Reviews Of Old Comics: Legion Of Super-Heroes #312

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LOSH312LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #312
June  1984

I know the frequency of Old Comics Reviews has been a little sparse in recent months, but my duties here at Needless Essentials generally keep me from going into my collection for something older that I can review. Because I go so into detail on the synopses for these comics, Reviews of  Old Comics takes a little longer to write than a normal review. However, a very lackluster Legion appearance this month got me in the mood to resume reviewing the old issues of the Legion, now with an issue that looked at the Science Police and how the Legion works with them.

SYNOPSIS:

Sun Boy is in Science Police Officer’s GiGi Cusinamo’s apartment, romancing her, when a call comes in for an emergency at Metropolis Stadium. Sun Boy flies her there. A bomb has exploded in the middle of a Moopsball game. Colossal Boy and Element Lad were in the crowd and are able to keep damage and panic contained until the Science Police arrive. Back at Legion HQ, the injured Blok volunteers to debug the new Mission Monitor Board.

Science Police Chief Zendak informs Element Lad that the bomb threat had been called in, but because they get so many threats a day, they followed standard procedure, which failed this time, a first for them. They go to Science Police headquarters where the SP Computer informs them that it was tampered with.

Shrinking Violet checks herself out of Medicus One and sets out to settle old scores. Back in Metropolis, GiGi is monitoring the crimewatch computer when Shvaughn enters with two new SP recruits, one of whom GiGi instantly recognizes as Colossal Boy, despite his voice being distorted. Before either of them can explain their extreme familiarity to Shvaughn or the other disguised Legionnaire, Element Lad, an alert is called for another emergency.

At Metropolis’s Restaurant Row, another bomb has gone off. Legionnaires Cosmic Boy, Phantom Girl and Invisible Kid have shown up to help rescue people. Element Lad can’t assist without giving away his disguise, but he has called Superboy in from the 20th century to help with the bombs. Back at Science Police HQ, the White Witch is using her magic to try and learn the identity of whomever tampered with the computer. She reveals a Science Police uniform, but nothing else.

At Legion HQ, Superboy relaxes with Brainiac 5 over a game of Galaxo-War, poking fun at Brainiac 5 over his romance with Supergirl, causing him to lose the game for the first time. Invisible Kid says goodbye to them as he takes his kid sister Danielle home. She hugs Brainiac 5 causing him to blush for the second time in just a few minutes. As Danielle leaves, there is a short in the door portal, which makes Brainiac ponder about the little girl.

In a wealthy residential district of Metropolis, the bomber who has been trying to extort money with his bomb threats, schemes to force Chief Zendak to publicly acknowledge his efforts by calling in a threat on Science Police Headquarters. Work immediately begins to find a bomb, even using the White Witch. Unfortunately, they are unable to find the bomb before it explodes. Superboy and Cosmic Boy are able to contain the explosion while Phantom Girl goes inside to find an Inertron dome Element Lad has made to protect the Science Police officers he was with. Zendak then informs them that the bomber has also threatened the President of Earth, who just happens to be Colossal Boy’s mother.

Lightning Lad and a very pregnant Saturn Girl are leaving Legion HQ in preparation for her giving birth to their first child.

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REVIEW:

This story is constructed in a very linear way, and remains cohesive, despite breaking for a subplot or two. The real stars are supposed to be the Science Police, but the scope and speed of the bombings  makes it clear that they need help. There is enough humor inserted to lighten what would normally be a very emotionally heavy story. Having Superboy brought in reinforces a sense that the Legion has extended itself rather thin, with so many Legionnaires unavailable to assist in a case on Earth. Those that are left work perfectly together, and it was pleasant to see Cosmic Boy put to such good use, even working in concert with Superboy.

Keith Giffen’s art is amazingly constructed, keeping the storytelling going with many scenes not even needing dialogue to get the story across. It’s obvious that he was getting comfortable with his new style, and Karl Kesel as the guest inker shows how well he works even with someone with a very different style.LOSHv2_312-16

 

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. You can still get The Curse through Comixology for just under $20 as I write this, so if finding the individual issue is a problem, you can go still that route.

FINAL RATING: 9.0 (out of a possible 10) It’s part one of a two part story, and it’s engaging enough with a small enough cast that it’s easy to jump into. Some Legionnaires aren’t used that are available, but the ones that remain are used to their best effect. It goes a long way into explaining how 30th century society works, which is refreshing for a super-hero book that occasionally delves into science fiction.