Nero (DC Comics)

Alex Nero
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Green Lantern (vol. 3) #132 (January 2001)
Created by Judd Winick
Darryl Banks
Mark Bright
In-story information
Alter ego Alexander Nero
Team affiliations Black Lantern Corps
Notable aliases Ion
Abilities Qwardian Power ring

Alexander Nero is a fictional character, a supervillain in the DC Comics universe. The character was created by Judd Winick and Darryl Banks in Green Lantern (vol. 3) #132 (January 2001).

Fictional character biography

Nero was a destructive and mentally disturbed artist who was given a yellow Power Ring by the Qwardians, similar to Sinestro's. During his stint in the mental asylum, he was treated for several mental disorders such as schizophrenia, paranoid delusions, and bi-polar disorder. Nero claimed his parents were abusive, although given his state of mind, such assessments should not be taken at face value.

Nero was the second attempt by the Qwardians to take down the new Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, the first being Fatality. In order to find someone with the same imagination and artistic skill as Rayner the Qwardians found Nero, who had a history of drawing violent and dark pictures in his asylum. Nero was designed as the "archenemy" of Kyle Rayner, seeing how both are artists with limitless imagination. He escaped from the asylum only to be confronted by a combination of both the original Green Lantern Alan Scott and Kyle Rayner. A battle ensued and Alan Scott was seriously wounded by Nero, forcing Kyle to retreat and call upon the assistance of the JLA. Kyle Rayner asked the JLA not only to stop Nero but to be prepared to kill him, reasoning that Nero's ring was one of the most powerful weapons in the universe and his insanity made him a profound threat. While the JLA declined his request, they were unable to stop him in several skirmishes of hit-and-run. In the end, the Flash found tapes of his parents and Kyle played the images. Eventually, the images consumed Nero, traumatising him and resulting in his defeat.

Nero returned a short time later when the residual Central Power Battery energy made itself known (it was left in the sun following the sacrificial reignition by Hal Jordan in the crossover The Final Night). Both Kyle and Nero's power levels were greatly increased and they waged war in space to see who would lay claim to the power. Kyle was eventually able to defeat Nero and claim the power (which caused him to become Ion for the first time) and it was believed that Nero was taken or rescued by the Qwardians.

Nero was seen when the villainous Ultra-Humanite (I) imprisoned all super-powered beings of Earth and brainwashed them into becoming his private army.

One Year Later

Main article: One Year Later

Alex Nero returned, revealed as having masqueraded as Kyle during previous issues by Hal Jordan, who confronted him for his crimes.[1] Nero was presumed responsible for the massacres once thought to have been committed by Kyle. After a battle with Kyle and Hal Jordan, he was rendered into a vegetative state after being overwhelmed by Ion's power. Before he became totally vegetative, he revealed that he was forced to masquerade as Ion by an unknown group. Kyle proceeded to Oa to seek answers from the Guardians of the Universe, bringing Nero with him.[2] However, when Nero awoke on Oa in the Guardians' presence, he seemed to spontaneously release a massive amount of energy, as if exploding.[3] Held captive by the Guardians of the Universe, still broken and unstable but now conscious again, Nero revealed that he couldn't name his mysterious contractors. The Guardians confirmed that the same foe or foes that set Alex Nero (and Effigy) against Kyle had altered Alex's mind, expunging all his knowledge about the mysterious group.[4]

Nero was released from his sciencell along with Superboy-Prime and others during the Sinestro Corps' assault on Oa. Nero hid and eluded capture before finding and confronting Kyle and Sodam Yat near Oa in the Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Ion Special. During the battle it was revealed that the Sinestro Corps had been the ones responsible for manipulating Nero into impersonating Kyle. Working together, Kyle and Sodam Yat were able to defeat the mad artist and return him to his Sciencell. Despite possessing a yellow ring, Nero is not a member of the Sinestro Corps.

Following his participation in a Sciencell riot, Nero was executed by the Alpha Lanterns.[5] The pool of blood left over was later approached by a black power ring, which reconstituted Nero's entire body, turning him into a Black Lantern.[6]

Powers and abilities

As with the Green Lantern power ring, Nero is able to make solid light constructs at will using his yellow power ring, except that it is powered by the yellow energy of emotional spectrum based from fear. Nero's mental disabilities and psychosis allow him to use his raw imagination, creating constructs in numbers and complexity that dwarf those of most Green Lanterns, including Kyle Rayner. Rayner implied to the JLA that since his power ring can split an atom and cause an atomic explosion, Nero's ring might be capable of performing the same feat.


  1. Ion - Guardian of the Universe #4 (September 2006)
  2. Ion - Guardian of the Universe #5 (October 2006)
  3. Ion - Guardian of the Universe #6 (November 2006)
  4. Ion - Guardian of the Universe #8 (January 2007)
  5. Green Lantern Corps (vol. 2) #38 (September 2009)
  6. Green Lantern Corps (vol. 2) #40 (November 2009)
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