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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.

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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.

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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...

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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.

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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