Comic Legends: How Keith Giffen Re-Completed the Great Darkness Saga

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Keith Giffen re-drew a chapter of the Legion of Super-Heroes' Great Darkness Saga seven years later so that the whole story would be drawn by him.



Reader Ben L. wrote in about a curious incident involving the collected edition of the Legion of Super-Heroes' classic crossover, "The Great Darkness Saga."

The Great Darkness Saga saw the Legion dealing with Darkseid, who is alive in the distant future. This includes this stunning sequence by writer Paul Levitz and artists Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt, where Darkseid finally reveals himself...

Now, earlier in the storyline, at the end of Chapter 2 in Legion of Super-Heroes #291, there is a great bit where Dream Girl (the Legion member who could see the future), says that she saw the future and the Legion lost...

Really great bit, right?

Now, in the original series, the Legion had a number of back-up stories at this time. Presumably it was due to Keith Giffen's struggle with the schedule (Giffen also went to breakdowns with Mahlstedt finishes instead of full pencils, which he was doing earlier on in this Legion run, with Bruce Patterson as his inker). So right after Chapter 2 of the series, there is this interlude with guest art by Howard Bender and Rodin Rodriguez. It shows Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad dealing with Lightning Lad's recovery from an illness when they are attacked by one of Darkseid's soldiers...

The story ends with the shocking news that Dream Girl has been voted in as the new Legion leader!

Okay, so this was an awesome story and everyone loved it. So when DC began to do trade paperbacks of classic storylines in the late 1980s, they, of course, chose to collect this one. Now, at the time, though, Keith Giffen had recently taken over as the writer and artist of the Legion. So Giffen was very involved with the Legion, so when DC collected the story, Giffen decided to re-draw the "Leaders and Lovers" story (with Mahlstedt on inks), using his newer style (Giffen had changed his art style in the mid-1980s)...

Including the twist at the end with Dream Girl becoming the new Legion leader...

This way, the entire Great Darkness Saga was now done by Levitz, Giffen and Mahlstedt. Pretty cool, huh?

Thanks to Ben for the suggestion!

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