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Review: The Legion of Super-Heroes #311

The Legion of Super-Heroes (1980) #311 cover
Cover by Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt

The Legion of Super-Heroes #311
Published and © by DC, May 1984

Title: “Destruction by Design”
Synopsis: Computo manages to break free of containment, but Brainiac 5’s quick thinking still might save the day.

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

Review: This transitional story is a slight improvement over the preceding storyline (see reviews of LoSH #308, 309 and 310), but still suffers from pacing and art issues. Artist Keith Giffen is starting to settle into his new style. It’s still inconsistently cartoony, but he’s producing some compelling page designs.

•••

Title: “A Shared Destiny”
Synopsis: Dawnstar’s Grand Tour to find a mate is interrupted by Wildfire – or has destiny brought them back together?

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

Review: This story would resonate more if its protagonists were actually likable. Gene Colan is a surprisingly strong fit on art.

Grade (for the entire issue): B

Second opinion: “It is a satisfactory disposal of a storyline which needed to be tied. The one unsatisfactory part of the story is the art.” – R.A. Jones, Amazing Heroes #47, May 15, 1984

Cool factor: The back-up tales are trying to give individual Legionaries room to breathe.
Not-so-cool factor: While the new Legion headquarters works fine, the deus ex machina plot to instantly obtain it is pretty silly. 

Notable: The “Legion Outpost Extra” includes a Legionnaire symbol guide and the Interlac alphabet.
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: “Despite my twelfth-level computer mind … the erst-while excuse for my presence in the Legion … I have allowed my distraction to overwhelm my judgment.” – Brainiac 5, smitten with a (Super)girl

Editor’s note: This review was written March 22, 2022.

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