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This Article Contains Spoilers - WARNING: This article contains major spoilers. If you do not wish to know vital information on plot / character elements in a story, you may not wish to read beyond this warning: We hold no responsibility for any negative effects these facts may have on your enjoyment of said media should you continue. That is all.

I serve the True Great Darkness.
~ The Upside Down Man about the Great Darkness.

The Great Darkness, also known as the Great Evil Beast and the Absence, is the overarching antagonist of the DC Universe mythos, serving as the unseen overarching antagonist of the 1985-1986 crossover event Crisis on Infinite Earths and the 2005-2006 crossover event Infinite Crisis, the overarching antagonist of the 2018-2021 comic book series Justice League Dark, and the titular main antagonist of the 2022 crossover event Dark Crisis.

The Great Darkness was the personification, source, and cause of all evil ever to exist. Having existed before the creation of the Greater Omniverse, it functioned as an antithesis to God Himself and sought only to snuff out the light of creation. Beings of evil such as Darkseid, Mister Mind, Superboy-Prime, and the Anti-Monitor were all direct or indirect creations of the Great Darkness.

Biography

The Great Darkness was formed when God uttered the words "Let There Be Light" and came to embody all the darkness in creation, as well as everything that opposed the light of the Presence, which is the DC universe's version of God. However, despite its immense power, the Great Darkness was still a newborn entity and lacked knowledge, and thus was easily defeated by the Presence and contained within its own realm.

When the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths took place, a group of mystics named the Brujeria attempted an occult ritual designed to contact the Great Darkness, but it went horribly wrong and the entity awoke as a furious beast, unable to grasp its power and becoming confused as to its existence.

The Great Darkness would encounter Etrigan, Dr. Fate, and the Spectre. Etrigan taught the entity that Darkness was Evil, Dr. Fate told the entity Evil was despicable, and the Spectre finally told the entity about the concept of revenge. These new lessons angered the Great Darkness despite the heroes being well-meaning, and it launched an assault on Heaven itself in order to get answers as to its existence from the Presence itself.

Along the way, the Great Darkness decimated anything that got in its way and was so powerful that Lucifer Morningstar, Azrael, and Beelzebub formed an alliance to defend themselves should the Great Darkness decide to attack Hell as well. Somewhat ironically, another batch of demons known as the Demons Three decided to do the opposite and allied with the Great Darkness, seeing it as the ultimate sin and evil, which it technically was.

Finally, Swamp Thing, readied by his journeys into the Parliament of Trees and his dealings with John Constantine, sought the entity out of his own free will, whereas all other beings had been engulfed after being soundly defeated. The entity listened as Swamp Thing gave what little lessons he had that implied that darkness was in its own way as necessary as light, and had a place in the cosmos after all. It told Swamp Thing to leave him in peace, as he had entered, and prepared for what it called "a great and final ending".

However, as the Great Darkness stormed the gates of Heaven itself, the entity extended its hand, and much to the surprise of everyone, the Presence did likewise. This climaxed in the two beings merging together into the perfect balance.

The battle was not without its price. Doctor Fate killed one of the Demons Three. On the more heroic side, Golden Age magical hero Zatara sacrificed his life to save his daughter Zatanna, and Sargon The Sorcerer also met his end. John Constantine lost some of his oldest friends in the campaign to stop the Brujeria, while his ally Mento (Steve Dayton, formerly of The Doom Patrol and an ally to The Teen Titans) glimpsed the smallest portion of the Great Darkness and went insane, actually becoming a villain for several years.

In later issues showing the afterlife in Swamp Thing, he would glimpse the joined hands of the darkness and the Presence. However, this was not actually the end of the entity, despite many fans mistaking it to be so. The Great Darkness lives on, an unfathomable power beyond the spheres of DC cosmology that empowers such monsters as the Upside Down Man, Empty Hand, etc. In this sense, the Great Darkness can truly be considered the ultimate antagonist of DC lore.

Powers and Abilities

The Great Darkness is an omnipotent being. It seems that the only being that was above it in power was God himself, and it is implied that the Great Darkness was God's dark half. While many believed it to have either redeemed itself or vanished after merging with the Presence, this has since been proven to be incorrect.

Only a small part of a much larger threat was merged with the Presence, and the true Great Darkness is still very active, yet never seen. However, its many agents are currently very active.

Gallery

See Also

  • The One-Below-All (Marvel's counterpart of the Great Darkness)
  • The Decreator (A cosmic entity very similar to The Great Darkness)
  • Empty Hand (The literal Right Hand of the Great Darkness and one of the main antagonists of the crisis saga)

External links

Navigation

           John Constasntine Hellblazer logo.png Villains

Comics
Beelzebub | Blythe | Brujería | Cain | Demons Three | Despondeo | Felix Faust | First of the Fallen | Gabriel | Great Darkness | Lucifer Morningstar | Mnemoth | Nergal | Neron | Nicolas Nolan | Papa Midnite

Movies
Constantine: Gabriel | Mammon | Balthazar | Lucifer Morningstar
Constantine: City Of Demons: The Movie: Nergal
Constantine: The House of Mystery: Spectre | Nergal | Beelzebub | Ashox

Television
Manny | Papa Midnite | Mnemoth | Felix Faust | Pazuzu | Invunche | Imogen | Nergal | Thomas Galen

Video Games
Gabriel | Mammon | Balthazar | Lucifer Morningstar

           127-1278358 justice-league-dark-image-justice-league-dark-logo (1).png Villains

Comics
Anton Arcane | Anti-Fate | Anti-Monitor | Cain | Circe | Crime Syndicate of America | Darkseid | Demons Three | Doctor Destiny | Eclipso | The Enchantress | Felix Faust | First of the Fallen | Floronic Man | Great Darkness | Klarion | Man-Bat | Mordru | Morgaine Le Fey | Nicolas Nolan | Papa Midnite | Solomon Grundy | Trigon | Typhon | Upside Down Man

Movies
Justice League Dark: Destiny | Felix Faust | Ritchie Simpson | Demons Three
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War: Darkseid | Parademons | Trigon | Lex Luthor | Suicide Squad (Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, King Shark, Cheetah, Black Manta, & Bane) | League of Assassins (Lady Shiva) | Weather Wizard | Giganta | Toymaster

           1280px-Lucifer tv logo.svg.png Villains

Comics
Abaddon | Amenadiel | Azazel | Basanos | Beelzebub | Belial | Cain | Despondeo | First of the Fallen | Gabriel | Great Darkness | Lucifer Morningstar | Metatron | Mazikeen | Sandalphon

Television
Recurring
Protagonists
Lucifer Morningstar | Mazikeen | Amenadiel | Eve
Main Antagonists
Michael | Amenadiel | Goddess | Marcus Pierce | Father Kinley | Vincent Le Mec
Other Antagonists
Jimmy Barnes | Jacob Williams | Malcolm Graham | Lee Garner | Uriel | Perry Smith | Burt | Jason Carlisle | Reese Getty | Decoy of Sinnerman | Julian McCaffrey | James Reiben | Demons (Dromos & Squee) | Pete Daily | Les Klumpsky | Gabriel
One-Shot
Lindsay Jolson | Carmen Grant | Dr. Medina | Eric Doyle | Vanessa Dunlear | Roberta Beliard | Wes Williams | Ray Codfree | Jenson Glory | Patricia Hightower | Bianca Ruiz | Lieutenant Herrera | Athena Burns | Alvin Kapitski | Mack Slater | Gil | Don Zeikel | Alexa Lee | Cece | Joel | John Barrow | Luke Reynolds | Oscar Rivass | Toby Golden | Leona Franklin | Jacob Tierning | Tahir | Doug | Mandy | Detective Dancer's actor | William Kincannon | Hank | Kevin McCarthy

           Swamp-thing logo 2019.png Villains

Comics
Anton Arcane | Brain | Conclave | Darkseid | Defense Department Intelligence | Demons Three | Floronic Man | General Sunderland | Gorilla Grodd | Great Darkness | Maganto | Monsieur Mallah | Morgaine Le Fey | Nathan Ellery | Patchwork Man | Scarecrow | Solomon Grundy | Suicide Squad | Sunderland Corporation | Un-Men

Movies
Swamp Thing (1982): Anton Arcane | Un-Men
The Return of Swamp Thing: Anton Arcane | Un-Men

Television
Swamp Thing (1990): Anton Arcane | General Sunderland | Un-Men
Swamp Thing (1991): Anton Arcane | Un-Men (Doctor Deemo, Skinman, WeedKiller)
Swamp Thing (2019): Avery Sunderland | Conclave (Nathan Ellery) | Floronic Man | Matt Cable | Munson | Shawna Sunderland

Video Games
Anton Arcane | Un-Men (Doctor Deemo, Skinman, WeedKiller)

           Justice League.png Villains

Comics
Abra Kadabra | Amanda Waller | Amos Fortune | Amazo | Anarky | Angle Man | Anti-Justice League | Anti-Monitor | Appellaxians | Aquarius | Asmodel | Atomic Skull | Axis America | Bane | Barbatos | The Batman Who Laughs | Black Adam | Black Hand | Black Lantern Corps | Black Manta | Black Mask | Black Spider | Blockbuster | Blue Beetle (Dark Multiverse) | Brainiac | Bronze Tiger | Brother Eye | Brotherhood of Evil | Cadre | Calculator | Calendar Man | Captain Boomerang | Captain Cold | Castle Bat | Catalyst | Catman | Catwoman | Cheetah | Chemo | Cheshire | Circe | Clayface | Clock King | Cluemaster | Copperhead | Construct | Cosmic King | Crazy Quilt | Crime Syndicate of America | Crucifer | Cyborgirl | Darkseid | Dark Supergirl | Deadline | Deadshot | Deathstroke | Demolition Team | Demons Three | Despero | Doctor Alchemy | Doctor Destiny | Doctor Double X | Doctor Impossible | Doctor Light | Doctor Manhattan | Doctor Phosphorus | Doctor Polaris | Doctor Poison | Doctor Psycho | Doctor Regulus | Doctor Sivana | Dominators | Doomsday | Dragon King | Dumas | Earthworm | Eclipso | Electrocutioner | Elite | Empty Hand | Enchantress | Epoch the Lord of Time | Eradicator | Evil Star | Fatal Five | Felix Faust | Fiddler | Firefly | Floronic Man | Funky Flashman | Gamemnae | General Eiling | Genocide | Gentleman Ghost | Golden Gilder | Goldface | Gorilla Grodd | Great Darkness | Gunhawk | Harley Quinn | Hector Hammond | Hellgrammite | Human Flame | Hyena | Ibac | Icicle | Imperiex | Intergang | I.Q. | Johnny Sorrow | Joker | Key | Killer Croc | Killer Frost | Killer Moth | Kite Man | Kobra | Kobra Cult | Krona | League Buster | League of Assassins | Legion of Doom | Lex Luthor | Libra | Lobo | Mad Hatter | Mageddon | Magpie | Manchester Black | Manhunters | Matter Master | Maxwell Lord | Mekanique | Merlyn | Mirror Master | Mister Atom | Mister Mind | Mister Nebula | Mr. Freeze | Mongul | Mordru | Morgaine Le Fey | Multiplex | Nekron | Nekron (Pre-Crisis) | Neron | Neutron | Nightshade | Obsidan | Ocean Master | Overman | Pariah | Parademons | Parasite | Penguin | Perpetua | Pied Piper | Plastique | Poison Ivy | Professor Ivo | Professor Zoom | Prometheus | Psycho-Pirate | Queen Bee | Queen of Fables | Ra's al Ghul | Rainbow Raider | Rama Khan | Red Death | Red King | Red Panzer | Red Volcano | Riddler | Roulette | Royal Flush Gang | Satanus | Scarecrow | Science Squad | Secret Society of Super Villains | Shadow-Thief | Shaggy Man | Shark | Simon Stagg | Sinestro | Solomon Grundy | Star Sapphire | Starbreaker | Starro | Steppenwolf | Suicide Squad | Superboy-Prime | Tattooed Man | Terra-Man | T.O. Morrow | Two-Face | Upside Down Man | Ultra-Humanite | Vandal Savage | Volcana | Warp | Weather Wizard | White Martians | Wizard

Theatrical Movies
Justice League: Steppenwolf | Parademons (Parademon Scout) | Darkseid | Black Clad (Black Clad Alpha) | Lex Luthor | Deathstroke | Ares
Zack Snyder's Justice League: Darkseid's Elite (Darkseid, Steppenwolf, DeSaad, Granny Goodness, & Parademons) | Lex Luthor | Deathstroke | Black Clad (Black Clad Alpha) | Ares | Joker
DC League of Super-Pets: Lulu | Lex Luthor | Mercy Graves | Whiskers

Direct-to-video Movies
Justice League: The New Frontier: The Centre | Captain Cold
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths: Crime Syndicate of America (Owlman, Ultraman, Superwoman, Johnny Quick, Power Ring, J'edd J'arkus, & Black Power) | Lex Luthor | White Martians | President Slade Wilson | Rose Wilson
Justice League: Doom: Legion of Doom (Vandal Savage, Bane, Cheetah, Ma'alefa'ak, Metallo, Mirror Master, & Star Sapphire) | Royal Flush Gang (King, Queen, Jack, Ace, & Ten)
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox: Professor Zoom | Wonder Woman | Aquaman | Ocean Master | Black Manta | Deathstroke | Lex Luthor | Clayface | Rogues (Captain Cold, Captain Boomerang, Top, Heat Wave, & Mirror Master) | Joker | Yo-Yo
Justice League: War: Darkseid | Desaad | Parademons | Ocean Master
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis: Ocean Master | Black Manta | The Trench | Lex Luthor
Justice League League: Gods and Monsters: Will Magnus
Justice League vs. Teen Titans: Trigon | Legion of Doom (Lex Luthor, Cheetah, Solomon Grundy, Toymaster, & Weather Wizard) | Atomic Skull | Ra's al Ghul
Justice League vs. the Fatal Five: Fatal Five (Emerald Empress, Mano, Persuader, Tharok, & Validus) | Bloodsport | Two-Face | Harley Quinn | Poison Ivy

Television
Justice League (TV Series): Brainiac | Darkseid | Lex Luthor | Cheetah | Star Sapphire | Shade | Copperhead | Ultra-Humanite | Solomon Grundy | Joker | Kanjar-Ro | Lord Orm | Deadshot | Felix Faust | Gorilla Grodd | Aresia | Morgaine Le Fey | Simon Stagg | Amazo | Volcana | Luminus | Firefly | Doctor Destiny | Despero | Giganta | Killer Frost | Sinestro | Parasite | Clayface | Metallo | Kalibak | Livewire | Weather Wizard | Toyman | Royal Flush Gang (Harley Quinn)
Justice League Unlimited: TBA

Video Games
Injustice: Gods Among Us: One Earth Regime (Superman, Wonder Woman, Yellow Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, Shazam, Nightwing, Raven, Hawkgirl, Sinestro, Black Adam, Killer Frost, Solomon Grundy, Catwoman, Bane, & Doomsday) | Joker | Lex Luthor | Deathstroke | Ares
Injustice 2: Brainiac | Gorilla Grodd | Captain Cold | Reverse Flash | Cheetah | Deadshot | Poison Ivy | Bane | Scarecrow | One Earth Regime (Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg, Nightwing & Black Adam) | Dr. Fate | The Lords of Order | Grid | Atrocitus | Joker | Darkseid

See Also
Justice League Dark Villains | Justice League International Villains | Justice Society Villains | Young Justice Villains

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