The Green Lantern Corps Podcast


The herald of the Blackest Night, Black Hand

Posted in Profiles by mrread7 on January 25, 2008

The profile you knew was coming, Daniel Hand better known as the Green Lantern villain, Black Hand. Black Hand was a foil to Green Lantern for decades. Trying to take his ring for his own personal needs. He is one of the few villains that found ways to not only track down Green Lantern but also counter act his ring. Black Hand slowly started disappearing during the 80’s and by the 90’s he had cameos at the best in the background. Following his return in Green Lantern: Rebirth. Black Hand came back in a big way but little did anyone know that his return would be heralding the Blackest Night in 2009. This is his story.

The man who would one day be known as Black Hand was born an inventive genius, with a penchant for speaking in extremely old clichés. William’s family, the Hands, were renowned in Coastville, a suburb of Coast City, California. He, however, grew to dislike them early in life. He felt the best way to distance himself from them, especially his three brothers (David, Peter and Joe), was by starting a life of crime. After extensive study, he became an expert criminal and evaded police at every turn. Eventually, he progressed into a costumed supervillain, dubbed himself “Black Hand”. (This was actually an inside joke, in reference to his status as the “black sheep” of his family.)
In preparation for an inevitable battle with the Coast City-based Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Hand’s made his most noteworthy invention. The device was able to absorb the residue of a Green Lantern power ring’s energy from any object that it has touched. Once fueled by this energy, his device can then be used much the same way as a Green Lantern Ring. In addition to Hal Jordan, Black Hand also battles Kilowog and the second Flash, Barry Allen over the course of his career.
For a while he retired from a life of crime and attempted to run a legitimate, if adult, business: an adult theatre. This new lease on life came to an abrupt end when it was interrupted by Guy Gardner and his girlfriend Ice. Though the incident was minor in their eyes, it spurred Hand to become a criminal once more. Further encounters with a ringless, but fierce Gardner leave him psychologically and emotionally scarred.
Shortly before Hal Jordan’s resurrection, Black Hand’s device located a spare Power Ring, held by Green Arrow in case of emergency. Black Hand tried to claim the ring for himself, but was stopped by Green Arrow, who pinned his hand to the wall. Hal Jordan, now the Spectre, burnt his hand away, stating that now “he can live up to his name”.
Black Hand, now missing his right hand and driven insane from the trauma, fled. Later, after hearing of Hal Jordan’s resurrection, he decides to live in the rebuilt Coast City to stay close to his foe. While on board an airplane, he is targeted and abducted by the Kroloteans, a race of mysterious German-speaking aliens named Kroloteans, who are akin to the gremlins of myth. They perform experiments that enhanced his inherent power, and ultimately abandon him in a public park.
He has since resurfaced in a panel scene from the Infinite Crisis, one of the several heroes and villains observed by Kal-L and Superboy Prime, but has yet to resurface after the Crisis end. The Black Lantern Corps power rings wield his very same symbol, even if their birth is fully unrelated to the villain legacy.

Abilities

Black Hand possesses a device which can manipulate the energy of Green Lantern power rings. It can obtain this energy by directly draining it from a ring, or via the residue a power ring gives off. Like power rings, however, it needs to replenish this energy on a regular basis in order to operate. Hand usually does this during battles with one or more Green Lanterns, and has also used it to help him locate nearby power rings. This technically makes the device somewhat similar to Qwardian power rings, especially those wielded by Sinestro.
Though this device is a product of his creative genius, it is unclear if he can create any other such powerful technology. His current mental instability also put this into question.
Due to the actions of extraterrestrials who subjected him to experimentation, he now has a means to recreate his hand. The experiments granted Black Hand the ability to consume the life-force of the living to create a new hand for himself. The amount of life-force he consumes relates to the amount of time he can control the limb. As a side effect, he assumes a zombie-like, decaying appearance.

Personality

After suffering various psychological traumas, Black Hand has developed from an average, gimmicky villain to a fearsome and insane force. Beginning as a criminal mastermind, his goals, including becoming rich quickly, were not unlike many villains of the time. However, his repeated defeats had a horrible effect on his psyche. A therapist he was seeing at one point stated that he possessed an innate fear of superheroes. One late night, while suffering from depression, he had a chance meeting with several superheroes (G’nort, Martian Manhunter and Kilowog). Witnessing the assembled heroes meeting at an exclusive skyscraper restaurant, this further caused his deteriorating psyche to break and he had a screaming panic attack. The proverbial last straw may have him his abduction by aliens. After this, and his discovery of the powers the gave him, a clear change occurred. The character now speaks less often in humorous hoary idioms, but instead referencing his deepening belief in the power of death.

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