Parallax (comics)

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Parallax
The Parallax creature.
Art from Green Lantern: Rebirth #3, by Ethan Van Sciver.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Green Lantern vol. 3, #50 (March 1994)
Created by Original concept:
Ron Marz
Darryl Banks
Parallax creature:
Geoff Johns
Ethan Van Sciver
In-story information
Team affiliations Sinestro Corps
Abilities Hal Jordan/Kyle Rayner:
Large-scale reality alteration
Control over time
Parallax creature:
Flight
Possession
Mind-control
Fear-induction
Solid energy constructs

Parallax is a fictional comic book supervillain in the DC Comics universe. Created by writer Ron Marz and artist Darryl Banks for Green Lantern vol. 3, #48 (January 1994), Parallax was originally devised as the new supervillain identity for former Green Lantern protagonist Hal Jordan. After further changes for the Hal Jordan character over the subsequent years (sacrificing his life in order to reignite Earth’s Sun in the 1996 crossover storyline "The Final Night", and Jordan’s soul subsequently becoming the newest host of the Spectre in the 1999 miniseries Day of Judgment), 2004's Green Lantern: Rebirth once again cast Jordan as a heroic Green Lantern and explained Parallax as an ancient entity embodying the yellow light of fear which possessed Jordan and drove him to villainous action. Parallax was revealed to have been once imprisoned within the Central Power Battery on the planet Oa, from which all Green Lanterns derive their power, and was the reason for the yellow impurity that in the past rendered the rings useless against anything yellow.

In 2009, Parallax was ranked as IGN's 92nd Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.[1]

History[edit]

Green Lantern vol. 3, #50 (March 1994). Hal Jordan becomes Parallax. Cover art by M.D. Bright.

In 1994, in an effort to generate interest in its Green Lantern comics, DC replaced Hal Jordan, who had been the primary Green Lantern since the late 1950s, with the character Kyle Rayner, and eliminate the Green Lantern Corps which had served as supporting characters in the series. This was done in the story "Emerald Twilight", beginning Green Lantern vol. 3, #48 (Jan. 1994). Following the complete destruction of his home town Coast City by the villain Mongul, Hal Jordan descends into madness, destroying the Green Lantern Corps, killing his friend Kilowog and all of the Guardians except for Ganthet. After this, Jordan assumed the name Parallax and became a supervillain. As detailed in the crossover Zero Hour: Crisis in Time, Parallax attempted to rewrite history in order to stop the destruction of Coast City by using chronal energy, pulled from the universe by the combined power of the rings of the Green Lantrens he had killed. While Kyle Rayner became the primary Green Lantern of Earth for the next decade, Hal Jordan terrorized the DC universe as the villain Parallax and attempted to make the Cyborg pay for the destruction of Coast City.

To restore Hal Jordan to heroic status, DC retconned Parallax/Hal Jordan's attempt to recreate the universe as being motivated by an effort to resurrect the dead and bring peace to the world. Hal eventually sacrificed his life to reignite Earth's sun after it was nearly completely eaten. His soul not at peace, Hal then became the new Spectre to seek redemption for what he did as Parallax. The 2004 miniseries Green Lantern: Rebirth, written by Geoff Johns and penciled by Ethan Van Sciver, revealed that Parallax was actually a parasitic entity dating back to the dawn of time and born from the yellow of the emotional spectrum. The parasite was the sentient embodiment of fear, traveling from world to world and causing entire civilizations to destroy themselves out of paranoia.

The Guardians of the Universe imprisoned Parallax within the Central Power Battery on Oa using fear's opposite energy, willpower, along with the aid of one of the fear's counterparts, Ion. Parallax had lain dormant for billions of years, its true nature hidden by the Guardians to prevent anyone from trying to free it. Being yellow in color, Parallax eventually came to be referred to as simply "the yellow impurity", a flaw, whose nature was kept secret from the Corps, that made their rings useless against the color yellow: Parallax weakened its power over the corresponding spectrum; hence, only someone with the willpower to overcome great fear could master the power ring. Thus, when recruiting new Green Lanterns, the Guardians were careful to look for recruits that could do this. When the renegade Sinestro was later imprisoned in the Power Battery himself, his Qwardian yellow power ring tapped into Parallax's power and awakened it.

Kyle Rayner becomes Parallax's newest host. Art by Ethan Van Sciver.

Since Sinestro harbored hatred for Hal, Parallax chose Jordan as its tool to free itself. Parallax apparently spent years influencing Jordan, causing him to experience increasing self-doubt as well as causing his hair to prematurely whiten at the temples. Jordan's grief over the destruction of Coast City let Parallax influence Jordan's subsequent murderous activity, his apparent killing of Sinestro (actually a hard light construct), and Jordan's destruction of the Central Power Battery.

After it was learned something amiss was happening on Oa, a task force (as shown in the Emerald Fallout series), which consisted of Guy Gardner, Wonder Woman, Captain Atom, Alan Scott, Martian Manhunter, Ferrin Colos of the Darkstars, and Arisia, ventured to Oa to discover the cause of Guy Gardner's visions of its destruction that were brought about by him wielding Sinestro's power ring (which was also fueled by the power expelled by the Guardians, their rings, batteries, or Parallax himself). On Oa, the task force confronted Hal, but he easily defeated them. Only Alan Scott and Guy Gardner were even able to manage to get a hit on Jordan. Guy proved to be the most effective against Jordan because he could absorb the energy that Jordan was using against him in the battle. Jordan still managed to quickly overpower Guy and destroy his Qwardian power ring. Jordan proceeded to send the whole task force (who were all knocked out from the beating they suffered) back to Earth.

Since Parallax was gone from the Oan Power Battery, the final power ring conferred to Kyle Rayner did not have any weakness against yellow. The young ring bearer also has some limited resistance to the fear entity's influence as Rayner is a Green Lantern who understands fear alongside with his strong will. Despite being possessed by Parallax, the positive aspect of Jordan's personality would resurface occasionally, eventually leading the infected Jordan to use Parallax's powers to reignite the Sun during the event known as "The Final Night", and later aiding the universe's greatest heroes to stop the rogue angel Asmodel from raising Hell to Earth and Heaven in Day of Judgment. Jordan's infected soul later bonded with the Spectre, who eventually expelled Parallax from Jordan. The Spectre itself left to move onto the next human host. Ganthet guided Jordan's soul back to his own body, preserved after Jordan reignited the Sun. His soul and thoughts finally gaining clarity for the first time in years, Jordan was resurrected, again taking his place as a Green Lantern. Together, Kyle Rayner and fellow Green Lanterns John Stewart, Guy Gardner, a resurrected Kilowog, Hal Jordan, and Ganthet imprisoned the parasite back in the Central Power Battery on Oa.

Despite this reintroduction of the "yellow impurity", which is now referred to as the "Parallax Fear Anomaly", the power rings' weakness against yellow no longer applies, as experienced wielders are now able to consciously recognize its source, and overcome the fear associated with it. It is still, however, a considerable weakness for new Green Lantern recruits and rookies, who must be taught the impurity's nature and how to combat it. During training, new recruits' rings may falter at times against yellow objects, and/or when a recruit is experiencing panic or fear.[2]

Sinestro Corps[edit]

Parallax upon absorbing both Rayner and Jordan, revealing its true color. Art by Ivan Reis.

Sinestro's Sinestro Corps captures Kyle Rayner with the intention of making him Parallax's new host. Sinestro reveals to Kyle the existence of Ion. Sinestro also informs him that Ion is actually an energy entity that needs a host, similar to Parallax, and it is now attached to Kyle's soul. Sinestro removes the Ion entity from Kyle, who is immediately taken over by Parallax. Parallax then clothes itself in a new uniform (which appears as a combination of Kyle's original Green Lantern costume and the costume Hal Jordan wore as Parallax) and returns to Qward with the Sinestro Corps.

Parallax becomes a herald of the reborn Anti-Monitor alongside Hank Henshaw, Superman-Prime, and Sinestro himself.[3] After the massacre of several Green Lanterns, Parallax leads an assault against Hal Jordan, John Stewart, and Guy Gardner, and brings them to Qward.[4] The "Lost Lanterns" arrive to rescue the captured Lanterns. During the battle, Parallax murders Jack T. Chance after making him experience his repressed fear of his abusive family.

During his possession by Parallax, Kyle witnesses everything that Parallax does, including his murder of Jack. Kyle and Parallax confront each other in a room constructed by Kyle’s memories. Kyle changes into Ion and fights Parallax and later conjures a power ring and his original costume. After fighting Parallax for a while, Kyle stabs Parallax with a pencil and regains his self-worth when he sees a painting that his mother painted several years ago. Kyle walks into the painting and ends up in a field walking towards a bright, green star.[5]

Later on Earth, Parallax is about to kill Hal’s brother and family when Hal confronts him just before his power ring runs out of power. Hal then tries to free Kyle by reminding him of how fearless his mother was even on her deathbed. Parallax then absorbs Hal into himself; this twofold increase of his powers upon combining the strength of both of his hosts turns him his natural yellow color and develop a costume that more closely resembles the one he wore when Jordan was his only host. Soon after, Guy comes to Parallax with Kyle's mother's painting. This, along with Hal's aid, allows Kyle to fight Parallax from within, and the two manage to escape from Parallax. Now in its original form, Parallax begins to attack Hal, Guy, John, and Kyle. Ganthet and Sayd arrive and imprison Parallax within the Earth Lanterns' four Power Batteries.[6] The effects of Parallax within the four Power Batteries has yet to be revealed.

In Green Lantern vol. 4, #41 (2009), it was revealed in the third part of the Agent Orange arc that Parallax was once sealed in a box that Larfleeze had stolen from the Guardians of the Universe. The box was returned to the Guardians in exchange for the orange light of avarice.

"Blackest Night"[edit]

The birth of Parallax.

While Jordan and his allies defend Coast City against the Black Lantern Corps, the Black Lantern Spectre attempts to claim him. Believing that the Spectre fears Parallax, Hal Jordan has Ganthet summon the power batteries that currently held it. Once summoned, Hal allows Sinestro to release Parallax and, once it's free, provokes it into merging with him. A resulting explosion of yellow light quickly fades and soon reveals that Parallax is in full control of Hal and eager to challenge the Spectre once more.[7] Parallax tears into the Black Lantern Spectre's body, freeing the real Spectre and destroying the facsimile. Parallax then attempts to destroy the Spectre, who uses his own fear for it, coupled with the love Carol Ferris feels for Hal, to separate Parallax from its host. Parallax is then pulled away by an unknown force to an unknown location.[8]

After Sinestro becomes a White Lantern, he views the history of the emotional spectrum, and discovers that the first creature in existence to feel fear had evolved into Parallax.[9]

"Brightest Day"[edit]

The Flash (Barry Allen) becomes a host of Parallax, from Green Lantern vol. 4, #59 (November 2010).

Parallax is later revealed to have been transported to planet Ryut, where a cloaked villain trapped the fear entity in some kind of energy bubble and chained it to a monolith bearing the Sinestro Corps symbol.[10] Around Parallax are other monoliths bearing the symbols of the other Lantern corps.

Later, when Hal Jordan, the Flash (Barry Allen), and the rest of their allies try to find the emotional entities, they locate Parallax (apparently under the command of the mysterious figure) and the Scarlet Speedster becomes the latest host for the fear entity after it senses the hero's concerns for Jordan's safety.[11] By inhabiting the living generator of the Speed Force, Parallax is even more powerful by combining the extradimensional energy the speedster creates with its own powers. Despite this, the embodiment of fear still desires Hal Jordan as its host as they fight. However, an intervention by the mystery villain prevents Parallax's attempts, and reveals that Jordan now has the skills to resist it anyway. As the embodiment of compassion, Proselyte, began to free the Flash from Parallax's control by reigniting his emotion for compassion over his fear, the embodiment of hope, Adara, began fighting the cloaked villain, who reveals that all this is actually a ruse so that he could capture them all — which he does — revealing himself to be the renegade guardian Krona.[12]

War of the Green Lanterns[edit]

When Krona attacks Oa, he places Parallax inside the Central Power Battery, restoring the yellow impurity and giving him control over almost all Green Lanterns.[13] Fortunately, Hal, John, Guy and Kyle are able to resist Parallax's influence due to their past experience with it, using the rings of the other six Corps to fight off Krona's forces long enough for Guy using the rings of the Red Lantern Corps and the Star Sapphires simultaneously to tear the Central Power Battery's shell away and remove Parallax.[14] After Krona's defeat, Parallax escaped along with the other entities and is currently at large in the universe.[15]

The New 52[edit]

In The New 52, it is shown that Parallax is in the Yellow Central Power Battery where the entity stays until he is released by Sinestro at the conclusion of the "Wrath of the First Lantern" story. In order to destroy the First Lantern Volthoom, Sinestro allows Parallax to possess his body. Contrary to previous hosts of Parallax, this time however, Sinestro is in control of the entity instead of the other way around. Their effort in defeating Volthoom however proves to be unsuccessful. After Volthoom is defeated by Hal Jordan and Nekron, Sinestro as Parallax proceeds to kill the Guardians of the Universe, sparing only Ganthet and Sayd in the process. Sinestro then stated his intention to travel far from Oa and release Parallax.

Sinestro was seen wearing the same costume he wore as Parallax during the Forever Evil storyline, implying that he was still bonded with Parallax at that point. In his own series, Sinestro is shown without the Parallax entity, confirming that he had released it sometime prior to the start of the book.

Powers and abilities[edit]

Parallax has immense fear-casting and mind-control powers, strong enough to easily frighten and control the likes of Superman, Wonder Woman, and even someone like Spectre, except those who are capable of understanding and conquering inner fear such as Hal Jordan or Batman.[16] Strangely, it was unable to control Alan Scott even though he experienced fear from Parallax (Abin Sur explains that in humans fear is intellectual, which may have something to do with the ineffectuality of Parallax's powers[17] and the fear entity itself mentioned that Alan's power differs from the fear entity, the Guardians, and the Green Lantern Corps as they derive their powers from emotional spectra[16]), although he did experience a fever which led him to increasingly weaken during Parallax's attempts. It can take possession of someone's body when they feel even the slightest fear. Parallax is also capable of creating solid light constructs, such as creating a convincing duplicate of Sinestro for Hal Jordan to kill. Parallax can create both green and yellow objects or creatures. As a being of pure energy, Parallax has no true physical form of its own; it generally changes into forms that will instill fear in its victims.

Other versions[edit]

In Booster Gold vol. 2, #2 (2007), one panel shows an alternate timeline where the Sinestro Corps are formed years earlier than they should have been. In this alternate timeline, Tomar-Re is Parallax's host.

In JLA/Avengers, the Parallax-possessed Hal Jordan makes a brief appearance, flying into a rage after the apparent death of Barry Allen and Clint Barton during the fight with Krona, but the chronal chaos throughout the battlefield quickly replaces him with Kyle Rayner.

In other media[edit]

Films[edit]

  • An entity resembling Parallax makes a brief appearance in the animated feature Green Lantern: Emerald Knights. During the sequence featuring the Atrocitus prophecy about the creation of the Sinestro Corps, an assemblage of corps members unite the power of their rings creating a Parallax-like creature.
Parallax devours Hector Hammond's fear and life force in Green Lantern.
  • Parallax appears as the main antagonist of the 2011 film Green Lantern[18] voiced by Clancy Brown. Concept art of Parallax's appearance in the film were released through the internet, along with pictures of action figures based on the creature.[19] Footage of Green Lantern at WonderCon briefly showed Parallax in action.[20] In the movie, Parallax is an entity that absorbs the life force of worlds that he then destroys. In this appearance, Parallax absorbs life forces by feeding on the yellow power of the fear created by living beings,[21] and was created as a result of the Yellow Energy of fear possessing and corrupting Krona (portrayed in the film as a Guardian of the Universe). Abin Sur had imprisoned the entity in the planet Ryut, but it later escapes and seeks revenge on the Green Lanterns and Oa, killing Abin. Parallax uses Hector Hammond as a pawn in his plans, but after Hector failed to destroy Hal Jordan, Parallax killed Hammond when he appeared on Earth. Then Parallax went on a rampage on Earth where some people were killed by him. Parallax was later destroyed by Hal Jordan by being lured into the Sun.

Video games[edit]

  • Parallax appears in DC Universe Online. He is the final boss of S.T.A.R. Labs Alert where he possesses Sinestro, Arkillo, Kilowog, and Hal Jordan. When each one is possessed, they end up changing; their faces darkening, their mouths stretching out, and gaining the symbol of Parallax in their mouths.

Roller coaster[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Parallax is number 92". IGN. 
  2. ^ Green Lantern Corps: Recharge #4 (December 2005)
  3. ^ Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special #1 (August 2007)
  4. ^ Green Lantern vol. 4, #21 (September 2007)
  5. ^ Tales of the Sinestro Corps Presents: Parallax (November 2007)
  6. ^ Green Lantern vol. 4, #24 (December 2007)
  7. ^ Green Lantern vol. 4, #50 (March 2010)
  8. ^ Green Lantern vol. 4, #51 (April 2010)
  9. ^ Green Lantern vol. 4, #52 (May 2010)
  10. ^ Green Lantern vol. 4, #53 (June 2010)
  11. ^ Green Lantern vol. 4, #59 (November 2010)
  12. ^ Green Lantern vol. 4, #60 (December 2010)
  13. ^ Green Lantern vol. 4, #64 (May 2011)
  14. ^ Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #10 (May 2011)
  15. ^ Green Lantern vol. 4, #67 (July 2011)
  16. ^ a b Green Lantern: Rebirth #6 (May 2005)
  17. ^ Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn #1 (December 1989)
  18. ^ "Green Lantern Website Launches". SuperHeroHype. October 6, 2010. 
  19. ^ "This Green Lantern toy is a massive spoiler". io9.com. February 15, 2011. 
  20. ^ "'Green Lantern' Wonder-Con Footage Screencaps". ComicBookMovie. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  21. ^ As stated by the Guardians in the explanation of the origin of the Green Lantern Corps at the beginning of the film and in the final trailer

External links[edit]