The Final Night

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"The Final Night"
Cover of 'The Final Night'  (1998), trade paperback collected edition
Art by Stuart Immonen
Publisher DC Comics
Publication date November 1996
Main character(s) Justice League of America
Creative team
Writer(s) Karl Kesel
Penciller(s) Stuart Immonen
Inker(s) Jose Marzan Jr.
Jeff Albrecht
Del Barras
Letterer(s) Gaspar Saladino
Colorist(s) Lee Loughridge
Patricia Mulvihill
Editor(s) Dan Thorsland
Ali Morales

"The Final Night" was a 1996 comic book crossover storyline that ran through a self-titled limited series and most of the comics published by DC Comics with a cover date of November 1996. It featured the main heroes of the DC Universe.[1] At the end of each issue is an in-story text piece written by S.T.A.R. Labs, giving advice and support.


The story begins as a young alien woman named Dusk arrives on Earth to warn the population that a giant extraterrestrial being, known as the Sun-Eater, is heading our way. Dusk is a member of an unknown alien race, and does not speak or understand a word of English, so Saturn Girl uses her telepathic powers to translate and teach her the language. Dusk has attempted to warn hundreds of worlds, prior to Earth, about the Sun-Eater. Each planet had tried, in its own way, to stop the Sun-Eater, but every attempt was as unsuccessful as the last one. This has convinced Dusk that the Sun-Eater is indestructible.

Despite her warnings, the Justice League still try to stop the Sun-Eater. For their first attempt, Mister Miracle tries using his boom tube to send it into another dimension. This proves unsuccessful, since they discover that the Sun-Eater is not entirely in our dimension. As a last resort, Superman and several other "heat-producing" heroes combine their energies to create a second sun and try to lure the Sun-Eater away from Sol. The Sun-Eater quickly consumes that sun before moving on to Sol.

As Sol is extinguished, Earth falls into chaos, and the planet starts to freeze. There are only five days to restore the sun, after which Earth will become too uninhabitable. Powerless to do anything to stop the freeze, the League tries to help control the chaos and to keep hope alive. Many people freeze to death. Wildcat is badly injured. Etrigan the Demon offers the entire world heat at the cost of their souls; the world rejects him, primarily because his plan was to shift Earth into Hell. Lex Luthor teams up with the League to try to reignite the Sun.

The events of this series cross over into other books as well. Superman encounters Ferro Lad, who would later make an abortive attempt to destroy the Sun-Eater. The Ray devotes his attentions to a small Mexican town. Tommy Monaghan (Hitman) holes up in his favorite bar, Noonan's.

Seeing Earth as just another failure (and after being attacked by an angry mob who had accused her of bringing the Sun-Eater to Earth), Dusk decides that it is time for her to move on. As she prepares for take-off, she encounters a stranger, and is shocked that he understands her language. The stranger takes Dusk on a quick trip around the world and shows her the League's efforts to keep hope alive. Dusk doubts that there's any hope left for the world. Eventually, the stranger disappears and Dusk is left alone in an alleyway. She is found by a small group of people and, thinking they are going to attack her again, prepares to defend herself. To her surprise, the group offer to take her to a shelter where she will be safe. This act of kindness gives her hope for the planet.

Meanwhile, scientists have realized that the sun is losing energy but not mass to the Sun-Eater. This will cause the sun to nova, and the explosion will catapult the Sun-Eater into another solar system where it will consume another sun. The assembled heroes construct a technological means of destroying the Sun-Eater. Lex Luthor angrily bows out of piloting the ship needed, revealing that he was in it simply to save his own skin, prompting Superman to volunteer in the hope that his powers will be restored by the solar surge as the sun is restored. Ferro Lad steals the ship, only to be shunted back to Earth by Hal Jordan, the former Green Lantern then known as Parallax. Parallax sacrifices his life to absorb the Sun-Eater and reignite the sun, simultaneously using his powers to safely restore it to its original form without causing any side-effects such as the mass flooding that would have resulted if the sun had been restored purely by Luthor's plan.

The League watches in astonishment, and Dusk says she no longer believes anything is impossible.


  • The Final Night saw the temporary death of Hal Jordan, with his sacrifice arguably redeeming him for his crimes committed as Parallax. At Jordan's funeral in Green Lantern vol. 3 #81, a large number of heroes and past Green Lantern supporting characters gathered to pay their respects. Hal Jordan would not return until the 1999 crossover storyline Day of Judgement, in which his spirit assumed the role of the human host of the Spectre. He later returned to life and was reinstated as Earth's Green Lantern in 2004's Green Lantern: Rebirth miniseries. His death in defeating the Sun-Eater remains a key point in the character's history, as it has been referenced in numerous comics since, including 2009's Blackest Night crossover storyline.
  • The re-introduction of Ferro Lad in post-Zero Hour continuity, whose death was a major event in the Legion of Super-Heroes' Silver Age adventures. Re-named Ferro, this new incarnation of the character joined the faction of the Legionnaires stranded in the present and later returned to the 30th Century with them.
  • In a short prologue story originally released as a free preview, the Sun-Eater destroyed Starfire's newly-settled world of New Tamaran, seemingly wiping out all of the Tamaraneans residing there. Though Starfire survived the cataclysm by aiding Dusk's escape to warn other planets, casualties included her sister and Titans villain, Blackfire, who was presumed dead until 2005's Rann-Thanagar War. The destruction of New Tamaran prompted Starfire to return to Earth, which later led to her return to the Titans.
  • In a later flashback to The Final Night occurring in the final page of Green Arrow vol. 2 #137 (Oct. 1998), it was revealed that prior to sacrificing his life, Parallax resurrected Oliver Queen, Green Arrow, who died in his own series in 1995. Queen made his official return in Green Arrow vol. 3 #1 in 2001.


The story earned the most votes for the Comics Buyer's Guide Fan Awards for Favorite Comic-Book Story and Favorite Limited Series for 1997.


  1. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1990s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 274. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. In this four-issue miniseries by writer Karl Kesel and artist Stuart Immonnen, the heroes of the present united with the Legion of Super-Heroes and the New Gods in an attempt to stop a 'sun-eater'.

External links

  • Comics Buyer's Guide Fan Awards

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