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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 299

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

For the benefit of Mr. Rice, here’s a cool moment from the conclusion to the Quiet Darkness Saga…

Okay, the gist of the Quiet Darkness Saga (which was written by Al Gordon and drawn by Keith Giffen). The daughter of a scientist is on the run and Darkseid is sending people after her, including a seemingly ancient Lobo (but is that the REAL Lobo?), because it turns out that she’s part of a sort of experiment her father was doing with her and her twin brother.

Darkseid, meanwhile, is depressed – he’s sick of the so-called “Quiet Darkness” he has been living in, where he has no peers and no real goals in life, so he’s just sitting around depressed.

The little girl (Aria) is aided by “Furball,” who is actually former Legionnaire Brin Londo (Timberwolf) mutated to the point where he’s basically a devolved furry monster.

So eventually, while some of the Legion get involved (Brainiac, Ultra Boy and Kent Shakespeare), Aria is captured and seemingly “merged” with her brother, and, well, we get the following…

“The” moment is almost certainly the point where we realize that Darkseid has done all of these machinations simply to create a creature that could kill him, as he finally goes into the “quiet darkness” that he EMBRACES, rather than fears.

Great work by Gordon, and Giffen’s art is quite nice, as well.

What I don’t get is – isn’t Giffen working for DC exclusively? Couldn’t they have worked out some sort of royalty agreement where DC would release these great Legion stories in trades?


i would agree though i would also go with arie figuring out what a nasty creature dark side is and refusing ot give into his wishes. as for why keith is not dc exclusive no on at dc has ever offered him one plus he would have to put up with the buracracy of dc. something he does not like.

Tom Fitzpatrick

October 27, 2009 at 7:08 am

That has got to be the coolest drawing of Darkseid, ever!

I thought the Great Darkness Saga WAS available in trade, no?

It WAS. It came out in 1989. (Might be hard to find, though…)

This is the Quiet Darkness Saga.

I have no idea what was happening above. Maybe I shouldn’t read it so early in the morning.

Man, I still don’t like the 5YG Legion. I keep going back to it to see what I’m missing, but it never works for me.

Stephane Savoie

October 27, 2009 at 8:43 am

I love 5YG Legion, but I hate Al Gordon’s contributions. While the premise of Quiet Darkness was fair, the execution was poor. Similarly, his Timberwolf mini was awful, and its repercussions on the Legion title were irritating.
This story introduced the notion of “Brainiac” being an honorary title, and it having been offered to the father in the above pages. “Lame” is too poor an adjective for this.
I’ve gotta admit, as much as I love the 5YG Legion… boy those stories were inaccessible to new readers.

Awesome. i wish Giffen would draw more these days.

My favorite run of any DCU comic. Keith’s art was a joy, plots were intricate and intelligent, dialogue by Tom & Mary Biernbaum worked perfectly (even though here is Al Gordon’s). It antecipated a lot of what Lost and other more famous franchises do these days. Unfortunately, critics tend to focus more on what whether this was an easy read and didn’t make an effort to research and understand that complexity was all the book was about.
It’s a crime that DC seems to ignore this run (just like Geoff Johns did with Legion of 3 Worlds) and refuses to do an Omnibus edition of it, including the Mayfair compendium (another example of using a different medium for extra fun which antecipated transmedia).
And there has never been a cooler Darkseid or a cooler Lobo than in Quiet Darkness. I’d also point out to the great covers Keith would put out with the able hand of Tom McCraw. You should have included those!
Man, do I get excited with that era! Pity this kind of book will never happen again.

Ok since no else’s mind is in the gutter this morning…..

Aria? Honey! Where is your brother? – Aria’s Dad?
He’s in here Daddy! I can feel him! Inside me! Oh Daddy this feeling! Its so wonderful – Aria

Come on it cant be just me. Arias getting her Deliverance moment on.

The QDS is precisely where LSH v4 lost me. Not “confused me,” but “lost my interest.”

I loved v4 and think that particular story is quite underestimated. Never in a million years I thought it would be one of these moments. Congrats, Warlord Cro!

Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

Oh, man, awesome. Thanks, Brian! Now I gotta find this run and reread it (again)! Damn, maybe my favorite long-term run on any superbook.

It’s so great to see I am not alone in the world… :D

By the way, one VERY cool comic book moment can be found in Legion of Super Heroes #37, with the appearance of Death (probably one of the 2 appearances in a DCU book – the other being on Ambush Bug) at the end of Earth. Jason Pearson rips on artwork.

Death also showed up in an issue of Captain Atom, Ricardo, but it wasn’t nearly as cool as the other appearances you mention because, well, it was in Captain Atom, and it pigeonholed her as just one of many aspects of death (along with Nekron and others).

She also showed up in a Lobo comic, which is probably about as “canon” as Ambush Bug, although again nowhere near as cool.

Oh, and add me to the chorus of testimonials: This was far and away my favorite run of Legion, and I wish DC wasn’t so insistent on pretending it didn’t happen.

Yeah, the 5YG Legion was amazing. It had everything from the poignancy Mon-El re-booting his universe to the absurdity of “Tenzil for the Defense”. It was a great run by Giffen and the Biernbaums.

Does anybody have any idea why DC treats it like it never happened?

Dean wrote:

“Does anybody have any idea why DC treats it like it never happened?”

My best bet is on the outcry of Silver Age Legion fans who could never get past the idea their characters could (gasp) grow, leave spandex (argh!) and become adults and more complex (“that’s too difficult!”). Moreover, some of these fans were in very high positions and basically tried for a long time to get rid of Giffen’s brilliant take (he left the book a couple of times during that run). When KC Carlson took over as editor, Giffen had to leave for good.

Who was the kid at the end? her brother?


@ Ricardo:

That is a shame. I love the whole DC Silver Age, but it really puts a heavy historical weight on the DCU. Giffen’s post-Lapsarian take on the Legion was a really smart response to that. It felt like the difference between the early ’60s and the ’90s.

I’m sorry, I really tried to like this volume but…I just can’t. I don’t like the writing, and Giffen’s art is just too confusing. The central idea is interesting, but the execution just didn’t work for me.

It had nothing to do with seeing characters grow, we had seem them grow before. Characters got married, fell in and out of love, had kids, buried their lovers, went through hardships and ended up becoming stronger people, etc. But this era just seemed to enjoy pissing all over everything that came before, and the creators all too often hid behind the “Well, you just don’t get it, and you need to grow up and leave the previous era’s behind blah blah blah” argument.

YMMV, of course.

Of course the eventual point of the run was “No matter how awful things get when you reach adulthood, real friendships and joy will eventually shine through.” It was a long-form “Yeah, things got awful. Let’s fix it” and I loved that.

I love the little coda (hee) to this story too, with Jo asking Brainy if he was gonna publish on it. Especially because you got to see the OmniCon page with some of Brainy’s notes later (“make copy for Jo; delete all overs over three syllalbels”).

One of the really cool parts about this story is just how truly terrible and beyond us Darkseid really is here. For all the trappings of civility around him, there’s a part of him that is monstrous and terrifying.

It’s also not a story about conflict or the Legion solving a problem, but of understanding and that’s kinda rare. Of course, I also love the dialogue and humor (Ultra Boy is freakin’ awesome).

As Joe Rice said – that’s exactly the point. While before that run characters surely evolved, they had not MATURED. As for “pissing”, it sounded just the opposite: they tried to respect everything that came before, even though DC was having them re-write their whole chronology several times during the 4 year original run.
It was never about “not getting it”, but most of complaints were in the way that “Legion is supposed to be fun AND teenage-y” or “I don’t understand this ‘muddy’ art”. Meaning: people wanted to have the same food they had in the 60s.
I like all Legion eras (maybe except for the awfully bad T&M Biernbaum solo era and Tom McCraw’s disastrous “return to spandex” suite. Oh, and the reboot…), so I can see that Silver Age was good… at that time. Giffen took Legion’s concept to contemporary issues (just like Legion was contemporary… in the 60s). But it is hard to fight the good fight when people believe there is just one way to have Legion. The awful Legion of 3 Worlds proves that it seems people would rather have slugfests over what we see up here.

It depends how you define mature…

Plus, it wasn’t about wanting to keep the title in the 60s. To me, and to quite a few others, I imagine, the Levitz/Giffen/Lightle/LaRoque era was one of the best eras of the title. It was an older, more mature Legion which had a nice balance of the lighter, earlier, more fun days and darker, more mature stories and issues.

As for the muddy art, yes, it is annoying when many times, through this run, it was hard to figure out what the hell was going on. Just as the stories themselves had interesting ideas but failed (for me and others) in the execution, it was the same for the art. Whatever points Giffen may get for new ideas and trying to push the envelope, he loses them with confusing, sometimes indecipherable sequences and panels that make you have to reread the damn thing many times. Not to discover new things you didn’t get the first time, but just to understand what the hell was going on.

Yep, a lot of talking about stuff I don’t know anything about. But the art is pretty fantastic.

@Joe Rice: Of course the eventual point of the run was “No matter how awful things get when you reach adulthood, real friendships and joy will eventually shine through.” It was a long-form “Yeah, things got awful. Let’s fix it” and I loved that.

i totally agree with you. However, the QDS is precisely where LSH v4 confused me, as i couldn’t follow the story at all. After this, i found that the book went downhill for me. i agree with Dean: Yeah, the 5YG Legion was amazing. It was a great run by Giffen and the Biernbaums.

Although the annual where Proty has taken over for Lightning Lad was totally awful and most definetely vomitting on the past [as was the Element Lad/Shavagn Erin story]

That’s what makes for a great comic book: discussions about it are always done in high levels. Can’t say that about Legion of 3 Worlds. :)

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