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Comic Catch-Up: The 'Return' of Black Hand

After the events of Green Lantern #10, Black Hand is reintroduced into the DCU. What does this mean for Hal Jordan?

Black Hand is one of Hal Jordan's oldest enemies. He's caused quite the commotion in the DCU over the past few years, and he was a driving force in the Blackest Night story line, back in 2009-2010. In the closing pages of Green Lantern 10, this past week, it looks like Black Hand has been fully reintroduced as a villain into the New 52.

Black Hand isn't a new villain to the DCU by any means. He's been taking on Hal Jordan and other members of the Green Lantern Corps for almost 50 years. William "Black" Hand was first introduced into the DCU back in 1964 when he appeared in Volume 2 of Green Lantern, issue 29. At the time, he was a typical comic book villain. Sure, he has the Cosmic Divining Rod, Hand's go to weapon at the time, but he wasn't much of a threat, more of a nuisance.

While Black Hand was featured in a few books here and there, his real return came in the mini-series Green Lantern: Rebirth, where Black Hand attempted to steal Hal's ring, using the Diviing Rod, located at Oliver Queen's house. Oliver stopped him, and Hal, with the combine powers of the Spectre, disintegrated Black Hand's right hand.

Fourty-some odd issues later, in Green Lantern, volume 4, issue 43 came Black Hand's rebirth. This issue is also an origin story, as we discover, years ago, that a young William Hand was at the scene as Hal Jordan and Sinestro fought Atrocitus, who was trying to give the future Black Hand the Cosmic Divining Rod. Hand eventually escaped with the rod.

The voice of death had been calling to Hand. Death wanted more, so Hand went to his family's house, killed them all, and with a final blast of the rod, shot himself in the head.

The fallen Guardian, Scar stood over his body, and she puked up the first Black Lantern ring, and Black Hand became the embodiment of the Black Lantern Corps and Nekron's Herald.

During the Blackest Night story, Nekron created havoc across the universe along with Black Hand, and after quite the fight, the White Lantern Corps gave life back to Black Hand, and defeated Nekron. Soon after that, Black Hand became a mindless slave under control of the Indigo Tribe, until issue 10 of the current Green Lantern volume.

Warning: If you haven't read issue 10 of Green Lantern, turn back now. Spoilers a plenty.

The Indigo Tribe's lantern shattered in issue 9, and all of the Indigo Tribe was free from its influence, including Black Hand. While most of the released Indigo Tribe went after Hal and Sinestro, William Hand searched for a way out. However, when the lantern was reformed, the rings returned to their keepers, and put them back under the Indigo influence, except for Black Hand, who continued running, and did this...

To escape from the Indigo Tribe's influence, Black Hand jumped off of a cliff and killed himself. The ring left him alone and tried to find a replacement for Black Hand, as he bleeds out on the rocks, completely void of life.

That's not where it ends though. Just as soon as Black Hand died, he is reborn again as a Black Lantern ring comes out of his mouth and flies onto his finger. Looks like the Black Lantern Corps isn't dead after all, no pun intended.

While the Black Lantern Corps was the biggest evil force in the last volume of the series, this time, that may not be the case. Assuming that everything that happened in the pre-52 still exists in the new 52, which may or may not be the case, Nekron is "dead," and Anti-Monitor is no longer powering the black power battery, so the Black Lantern Corps no longer has the power that it once had for now.

That's not saying that Black Hand can't rebuild the corps, but on his own, he's someone to look out for because he's still a villain, and he still wants revenge on those he feel wronged him.

Currently, the Green Lantern book doesn't have a major enemy, unless you want to call the Guardians of the Universe the enemy, so a push for a villain in this new era is needed, and who better than one of the men from the biggest Green Lantern story arc in the past decade? He's still a threat, and writer Geoff Johns hasn't spent years building up this character for nothing. So keep your eye out for Black Hand in the future because something big is going to happen.

Mat "InferiorEgo" Elfring is a comedian, writer, and host of a terrible internet show, Barely Watchable. You can also follow him on twitter: @inferiorego

51 Comments
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Posted by feebadger

Black Hand is absolutely one of my favourite villains since his reintroduction by Geoff Johns. He is one of the villains i feel truly scared and disturbed by. Brilliant.

Edited by Dernman

I not a fan of them bringing back the Black Lanterns. We need less not more. If he does come for good then he should be the only one. Maybe skip the ring altogether and just have the power come from his hand.

Posted by SoA

green lantern does not disappoint at all

Posted by royale_with_cheese

@Dernman said:

I not a fan of them bringing back the Black Lanterns. We need less not more. If he does come for good then he should be the only one. Maybe skip the ring altogether and just have the power come from his hand.

I agree. This feels like two steps back. Concentrate on the Guardians as the primary villains and less on black/white lanterns.

Posted by Eivion

@royale_with_cheese said:

@Dernman said:

I not a fan of them bringing back the Black Lanterns. We need less not more. If he does come for good then he should be the only one. Maybe skip the ring altogether and just have the power come from his hand.

I agree. This feels like two steps back. Concentrate on the Guardians as the primary villains and less on black/white lanterns.

The Black Hand Revenge arc is only running until the annual in August. The Guardians are still being built in the background of the entire Green Lantern line as the next big villians.

Posted by royale_with_cheese

@Eivion said:

@royale_with_cheese said:

@Dernman said:

I not a fan of them bringing back the Black Lanterns. We need less not more. If he does come for good then he should be the only one. Maybe skip the ring altogether and just have the power come from his hand.

I agree. This feels like two steps back. Concentrate on the Guardians as the primary villains and less on black/white lanterns.

The Black Hand Revenge arc is only running until the annual in August. The Guardians are still being built in the background of the entire Green Lantern line as the next big villians.

He's having his revenge now? Again? Even after Blackest Nights? Come on man........

Posted by Eyz

Blackest Night 2.0, anyone?

Though I suppose with the new DCnU, with less characters around, dead or alive, it won't be as spectacular...unless if will also bring back the old DCU pre-New 52 at the same time?!....

Posted by Wowlock

I don't think it will be that drastic. I mean Blackest Night happened too just 2 years ago so I doubt they would create another similar fashion. Black Hand being the only Black Lantern would be interesting. He can be a dangerous villian and also a relic of the past , showing Lanterns thei darkest hour. But as for the Black Lantern Corp to return ? Nope. It is already complicated for new Green Lantern readers and if you throw Black Lanterns in too....well the mess will get bigger. Besides, it won't have the same impact as it did in Pre-N52.

What I can see is that Black Hand might cause a crossover between Lantern books ? I don't know if they are planning for something like that ( they probably will with the Guardians ). I wonder who is powering him up though. It would be too soon for Nekron to return or Anti-monitor to rise up again.

Posted by Mercy_

@feebadger said:

Black Hand is absolutely one of my favourite villains since his reintroduction by Geoff Johns. He is one of the villains i feel truly scared and disturbed by. Brilliant.

This!

Moderator
Posted by Taurael

Nekron is not dead, as he is the embodiment of the black. He couldn't be killed in Blackest Night, the only way he was defeated was by severing the connection between his side of the universe, where he truly was, and ours, where he was manifestating. The "door" was Black Hand, and was closed by returning him to life. Now that Hand is dead again the Black can return, as it has done in the form of a new Black Ring.

Posted by Outside_85

Snooze...Mr. Background is back...

Posted by Mister_Sensational

I came on here earlier today looking for the discussion of Green Lantern #10 and was quite suprised to see there wasn't one. I guess Mat must have did like me and only just read this just the other day. As far as the discussion goes TAURAEL is absolutely right in his assessment, and while I don't believe this means Blackest Night 2.0 or anything like that is coming it does open up new possibilities for Black Hand to fill the villainous void left by Sinestro. Of course this will be after Hal, Sinestro, and the other GLs deal with those dastardly so call Guardians. It is my belief that it will end up being all of the various Lantern corps versus the Guardians, and that event will be for the Lantern books what "Night of Owls" was to the Bat books.

Posted by Dark_Vengeance_

should I start picking green lantern up?

Posted by Danial79

I'm down for whatever ride Johns wants to take me on. He hasn't let me down yet :)

Posted by Sammo21

@DarkKnightDetective: its a great book, and it has been for a long time. The only problem is that new 52 didn't make anything noob friendly so its all pretty deep at this point I'd pick up the trades until you are up to date and then start picking this up.

Posted by Dark_Vengeance_

@Sammo21: okay where should I start?

Posted by Sammo21

@DarkKnightDetective: Start with Green Lantern: Rebirth.

http://www.amazon.com/Green-Lantern-Rebirth-Geoff-Johns/dp/1845762134/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1340025494&sr=8-4&keywords=green+lantern+rebirth

Edited by NyxEquitis

No toy picks this week(end)?

Posted by neiliusprime

@Eivion said:

The Black Hand Revenge arc is only running until the annual in August. The Guardians are still being built in the background of the entire Green Lantern line as the next big villians.

yeah I don't think DC is going to bring in too much in to this small arc of Black Hand

Posted by The Mighty Monarch

Pre-Flashpoint DC Universe of Earth Prime: RISE.

Posted by HolySerpent

@Eyz said:

Blackest Night 2.0, anyone?

Though I suppose with the new DCnU, with less characters around, dead or alive, it won't be as spectacular...unless if will also bring back the old DCU pre-New 52 at the same time?!....

agree

Posted by lady_toyano

Goota love how dedicated his relationship with death is. I'm down for pretty much whatever Will is up to bc he is just fascinating to read.

Posted by BigBDawg

With Black Hand coming back in big fashion, I can only imagine what Geoff Johns' plan is with "The Third Army" and if Handf has some kind of involvement with it. It really wouldn't possibly surprise me in some way or another.

Posted by feargalr

Thanks for this Inferiorego!! I only started reading GL with the new 52 so I needed it...

Posted by russia599

I really like Black Hand and the Black Lanterns and it would be good to see them return to the Green Lantern franchise rather than the whole of the DC Universe like they did during Blackest Night ,which i didn't really enjoy.

Posted by the_fallen11

I don't think this will be Blackest Night 2.0 I think Black Hand will be the only Black Lantern rep for a while now..anyway this has me super excited b/c we will (hopefully) see a Black Hand vs Hal Jordan fight. This eventual conflict between the two was built up so much during Blackest Night and it never happened. Blackest Night was on such a grand scale that the clash got lost in all of the chaos of Nekkron and showcasing dead heroes.

Posted by Wolverine0628

YES!  Black Hand is a great villain.  So glad to hear he's back.
Posted by G-Man
@NyxEquitis Sorry. I'm on vacation this week. No 'Off My Mind' this week either. I will have Awesome Toys next weekend.
Staff
Posted by DrThanos91

I have to hand it Geoff johns,he made a small time villain into one of the corps greatest threats!,and to bring him is good writing, green lantern was already getting good,but this will throw a new plot twist into the story!

Posted by NyxEquitis

@G-Man:Okay. That's a satisfactory reason, everyone needs some time off. I thought it might just you being lazy :P

Posted by Miss_Garrick

Hmmm.

Bringing the Black Lantern Corps so soon may not be a good idea, writing wise. I dunno, I guess we'll see what Geoff has in mind.

Posted by Necrotic_Lycanthrope

Regardless if several of the drivers of the Black Lantern Corp are dead or not, this could be the first indication thus far seen that the Black Lanterns are either still around, or, since the New 52 is doing a bit of a flashback thing in regards to events and characters, we the readers are witnessing what would be the first time the corps first got together in the very beginning.

Posted by lronMan

Green Lantern reminds me more and more of X-Men. They're too busy fighting amongst themselves to be heroes.

Posted by Zabilac

I think this could be a very interesting small arc in Green Lantern.

Posted by edtie97

I could not believe the ending of this issue. It was so exciting when the ring said "William Hand of Earth...RISE!" than I knew something big was going to happen in the near future.

Posted by Iridium

The only thing I may disagree with is where you mention he killed himself.

Well, true, he did technically kill himself, I think it was an accident, not suicide. I think it tried to fly, perhaps by be so use to being able to do so. With out a ring powering him he fell. For some reason, to me at least, dying in an accident is a large difference to suicide in this case. I think it makes a world of difference. He did not decide to die, but he still did, that is why the black ring found him.

./shrug

Like I said though, that is just my take. Nice write up!

Posted by lostlantern13

Black Hand coming back is great. Geoff did a great job of turning him from weak villain to psychotic creep. Doubt we'll be seeing any Blackest Night 2.0 or Black Lantern Corps revival...at least I hope not. It doesn't seem like something Geoff would do.

Small point of clarification though, Atrocitus wasn't trying to give Hand the Cosmic Divining Rod...he was trying to 'contain' the power of the black/kill him.

Posted by JamDamage

I think they fell flat with Black Hand in Blackest Night. He was so cool, looked cool, was Black Lantern and they really didn't show him throw down. Hope he gets the chance now.

Posted by Kal'smahboi
@Iridium: I think he did purposely kill himself. Wouldn't be the first time. Plus he said he was going "home." I think that meant death, too. He's a creeper.
Posted by MTHarman

Nekron didn't die because he's an embodiment of death who needs a servant (Black Hand for example) to revive the Black Lantern Corp so that he would be able to make his physical return again.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Black Hand? Welcome back! Not that you really went anywhere but...glad to see you back in black!

Posted by Queso6p4

I'm pretty glad he's back and wonder how his return will tie in with what the Guardians are planning to do. It'd be nice to get an update as to their progress in GL.

Posted by Or35ti

I'm really excited to catch up on all of my subscriptions today, including this! :)

Edited by KalTheHokage_2007

@The Mighty Monarch said:

Pre-Flashpoint DC Universe of Earth Prime: RISE.

lol

GL series definitely needs a major villain. all the series need a major villain. 'specially Superman. Interested in where AC is going.

Edited by Ijan092

I bet the guardians (which we do know is the biggest enemy now!) for sure will stop Black Hand from any plan that might interfere  with their since we already know they are planning something bigger than the blackest night. 

Posted by Juandicimo_Magnifico45

@Wowlock: I completely agree. Having him around is a great idea. Hal needs a good villain with Sinestro "good" and it is a good reminder of the past. I am confident Johns won't re-due Blackest Night because that would be unnecessary.

Posted by LordRequiem

The disappointing thing is when the hell is Hal going to get a proper ring again? They have to address this at some point. I think if they try and stop the guardians he'll lead what remains after they inevitably succeed.

Posted by crazed_h3ro

@Eyz: Same here bro, I am still wondering just how much pre 52 is in the DCn52. everyone knows that Blackest night happened, but what of the revived heroes and villains from BN? did cap.boomerang come back as well as Osiris and Hawkman and girl? so many question, so little time.

Posted by kartron

Divining rod or Diviing rod????

Posted by AskaniSon295

They Should make Earth-0 Alan Scott one of Guardians of the Universe they Guardians have already established that Earth is the center of the multiverse so granting a veteran super-hero green lantern the powers of of a Guardian makes sense.

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