Black Hand's origin is one subject addressed in the "Green Lantern: Secret Origin" story arc. William Hand is a disturbed young man working at his family's business, Hand Mortuary. He appears to hold a morbid fascination with the dead bodies within the mortuary and was twice seen secretly gazing at a corpse with an intent fascination. His morbid behavior is portrayed as an ongoing problem in his family with William's mother asking him at one point "why can't he be a good Christian like his brothers?" As if acknowledging his diseased mind, William responds "I don't know".
At this point, William is unaware that he is being stalked by the alien necromancer Atrocitus. Atrocitus has foreseen that William Hand contains "the power of the black", an as yet unspecified power which Atrocitus believes will provide him with the means for revenge against the Guardians of the Universe. Crafting a cosmic divining rod, Atrocitus follows the device to Hand intent on eviscerating the young man and claim the power within him. Hand is saved by the intervention of Hal Jordan and Sinestro, who was then still a Green Lantern. William then claims the cosmic divining rod as his own.
Major Story Arcs
Black Hand is one of Green Lantern's oldest foes, originally portrayed as a villain who spouted clichés while committing his crimes. William Hand was said to have been born of a wealthy family of high society. His "black" moniker was a testament to his having been the "black sheep" of the family. Black Hand's major offensive threat to the Green Lantern was his use of a device that has come to be known as a Cosmic Divining Rod. This flashlight sized device could locate and collect Green Lantern energy, draining a Lantern's power ring. This energy could then be used by Black Hand to augment his strength, fly, create force-fields, or fired in destructive blasts. Black Hand plagued Hal repeatedly during his early adventures. He even stood toe-to-toe with Kilowog on one occasion in which he matched the powerful Lantern with equal energy until Kilowog used his brawn, rather than his ring, to knock out Black Hand.
Justice League America
Black Hand has decided to stop being a Super Villain and go some what legit. He opens a adult movie theater and tries to stay under the superhero's radar. His plan seems to be working until Guy Gardner and Ice come to his theater on a date. Black Hand thinks they have come for him, and his therapist is on vacation, so he re dons his costume and introduces himself. He tries to shoot Guy with his Divining Rod but it just "Fitzll"s and Guy laughs at him and leaves with Ice.
Black Hand goes back into his office and gets his henchman Irwin to give him his gun, even though guns make Black Hand nervous. He then chases Guy through the streets and once he catches up with the Green Lantern he shoots him but misses. This angers Guy and he beats Hand up. Hand tries to surrender but Guy is angry and knock him unconscious.
Guy Gardner Reborn
After Guy Gardner lost his Green Lantern Power Ring, he tries to fight the villains of New York City with his bare hands. Black Hand was one of the first he tries to muscle out, because the Hand has opened a "Gentle Massage" business that is a front for illegal activities. Guy seemed to be winning until the Hand's henchmen realized that Guy had lost his ring. They ganged up on the hero and toss him out on the street. The Hand lets Guy live because in his words, "Living well is the best revenge."
For further details: Green Lantern: Rebirth
Once again, Black Hand used his divining rod in an attempt to steal Hal 's ring, which was being kept safe by Green Arrow. Blasting his way into Arrow's home, Black Hand located and retrieved Hal's ring but failed to notice Green Arrow. Green Arrow got the best of him by shooting him in the hand, pinning him to the wall, causing Hand to drop the ring. Although he was disarmed and posed no threat, the Spectre arrived and turned Black Hand's hand into coal stating "(now) he can live up to his name". The hand maintained its structure long enough for Black Hand to realize what had happened. Soon after, his hand crumbled into dust and Black Hand collapsed in excruciating pain.
Black Hand was not seen again until after Hal had been reborn as the Green Lantern. Hand was traveling cross country, clearly insane from his ordeal, when his flight was hijacked by Krolotean Gremlins, an alien race who abducts and genetically engineers other beings for sale as weapons on the intergalactic black market. Something was awakened within Black Hand by their genetic modifications. His missing hand could now be reformed and used to siphon life force from living beings. Black Hand was returned to earth, where he quickly used his power to suck the life out of an entire floor of people at a nearby hospital. He could do this by either direct touch or through the use of a blast of life stealing energy he could now emit from his hand.
His murder spree was interrupted by Hal Jordan, who battled his new and improved enemy, ultimately burying the villain alive before taking him into custody. Black Hand was last seen in police custody when an unexpected surge of power killed his guards and transported Black Hand to Ryut. There he appeared entranced by a mysterious voice which he heard calling out to him from deep space.
Blackest Night: The Origin of William Hand
This flashback story serves to foreshadow Black Hand’s importance to the “Blackest Night” story arc. The symbol he wears on his chest, that of the “Hand Mortuary”, has been seen reflected in the eye of “Scar”, the Guardian seemingly corrupted by her encounter with the Anti-Monitor during the Sinestro Corps War. The Anti-Monitor was last seen having been entrapped within the Black Battery, the apparent source of power for the rumored undead army of Black Lanterns.
For further details: Blackest Night
Now hearing the voices of the dead calling to him, William takes one final set of actions as a living being. He returns to his home, and uses his rod to kill his entire family. Then he turns the rod on himself, blasting himself through his skull at point-blank range.
As his dead body lies on the floor of his home, amidst the corpses of his family, Scar, the corrupted Guardian of the Black, appears. Declaring William to be ready, she vomits out a black ring. The ring flies to William's finger, and commands him to rise. As his corpse is reanimated by the energy of the Black, he is declared to be the embodiment of their corps, the Black Incarnate, similar to Ion and Parallax and the Predator.
Fully risen, William vows to use this new power to finally extinguish the light. Hand is called to Wayne Manor, where he digs up the unmarked grave where the body believed to be that of Batman is located. At the behest of the voice of Nekron, Hand digs it up and carries it with him as the Black Lanterns begin to rise.
Hand is later encountered by the heroes in Coast City, where the Central Power Battery for the Black Lantern Corps has risen. It reaches 100% charge and Nekron is summoned to Earth. Nekron then resurrects the 7,000,000 civilians of Coast City that died in its destruction.
Hand creates a Black Lantern Batman using the skull he's carried around. By using someone that has emotional ties, he is able to take control of the heroes, turning them into Black Lanterns.
Deadman, who has traveled into the Black Rings and seen how they operate, possesses Guy Gardner to inform the heroes that Black Hand is Nekron 's tether in the physical world. If he can be resurrected, Nekron will be banished. Nekron separates the Entity from Sinestro, but Hal is able to have it possess him. Hal makes a White Lantern Corps. The White Lantern Corps is able to resurrect Hand, banishing Nekron. Hand vomits several White Rings, resurrecting twelve heroes and villains. In addition, the Anti-Monitor is resurrected. The Anti-Monitor briefly fights with Nekron before being banished back to Qward. The heroes fight against Nekron again, and manage to banish him.
Hand is abducted by the Indigo Tribe, and is seen bound by them. A translation guide for something he says translates to "Help me."
Hand is among the Indigo Tribe when they come to Earth to recruit Shane Thompson as the holder of Proselyte, the Indigo Entity. Hand explains that the Tribe gave him compassion. Proselyte reveals that the Indigo Tribe help those that are unable to feel compassion by forcing it on them. When the New Guardians refuse the help of the Indigo Tribe, they attack. They are interrupted by Krona, however. Following this, it is unknown what has happened to Hand.
Black Hand is caught within The Book of The Dead. Hal and Sinestro are trapped there for a short time and when they escape Black Hand seizes his opportunity to escape. He breaks out of a grave plot and with a new Black Ring begins to kill people off relishing the new status quo with no Justice League. He brings Martin Jordan back from the dead and rips off his right hand and places the severed hand on his right nub so he can kill Jordan by his fathers own hand.
The Source Wall
Black Hand returns from the dead and begins to torment Hal Jordan. During the ensuing battle Black Hand joins the Source Wall and dies one final time.
Powers & Abilities
Previously, Black Hand was the wielder of the Cosmic Divining Rod, a device that detects and siphons a Green Lanterns' Energy Ring. After absorbing the energy, he could release it in the form of concussive blasts. This made Hand a fierce foe to the Green Lantern Corps.
During the events of the Blackest Night, Hand is the first to possess a Black Lantern Ring. Among other abilities, Hand has shown the ability to resurrect himself from death; can regenerate from any injury, and able to "see" the emotions of people. Hand is regarded as the Embodiment of Death, similar to Ion and Parallax being the Embodiments of Willpower and Fear , respectively.
Black Hand has displayed necrophiliac tendencies, and has total disregard for human life.
The character Black Death was intended to be Black Hand, but Grant Morrison found out that Geoff Johns was planning on including Hand in Green Lantern Rebirth, so he created a new character.
In the Reverse Flash altered world of Flashpoint, Atrocitus was successful in murdering Hand. Doing so unleashed Nekron and the Black Lanterns. At the outset of the Flashpoint, over 500 sectors have been lost to the Black Lanterns.