Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Who's Who: Servants of Darkness

Servants of Darkness
by Russell & Siskoid

Members: Guardian, Kalibak, Lydea Mallor, Orion, Superman (clones)
Relationship to Legion: Villains

Legion Log
The Servants of Darkness first appeared as agents of destruction as they stole ancient magical objects such as the Metachem Wand (formerly belonging to Hawkmans's enemy, Matter Master) and Excalibur. When they first appeared, the Legion was not aware that they were servants of Darkseid.

The Servants of Darkness then began to absorb magical energies from Legion foes such as the Time Trapper and Mordru. Still, they would appear and disappear so quickly that the Legion was not sure who or what they were. Unbeknownst to the Legion, the Servants were using Boom Tubes to teleport in and away from their targets.

The Legion got their first clue to the true identities of the Servants of Darkness when they managed to capture the lone female Servant. Upon analysis they realized that she was a re-animated but corrupted version of the long-dead 20th-Century heroine, Lydea Mallor, Shadow Lass' ancestor. The Legion then figured out that the other Servants were copies of 20th-Century individuals: evil versions of Superman, Orion, Kalibak, and a Guardian of the Universe.

Now armed with the knowledge of who they were actually facing, the Legion came up with strategies on how to defeat the Servants. The Guardian Servant was destroyed by yellow energy from Wildfire. The Superman Servant was first depowered by Gold Kryptonite created by Element Lad, then shattered by Timber Wolf. The Lydea Mallor Servant attempted to escape from Legion head-quarters where she was being held. She was initially stopped by Lightning Lad, and then later destroyed by Colossal Boy and Shrinking Violet. The Orion Servant was converted back to his natural, "good" side by Izaya the Highfather, then destroyed by Darkseid himself. The Kalibak Servant was not specifically shown being destroyed, but was not shown to have survived the final battle between the forces of Good and Darkseid, either. According to the Who's Who in the Legion entry reprinted above, it was destroyed in the final confrontation between the two groups.

The only character introduced as a Servant of Darkness was Lydea Mallor. Her only pre-Crisis appearance as a 20th-Century hero, published later, has her helping Superman destroy the a lethal Zeta Beam before it hits Earth. The canonicity of this story is in question.

After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Lydea Mallor is prematurely aged by the Coluan Computer Tyrants in a plot to kill her mother Lyrissa Mallor, as Lydea Darkstar. Though successful, a deprogrammed Lydea would eventually join the L.E.G.I.O.N. and serve the group for a long time, and even after it went on the run (as R.E.B.E.L.S.).

Neither the Reboot nor the Threeboot ever showcased the Servants of Darkness.
After Infinite Crisis, the Servants of Darkness' original history has presumably been more or less restored.

Important Servants of Darkness stories:

Legion of Super-Heroes #290
(reprinted in The Legion: The Great Darkness Saga)
The debut of each of the Servants

Legion of Super-Heroes #291
(reprinted in The Legion: The Great Darkness Saga)
Lightning Lad takes out the Lydea Mallor clone at Legion HQ

Legion of Super-Heroes #292
(reprinted in The Legion: The Great Darkness Saga)
First clear appearance of the Kalibak clone

The Legion figures out who each of the clones really are

Legion of Super-Heroes #293
(reprinted in The Legion: The Great Darkness Saga)
The Oan and Superman clones are destroyed

Legion of Super-Heroes #290
(reprinted in The Legion: The Great Darkness Saga)
The Orion and Lydea Mallor clones are destroyed

DC Challenge #10
Lydea Mallor destroys a lethal Zeta Beam

L.E.G.I.O.N.'90 #15
First post-Crisis appearance of the adult Lydea Mallor

1 comment:

  1. Even a "Silver Age" purist like me recognized that "The Great Darkness Saga" is a certified masterpiece.