Reviews of Old Comics: Legion of Super-Heroes 308

LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #308

February 1984

LOSHv2_30801I’m continuing my reviews of old Legion comics from the period that I started regularly buying Legion of Super-Heroes. This was a string of a few issues that fell a little flat, but the momentum was fortunately strong enough to lead into Volume 3, the Baxter series, which had a very good run of great stories for a couple of years.

SYNOPSIS:

The Prophet has taken mental or mystical control of all of Khundia’s weapon systems and launched them  against a team of six Legionnaires, believing them to be agents of Omen, who is following him in order to destroy Khundia. The Legion is holding it’s own until with a wave of his hand, the Prophet freezes them in their tracks, including two of the most powerful Legionnaires, Mon-El and Ultra Boy.

Meanwhile, Dream Girl’s team of Legionnaires already on Khundia have been ordered to stay in the embassy by Ambassador Relnic. He explains the situation that Khundia has been invaded by one man and six Legionnaires, which is a misstatement of the situation, but given that recently, Legion member Chameleon Boy led a team of Legionnaires on a mission to Khundia months ago that ruined relations between Khundia and the United Planets, Relnic is ordering the Legionnaires that accompanied him to not get involved in the situation.

Dawnstar is in the Dream Nebula looking for a sign of her soul mate, as part of her ritualistic journey through the galaxy. She finds no sign of him, and now must go to the place that she takes her name from.

The Prophet recounts the the frozen Legionnaires is origin. He was a priest stationed with the scientists on Space Station Trewsk who was called away to Earth for a few days and returned to find it destroyed. Filled with guilt for not being there when the station could have used his spiritual reassurance, he flew his shuttle into one of the stars in a suicidal despair, not noticing that the powerful being Omen had watched the star go nova, doing nothing. Omen grabbed the priest and transformed him into his Prophet. Mon-El breaks free from Prophet’s power and attacks him to no avail. Prophet responds by knocking him through several buildings.

Bemoaning the fact that Element Lad doesn’t believe he was elected leader, Star Boy gets an assist on monitor duty from Wildfire, who reviews the status of the Legionnaires not on Khundia. When he gets to Dawnstar, it infuriates him that she’s left him behind on Earth. On Khundia, the Prophet heralds the approach of Omen to Khundia, urging everyone to destroy him.

In a second story, Colossal Boy introduces his new wife Yera to his parents. Since his mother is President of Earth, there is some tension and heated discussion about the Legionnaire marrying a Durlan and Durlans’ role in the United Planets society. The tension is broken when Yera receives a gift from Colossal Boy’s mother, reassuring her that they welcome her into their family. That night, Colossal Boy’s parents admit that they knew about the marriage for weeks.

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REVIEW:

This issue seems to have no purpose. The main story serves only to give Prophet’s origin, which does not explain his motivation, making it seem like he’s just insane. The only subplot that is advanced is the Wildfire/Dawnstar relationship, and that is essentially given just a refresher, except to vaguely give indication of where she is going next.

The second story is the better half of the issue story-wise, but the conversation turns into more of a political discussion which doesn’t seem like a genuine conversation that parents would have with their son, after he brings home a wife that belongs to a minority that society generally distrusts. It really perplexes me that Paul Levitz never touched on the possibility or the suspicion that a Durlan impostor married the son of Earth’s President. The infiltration of the Legion is one thing, but imagine someone accusing her of being a double agent, not only in the employ of the Imskians, but perhaps another party that wants a spy on Earth. Even if it weren’t true, the tension within the Legion would be immense, and could lead to Colossal Boy taking a leave of absence, or leaving the Legion altogether for a short time. Given that Levitz was toying with bringing new members into the Legion, it would have helped precipitate the need for new Legionnaires.

The artwork by Giffen is still well done, and the evolution in his style that was influenced by the work of Argentinian cartoonist Jose Muñoz, is pretty well complete, but still developing, just not as suddenly as before. The page of Dawnstar in the Dream Nebula is fantastic. Giffen’s new style makes it very difficult to have a another artist anywhere in the book.  The artwork by Geroge Tuska holds its own admirably. It has very old school science fiction feel, though, which doesn’t mesh right away with Giffen’s more innovative style. The panels where Yera goes through multiple transformations could have been done so much better, but given the time period, I can’t think of an artist that could have pulled it off in a way that would have complimented Giffen’s style.

I feel the need to note that this is one of those covers that could have worked for almost any issue of the Legion.

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NOTES:

This issue has been collected in Legion of Super-Heroes: The Curse (ISBN #1401230989). Like most comics in this series, it can be found in bargain boxes, so I definitely recommend not paying too much for it.

FINAL RATING: 7 (out of a possible 10)

It’s a good comic, and looks pretty, but really nothing seems to actually happen.