When Marv Wolfman rebooted the DC Universe in Crisis on Infinite Earths, the New Gods were largely absent because of Kirby's ongoing development of the characters. In 1986, after the Crisis, DC relaunched many of its properties. The history of the New Gods was not altered, and many characters were featured in the companion encyclopedia, Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe. The New Genesis entry in Who's Who #16 (June 1986) canonized the events of The Hunger Dogs (though they would be removed from post-Crisis continuity in New Gods v.3).
John Ostrander and John Byrne were the architects behind some crucial post-Crisis pillars, including Superman. They created Legends, which cast Darkseid as the primary villain in a plot to discredit the heroes of Earth. Darkseid unleashed two new monsters from Apokolips, Macro-Man and Brimstone. The 1986 mini-series reintroduced readers to a variety of villains from Apokolips, but more significantly led into the high profile relaunch of Justice League, by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis. Mister Miracle was a member of the new League and Oberon became one of the team's administrators.
During the Legends crossover event, Byrne seeded his Superman titles with New Gods appearances. A trilogy ran through Superman #3, Adventures of Superman #426, and Action Comics #586 (Mar. 1987), wherein Superman was blasted by Darkseid's Omega Effect and transported to Armagetto. He noticed that an asteroid belt circled Apokolips and wondered if New Genesis had been destroyed. (Superman #3) Superman was amnesiac and like Orion before him, became a hero to the Lowlies. He allied with Amazing Grace, who turned out to be the sister of Glorious Godfrey, a servant of Darkseid. (Adventures of Superman #426) Orion and Lightray (who pass the debris field of New Genesis) were sent to rescue Superman, who had been brainwashed by Grace and indoctrinated by Granny Goodness. Orion's Mother Box restored Superman, who managed to out-fly Darkseid's Omega beams and caused them to strike Darkseid himself. The villain was spent, and sent Superman back to Earth. (Action Comics #586) Note: This story arc and the New Gods's appearance in Warlord Annual #6 (1987) reference the destruction of New Genesis. Its debris is depicted in orbit around Apokolips, and the New Gods appear on the now-adrift Supertown.
That same year, Byrne penned a disturbing team-up between Superman, Big Barda, and Mister Miracle in which Barda and Superman were kidnapped by Sleez of Apokolips. (Action #592) Sleez attempted to make pornographic films with them, but even under mind control Superman's moral compass couldn't be totally overcome. They were rescued by Scott, who witnessed them kissing but chalked it up to Sleez's influence. (#593)
Darkseid returned to pit Superman against Wonder Woman in a bid to take over Mount Olympus, home of the Greek gods. (Action #600)
|Legends #1-6 (Nov. 1986–Apr. 1987)||John Byrne||Darkseid, Desaad, Glorious Godfrey, Dr. Bedlam, Granny Goodness|
|Superman #3, Adventures of Superman #426, Action Comics #586 (Mar. 1987)||Darkseid, Amazing Grace, Orion, Highfather, Lightray, Granny Goodness|
|Action Comics #592-593 (Sept.–Oct. 1987)||Big Barda, Mister Miracle|
|Action Comics #600 (May 1988)||Darkseid, Desaad, Kalibak, Amazing Grace|
|Justice League #1–42 (May 1987–Sept. 1990)||Keith Giffen & J.M. DeMatteis||Kevin Maguire||Mister Miracle, Oberon|
|Superman v.2 Annual #2 (1988)||Roger Stern||Ron Frenz||The Guardian, the Newsboy Legion, Dubbilex, the Hairies, Sleez. Also: Superman, Jimmy Olsen|