Review: The Legion of Super-Heroes #294

The Legion of Super-Heroes (1980) #294 cover
Cover by Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt

The Legion of Super-Heroes #294
Published and © by DC, December 1982

Title: “Darkseid”
Synopsis: The “Master” stands revealed: The Legion faces the wrath of Darkseid – and his three billion Daxamite slaves.

Writers (plot): Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen
Writer (script): Levitz
Penciler: Giffen
Inker: Larry Mahlstedt

Review: Now, that’s how you do epic. At the time, Jack Kirby’s “Fourth World” mythos ran the risk of becoming a historical footnote. “The Great Darkness Saga” (see reviews) – the crowning achievement of the legendary Legion team of Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen – reintroduced the Fourth World to a new generation of readers. And they are one of the few creative teams to match the epic scale so prevalent in Kirby’s work. But what sets this arc apart is Levitz and Giffen’s ability to balance the cosmic and intimate; character moments abound. This is superhero comics at their best.

Grade: A

Second opinion: “Paul Levitz and artist Keith Giffen made the Legion of Super-Heroes worth reading again.” – Jim Kingman, Comic Effect #31, Fall 2002 … “… This concluding chapter of the ‘Great Darkness Saga’ is … disappointing.” – Tom Joyner, Comic Informer #7, January-February 1983. … “4 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: A Bronze Age classic and one for the ages.

Notable: Dedicated to Jack Kirby.
Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a $1.25 Canadian variant of this issue.

Character quotable: “You have shattered the dreams of a god.” – Darkseid, defeated … for now

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Sequential Reaction (Vol. 1) on Sept. 27, 2021.

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