- Writer: Geoff Johns
- Penciller: Ivan Reis
- Inkers: Joe Prado and Oclair Albert
- Colorist: Alex Sinclair
- Letterer: Nick J. Napolitano
- Cover Penciller: Ivan Reis
- Cover Inker: Oclair Albert
- Cover Colorist: Alex Sinclair
- Editor: Eddie Berganza
Standard Cover (above): Working left to right are the deputies of the various Corps: the Atom; the Flash; Mera; Lex Luthor; Scarecrow; and Wonder Woman with Green Lantern Hal Jordan looking over them.
Variant Cover (on the right): Working from top to bottom, we have the Black Lantern versions of Superboy; Superman; Wonder Woman; Animal Man; Green Arrow; Kid Flash; and Donna Troy.
Page 1 – Panel 1: The Black Lantern (BL) Superman dragging one of the Guardians of the Universe; behind him can be seen the heads of other Guardians.
Page 1 – Panel 2: Working clockwise from the lower left are the BL versions of Hawkgirl; Firestorm; Martian Manhunter; Superman; Aquaman; Green Arrow; and Hawkman, all of whom drag Guardians behind them. Within the triangle that’s been described on the ground are, on the left, BL Ash; Nekron holding a Guardian; and BL Saarek. Note that the symbol at first glance looks like that of Black Hand (and by extension the BL Corps) but it has two more rays or lines extending beyond the circle. The “white light” Nekron refers to will be revealed later on.
Page 1 – Panel 3: Nekron asks of the Guardian he holds “Why did you vow to guard the universe?” For years the answer to this question has been the Guardians’ attempt to atone for the actions of Krona which, pre-CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, created the Multiverse and, post-CRISIS, flooded the universe with entropy so that it was born older than it should have been.
Page 1 – Panel 4: Here, though, the Guardian cannot remember the reason.
Pages 2 and 3 – Panel 1: The leaders of the various Lantern Corps and their deputies arrive. Starting at the top of the page and working anti-clockwise are: Star Sapphire Carol Ferris; ex-Guardian Sayd; Agent Orange (Larfleeze); Indigo Lantern Atom; Green Lantern Hal Jordan; Red Lantern Mera; Sinestro of the Sinestro Corps; Ble Lantern Saint Walker; ex-Guardian Ganthet; Star Sapphire Wonder Woman; Blue Lantern Flash; Orange Lantern Lex Luthor; Indigo-1; Red Lantern Atrocitus; and Scarecrow of the Sinestro Corps (who’s enjoying himself far too much by the look of things.) Note that though Sinestro mentions their beams have no effect upon Nekron, both BL Saarek and Ash are destroyed.
Pages 2 and 3 – Panel 3: Larfleeze tells Sayd to retrieve Nekron’s scythe. Her reply, “I am not your servant yet,” is a reference to the promise she made (in GREEN LANTERN #48) to serve him after the defeat of the Black Lanterns.
Pages 2 and 3 – Panel 5: As The Atom says, and as seen in panel 4, Nekron’s pretty much ignoring them all. The speaker with the black speech bubble is . . .
Page 4 – Panel 1: . . . not revealed here, though he ensnares (from left to right) Carol Ferris; Sayd; the Atom; Hal Jordan; and the Flash.
Page 4 – Panel 2: And here’s the speaker, Black Hand himself.
Page 4 – Panel 3: Saint Walker and Atrocitus are also caught by Black Hand’s trap.
Page 4 – Panel 4: Black Hand and Atrocitus met many years before when the Red Lantern attempted to kill the young William (Black) Hand to prevent the Blackest Night from happening. This was recounted in the Secret Origin story arc of GREEN LANTERN.
Page 5 – Panel 1: No longer a frightened youngster, Black Hand tries to take Atrocitus’s heart without success.
Page 5 – Panel 3: Black Hand refers to the “extra time” Jordan has enjoyed; as revealed in issue #5, it was Nekron who allowed Jordan and the other heroes and villains to return following their respective deaths.
Page 6 – Panel 1: Scarecrow, wearing a ring of the Sinestro Corps, stabs Black Hand with a pitchfork ring-construct. As the latter is, like all Black Lanterns, undead, that’s not going to stop him.
Page 6 – Panel 2: Working anti-clockwise from the top right we have Wonder Woman; Indigo-1; Mera; Lex Luthor; the Flash; Scarecrow; and Black Hand. The heroes are hoping Luthor will help from an altruistic point of view.
Page 6 – Panel 3: Scarecrow clearly revelling in his time.
Page 6 – Panel 4: Unfortunately, Luthor isn’t wearing the orange power ring of avarice for nothing and wants Scarecrow’s glory.
Page 7 – Panel 2: Unlike the other Red Lanterns Atrocitus has created, Mera is in control of her rage and is able to speak. This is due to the calming influence of Wonder Woman as shown in issue #3 of the BLACKEST NIGHT: WONDER WOMAN mini-series.
Page 7 – Panel 3: Luthor refers to Scarecrow as “Crane” – his real name is Jonathan Crane.
Page 7 – Panel 4: Left to right are Saint Walker; Carol Ferris; Sinestro; Luthor; Scarecrow; Larfleeze; Mera; the Flash; Wonder Woman; and Indigo-1.
Page 7 – Panel 5: Luthor manages to pull Scarecrow’s ring from his finger . . .
Page 8 – Panel 1: . . . and place it on his own.
Page 8 – Panel 2: Trouble is, two rings just aren’t enough for him. With Luthor in the centre, we’ll start in the top left corner and work anti-clockwise: Larfleeze; Carol Ferris; Saint Walker; Sayd; Ganthet; Hal Jordan; the Atom; Atrocitus; Mera; and Sinestro.
Page 8 – Panels 3 and 4: Luthor flies away, looking to take Mera’s ring.
Page 9 – Panel 1: Last seen in the previous issue, here we find Green Lantern John Stewart doing his best to alert the Earth-bound heroes of the impending invasion by the massed Black Lanterns.
Page 9 – Panels 2 and 3: Stewart discovers why his emergency calls aren’t getting through: former hero and current Black Lantern Air Wave (who died in INFINITE CRISIS) is diverting them. In Panel 2, note the large, circular object behind Stewart – that’s the resurrected planet of Xanshi.
Page 9 – Panel 4: To the right of Air Wave, with the blond hair, might be the Black Lantern of Kreon but if it is he’s missing his golden eye patch.
Pages 10 and 11: “Aw, Hell.” says Gardner as he and a whole host of different Lanterns appear which was pretty much what I thought when I realised I’d have to number and note just about every one on here! Click the image on the left: to make it readable; the key is below:
1) Slushh 2) Karu-Sil 3) Romat-Ru 4) Indigo Tribe member 5) Munk 6) Indigo Tribe member 7) Dex-Starr 8) Zilius Zox 9) Low 10) Arkillo 11) Tekik 12) Kyle Rayner 13) Arisia 14) Kilowog 15) Fury-6 16) Alpha-Lantern Boodikka 17) Graf Toren 18) Bedovian 19) Iolande 20) Bleez 21) Tomar-Tu 22) Haggor 23) Mura the Melting Man 24) Tri-Eye 25) Miri Riam 26) Skallox 27) Hannu 28) Indigo Tribe member 29) Guy Gardner 30) Stel 31) Ratchet 32) Queen Aga’po 33) Dela Pharon 34) Sister Sercy 35) Indigo Tribe member 36) Race 37) Fatality 38) Morro 39) Kryb 40) Brother Warth 41) Brother Hymn 42) Miss Bloss 43) Soranik Natu
Page 12 – Panel 1: Zilius Zox vomits the red blood of rage on to the Black Lanterns.
Page 12 – Panel 2: Top to bottom are Zilius Zox; Guy Gardner; Munk; and (approaching from below) Airwave.
Page 12 – Panel 4: Airwave is destroyed by . . .
Page 12 – Panel 5: . . . Kilowog with Kyle Rayner beside him. In the bottom right is Tri-Eye.
Page 13 – Panel 1: The various Corps receive the message to cooperate with each other. Left to right, top to bottom are: Slushh; Arisia; Bleez; Fatality; Octopus-Indigo; and Brother Warth.
Page 13 – Panel 4: On the left is Kyle Rayner; then the Bedovian; then John Stewart.
Page 14 – Panel 1: This is Dove who, as we saw in issue #5, is able to disrupt the Black Lanterns’ connection with their power source.
Page 14 – Panel 2: The power source Dove mentions is the black central power battery. Below her are Starfire and Cyborg.
Page 14 – Panel 3: Touching the power battery, however, doesn’t pan out so well for Dove.
Page 14 – Panel 4: Struggling and demanding to be released is the Anti-Monitor whose corpse resides within the battery. He appears to be draining the white light from Dove.
Page 15 – Panel 1: Indigo-1 and the Atom attempt to stop Luthor removing Mera’s power ring.
Page 15 – Panels 2 and 3: Nekron slits the throat of the Guardian he has been interrogating.
Page 15 – Panel 4: The Flash, Saint Walker and Hal Jordan fight against the ring constructs Luthor has sent against them. To answer Jordan’s question about Black Hand’s whereabouts . . .
Page 16 – Panel 1: . . . here he is, taking the dying Guardian from Nekron’s hand.
Page 16 – Panel 4: Black Hand tears the heart and entrails of the Guardian from his chest. Note that the innards contain five of the emotional spectrum colours: blue, indigo, green, red and orange. The yellow blood could account for the sixth (which would also mean the Guardians are riddled with fear) but the only one that appears to be definitely missing is violet – the colour of love. This would tie in with their history of renouncing their Zamaron counterparts years before. Or maybe I’m reading too much into this?
Page 16 – Panel 5: The Guardian’s entrails light up the symbol that was drawn on the ground at the start of the issue.
Page 17 – Panel 1: Luthor faces off against Atrocitus and Wonder Woman; caught in Wonder Woman’s lasso, Luthor is forced to reveal the truth of what he really wants which, no surprise, is to be Superman.
Page 17 – Panel 3: Sinestro’s question about what Nekron is making contact with will be answered in just a moment.
Page 17 – Panel 4: Nekron refers to a “Trespasser.” which I’ll come to in just a second.
Pages 18 and 19 – Panel 1: This is the Entity, the equivalent for the White as Ion is for the Green and Parallax is for the Yellow, the Trespasser that Nekron mentioned. Back in issue #3, Indigo-1 gave several heroes a run down of the start of the universe, claiming that in the beginning, everything was in darkness and then the light appeared. She referred to herself and every other living thing as the invaders, the trespassers. On its chest is a stylised version of the symbol Nekron had drawn on the ground.
Pages 18 and 19 – Panel 3: Black Hand is, of course, quoting the Bible.
Pages 18 and 19 – Panels 4 and 5: Luthor, driven by avarice, wants the Entity while Larfleeze will content himself with Luthor’s life.
Page 20: As Nekron stabs the Entity, every living thing feels its pain; note that Black Hand is unmoved as he is already dead.
Page 21 – Panels 1 and 2: Ganthet reveals the Guardians’ biggest secret/lie which Nekron hinted at in issue #5 – the fact that life began on Earth.
Page 21 – Panel 3: Sinestro highlights the fact that this isn’t the first time the Guardians have dealt with something by simply ignoring it.
Page 21 – Panel 4: Driven by rage and grief, Sinestro attacks Ganthet.
Page 22 – Panel 2: Top to bottom are Carol Ferris; the Flash; Ganthet; Sinestro; and Jordan. To be honest, I’m not sure how Flash’s question “Why isn’t it fighting back?” trigger’s Jordan’s realisation that the Entity is the same type of creature as Parallax and Ion.
Page 22 – Panel 3: Jordan races towards the Entity, determined to wield its power and save the day.
Page 23 – Panel 1: Sinestro, however, has other plans; his reference to Jordan having had his chance with Parallax refers to GREEN LANTERN #50 and #51 when Jordan allowed Parallax to possess him once more in order to defeat the Black Lantern Spectre.
Page 23 – Panels 3 and 4: Sinestro forcibly merges with the Entity and becomes . . .
Pages 24 and 25: . . . the first White Lantern.
Page 26: Further writings of the Book of The Black.