It is the end of the Sinestro Corp Wars, but nothing is calm. The universe seems to be tearing itself apart as the War of Light erupts among the Lantern Corps. With the arrival of these other lanterns, everything leads to an ancient prophecy that transcends the Guardians of the Green Lantern Corps. Even worse is when one of their own, Scar, starts it. Black Power Rings start going across the universe and the dead begin to rise from their graves.
Dead allies and enemies are being brought back to life. They have memories and feed on the emotions of the living to bring the entity of death itself, Nekron, back to the world . The lantern corps must put aside their differences in order to combat the undead. Oa, the Green Lantern homeworld, is shattered and what remaining lanterns still alive fight to defend what they have fought so dear to protect and come to terms with the specters of fallen allies.
The heroes fight to stop Nekron, as he searches for the entity of life which resides on earth. with little time the heroes of the lantern corps fight off Nekrons army and try to reach the entity first. With Nekron and his forces facing White Lantern Sinestro and the newly restored Justice League, Nekron is defeated and the Blackest Night ends, bringing forth the Brightest Day.
The Sinestro Corps War against the Green Lanterns and the heroes of Earth was brought to a close on and around Earth. The Corpse of the Anti-Monitor was hurled through space and landed on the planet Ryut of Sector 666, the sector destroyed by the Manhunters prior to the creation of the Green Lantern Corps.
As battles between various Lantern Corps rage throughout numerous systems, Black Hand starts setting events in motion, we see thousands of black rings being set loose and all of the dead being bought to life. Reborn as Black Lanterns, they begin to wreck havoc amongst the heroes.
The first casualties are Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Time repeating itself, like their previous reincarnations they are killed at the pinnacle of their realization for the love they have for each other. They are ambushed and both killed by the undead Sue Dibny and Elongated Man.
Kal-L, the Earth-2 Superman, has risen in Smallville, and has begun a rampage across the home the Man of Steel. The parents of Dick Grayson, who is now Batman, have arisen in Gotham City.
A resurrected Barry Allen is brought up to speed by Hal Jordan on the numerous superheroes who have died since he has been away. He is told of how they are now being reborn as Black Lanterns. Overwhelmed by the current situation, Barry Allen attempts to remove the rings from the Black Lanterns believing it would take away their powers. His theory is proven wrong as the the Black Lanterns continue to bring chaos across the DC Universe.
The corpses of the dead villains stored by the JLA are resurrected and set off a huge battle between themselves and the JLA heroes. The new Firestorm, Jason Rusch, suffers a heartbreaking moment: Black Lantern Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond) turns Jason's girlfriend into salt and crushes her into pieces.
During this time, Sinestro returns to the Star Sapphire/Sinestro Corps mini-war to help fight the Black Lanterns. Hal Jordan also returns, bringing the Indigo Tribe with him. Hal finds a way to destroy the Black Lanterns by using Spectrum rings at once.
Mongul and Sinestro face off to take control of Sinestro Corps. Sinestro eventually defeats Mongul and takes lead of his corps. On Ysmault, Atrocitus is being attacked by the Four Inversions, who are now Black Lanterns. They rip out his heart, but he doesn't need it, as it has been replaced by his red ring. He then flies over to Okaara, where he prepares to attack Larfleeze.
The Black Lanterns have revived their latest member, Bruce Wayne. Batman is now a Black Lantern. Nekron then starts to control the heroes who have died and came back. He commands these heroes to rise as Black Lanterns. These individuals include Superman, Wonder Woman, Ice, Kid Flash, Green Arrow, Superboy, Animal Man and Donna Troy. Nekron then attempts to turn Hal Jordan and Barry Allen into Black Lanterns. His attempt fails as Barry Allen is faster than the rings chasing him and Jordan, and the between both rings and the running heroes is severed.
Later on, several heroes and villains get deputized into different Corps; Wonder Woman loses her black ring, and becomes a Star Sapphire, Lex Luthor becomes a greedy Orange Lantern, Mera becomes an enraged Red Lantern, Scarecrow becomes a member of the Sinestro Corps, The Atom becomes an Indigo Lantern, and Barry Allen becomes a Blue Lantern. Together they prepare to battle the Black Lantern Corps, and the Black Hand. Their leader, Nekron, is threatening the Guardians of the Galaxy, alongside his Black Lanterns.
"The Rainbow Rodeo" arrives in time to save the Guardians. Atrocitus, and Black Hand have had hatred between each other since Black Hand was a kid. While the two are fighting each other, Black Hand mentions that he has enjoyed all the death, and suffering the heroes have gone through. He also plunges his hand into Atrocitus' chest, and asking where his heart is. Hal blasts away Black Hand, and answers in reply that his heart is his ring. Scarecrow than stabs him with a pitchfork, and mentions on how much he feels alive. Then Orange Lantern Lex Luthor, pulls him away, and tells him that this is his moment, not Scarecrow's. He wants all of the rings, and attempts to forcibly take Mera's from her.
Then, all the Lanterns begin attacking each other as confusion breaks out. As Nekron moves on, he kills a guardian and summons a creature he calls "Trespasser." The white energy, now called the Entity, instantly puts all the heroes in pain. Sinestro sees this to be reminiscent of how the Guardians buried Parallax. Nekron relentlessly continues an assault on the Entity. Hal believes that the Entity needs a pilot. As he swoops in, Sinestro blocks him, as this is his destiny since Hal already had the Parallax. Sinestro flies in, demanding all of the power from the Entity, he hears a white voice saying: "Thaal Sinestro of Krouger. Destiny awaits". Sinestro is now in a white costume yelling that he is the greatest lantern of them all.
At the main battle, Hal is afraid of getting close to people, since the people he loves tend to die, and does not want to re-experience that. Sinestro makes an attack directly against Nekron. Gloating he cannot be killed, Sinestro calls off the other lanterns, and chains up Nekron. Then he pulls Nekron's heart out of his chest, and at the sound of his screaming of his pain, Nekron leaves, leaving his scythe behind in the process. He is replaced with a shirtless man wearing a black lantern symbol, who picks up Nekron's scythe. He rises again, and does to Sinestro what Sinestro had just done to him, by reaching into his chest and trying to remove the Entity. Hal and Ganthet discuss how to remove the Entity from Sinestro when Luthor appears, demanding more rings so he can be the world's savior.
Larlfreeze attacks him, and then the entire Black Lantern JLA arrive to battle. It is the Lanterns vs. the JLA in their Black Lantern state (who clearly have stronger numbers), so Indigo-1 makes a back-up call, and more Lanterns arrive to even out the teams. Unaffected superheroes arrive as well, and this allows the heroes to fight the heroes, and the Lanterns to fight Nekron. Guy Gardner is possessed by Deadman, who tells Hal that Nekron's Earthly tether needs to be alive. Nekron talks about the uselessness of life, and Hal says that life doesn not give us purpose, that we give life purpose.
Hal then swoops into the white Entity, turning the Black Lantern JLA into White Lanterns. As they proclaim their choice to live, they throw their ring beams on Black Hand and say they choose to live for him as well. He coughs up a white lantern ring. It flies around the newly made White Lantern Corps, pierces through Nekron, goes to the Black power battery, and retrieves the Anti-Monitor.
They also resurrect twelve of the dead heroes and villains of the DC Universe; the Martian Manhunter, Hawkman and Hawkgirl, Ronnie Raymond, Deadman, Aquaman, Hawk, Maxwell Lord, the original Captain Boomerang, Professor Zoom, Jade, and Osiris. Mera goes into cardiac arrest at the sight of Aquaman (because her love for him compromises her rage), and Carol and Saint Walker save her with their rings. Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond now make up Firestorm. Larfleeze throws Lex Luthor to the other lanterns, and they remark that it's the first time Larfleeze has given anything to anyone. Sayd and Ganthet then realize that the Anti-Monitor, the Black Hand, and the entire Indigo tribe are missing. We then see the Indigo tribe on another planet with the Black Hand seemingly hypnotized. In Gotham City, Hal and Barry go back to where it all began: the cemetery. Hal says that dead is dead from here on out. He then notes that Bruce Wayne has to be alive since the Black Lantern Batman wasn't really Bruce. Barry asks where the white light is, and Hal's reaction is that he can feel it pulling them away from the Blackest Night. Then, in the middle of a deserted road, we see a white power battery.
The listing of the 79-tied in Blackest Night issues is done to match DC's official ordering as seen on their digital comics website. Therefore, in text are listed several comics they did not include in their official list but that have ties to the event:
- Action Comics #890 (cover reads "Blackest Night: Aftermath")
- Solomon Grundy #7 (cover reads "Prelude to Blackest Night")
- Titans #15 (cover reads "Prelude to Blackest Night)