Review: The Legion of Super-Heroes #312

The Legion of Super-Heroes (1980) #312 cover
Cover by Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt

The Legion of Super-Heroes #312
Published and © by DC, June 1984

Title: “Good Cop, Bad Cop?”
Synopsis: A series of extortion threats force the Legion into action, while individual members go undercover with the Science Police. 

Writers (plot): Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen
Writer (script): Levitz
Penciler: Giffen
Inker: Karl Kesel

Review: Things seem to be settling back in with Paul Levitz again juggling a plethora of subplots. The A plot – dealing with extortion bombings – feels a little played out as previous issues (see reviews of LoSH #296297) dealt with a similar storyline but offered a more effective, emotional payoff. But Levitz moves several other storylines forward and there is strong characterization throughout. Keith Giffen’s art continues to grow more consistent, but the new, cartoony style pales when compared to the precision detail he’d utilized to modernize the look of this series. It’s still solid work, but a clear step down.

Grade: B

Cool factor: The creative team is trying …
Not-so-cool factor: … but it still feels like their best days on this series are behind them.

Notable: A house ad and an announcement on the “Legion Outpost” letters page detail the plan to split Legion into two monthly books, the second being printed in a new, “deluxe offset format.”
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: “If I never have a Legionnaire patient again it’ll be too soon!” – Dr. Gym’ll, doctor to the stars superheroes

Editor’s note: This review was written April 10, 2022.

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