Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!
Today we look at the Legion of Super-Heroes’ Great Darkness Saga (courtesy of Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen).
Probably the most notable aspect of the Great Darkness Saga is just how well Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen developed the drama of the storyline. It was very much a slow burn as things slowly got progressively worse until, well, all hell broke loose at the end of the story.
Larry Mahlstedt was Giffen’s inker at the time, and the duo produced some strong, dynamic and characterization-filled artwork.
After some small references in the issues before, the storyline began proper in Legion of Super-Heroes #290, as some mysterious powerful “dark” creatures keep popping up around the world capturing items of power, with the Legion trying (to no avail) to stop them at each opportunity.
Here’s one such altercation…
In the next issue, the situation continues to deteriorate, and the mystery of WHO these “dark warriors” are becomes a bigger issue, as it APPEARS as though the dark creatures are actually powerful beings from the past – beings that have been long dead for years (centuries in some cases).
The Legion are getting their asses handed to them repeatedly, and as #291 ends, things look pretty damn bleak…
Levitz really knew how to work the drama!
Also, the action in the series is top notch. Here is a battle from the next issue, as we learn more about the “master” of the dark creatures…
It’s really striking just how accomplished of a storyteller Giffen was (and is still, of course).
That leads to the penultimate issue, where the Legion get their first real victory of the story, just in time for them to learn just how screwed they really are…
What a reveal!
The impact of that reveal was a lot bigger back when Darkseid was not such a popular villain for people to use.
And that, of course, leads into a dramatic last issue that has all the drama and action you would expect from the previous issues. It is impressive to see a story slowly build and have the conclusion be truly worth the slow burn.
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