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The Great Darkness is the true source and the embodiment of darkness in the multiverse. When the Creator said "Let there be light", the Darkness retreated and stayed inactive for unknown ages.

Awakening

During the world-shattering event known as the Crisis on Infinite Earths, a cult known as the Brujeria wakened it, hoping to destroy God and re-shape the world. This was the culmination of a series of arcane machinations labelled as "American Gothic." John Constantine and the Swamp Thing worked for a long time to prevent the awakening, and chose to oppose the Evil. Siding with them was a gathering of supernatural heroes, as well as parts of the angelic and demonic armies of Heaven and Hell. Another faction of Hell, led by the Demons Three, sided with the Darkness. At some point, the Anti-Monitor himself became influenced by the Great Darkness.[1]

The Primordial Darkness soon gained consciousness. Several heroes tried to battle it, but they were easily defeated and drawn into its almost infinite being. The encounters taught the Darkness a great deal. Etrigan told the Darkness that it was Evil, Dr. Fate explained that Evil was despicable, and the Spectre taught it revenge. All the encounters only served to further strengthen the Darkness and point its aggression towards Heaven. Finally, Swamp Thing entered the Darkness, and tried to explain his theory of evil—that good and evil define each other and that one cannot exist without its counterpart. The Darkness then reached its hand towards Heaven, and to the surprise of everyone, The Light reached out His hand as well. The two of them embraced. The world was never the same again. Good and Evil would still exist, but Light and Dark would remain locked in a truce, a truce contingent on the multiverse remaining limited to a single world.

In truth, the Great Darkness cared not for good or evil, life or creation. All the Great Darkness truly desired is for the end of all things, for everything to be nothing once again, as it was before Creation. Following the Crisis, the Darkness slept.[2]

Fate

The event sparked a civil war in Hell, that ended with it being ruled by a Triumvirate, composed of Lucifer, Beelzebub, and Azazel.[3] The realm of the Darkness has since become known as the Shadowlands, a power source for beings such as the Shade, Culp, Obsidian, and others.[citation needed]

Deeds in the Dark

However, even as it slumbered, the Great Darkness continued to exert its influence. It pushed and puppeteered a number of beings into unknowingly serving its will, including Magog, the Anti-Life Entity, Extant, Superboy-Prime, and Mister Mind. Eventually, its influence resulted an Infinite Crisis, resulting in the return of the multiverse, breaking the truce between the darkness and the light. The Source dispatched a new order of Monitors to contain and maintain this new multiverse, so that their efforts might slow the inevitable awakening of the Great Darkness.

However, Darkseid, one of the few beings aware of the true nature and existence of the Great Darkness, had other plans. Darkseid manipulated prophecy and destiny to trigger a Final Crisis, intending to draw out the Great Darkness so that he might control it. His plans succeeded, but at the cost of his own life, resulting in the shattering of his Godhead. At this moment, when the Multiverse was weakest, the Darkness manifested in Mandrakk, a fallen Monitor that it had corrupted. However, his son, Nix Uotan, activated the multiverse's immune system against this Ultimate Enemy: Superheroes. Mandrakk was defeated, and the Miracle Machine healed the fabric of the multiverse. This failure taught the Great Darkness one thing above all: that its true enemy was the heroes of the Multiverse, its defenders.

And so it spread its influence further, and in doing so, found a being of great power: Doctor Manhattan. It manipulated the quantum life-form into stealing time and history from the heroes of Earth-0, a change that would echo out through the rest of the Multiverse. Elsewhere, the Right Hand of the Great Darkness, the hand it had once used to make truce with the Light, became something new- the Empty Hand. The Empty Hand grew an army of Gentry from the carcass of the old Multiverse, Multiverse-2.[4]

The Empty Hand made its base in the ruins of Earth 7, already destroyed at its behest, to construct the Oblivion Machine and end the never-ending tale of the super-heroes once and for all. Confronted by Superman of Earth 23 and several other heroes, it informed them that it would soon strike with legions at its command, and informed them it already destroyed "Multiverse-2" before banishing them back to Earth 8 so that it could complete its plans; they, in turn, formed Justice Incarnate and warned the heroes of 50 worlds in order to prepare against it.[5]

The Darkness' influence continued to spread. Soon, Barbatos attacked, and nearly suceeded in sinking the whole of creation into the Dark Multiverse, beginning the Metal Wars. Though Barbatos and its servants were defeated, this set off a chain of events that resulted in a drastic restructuring of the multiverse.[6]

Following the recreation of the Multiverse by the Hands due to Wonder Woman's actions,[7] Darkseid, his shattered godhead reformed, engaged in a renewed effort to steal the power of the Great Darkness for himself, utilizing a reborn Roy Harper, the Psycho-Pirate, and a brainwashed Barry Allen. After his plans were thwarted, he revealed to X-Tract that a great war was coming.[8]

In the end, the Darkness manipulated Darkseid into obtaining a crack in the Multiverse and delivering it to the Empty Hand, the Darkness's one willing servant. The Hand used the crack to open a rift into Multiverse-2 and crossed over, daring Darkseid to follow him. Darkseid did so, and was captured and brainwashed by the Darkness.

The Great Darkness also recruited Pariah, making him its "voice" and giving him the power to create worlds of his own to act as tailor-made prisons for the Multiverse's superheroes.[9] While working as an agent of T.R.U.S.T., Slade Wilson received a visions from the Weird of the danger of the Great Darkness[10], and as soon as he got a power base, he vowed to use it to oppose the Darkness[11].

Powers


Related

Footnotes



Swamp Thing Character

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This character specifically relates to the Swamp Thing and is predominantly seen in the Swamp Thing family of titles. This character may be part of the Swamp Thing's supporting cast, a minor acquaintance, or one of his adversaries. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the Swamp Thing Characters category.
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Constantine Villain(s)
This character, team or organization, is or was primarily an enemy of John Constantine in any of his various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Constantine Villains."

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Justice League Villain
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This character is or was primarily an enemy of the Justice League, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Justice League Villains."

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