The Black Lantern Corps is a fictional organization of revenants appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The group is composed of deceased fictional characters that seek to eliminate all life from the DC Universe.
An early version of the Black Lantern Corps first appears in Green Lantern Annual vol. 3 #7 (1998), written by Steve Vance and drawn by Ron Lim, where a group of dead Green Lanterns are animated and empowered by Nekron.
Prior to the Blackest Night event, Black Hand ("leader" and first member of the Black Lantern Corps) had already been established as a villain within the pages of Green Lantern. Writer Geoff Johns revisited his origin and expanded upon certain aspects of it during the Secret Origin story arc. During the arc, Hand's energy-absorbing weapon (previously thought to be an original invention) is revealed to have been constructed by Atrocitus; a fervent enemy of the Guardians of the Universe and future founder of the Red Lantern Corps. Atrocitus comes to Earth and approaches Hand, recognizing him as a "doorway to the black" that possesses the power to bring about the Blackest Night. Hand manages to escape and pockets the weapon as he flees. The possession of this weapon soon leads him to become an enemy of the Green Lantern Corps, as he now feels a need to extinguish the light of the emotional spectrum.
While being transported to prison, Black Hand experiences a sudden power surge that kills his captors. He roams the desert, hearing a voice instructing him to reclaim the souls of characters who were resurrected. Hand murders his family and commits suicide. The Guardian Scar arrives, and creates the first black power ring, which resurrects Black Hand. She reveals that Hand is the physical embodiment of death, and serves as the avatar of the Black Lantern Corps in the same manner that Ion, Parallax, and the Predator are for willpower, fear, and love respectively. Black Hand is seen holding Wayne's skull in all future appearances, embracing it in a necrophilic manner in Blackest Night #1 as the black power rings appear from the Black Power Battery, exclaiming that Wayne's death "plays a far greater role in the Blackest Night" than anyone thinks. At the end of the issue, it's shown that Black Hand uses the skull to produce new power rings at will, creating two rings for the newly deceased Carter Hall and Kendra Saunders.
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