Parallax is a demonic parasitic entity dating back to the dawn of time. This parasite was the sentient embodiment of fear, traveling from world to world and causing entire civilizations to destroy themselves out of paranoia.
According to the Agent Orange storyline of the Green Lantern series before the Blackest Night event, Parallax was sealed inside a box on Maltus, the homeworld of the beings that eventually evolved into the Guardians of the Universe. Larfleeze and a few other aliens planned to make the biggest heist the universe has ever seen and raided Maltus. From the planet, they grabbed the box, which was worth an entire star system, and an old map that lead them to the Orange light, which was the Orange Power Battery, fueled by avarice. When Larfleeze and his companions reached Okaara and found the symbol of the Orange light, they fought for control of the Battery. The Guardians and their Manhunter servants attacked the palace. Many Manhunters and Guardians were killed in the battle, as well as one of the claimers to the Orange light. The battle ended with the Guardians making a deal, that they give the box back to them and that they will let one of them have the orange light and they will never enter the Vega system (the system that holds Okaara), ever. Apparently, after this, the Guardians imprisoned Parallax inside the Green Central Power Battery.
The Guardians of the Universe imprisoned Parallax within the Central Power Battery on Oa using fear's opposite energy, willpower. 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."
This was the reason why the rings were 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 were largely fearless. 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.
Centuries later, after the death of Lantern Abin Sur, a Human by the name of Hal Jordan became the Green Lantern of Sector 2814 for the first time. With great will power and defense against fear, Hal Jordan was the perfect selection for Green Lantern and proved it on a number of a occasions. However, over the coming years, the being that at the time was trapped inside the Central Battery, found a way to escape its imprisonment through Hal Jordan.
Since Sinestro hated Hal, he made Parallax choose Jordan as its tool to free itself. Parallax spent years influencing Hal, causing him increasing self-doubt, then fear and notably his premature whitening at the temples. Parallax's control over Jordan became nearly complete with Jordan's grief over the destruction of Coast City during the Reign of the Supermen! storyline, and it was Parallax who was responsible for Jordan's subsequent murderous activity, his apparent killing of Sinestro (which was later revealed to be an energy construct created by Parallax and Sinestro's manipulation to the creature's creation with his own Qwardian ring, created as the final stage of Jordan's susceptibility to the impurity in order to break his will), and Jordan's destruction of the Central Battery, which allowed Parallax to graft itself onto Jordan's soul.
However, Parallax didn't account for its host's amazing willpower which caused Parallax's plan to take years. Its plan took a major boast when the evil Mongul, with the help of the mad Cyborg Superman, laid waste to Coast City. It was that event that tipped Hal Jordan over the edge and allowed Parallax to take over.
Despite Parallax’s seeming conquest of Jordan’s soul, Jordan’s heroic tendencies managed to manifest themselves enough for him to sacrifice his life in order to reignite Earth’s Sun. Jordan’s soul (with Parallax still grafted onto it) subsequently became the newest host of the Spectre, the spirit of God’s vengeance.
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 Spectre eventually ejected Parallax from Jordan's soul, then departing in order to move onto the next recipient of the Spectre, while Ganthet guided Jordan's soul back to his own body, preserved after Jordan reignited the Sun.
His soul and thoughts finally clear for the first time in years, Jordan was resurrected, again taking his place as a Green Lantern; even regaining some of his lost youth (evidenced by his hair becoming brown again).
Together, Jordan and Kyle Rayner, along with fellow Green Lanterns John Stewart, Guy Gardner and Kilowog freed Ganthet, whom Parallax had possessed after his expulsion from Jordan's soul, and imprisoned the parasite back in the Central Power Battery on Oa.
The Sinestro Corps capture Kyle Rayner with the intention of making him Parallax's new host. Sinestro reveals to Kyle that Ion is actually an energy entity that needs a host, similar to Parallax. 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 (He also turns the hair on the top of Kyle's head grey, as he did Hal's temple hair). The new Parallax became a herald of the Anti-Monitor.
After the massacre of several Green Lanterns, Parallax leads an assault against Hal Jordan, John Stewart, and Guy Gardner, and brings them to Qward. The "Lost Lanterns" arrive to rescued the captured Lanterns. During the battle, Parallax murders Jack T. Chance after making him experience his repressed fear of his abusive family.
Kyle is currently trapped within his own mind. He is able to witness all that Parallax does and says from a 3rd person view, but is unable to stop it. Parallax confronts Kyle's personality inside a room constructed by Kyle's thoughts. Kyle "transforms" into Ion (as his mind allows him to dream up anything, he dreams up his powers), and the two battle. After being blasted back by Parallax and losing his Ion form, Kyle forms a power ring, places it on his finger, and appears in his original costume. Although putting up a valiant fight, Kyle loses. Parallax reveals Kyle's fear is that he has to live without his mother (the fear which allowed Parallax to possess Kyle's body). Before he leaves, Kyle stabs Parallax in the eye with a pencil. The creature, unnerved, comments that Kyle will always remain trapped, and with that, leaves. Kyle is about to smash a painting in frustration when he realizes that his mother secretly painted it years ago. With renewed faith in himself, Kyle walks into the painting and ends up in a field walking towards a bright, green star.
Kyle (as Parallax) is finally confronted by Jordan after threatening his brother and his family. Hal actually manages to beat Parallax until his rings power runs out. Parallax then absorbs Hal as John Stewart looks on in horror. John orders Guy to retrieve the real life painting seen in the one-shot of Parallax. As Guy returns and shoves the painting into Parallax's eyesight, Hal (who turns out to be the bright green light seen at the end of the one-shot) tries in vain to help Kyle fight Parallax, which has now begun sucking Kyle and Hal himself into the "ground". Kyle finally breaks free and with Hal escapes Parallax. Just as Parallax (now back in his monster form) attacks the lanterns, Ganthet and the other guardian, Sayd, arrive and suck Parallax into into four separate lanterns (Hal, Kyle, John, and Guy's, respectively). The four men then take their lanterns and hearing the Sinestro Corps oath, recite the Classic Green Lantern Oath.
During the events of the Blackest Night, in Green Lantern #50, Hal Jordan and the heads of the other Lantern Corps, and their duplicates, were attacked by the Black Lantern Spectre who was after Hal to pass judgement over him and try to turn him into a Black Lantern. Realizing that their power is no match to the Spirit of Vengeance, Hal asks Ganthet if he can summon the four Batteries of the Green Lanterns of Earth. Ganthet admits to that and summons the four power rings. Hal tells the others that the only way that they can defeat Black Lantern Spectre is if he becomes Parallax's host once again with Sinestro's power ring being the only thing that can release Parallax from the Power Batteries. Sinestro releases Parallax, but feels that since he is the master of fear, he should be the one that Parallax bonds with, but Hal stops him and succeeds in bonding with Parallax.
In Green Lantern #51, Hal, as Parallax, manages to free the real Spectre from the dead body of its former host, Crispus Allen, but then tries to destroy the Spectre. The other Lanterns prevent that from happening, with the Spectre grabbing Parallax and Star Sapphire Carol separating Parallax from Hal. Seeing his opportunity to bond with Parallax, Sinestro commands that he and Parallax bond with each other, but some other force manages to pull Parallax away from the battle and disappears, with a picture of Belle Reve Prison and a plaque with Hector Hammond's name on it saying that it has Parallax, but it is unknown as to who or what has Parallax.
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. Around Parallax are other monoliths bearing the symbols of the other Lantern Corps.
Later, when Hal Jordan, the Flash, 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. 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.
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. 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.
During the war against Volthoom, Parallax is summoned by Sinestro from the Central Yellow Power Battery. The Korugarian manages to bond with the entity and to control it, and uses the new power to fight the First Lantern. Later, he kills the Guardians of The Universe, with the exception of Ganthet.
Sinestro appears with the costume he wore while bonded with Parallax during the Forever Evil storyline, when he fights Power Ring.
It is revealed that Sinestro never released Parallax after the events of Forever Evil. Instead, he increased his mastery of the power of fear even further, subduing Parallax's influence and making it a part of him, rather than acting as a controlling figure. Sinestro gains the ability to call forth Parallax at will and command it, nearly killing Hal Jordan by doing so.
- Fear-Induced Energy Control/Manipulation: Parallax as the embodiment of Fear, is capable of generating, and manipulating vast amounts of energy. Parallax is capable of all of the immense abilities and powers of a Qwardian Power Ring. Parallax is also capable of creating solid energy constructs, such as creating a convincing Sinestro energy-duplicate for Hal Jordan to kill. His energy projection abilities are colored yellow.
- Fear Projection: Parallax has immense fear-casting powers, strong enough to easily scare the likes of Superman and Wonder Woman, except those who are capable of understanding and conquering inner fear such as Kyle Rayner and Batman.
- Mind Control: Parallax has immense mind-control powers, strong enough to easily scare and control the likes of Superman and Wonder Woman.
- Possession: It can take possession of someone's body when they feel even the slightest fear.
- Reality Alteration
- Time Manipulation
- Immortality: As a living entity of a emotional concept Parallax is for all purposes undying.
- Parallax has been able to control Barry Allen, Hal Jordan, and Kyle Rayner with relative ease, however Thaal Sinestro was able to control him.
- 101 Appearances of Parallax (New Earth)
- 28 Images featuring Parallax (New Earth)
- 2 Quotations by or about Parallax (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Parallax (New Earth)
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