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Justice League: In Blackest Night
John Stewart on trial
Release Date: 2001
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Justice League: In Blackest Night is a 2001 TV movie that was originally released as two episodes. It is part of Justice League.


On the planet Ajuris 5, a tribunal of alien judges orders the robotic Manhunters to apprehend John Stewart. On Earth, John is walking down the street in his old neighborhood. He runs into one of his old high school teachers, but seems moody and withdrawn. In the Watchtower, Flash, Hawkgirl, and J'onn J'onzz detect the incoming Manhunters and fly to intercept them. Superman joins them later after finishing dealing with an earthquake. ("It was just a 4.0".)

The Manhunters and the League clash, but John steps forward and surrenders himself. The others are baffled as he allows himself to be handcuffed and transported away. They follow him to Ajuris 5, where a crowd of aliens vilifies and throws garbage at him.

John is put on trial for genocide. The prosecution's first witness, space pirate Kanjar-Ro, testifies that he was delivering a shipment of smuggled weapons to the neighboring planet, Ajuris 4, when John pursued him. A stray blast from his ring accidentally hit a vulnerable part of the planet's crust, and the entire planet exploded, taking three billion lives with it.

During a recess, the League confronts John, demanding to know why he hasn't spoken up in his own defense. John says there's nothing to defend: he's guilty.

Despite John's confession, Superman says he's not convinced. He and J'onn take off to investigate the ruins of Ajuris 4. Flash is ordered to stall the trial, and steps forward as John's lawyer, despite being warned that he will also be executed if John is sentenced to death ("That's how we solved our lawyer problem long ago", as one judge explains). Hawkgirl confronts John's comrades from the Green Lantern Corps, but they are unwilling to help him, calling him a disgrace. Angry, Hawkgirl battles four of the Lanterns, defeating all four who attack without her mace. Finally, Kilowog, the only Lantern who didn't participate in the fight, decides to go and help in John's defense. Unfortunately, even with glowing character testimony from Kilowog and others, Flash is unable to press his case. As the prosecutor attacks the Lanterns, the proceedings become more serious, and the Guardians of the Universe, watching from Oa, decide it is time to intervene themselves, traveling to Ajuris 5. Superman and J'onn travel to Ajuris 4's moon, and immediately see something wrong: the moon should have lost its orbit after the planet was destroyed, but it's still there. Investigating a cave, they find an enormous hologram generator. They are then attacked by Ro, who has followed them, intending on maintaining his "secret" but he is brought down by Hawkgirl, who has followed him.

John is pronounced guilty, and he and Flash are sentenced to death. Superman and J'onn arrive back just before the execution is carried out. On his signal, Hawkgirl destroys the generator, and the intact planet re-appears. It was all a frame-up. John then pounces on Ro, demanding to know why he did this. Ro confesses that the Manhunters paid him to carry out the charade – intended to draw the Guardians away from Oa. The Justice League then notices that Guardians leaving the trial.

The Guardians arrive at the Manhunters' base, only to find them gone, just as the Justice League finds them. They admit that they built the Manhunters several thousand years ago, before the formation of the Corps, but decommissioned them, as the robots were unable to see the “gray area” between right and wrong. They reprogrammed the robots for more mundane tasks, but now realize that the Manhunters have been scheming to retake their old power.

The League returns to Oa to find it under attack by the Manhunters, who have taken control of the outer defense systems. With the assistance of the other Lanterns, who were convinced by Hawkgirl to help, they batter their way through the defenses, but are too late to prevent the lead Manhunter from entering the central battery, absorbing its power into himself. However, John absorbs the battery's power into his ring, reciting the Corp's incantation: somehow, this has the effect of cleansing the power of the Manhunter's influence, and returning it to the Battery. The Manhunters are repelled.

Restored to honor in the Corps, John leaves Oa with his teammates.



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