Atrocitus is a fictional character, an alien supervillain in the DC Comics Universe. Created by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver, Atrocitus is an enemy of the Guardians of the Universe and Sinestro, their former Green Lantern. He first appears in Green Lantern (vol. 4) #25 in a two-page "War of Light" spread, and made his chronological first appearance in Green Lantern (vol. 4) #29 as a prisoner of Lantern Hal Jordan's predecessor, Abin Sur.
When the rogue Manhunters rampaged through Space Sector 666, Atrocitus was one of only five beings in the entire sector to escape death. He and the other four survivors formed a terrorist cabal known as the Five Inversions, bent on the destruction of the Guardians of the Universe and all who served them, with Atrocitus serving as their leader. The Five Inversions performed a ritual which allowed them to peer into the future and discover the prophecy of the Blackest Night, which decreed that all life in the universe would end. Forming an "Empire of Tears", the Inversions attempted to destroy the Guardians, but were defeated and imprisoned on the planet Ysmault.
Some time later, Abin Sur began making periodic visits to Ysmault, and began to ask questions regarding the Blackest Night.
After landing near an airbase, and killing an unspecified number of Air Force troopers, Atrocitus recited what would later become the oath of the Red Lantern Corps, and performed a ritual that told him the name of the herald of the Blackest Night: William Hand. Atrocitus created a device using stolen gun parts that acted as a cosmic divining rod, and used it to lead him to Hand. Once he tracked down the human who, it was said, would play a prominent role in the coming of the Blackest Night, he attacked, and planned to take Hand's innards back to Ysmault. Before his plan proceeded, however, Sinestro and rookie Green Lantern Hal Jordan intercepted him, spiriting William Hand to safety. Atrocitus used his newly-constructed device to sap the power from their rings, leaving them with only their wits to defend them from the master of the Five Inversions. He was later returned to Ysmault by Sinestro, where he prophesied that Sinestro's home planet Korugar would soon erupt into chaos and disorder. Through this act, it was implied that it was Atrocitus who planted the seeds of Sinestro's later fall from grace.
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