8. Legion of Super-Heroes #290-294 (1982) “The Great Darkness” by Paul Levitz, Keith Giffen, and Larry Mahlstedt
Story overview: The thirtieth century’s finest heroes investigate a series of extradimensional attacks which turns out to have a very old source.
My Two Cents: Another series about which much has been said over the years. I had a passing familiarity with Darkseid going in, having read some Jimmy Olsen comics in my cousin’s collection a few years prior. I was definitely not up on the whole Fourth World mythology and thus couldn’t piece together the clues as they unfolded. Still, it was a cool ride. I loved the smooth Paul Smith-style art which Keith Giffen was using before he went bananas for Munoz, each with his own figure recognizable even by silhouette and stance.
Levitz, for his considerable part, admirably juggled an insanely large cast of heroes, keeping all their plates spinning with interpersonal drama, perpetuating the somewhat bizarre Silver age notion that people in the 30th century remain really, really concerned with the pecking order in their clubs.
Levitz also takes the time for nice character moments between new folks like Invisible Kid II, the White Witch, Blok, and Science Police types like Zendak, Shvaughn, and GiGi.
But in the end, the story comes down to one major punch line that’s impacted the DC universe ever since then, returning to action one of the biggest players from 15 years previous: