Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.


Nightmare Fuel / Green Lantern

Go To
One of many examples of From Bad to Worse in the life of the Green Lantern
The Green Lantern verse is filled with a variety of awful monstrosities and creatures related to the history of the Lantern Corps and even members of the Lantern Corps itself
  • The various collection of Eldritch Abomination alien entities that are incarnations of the various colors of the emotional spectrum, which has led to some fans 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. They're the embodiment of the emotions of their domain and are fueled by the emotions of every sentient being in the universe. Oh and they're not passive or strictly benevolent. Just one, Parallax the Embodiment of Fear, possessed Hal Jordan and nearly destroyed reality itself throughout time after spending eons driving civilizations insane with fear as well as scaring the Spectre of all beings. Another, The Butcher the Embodiment of Rage, is actually dangerous enough to be the Spectre's mortal enemy. Even the good ones like the Embodiments of Compassion and Hope have a tendency to Mind Rape people to feel the emotion of their domain while the Embodiment of Love becomes a horrible monster in response to the flawed sense of love of its hosts.
  • Good ol' Alan Moore created the prison planet Ysmault, and populated it with Eldritch Abominations who prophecized the end times of the Corps.
    • The classic Alan Moore story Tygers which turns part of the Lantern mythos into a Cosmic Horror Story. Millions of years ago, the universe was ruled by the monstrous Empire of Tears, controlled by eldritch abominations of immense power. Eventually, the Guardians arose and destroyed the Empire, but were unable to destroy the spirits of the beings, and resorted to imprisoning them on the tomb world Ysmault, where Abin Sur finds them eons later while looking for a lost spaceship. Though powerless, the Empire's minds are still as intact and twisted as ever and try to corrupt Abin Sur with all manner of extravagant promises in return for freedom... all except one, Qull of the Five Inversions. He offers Sur three questions, with no strings attached. Sur's first question is to find the lost ship, which ends up correct with no strings, so he decides to ask the remaining two. He first asks about his own death, and then about the prophesied future Blackest Night. Qull answers both truthfully... because telling Sur the truth, that his ring will fail him at the worst moment, leads directly to his canonical death. Because he took to using a spaceship to conserve his ring's power, he didn't notice the yellow radiation in Earth's orbit, which he might have checked for had he relied only on his ring. By the time he realizes this, it's too late.
    Narrator: And he heard them laughing. All the way down.
    • Tygers also features the first mention of the Blackest Night, and the exact circumstances of the destruction of the Green Lantern Corps. Sometime in the future, the enemies of the Corps will join forces in one massive assault, including the Weaponers of Qward, Ranx The Sentient City, and the Children of the White Lobe. Together, they will free the Empire Of Tears and join them in the utter destruction of the Green Lanterns, and slaughter them to the last man, with the last to fall being Mogo The Living Planet, destroyed by Ranx and Sodam Yat, a Daxamite hailed as the ultimate Green Lantern, torn to shreds by the White Lobe.
  • Half the crap drawn by Ethan Van Sciver. Especially his version of Parallax-possessed heroes.
  • The entire Sinestro Corps, in a literal sense since they get their power from instilling fear.
    • The whole concept of the Sinestro Corpsman Kryb, especially for parents. Her method of instilling fear? She kills parents and steals their infant children for herself. She's a parent-murdering, infant-stealing alien with a hollow back with dozens of possibly screaming little babies and toddlers inside? Yeah, that sounds like something straight outta the original Grimm stories. And there's more. Her hollow, cage-like back has nipples in it, with which she feeds the kidnapped babies. And it is implied that the babies are somehow brainwashed into thinking her as their real mother. And that they will eventually become child-terrorists Children of the White Lobe, prophesied to bring down the Green Lantern Corps.
      • Even worse, she genuinely loves the children in question. Truly and sincerely, with all her heart. To the point that a Star Sapphire can use her love as a tether to track the children in question. High Octane Nightmare Fuel should simply not be crossed with woobiedom!
    • For all you germophobes out there, there’s Despotellis the sentient virus. The mere idea of a sentient virus as a member of the Sinestro Corps can give one the chills. It's bad enough a virus is wiping people out, but knowing it is not only alive but armed with a power ring is just messed up. Triply so since the only reason for that particular Sinestro to exist is in direct response to the existence of Green Lantern Leezle Pon, a superintelligent smallpox virus, first mentioned off-handedly by Tomar Re way back when. And to make it worse, Depotellis also has some Paranoia Fuel factor going on for it as well, since Sinestro mentions having used Despotellis as a spy and assassin in the past, because his size makes him practically perfect for the job. As seen with Kyle’s mom, he can strike at you anywhere and anytime...and for all you know, he could be inside you RIGHT NOW.
    Lyssa Drak: And Despotellis, the most terrifying of them all, transforms entire planets into rotting graveyards.
    • Every single aspect of the Cyborg Superman is Nightmare Fuel, save perhaps his slightly silly name. He's immortal. He destroyed a metropolis which subsequently opened Hal Jordan to Parallax's influence. He bears the twisted visage of one of Earth's greatest heroes, cowed a monster like Mongul, and proved to be a challenge to Darkseid. When Geoff Johns got a hold of him, he took over the Manhunters, developed mind-altering nanobots, used Green Lanterns as living power sources for his machines, and was given multiple power rings by Sinestro. Oh, and he wants to annihilate all life. The only thing more terrifying than facing the Cyborg Superman is actually being the Cyborg Superman.
    • There’s also Bedovian. For starters, Bedovian is pretty creepy in general. He’s a cold, practically emotionless alien crustacean creature who never speaks and that lives inside a fear lodge (for context, a fear lodge is a horrifying shell that makes whoever is inside it to face their worst fears, doubts and insecurities), which alone should tell you that there’s something abnormal about Bedovian. Bedovian is centuries old, almost entirely self-sustaining, and has the patience to wait for literally hundreds of years in search of his prey. Then, there’s also what he was doing before he joined the Sinestro Corps. His backstory shows how he catches prey: He waits for something or someone to come close to his “shell”, he opens it up, then he drags the prey inside before they have time to react. But that’s not the scary part. The scary part is that we don’t see exactly ''what'' Bedovian does to his prey (besides eating them, obviously), but it’s clearly shown that whatever it is, it’s slow, horrifying and atrocious. Plus, this lovely bit of narration accompanying the scene leaves plenty to the imagination:
    Lyssa Drak: Bedovian had waited over six centuries for his prey. He would’ve waited six more. Bedovian had no joy in simply consuming. But he would achieve great pleasure digesting someone over the next decade with so much to lose. And someone whose loss would cause so many others to lose. It kept him warm in the coldness of space. Bedovian left as the old miner beat against his shell. Softer and softer. And softer. But something still heard it. And still does.
    • On a side note, like Despotellis, Bedovian also has some Paranoia Fuel factor to him. The Sinestro Corps made him their Cold Sniper for a reason. Like Superman, Bedovian also has telescopic vision that can reach across stars and planets. In fact, Bedovian can see up to several space sectors away. When you combine this with his excellent ability as a sniper, that basically means that he can watch you or kill you from literally LIGHT YEARS AWAY.
    • Romat-Ru, A prolific serial killer. He killed thousands of children.
  • This cover. Hal Jordan, the Greatest Green Lantern, has gone insane. His home is destroyed, along with almost everyone he ever knew in his civilian life. He has now turned this grief against the Guardians of the Green Lantern Corps and wants to kill them. Along the way, he fights and kills other Green Lanterns. Ones he knew and fought with. By the time he reaches Oa, his slaughter of his comrades is an afterthought - he just wants "more power to fix things". Though it wasn't executed well, Hal's plan to do so is even more terrifying than you could think.
  • The Third Army - Starting with one monstrous abomination created from the Guardians' own flesh after they absorbed the power of The First Lantern, they are designed to withstand anything a Green Lantern ring can throw at them. Oh, and rather than kill you, they instead forcibly turn you into one of them. With simple physical contact, they infect you and turn you into one of them, with the only unaltered part of your body being your eyes, all linked to the minds of the Guardians and each other. Oh and you'll be aware of what's happening when they do so. Essentially a biological variant of the Anti-Life. Hideous, emotionless monsters designed by the Guardians to replace the Green Lantern Corps and thus are able to withstand everything a Green Lantern Ring can throw at them and effortlessly break through any barriers they throw up.
  • From Green Lantern #43: Black Hand. An insane, nihilistic necrophiliac who's been given control of an army of undead. Superpowered undead. Listen to his introduction in the issue: "My name is William Hand. Although I live, my heart is filled with death. And I am happy."
    • Black Hand is made even creepier as you consider why he's such a nutjob. In Green Lantern: Secret Origins, Atrocitus hunts down the then-teenaged William Hand because he's destined to be the instrument of the Blackest Night. And in the aforementioned issue, Hand admits that he's been "different" for as long as he can remember. The implication is that Hand was cursed from birth to be Nekron's tether into the universe, and never really had a chance to be anything more than what he is.
    • Black Hand returns (again) for his Villains Month issue and once more causes a (so far local and non-Black Lantern) Zombie Apocalypse. This is Nightmare Fuel enough, but when he runs into policemen who keep mowing down his zombies, he reanimates dead viruses inside one of the cops, quickly killing and reanimating him from the inside. Yikes. As if that's not enough, at the end he rips off his own hand and replaces it with that of (zombie) Martin Jordan, just so he can kill Hal with his father's hand when they next meet.
  • Larfleeze aka Agent Orange, the only member of the Orange Lantern Corps. The reason for that is because he kills and eats anyone drawn to the orange light (or something new) turning them into mindless avatars for him to control, which in turn help him to find and eat more people. Since they're not real, they can't be hurt in any way and feeding on other lantern powers makes them (and Larfleeze) stronger. Oh, and he's also an insane immortal who just chopped off Hal Jordan's arm because he had a blue ring. Thankfully, the next issue revealed that Larfleeze only hallucinated chopping Hal's arm off. The blue ring did that to him to buy Hal time. The fact he's hilarious in how greedy he is arguably makes him even more disturbing
  • Some always found the Indigo Lantern Tribe creepy. Green Lantern #59 makes that interpretation canon. The Indigo power rings seek out people with no compassion in their hearts and forces them to feel it by flushing out all of their "bad" feelings. The Indigo Tribe is a cult of former villains that have gone through emotional lobotomies. And they eventually want to spread their "compassion" to everyone. It's since implied that this isn't necessarily the case, just that most of the members need to atone. Ray Palmer was recruited without being a monster, though he and the current host of the Compassion Proselyte are the only exceptions to this rule seen so far. Indigo-1 doesn't deny that she and the rest of the Corps were just like Black Hand in their former lives.
  • This example is more of an example of “Nightmare Fuel In Hindsight”, if there’s such a thing. At the time when Emerald Twilight was written, “Parallax as a giant yellow space bug cosmic entity” hadn’t been conceptualized yet. He would be introduced later in the mythos as a living, walking retcon to explain why Hal was acting the way he was after Coast City got destroyed and why Green Lanterns were weak to the color yellow. Now, if you read all the stories about Parallax being revealed as the true mastermind behind “Emerald Twilight”, then go back and read “Emerald Twilight” a second time, it gets much creepier and you start to notice some odds things about Hal, his behavior and the behavior of his constructs. By interpreting it differently, you could easily see it as Parallax deliberately manipulating Hal by psychologically tormenting him, by talking to him in the form of his own constructs and taking advantage of his doubts, guilt and insecurities to mold him into an ideal puppet host. It gets even worse with the Narrator. At times, the Narrator almost sounds like he’s whispering to Jordan to slowly push him over the edge...and on top of that, his speech boxes are YELLOW. Of course, this was obviously not intentional, because as we’ve said, Parallax hadn’t been fully conceptualized yet. Still, knowing what we know today,...How much of what happened in “Emerald Twilight” was Hal deliberately torturing and hurting himself out of guilt and self-blame and how much of it was Parallax slowly driving him insane and torturing him by manifesting itself via Hal’s energy constructs? We’ll never really know for sure. But one thing’s for certain: when you go back and read it a second time, you can practically “see” Parallax breaking Jordan and driving him to the edge of madness...and taking immense pleasure while doing it too.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: