|“||FALL — TO — YOUR — DEATHS — TERRANS! AND — SHRIEK — IN — THE — EXQUISITE — TERROR — THAT — FEEDS — NEKRON! SLAKE — NEKRON'S — THIRST — FOR — FEAR! MAKE — HIM — STRONGER!||„|
|~ Nekron upon collapsing the Eiffel Tower, causing everyone on it to plummet down.|
|“||A fear-fraught epic starring the Justice League of America! Visualize the imminent annihilation of Earth--which only the Justice League can prevent! Picture the world abandoned by the JLAers--who absolutely refuse to risk their lives to save it! Imagine Wonder Woman snapping our heroes out of their apathetic stupor--and then pray that you're not just imagining it--because if she fails... THE EARTH DIES SCREAMING!||„|
|~ Issue #129's opening narration.|
Nekron is a major antagonist in DC's Justice League of America series, serving as the main villain in issues #128 and #129, "Death-Visions of the Justice League!" and "The Earth Dies Screaming!" (released in March and April of 1976).
He's an other-dimensional creature that grows stronger with and feeds on D-Fear, the terror felt by one who knows their death is imminent.
Nekron is a large monstrous humanoid with a slender tail and monkey-like feet. He has a purple/deep pink coloration (depending on the panel) all over his scaly body, and while he has a small blue beard, his mouth is sometimes also colored blue as well. The scales on his body stop near where his wrists and shins begin, though it's possible those scale-less parts are gloves and boots.
He has a skeletal head and neck that somewhat resembles a gas mask, but the filter cartridge canister being replaced with a long mouth that resembles a snake. Atop of said mouth there's also a sharp edge that looks like a nasal bone but likely isn't, and there are gaps on the sides of his head indicating something akin to ears. His head has a visor which are actually optic nerves according to one of the Guardians of the Universe, and three lights are always shining at variable intervals on these nerves.
Nekron appears to wear black shorts and a yellow belt, attached to which are similarly colored circular shield-like compartments containing all of his equipment. He also has non-visible body pouches (presumably like those of marsupials) in which he keeps other weapons.
|“||HA — HA — HA! YES! — MARVELOUS! — FEED — ME! NEKRON — GROWS — SO — POWERFUL!! HA — HA — HAAH!||„|
|~ Nekron's last words as he grows to his strongest state by absorbing Superman's D-Fear.|
Nekron is a ruthless creature of logic and desire, killing countless individuals across countless dimensions to absorb the terror they feel when they're about to die, which Nekron sees as waves of radiation that can be absorbed and a drug he's extremely obsessed with.
|“||COURAGE — OF — FEMALE — WITH — ROPE — HURTS — NEKRON! AND — WHEN — NEKRON — IS HURT... NEKRON KILLS!||„|
|~ Nekron upon beating Wonder Woman.|
The narration makes it clear that had the Justice League not snapped out of Nekron's control, he would've annihilated the Earth, and it's stated that he has done so with countless worlds from his native galaxy and across several other dimensions as well. It's never addressed if his own species was a victim to his desires, though it appears likely that they were.
As evidenced by his attempt to destroy Midway City with a solar prominence that only Hawkman could save, he doesn't care about innocent lives in the slightest, and will wipe out millions if it means one of his enemies dies trying to save them.
Like countless other supervillains, Nekron also has a tendency to speak in the third person, though it doesn't seem to be out of arrogance, outside of his claim as "Lord of Fear".
As described by one of the Guardians of the Universe, Nekron comes from an unknown dimension and world with physical laws different and unappliccable to ours, and has traveled to many realities, feeding on the D-fear of countless individuals, since it acts as something of a narcotic to his species which perceive fear and courage as tangible radiations.
During close investigation of the next world he planned to destroy, he studied Earth's well-known "world's greatest heroes" before arriving to Earth-One so he could make them unwilling to battle him and later eliminate them.
"Death-Visions of the Justice League!"
Without ever being detected, Nekron began to spread his gas in areas the JLA members were dealing with criminals, making them experience visions (called "Death-Visions" in the story) of their own imminent deaths, filling their hearts with a resolve to quit risking their lives as super-heroes, and to disband the Justice League.
Wonder Woman, having returned to active duty from her twelve trials, rejoined the ranks among the JLA (after resigning a few years ago due to losing her powers and being voted back as a full member by the other Leaguers in Wonder Woman #222), only to find herself as the only member unaffected by Nekron's Death-Visions since her absence meant Nekron hadn't studied her or even become aware of her existence. Superman orders Wonder Woman to voluntarily resign from the Justice League of America or be thrown out. Wonder Woman pleads her case, trying to get the Man of Steel to listen to reason. Questioning her teammates, Wonder Woman is told that the Justice League of America no longer felt the need to put their lives on the line.
The heroes elaborate, telling various events in the past few hours during their normal routines as heroes: Superman suddenly had a vision of his own death, at Lex Luthor's hands (a vision as horrifying as the destruction of Krypton, in his own words), and convinced he would die, he abandoned the conflict. In a routine encounter with drug dealers, Batman suddenly had a vision of his own death, at the hands of said drug dealers, so he abandoned the conflict. Black Canary, the Elongated Man, Green Arrow, and Hawkman shared similar stories. With Aquaman, the Flash, the Green Lantern, and the Red Tornado absent, Wonder Woman was left with overcoming her teammates' irrational fears alone.
Once all the JLA members were beaten, Nekron decided to singlehandedly take on Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern, while in the midst of charging his power ring. The Green Lantern survived Nekron's opening assault, then confronted the extra-dimensional alien, and since a Green Lantern must be born without fear Hal was immune to Nekron's gas and Death-Visions once he projected an image of the Green Lantern's own death into his mind. As they fought, the Guardians of the Universe had been monitoring Nekron's arrival on Earth, which was only moments ago to their sensors.
Unshaken, Green Lantern pressed his attack on Nekron, his courage and resolve being an anathema to Nekron. However, the creature had prepared himself for this and shot a nearby cliffside with his pistol, collapsing it and triggering an avalanche, then turning the falling stones into yellow gold, the color of fear and a Green Lantern's natural weakness, neutralizing the Green Lantern's power ring. Unable to save himself, the Green Lantern was buried alive. The power ring left the Green Lantern's hand, to alert the Justice League of America to Nekron's presence, at the Grand Canyon.
Wonder Woman rallied her teammates into action and went after the villain once they were informed of him. As Nekron dropped several civilians down the Grand Canyon and fed on their D-Fear, he was surprised to sense courage and to see the heroes saving his victims, since he thought he had de-activated them, expressing surprise at Wonder Woman in particular.
Even though the heroes' courage was weakening Nekron, he still had an advantage. Green Lantern's power ring, now wielded by Batman to aid in saving the tourists Nekron had placed in jeopardy, was out of power, Wonder Woman was no match for Nekron's strength and the rest, including Superman, were easily dealt with.
However, Wonder Woman's courage alone had been too much for Nekron, and so he chose to retreat, even with all the heroes minus Hawkman being incapacitated. Within the hour, the heroes recover, and the Justice League of America realize and admit that Nekron is to blame for their sudden cowardice. The hero Atom alerts the Justice League of America to a message from Nekron on the Justice League satellite. A solar prominence threatens to destroy Midway City, and Nekron warns that only Hawkman can save the city, but in doing so, the Hawkman will die. Hawkman contacts Hawkgirl and tells her wife to pack up all of their belongings and has Hawkgirl leave the city before it's too late. Still terrified of his own death, the Hawkman has no intention of sacrificing his life to save Midway City, abandoning his adopted home to its doom.
"The Earth Dies Screaming!"
Nekron declares that Hawkman is the only hero who can save Midway City from the massive solar prominence, Hawkman refuses to risk his life to save his city but Wonder Woman binds him in her Lasso of Truth, compelling him to save Midway City. Just as the two leave, The Flash, another JLA member, beams up to the satellite headquarters.
Hawkman and Wonder Woman work to evacuate Midway City before Nekron's solar prominence can destroy it, but Wonder Woman discovers that the solar prominence goes out of phase with reality whenever she tries to stop it, meaning Nekron has engineered the threat in such a way that only Hawkman can affect the solar prominence. Wonder Woman refuses to compel Hawkman to sacrifice his life to save Midway City. Instead, Hawkman and Wonder Woman begin evacuation procedures in Midway City.
Following Flash's arrival, the Red Tornado and Aquaman arrive to the Justice League Satellite as well, the former noticing that the Justice League of America is behaving strangely. The Flash announces his intention to resign from the Justice League of America, and Superman notes he has also been a victim of the "change" by Nekron. Much like the others, Flash tells how in a routine encounter with his arch-nemesis, Captain Cold, the Flash suddenly had a vision of his own death, at Captain Cold's hands and broke off their conflict. The Justice League of America explain what has happened to the Flash, then notice that the Red Tornado is no longer among them.
A Guardian of The Universe appears before the Justice League of America. The Guardian of the Universe reveals the fate of the Green Lantern and reveals all pertinent information regarding Nekron, then tasks the Justice League of America with stopping the other-dimensional threat. The Black Canary draws the Justice League of America's attention to one of their monitors.
The Red Tornado, disguised as Hawkman, stops the deadly flare, sacrificing his own existence to do so and saving Midway City. Wonder Woman beams aboard the satellite headquarters of the Justice League of America, and offers her condolences regarding the Red Tornado. The Flash, and Superman, seek out the Green Lantern, and his power battery. Nekron, however, had left behind a construct to keep the Justice League of America from recovering the power battery, a giant red robot.
Batman, the Elongated Man, Green Arrow and Wonder Woman confront Nekron in Paris, attacking the Eiffel Tower and feeding off the D-Fear of falling civilians.
Wonder Woman wraps her infinitely expanding Lasso of Truth around her teammates during the conflict, to compel them to overcome their irrational fear regarding risking their lives.
The other members, their natural courage revitalized by his actions, engage Nekron in battle again, while Wonder Woman lassos the Eiffel Tower to keep it from toppling over as Flash locates Green Lantern. Having found and saved Green Lantern from the rubble and recovered his power ring, now recharged by a still groggy Hal, Flash uses the ring's power to destroy Nekron's robotic construct just in the nick of time, since it had just defeated Superman.
The Flash and Superman, return to the satellite, with the Green Lantern's unconscious body and the Atom boosts Aquaman's telepathic powers with Green Lantern's power ring to cause Superman to radiate powerful emanations of fear, more specifically planting waves of terror in Superman's mind by conjuring up his Death-Vision again in a way Nekron never could. At the same time, Green Arrow, with Batman's assistance, disarms Nekron, weakening him even further. Flash returns to Earth to continue the battle against Nekron, now armed with the power ring.
Nekron is on the verge of murdering Batman and Green Arrow, so the latter calls to the Flash for aid, but the Flash balks, fearing he, himself, will die in the conflict, still under the effects of Nekron's gas. Wonder Woman wraps her Lasso of Truth around the Flash, to compel him to use the power ring against Nekron, forming a giant boot to kick Nekron.
The Black Canary transports Nekron to the satellite headquarters of the Justice League of America, and, weakened by his battle with the Justice League of America, the creature is immediately drawn to the waves of terror emanating off the Man of Steel.
He feeds off of Superman's D-Fear, replenishing his strength and becoming immense. So great is Superman's D-Fear that Nekron indulges himself, ultimately overdosing on Superman's terror and collapsing in defeat, shrinking down to his original size, so tiny he could easily fit in the hole of a sewing needle.
He was later imprisoned in suspended animation within the Justice League Satellite, and presumably died when it was obliterated during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, when the Anti-Monitor sabotaged and tampered with the reassembled Red Tornado causing him to self-destruct and taking the entire base with him.
Powers and Abilities
At the peak of his power, Nekron was an immensely powerful being, able to take on the entire Justice League. However, the Justice League's courage proved too much for him and he chose to retreat even though he had defeated them all.
He possessed superhuman strength, speed and durability, easily overpowering Wonder Woman while in his weakened state and smashing her against a mountain, knocking her out. Even hours after their first battle, she still felt a headache from their initial confrontation. After taking out Wonder Woman, Superman bull rushed him, flying at his head with both his fists and knocking him off his space craft, but even while in a weakened state, Nekron was unaffected by Superman's attack and quickly disposed of the Man of Steel.
Even after growing weaker due to Wonder Woman's courage, he used a defeated Superman's invulnerable body as a weapon, hurling it at Batman, Black Canary, the Elongated Man, and Green Arrow, taking them all out.
In their second battle where he grew even weaker, Nekron still had enough strength to restrain Batman with one arm while also restraining Green Arrow with his tail.
Nekron's mysterious gas, a substance that couldn't be properly analyzed by even the Guardians of the Universe, could induce Death-Visions that produced in heroes an exaggerated "selfishness" which removed their willingness to risk their lives. It could work on organic beings of any world, though machines like Red Tornado were immune to it. Nekron carried the gas within pink spheres which he also carried around and at one point used against Green Lantern.
Additonally, the gas appeared to be invisible to the eyes of everyone, since even when Green Lantern was directly attacked by it from a few meters away he still didn't take it into account.
Nekron's ship was a technological marvel, able to travel through dimensions and become invisible to the likes of Superman either by virtue of incredible speed, cloaking technology or something else, all while connected and mentally linked to Nekron, making him the only one the ship could answer to or be used by. It was able to release large amounts of gas while going undetected, and it took some time for even the godlike Guardians of the Universe to become aware of his presence.
The ship could also shoot powerful beams, capable of tearing through forests and manmade structures.
Nekron had a wide array of weapons and gadgets fit to battle Earth's mightiest heroes. His belt could shoot beams strong enough to knock Superman out cold for an hour, and the pistols he carried had reality-warping properties, able to turn falling debris into gold and shoot a solid kryptonite beam that could lance through the Man of Steel's flesh like a branding iron. Even without these abilities, they still packed enough firepower to sever the Eiffel Tower in half.
He could summon or control a nearly mile-long solar prominence (the Justice League hypothesized he simply pulled it out of the Sun) and direct it to Earth, yielding more power than an H-Bomb. Wonder Woman noted that having travelled 92 million miles through space must've cooled it somewhat, and when she tried to stop it with her lasso it phased right through, since Nekron had somehow programmed it so only Hawkman could stop it. Howver, this programming was merely visual, meaning anyone could disguise themselves as Hawkman to stop it, which is how Red Tornado was able to make the solar prominence disappear.
The last major piece of Nekron's arsenal seen in the storyline is a giant turtle-like crimson robot used to deter Superman and Flash from finding Green Lantern. On their own, they were no match for it, but when Green Lantern was rescued, the three proved too much for the mechanical monster and eventually Green Lantern was more than enough to smash its head open with one of his power ring's constructs.
In spite of his stellar might, his biggest flaw, alongside his lack of patience, was his obsession with D-Fear, which proved too much for him in the end once he overdosed. Aside from that, his main weakness was the inherent courage and resolve possessed by superheroes, meaning that even much weaker individuals like Batman could cause him pain.
|“||YOU — WHO — ARE — CALLED — GREEN LANTERN... PREPARE — TO — BE — DEACTIVATED! JUST — AS — YOUR — FELLOW — JUSTICE — LEAGUERS — HAVE — BEEN!||„|
|~ Nekron's first line while attacking Green Lantern from his ship.|
|“||LOOK — ON — ME — TERRAN! KNOW — THE — FEARSOME — POWER — THAT — IS — NEKRON! LORD — OF — FEAR!||„|
|~ Nekron's first line upon his reveal, introducing himself to Green Lantern.|
|“||SILENCE — BRASH — TERRAN! NEKRON — FEELS — PAIN! ...SENSES — GREAT — COURAGE! MUST — ELIMINATE! YOUR... OWN... DEATH — YOU — WILL — SEE! YOUR — D-FEAR — YOU — WILL — PROJECT — TO — NEKRON — TO — FEED — NEKRON!||„|
|“||BEING — EMANATES — GREATER — COURAGE — THAN — ANY — NEKRON — HAS — YET — ENCOUNTERED! MUST — BE — ELIMINATED!||„|
|~ Nekron as he battles Green Lantern.|
|“||NEKRON'S — STRENGTH — RETURNS! POISON — COURAGE — RADIATION — ABATED! — NEKRON — CANNOT — ERASE — LANTERN'S — COURAGE — BUT — TAKES — STEPS — TO — PREVENT — HIS — INTERFERENCE!||„|
|~ Nekron after burying Green Lantern.|
- Nekron was created by Martin Pasko and Dick Dillin.
- Not to be confused with the more prominent Nekron of the Black Lantern Corps, also from DC.
- Like many other Silver Age villains, Nekron hasn't made an appearance since his debut story. Given that his name was later used by another character (the aforementioned other Nekron) who has since become mainstay villain due to the impact of the Blackest Night storyline, it's likely that Nekron might never show up again.
- The Guardians of the Universe call him a Fear-Parasite, though it's unknown if this refers to his race or if it's a designation they've given Nekron.
- His speech pattern makes it seem as though he's a robot of some kind, but he also spits saliva and there's a whole race like him, so it's unclear if he's organic, technological, something in between or whatever else.