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Comicbook: Blackest Night
The Dead Shall Rise
"The Blackest Night falls from the skies.
The darkness grows as all light dies.
We crave your hearts and your demise.
By my black hand, the dead shall rise!"

Blackest Night TV Tropes Page of Earth-Prime. RISE.

Now that we have your attention...

Blackest Night is the big Crisis Crossover event for the DC Universe in 2009, written by Geoff Johns, intended to take a serious look at death in comics. It's a gigantic Zombie Apocalypse featuring superheroes and supervillains being forced to fight against their loved ones risen from the grave. This involves plenty of Nightmare Fuel and crowning moments of awesome for everybody involved. The whole series is a detailed examination on what the Comic Book Death actually means for the character involved, mixed with a nonstop intense thrill ride of action and kickass personal battles, fueled by a cosmic terror.

Largely focusing on the Green Lantern mythos, the villain is an Eldritch Abomination named Nekron who represents the forces of death on a cosmic level, and wishes to consume all positive and negative life force in the universe. To take it, he needs to draw everyone into his realm... effectively making him an Omnicidal Maniac.

It's also the latest chapter of Geoff Johns' cycle of epic Green Lantern stories (the others being Green Lantern: Rebirth and the Sinestro Corps War, followed up by Brightest Day) Along with having major impact on the Lanterns, it's used the concept of the dead rising to force many heroes to confront their dearly departed in unexpected ways, leading to some surprisingly emotional stories for a crossover.

Following the events of Blackest Night is Brightest Day, which not only further chronicled Johns' Green Lantern work, but dealt with the repercussions of the post-Blackest Night DCU.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Above Good and Evil: Nekron, according to Johns. Let's just say fans tend to disagree.
  • All Your Colors Combined: See below.
  • All Your Powers Combined: White Light which is created by combining the light of all seven Corps. It was supposed to be the only way to destroy Nekron (instead it helped him).
    • Carol lampshades this, saying "I think I saw this on a Saturday morning cartoon."
    • A regular Black Lantern can only be destroyed by being hit by a blast of light from at least two of the Corps, and one of them has to be a Green Lantern one.
  • And I Must Scream: The Black Lanterns don't just raise the dead, they also go after those heroes that died and were brought back for whatever reason, and those resurrected heroes who are made into Black Lanterns are forced to watch their bodies kill and operate out of their control. All the while, they are slowly dying as the Black Rings are completely killing them.
    • At the end of the story, Black Hand is kidnapped by the Indigo Tribe and is forced to feel compassion to counteract his natural sociopathic detachment from life. Considering the actions which he had caused through out the arc, the reader is less inclined to feel sorry for this fate.
    • When Jason Rusch, the second Firestorm, is absorbed by the undead Ronnie Raymond as his new Firestorm matrix, Jason is trapped inside Ronnie's head. Ronnie then proceeds to turn Jason's girlfriend into salt, while Jason is screaming in agony inside Ronnie's head. The fact that Ronnie's a dumb lug and only remembered the chemical formula for salt by reading it from Jason's mind and that Ronnie could not affect organic matter until he absorbed Jason, who COULD affect organic matter, made it infinitely worse.
  • Anyone Can Die: Seriously. They really aren't pulling punches with this one.
    • ...Death Is Cheap remains in effect, however, so they don't really punch that hard, either. Half of the onscreen deaths turn out to be negated by the powers of the characters involved one way or another, and most of the others are undone at the end of the arc
  • Back from the Dead: The Black Lantern Corps - kind of. Previous resurrections are also deconstructed, as Nekron permitted them in order to have Manchurian Agents among the living.
    • A number of people are legitimately back at the end: Osiris, Jade, the first Captain Boomerang, Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond), Hawk (Hank Hall), Maxwell Lord, the Reverse-Flash, Hawkman and Hawkgirl, Aquaman, the Martian Manhunter, and just to complicate matters, Deadman. Oh, and The Anti-Monitor.
  • Badass Creed: The Black Lantern Oath.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Hal's desperate attempt to stop the rampaging Spectre by letting Parallax take him over again.
    • Sinestro, of all people, getting the White Lantern power. Subverted, he's smacked away soon enough after and has to be backed up by the others.
  • Big Bad: Nekron
  • Body Surf: When the heroes manage to destroy Nekron's body, another Black Lantern simply picks up Nekron's scythe and is physically warped into Nekron's next host.
  • Breaking Speech: As they feed on the emotions of their victims, the Black Lanterns give these pretty much nonstop trying to draw a reaction from their former loved ones. Gets really old after a while for both the characters and reader, the former of which get annoyed and react accordingly. Of course this puts the characters right where the Corp want them.
    • As Damage puts it: "For the last time, shut your rotten face!" And then he gets his heart completely torn out when the Atom inspires him to fight on. It doesn't really matter what emotion you are feeling for the Black Lanterns to steal your heart. Just as long as it is a strong one. Damned if you do...
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In Adventure Comics #4 (and presumably #5), since Superboy-Prime lives on Earth-Prime (essentially our world) he knows what's going to happen because he's read the issue you're reading right now. This builds on the Metafiction that was assigned to Prime since the end of Legion of 3 Worlds.
    • Black Lantern Alexander Luthor tells Superboy-Prime that he dies next issue.
      • Of course not before Superboy-Prime tries to kill Dan Didio (and all the other writers and artists in the DC building).
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Done metafictionally, with Superboy Prime calling out the writers for all the crap that he and the rest of the DCU are going through.
  • Came Back Wrong: The Black Lanterns.
    • Most of the people revived in Blackest Night #8 after being a Black Lantern have something wrong with them, related to the black ring. See Brightest Day.
  • Catch Phrase: The Black Power Rings, whenever they create a new Lantern:
    Ring: [New Lantern] of [Native Planet]. RISE
  • Character Development: Amazingly, Superboy-Prime goes through a lot of this.
  • Chekhov's Gunman - Lantern Ermey, Kilowog's old drill sergeant; he is introduced in "Tales of The Lanterns" as being responsible for Kilowog becoming the hard-nosed drill instructor he is today. So of course, he returns as a Black Lantern.
  • Chest Insignia: This is done for maximum horrific effect. When a corpse rises as a Black Lantern, the Black Hand symbol is always incorporated into their new costume or clothes; sometimes in extremely imaginative ways (Tempest's, for example, is skewed in conformity to the diagonal pattern of his uniform - also, he has the symbol tattooed over his right eye, where those scars were before).
    • When Black Hand is imprisoned by the Indigo Tribe, his markings are replaced by that of the Indigo Lanterns.
  • The Chosen Many: There are eight Corps, the seven that feed off one part of the emotional spectrum and the Black Corps, who... don't.
    • There's a ninth, at least temporarily.
  • Clark Kenting: Discussed Trope in a conversation between Hal and the Flash:
    The Flash: I still don't get why you don't do more to protect your identity. This new Lantern? Kyle? His mask covers most of his face. Smart kid.
    Hal: Clark hides behind a pair of glasses and you're worried about me?
    The Flash: Clark slouches, wears clothes two sizes too big and raises his voice an octave.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Hal even refers to his group with terms like the "color-coded cavalry" and the "rainbow rodeo".
  • Comic Book Writers Have No Sense Of Scale: According to BN, life originated on Earth. However Earth is only 5 billion years old, while the universe as a whole is about 13. Many other lifeforms besides the Guardians already existed by then - the Old Gods from the New Gods saga for example.
  • Continuity Porn: It's a Geoff Johns story dealing with dead heroes and villains Coming Back Wrong. What did you expect?
  • The Creepy Undertaker: Green Lantern villain Black Hand was reinvented as one of these in the leadup to Blackest Night.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Played with in a couple of ways. Nekron invokes this, citing life itself as the invader into a previously dark and empty universe. Black Hand legitimately believes that the Blackest Night is for the best, because death will put an end to the chaos and pain in the universe that has no meaning.
    • On a less-literal level, the Corps that represent more negative emotions and that had been enemies of the Green Lanterns fought together against the Black Lanterns. Sinestro and Larfleeze fought valiantly, if for selfish reasons. Atrocitus, meanwhile, joined the combined Lantern corps without having to be bribed or motivated by a quest for glory; he wasn't lying when he claimed that he fought to protect life.
      • It's also important to note that while Atrocitus is the head of the Red Lanterns - beings who are fueled by anger and rage - it's established that Atrocitus is at the very least very justified for the anger he feels, as he is the sole survivor of the extermination of his entire sector by the Manhunters. His breakdown shows that - while not completely innocent - his sector did not deserve the punishment wrought upon it.
  • A Day in the Spotlight: The event as a whole was one for the various Lantern Corps, whilst the main series featured Hal Jordan and Barry Allen as the primary characters, with Mera & The Atom as secondary characters.
  • Dead All Along: Scar, she's been dead and serving Nekron ever since she was scarred by the Anti-Monitor.
  • Death by Origin Story: Subverted, as these characters are back with a vengeance.
  • Death Is Cheap: It isn't, actually. As Nekron says, "you owe me a life". This series is a deconstruction of this trope. It turns out that the resurrections of various heroes in the DC Universe were an Evil Plan on the part of Nekron to give him thralls to control. A character discussion at the end indicates that "death is death" from now on. It doesn't, but methods of resurrection are standardized to avoid Nekron until the New 52 erased the event from every mythos but the Lanterns'.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Inverted with Deadman, who turns out to be the most important, non-Lantern Corps affiliated, character in the entire story. He's the one who figured out how to beat Nekron!
  • Dem Bones: In his Black Lantern form, Deadman becomes this. Half of the Black Lantern corps is this, depending on how decayed they are. Batman's clone comes back as a skull.
  • Demonic Possession: Due to the utter hopelessness of trying to fight him any other way, Hal has once again become the host for Parallax so he can fight the Black Lantern Spectre.
  • Diminishing Villain Threat: While this could be considered literally true for all the zombied Black Lanterns, other villains like Larfleeze are getting this treatment. In his first appearance he ruled over an entire solar system, possessed the power of an entire corps, dictated terms to the Guardians of the Universe and commanded his own army of wrathful shades. Now he appears much diminished after his first confrontation with the Black Lanterns and his artwork has changed as a result. He is also drawn much smaller and less menacing and seems now to be comic relief than anything.
    • Justified as well. Saint Walker offers to curb Larfleeze's hunger with his blue ring for as long as he helps in the fight. Not the most sane choice when the man's power directly stems from how hungry he is. He also builds his Corps on the identities people he's killed with his ring & constructs, which alone can't really do much against already dead beings. And Depending on the Artist is effect for his size, of course.
  • Dramatic Irony: A good chunk of the Green Lantern Corps issues focused on Kyle/Soranik scenes, but Kyle revealed to Guy and the readers in the first issue that while Soranik thinks a Star Sapphire showed them each other as their One True Loves, Kyle actually saw his dead ex-girlfriend Jade instead. This adds ironic subtext to the scenes with Black Lantern Jade, but nothing else would happen - even after Jade's resurrection - until after the next Bat Family Crossover, "War of the Green Lanterns".
  • Earth Is the Center of the Universe: Reconstructed: Besides being the center of the multiverse, life originated on Earth, which is why Nekron is attacking it - the source of life remains there.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The various alien entities that are incarnations of the various colors of the emotional spectrum, which has led to some fan speculating that these beasts may be like infant Chaos Gods from Warhammer 40,000 in training, all except for The Entity, which was born on Earth. Nekron especially counts; born from the original darkness of the universe itself to consume life and the Emotional Spectrum it created, Nekron had been subtly been moving pieces to his advent since Hal Jordan first became Green Lantern, and it has tried on one or two occasions to expend it's realm into ours. Nekron is fits the bill of an E.A. so much, it shouldn't be able to exist in the physical universe. It is only able to do so through an avatar, a link to the Living World: Black Hand.
    • Arguably a subversion, since Nekron is displayed as being mostly powerless on his own. He needs Black Hand to exist in the physical universe (and actually have a body), and needed to use the power of the Anti-Monitor (who was trapped inside the Black Battery at the time, and was what powered it) in order to create the Black Rings, control dead heroes and villains, and (temporarily) keep the Spectre at bay. Without those things, he's reduced to being an empty spirit locked at the bottom of whatever hole he was tossed down in Blackest Night #8.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: Used in Blackest Night: The Flash issue #3.
  • Enemy Mine: The various corps must put aside their individual conflicts and unite for the sake of saving the universe. Several terrestrial heroes and villains team up as well.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Again, from Blackest Night: The Flash issue #3: "The Rogues don't kill women and children." They even proceed to kill Captain Boomerang II for breaking this rule.
  • Everything's Better With Gorillas: Johns must be a troper, because he came that close to naming the trope when Black Lantern Solovar showed up.
    Black Lantern Kid Flash: You know what makes everything better? Gorillas!
  • Evil Costume Switch: Justified, it happens automatically when a dead superhero get a black power ring.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: Nekron.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Parallax gladly saves everyone from Black Lantern Spectre. However, as soon as he's done, he goes back to being a homicidal maniac.
  • Forgot About His Powers: The murder of Firestorm's girlfriend mentioned under Stuffed In The Fridge gets pretty weird if you remember that Gehenna learned to teleport before even learning to walk. Subverted in that she is mentioned as trying to teleport but the power of Black Lantern Firestorm currently holding her by the throat is preventing her from doing so.
  • From a Single Cell: "even a few cells left on a black ring will grow back a whole Black Lantern."
  • From Bad to Worse: What's that? The dead are rising? The Spectre, quite possibly the most powerful being in the universe, was possessed by the Black Lanterns? Only one thing to do! Let the Anthropomorphic Personification of fear out of its can and possess Hal Jordan! Yes, Parallax is back! Anyone remember the last time that happened?
    • A zombie apocalypse? Shouldn't be too hard to get rid of Black Hand's Mooks... oh, hang on, he's backed by the personification of Death. No problem, we've got the Justice League — oh, wait, no we don't, Nekron made them zombies, too. OK, the combined Lanterns have bolstered their ranks with new deputies, and... Cool! A White Lantern... Sinestro. I'm sure HE won't abuse such power.
    • The Spectre himself says that the only being worse than Nekron is the Anti-Monitor, and the series ends with Nekron defeated but the Anti-Monitor alive and well.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The Indigo Tribe's staffs look suspiciously similar to cannabis pipes. It doesn't help that the Indigos themselves are rather spiritual, wise, and out-there.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Again, reviving Parallax to fight Black Lantern Spectre.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: The Atom and Hawkman #46. Indigo-1 sends out a mental summons to the homeworlds of all the various Lantern Corps, summoning them to Earth to participate in the battle with the Black Lanterns.
  • Heel Face Mole: Black Lanterns do this sometimes to provoke a Hope Spot, but when Damage and Lois Lane-Kent pull this on Atom Smasher and Power Girl, it works.
  • Heel-Face Turn: To a certain extent, the Red, Orange (meaning Larfleeze), and Yellow Corps as a whole. Out of all of them, though, Atrocitus seems to be the only one making a genuine one, mostly due to his backstory making him a bit of an Anti-Villain.
  • Heroic Dog: Krypto the Superdog saves Ma Kent and blasts the living hell out of a Black Lantern.
    • And he helped Superboy's Batman Gambit to get free from the black ring controlling his body, while preventing Conner from killing Wonder Girl.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Kyle Rayner, who takes hundreds of Black Lanterns with him. The Power of Love makes him get better.
  • Hope Spot: Literally. Superboy-Prime surrenders to the Black Lanterns and puts on a black ring to become one of them, but his wild emotions end up saving him, destroying the ring and all the zombies around him. His ex-girlfriend Laurie forgives him for his past misdeeds and they hug, Prime sobbing on her shoulder, but the last shot reveals that Laurie is actually one of them, and is poised to kill him. It was all a plot to fill his heart with hope, before feeding on it.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: Nekron's attack occurs on a superhero equivalent to Memorial Day.
  • Hufflepuff House: The Indigo Tribe in relation to the six other more developed corps.
  • Human Bullet: The various Corps used Dove as one against the Anti-Monitor.
  • Hypocrite: Captain Cold justifies killing the second Captain Boomerang by claiming "Rogues don't kill women and children." Trouble is the lineup at the time includes the second Mirror Master (who definitely killed Rachel Rathaway as well as the Rathaways' female housekeeper), the second Trickster (unless all the homeless people he blew up happened to be adult men), and Heat Wave (again, unless he somehow only caught adult men in his numerous acts of arson).
  • Idiot Ball: Ganthet already knows that when two or more people wear the light of avarice, they will inevitably end up fighting each other and no one else. Jordan has also heard this tale, first-hand from Larfleeze himself. Yet, they go ahead and send out an orange ring which deputizes Lex frickin' Luthor. Not surprisingly, him and Larfleeze spend the entire showdown fighting with each other and make themselves completely useless; the Avarice light seems to have been brought along only for obligatory purposes. Justified for Red and Yellow rings, as they at least had some measure of control and had been helping to take out Black Lanternss.
  • Implacable Man: Black Lanterns don't die if you cut off their heads. They don't die if they have their hearts torn out, get cut to ribbons, or are immolated down to dust. Even if you figure out that the ring is the really dangerous part, the strength of Superman or a concentrated attack by several Green Lanterns cannot be relied upon to destroy the ring for good. And most of them, being superheroes, are strong enough to break out of ice or even solid stone when people try to trap them (of particular note, the ring hunting Superboy kept on flying towards him even once it was trapped in ice, and when Wonder Girl threw it to the moon, everyone knew it was only a delaying tactic). The reader will spend the first third of this crossover wonder how it could ever be possible to beat these things.
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Larfleeze was trying to grab SCAR and take her with him. Hey, an undead Guardian is rarer and thus worth more than a regular one!
    • In the end, he contents himself with Sayd, who offered her servitude to him in return for his help.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Both Doves exhibit this. The rings fail to turn the deceased Don Hall into a Black Lantern because his soul is completely at peace and is apparently so pure that it cannot be controlled by evil. Dawn Granger, the current and alive Dove, is completely immune to the Black Lanterns' attempts to corrupt her and they literally explode when they try.
    • The various corps eventually weaponize this - more than Dawn had been doing already - by launching her right into the Black Lantern Anti-Monitor.
  • In Name Only: Deadman, after being one of the twelve revived by the White Light. Even he is aware of this.
  • Just One Second Out of Sync: Hal and Barry's escape from the Black Lantern rings isn't exactly this, but very similar. Barry sends him and Hal two minutes into the future, and not existing in those two minutes is enough for the rings to end their pursuit.
  • Kick the Dog: In Blackest Night #0, Black Hand destroys Bruce Wayne's grave. That skull in the image is Bruce's. It's being used to create rings to help kill his former friends.
    • It gets worse. In the next issue, he licks it.
    • The kicking doesn't end there. In Blackest Night #5, Nekron and Black Hand finally make Batman a Black Lantern for one sole purpose: to use the emotions people had for him to turn the heroes who had been killed and resurrected into Black Lanterns themselves. And, after he's served his purpose, they disintegrate him.
  • Laughably Evil: Larfleeze is a psychotic, murderous, cannibalistic glutton completely devoid of any redeeming qualities (unlike Sinestro or Atrocitus). But that doesn't stop him from stealing the spotlight in this entire event, because he's just so darn funny.
    • Not to mention Black Lantern Firestorm. He manages to be funny even while forcing the current Firestorm to turn his girlfriend into ash.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The various color corps, the Black Lanterns, their friends and family, the guardians, the entities...
  • The Millstone: Orange Lantern Lex Luthor, who spends more time attacking fellow ringbearers than he does the zombies.
  • The Mole: Due to a previous experience as an "undead being", the former Green Lantern Driq retains his own personality while in Black Lantern form. He helps John Stewart and the other Lanterns by finding and leading them to Xanshi's core so they can destroy it.
  • Mythology Gag: "I guess Mogo does socialize after all."
  • Never Mess with Granny: In Blackest Night: Superman #3, Black Lantern Lois Kent from Earth-2 (died of old age in Infinite Crisis) gives a Breaking Speech to Ma Kent. Ma Kent makes a torch and burns her and then sics Krypto on her.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Guardians of the Green Lantern Corps. Even without Scar manipulating things, the rest of the Guardians (sans Ganthet and Sayd) just couldn't stop screwing up. With the useless Alpha-Lanterns, censoring of the prophecy of the Blackest Night, polarizing new laws in the Book of Oa, and their hand in fully igniting the War of Light by directing Larfleeze and his Orange Lantern Corps to the location of the Blue Lanterns, the Guardians almost seemed to be begging for the Zombie Apocalypse!
    • Hal Jordan and the Lanterns of the other emotion spectrum Corps combining their powers to form the white light of creation actually made Nekron stronger. Nekron uses this increased power to create Black Lantern Batman just long enough to turn the heroes who cheated death in the past into Black Lanterns.
    • Speaking of Hal, his merging with the White Entity to trigger the creation of White Rings. Sure, it stops Nekron and brings back a lot of deceased characters. But one of those resurrected is Barry's arch-enemy, the Reverse-Flash. That means Hal's indirectly responsible for the events of The Flash: Rebirth and the murder of Barry's mom at Thawne's hands.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Black Hand and Scarecrow, though they have different tastes. The former has a rather unhealthy obsession with death and the latter is obsessed with experiencing fear. Ironically, this becomes a point of contention between the two when Black Hand states that once everyone is dead they won't be afraid anymore. To which Scarecrow retorts (while attacking him with a pitchfork) "What if we want to be afraid?!"
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Nekron's not just out to kill all forms of life, he's out to kill Life itself.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The Black Lanterns are not the actual characters; the rings are the ones in total control.
    • What is really important is that the Black Lanterns only kill specific victims, namely those feeling strong levels of one or more of the seven emotions; they do not kill with abandon. A Black Lantern will not harm (or even detect) someone who feels no emotion at all (i.e. Jonathan Crane AKA Scarecrow) or who can empty themselves of emotion (i.e. Shiva and Renee Montoya), nor will they initially go after someone who doesn't have a heart to take (i.e. Tarpit and Robotman).
    • There's even some internal variation of types: partway through the story Nekron manages to zombify all the heroes who have previously returned from the dead like Superman, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman etc. by forcing black rings onto their hands, thus instantaneously "killing" and transforming them into Black Lanterns. However, these "living" Black Lanterns are apparently not really dead so much as "possessed" by their black rings (as evidenced by returning to a living state upon their removal like Connor, rather than becoming an inanimate corpse as with regular vanquished BL's). Thus they effectively qualify as a different category of zombie within the larger zombie ranks. This is partly indicated by these possessed-BL's not looking like decaying reanimated corpses like all the other BL's, but instead just have pallid gray skin, although this varies slightly Depending on the Artist.
      • As a result you get a "sexy undead goth Wonder Woman" (plus Donna Troy, and Ice, who doesn't appear in the picture) instead of the "heinous rotting cadaver Wonder Woman" you might have expected/feared. Again Depending on the Artist, some of the already dead female Black Lanterns do give off some Fetish Fuel as of their appearance (e.g. Jade).
  • People Puppets: Most Black Lanterns are puppeteered corpses. The handful that aren't are still puppeteered, just not quite dead yet - A "living" Black Lantern's soul is quite literally trapped; they can feel their body moving and hear the Breaking Speeches the ring spouts out, but cannot do anything to stop it.
  • The Plan: To no one's surprise, Hal unites the seven corps, beaming the White Light of Creation at Nekron. It makes him stronger. There is no way he did not plan this. In addition, the whole thing ends with Black Lantern Batman. So... Lampshading?
    • Turns out Nekron allowed people to come Back from the Dead. All so that he could eventually use them for his own purposes. See Kick The Dog.
  • Planet of Hats: According to Ganthet, Earth's Hat is its lack of a Hat, being the most diverse planet in the universe. Lex Luthor, however, argues to Larfleeze that Earth's hat is greed, consumerism, and getting stuff - so he should claim the Orange Light.
  • The Power of Love: Basically, the Star Sapphires' schtick: A Star Sapphire helps revive Kyle using the love in Soranik's heart, and Carol revived Mera using Aquaman's love after Mera's Red Ring rejected her.
    • It also helps to free Hal from Parallax possession. Carol's love "anchored" Hal on her, allowing the Spectre to separate entity from host.
  • Preorder Bonus: Depending on where you purchased it, some copies of Blackest Night #1 came with a free Black Lantern Ring. Other comics included rings for the other seven corps.
    • The Blackest Night rings were such a success that DC made more rings for the Brightest Day followup: Green Lantern (again), The Flash, and White Lantern.
  • Primordial Chaos: Nekron's origin. It turns out he is a "defense mechanism" created by the Primordial Chaos to fight back against light and life.
  • Rasputinian Death: Not as elaborate as Darkseid's in Final Crisis, but the way that Nekron was stopped was by having the White Lanterns bring Black Hand to life, which caused Black Hand to vomit up White Rings. After one of them managed to destroy the Black Central Power Battery by resurrecting the Anti-Monitor, the rest of the White Rings vanquished Nekron completely.
    • Even then, it doesn't really kill Nekron - it just sent him back to the Land of the Unliving.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Most of the Black Lanterns did this to the heroes they were fighting, in order to damage them psychologically alongside the physically.
    • Black Lantern Aquaman gave a rather brutal one to the Atlanteans that came to retrieve his body, calling them out for shunning him because he was blond and trying to kill him when he returned to Atlantis to claim the throne.
  • The Reveal: Earth has been targeted because it is where the Entity, the source of the White Light of Creation, first arrived in the universe and where it's hiding, meaning that life began on Earth, not Maltus (the Guardians' homeworld) and the Guardians tried to keep Earth off other races' radar to prevent them from threatening the Entity. Abin Sur learned this, but the Guardians' cover-up meant everyone thought he had lost it. Learning that his best friend was right when believed insane, Sinestro took this revelation poorly.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: Averted — being blasted with the white light of creation didn't do jack to Nekron. Played straight in the finale: Nekron is undone after his link to the physical world (Black Hand) and his power source (the Anti-Monitor) are revived.
  • Save the Villain: In the end, the day is saved by Black Hand being brought back to life.
  • Scenery Porn: Ivan Reis' work in the core series is so detailed, it's almost unbelievable. Seriously, it reaches main Crisis levels of detail.
  • Shout-Out: IN SPACE, NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM!!
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: The way every hero reacts to the Black Lantern speeches. There are a ton of these.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: A flashback in BN #1 to the Trope Namer. And again later when the girl appears as a Black Lantern (complete with fridge construct and a Black Lantern Corps fridge magnet!).
    • The series also features at least one genuine example, and it's a pretty bad one: Gehenna, who was killed in the most horrific manner possible, turned into salt, just to torment her boyfriend. Though this was the point as Ronnie was continuously feeding Black Lantern Firestorm emotions since they were fused together and it would have happened to anyone else who was fused with Jason to make Firestorm (such as Jason's best friend Mick if he didn't cease to exist during Infinite Crisis, or even Professor Stein).
  • Sympathy for the Devil: We get a heart-to-heart moment between Saint Walker and, of all people, Atrocitus, as they commiserate that the paths that lead them to their respective corps are actually quite similar.
    • Mind you, Atrocitus points out just how different he thinks they are by showing that unlike Walker, he knows that specific individuals are to blame for his misery, and that they haven't ever been brought to justice.
    • Saint Walker temporarily gives Larfleeze some hope as to the whereabouts of his parents.
  • Taking You with Me: Kyle, to the Black Lanterns attacking Oa. Superboy-Prime tries this with everyone at DC Comics, but the Black Lanterns teleport him away before he can kill anyone.
  • There Can Be Only One: Larfleeze and Lex Luthor battle to the death to be the sole owner of the Orange Light of Avarice.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Before Geoff Johns took some Character Development to him, Black Hand was a seldom used character who had turned into more of a joke in his later appearances.
    • His original shtick was as the "cliche villain". He based his plans on trite sayings. Like the Riddler without being remotely interesting.
    • While Nekron has always been taken seriously, the number of appearances he's made since his debut in the 80s could literally be counted on one hand and even most hardcore fans had never heard of him. Geoff Johns is now in the process of turning him into one of the DCU's ultimate Big Bads. Lampshaded by the Flash in issue 5.
    • Mera as well. If anyone even knew who she was, it was usually just as Aquaman's wife. Now there's talk of her own spin-off after Blackest Night.
      • She gets some gut-wrenching character development: "I never wanted children."
      • Mera is so hardcore that Atrocitus complements her.
    • What about Ma Kent and Krypto? Ma uses a torch to take down Lois Kent, leaving Krypto to finish her off.
  • Twist Ending: To issue 7. A White Lantern? I Knew It! White Lantern SINESTRO? ...Well, that was unexpected.
  • Uncancelled: The black rings ever brought back old canceled comics! In January, old comics that were canceled were brought back for one issue for the Blackest Night. They include: The Atom & Hawkman, Catwoman, Phantom Stranger, The Power of Shazam!, Suicide Squad, The Question, Starman, and Weird Western Tales.
  • The Unreveal: In issue 5, the various Corps leaders all charge up their rings, having a roll call of their oaths - except for Larfleeze, who's hungry again. The Indigo Tribe oath can count, too; this is the first time we've heard it, but it's in an alien language.
    • Unlike Larfleeze's, though, the Indigo Tribe one DOES come with a reveal. Abin Sur's name is part of the oath.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Sinestro has had more than one of these in the series. Whenever he finds out that the Guardians made Abin Sur (his only true friend) look like he had gone insane when he really was the only one who knew the truths behind Blackest Night, he gets really pissed off. Understandably so!
    • Also his reaction to Hal getting the Parallax entity again instead of himself and the part around the end with his need to get the White Lantern battery.
    • Nekron has a minor one when he realizes that the Lantern Corps are about to win.
    • Black Hand also has a minor one, but has periodical flashes back to sanity as the attacks wear on his psyche. In the aftermath, he's braindead and lead about by the Indigo Corps.
  • Wham Episode: None of the core issues draw their punches, but perhaps the first one was the strongest: in Blackest Night #1, Barry is still trying to deal with how much things had changed since he died. When he learns about the the villain morgue and the hero cemeteries, he asks Hal who else had died since he was gone. Hal uses his ring to show everyone. When Barry sees Ralph and Sue, he actually sits down in sorrow.
    • And then in Blackest Night #5, when every major hero who has ever returned from the dead (Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, etc) are killed again by Black Lantern Batman and become Black Lanterns themselves. Oh, and the "white light of creation" actually helped Nekron instead of destroying him like it should have. Uh-oh.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: Prior to the release of Blackest Night #0, it was established in Nightwing that there was a black market for metahuman bodies and organs, leading to the League's confiscation of them. When at the end of BL #0, there is a shot of the Black Lantern Corps with its members rising from a graveyard, with no indication that this was to actually happen. The Internet Backdraft was substantial, saying that DC was ignoring what the Nightwing writer, Peter Tomasi, had established; but it turned out to be the opposite as BL #1 made direct reference to the Nightwing storyline. This made it all the more sillier since Tomasi had been writing for the monthly Green Lantern Corps book for at least two years previous... and what was supposed to be a non-canon group picture of the Black Lantern Corps was taken literally.
    • And then there's the origins of the entities shown in Green Lantern #52. The only explicit stuff is that the avarice entity is a serpent and discussed while showing a snake and an apple, and the hope entity was said to be born from prayer; but of course it's prompted Wild Mass Guessing as to what other religious symbolism can be inferred about the entities. The fact that the story also makes reference to "Let there be light" doesn't help.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Where did the Spectre go when Nekron brushed him off? And if Nekron wasn't responsible for it, who took Parallax?
    • These questions were answered in Brightest Day: The Spectre was recombined with the soul of Crispus Allen, who then began searching for the Butcher; and Parallax was summoned and imprisoned by Krona.
    • In the tie-in Green Lantern #47, the action on Ysmault cuts away after the Black Lanterns' failed attempt to kill Atrocitus. At the end of the issue, Atrocitus suddenly appears on Okarra, with no indication of what happened to the other Red Lanterns, or the "Lost Lanterns" who had also been on Ysmault.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Superboy-Prime calls the writers at DC Comics out for continuing the story and giving the Black Lanterns the advantage even though he already proved that the comic book characters all exist and really are in serious danger. It doesn't work.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Oh God, Atrocitus...
    • Adventure Comics #5 managed to make Superboy-Prime into one of these.
  • The Worf Effect: The Spectre, just like the last couple of times. At least there was a somewhat believable reason: Nekron doesn't have a soul to punish.
    • Nekron also One-Hit KO's the Anti-Monitor, who it took five universes worth of superheroes to defeat in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Mind, he did take quite the beating during the Sinestro Corps War, allowing Nekron to capture him in the first place. (Being crushed by the Warworld, having it and the Yellow Central Power Battery detonate in one's face and getting a hole punched in one's chest by Superboy-Prime cannot be very good for one's general health)
    • For some reason, Superman couldn't hurt the Black Lanterns very much, while Superboy could.
      • Superman only had heat vision and super strength to use against them. Superboy has his tactile telekinesis. One would assume he was basically ripping them apart cell by cell from the inside out every time he touched them.
  • Writing for the Trade: While this crossover is not so bad on its own (the first few issues could've been condensed without missing much), this storyline lasted eight issues (nine months!) despite being only one night long. To make matters worse, Hal's storylines from Final Crisis to Blackest Night led right into one another, so a week at most passed for Hal while everything else in the DCU took place in clearly longer segments of time, even the nominally parallel Green Lantern Corps book. It's not a bad read, but it's clearly written with an eye towards the collections, rather than allowing any breathing room between stories or accounting for characters' appearances elsewhere in the DCU.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Hawkgirl finally gets up the nerve to confess that she loves Hawkman in Blackest Night #1. Then both she and Hawkman die brutally.
  • You Shall Not Pass: When Kyle Rayner dies, Soranik and the rest of the GL Corps that were in Oa defend his body ferociously against the Black Lantern Rings.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Initially, only the dead with emotional ties to the world's superheroes and supervillains get up and walk. Then Nekron arrives. "Coast City. Rise." Remembering that the dead of Coast City number seven million, that's a pretty decent-sized attack.
    • Also, Xanshi, an entire planet and its population, as John Stewart discovers. (You read that right - the planet itself is a Black Lantern, like Mogo is a Green.)
    • And all of the dead children of the Green Lanterns. Seriously, the Black Lanterns really know how to get their enemies riled up.
  • Zombie Gait: Averted. These zombies have power rings and everything that entails — flying, constructs of whatever they think of, energy blasts, the usual. And if they had superpowers before they died? They still have them.
  • Zombify The Living: Nekron does this, but only on those who came Back from the Dead (e.g. Superman). Green Lantern and The Flash avoid this by being Just One Second Out of Sync.

TROPERS OF EARTH-PRIME. LIVE.
SankareaZombie StoriesDead Eyes Open
Sinestro Corps WarFranchise/Green LanternBrightest Day
Gotham City SirensComicBook/CatwomanNew 52
X-Men ForeverTurnOfTheMillennium/Comic BooksJustice League: Cry for Justice
Robin SeriesDC Comics SeriesBlackhawk
Black CanaryImageSource/Comic BooksMonster from Beyond the Veil

alternative title(s): Blackest Night
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