RISE. With that one word, all of the DC Universe trembled, as heroes and villains long laid to rest were all brought back for one terrifying attack by Nekron, the violent avatar of death. During this Blackest Night, we got to meet one of the most dangerous Lantern Corps in the Black Lanterns, an army made up of an innumerable number of beings from a number of eras of DC history.
Still, as terrifying as that era was, the DC Universe actually got off pretty easy. There were some Black Lanterns in the army that if they had been allowed to cut loose would have made the casualties much higher... if the good guys could have won at all. For this list, we’re counting down 10 of the most dangerous black lanterns of all time.
10 SOLOMON GRUNDY
Solomon Grundy was already a dead creature, so he was already pretty much guaranteed to be a problem when the Blackest Night began. That’s why he was given an opportunity to be revived and figure out the cause of his death, thus ridding the world of that potential threat before anything could happen. Unfortunately, he failed, and instead managed to fuse his already dangerous power with the Black Ring. He winds up fighting Bizarro and getting chucked into the sun, but Grundy is the only character that cosmic forces even bothered gathering for to prevent from being a member of the Black Lanterns.
9 DONNA TROY
Donna Troy was unfortunately transformed during the event by being bitten by her own son, killed years ago in a tragic car accident. Though her transformation was slower, she fell prey to Nekron’s powers eventually like everyone else. During this era, Donna was powered by the Titans of Myth, which gave her abilities identical to Wonder Woman’s. She had super strength and speed, flight, and had years of combat experience under her belt. But what made things worse was that she’d recently been powered up by the Titans, and given the ability to manipulate energy and command the powers of darkness and cold.
Zatara’s father had been gone by the time she began her career as a hero, but he made his grand re-entry during the Blackest Night crossover. If there was any doubt as to how powerful both he and Zatanna are, it comes when they first meet with one another. To Zatanna’s credit, she wasn’t shaken in the least by her “dad” re-appearing. Instead, she was immediately tossed into doing battle with him, as the first thing he sought to do was tear all her friends to death with his magic spells. If Zatanna wasn’t present, things would have been a complete wash for the heroes.
7 REVERSE FLASH
Eobard Thawne didn’t spend very long as a Black Lantern. Brought back to life by the ring, he immediately started to fake at being Flash again until he finally gets revived thanks to the White Lantern. Fortunately, he spent more time being a pain to the people in Central City rather than actually working for Nekron though.
His super-speed made him able to run faster than the speed of light, allowing him abilities like Infinite Mass Punches and vibrating through people to make them explode. With most of the speedsters having experienced death before, there wouldn’t have been anyone to stop him if he was really doing more for someone who brought him back rather than himself.
6 WONDER WOMAN
Like Superman, Wonder Woman was transformed into a Black Lantern when Nekron decided to activate all his secret agents. The result was one of the most powerful Black Lanterns in his army. In life, she had been powerful enough to battle against threats like Darkseid, had thousands of years of military experience, and could fly at half the speed of light itself. But more than that, Wonder Woman was capable of merging with the Earth and project herself into lands of myth. These abilities coupled with her “death” powers, could have destroyed not only the world, but other realms as well.
5 MARTIAN MANHUNTER
“I’m as strong as Superman, why does everyone always forget that?” With this phrase, the Manhunter from Mars announced that he had joined the armies of Nekron. After being killed in the prelude to Final Crisis, J’onn returned with a vengeance at the start of Blackest Night. He should actually be a much larger threat than he wound up being. He’s already got all the powers of Superman, what with super-strength and speed, flight and laser-vision. But he’s also boosted telepathy, something he’s used before to put people in mental link with others. He could have easily put countless people in the minds of the dead, making them worthless.
This really should have been the end of things for the good guys. Nekron’s grand reveal was that every character who had ever died and come back to life was someone he had complete control over. They were essentially double agents, meaning when the battle began to go in a direction he didn’t like, he “flipped” them and made them Black Lanterns. Superman has single-handedly subjugated entire worlds on his own in countless other timelines from Red Son to Injustice, and there’s been nothing anyone could do. There’s no way if he’d been trying he couldn’t have wiped out everyone there with ease.
There’s an argument to be made that Firestorm was actually the most dangerous of the Black Lanterns. Formed after Jason was forced to merge with Ronnie after he attained one of the Black Lantern Ring. As Deathstorm, Firestorm can affect organic matter, proving it to Jason by turning his girlfriend Gehenna into salt.
Later, during Brightest Day, he talks about making the Firestorm Matrix unstable enough to cause a second Big Bang, wiping out all life in the universe. Since the Firestorm Matrix has always contained a massive amount of energy within, there’s no reason why this couldn’t have been entirely possible.
Technically, Nekron was the “boss” of the Black Lanterns, but he had to enter the realm of the living through Black Hand, his avatar. He boasted almost infinite power over death, proving capable of turning anyone who had been revived into a Black Lantern and being in his enthrall. He seeks the ability to bring death to all of existence to restore the quiet that existed before life started, and he was very nearly successful at it. But since he was only brought into the world of the living because of Black Hand, he was sent back after his avatar was brought back to life, making his goal impossible once and for all.
1 SWAMP THING
Swamp Thing wasn’t actually changed into a Black Lantern during the original storyline, which was good, as the heroes were in enough trouble without him on Nekron’s side. But during the aftermath that took place during Brightest Day, the Avatar of the Green was nearly flipped over to the other side. He’d been poisoned by Nekron and convinced himself it was his purpose to destroy all life on Earth. This illusion was powerful enough to be a massive threat, because Swamp Thing’s connection to the green meant he could succeed at his task. It was such a big deal they had to summon a completely different Swamp Thing to beat him.