The Legion of Super-Heroes #291
Published and © by DC, September 1982
Title: “… A Sign of Darkness Dawning”
Synopsis: The mysterious “Master” continues to gather power – from some of the Legion’s most formidable foes!
Writer: Paul Levitz
Penciler: Keith Giffen
Inker: Larry Mahlstedt
Review: Palpable fear grows as the “Master” easily strips power from villainous Legion heavyweights including Mordru and the Time Trapper. Writer Paul Levitz expertly weaves together several plot threads, balancing emotional notes with well-choreographed action. The art is similarly detailed and aciton packed. A superb chapter of a great story arc.
Title: “Leaders and Lovers”
Synopsis: Lightning Lad lays helpless as the original Legionnaires face off against a Servant of Darkness.
Writer: Paul Levitz
Penciler: Howard Bender
Inker: Rodin Rodriguez
Review: Why is this a separate feature? Other than showcasing inferior art, it could have been part of the lead story.
Grade (for the entire issue): A-
Second opinion: “3 1/2 out of 4 stars.” – Brent Frankenhoff, Comics Buyer’s Guide #1668, August 2010 … Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003.
Cool factor: Seeing some of the Legion’s biggest bads drained of power and casually discarded is horrifying.
Not-so-cool factor: Backup artists? Who called in the backup artists?
Notable: Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt redrew the “Leaders and Lovers” story for “The Great Darkness Saga” collected edition. (Editor’s note: This would have made more sense if Giffen’s style hadn’t changed so radically in the time since LoSH #291 was originally published.)
Collector’s note: According to MyComicShop.com, there is a Mark Jewelers variant of this issue.
Character quotable: “Ddddddarkkkk … ssssooo ddarrkk … aaanddd cccollld … .” – Mordru, suggesting the “Master” is a seriously big bad
Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Sequential Reaction (Vol. 1) on July 12, 2016.