Review: The Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #1

The Legion of Super-Heroes Annual (1982) #1 cover
Cover by Keith Giffen and Dick Giordano

The Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #1
Published and © by DC, 1982

Title: “Monster in a Little Girl’s Mind!”
Synopsis: Brainiac 5’s effort to save a little girl unleashes the terror of Computo on Earth once again!

Writers (plot): Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen
Writer (script): Levitz
Penciler: Giffen
Inker: Bruce Patterson

Review: It’s amazing how quickly the legendary LoSH creative team of Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen got up to speed. Together for only a few issues at this point, the duo delivers one of the best stand-alone issues of the Bronze Age. Levitz uses strong structure and even stronger characterization to deliver an action-packed, tension-filled page turner. Giffen’s storytelling skills are up to the task, while his design work continues to establish a polished, updated look for the future DC universe. New characters, a terrifying new take on an old villain and teases to future stories: everything here works.

Grade: A+

Second opinion: “Viewed as a whole, this issue is an entertaining and worthwhile effort, especially so when one considers the formidable intricacies of producing any team oriented publication, let alone this one, which features a veritable super-army.” – Kevin McConnell, Amazing Heroes #12, June 1982 … “The first Legion Annual was released and suddenly everything clicked into place. … The magic truly surfaced here.” – Jim Kingman, Comic Effect #31, Fall 2002 … “A-” – Tom Joyner, Comic Informer #7, January-February 1983 … Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003.

Cool factor: Seriously: everything.
Not-so-cool factor:  For being a super-genius, Brainiac 5 sure makes a lot of bone-headed mistakes.

Notable: First appearance of the second Invisible Kid.

Character quotable:I am reborn. COMPUTO LIVES!” – Computo, just in case you missed it
A word from the co-plotter/artist: “I am in on the plotting end of The Legion due to Paul’s desire for a true collaborative effort.” – Keith Giffen, talking about getting more involved with the writing, in Amazing Heroes #15, September 1982

Editor’s note: This review was written circa May 2016.

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