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By Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen

Far across the emptiness of space, a forgotten world hurtles through the void... Burned-out, barren... And dark as the unyielding night... He waits here, gathering his power, for the moment of his triumphant return. He schemes, he plots... And builds his nightmares... His will be the Era of Darkness... And soon it will begin...
Narrator
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The Great Darkness Saga is a Legion of Super-Heroes story arc, written and illustrated by Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen respectively. The storyline starts in Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 2) #290 and ends in issue #294, with issue #287 serving as a little prologue. The Great Darkness Saga is the story which cemented Darkseid's role as the Big Bad of the DC Universe, and it's widely considered the best Legion of Super-Heroes story.

Mystical artifacts are being stolen all across the galaxy. When the Legion is called to investigate the case, they run into powerful creatures called Servants of the Darkness. In spite of the Legion's best efforts, the Servants make off with every relic every time and hand over them to their Master, who feeds off their mystical energy to restore his own power. Finally he feels powerful enough to leave his forgotten world and prey on the living.

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One after the other, the Legion's worst enemies are easily and quickly defeated by the Master of Darkness, who proceeds to add their powers to his after each battle. Meanwhile, the Legionnaires discover the disturbing fact that the Servants are twisted clones of powerful long dead beings. Whoever the Master is, he's powerful and ancient enough to get ahold of the DNA of Superman and a Guardian of the Galaxy two thousand years ago.

The Legion engage the Master and his Servants in Zerox, the Sorcerers' World. Although they're defeated, they have gained a key piece to defeat the Master... which is fortunate, because the Master is about to gain the means to bring the galaxy to its knees.


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Tropes found in this work:

  • 10-Minute Retirement: Sick of the pressures of being a hero, Light Lass quits the team after Darkseid has been driven back. She returns two years later, real world time, after a battle against Lightning Lord convinces her that the Legion is necessary to protect people from her brother Mekt and his ilk.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: During the final battle, Highfather greatly amplifies Superboy and Supergirl's powers in order to give them at least a chance against Darkseid.
  • After the End: Apokolips has been a forgotten and uninhabited world for millennia, littered with the abandoned ruins of a super-technologically advanced civilization. Nobody knows what happened to the Apokoliptians, and nobody has heard of them since the twentieth century.
  • All Up to You: At the climax, Darkseid has defeated almost all Legionnaires, and Superboy and Supergirl are the only ones who can still fight him. Then Superboy gets blasted back to his own time, and Supergirl is the only who can keep fighting.
  • Ancient Evil: Darkseid is an old god of tyranny who has spent one thousand years sleeping after his defeat in the twentieth century.
    Brainiac 5: Apokolips was a presumed myth, Element Lad— a planet devoted to evil and destruction, inhabited by super-beings— and with no evidence in History since the twentieth century to support the convention that it ever existed.
  • Anti-True Sight: Not even Ultra Boy's super-vision can pierce through the darkness enshrouding and cloaking the Master.
  • Apocalypse How: The Master of Darkness takes over the minds of the whole population of Daxam and commands his three billions of slaves -every one of them as powerful as Superman- to set their homeworld on fire. Then, after the whole Daxam has been burned to ashes, he orders them to carve his face into the scorched planet.
  • Apologetic Attacker: At the start of the battle in the Sorcerers' World, Dawnstar feels four Servants coming towards her and her Wildfire. Wildfire apologizes before grabbing her and hurling her far away to keep her safe.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: The Legion travels to Zerox, most famously known as the Sorcerers' World, inhabited by wizards who are constantly changing the landscape merely for showing off, and where Legionnaire Dream Girl's sister White Witch studied magic in the past. All the same, Dawnstar -whose race is deeply spiritual- still believes magic is a hoax.
  • As Long as There is Evil: After being defeated, Darkseid warns he can't be destroyed because his darkness will live forever within human hearts, growing and destroying them from within.
    Darkseid: "You have won, Children of the Light. The darkness is fading, even as we watch. But remember... The darkness cannot surrender. It is always with you, always on the fringe of the dawn... and the instant you gaze at it in fear... Your time will come."
  • Badass Boast: Darkseid's final taunt is both a powerful boast and ironically a warning against the perils of getting too cocky.
    Darkseid: "The wise man does not boast so swiftly, child. For though I'm gone— you shall not forget me. I leave you my curse, Legionnaires... Doers of Izaya's work. The curse of darkness growing within you, destroying you from within... and that which is purest of you shall be the first to go!"
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Played straight with Kryptonians and Daxamites. Subverted when Servant destroys a Legion Cruiser going on an interplanetary trip. White Witch casts a force protective shield spell around her and her teammates to keep the oxygen and warmth in and the cold and radiation out.
  • Beam-O-War: In the second-to-last chapter Wildfire pits his antimatter fire against a Servant of Darkness' telekinetic bolts. Their beam war seems to be evenly matched until the Servant gleefully expresses his intent to rape Dawnstar after killing Wildfire. He gets blasted him into oblivion immediately.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Dream Girl wished to become team leader. She won the election right when the Legion was undergoing their worst crisis since their foundation.
    White Witch: Don't be so grim, though, sister— the Legionnaires protected me from the Servants of Darkness? Surely they can prevent your vision from becoming real.
    Dream Girl: Maybe— But this isn't the kind of first mission I wanted as Legion leader.
  • Big Bad: Darkseid, the Master of the Darkness, returns after a long slumber, ready to enslave the galaxy.
  • Big "NO!": Darkseid shouts a booming "NO!" when he realizes his mind-control upon the Daxamites has waned and now an army of three billions of supermen is heading towards him.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Orion's clone shouts Darkseid to shut up when the latter attempts rationalize his actions away.
    Darkseid: It seems I erred in restoring you to life, my son.
    Orion: Restoring—? You mean desecrating me, do you not, father? You stole those cells from me in life— and warped them to make a shambling mockery of me in death. No more, father... Your cursed voice will be still!
  • Blown Across the Room:
    • Cosmic Boy is heading into the Tower of London when he gets blasted across the street by a Servant of Darkness' psychic blast.
    • Darkseid blasts Mon-El into the ground all the way from the upper atmosphere.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Darkseid brainwashes three billions of Daxamites into becoming his conquering army.
  • Bring It: Supergirl to Darkseid when the latter fires his Omega Beams at her:
    Darkseid: Die, Carrier of Izaya's accursed power!
    Supergirl: Darkseid... Do your worst!
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: During the finale, Darkseid grows tired of the Legion's interference, so he takes all Legionnaires out by making their worst nightmares real. Superboy and Supergirl engage him straight after, but the former gets instantly blasted back to the past, and the latter nearly gets her head crushed.
    Darkseid: So... There is more to these mortals than superficial evidence admits. Very well... If they would undo the deeds of gods, they must suffer as do the damned...
  • The Bus Came Back: Darkseid returns to the DC Universe after an absence of eight years.
  • By the Hair: During the battle in Zerox, a Servant grabs Dawnstar's hair and pulls her inside a dimensional portal.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Orion's restored clone calls Darkseid out on something of his garbabe.
    Darkseid: It seems I erred in restoring you to life, my son.
    Orion: Restoring—? You mean desecrating me, do you not, father? You stole those cells from me in life— and warped them to make a shambling mockery of me in death. No more, father... Your cursed voice will be still!
    Darkseid: But, youth, I merely—
    Orion: Still, I say... Your tongue could seduce a planet of priests, Darkseid... But not your own son.
  • The Cameo: One of the Daxamites brainwashed by the Master wears The Mighty Thor's clothes.
  • Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them: Phantom Girl and Shadow Lass wonder about the paradox of simultaneously loving and hating someone when their respective love interests refuse to wait for them during their mission in Takron-Galtos.
    Phantom Girl: Is it possible to hate someone you love, Shady?
    Shadow Lass: I'm not sure, Phantom Girl— but I know what you mean.
  • Chilly Ghost: As phasing through a Servant, Phantom Girl feels his body is unbearably cold.
  • Clone Degeneration: Darkseid's Servants of Darkness are craggy, corrupted versions of their originals.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu:
    • Played with. On the one hand, Superboy and Supergirl give Darkseid more trouble than all reaminder Legionnaires put together. On the another hand, Darkseid gives up and teleports away when his mind-control upon three billions of Daxamites gets broken and they turn on him.
    • Averted when Dev-Em -a Kryptonian- can't beat a whole squad of Daxamites.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Cosmic Boy mentions Supergirl found Excalibur at her Legion initiation, a reference to Action Comics #267.
    • The incident which led to the Legion ostracizing Chameleon Boy and Light Lass believing Timber Wolf cheated on her happened in Legion Of Super-Heroes Vol 1 #289.
    • In the final issue, a footnote reminds readers that Supergirl resigned in Superboy 1949 #204.
    • Dev-Em, an ally to the Legion who hadn't been seen since Adventure Comics #320 makes a short reappearance.
  • Convenient Coma:
    • At the beginning of the story, Lightning Lad has fallen into a coma caused by undue stress messing up with his electrical powers, which in turn altered his brain's nerve impulses. Nevertheless, he awakens when Saturn Girl sends a plea for help telepathically.
    • Mon-El falls into a coma after being blasted by Darkseid into the literal ground from the upper atmosphere.
  • Cruel Mercy: After crushing the Legion in the Sorcerers' World, the Master of Darkness decides against killing them because he wants them to watch helplessly how he destroys the galaxy. It really backfires on him.
    Master of Darkness: As for you, young ones— you may live to witness my triumph, in recognition of the service done to me by one of your number. Live— to witness the darkness transcendent... and your ultimate, undying doom.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Some few dozens of heroes facing up to three billions of Daxamites... The Legionnaires and their allies do their best, but they know it isn't a winnable conflict.
    "Battle, however, is an unlikely word for such a one-sided affair".
  • Deadly Dodging: When a Daxamite child swoops towards Chameleon Boy, Reep grabs his belt, spinning him around so he crashes through a wall.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable:
    • The Legion of Super-Heroes manages to defeat Darkseid. Admittedly, he wasn't destroyed for good, but the mere fact that he was beaten and forced to retreat is impressive.
      Darkseid: It seems there is more to you than I dreamed, youths. You have done that which is beyond imagining. You have shattered the dream of a god.
    • Darkseid also withstands the combined attack of two Kryptonians, and comes out on top.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Kal and Kara -the same two who could pull an entire galaxy's worth of planets at any time- face Darkseid at the climax of the story, amped up by Highfather to be able to ignore the depowering effects of a red Sun. They knock him around for a bit but he still wins.
  • Dig Attack: During the final battle, Supergirl dodges Darkseid's Omega Beams by burying herself underground. Then she bursts out right below Darkseid, grabs him and body slams him back into the ground in quick succession.
  • Distress Call: The story starts when the Legion receives a distress call from the Californian Museum of the Mystic Arts, which has been leveled by some unknown, superpowerful burglar.
  • Do Wrong, Right: Lampshaded by the narration when the Daxamite army starts devastating the galaxy:
    "They're doing a very good job for a very bad cause."
  • The Dragon: The Master of Darkness treats his son Orion's clone as his top enforcer, the one who will be the first among his slaves when Darkseid subjugates the galaxy.
    Master of Darkness: "My time has come, my little mockery... Do you not feel it? The destiny which has escaped me for so long is to be met! Darkness shall cover the universe and reduce all within to my slaves! And you, my son, shall ever be the first among them."
    Servant of Darkness: "I beg you, Master, I am not worthy..."
  • The Dreaded: The Legionnaires were already frightened of the Master of the Darkness before knowing who he was. After Brainiac tells them they're facing Darkseid, they're even more scared.
    Dream Girl: We were frightened of him before we knew who he was, Sun Boy— unfortunately, there's more reason for fear now.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: Lightning Lad wakes up from his fever-induced coma to protect Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy from one of the Servants, and then he passes out again. In gratitude, Saturn Girl kisses him while he's lying asleep.
  • Dug Too Deep: When an uncharted, uninhabited planet -Apokolips- drifts into the middle of major interstellar trade routes, the United Planets send robot probes to investigate the place, eventually managing to awaken the Master of Darkness.
  • Dumb Struck: Brainiac remains frozen in the spot for several seconds after Supergirl says he's cute.
  • Easily Forgiven: Defied. When the story opens up, most of Legionnaires are still holding a grudge against Chameleon Boy because he dragged them off in a suicide mission which nearly brought about another Khundia-Earth War. And no, they don't think "Nobody got killed" is good enough of a reason to forget and forgive.
  • Equivalent Exchange: The Zeroxian wizards manage to summon Highfather in the 30th century to help the Legion fight the Master of Darkness. But since such a magic comes with a high cost, they have to relinquish most of their world's magic, and two wizards sacrifice their lives. Dream Girl explains "that was a price that had to be paid, and the Teachers paid it willingly."
  • Evasive Fight-Thread Episode: Supergirl proves to be more resilient than Superboy when both of them engage Darkseid... not that it did her any good.
  • Evil Gloating: Darkseid and his Servants are inclined to endlessly declare the inevitability of his eventual triumph.
    Darkseid: When I am done, everything that lives shall live only if it is as I wish it to be.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Every single Servant of Darkness, as well as their Master, is prone to pontificate.
    Servant of Darkness: It grows darker throughout the universe, mortal... And there shall be no dawn. Serve the Great Darkness as I do, and you shall thrive... Oppose it, and you shall suffer an eternity of pain.
    Wildfire: The old hi-low, Superboy!
    Superboy: You got it, pal.
    Servant of Darkness: You have nothing, fool. The Darkness shall swallow it all! Give me the Wand I seek, and perhaps you may postpone your Doom.
  • Evil Laugh: Darkseid tends to laugh very, very loudly. Some examples including guffawing when Mon-El actually tries to attack him, and bursting out in laughter when he orders the enslaved Daxamites to carve his face into their planet.
    Darkseid: "Darkness shall cover the universe and reduce all within to my slaves! And you, my son, shall ever be the first among them. Are you not humbled by the prospect?"
    Servant of Darkness: "I beg you, Master, I am not worthy..."
    Darkseid: "HAHAHAHA! Of course you are not, foul one. That is why it is all too sublime!"
  • Evil Me Scares Me: Superboy is spooked by one Servant who somehow looks familiar, has his same powers and wears a diamond emblem on his chest. Later it's revealed that Servant is a Superman clone created by Darkseid.
  • Evil Overlooker: Two examples:
  • Evil Plan: Darkseid brainwashes the entire population of Daxam into becoming his army to conquer the universe.
  • Evil Takes a Nap: Darkseid is awakened from a centuries-old slumber by several scientifical probes investigating his long-dead world Apokolips, and he immediately sets out to plunge an unprepared galaxy into darkness.
  • Exact Words: Superman's clone to Sun Boy:
    Servant: Fools! The Master's plans will not be stopped by such as you. Have you not learned that you have no power over us?
    Sun Boy: Yeah— Say that again after you feel my nova-blast, pal!
    Servant: (punching him away) Certainly.
  • Expendable Clone: The Master of Darkness creates clones of powerful beings whom he calls "Servants" or "mockeries", which should indicate how much he cares for them.
  • Exty Years from Now: A text box in this 1982 storyline indicates the action is set in 2982 A. D.
  • Faceless Eye: The lawyer assigned to Chameleon Boy is some weird kind of alien worm with no face. Instead, a cluster of big eyeballs are permanently floating around its body.
  • Face Palm Of Doom: During their battle, Darkseid grabs Supergirl's face and starts crushing her skull, eliciting a pained scream out of her.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: Yera-as- Shrinking Violet kills the "Lydea Mallor" Servant by shrinking down, entering her body, and expanding inside her blood vessels to give her a stroke.
  • Final Battle: The final battle between the Legion and the Master of Darkness takes place in Daxam, where the Legionnaires keep Darkseid busy as Child Izaya reaches maturity.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the first issue, readers are introduced to a Servant that rides Orion's flying gear while shooting Astro-Force blasts. Said Servant is called a broken imitation of the Master of Darkness' son.
    • A subtle one, but the Master of Darkness is surrounded by Kirby Dots during his first scene. Said visual effect is named after Darkseid's creator, Jack Kirby.
    • When the Zeroxian wizards summon a baby to counter the Master of Darkness, Dream Girl states she feels he's the Alpha to the enemy's Omega. Darkseid's Omega Beams are his most terrible weapon.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Clark Kent first meets and -briefly- fights Darkseid as a teenager, but his memories of the meeting will remain blocked until his adult self gets involved in the New Genesis-Apokolips War several years later.
  • Genetic Memory: The Orion Servant of Darkness has his dormant memories restored by Izaya.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: It happens twice:
    • In the third issue, Lightning Lad calls all active Legionnaires.
    • In the final issue, the Legion has ascertained they are facing Darkseid. Dream Girl calls in every person who was ever a Legionnaire: active members, reservists, the Legion of Substitutes... even Supergirl, who had resigned several years ago, travels to the 30th century and joins the battle.
    Dream Girl: However, knowledge is power... And knowing who we face, we'd better call in all the reserves. Lightning Lad sent for the active Legionnaires and reservists... But that's not enough. If this Darkseid is what Brainy said he is, we need every warm super-powered body we can find.
  • Go Through Me: Shadow Lass forms a darkness's bubble around herself and Child Izaya to protect him from Darkseid. When Darkseid asks if she's serious, Shadow Lass points out she has nothing to lose.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The Servants of Darkness spend the first issue devoting considerable time and effort to collect mystical relics to restore Darkseid's power.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: During the battle in the Sorcerers' World, a Servant grabs Phantom Girl with a telekinetic lasso and slams her into Shadow Lass.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After spending the whole conflict pontificating about the foolishness of opposing to his Master, the clone of Orion is eager to wringe Darkseid's neck after being restored by Izaya.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Darkseid turns three billions of Daxamites into his slave army, but when Saturn Girl breaks his mind control and turns them on him, Darkseid -who was about to crush the Legion on his own- has to run off.
  • Hold the Line: The Legion of Substitute Heroes and several members of the Science Police regroup in the Weber's World, at the edge of the United Planets, to try to hold the line against the vanguard of the Daxamite army while the Legion figure out a plan.
  • I Am the Noun: When Mon-El gets a glimpse of the Master of Darkness...
    Mon-El: "Oh my God! Y-you— You're—"
    Darkseid: "POWER. I am Power, Darkness— and all you should Fear, stripling."
  • I Control My Minions Through...: Darkseid creates his cloned Servants to be absolutely loyal to him, and uses to mind-control to dominate the whole Daxamite race.
  • The Joy of First Flight: Subverted with Invisible Kid, who can't wait to land after being forced to fly from California to London during his first day as a Legionnaire.
    Invisible Kid: "And if you would, please— Could we not land first? I think my stomach has flown enough for its first day with a Flight Ring!"
  • Just in Time:
    • Dashing at Super Speed, Superboy manages to get Invisible Kid and the California museum curator out of the way of a Servant of Darkness. Unfortunately, Superboy can't stop him from seizing the Wand of "Mentachem".
    • Darkseid is about to crush Supergirl's head when the remaining Legionnaires arrive.
  • Karma Houdini: After spreading chaos and destruction all over the galaxy, and enslaving a whole sentient race, Darkseid just teleports himself and his power base away when his mind control upon the Daxamites gets broken.
  • Kill It with Fire: Wildfire burns a Servant -the one who was cloned from a Guardian- to ashes with a burst of anti-matter fire.
  • Kirby Dots: Swirling masses of black dots surround Darkseid at all times.
  • Kryptonite Factor:
    • The Oan Servant of Darkness has the same vulnerability to yellow as the rest of his race has (sometimes), and as such Sun Boy is able to stymie him with yellow sun bursts.
    • The Superman Servant is defeated when Element Lad makes Gold Kryptonite to strip him of his powers, and Timber Wolf crushes him.
  • Kryptonite-Proof Suit: Brainiac 5 cooks up a micro-circuitry that, attached to Superboy's suit, lets him keep his powers even under Daxam's red sun. Unfortunately it gets broken when Superboy fights his clone.
  • Legend Fades to Myth: Apokolips has been a dead and forgotten world since the twentieth century. ''It was prophesied Orion and Darkseid's last battle would take place in Apokolips, but nobody, not even Darkseid, remembers what really happened, and most of people have forgotten Apokolips and New Genesis ever existed.
    Brainiac 5: Apokolips was a presumed myth, Element Lad— a planet devoted to evil and destruction, inhabited by super-beings— and with no evidence in History since the twentieth century to support the convention that it ever existed.
  • Little "No": Darkseid -of all people!- utters a weak "No" when he hears a Mother Box ticking after his Servant leaps into Shadow Lass' darkness bubble to fetch Child Izaya.
  • Madness Mantra: Most of brainwashed Daxamites don't speak as they carve a path of destruction through the galaxy... except for one name.
    "Most do not speak as they trample lives and destroy riches... and those that do, simply mutter a single word over and over under their breaths... Darkseid."
  • Malevolent Mugshot: Darkseid forces the whole Daxamite race to shape Daxam's surface like his head.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: No matter how vehemently Timber Wolf denies it, Light Lass still thinks he maybe cheated on her with her sister-in-law.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: Darkseid swiftly takes care of Superboy, but he takes considerably longer to take Supergirl down.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Mon-El tries to engage the Master of Darkness in the Sorcerers' World. Not only does Mon-El fail to take him down, but also he accidentally reveals the existence of a planet worth of Kryptonian-like beings.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Subverted. In the first issue, the Legionnaires have just taken a Servant of Darkness down when a dimensional portal opens up, letting another Servant rush into the place. It looks like he's come to rescue his partner, but he grabs the relic she failed to steal and flies back into the portal, alone. To add insult to injury, their Master instantly collapses the space warp despite that his defeated Servant was rushing towards it.
  • No Saving Throw: The Master of Darkness destroys Brainiac 5's force field -which can withstand Superman's blows- with a single optic blast.
  • No-Sell:
    • During the battle in the Sorcerer's World, Mon-El blasts the Master of Darkness with the full power of his heat vision. Darkseid bursts out in laughter.
      Mon-El: I'm going to roast you!
      Darkseid: You are quite amusing. Your boasting has achieved only the destruction of the trappings I wore— and truth to tell, it was time enow for their removal. Such decadence was unseemingly.
    • Supergirl manages to tank Darkseid's Omega beams during the final battle.
  • Our Graphics Will Suck in the Future: The Legion's computers, built by the greatest genius in the 30th century galaxy, have displays with very simple 2-D graphics, and plain green screensavers.
  • Patchwork Map: Justified. The Sorcerers' World's geography is constantly changing due to the wizards' love for showing off. So you have a mountain range populated by rock monsters big enough to build cities on them next to an ocean where "cities [are] built atop waves frozen in motion".
  • Planet Destroyer: One Daxamite child devastates the prison-world of Takron-Galtos just because he wanted to play tag with a Legionnaire.
  • Portal Door: Darkseid creates space warps to move his minions through the galaxy. They come to life in midair, and stars and barren planets can be seen on the other side of the rift.
  • Possessive Wrist Grab: During the battle of Zerox, Wildfire grabs Dawnstar's arm twice to keep her away of the danger. Dawnstar objects to this treatment, loudly.
  • Power Glows: Very prevalent in this story. Every mystical relic stolen by the Servants of Darkness gives off some kind of glowing radiance. Darkseid is constantly enshrouded in blazes or tendrils of crackling energy, and his eyes glow white every time he's about to fire his eye beams... or simply when he gets annoyed.
  • The Power of Hate: Orion's restored clone says to Darkseid "I live father... and live to hate!" Subverted in that Darkseid proceeds to destroy him.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner:
    • Both Kryptonian cousins get their powers amped up by Highfather and engage Darkseid in combat:
      Darkseid: Hmm... What is that... A noise disturbing my reverie?
      Superboy: Not exactly, Darkseid. More like a going-away present from an old friend of yours— who left us some of his power! The power to ignore a red sun.
      Supergirl: Power enough to tackle anything— even you!
    • Darkseid delivers another badass one-liner before unleashing his power shortly after:
      Darkseid: I care not what power Izaya's ghost may have granted you, I am Darkseid— and I bid you begone!
  • Properly Paranoid: Tracking the Master of Darkness down, several Legionnaires arrive in a dead world. Brainiac 5 suddenly decides to send their ship down on auto-pilot instead of performing the landing manually. Brainy's wariness pays off when the Cruiser gets shot down by one of the Servants.
  • Public Domain Artifact: Excalibur is one of the mystical objects stolen by the Servants of Darkness.
  • Punched Across the Room:
    • While fighting in the Sorcerers' World, Superman's clone punches Sun Boy far, far away.
    • Supergirl body-slams Darkseid through one planet and follows through with punching him out of the atmosphere.
  • Rapid Aging: The Zeroxian wizards summon a mysterious baby to help the Legion fight the Master of Darkness. In a matter of hours the newborn baby becomes a toddler, then a young child, and he doesn't stop growing fast until he has turned into a fully adult, white-haired Highfather.
  • Relative Button:
    • During one battle in Takron-Galtos, a Servant of Darkness is easily beating Ultra Boy and Mon-El. Then he decides to blast Phantom Girl and Shadow Lass, and suddenly he finds himself getting all but cooked by two sets of eye-beams.
      Mon-El: "Whatever you are, mister, you just made a major mistake. Those two ladies happen to be very dear to us— and that means no more nice guy!"
    • Lightning Lad wakes up from a coma to fry a Servant who is attacking Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy (his wife and oldest friend, respectively).
    • Later, Wildfire is fighting another Servant of Darkness. Their beam-o-war seems to be evenly matched until the Servant gleefully expresses his intent to rape Dawnstar after killing him. Wildfire blasts him into oblivion immediately.
  • San Dimas Time: Superboy heads back to his century to celebrate his parents' wedding anniversary as insisting he has to leave right now, even though he can wait as long as he likes and still arrive in time.
  • Screw Your Ultimatum!:
    • In the final issue, a servant of Darkseid intercepts the Legionnaires transporting Child Izaya and claims he will spare them if they surrender the child. Sun Boy blasts his face.
      Servant of Dakness: "Listen, fools— and save your worthless lives. I care not about you, only the child whose existence has called to me. Surrender him, and my Master's slaves shall not harm your ship— Deny me, and DieEEEEE!"
      Sun Boy: (while blasting him) "You should know by now that we wouldn't buy that line. No deal."
    • Shortly after Darkseid has crushed the Legion except for Shadow Lass, who is standing between him and Child Izaya. Darkseid states he will spare her team, since the Legion mean nothing to him, if she stands aside. Shadow Lass retorts she has nothing to lose because he can only kill her once.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Mordru had been trapped into a rock and buried under a mountain of rubble in Avalon. The Master of Darkness blows his prison up and proceeds to suck his power off.
  • Ship Sinking:
    • Played straight with Light Lass (Ayla Ranzz) and Timber Wolf (Brin Londo). Ayla decides she's sick of being a Legionnaire, quits the team and leaves Brin. Ayla'd eventually return, but she and Brin would never get back together.
    • Inverted with Brainiac-5 and Supergirl, whose relationship is revived after many years of lethargy.
  • Single Tear: Light Lass sheds one single tear when she announces she's quitting the team because being a Legionnaire has become too painful for her.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Only one of the five Servants of Darkness is female.
  • Stunned Silence: Brainiac spends four whole panels gaping after Supergirl says he's cute.
  • Technobabble: Even after so many years, Superboy still gets amazed -and confused- by future technology.
    Cosmic Boy: Looks like the Science Police and the pyro-nullifier team have everything under control.
    Superboy: "Pyro-whatsis?"
  • Throat Light: At several points, purple flames and white light pour from Darkseid's eyes and mouth.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Light Lass feels disturbed by Baby Izaya. He doesn't do anything, doesn't speak, and he doesn't even cry.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Orion's clone attempts to kill his creator as soon as Highfather restores him and his template's memories.
  • Unbroken Vigil: Subverted. Saturn Girl stands by Lightning Lad's side after her husband falls into a fever-induced coma, but she has to reluctantly leave him when a Servant of Darkness attacks the Legion HQ and injures Cosmic Boy.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: When Mordru gets released, he intends to show gratitude by killing his liberator swiftly.
  • Villainous BSoD: After being crushed and power-drained by the Master, Mordru and the Time Traper remain frozen to the spot, trembling, shivering with extreme cold and stammering gibberish.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Darkseid teleports away after his army gets de-brainwashed and turned against him. Justified because it isn't like if the Legion could stop him.
  • Villain Teleportation: The Master of Darkness can open dimensional portals to teleport his Servants to anywhere and retrieve them at any time.
  • Waking Up Elsewhere: When a Servant destroys a Legion Cruiser in route to Daxam, White Witch casts two spells to keep her teammates safe and ask for help, and passes out. She comes around later, in the Legion HQ infirmary.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Element Lad transforms part of Daxam's atmosphere into lead to take the Daxamites out.
  • We Have Become Complacent: The Zeroxxians are powerful, peaceful and enlightened wizards, so naively confident in their ability to safeguard their world from any violence and evil than they didn't take the Legion's warnings about the Master of Darkness seriously until they dropped the protective shields surrounding their haven-island and saw their planet was being ravaged by the Master's power.
  • We Need a Distraction: In order to rescue Child Izaya from Darkseid, the Legion attack the Master of Darkness and his Servants head-on and keep them distracted while Shadow Lass and Light Lass sneak into their base.
  • Wham Line: At the second-to-last issue, the identity of the Master of Darkness is at last revealed:
    "Go... for your master... for Darkseid!"
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The Legion's "Thou Shalt Not Kill" rule doesn't appear to apply to twisted clones. Wildfire burning a Servant down and Timber Wolf shattering another to rubble elicits no comment from their teammates. Judging by Timber Wolf's statement, the Legion regard the Servants as heaps of inanimate matter.
  • Who Dares?: Stated by Darkseid when Superboy and Supergirl's arrival interrupts his gloating.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • Superboy is the first Legionnaire to be punched across the place by the first Servant the Legion come upon. His teammates get the "This thing is dangerous" message right away.
      Servant of Darkness: "But do not seek to challenge me..." (backhanding Superboy away) "Least of all you, Kryptonian."
      Cosmic Boy: "Did you see that— He swatted Superboy like a bug?!"
    • Mordru and the Time Trapper are arguably the Legion's worst enemies. The Master of Darkness crushes Mordru right after breaking him free, and beats the Traper off screen.
  • Your Worst Nightmare: At some point during the final battle, Darkseid beats nearly all Legionnaires at once by making their worst nightmares real: Lightning Lad loses his arm again, Duplicate Girl sees her third body die again, Timber Wolf loses his humanity, Princess Projectra her beauty...
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