I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got one new comic plus a hard cover collection:

  • Buffy Season 8 – 40
  • Marvel Masterworks Golden Age Captain America Volume 1
  • And now for a review of something I’ve read recently.

    “Legion of Super-Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga” by Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen

    I’ve never been much of a Legion of Super-Heroes fan. At a guess, I’ll say, I’ve probably read about sixty issues of the LOSH. Sixty issues of anything is a fair amount but, as it’s been spread over a thirty year span, that’s not a ton of issues. The only time I’ve actually collected the Legion was back in 1982-1983 when this story first came out. I think I stated reading LOSH maybe an issue or two before “The Great Darkness Saga” and stopped within a year after it. I got rid of the issues years ago but when I read that they were being collected in a nice oversized hardcover edition decided to buy it again.

    Though this volume reprints “Legion of Super-Heroes” issues 284-296 plus Annual 1 “The Great Darkness Saga” is only issues 290-294. 1982 was before the days of reprinting comics into books so there was not thought given to that. It was the days of monthly comics dropping plot hints months before a story to keep people coming back for more. So though “The Great Darkness Saga” didn’t begin until issue 290 there were sub-plot pages that appeared in previous issues to build up tension. DC decided to reprint those issues too.

    The big spoiler of “The Great Darkness Saga” is the return of the Jack Kirby “Fourth World” villain “Darkseid”. Since it’s 27 years later and he’s now featured on the cover it’s not much of a spoiler anymore. But back in 1982 we didn’t know who the mystery villain was. And that’s how the story is told.

    The volume starts out with some rather pedestrian LOSH stories. The book doesn’t get going for me until “The Great Darkness Saga” starts. We begin to see that a mysterious unnamed and un-shown villain has been reborn and he’s stating to take over the universe. He’s super-powerfull and just his minions are strong enough to take on the legion. They have no idea who he is and neither do we (well, now we do). That’s part of the fun of the story.

    Even though I didn’t like the beginning issues too much I thought the actual “The Great Darkness Saga” held up well. The art wasn’t as good as I remember it being but it was okay and the storytelling was good. I probably don’t like the LOSH much because you have to like all the interpersonal story stuff between them to be a fan. That’s not my cup of tea. But the “The Great Darkness Saga” was more about a straightforward danger to the universe. And it was dramatically done.

    Not that I can speak a whole lot about the Legion but I think the drama of “The Great Darkness Saga” is what sets it apart from other Legion stories for me. Suddenly it wasn’t about the bright shining future but about the fear of being conquered. Not that I’m always a fan of darkness but here it works. So if you’re looking for a different sort of Legion of Super-Heroes tale check this one out.