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Well its been a while heroes, and I proudly present the 3 volume of the ever growing Super-Blog Team Up! If you may have been living in a Blogger cave the SBTU are a group of comic loving super fans who have united to have their own unique voice on one ultimate topic! Our ranks have grown and we are very proud of our team and hope that you not only check out this post here at the Satellite but all the other blogs as well. Stay with me at the bottom of this post you will see links to our entire groups body of Super-Blog Team Up posts!! Each blog is different and you will get a very different approach to each topic! That’s enough about us..Ìf this is your first time visiting The Super-Hero Satellite..Welcome..if not my “Satellite Subscribers” know that its time to STRAP IN HEROES..our destination..the 30th Century. Flight Rings on Legionnaires I have a feeling we are in for a bumpy ride.

 

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It was 1980 something and as I have said many times before I inherited a mountain of coverless comics each month as a result of the destruction practices of a local side store when magazines were rotated monthly! In my numerous hauls I received in Legion Of SuperHeroes issue #287 .The book, seemingly a throw away issue of The Legion contained an “Prologue To Darkness” at the end which teased the debut of something Sinister about to unleash itself on the Legion..something familiar to DC fans..but what? Who? Boy did the Legion ever find out! We were left hanging on this plot point until issue# 290!! Which in the 80s was an eternity!! No internet, no Twitter, no comic book chat rooms or message boards to hash out DCs plan! We simply..waited.

 

 

 

Begin Transmission May 21 2014

The Great Darkness Saga is know as the biggest and best Legion Of SuperHeroes storyline off all time…and for good reason! In 1982 DC in vol. 2 of its Legion Of Super-Heroes title released the 5 issue arc in issues #290-294. (6 issues if you include issue #297 with its teaser story “Prologue To Darkness” in which Mon-El and Shadow Lass run head long into a battle with “The Darkness”) its 6 issue run bravely penned by Legion scribe extrordinare Mr. Paul Levitz and art duties by legend Keith Giffen (Whom I have a love hate relationship in the 80 over his art style) and Larry Mahlstedt. It features virtually every living past and present Legionnaire as of 1982,including one of my favorite side teams the Legion of Substitute Heroes, The Legion goes head to head with the most powerful nemesis they have ever faced who’s identity is masked in Darkness and would not be officially revealed until the end of the arc! Here at the Satellite will spoil the daylights out of this book so If you dont know who is behind the Legions woes...STOP READING HERE

 

A Prelude into Darkness..

Issue #297 was one of my first LOSH issues . This issue was particularly memorable for me as the Legion sends an Espionage Squad to the planet Khund to the shigrin of Legion Leader Lighting Lad (Top 3 Personal Fave btw!!) Lighting Lad gets so upset that three Legionnaires betrayed his orders not to go to the Khund home world that he up and relinquishes his leadership in this issue and simply gifts it to Element Lad. ELEMENT LAD? Anyways..As a Legion fan as a kid seeing Lighting Lad lose it then some hot battles in the issue with Chameleon Boy and Timber Wolf against Kharlak in a gladiator pit..I was hooked!! Of course it was the backup story that kept me coming back to LOSH!

Issue 290 of Vol. 2 of LOSH begins the ultimate Legion Storyline. The Great Darkness Saga. A mysterious “Master Of Darkness” wreaks havoc on the 30th Century..who or what is the Darkness? We would find out as would the Legion as they faced their Ultimate enemy ..a familiar foe..in his greatest hour..

*Satellite Side Note: Why cant Giffen draw like he does in these books anymore? His art noir style is very distracting seeing what he can do in these older books! Get on it Giffen!

 

 

The Servants Arrive…

The Legionnaires face dark and powerful beings stealing potent artifacts from around the universe on behalf of their unseen master.

For those who are not much into reading per say..heres the Great Darkness Saga video comic! Oh you knew it was coming!!

 

 

 

In the 30th century, Legion of Super-Heroes Cosmic Boy leads a band of Legionnaires (Super-Boy, and Invisible Kid) on an investigation into attacks on the Museum of the Mystic Arts and the Tower of London, both located on Earth. Their investigation would be wrapped up in short order as the individuals responsible for the attacks are in no mood to hide out..The “Servant of Darkness” blow through a wall Kool-Aid Man style! Oh Yeah!!

There is something about the power found in several different artifacts and the “Darkness is in hot pursuit of its powers!!

 

At each site they are attacked by beings of great power, both of whom are shrouded in darkness and mention that they are servants of their “Master” who controls the “Great Darkness“. Through the use of a teleportation warp, the beings escape with two stolen items: a mystical wand from the museum…and the sword Excalibur from the Tower of London.

Excaliber still holds power in the 30th Century and “The Servants Of Darkness” are on a mission to get it for “The Master” at all costs!

When a third Servant attempts to steal the Orb of Orthanax from the Institute of Parapsychological Phenomena of Talok VIII, she is captured. However, a fourth Servant appears via another teleportation warp and absconds with the Orb. At his unknown base of operations, the Master absorbs the power contained within each of the stolen artifacts.

 

SATELLITE BREAK TIME: AFTER THESE MESSAGES WE WILL BE RIGHT BACK…

Worst Costumes Legion

Part of the Legions charm was their diverse nature. Costumes definitely one of them. Above I have provided my worst offenders of this fashion faux pas! The ladies usually had pretty obscene costumes as well but none of the males readers were complaining about PC issues back in the early 80s! A motion picture treatment of this band of SuperHeroes would surely have a massive uniform overhaul if such an idea came to pass! I vote that Dawnstar and Dream Girls costumes remain the same. If you dont know what I mean google their names and you`ll get the picture! Awesome! Anyways..I digress..lets get back to the Darkness Saga!!

And Welcome back..now where did we leave off..Oh yes as all the servants of the darkness return the powerful artifacts one by one to the Master we see that there is something most sinister at hand. What is the Masters ultimate endgame? What will he do with all this “power??

 

The Minions do “The Masters” bidding..

 

 

The captive Servant is taken back to Legion headquarters and NOT the Clubhouse sadly..more on that comment later!. When she is brought in close proximity to Invisible Kid’s younger sister Danielle Foccart, who has been possessed by the rogue artificial intelligence Computo,Danielle’s brain activity spikes. In the end, the Servant causes the comatose Computo to have a nightmare.

The Great Darkness Unleashed..

 

In Issue 291 Mon-El and Shadow Lass analyze a captured female minion and find a shocking discovery that a captured a female member of the Servants of Darkness is actually a clone! This is something that will come into play much later in the series. The minions of The Darkness are more than they seem..

Of course for those too cheap or lazy to read these books..heres your hook up!

 

 

 

The Legion meanwhile have to cast their votes for a new leader as Lighting Lad quit in issue 297 after a squad of Legionnaires disobeyed his orders. Element Lad (I know I know..Faaaaack!) who Lighting Lad abruptly appointed to temporary leader is very eager to keep his newly begotten promotion to as leader. Mon-El, Shadow Lass and Ultra Boy go to Takron-Galtos to clean up after a massive escape attempt. They come into conflict again with the Servants of Darkness. Another squad of Legionnaires goes to Avalon where they find Mordru sitting in a smoldering crater mumbling to himself. They know that the Servants’ leader is more powerful than even their toughest adversaries.

 

Another group of Legionnaires attend Dream Girl to her home world Naltor to meet up with her sister the White Witch. This particular part of the storyline is basic trope materila with little substance. The Dream Girl character is one of that I wonder if writers could have done a better more interesting job with..but alas..The Servants of Darkness appear there as well and fight the Legionnaires. Dream Girl has a vision and learns that they are fated to lose against the Servants and their master.

Satellite Break: We will be right back after these messages!

 

The greatest thing about being a comic book fan was making my own! I have great memories of dragging along my stack of Adventure Comics Digests with me no matter where I went especially if it was a camping trip! I would stay in that trailer for hours as everyone else enjoyed the outdoors. I remember one comic I had drawn as a kid all about the Legion. Of course all my books featured Timber Wolf, Wildfire and Lighting Lad!! The Triple Threat! To this day I wish I still had those hand made classics but I still managed to work a little photo shop magic from time to time! If I only had this technology in the early 80s what I could have done!

SuperHero Satellite comic

 

The Legion Of Super-Heroes were always excellent to me because they did everything you could think of with the team that has been ripped off by every other main group out there! They rotated leaders so many times it became comedic. Seriously Element Lad as leader? Come on! Before the Avengers became The West Coast Avengers the Legion had The Legion Of Substitute Heroes! The Legion guest starred every significant hero in the DC universe and had many of them honorary members! They had a Clubhouse when everyone else had Satellites, Caves, Halls of Justice, and Baxter Buildings, they had..a Clubhouse! The Super-Hero Clubhouse to be exact where all Legionnaires would congregate for their weekly club meetings. Membership was limited and was restricted a simple vote by the executive Legionnaires. Even Super Boy himself had to go through the voting system and was turned down by a panel of judges comprised of original Legionnaires Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl. Of course it was all a ruse in this case to play with Supes but this method of selection was the real deal for the Legion! Simple , lighthearted 60s magic in comic books..the Legion was a great read! As they grew up things got more serious, they moved out of the Clubhouse and into the afore mentioned satellite and other headquarters!

Times up back to the topic at hand!!

 

Darkness in a Childs eye..

As the Legionnaires battle the minions of darkness on Sorcerers’ World, the Teachers of that planet bring something through a space-warp intended to shift the battle in their favor–a baby. The Baby storyline is at times a confusing mess and is a bit of a drag on the storyline as the majority of one issue is dedicated to this familiar “Chosen One” storyline which is a little odd Levitz would take this route..but it is the 80s and the concept at this point was still someone relevant. Flash forward to 2014 today the “Chosen One ” gimmick is beat to death ..but I digress. I am talking to YOU George Lucas!! Back to the story..The battle gets hot and heavy as the Minions of the Darkness easily dispatch the Legionnaires ans for once it appears the mysterious Dark Lord has the advantage..

 

One after the other the Legion begin to fall as the Master Of Darkness dispatches his minions in full unbridled force..

 

Darkness Triumphant…

All hell breaks loose in issue 293 While the Legion fights his clone-minions, Darkseid takes mental control of the populace of Daxam and unleashes them on the universe as his warriors. The big reveal is upon us as The Legion is beaten and battered at the hands of the Darkness..One thousand years in the future, The Master has been absent for centuries and is almost completely forgotten. He returns and comes into conflict with that era’s champions, the Legion of Super-Heroes. After using both scientific and magical methods to enhance his power, The Master transposes the planets Apokolips and Daxam—which puts Daxam under flames of a yellow sun and gives the people of Daxam Kryptonian-like superpowers on par with the Man Of Steel himself.. Superman. With a Legion of Daxamites under his mental control, he uses them in a massive invasion attempt to conquer the known universe…Darkseid reshapes the planet in his own image..the rest of the universe is on notice.

 

 

The Legion a clear mismatch..falls at the might of the “Master” upon overseeing his emasculation of Legion heavy hitters like SuperMan, Mon-El, and WildFire..The Master finally reveals himself to the 30th century..Wildfire and Timber Wolf were my favorite two Legionnaires during the early 80s. These are two more examples of characters mishandled and could have been given the solo treatment if not at least a DC Mini Series!! Timber Wolf was a character in particular that DC underutilized.He is often noted as being a version of Marvel Comics character, Wolverine but it was The Wolf who actually predated the Weapon X and was always a Darkhorse character for me. At different times DC played with Timber Wolfs look at times reaching a full on “Wolverinesq” look then other times pulling back significantly! Timber Wolf was first damn it!! Dave Cockrum the man who would go on to draw Wolverine may have “Considered” Wolverines look when creating Logan for Marvel. Bastards..Timber Wolf gets no respect!!

Okay back on track..our band of heroes have been blasted and battered..not even the son of Krypton can save them..The Darkness proves to be too much of an adversary than the Legion have ever faced..

 

Legion Falls at the hands of The Servants Of Darkness..

 

and if there was any doubt at this point then my friend I cannot give you another vowel on Wheel Of Fortune. The “Master” is finally revealed as…drum roll please…

Wait..its break time again..Time for the Satellite to reflect on its favorite Legionnaires of all time. See you all after these messages!

top 3 legionnaires

And we are back..on to the big reveal as if there was any doubt..

Issue #294 Vol. 2 Of Legion of Super-Heroes presents the ultimate conclusion to The Great Darkness Saga..and there is no doubt who the Super Bad is in this one as the Master of Darkness is front and center in this Cataclysmic Conclusion to the Great Darkness Saga!! However before we get into the conclusion to Saga..after years of laying dormant King Kirbys greatest evil creation once again rose to the main event of the card! DARKSEID was reborn thousands of years later..in the FUTURE!! Now the Legion would find out what Apokolips had known for centuries..no one rules harder than the Lord Of Apokolips..The Great Darkness Saga had indeed paid off their reveal with a very real high powered threat!

Darkseid Rises..

 

In the mean time The Legionnaires locate Darkseid homeworld. The Legion begin to get the upper hand on the Servants of Darkness .Engaging the Servants in battle, Wildfire destroys the Guardian clone, while Element Lad exposes the Superman clone to Kryptonite allowing Timber Wolf to destroy him.Finally the Legion gain some ground in the fight but it would take a miracle to take on billions of adversaries..victory however would come in another unexpected form from the past…Darkseids past to be exact. A prophecy would unfold…at least a fabricated one…

 

 

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Legionnaire , Brainiac 5 recognizes the Master’s home world as Apokolips and discovers that it is actually Darkseid who is causing such chaos! He understands that their opponent is not one they are going to simply vanquish..in fact they ponder do they even stand a chance against evil incarnate!

Final pg1 braniac explains

Brainiac 5 briefs Dream Girl on his discovery, she sends out a second full scale alert to all of the Legion’s allies, including the Legion of Substitute Heroes and Supergirl, The coalition brought together including the Kryptonian intelligence agent Dev-Em, the Heroes of Lallor, the Wanderers, the Legion Of Substitute Heroes and the all remaining Legionnaires all battle for their lives bearing the onslaught of Darkseid’s newly possessed Daxamites.

Calling all legioniraes final

Meanwhile the aforementioned humanoid child begins to ages at an highly accelerated rate,Darkseid tries to seize the child, it completes the aging process and reveals itself to be Darkseid’s ancient enemy The Highfather of the New Gods from the planet New Genesis (and the entity aiding the White Witch). Highfather transforms the last remaining Servant into a perfect clone of Darkseid’s son Orion, who is destined to someday destroy his father.

 

New Godsbackcrop

Before fading into nothingness, Highfather calls on Superboy and Supergirl to the war waging above Apokolips, and uses his power to allow the Kryptonians to maintain their abilities under a red sun.

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Darkseid destroys the Orion clone and sends Superboy back to the 20th century. Darkseid becomes so wrapped up with battling the Legionnaires that he loses his mental hold control of the Daxamites, who turn their way back toward the to stop Darkseid. Realizing that he cannot defeat three billion Daxamites, Darkseid accepts defeat and vanishes, Apokolips and all. As he leaves, he bestows the Legionnaires the “curse of darkness” which will destroy them from within, promising “that which is purest of you shall be the first to go.”With that..the Legion stand victories..beaten and battered but triumphant in the moment of their most extreme battle.

 

Final curse

Summary: With the help of a billion extra super powered individuals, The New Gods, and all of the Legionnaires, the Dark Master concedes..even Darkseid is no dummy and gets outta Dodge before the proverbial shite hits the fan. With Darkseid gone the Legion finally regrouped very much weather beaten and battered. Returning to the good old Legion Club House the team regroups and life goes back to futuristic order. Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl go on to have a child and we live happily ever after right??

 

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Just as Lighting Lad and Saturn Girls child is about to be born the Legion Satellite (All cool Super Hero Groups use Satellites!! I am just saying!) is engulfed in a dark smoke like substance forcing the power to go out..and the Doctor has to deliver the child..IN THE DARK!! Hmmm..are you smelling a rat?

 

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However it looks like there was a miracle..despite the Darkness..despite the trouble the Legion has been through lately it looks like they are in for some luck. The baby is delivered problem free, healthy and happy. Finally after all the turmoil Lighting Lad and Saturn Girl will finally have peace in their lives!! In a particularly unusual moment Saturn Girl is discussing an unusual sensation of feeling TWO thought patterns inside her. Shes a telepath see and she picks up on stuff like that..but she dismisses her thoughts as nothing and remains content with her newborn child. We leave the legionnaires for once..happy.

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However happiness would not last for the Legion. There HAD been TWO children indeed inside of Saturn Girl and in the darkness the second child had been STOLEN…so it was written and so It shall come to pass Darkseid’s final words before he conceded in his great war with the Legion spoke of leaving them A CURSE..that would one day destroy you from “Within!!” And so…

 

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After a Great War..and a great defeat ..it is Darkseid who would not simply go down in flames of defeat but stand victorious with the Ultimate victory the birth of one of the Legions greatest enemies..Lightning Lads own Son…VALIDUS!! But that is a story for another time..

 

 

Well thats it from us here at the Super-Hero Satellite..hope you have enjoyed your guest tour of our technological monstrosity!. The Darkness Saga was certainly a tough battle for all (Author included!!) but there is no time to rest. The Blogosphere is in danger and THESE blogs need your help to review their own chapters of the Super-Blog Team Up!! Click on these links below I guarantee you that you will enjoy and become fans of these blogs like I have! Strap in tight Heroes..we are about to enter another chapter of Super-Blog Team Up! Hope you have enjoyed the ride but your journey is just beginning!

LongBox Graveyard: Thanos: Love and Death

Flodo’s Page: Villainous Villanies Of The LampLighter!

Silver Age Sensations: The Voracious Villainy of The Crimson Dynamo !

Chasing Amazing: Carnage: How I Helped Create This Monster!

Between The Pages: Two Villains Rule The World Of Cakes! Darth Vader and Boba Fett!

Superior Spider Talk :Peter Parkers Parents!! COMING SOON

Bronze Age Babies: The Frightful Four: Are Brains Required For This Outfit!

The Daily Rios: JLA vs. The Beasts!

Vic Sage Via The Retroist: Doctor Doom: Doom Of Destiny And Denial!

The Unspoken Decade: GodKillers: DoomsDay and Bane!

The Super-Hero Satellite: Darkseid: The Great Darkness Saga! (Hey you are already here!)

Satellite Extra Extra!!

SBTU3Batman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments
  1. […] SuperHero Satellite shows us The Legion in The Great Darkness Saga! […]

  2. […] SuperHero Satellite — The Great Darkness Saga […]

  3. Doug says:

    That’s a sweeping review – great job!

    RE: Giffen’s art. His overuse of profile shots was maddening. Maddening, I say! I just felt like a) he wasn’t very good at providing any depth in that angle, and b) it just became a stock pose throughout the arc. That’s not to say that his art was horrible, but it just wasn’t always to my liking.

    Doug

    • charltonhero says:

      Man you said it! I have a vendetta against the guy internally I think because he was the last penciller n one of my favorite books HEX. I STILL blame him for that books demise even though in truth it was not. Horrible horrible art in those last issues of Hex! Almost Frank Miller Dark Knight Strikes Back bad.. but not quite!!

      • Edo Bosnar says:

        Outstanding write-up. It really brought back some memories of the first time I read this story myself. It really had me on the edge of my seat. Also, looking at the panels you posted, I recalled a little Easter egg I spotted way back then, but forgot about until now: the curator of that musuem of magical artifacts is none other than Dr. Strange (with a little extra hair).

        Otherwise, though, I have to say I generally don’t agree with all of the criticism of Giffen’s art. I like most of his work, and I loved it when Mahlstedt was doing the inking (here and in those Dr. Fates stories especially).
        And I don’t agree about Ultra Boy’s costume, either. That was always one of my favorites. Granted, there’s a few too many colors, but it’s a winner for that cool chest emblem alone…

  4. […] LongBox Graveyard: Thanos: Love and Death Fantastiverse Green Goblin: COMING SOON Flodo’s Page: Villainous Villainies Of The LampLighter! Silver Age Sensations: The Voracious Villainy of The Crimson Dynamo! Chasing Amazing: Carnage: How I Helped Create This Monster! Between The Pages: Two Villains Rule The World Of Cakes! Darth Vader and Boba Fett! Superior Spider Talk: Peter Parkers Parents!! COMING SOON Bronze Age Babies: The Frightful Four: Are Brains Required For This Outfit! Vic Sage Via The Retroist: Doctor Doom: Doom Of Destiny And Denial! The Unspoken Decade: GodKillers: DoomsDay and Bane! The Super-Hero Satellite: Darkseid: The Great Darkness Saga!  […]

  5. […] The Superhero Satellite Super-Blog Team Up Vol. 3 The Great Darkness Saga […]

  6. “The Great Darkness Saga” is a fantastic story. It, along with the reprints of Dave Cockrum’s short run drawing the series, served as my introduction to the Legion. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read Levitz & Giffen’s epic story. I’m also very fond of the follow-up, “Child of Drkness, Child of Light” where Darkseid’s curse, and his role in the creation of Validus, were finally revealed…

    http://benjaminherman.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/legion-of-super-heroes-the-curse-of-validus/

    • charltonhero says:

      Thanks for reading the Satellite Ben! 1980s Legion was a special time for that series that they cant seem to replicate! With heroes like Wildfire, Blok, Timberwolf, Collosal Boy and Lightning Lad this was MY book! Diverse heroes and the BEST team out there of any super group! Loved it! Great post as well on the curse of Validus!

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