|Official name:||Great Heart|
|First Appearance:||Red Lanterns #17|
|Used by:||Guardians of the Universe|
The Great Heart was a device that was constructed by the Maltusians during the height of their civilization. At this point, their race was one of the oldest in the cosmos and had a mastery of technology. From their homeworld of Maltus, the species discovered the Emotional Spectrum that permeated all life. During this time, a number of them embarked on a mission to police all of space as it was rife with chaos and evil. Thus, a group of them formed a nascent faction that became known as the Guardians of the Universe. However, these blue-skinned beings determined that emotions themselves were a weakness as well as impediment to their evolution and that they themselves needed to be divorced from them in order to properly govern the cosmos. As a result, the Guardians removed emotions from their own forms which they siphoned into a single receptacle to contain it. Thus, all their sentiments and feelings were locked away in storage within a machine known as the Great Heart. The device itself was located beneath the surface of Maltus where it was situated within an underground city and situated at the top of a spire. Protection of this region was provided by a group of android-like bipedal machines that were tasked with guarding the city. These machines did not allow anyone entry unless visitors were cleansed of all emotions. As a result, any being that contained any form of emotion were attacked by the robotic caretakers who sought to cleanse them of such feelings that were sensed by the Great Heart itself. However, machines themselves that were devoid of such feelings were able to avoid this security feature of the city.
Rise of The Third Army
Following its creation, the Guardians of the Universe departed their home planet of Maltus where they relocated to the world of Oa. From there, they harnessed the Emerald Light of Willpower in the Emotional Spectrum which they used as a source of energy to fuel their efforts to police the cosmos. Among their creations first included the likes of the android Manhunters and later the Green Lantern Corps. Over the eons that followed, legends and stories spoke of the Guardians who had removed emotions from themselves which were stored within the Great Heart at Maltus. After the War of The Green Lanterns, the Oans decided that their Green Lanterns were a failure and determined that all emotions were a threat to universal harmony. As a result, they unleashed The Third Army that consisted of bipedal beings that assimilated organic life that were controlled by the Guardians will. After learning of this, Atrocitus made plans for his assault against his hated enemies and managed to take control of a detachment of Manhunters to serve him. However, he knew that these machines alone were not up to the task and thus the leader of the Red Lantern Corps sought out the Great Heart of legend in order to spread the stored emotions into the Oans themselves. Upon arriving at Maltus, he was plagued by the phantom of Krona and suffered from the emotional effects of the Great Heart but managed to find his way into the underground city. Once there, he was attacked by the android caretakers who attempted to cleanse Atrocitus of emotions of Rage though he resisted them. Ultimately, he managed to destroy the robots whilst his Manhunter servants managed to deactivate the Great Heart where they were ready to initiate the next stage of their master's plan. However, Atrocitus was visited by the recently freed Volthoom who intended to examine the Red Lantern's life history more closely. Afterwards, the First Lantern took the Great Heart and used it as a source of power to feed himself thus empowering himself further.
Wrath of The First Lantern
The Templar Guardians later arrived on Maltus with the intention of using the power of the Great Heart to heal their fallen comrades that had adopted a life without emotion. However, they were disheartened to learn that the Great Heart had been taken by Volthoom who took the artefact to Oa where he used it to restore the Oans emotions. This led to them experiencing emotions such as shame, grief and despair at the actions they had done in their immortal lives.
- According to Atrocitus, the Great Heart exerted an emotional influence on those that neared it as it made the Red Lantern sympathetic to Krona's phantom.
- The Great Heart is similar to the Evil entity that featured in All-Star Squadron Annual #1, where it was shown that the Guardians once purged themselves of evil which they placed within a globe and sent it to Earth-2.
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