Black Lantern Superman is one of the many alternate costumes coming to downloadable content for Injustice: Gods Among Us in June!

The decayed variant takes inspiration from Blackest Night -- a 2009 DC Comics event that brought characters back from the grave as zombie agents of death: The Black Lantern Corps!

If members of the Corps had to be of the deceased variety -- you may be wondering what Superman's doing running around with dirty black duds and a lust for human hearts. The answer is more unusual than you might think -- and it's got nothing to do with 1992's iconic Death of Superman event! In fact, the DLC technically introduces a new character to the Injustice roster, but for the full story we'll have to whip through a few decades of superhero adventure! Warning: If sprawling sagas of life, death and multiple universes are too much for you, you may wish to go do something boring!

The Blackest Night DLC skin pack hits online stores June 11!

It should be noted that Blackest Night featured as part of Injustice pre-order exclusives; offering a generic zombie mode and Black Lantern Batman skin. As previously detailed; the resurrected Dark Knight was another technical new inclusion, based on the machinations of Darkseid and a little human cloning [read more]. In the wonderful case of Black Lantern Superman, we have to go all the way back to the beginning of the DC Universe!

In June 1938, the first appearance of Superman (in Action Comics #1) changed the course of American comic books forever! The success of the superhero archetype brought about more creations, which eventually saw Superman joined by a veritable universe of colourful superheroes! Sponsored by the conflicts of World War II, a Justice Society of America spawned iconic heroes like; Flash, Green Lantern, The Sandman, The Spectre, Dr. Fate, Hawkman, Hourman Wonder Woman and more.

After a period of dormancy for the superhero genre in the post-war decade; DC Comics relaunched their classic properties under modern guises, starting with Flash (Barry Allen) in 1956, and Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) in 1959. The introduction of this new generation supplanted their largely unrelated predecessors (Jay Garrick and Alan Scott) and created the divide of a Golden Age and Silver Age of DC Comics.

Given his massive success in multiple media types; Superman had never quite fallen under the collapse of the turnover of interests, or the rise of successful competing counterparts [eg; Captain Marvel]. The complications of this ever growing shared universe and refinements to characters meant increasing complications in the plot and sequence of events. With the JSA deposed in favour of a new era, it was determined the classics would continue on in their own timeline on the parallel Earth-Two -- complete with their own Golden Age Superman!

Supermen of two Earths battle on the cover of Justice League of America #74 (1969)!To further distinguish this alternate Superman from his continuing modern counterpart; the Earth-2 variety was rechristened "Kal-L" (as in early stories) and given a stylized S symbol on a more matured character.

The adventures of the Golden Age heroes continued with regular crossover meetings with their Earth-1 juniors. Come 1985; the initative of DC editorial was to streamline their catalogue of multiple Earths, removing them with a radical 12-part maxi-series called Crisis on Infinite Earths!

Written by Marv Wolfman and drawn by George Perez; Crisis would be one of the first major event series in comics history. It brought together thousands of versions of DC heroes and villains, gathered to confront the interdimensional menace of The Anti-Monitor -- a corrupt cosmic entity intent on ruling the Multiverse with the power he gained from destroying universes!

Both Supermen combined their powers as part of a special league gathered to battle the Anti-Montior. With Earth-2 erased, Kal-L would ultimately choose to fight alone against the interdimensional despot -- sacrificing himself to allow the other heroes to escape to the reborn DC Universe [a convenience of future publishing plans].

Earth-2 Superman would strike the final blow against the Anti-Monitor, accompanied by the Superboy of doomed Earth-Prime, and a cosmically powered hero named Alexander Luthor Jr. It seemed as if the final send-off to the first Superman would result in the extinction of this trio of heroes, but Luthor's powers over the dimensions would play out in the revelatory twist of 2006's Infinite Crisis!

Earth-2 Superman returns in Infinite Crisis!

In the twenty years between the two Crisis events; the DC Universe had been rebooted as a sequential, modern universe. Stories like Batman Year One reframed the origins of the heroes in a modern age, realigning the timeline to accomodate a consistent run from the Golden Age to present day.

In this new universe, only one modern Superman was needed. Infinite Crisis challenged that on the twentieth anniversary of the streamlining, when writer Geoff Johns introduced the survival of Earth-2 Superman and his fellows. They returned to the modern DCU to challenge its increasingly dark tone, having witnessed the new reality unfold from a pocket "paradise" universe created by Alexander Luthor Jr.

While Luthor Jr used the remains of the Anti-Monitor's technology to attempt to tune the universes back to something more palatable; Superboy-Prime would rise to become one of the deadliest new villains of the 2000s! Immune to kryptonite because of his Earth-Prime origins, and intent on bringing back the tropes of the Silver Age, he waged a bloody one-man war against all who opposed him! Caught somewhere in the middle, Earth-2 Superman (Kal-L) would once again join his modern counterpart, battling to stop his crazed ally!

The two Supermen would attack by flying Superboy-Prime to the poisoned remains of Krypton, where that planets red sun could strip them all of their powers. Superboy-Prime woud finally be subdued, but the toll of the fight would catch-up with Kal-L, who died of his injuries.

It was a touching conclusion for the first Superman, but of course, when Blackest Night saw the resurrection of dead heroes as emotive weapons against the living -- the Earth-2 Superman would return once again!

Black Lantern Superman causes trouble during Blackest Night!

In spin-off mini-series -- Blackest Night: Superman and Blackest Night: JSA -- the Black Lantern Superman would bedevil the likes of Superman, Superboy & Powergirl! Like all Black Lanterns, his mission was to destroy life by evoking the emotions that make us easy targets!

The Black Lantern Corps were the agents of event big-bad Nekron: entity of death who even ensnared the Anti-Monitor in his plot to destroy life! He was ultimately undone by the combined powers of the emotional spectrum and the emergence of a White Lantern entity of life! It's all a bit cosmic, but it made for one of the great DC epics of the last quarter century!

It should be said, heroes who'd been touched by death were briefly transformed by Black Lantern rings. Superman was among them, but had a more subdued version of his classic costume. The Black Lantern Superman skin being offered through Injustice: Gods Among Us is very specifically the Kal-L variety, evident in the short sleeves, wrist gauntlets, and five-fingered cape.

Blackest Night and Red Son costume packs offer three alternate skins for $2.99 (240 MS Points) and go on sale June 11! You can already preview the Black Lantern Superman skin as he battles Scorpion in the Mortal Kombat guests gameplay reveal trailer! Discuss upcoming DLC and much more on the DC Universe Injustice forum!