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 Green Lantern: 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 reanimated. Hand murders his family and commits suicide. The Guardian Scar arrives, and creates the first black power ring, which reanimates 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. Hand later digs up Bruce Wayne's corpse, removes his skull, and recites the Black Lantern oath for the first time. Soon after, black power rings descend upon the universe and begin reviving the deceased as Black Lanterns that attack the heroes of the DC Universe. It is claimed the Power Battery is in Space Sector 666. Black Hand is seen holding Wayne's skull in all future appearances, embracing it in a necrophiliac 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.
In Blackest Night #3, Indigo-1 describes the premise behind the Black Lantern Corps' fictional relationship with the universe. She explains that the darkness in existence before the creation of the universe is what powers the Black Lanterns. Banished at the dawn of time by the white light of creation, its fighting back causes the white light to be fractured into the emotional spectrum. The events transpiring throughout the titles of Blackest Night are a result of the darkness, once again, fighting back against creation. She goes on to describe how a combination of all seven lights can restore the white light of creation and bring an end to the Black Lanterns. Throughout the Blackest Night event, each time a Black Lantern successfully removes the heart of one of their victims, a black, lantern-shaped speech balloon (used within Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps to indicate that a power ring is speaking) depicts an ever-rising power level increasing in increments of .01 percent. In Blackest Night #4, the power meter is filled and Scar is able to transport the Black Central Power Battery to Coast City, and the true mastermind behind the Black Lanterns is able to step into the main DC Universe: Nekron.
After being introduced into a primary role within the Blackest Night event, Indigo-1 recruits Hal Jordan to gather a team capable of recreating the white light of creation (chosen for having a personal connection to the most powerful members of the five remaining Corps). The story unfolding in Green Lantern depicts Jordan and Indigo-1 recruiting Carol Ferris, Sinestro, Saint Walker, Atrocitus, and Larfleeze to their purpose. In Blackest Night #5, the team assaults the Black Central Power Battery with the opposite results intended. Nekron is strengthened and able to recruit living characters reanimated from death to his Black Lantern Corps. Although the seven Corps representatives attempt to summon aid by recruiting temporary deputies until the rest of their Corps arrive- Ganthet joins the Green Lantern Corps, Scarecrow joins the Sinestro Corps, Barry Allen joins the Blue Lanterns, the Atom joins the Indigo Tribe, Mera joins the Red Lanterns, Lex Luthor is inducted into the Orange Lanterns, and Wonder Woman is saved from her Black Lantern identity to join the Star Sapphires-, they are nearly thwarted when Nekron digs up the Entity, the first life in the universe, and attempts to kill it. By merging with the Entity, and becoming a White Lantern version of when Hal Jordan was Parallax, Sinestro is able to free the reanimated heroes from Nekron's hold, creating the White Lantern Corps in the process, and subsequently reanimates Black Hand and the Anti-Monitor to deprive Nekron of his tether in the living world and his power source respectively. The White Lanterns used the power of the White Light to finally vanquish Nekron and the threat of the Blackest Night passed with the Black Lanterns disintegrating along with their power rings.
Read more about this topic: Black Lantern Corps
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