The Heart of Darkness is a mystical black diamond and an object featured in the DC universe.
Comic Book History
The Heart of Darkness is a small, black diamond first mined on the desolate world of Apokolips. Millennia ago, it was cut and shaped and used as a tool to crush those who opposed Apokolips' ruler Darkseid. The diamond was later mystically tethered to the demonic agent of vengeance known as Eclipso.
At some point, the black diamond was brought to Earth where it eventually came into the possession of scientist Bruce Gordon. Eclipso's essence, trapped within the diamond, surged outward and used Gordon as a host for his corruptive influence. Gordon fought for years to free himself from Eclipso's control, but invariably, the Heart of Darkness always returned to his person.
Following an event known as the Day of Vengeance, Eclipso's power took root in another human host - the insane Jean Lorin. As a willing recipient of Eclipso's power, Loring wore the Heart of Darkness as a broach upon her cowl. She lost it during Countdown, and Bruce Gordon came back.
The Heart of Darkness diamond made an appearance in the 2-part episode "Eclipsed" of the Justice League series. Eons ago, early humans and an ancient race of serpentine moon worshippers known as the Ophidians waged war for control of the Earth. Over the years, the Ophidians were beaten to the point of extinction. Hoping to find a way to strike back, a group of Ophidian warriors performed a ceremony during a solar eclipse which placed their souls in their creation, the Heart of Darkness. Fearing what would come, ancient humans built a temple around the site of the ritual, which was to be guarded for all time.
Whoever held the crystal would be compelled to destroy all of humanity by any means possible. Individuals influenced by the Heart of Darkness could be identified by their behavior: their constant search for ways to destroy humanity while humming the chant the Ophidians sang during the old Ophidian ritual.
There were only 2 ways to break the spell: show the influenced person intense light, or decapitate the host. The Heart's victims showed no memory of their actions under the artifact's control.
In the 21th century, American soldiers who were on a mission to stop a foreign warlord, found the Heart of Darkness and overpowered Mophir, the last of the guardians of the temple. Burns, who had taken the crystal, learned of nuclear weapons and tried to use them, but failed. However, he managed to give the crystal to General McCormick, who had just overseen development of the AFD. Learning of the Justice League, the possessed McCormick drew them to a power plant, where he managed to give the Heart to Wonder Woman. She stole the AFD and smuggled it aboard the Watchtower, handed the Heart to J'onn J'onzz, who unloaded the device before giving the crystal to John Stewart.
Having learned of the Heart from Mophir, Flash began using a light-inducing gemstone Mophir had given him on the League, but the possessed John destroyed it. He was subdued and dropped the crystal, but Hawkgirl shattered it with her mace, causing it to explode into shards. The shards became embedded within the skin of all the Justice Leaguers-save the Flash, who was fast enough to avoid the shards.
In addition to hunting the uninfected Flash, the possessed League members sent the AFD into the Sun, which would destroy it and doom human kind. However, Flash was able to drive the shards out of the Leaguers with a searchlight, and the Justice League subsequently created a wormhole which drained the damaged matter away from the sun.
What happened to the shards is unknown, but they were likely collected and stored away by the League, in order to prevent the Ophidians' legacy from ever resurfacing.
- Soldier Burns
- General McCormick
- Wonder Woman
- Green Lantern (John Stewart)
- Justice League (except of Batman and the Flash)