Abin Sur

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Abin Sur
Art by Tom Mandrake.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Showcase # 22
(September–October 1959)
Created by John Broome
Gil Kane
In-story information
Place of origin Ungara
Team affiliations Green Lantern Corps
Indigo Tribe
Black Lantern Corps
Notable aliases Lagzia
Abilities Green Lantern power ring

Abin Sur is a fictional character and a superhero from the DC Comics universe. He first appeared in Showcase #22 (September–October 1959): "SOS Green Lantern". He was a member of the Green Lantern Corps and is best known as the predecessor of Green Lantern Hal Jordan, whom Abin Sur's power ring chose as his replacement. In the Post-Infinite Crisis continuity, he was revealed to be a brother-in-law of Sinestro and uncle of his daughter, Soranik Natu. He was modeled after Yul Brynner.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Originally a history professor on the planet Ungara, Abin Sur is appointed Green Lantern of Space Sector 2814 in the mid-1860s. As a child, he became best friends with Ruch Ehr and later, by association, Munni Jah. The two of them were a couple and Abin secretly loved Munni, but never spoke openly of this.

Recruited by the Green Lantern known as Starkaor, he is known to have come to Earth on several occasions. In the American Old West, he teams up with an ancestor of Hal Jordan's to battle an alien named Traitor (who was responsible for the death of Starkaor). Abin would then wield Starkaor's ring after his mentor's death. In 1873, while severely wounded, he recruits the lawman Daniel Young to be a temporary Green Lantern.[1] During World War II, he encounters Starman and Bulletman when the three battle an alien being under the control of Mr. Mind. On a later visit, his ring's power is neutralized by the foe he is tracking. He discovers the unconscious forms of Alan Scott and Jay Garrick, and borrows Scott's slightly different ring. He uses it against his adversary, taking advantage of the ring's effectiveness against the color yellow. He also visits Earth at some point between the Golden and Silver Ages, when he encounters the Martian Manhunter. At one point, Abin Sur imprisons the evil wizard Myrhydden inside his own ring, depriving him of the voice needed to cast his spells.[2] Later, he is sent to retrieve Earth's most infamous gangster, Al Magone, whose evil had brought him to the notice of the Guardians. Abin Sur imprisoned Magone on a prison planet where time did not pass, an action that would have ripples throughout the Corps for decades to come.[3]

Crash and death[edit]

While on patrol, he is attacked and pursued by the being known as Legion while on its way to Oa. Pre-Crisis his ship was hit by yellow sun radiation. Badly injured and with his spaceship seriously damaged, he makes an emergency landing on the nearest habitable planet (Earth). Due to his injuries, Sur was aware that his death was inevitable and he uses his ring to search for a successor, a man without fear. The first possibility was Clark Kent. Since he was not native to Earth, he is not chosen. The next candidates were Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner. As Jordan was closer, the ring chose him as the most suitable replacement right before Sur's death, and brings him to Sur, who gives him the ring. Pre-Crisis Hal first tested his ring by lifting a mountain, then hid the ship and Sur's remains under it, as Sur had told him to dispose of them. Later it is shown these were the Sierre Madre mountains. Hal had made sure to bury Sur in nearly inaccessible area and leave a small stone marker.[4]

For a brief time during Zero Hour, he was pulled into the present, where he assists the Darkstars in their battle against Entropy. A Darkstar from Abin's own time, one he is familiar with, supports them all. Both are unexpectedly returned to their own era at the end of the battle.[5]

In the afterlife Sur is able to help Jordan again when Jordan enters the realm of the death lord, Nekron. Jordan is attempting to stop Nekron from entering the living universe and destroying it. Jordan manages to incite the spirits of the deceased members of the Corps to destroy the god long enough for the Guardians to drive Krona and his forces back and seal the portal. Before the sealing was complete, Sur helps his successor exit the realm while saying how proud he was of Jordan. Abin Sur later sacrifices his soul to assist the Swamp Thing in rescuing his infant daughter Tefé Holland from the demon Nergal in Hell.

Abin Sur's afterlife is further disrupted when unknown events send him back to Earth. He attempts to assist the Green Lantern Kyle Rayner in investigating the situation but is torn away against his will.[6]

It is later revealed that part of his soul was still being tortured in Hell while his spirit was acting as a companion to Hal Jordan during his brief stint as the Spectre. Eventually, he frees his soul from Hell and assisted Hal Jordan on several spiritual adventures and metaphysical dilemmas. Eventually, Abin Sur engaged in the Karamm-Jeev Descent, an Ungaran form of reincarnation, and was reborn as Lagzia, daughter of Sur's old friends Ruch Ehr and Munni Jah.

During some point in his life, Abin sires a son, Amon Sur, who grew up to become leader of the Black Circle crime syndicate. Amon is angry at his deceased father for abandoning him for the Corps, and decides to take his anger out on all Green Lanterns. Amon is eventually stopped by Hal Jordan's successor, Kyle Rayner and a second-generation Guardian of the Universe called Lianna. Amon eventually has a confrontation with Hal Jordan himself, who had returned to his position as Green Lantern after being both resurrected and freed from the influence of Parallax.[7][8] Hal defeats Amon, but Amon received a duplicate of Sinestro's ring from the Qwardians and vanishes. After Hal finally took Abin's body home and buried it, a mysterious yellow light appears in the sky after Hal left.[9]

The Prophecy[edit]

During Sinestro Corps War, it is revealed that Abin discovered a prophecy concerning the Multiverse, The Powers of the Emotional Spectrum, and The Blackest Night prior to his death.[10] Green Lantern: Secret Origin, reveals details of Abin's quest to learn more about The Blackest Night as he interrogated The Five Inversions on Ysmault, who had foreseen the prophecy.[11] He learns that Earth is the birthplace of The Black: the antithesis of the emotional spectrum that the prophecy predicts will "one day consume all light and all life." He discovers that the prophecy foretells his own death, when his ring fails him in his time of greatest need. He subsequently journeys to Earth in an effort to learn more about The Blackest Night, so that he might stop the prophecy's fulfillment. During his quest, Abin Sur begins to lose his faith in his willpower and his ring, and begins to feel fear. His weakened willpower results in his ring creating correspondingly weaker constructs, allowing his prisoner, Atrocitus, to break free and attack him, and cause his ship to crash on Earth. Abin Sur is critically injured in the crash, leading him to instruct his ring to seek out a successor and the ring chose Hal Jordan.[12] His discovery of the prophecy from The Five Inversions was noted in the Book of Oa.[13] However, this was believed to be a lie from their enemies and one of the Guardians, later named Scar, burned the page which has Sur's prophecy years later.[10][14][15] Only two Guardians, Ganthet and Sayd, as well as a Zamaron tribe, would take his discovery seriously.[16][17]

"Blackest Night"[edit]

Black Lanterns Abin and Arin Sur, Green Lantern vol. 4 #46. Art by Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy.

In the "Blackest Night" storyline, the finale of the prophecy becomes reality. A black power ring reaches Abin Sur's grave on Ungara and bids him to rise.[18] A flashback to Sur's past reveals that he once had a sister named Arin, whom Sinestro was romancing before her death due to unknown circumstances.[19] Indigo-1, leader of the Indigo Tribe also claimed to have met Abin before his death. Black Lantern Abin and Arin arrive on Korugar shortly after, ready to confront Sinestro and Hal Jordan.[20] They are defeated by the combined efforts of Jordan, Sinestro, Indigo-1, and Carol Ferris, who join their lights together to destroy the black rings, rendering Abin and Arin's corpses inert. Before dying, Abin states that he recognizes Indigo-1.[21] In Blackest Night #5, the Indigo Tribe oath is revealed, and includes a line which mentions a lantern and Abin Sur's name. Due to the Indigo Tribe oath being spoken in an unintelligible language, no further details are known.[22]

During Krona's takeover of the Green Lantern Corps, Sinestro and other ring-wielders are briefly trapped in the Book of the Black and experience visions of their pre-ring pasts, with Sinestro encountering a pre-Tribe Indigo-1 locked in a prison and trying to find out where Abin Sur has imprisoned her, but Sinestro departs to focus on his own escape rather than try to rescue her, leaving her history a continued mystery.[23] It is later revealed that Abin Sur had discovered the Indigo light on the planet Nok during a mission, which he along with Natromo forged it into a battery, with Abin Sur bringing Indigo-1 who was allegedly his worst enemy and responsible for the death of his daughter to the planet to become the first Indigo Tribe, all subsequent members of the Tribe being selected as the worst psychopaths of their worlds. Abin Sur did this as he foresaw the danger that the Guardians of the Universe would pose once the "Blackest Night" had passed, and sought to find a way to stop the Guardians by changing them due to the impossibility of killing them.[24]

Spaceship[edit]

The question was raised of why Abin Sur needed a ship, but in the Green Lantern Origins serial, it is stated that out of paranoia of the prophecy of his destruction, he navigated the cosmos in a ship filled with weapons, not trusting the powers of his ring, as the prophecy stated that his ring would fail him when he needed it most.

Pre-Crisis explanation[edit]

In the story "Earth's First Green Lantern," Jordan revealed that he wondered that himself and asked his ring to explain.

The ring told the story of how Abin Sur found a world which was still at a Middle Age stage of advancement even though it should have been in the atomic age, and discovered a parasitic energy being species that fed on sentient beings' "I-factor," a substance that enabled inventiveness, attacking civilizations and stalling their development, as they had no I-factor themselves. Sur captured them to stop their destruction, placing them in a bubble, but one of their number had escaped as it was attacking another world and vowed to free his brethren. To do so, he tracked down Sur's planet and created a disaster by making a volcano erupt to force him to appear to stop it. Since Sur did not mask himself, the being recognized him immediately and followed him to his home. As Sur neglected to charge his ring before going to sleep, he was unable to stop the being from taking control of him.

With the being in control of his body and about to force him to go and free his fellows, Sur tricked the being into thinking that he would not be able to do so because the ring would be low on power after the trip there while in reality the ring's charge is purely time based. The being decided to have Sur take a ship to the destination, but before leaving, Sur managed to get a hold of his invisible power battery without the creature noticing. On the ship, Sur piloted the ship and waited until he moved into a green colored planetary radiation belt which allowed Sur to charge his ring without the being noticing, as his ring glowed green when recharging. Thus armed, Sur battled and captured the being, sending it of into orbit of the same star that his fellow beings were imprisoned at. However during the fight, the ship wandered into Earth's radiation belt. With his ring useless, Sur lost control of the battered ship and crashed. Mortally wounded, Sur sought out his replacement and drew Jordan to him. Jordan learnt of this from the ring.

According to Jordan, this account prompted him to keep a secret identity as a security precaution and to carefully navigate around Earth's radiation belts.

Post-Crisis explanation[edit]

In Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Annual #2 (1986) story "Tygers", writer Alan Moore answered the question with a story of how the hero once visited Ysmault, a prison planet for an ancient race of demons, the Empire of Tears, vanquished millennia ago by the Oans. He was on a rescue mission and felt he could not wait for instruction from the Guardians.

While there, Abin Sur met a demon named Qull of the Five Inversions, a humanoid with a gaping mouth in his chest and a tongue-shaped head, crucified by three glowing spikes topped with the symbol of the Green Lantern Corps. This unholy messiah predicted the hero would die when his power ring ran out of energy at a critical moment, while he was fighting an opponent or unprotected in hard vacuum. Abin Sur, worried by this prophecy, began using a starship for interstellar voyages, as an additional safeguard.

A decade later, fleeing his enemy, his spaceship collided with a girdle of yellow radiation around Earth that rendered his starship and his power-ring useless within moments. Had he relied on his ring alone, he realized, he might have tested the planet's magnetosphere before rashly entering it. Thus, while Legion may have wounded him, it could be argued that it was Qull that was actually responsible for Abin Sur's death, having sown the seeds of doubt in the Green Lantern's mind.

Green Lantern: Secret Origin[edit]

In the Secret Origins arc (Green Lantern vol. 4), Abin Sur's final fate was tweaked again to incorporate elements of the Parallax impurity. Still forced to use a starship due to his growing fear of impending death, Abin Sur dies while escorting Atrocitus, another prisoner of the Empire of Tears to Earth in his search for the Black Energies foretold to bring on the Blackest Night.[11] Atrocitus successfully manages to free himself and Abin Sur is left to choose between a crash landing on Coast City, or a riskier one in the desert nearby. Abin Sur chooses sacrifice, and lands in the desert.[12] He dies of his wounds after warning Sinestro, still a loyal Lantern at the time, and designating Hal Jordan as his successor.[13]

Other versions[edit]

Crime Syndicate[edit]

In the Crime Syndicate's universe, Abin Sur's ring hosted the malevolent, ancient entity Volthoom. When Abin crashed to Earth, the ring chose a cowardly janitor employed by Carol Ferris.[25]

Flashpoint[edit]

In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint event, Abin Sur is still the Green Lantern of Sector 2814. As the Blackest Night falls in the universe, Abin Sur is dispatched to Earth by the Guardians of the Universe with the mission to retrieve the White Lantern Entity and bring it back to Oa.[26] While reaching planet Earth, Abin Sur's ship is damaged by a laser and he's forced to crash land on the planet. He survives and is approached by Hal Jordan,[27] but is subsequently taken into custody by Cyborg and the US government to be questioned about his reasons for being on Earth. Although he agrees to work with Earth's heroes, he is subsequently attacked by Sinestro, who reveals that he has learned of the prophecy of the "Flashpoint", the moment when everything changes and the original world that existed before this one, during which it is revealed that Abin's home planet has been destroyed in this reality. Seeking the power of the Flash so that he can restore history according to his own vision rather than another, Sinestro cuts off Abin's hand, severing his connection with his ring.[28] The ring then flies onto Abin's other hand, and he manages to defeat and imprison Sinestro. The Guardians then contact Abin, demanding that he bring the Entity to them, and refusing to listen to Sinestro's talk of "the Flashpoint". They then discharge Abin from the Corps, telling him that the ring will find a new wielder when it runs out of power. Abin joins the battle in Europe, and, when a cataclysmic earthquake starts, dives into the crevice, just before his ring runs out of power. The Entity then bonds with Abin, and he sees a vision of his sister, telling him to truly experience life, rather than just living it. Abin then flies into space, and attempts to heal the damage made to the Earth.[29]

In Darkest Knight[edit]

In this alternate universe, Bruce Wayne, unsure and confused over his chosen vigilante mission, is picked as Abin Sur's successor. He receives the ring moments before Abin passes away from his spacecraft-inflicted injures. [30]

Superman: Red Son[edit]

In Superman: Red Son, Sur's spacecraft was the UFO that crashed at Roswell. Sur died shortly after the crash, and it is mentioned that J. Edgar Hoover arranged for Sur and his ship to be hidden in Area 51. In 1978, John F. Kennedy arranges for Lex Luthor to be allowed to examine the wreckage to develop weapons to use against Superman, in this setting the ruler of the Soviet Union.

Superman: Last Son of Earth[edit]

In the story, Superman: Last Son of Earth, Abin Sur failed to protect Earth from a meteor that nearly destroyed the planet, resulting in the deaths of all but one million people, due to him being preoccupied by another conflict elsewhere in his sector. He is later seen towards the end of the novel picking up Kal-El's Green Lantern Power Battery and Ring due to the latter's resignation from the Corps.

Superman/Batman: Absolute Power[edit]

In Superman/Batman: Absolute Power, Sur's ring is passed on to Uncle Sam when Wonder Woman attempts to rally a resistance against the dictatorship of Superman and Batman.

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Abin Sur first appeared in the Challenge of the Superfriends episode "Secret Origins of the Superfriends" voiced by Dick Ryal.
  • Abin Sur was featured in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "In Brightest Day", voice by an uncredited Peter Mark Richman. In the episode, Abin is used for Kyle's Green Lantern origin in much the same way he was used for Hal Jordan's. Abin battles with Sinestro, who is hunting Green Lanterns and stealing their rings. He crashes his spaceship on Earth and sends his ring off to find a suitable replacement just before his death when Sinestro catches up to Abin Sur.
  • He was recently featured on the Robot Chicken DC Universe Special, where he was torn apart by a bear.

Film[edit]

  • Abin Sur appears in the Warner Premiere film Green Lantern: First Flight voiced by Richard McGonagle. The film provides more background than any of his previous animated appearances. He was sent by the Guardians on an undercover investigation on Kanjar Ro, who managed to locate and steal a yellow element. However he was discovered by one of his lackeys and mortally wounded. Injured he was forced to steal a ship that subsequently crashes on Earth where he finds Hal Jordan on who he passes his ring before dying. His appearance here is modified to make him look more alien, with various horn-like appendages attached to his face and only four digits on each hand.
  • Abin Sur briefly appears in the animated movie Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. After The Flash inadvertently changes the timeline, Abin Sur never manages to pass his ring to Hal Jordan. Instead, his body and spaceship are retrieved by the US government. During the war between Atlantis and Themyscira, Hal witnesses Abin Sur's corpse after he is given the task of piloting his spacecraft and use it to drop a nuclear bomb on the Atlantean army.
  • Abin Sur is portrayed by Temuera Morrison in the live-action film Green Lantern.[31] As in the comics, he crash-lands on Earth in a ship, here depicted as an escape pod from a monitoring station that he was using to track the destruction caused by the entity that turned out to be Parallax, which he had defeated once before. After his death, his body is discovered and an autopsy is performed by Hector Hammond, a xenobiology professor whose senator father is involved with the government agency that discovered the body. Afterwards Hammond becomes infected by a strand of Parallax's DNA left in Sur's wound. After Sur's successor Hal Jordan defeats Parallax, Sinestro notes that Jordan is impertinent, rash, volatile, and opinionated, noting with amusement that Abin's ring chose a successor much like himself.

Toys[edit]

Mattel produced an Abin Sur figure in a two-pack of their DC Universe Classics line, accompanied by a Green Lantern Hal Jordan figure. There was also a Black Lantern Abin Sur figure packaged individually later on. Abin Sur was also part of the action figure line based on the live-action movie.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Green Lantern" #149 (Feb 1982)
  2. ^ "Green Lantern" #26 (1964)
  3. ^ "Green Lantern" Vol. 2 #55 Sept. 1967)
  4. ^ "Green Lantern" #182 1984
  5. ^ "Green Lantern" #32-35 (vol. 3, November 1992-January 1993)
  6. ^ Green Lantern Annual vol. 3 #7 (1998)
  7. ^ Green Lantern vol. 4 #14 (November 2006)
  8. ^ Green Lantern vol. 4 #15 (November 2006)
  9. ^ Green Lantern vol. 4 #16 (January 2007)
  10. ^ a b Green Lantern vol. 4 #25 (December 2007)
  11. ^ a b Green Lantern vol. 4 #29 (March 2008)
  12. ^ a b Green Lantern vol. 4 #30 (April 2008)
  13. ^ a b Green Lantern vol. 4 #33 (July 2008)
  14. ^ Green Lantern vol. 4 #27 (January 2008)
  15. ^ Green Lantern vol. 4 #35 (October 2008)
  16. ^ Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special #1 (July 2007)
  17. ^ Green Lantern vol. 4 #20 (May 2007)
  18. ^ Blackest Night #2 (August 2009)
  19. ^ Green Lantern vol. 4 #45 (August 2009)
  20. ^ Green Lantern vol. 4 #46 (September 2009)
  21. ^ Green Lantern vol. 4 #47 (October 2009)
  22. ^ Blackest Night #5 (November 2009)
  23. ^ Green Lantern vol. 4 #66 (May 2011)
  24. ^ Green Lantern vol. 5 #9 (May 2012)
  25. ^ "Justice League" Vol. 2. #26 (Feb 2013)
  26. ^ Flashpoint: Abin Sur – The Green Lantern #1 (June 2011)
  27. ^ Flashpoint: Hal Jordan #1 (June 2011)
  28. ^ Flashpoint: Abin Sur – The Green Lantern #2 (July 2011)
  29. ^ Flashpoint: Abin Sur – The Green Lantern #3 (August 2011)
  30. ^ "In Darkest Knight" one-shot (1994)
  31. ^ "Comic Book & Sci-Fi Movie News - Heat Vision - The Hollywood Reporter". Heatvisionblog.com. Retrieved 2011-01-15. 

External links[edit]