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The Black Lantern Corps
The darkness grows, as all light dies,
We crave your hearts and your demise,
By my black hand— the dead shall rise!
Per the Blackest Night prophecy, the emergence and conflict among the other colors led to the stirring of the Black Lanterns. Their Power Battery is made from the corpse of the Anti Monitor. Their leader is the Black Hand, a long time Green Lantern enemy and necrophile. They have their own Guardian, Scar, an Oan corrupted during the war with Sinestro. The being behind it all is Nekron, the avatar of Death, who claims that the natural state of the universe is eternal darkness and death absent of time and that the light of creation and life is but a temporary disturbance of that state; and to that end, death has stirred to restore this "peaceful" state of rest.
The Black Lanterns devour the light of all other Lanterns (whose lights are supposed to collectively represent Life). They've been manipulating heroes and Lanterns to make them experience pure extreme emotions which they can feed upon. Their rings animate the dead, giving them whatever abilities and memories they had in life (though the souls are absent) along with flight and ridiculous levels of regeneration.
Though Nekron was defeated, the consciousness of the Black Lantern Firestorm remained in the Firestorm Matrix; soon splitting off and naming himself Deathstorm. Deathstorm then claimed the White Lantern and used it to recreate more Black Lanterns, who served the Anti-Monitor until the real Firestorm intervened and destroyed them.
- Breaking Speech: Ulitize the memories of their host to provoke emotion and stab tender points in their targets.
- Came Back Wrong: Everyone revived this way is a souless villain.
- Combat Pragmatist: They'll do anything to provoke emotion and take over new bodies.
- Dark Is Evil: Nekron considers that it is for the greater good of the universe (and technically he's right. No life, no problems, right?)
- Emotion Eater: They consume the emotions of their victims to power their battery, by ripping the targets' heart out.
- Eviler Than Thou: They've forced every character to fight together in the name of survival.
- From a Single Cell: If just one cell survives then the ring can rebuild its host.
- Revenant Zombie: Black Lanterns retain all their memories instead of being just mindless corpses, however they're as malevolent as any zombie.
- Zombie Apocalypse: Their orgin is one of these and it spreads far and wide.
Notable Black Lanterns and Associated Characters
The Death Entity. The universal personification of oblivion—the absence of all light, life, and emotion. Nekron is the shadow cast by the light of life and emotion. For eons, he was trapped in the Land of the Unliving, a kind of limbo dimension where dead souls linger before judgment, but the death of the immortal Krona brought the universe of the living to his attention. He seeks to bring an end to all life, extinguishing the light of emotion and bringing the universe back to its original state of being: darkness and death.
Several times since his existence was revealed, Nekron attempted to enter our universe and destroy all life, but each time he was repelled by its heroes, most notably the Green Lanterns. However, Nekron had a plan: the Blackest Night. By engineering the creation of a tether to the material universe—William Hand—and the construction of his own power rings and Power Battery on the decimated planet Ryut, Nekron was able to create the Black Lantern Corps, who brought him physically to Earth. Nekron attempted to destroy his opposite, the Entity, and thus end all life in creation, but the combined forces of all seven lights of emotion with the Entity itself revived Hand, cutting Nekron's link to the material plane and banishing him back to the void.
- Above Good and Evil: All are equal before death.
- And I Must Scream: As powerful as Nekron is, he's trapped as a bodiless spirit until his tether dies. He inflicts this on revived heroes, who're trapped in their ring-possessed bodies.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Nekron likely isn't an embodiment of death, as such, but rather of the void, of nothingness. As originally presented in the 1980s, he seemed to be merely the custodian of a dimension where recently dead souls waited to be processed into their proper afterlives.
- Big Bad: Of Blackest Night.
- Catchphrase: DIE!!!
- "[insert name here] of [insert homeworld here]... RISE."
- Death Is Cheap: He allowed this in the first place, so that he has some sleeper agents.
- Death Is a Loser: Sort of-Nekron is a legitimately powerful and threatening Cosmic Entity that symbolizes death of sorts, however he can only enter the physical realm when his herald is undead. Otherwise he's a bodiless spirit stuck in the Unliving, and has faced uprisings from the souls in his realm.
- Dimension Lord: Lord of the Unliving, a sort of Purgatory realm.
- Eldritch Abomination: He can't even exist in our universe physically without a tether. In fact, it's his only weakness.
- Enemy Mine: When all else fails, he's the one to kill Volthoom, under influence of Hal Jordan, the greatest Black Lantern of them all.
- Enemy to All Living Things: Literal example.
- Fighting a Shadow: Destroying his physical body means nothing to him. He can just get another one.
- The Grim Reaper: Originally he was a deathly custodian. Later subverted in that he isn't in charge of death, but rather the absence of life.
- Humanoid Abomination: He manifests as The Grim Reaper figure seen above when he does manifest in physical form.
- Hive Mind: The Black Lanterns are little more than extensions of his will.
- Hypocrite: Hates it when people who cheat death, but has no problem when he allows certain people to come back to life so they can serve as his sleeper agents.
- Invincible Villain: Since Nekron isn't "alive" in the way we understand the term, nothing can kill him. He's immune to The Spectre's judgment, and destroying his body will just slow him until he can possess a new one. He has only one weakness: if he wants to interact with the living, he needs a link between the DCU and the Land of the Unliving, like a rip in space time or a living tether like Black Hand.
- Not So Above It All: For all he claims to be an amoral and emotionless agent of eternal cosmic nightfall, he has a rather nasty personality and seems to enjoy what he does a bit too much.
- Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: For somebody who preaches about restoring order to the universe in his own weird way, the fact that hes quite the sadist in what he does and commits some truly nasty actions for no real reason makes one wonder how well intentioned he truly is.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Wants to destroy life itself.
- Order Versus Chaos: With death and darkness being order, while light and life falls under chaos.
- The Power of the Void: This is what he represents; the absense of life.
- Power Trio: Has been portrayed as this with Death of the Endless and the Black Racer.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Until Black Hand's death opened the seal.
- Sinister Scythe: Its hilt holds a black power battery.
- Straw Nihilist: More understandable than other examples. He thinks life is meaningless because he's death/the absence of life.
- The Soulless: Allows him to No-Sell the wrath of The Spectre. Being a force of nature must've helped as well.
- Subverted Catchphrase: With the original Dove. "Don Hall of Earth... at peace." The black ring kept trying anyway. It didn't work.
- Time Abyss: Nekron is as old as the universe itself. The darkness that created him is older than that.
- Took a Level in Badass: Nekron was always regarded as a serious threat, but he was so underused that very few people knew who he was.
- Touch of Death: What he can do to others. This makes him a Walking Wasteland.
- Undead Abomination: A Cosmic Entity embodying ancient void and darkness in the form of an undead being.
The son of a funeral parlor owner, William Hand, even at a young age, had an unhealthy obsession with death. Atrocitus predicted that he would become a threat to life itself, and tried to murder him, only for Hal Jordan and Sinestro to rescue him. In the aftermath of the battle, William stole Atrocitus' weapon (a rod that could absorb energy and channel it into energy blasts) and became a supervillain, Black Hand.
Eventually, he found his true destiny. By committing suicide, he rose from the grave as the first Black Lantern, providing Nekron with a tether to join the living universe. He led the Black Lanterns as Second-In-Command, until the power of the White Light restored him to living, breathing flesh and blood, taking away his powers and Nekron's link. He was taken into custody of the Indigo Lanterns, being forcefully converted into one of them; however, he later died escaping the tribe, becoming a Black Lantern once more.
- And I Must Scream: His situation after the Blackest Night. He is kidnapped by the Indigo Tribe and is forced to feel compassion to counteract his natural sociopathic detachment from life. He breaks out of it when the Compassion Battery is shattered and commits suicide to keep from going back when it is restored.
- Again when he accidentally absorbed petrifying Source Wall properties after reanimating its entrapped titans. Now all he touches turns to stone, with the inability to raise his newly stone dead.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Much like the Emotional Entities personify certain emotions, Black Hand is meant to be the Black Lanterns' embodiment of death.
- The Anti-Christ: He serves as the connection for Nekron to invade the living universe. He had to arrive before Nekron could make his move.
- Black Sheep: The rest of his family are good, proud Christians. It's also the origin of his name. He's the black sheep of the Hand family.
- Death-Activated Superpower: Dying only allows him to rise again as a Black Lantern.
- Driven to Suicide: Unfortunately, this makes him come back as something even worse.
- Elemental Embodiment: Upon committing suicide in the leadup to the Blackest Night, he is revealed to have become the embodiment of Death, similar to the opposite entities that were offshoots of the Life Entity.
- Enemy to All Living Things: Naturally. However, in the Godhead arc, he mentions to Hal that he actually likes the living, solely because they bring more death by their very design; according to him, the two main driving forces for the living are procreation (which creates more beings that will eventually die) and self-preservation (which often involves killing other beings, or dying in the process).
- Enfante Terrible: Even as a toddler, he frightened his parents with his obsession with dead bodies. He has no Freudian Excuse.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: That creepy kid, and joke villain? Yeah, he's The Antichrist for a Zombie Apocalypse.
- Grave Robbing: He did this due to his obsession with death. After he became the Black Lantern Number Two, he has more practical reasons for it.
- I Am the TropeDeath always wins in the end. It's just a matter of time. And I am death. I'm Black Hand.
- I Love the Dead:
- It was heavily implied the he masturbated to dead bodies, even as a kid!
- He also seems to be in love with death in a platonic sense.
- Kinslaying Is a Special Kind of Evil: Kills his family and himself to establish his allegiance to Nekron and the end of all life.
- Lack of Empathy: Towards the living.
- Murder-Suicide: Killed his siblings, parents and then himself in preparation for the Blackest Night.
- The Necromancer: Not to the extent of Nekron, but as a Black Lantern he is able to reanimate corpses. They're more classical zombies than Black Lanterns though. He's even able to reanimate dead viruses.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Obsessed with death and the dead, even implied to be a necrophiliac.
- Not Brainwashed: The only Black Lantern who retains his personality.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: He used to be a joke villain whose only power was stealing Green Lantern's energy and redirecting it back at him, while basing his crimes around cliched sayings. Not any more.
During the Blackest Night, the Black Lantern of Ronnie Raymond, aka Firestorm, stood out among his colleagues as one of the most sadistic and twisted, turning the girlfriend of the current Firestorm, Jason Rusch, to salt and forcing Rusch to help. Ronnie was later returned to life by a White Ring, but the Black Lantern consciousness remained in the Firestorm Matrix, eventually separating from Firestorm and calling itself Deathstorm. Deathstorm was able to claim the White Lantern Battery and bring it to the Anti-Monitor before Firestorm arrived, foiled the Anti-Monitor, and destroyed Deathstorm with the White energies.
- Ascended Extra: He was one of the more popular Black Lanterns, so he came back as a character in his own right, separate from either Ronnie or Jason.
- The Dragon: To the Anti-Monitor.
- Enemy Without: Deathstorm is the remains of the Black Lantern conscious and given its own life and form.
- Evil Counterpart: To Firestorm, especially his New 52 incarnation from Earth-3 that shows up in Forever Evil.
- Faux Affably Evil: He's retained Ronnie's slacker attitude and has a wicked sense of humor, but is arguably the sickest of the Black Lanterns.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Both of them are names you wouldn't want to meet in dark alley, or anywhere for that matter.
- '90s Anti-Hero: The creators confirmed that he was designed in this style, though obviously skipping the "hero" part.
- Totally Radical: He had the typical nineties slang to go with it.
During the final battle of the Sinestro Corps War, one of the female Guardians of the Universe was burned by the touch of the Anti-Monitor. This fundamentally changed her, to say the least. She soon began exhibiting suspicious behavior, including goading her fellow Guardians into increasingly dubious decisions regarding the GLC and emotion, manipulating other Corps into conflict with the Green Lanterns, and dispatching agents to locate the corpse of the Anti-Monitor. All the while, she secretly began composing a "Book of the Black", chronicling those who would play a role in the upcoming Blackest Night. It was eventually revealed that she had been killed by the Anti-Monitor and was now Nekron's agent in the land of the living. She was destroyed during the Blackest Night by Hal Jordan and the New Guardians, who combined their individual lights into white light, obliterating her.
- Dead All Along: Scar died the instant the Anti-Monitor touched her, and Nekron raised her so quickly that nobody knew.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Revealed to be an evil one after the above trope was discovered.
- The Mole: Ever since her brush with the Anti-Monitor she had been Nekron's agent and laying the ground work for his Evil Plan.
- Not So Different: As has been made radically clear since her death, very little separated her philosophy from the other Guardians.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Spoke Nekron's philosophy that the only way of keeping the universe peaceful and orderly was to wipe out emotion, and thus all life.
The White Light
During the battle with Nekron he revealed that Earth was home to a White Entity, a being similar to Ion and Parallax but one that sparked life itself in the universe. In order to fight Nekron and protect the entity, Sinestro bonded with it but proved unworthy; Hal Jordan then bonded with it and briefly turned himself and other previously resurrected heroes into White Lanterns. White Lantern rings also revived a handful of other metahumans that had perished, starting with Black Hand and thereby making Nekron unable to exist in the physical world.
After the battle, only one of the resurrected heroes, Deadman, still had a white ring. A white Power Battery has also appeared, but nobody has yet been able to lift it.
- All Your Powers Combined: Skilled users are capable of replicating the colors of every other Corp.
- Dismantled Macguffin: After returning from the beyond the Source Wall by rewriting the Life Equation to allow it, Kyle Rayner returns with said equation in his head. He saves himself and the universe from such power being unchecked by dividing it between seven white lantern rings and starting a new, permanent White Lantern Corp.
- Earth Is the Center of the Universe: Specifically, Oa is at the center of the universe. Earth is at the "center" of the Multiverse, with the Earth of the main DC Universe sitting at the base of the multiverse supporting the other 51 earths.
- Life Energy: Produces it.
- Only the Chosen May Wield: Hal and Carol compare it to the Sword in the Stone while they and Sinestro try to lift the battery.
Notable Characters Associated with the White Light
The Life Entity—the living embodiment of the White Light of Creation, the being who represents life itself and, indeed, brought life into existence. The Entity was created by The Presence and found itself on Earth, where the process of evolution was sparked. Over the eons, its progeny—the lesser entities of the emotional spectrum—manifested, while the Entity itself slept in Earth's core. The Entity is the opposite of Nekron; the yang to his yin.
It has revealed to Deadman that it is dying from Nekron's attack, and that a replacement must be found.
- All Your Colors Combined: The White Entity is made from pieces of the other entities. It has Butcher's tusks, Ophidian's spine, Parallax's limbs, Ion's face, Adara's wings, Proselyte's hair, and Predator's chest.
- The Chessmaster: Every hero and villain that was revived after the Blackest Night was used to play a part in The Plan. This plan was to restore and revive The Green, a.k.a Swamp Thing so that life would have a guardian.
- Good Is Not Nice: Has no problem manipulating villains to do dirty work on its behalf and gave heroes their lives back without telling some of them that theirs was a temporary arrangement.
- Our Angels Are Different: In appearance, at least, the Entity resembles an alien angel.
- Rule of Symbolism: In the Book of Genesis, the first thing God creates is light. The Entity is that very light.
- Time Abyss: The first living thing and source of all life in the universe, being at least 10 billion years old.
Members at different times of the superhero duo Hawk and Dove, Don and Dawn are pacifistic heroes paired with a much more aggressive hero called Hawk. During the Black Lantern invasion, both Doves displayed unexplained power over their enemies: Don's corpse could not be moved from its resting place by the black rings, and Dawn could emit white light energy that would obliterate Black Lanterns completely.
See Hawk and Dove page.
Boston Brand was originally a trapeze artist who went under the stage name of "Deadman". Unfortunately, the stage name became literal when he was killed by a mysterious hook-handed man during a show. He spent the next several years as a ghost under the Hindu goddess Rama Kushna, solving crimes and aiding the superhero community from the other side.
In the wake of the Blackest Night, none were more shocked than he was to find himself back in the land of the living. He realized that he alone still wore a White Lantern ring, which soon spoke to him. It began bringing him to different places, allowing him to witness the other resurrectees (unseen and unheard, not unlike when he was a ghost) and asking him to help them before delivering him to Red Oni, Blue Oni team Hawk and Dove. The three are now working together to try and unravel the mysteries of the White Light.
- Alliterative Name
- Body Snatcher: His main power as a ghost.
- Civvie Spandex: Post-resurrection, Boston wears a Badass Longcoat over his Deadman costume.
- Status Quo Is God: At the end of Brightest Day, Deadman dies again.
- The Watcher: Some of his actions as Deadman (as he can't intervene without possessing someone's body), and his first role as a White Lantern is to watch and observe.
Alec Holland was hit with a lab explosion and ran into the swamp, becoming a monstrous plant creature - at least, that was the original story. It was later revealed that Alec perished, and the Swamp Thing was a separate being created by the accident that had Alec's memories.
Nekron's attack corrupted Swamp Thing, making it believe it was Nekron instead of Alec. The Entity responded by resurrecting Alec and making him an actual Swamp Thing, and once the original Thing was killed it appointed Alec its successor as protector of life. In the New 52 reboot, Alec is now fighting along with Animal Man as champions of nature (Swamp Thing representing "The Green", or plants, and Animal Man representing "The Red", or beasts) against another force of death known as "The Rot" or "The Black", a new incarnation of "the Grey" force of decay (which is now its counterpart in Earth 2).
See Swamp Thing page.
In Green Lantern: New Guardians, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner is shown to have the ability to channel all seven colors of the emotional spectrum. During the Rise of the Third Army event, Kyle is trained by Lanterns of each color to prepare himself for the Third Army. By issue #16, he masters all seven colors and becomes a White Lantern.