying.” – Lightning Lord, bad big brother

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Feb. 16, 2009.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.