Black Lantern Symbol = Darth Vader Chin

Every once in a while (almost daily) a reader will write in with some crackpot theory about something happening in comics, and most of the time, I dismiss them summarily, because peolpe like conspiracy theories more than they like the boring reality of truth.  But sometimes, you think they might have something.  Now I'm not saying they do, but this one's a little interesting. 

Russell Smith wrote in and asked: "did you ever consider that the respirator of Darth Vader's helmet, if turned upside down, looks eerily similar to the Black Lanterns' symbol?"

No Russell, I had not, but thanks to the handy graphic you included, I can certainly see it.



  1. That’s a nice way to get me to subliminally associate the Black Lanterns with villainy.  I doubt this was done intentionally, but the designer of the symbol (Mr. Johns?) may been influenced by his subconscious (it happens to me all the time).

  2. I don’t even think you need to flip it upside down, use the vents as fingers and the bottom triangle as the hand.

     very neat though!

  3. Ethan Van Sciver designed the other corps symbols I think. He probably did this one too. Respect.

  4. triangle motif has always been part of Black Hand’s costume (I believe).  bars serve as fingers to make the whole symbol look like, believe it or not, a black hand.  I think this lies somewhere in the realm between subconscious and coincidence.  but it is fun to notice that those kinds of shapes, triangles, vertical bars, do lend themselves to images of evil.

  5. Wasn’t this the Black Hand’s symbol for some time or did Johns/Van Sciver design it when Black Hand showed up at the beginning of Rebirth?

  6. I forget where it was, but there was a comic with a whole section about Van Sciver’s thought process in designing the various ring symbols. Maybe the GL Encyclopedia thing that came out a couple years ago?

  7. there was this article on Newsarama:

  8. Mind=blown

  9. @TNC Ditto!

  10. These two things associating with each other, and the idea of Black Lanterns being minions of Darth Vader or of Darth Vader being a Black Lantern, effectively gave my inner geek an erection.

    Nay, a priapism.

  11. Darth Vader Chin would make for a great album name.

    Maybe not.

  12. Now I won’t be able to re-read Blackest Night without hearing the Imperial March.

  13. @TNC man, your insurance must cost an arm and a leg for your mind to be blown so often.

  14. As a designer i can say that sometimes ideas that I think are mine, are actually references that i’ve filed so deep into my brain, that it takes me a while to realize i’m borrowing a concept or application from somewhere else. Its part of living in a media intensive, visual culture. Its hard to find a truly original idea in this world. 

    I also wouldn’t be surprised if this was a conscious decision. Abstracting elements into a logo isn’t all that rare for designers. Did you know that the BMW logo is in fact an abstraction of an airplane propeller? 

  15. huhwhubuh?

  16. Yeah, flipping it upsidedown isn’t necessary.

    I can see how it’s kinda similar, but I don’t think it’s close enough to really be an important comparison. The top half of the Black Lantern symbol isn’t a triangle. And the bottom half is a solid black triangle, not a textured gray triangle like Vader’s under-chin. It’s a cool comparison, but I don’t even think it would be the unconscious inspiration. 

    The funny thing about conspiracy theories is that everybody believes the ones that strike a chord with them, and then completely dismisses all the other ones as if they were complete nonsense. (But if you add STAR WARS into a conspiracy, THEN they’re fun enough to believe in! ;))

  17. Not only that, but the Indigo Lanterns seem to be ripping off Tenderheart Care Bear.

  18. Plus Johns has made references to Star Wars in the series, im not sure what issue but near the end Hal Jordan flies out of Nekron and comments "and i thought he smelled bad on the outside.  This being a direct quote to The Empire Strikes Back, when Han cuts open the taun-taun on Hoth.  I think I’ll read the series over after I finish The Walking Dead series to look for more references.

  19. you know it to be true…Hal you are my son……bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha !!!