Review: The Legion of Super-Heroes #305

The Legion of Super-Heroes (1980) #305 cover
Cover by Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt

The Legion of Super-Heroes #305
Published and © by DC, November 1983

Title: “Violet’s Story”
Synopsis: After months of suspicion and investigation, the Legionnaires head to Imsk to discover the secret of Shrinking Violet.

Writers (plot): Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen
Writer (script): Levitz
Penciler: Giffen
Inker: Kurt Schaffenberger

Review: After months as the B-plot, the mystery of Shrinking Violet takes center stage to deliver a powerful payoff to the saga. Writer Paul Levitz mines the Legionnaires’ relationships for strong character moments, while penciler Keith Giffen excels in capturing a range of emotional responses. The reveal of Shrinking Violet’s imprisonment is particularly horrific, while other moments showcase rage, despair and love. Guest inker Kurt Schaffenberger’s line is a bit different than LoSH regular Larry Mahlstedt’s, but doesn’t distract from the story. Other than a tender-hearted conclusion that feels rushed, this issue meets this run’s usual standard of excellence. 

Grade: A-

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

Cool factor: This one is all up in the feels …
Not-so-cool factor: … maybe too much so in the end.

Notable: “The Legion Outpost” letters page includes the fifth final 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: “Shrinking Violet, being born on Imsk, should be immune to any effect from the spray … correct?” – Element Lad, with a roundabout way of saying “busted!”

Editor’s note: This review was written Dec. 30, 2021.

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