Hello everyone, and welcome to The Next Issue. For my newest followers, this month we are covering lots of comic zombie goodness as we pit the Marvel Zombie Universe against DC’s Black Lantern Corps. Over the last two weeks, we’ve covered the origins, powers, strengths, and weaknesses of the Marvel Zombies. Today, we will cover the origins of the Black Lanterns!
Over the years, the Guardians of the Universe have attempted time after time to bring peace and justice across the universe. After some unsuccessful attempts, they finally created the DC universe's own space police, The Green Lantern Corps, and, to this day, the Corps still fights for universal peace. Sadly, to achieve this, the Guardians had to rid themselves of their own emotions and focus totally on the power of will. And for a very long time, the Green Lanterns were the only ring wielders in the universe. But without emotions, the Guardians became very secretive and only gave their officers limited information. Thinking they could keep certain prophesies from coming true by hiding information from the rest of the universe, the Guardians watched as several other Lantern Corps of varying colors sprang about. One such prophecy spoke of a War of Light that would lead to “the Blackest Night!”
Nekron is powerful enough to withstand every lantern in the universe hitting him at once, is able to kill a Guardian as easily as stepping on an ant, and was even capable of trapping the multiverse devouring Anti-Montior in his Black Lantern power battery. Even when attacked directly by Sinestro, who was controlling the white light of life, Nekron just reformed from one of the other Black Lanterns nearby. The only way to make him vulnerable to defeat is to destroy his tether to the mortal realm. Even then, when his tether was destroyed during “The Blackest Night,” Nekron was able to withstand a full on blast from the Anti-Monitor and still send him back to the anti-matter universe.
The Black Lantern Corps is an emotional energy absorbing machine, capable of destroying and turning whole galaxies in a matter of hours. And while they have several vulnerabilities, when coupled with their leader, Nekron, they are practically unstoppable. They will taunt you, they will hurt you, they will MAKE you feel, and then they will make you never feel again. The one benefit you have to being killed by one of these things, is that they are not going to eat you, and that you will most likely join them seconds after death. With a Marvel Zombie, or any other zombie really, the hunger they feel will determine whether or not they leave enough of you to come back as an undead. But Black Lanterns just want your heart...just your emotional “battery”, and then you belong to Nekron.
Black Lanterns will not attack just any being. They will walk right on by any person devoid of emotions. When the Black Lanterns attacked Gotham, Scarecrow stood tall in the midst of the devastation, begging to feel fear! But since only one thing scares Scarecrow, the Black Lanterns left him be. Black Lanterns also have no effect on beings without hearts, immortals, and beings who are at total peace with the universe. Upon trying to absorb the demon Etrigans heart as well as Atrocitus, the Black Lanterns could not simply because neither being had a physical heart to draw emotional energy from. Also, the rings would simply shatter any time they attempted to resurrect the original Dove as he was “at peace.” The new Dove, sharing this trait, could destroy Black Lanterns just by touching them.
Enter The Black Lanterns! A Lantern Corps unlike any other, it is made up of the undead bearing black power rings. The rings themselves swarm like flies and latch onto corpses, animating them and accessing all memories and information that those beings once had. With this information the undead Lantern tries to open an emotional tether between itself and its prey. Unlike normal zombies, Black Lanterns do not feed on flesh, rather they feed on the raw emotional spectrum energy living beings give off from their hearts. Black Lanterns see people as an outline colored in by whatever emotion they are feeling at the time. The more emotions, the more colors they see, and the stronger they feel said emotions, the brighter the color. Beings that feel no emotion or are absolutely pure or calm show as static to their vision. Upon causing its victim to lose control of their emotions, the Black Lanterns rip out the victims' hearts and absorb the emotional energy into their rings. Unlike other lanterns, the black power rings charge not only themselves, but all rings through the power it absorbs. When the “Blackest Night” begins, the rings give an over all charge reading of .01 and begin building throughout the story. On top of using their hosts' corpses and memories to draw out emotional reactions, the rings regenerate the body which gives the lanterns two extra benefits. First, they gain access to any “super powers” the beings once had and second, they regenerate any damage caused to the lanterns in battle. When fighting Black Lantern Martian Manhunter, the Flash was constantly having to move his body and thoughts to keep from being attacked physically and telepathically. Black Lanterns can also spread their necrotic poison to living beings, converting them to Black Lanterns over time, by simply biting a living being.
Just imagine a host of undead DC super beings, each with their personal super powers restored from when they were alive as well as the ability to regenerate. But this does not make them invincible, just very difficult to kill. In fact, as long as you can destroy the ring or cause the undead lantern to feel the entire emotional spectrum all at once (which will drive the ring away) the Black Lantern will become inert. The only issue there is the only way to destroy the Black Lantern ring itself is to use a form of pure light.
So do not fear, do not cower, do not lock your doors. It wouldn’t matter anyway, because it would never stop them...and do not feel. For your survival, pray you can keep yourself from feeling ANYTHING...because one smell of fear, of rage, of hope, of compassion, of love, of greed... Even showing the WILL to do something...and they will find you, and then may the light have mercy on your soul.
This light is created, to a small extent, when a Green Lantern combines his power with that of another color ring. It is created to a far greater extent when ring wielders of all colors combine their powers . Kimiyo Hoshi, the second Dr. Light, is also able to destroy a Black Lantern using her light powers, and Conner Kent was able to over load the black rings by using the Medusa mask to force Black Lanterns to feel every emotion at once. Black Lanterns are driven by a similar want to feed as a regular zombie, but unlike a regular zombie the need to feed from the emotional spectrum is not from a hunger but to bring about a power charge of 100%. Upon reaching this goal, the being who controls the Black Lantern Corps rises. Nekron, the embodiment of death in the DC Universe, uses the Black Lanterns to attack the universe as he sees life and all traces of light as trespassers to reality. Nekron is shown to have the ability to turn living beings who have died into Black Lanterns as long as he can create an emotional tether to them. This is shown when Black Hand creates a Black Lantern from Batman's corpse, which brings about an emotional response from Superman, Wonder Woman, Kid Flash, Green Arrow, and others.
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“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.” - Black Lantern Corps oath