Review: The Legion of Super-Heroes #307

The Legion of Super-Heroes (1980) #307 cover
Cover by Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt

The Legion of Super-Heroes #307
Published and © by DC, January 1984

Title: “The Prophet Shall Speak”
Synopsis: Legionnaires on an away mission encounter a pair of immensely powerful humanoids – one a prophet who soon invades Khundia!

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

Review: This “Prophet and Omen” storyline marks a sloppy, jarring departure from the earlier issues of the Levitz/Giffen run. Instead of the careful plotting and meticulous buildup of “The Great Darkness Saga,” we are dropped into this new arc with little sense of either purpose or stakes. Even more shocking is the art: Gone is the sleek, polished style that was so perfect for the Legion’s 30th-century milieu. Instead, Giffen starts experimenting with a thicker line, less-traditional layouts and a cartoonier feel. He’d eventually settle into this new style, but the transition here is a shock to the system.

Grade: B-

Second opinion: “Time has actually done (Giffen’s new) style a favor, it has a crisper feel that a lot of the art being published today.” – Jim Kingman, Comic Effect #40, Fall 2004

Cool factor: Keith Giffen would eventually make his new style work and become one of the most consistent creators of the Copper Age and beyond.
Not-so-cool factor: In the meantime, it’s hard to describe how traumatic his stylistic change was to Little Me as a young Legion fan. It was the end of an era.

Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 95¢ Canadian variant of this issue. … According to MyComicShop.com, there is also a Mark Jewelers variant.

Character quotable: “I, most despised of all those who live, say to you that soon he shall stride down from the stars like an omen of doom.” – The Prophet, sounding the part

Editor’s note: This review was written Feb. 8, 2022.

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