We revisit the polymorphism of carbon along two directions. First, we discover novel polymorphs in the vicinity of graphite, with outstanding optical and mechanical properties. Using numerical methods and graph-theoretical tools, we find as many as 4 novel superhard and transparent polymorphs, with great technological potential. Second, scaling up a model of rod packing to carbon nanotube (CNT) scaffoldings, we discover that such complex assemblies of CNTs are outstanding adsorbers of hydrogen, capable of reaching the DOE target (~6.0 wt% at ambient conditions). Along this line, we highlight novel paradigms for revisiting carbon, in view of remarkable qualities and superior properties.