Thursday, September 15, 2016

Legion of Super-Heroes (V2) #296

Legion of Super-Heroes #296
February 1983
"What Do You Do on the Day After Doomsday?"
Written by Paul Levitz
Pencilled by Keith Giffen
Inked by Larry Mahlstedt
Colored by Carl Gafford
Karen Berger Editor

Roll Call:
Blok, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Dawnstar, Dream Girl, Duplicate Boy, Element Lad, Evolvo Lad, Invisible Kid, Karate Kid, Lightning Lad, Lightning Lass, Magnetic Lad, Matter-Eater Lad, Mon-El, Night Girl, Phantom Girl, Princess Projectra, Saturn Girl, Shadow Lass, Shvaughn Erin, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Ultra Boy, White Witch, Wildfire.

The Great Darkness Saga has ended, and the Legion has won! So just what does a team of super-powered teenagers do the day after doomsday? Let's dive in and find out!

What does a Legionnaire do on the day after Doomsday? We follow the various Legionnaires on a Legion of Super-Heroes #294. Mon-El and Shadow Lass depart on leave, Blok gives the White Witch the grand tour of Legion HQ, and Saturn Girl & Lightning Lad throw a party for the rest of the Legionnaires.
day intended for rest and relaxation, as the team attempts to recover and decompress from their final battle with Darkseid from

Of course there are no slow days when you're the Legion of Super-Heroes, and their party is interrupted by a trouble alert before it ever really gets started. It seems someone has set off a nuclear blast in Metropolis, so the Legionnaires join the Science Police in the clean-up and rescue mission. Element Lad reconfigures a good portion of the nuclear fallout into helium, which is then dispersed into the atmosphere with a blast of super-breath from Ultra Boy. Star Boy uses his gravity manipulation powers to condense the remaining nuclear fallout, so that the Legionnaires can begin the search for survivors. That's when Sun Boy realizes where they are, in the neighborhood where Cosmic Boy's family lives. That's when Cosmic Boy's little brother Pol stumbles from the wreckage, with his face mutilated from the blast and radiation.

Back at Legion Headquarters, Lightning Lass says her final goodbyes to the team as she prepares to depart, include a tearful farewell to her sister-in-law Saturn Girl. Lightning Lass & Timber Wolf may be through, but there's a new budding romance between teammates, as Colossal Boy & Shrinking Violet continue to fall for each other, much to the dismay of Duplicate Boy of Lallor, who spies them half a galaxy away with his super-vision.

Back on Earth, the Legionnaires continue the clean-up and rescue, as the Science Police begin to scan the area for leads and suspects in the bombing. They happen across of a small gathering of a few unruly types, who are quickly rounded up by the Legionnaires, save one who seemingly escapes through the sewer tunnels. Little does he know, that he's actually followed Saturn Girl & Sun Boy in disguise, and a quick mental probe gives them a lead on the location of the potential bombers.
Meanwhile Brainiac 5 begins his latest attempt at restoring Matter-Eater Lad's mind, while Blok, Dawnstar, Invisbile Kid, White Witch, and Wildfire depart for a secret mission in space.

On the United Planets' maximum security prison world of Takron-Galtos, Chameleon Boy is called in front of the prison governor, and pardoned of his crimes, due to the hand he lent in stopping the Daxamite assault on the world during the Great Darkness Saga. With his pardon, his antennae inhibitors are removed. Cham attempts to change into a space dragon to fly home...but there's one problem, even with the inhibitors gone, Chameleon Boy can't shape shift.
Back on earth, the Legionnaires lead pans out, they storm the warehouse, decimating the bombers' forces with ease. The criminals confess to the crime and plead for the Police Scientists to take them away and lock them up, far from the reach of the Legionnaires' vengeance.

What do you do on the day after doomsday? If you're Cosmic Boy, you head home after the post-Great Darkness Saga clean-up off world, completely unsuspecting of the disaster that awaits...

This is a pretty much the perfect end issue for all of the threads and subplots introduced when we
started our coverage of the Great Darkness Saga back with Legion of Super-Heroes #284. We've seen romances rise like Colossal Boy & Shrinking Violet, fall like Lightning Lass & Timber Wolf, and weather the storm like Lightning Lad & Saturn Girl. We've seen Chameleon Boy go from an emotional train wreck at the revelation that RJ Brande is his father, leading to rash actions that endangered his team & galactic piece, landing himself in prison, and then being released early with a  full pardon. But obviously with his shape-changing powers on the fritz, it looks like his story has more twists and turns awaiting ahead.

We've seen Princess Projectra grow into the role of Monarch of Orando, and it appears she and Karate Kid may finally tie the knot in the near future. The Legion and its members have been put through a gauntlet of trials and tribulations while facing the greatest threat they universe has potentially ever seen. All things considered, they came out the backside relatively unscathed, yet still forever changed.

This issue, like most we've covered so far, was well paced by Levitz, who masterfully blends emotional character moments with moments of combat and super-heroic action. Giffen & Mahlstedt's art is fantastic, the figure work looks amazing; each issue they continue to excel at capturing the emotion and gravity of each situation, and their story telling and panel flow continues to be some of the best ever seen.

Like I said earlier, this is pretty much the perfect little end to the Great Darkness Saga deluxe collection; it neatly wraps-up the remaining dangling plot threads, while introducing a whole new batch of sub-plots and story threads to be explored in the next arc. It's been a blast re-visiting this emotional roller coaster and looking back at the most famous Legion of Super-Heroes story arc ever. I hope you folks following along have enjoyed it as much as I have!


  1. How is this issue overlooked whenever someone posts those Crisis #7 inspirations/homages?

    My Legion collection as a kid was spotty as a kid, due to newsstand distribution, and sheer thriftiness, but I know I had this one. I always remember Pol's jacked-up face.


  2. This Levitz / Giffen run is really one of the best in comics !

    Giffen's art was fantastic ( but really changed around issue #209)

    His artwork rivaled Cockrum's putting him number three in my top ten legion artist with Curt Swan at #1 and Mike Grell at #4 !

    Levitz writing ranked right up with Chris Claremont's in my opinion !

    Classic stuff you just can get in the new comics !

  3. Never thought about it before today, but that cover looks an awful lot like Crisis #7.

  4. One person who doesn't get the credit they deserve for this run is colorist Carl Gafford. Sure it looks dated and hokey in this age of computerized color art, but this was a decade before it became the standard, and DC was just beginning to up their game when it came to printing and reproduction.