Green Lantern

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Green Lantern

Artwork for the cover of Green Lantern: Rebirth 6 (May 2005 DC Comics). Featuring (l to r) Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, Hal Jordan, John Stewart, and Kilowog. Art by Ethan Van Sciver.
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance All-American Comics #16 (July 1940)
Created by John Broome
Gil Kane
Bill Finger
Martin Nodell
Characters Alan Scott
Hal Jordan
Guy Gardner
John Stewart
Kyle Rayner
Jade
Sinestro
Simon Baz
See also Green Lantern Corps

Green Lantern is the name of several superheroes from the fictional DC Universe, all of whom are characterized by a power ring and the ability to create solid constructs with the ring.

The first Green Lantern (Alan Scott) was created by writer Bill Finger and artist Martin Nodell in All-American Comics #16 (July 1940). However, he was not related to the Green Lantern Corps other than by name, as specified in Green Lantern: Rebirth.[1]

Each Green Lantern possesses a power ring and green lantern that gives the user great control over the physical world as long as the wielder has sufficient willpower and strength to wield it. The ring is one of the most powerful weapons in the universe and can be very dangerous. While the ring of the Golden Age Green Lantern (Alan Scott) is magically powered, the rings worn by all subsequent Lanterns are technological creations of the Guardians of the Universe, who granted such rings to worthy candidates. These individuals made up the intergalactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps.[1]

After World War II, when sales of superhero comic books generally declined, DC ceased publishing new adventures of Alan Scott as the Green Lantern. In 1959, at the beginning of the Silver Age of Comic Books, DC editor Julius Schwartz assigned writer John Broome and artist Gil Kane to revive the Green Lantern character, this time as test pilot Hal Jordan who became a founding member of the Justice League of America. In 1970, writer Denny O'Neil and artist Neal Adams teamed Green Lantern with archer Green Arrow in groundbreaking, socially conscious, and award-winning stories that pitted the sensibilities of the law-and-order-oriented Green Lantern with the populist Green Arrow. Several cosmically-themed series followed, as did occasional different individuals in the role of Earth's Green Lantern. Most prominent of these are Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner.

Each of the Earth's Green Lanterns has been a member of either the Justice Society of America or the Justice League of America, and John Stewart was featured as one of the main characters in both the Justice League and the Justice League Unlimited animated series. The Green Lanterns are often depicted as being close friends of the various men who have been the Flash, the most notable friendships having been between Alan Scott and Jay Garrick (the Golden Age Green Lantern and Flash), Hal Jordan and Barry Allen (the Silver Age Green Lantern and Flash), Kyle Rayner and Wally West (the modern-age Green Lantern and Flash), and Jordan also being friends with West.

Publication history[edit]

Golden Age[edit]

Green Lantern's debut in All-American Comics#16 (July 1940).
Art by Sheldon Moldoff.

Martin Nodell (using the name Mart Dellon) originated the Green Lantern. He first appeared in the Golden Age of comic books in All-American Comics #16 (July 1940), published by All-American Publications, one of three companies that would eventually merge to form DC Comics.

This Green Lantern's real name was Alan Scott, a railroad engineer who, after a railway crash, came into possession of a magic lantern which spoke to him and said it would bring power. From this, he crafted a magic ring which gave him a wide variety of powers. The limitations of the ring were that it had to be "charged" every 24 hours by touching it to the lantern for a time, and that it did not work on objects made of wood.

Nodell had originally planned to give the Green Lantern the alter ego "Alan Ladd," this being a linguistic twist on Aladdin, who had a magic lamp and magic ring of his own. DC considered the wordplay distracting and foolish, and the character's name was changed before publication to "Alan Scott." In May 1942, the film This Gun for Hire suddenly made the journeyman actor Alan Ladd a movie star. Nodell would always joke that they had missed a great opportunity.[2]

As a popular character in the 1940s, the Green Lantern featured both in All-American Comics and in his own title, as well as co-starring in Comic Cavalcade along with Flash and Wonder Woman. He was a charter member of the Justice Society of America, whose adventures ran in All Star Comics. After World War II the popularity of superheroes in general declined. The Green Lantern comic book was cancelled with issue #38 (May–June 1949). All Star Comics #57 (1951) was the character's last Golden Age appearance.

Silver Age revival[edit]

Cover to Showcase#22 (October 1959), the first appearance of Hal Jordan.

Following the successful revival of the Flash in Showcase #4 (Oct. 1956), a new Green Lantern was introduced in Showcase #22 (September–October 1959).

This Green Lantern was Hal Jordan, a test pilot who was given a power ring by a dying alien, Abin Sur, and who became a member of the Green Lantern Corps, an interstellar organization of police overseen by the Guardians of the Universe.[3] The Corps' rings were powerless against anything colored yellow, due to a yellow-colored "impurity," or "dopant," in the master power generator located on Oa, where the Guardians maintained their headquarters; the yellow dopant was described as being a "necessary" one, for without it, the master generator could not function as such. Jordan's creation was motivated by a desire to make him more of a science fiction hero, editor Julius Schwartz having been a longtime fan of that genre and literary agent who saw pop-culture tastes turning in that direction. Despite multiple characters taking on the role of Green Lantern for Earth, Jordan remains the most well known in both comics and media. Gil Kane and Sid Greene were the art team most notable on the title in its early years, along with writer John Broome.

Later developments[edit]

With issue #76 (April 1970), the series made a radical stylistic departure. Editor Schwartz, in one of the company's earliest efforts to provide more than fantasy, worked with the writer-artist team of Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams to spark new interest in the comic and address a perceived need for social relevance. They added the character Green Arrow (with the cover though not the official name retitled Green Lantern Co-Starring Green Arrow) and had the pair travel through America encountering "real world" issues, to which they reacted in different ways — Green Lantern as fundamentally a lawman, Green Arrow as a liberal iconoclast. Additionally during this run, the groundbreaking "Snowbirds Don't Fly" story was published (issues #85 and #86) in which Green Arrow's teen sidekick Speedy (the later grownup hero Red Arrow) developed a heroin addiction that he was forcibly made to quit. The stories were critically acclaimed, with publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek citing it as an example of how comic books were "growing up".[4] However, the O'Neil/Adams run was not a commercial success, and after only 14 issues, the two left the title, which was cancelled.

The title would know a number of revivals and cancellations. Its title would change to Green Lantern Corps at one point as the popularity rose and waned. During a time there were two regular titles, each with a Green Lantern, and a third member in the Justice League. A new character, Kyle Rayner, was created to become the feature while Hal Jordan first became the villain Parallax, then died and came back as the Spectre.

In the wake of The New Frontier, writer Geoff Johns returned Hal Jordan as Green Lantern in Green Lantern: Rebirth (2004–05). Johns began to lay groundwork for "Blackest Night" (released July 13, 2010[5]), viewing it as the third part of the trilogy started by Rebirth. Expanding on the Green Lantern mythology in the second part, "Sinestro Corps War" (2007), Johns, with artist Ethan van Sciver, found wide critical acclaim and commercial success with the series, which promised the introduction of a spectrum of colored "lanterns".

Awards[edit]

The series and its creators have received several awards over the years, including the 1961 Alley Award for Best Adventure Hero/Heroine with Own Book[6] and the Academy of Comic Book Arts Shazam Award for Best Continuing Feature in 1970, for Best Individual Story ("No Evil Shall Escape My Sight", Green Lantern vol. 2, #76, by Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams),[7] and in 1971 for Best Individual Story ("Snowbirds Don't Fly", Green Lantern vol. 2, #85 by O'Neil and Adams).[8]

Writer O'Neil received the Shazam Award for Best Writer (Dramatic Division) in 1970 for his work on Green Lantern, Batman, Superman, and other titles, while artist Adams received the Shazam for Best Artist (Dramatic Division) in 1970 for his work on Green Lantern and Batman.[7] Inker Dick Giordano received the Shazam Award for Best Inker (Dramatic Division) for his work on Green Lantern and other titles.[7]

In Judd Winick's first regular writing assignment on Green Lantern, he wrote a storyline in which an assistant of Kyle Rayner's emerged as a gay character in Green Lantern #137 (June 2001). In Green Lantern #154 (November 2001) the story entitled "Hate Crime" gained media recognition when Terry was brutally beaten in a homophobic attack. Winick was interviewed on Phil Donahue's show on MSNBC for that storyline on August 15, 2002[9] and received two GLAAD Media Awards for his Green Lantern work.[10]

In May 2011, Green Lantern placed 7th on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time.[11]

Fictional character biographies[edit]

Golden Age Green Lantern[edit]

Alan Scott[edit]

Alan Scott's Green Lantern history originally began thousands of years ago when a mystical "green flame" meteor fell to Earth in ancient China. The voice of the flame prophesied that it would act three times: once to bring death (a lamp-maker named Luke Fairclough crafted the green metal of the meteor into a lamp; in fear and as punishment for what they thought sacrilege, the local villagers killed him, only to be destroyed by a sudden burst of the green flame), once to bring life (in modern times, the lamp came into the hands of a patient in a mental institution who fashioned the lamp into a modern lantern; the green flame restored him to sanity and gave him a new life), and once to bring power. By 1940, the lantern passed into the possession of Alan Scott, a young engineer. Following a railroad-bridge collapse of which he was the only survivor, the flame instructed Scott how to fashion a ring from its metal, to give him fantastic powers as the superhero Green Lantern. He adopted a colorful costume and became a crime-fighter. Alan was a founding member of the Justice Society of America.

After the Crisis on Infinite Earths (although the original origin story was still in continuity), a later Tales of the Green Lantern Corps story was published that brought Scott even closer to the Corps' ranks, when it was revealed that Alan Scott was predated as Earth's Green Lantern by a Green Lantern named Yalan Gur, a resident of China. Not only had the Corps' now-familiar green, black and white uniform motif not yet been adopted, but Yalan Gur altered the basic red uniform to more closely resemble the style of clothing worn by his countrymen. Power ultimately corrupted this early Green Lantern, as he attempted to rule over mankind, which forced the Guardians to cause his ring to manifest a weakness to wood, the material from which most Earth weapons of the time were fashioned. This allowed the Chinese peasants to ultimately defeat their corrupted "champion". His ring and lantern were burned and it was during this process that the “intelligence” inhabiting the ring and the lantern, and linking them to the Guardians, was damaged. Over time, when it had occasion to manifest itself, this "intelligence" became known as the mystical 'Starheart' of fable.

Centuries later, it was explained, when Scott found the mystical lantern, it had no memory of its true origins, save a vague recollection of the uniform of its last master. This was the origin of Scott’s distinctive costume. Due to its damaged link to them, the Guardians presumed the ring and lantern to be lost in whatever cataclysm overcame their last owner of record. Thus Scott was never noticed by the Guardians and went on to carve a history of his own apart from that of the Corps, sporting a ring with an artificially induced weakness against anything made of wood. Honoring this separate history, the Guardians never moved to force Scott to relinquish the ring, formally join the Corps, or adopt its colors. Some sort of link between Scott and the Corps, however, was hinted at in a Silver Age cross-over story which depicts Scott and Hal Jordan charging their rings at the same Power Battery while both reciting the "Brightest Day" oath. During the Rann-Thanagar War, it was revealed that Scott is an honorary member of the Corps.

On June 1, 2012, DC Comics announced that it would be re-introducing Alan Scott as a gay man in the title "Earth 2." The issue was released on June 6, 2012.[12] In its story, Alan Scott and his male lover were both passengers aboard a train, but before Scott could propose marriage to his lover, the latter was killed when their train was wrecked in the railroad-bridge collapse that Scott alone survived.

Silver Age Green Lantern[edit]

Hal Jordan[edit]

The second Green Lantern to see publication is also the most notable and the one most people know as 'The Green Lantern'. The character of Harold "Hal" Jordan was a second-generation test pilot, having followed in the footsteps of his father, Hal Jordan. He was given the power ring and battery (lantern) by a dying alien named Abin Sur, whose spaceship crashed on Earth. Abin Sur used his ring to seek out an individual who was "utterly honest and born without fear" to take his place as a member of the corps. At one point, when Hal Jordan was incapacitated, it was revealed that there were two individuals matching the specified criteria on Earth, the other being Guy Gardner, and the ring chose Jordan solely because of his proximity to Abin Sur. Gardner then became listed as Hal's "backup", in case there was an instance in which Jordan was unavailable or otherwise incapacitated. Later, when Gardner was put into a coma, it turned out that by then there was a third human suitable for the task, John Stewart, who was designated as the Earth Sector's "backup" Lantern. Jordan, as Green Lantern, became a founding member of the Justice League of America and as of the mid-2000s is, along with John Stewart, one of the two active-duty Lanterns in Earth's sector of space.

Jordan also automatically became a member of the Green Lantern Corps, a galactic "police" force which bears some similarities to the "Lensmen" from the science fiction series written by E.E. Smith, although both creators Julius Schwartz and John Broome denied ever reading Smith's stories.[13] Nevertheless, the early 1980s miniseries "Green Lantern Corps" honors the similarity with two characters in the corps: Eddore of Tront and Arisia. A different interpretation of Jordan and the Corps appears in Superman: Red Son.

Following the rebirth of Superman and the destruction of Green Lantern's hometown of Coast City in the early 1990s, Hal Jordan seemingly went insane and destroyed the Green Lantern Corps and the Central Power Battery. Now calling himself Parallax, Hal Jordan would devastate the DC Universe off and on for the next several years. However, after Earth's sun was threatened by a Sun-Eater, Jordan sacrificed his life, expending the last of his vast power to reignite the dying star. Jordan subsequently returned from beyond the grave as the Spectre, the divine Spirit of God's Vengeance, whom Jordan attempted to transform into a Spirit of Redemption, which ended in failure.

In Green Lantern: Rebirth, it is revealed that Jordan was under the influence of a creature known as Parallax when he turned renegade. Parallax was a creature of pure fear that had been imprisoned in the Central Power Battery by the Guardians of the Universe in the distant past. Imprisonment had rendered the creature dormant and it was eventually forgotten, becoming known merely as the "yellow impurity" in the power rings. Sinestro was able to wake Parallax and encourage it to seek out Hal Jordan as a host. Although Parallax had been trying to corrupt Jordan (via his ring) for some time, it was not until after the destruction of Coast City that it was able to succeed. It took advantage of Jordan's weakened emotional state to lure him to Oa and cause him to attack anyone who stood in his way. After killing several Green Lanterns, Jordan finally entered the Central Power Battery and absorbed all the power, unwittingly freeing the Parallax entity and allowed it to graft onto his soul.

The Spectre bonded with Jordan in the hopes of freeing the former Green Lantern's soul from Parallax's taint, but was not strong enough to do so. In Green Lantern: Rebirth, Parallax began to assert control of the Parallax-Spectre-Jordan composite. Thanks to a supreme effort of will, Jordan was able to free himself from Parallax, rejoin his soul to his body and reclaim his power ring. The newly revived (and rejuvenated) Jordan awoke just in time to save Kyle Rayner and Green Arrow from Sinestro. After the Korugarian's defeat, Jordan was able to successfully lead his fellow Green Lanterns in battle against Parallax and with help from Guardians Sayd and Ganthet, imprisoned it within the personal power batteries of Earth's Lanterns, rendering the Green Lantern's rings free of the yellow impurity, provided they had the power of will to do so. Hal Jordan is once again a member of both the Justice League and the Green Lantern Corps, and along with John Stewart is one of the two Corps members assigned to Sector 2814, personally defeating Sinestro in the Sinestro Corps War. Jordan is designated as Green Lantern 2814.1.

Post-Sinestro Corps War, DC Comics revisited the origin of Hal Jordan as a precursor to Blackest Night storyline, the next chapter in the Geoff Johns era on Green Lantern. Hal Jordan is the Green Lantern portrayed by Ryan Reynolds in the 2011 Green Lantern film.

Bronze Age Green Lanterns[edit]

Guy Gardner[edit]

In the late 1960s, Guy Gardner appeared as the second choice to replace Abin Sur as Green Lantern of sector 2814. Gardner was a candidate to receive Abin Sur's ring, but Jordan was closer. This placed him as the "backup" Green Lantern for Jordan. But early in his career as a Green Lantern, tragedy struck Gardner as a power battery blew up in his face, putting him in a coma for years. During the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Guardians split into factions, one of which appointed a newly revived Gardner as their champion. As a result of his years in a coma, Guy was very emotionally unstable, although he still mostly managed to fight valiantly. He has gone through many changes, including wielding Sinestro's yellow Guardian power ring, then gaining and losing Vuldarian powers, and readmission to the Corps during Green Lantern: Rebirth. He later became part of the Green Lantern Honor Guard, and oversees the training of new Green Lanterns. Gardner is designated as Green Lantern 2814.2 within the Corps.

Guy Gardner helped lead the defense of Oa during the events of Blackest Night.

Following his outstanding acts of valour, the Guardians appoint Guy to a unique role behind Honour Guard, answering directly to the Guardians themselves.

John Stewart[edit]

In the early 1970s, John Stewart, an architect from Detroit MI, was selected by the Guardians to replace a comatose Guy Gardner as the backup Green Lantern for Jordan. When Jordan resigned from the Corps for an extended period of time, Stewart served as the regular Lantern for that period. Since then, Stewart was in and out of action due to various circumstances, even becoming the first mortal Guardian of the Universe. He also joined and led the Darkstars when the Green Lantern Corps were destroyed by Parallax. After that, he took over being Green Lantern for Kyle Rayner when he left Earth, also taking his place in the JLA. Now he has begun serving with Jordan as one of his sector's two designated regular-duty Lanterns, designated as Green Lantern 2814.3.

Modern Age Green Lanterns[edit]

Kyle Rayner[edit]

Kyle Rayner was a struggling freelance artist when he was approached by the last Guardian of the Universe, Ganthet, to become a new Green Lantern with the very last power ring. Ganthet's reasons for choosing Rayner remained a secret for quite some time. Despite not being from the same cloth of bravery and fearlessness as Hal Jordan — or perhaps because of that — Rayner proved to be popular with readers and his fellow characters. Having continually proven himself on his own and with the JLA, he became known amongst the Oans as The Torch Bearer. He briefly operated as Ion after using the power of the entire Green Lantern Corps. He was responsible for the rebirth of the Guardians and the re-ignition of the Central Power Battery, essentially restoring all that Jordan had destroyed as Parallax.

Kyle Rayner was chosen to wield the last ring because he knew fear, and Parallax had been released from the Central Power Battery. Ganthet knew this and chose Kyle because his experiences dealing with fear enabled him to resist Parallax. Because Parallax is a manifestation of fear, and yellow, none of the other Green Lanterns, including Hal, could harm Parallax and, therefore, came under his control. Kyle taught them to feel and overcome fear so they could defeat Parallax and incarcerate him in the Central Power Battery once again.

Kyle became Ion, who is later revealed to be the manifestation of willpower in the same way Parallax is fear. During the Sinestro Corps War between the Green Lantern Corps and the Sinestro Corps, Ion was imprisoned while Parallax possesses Kyle. In Green Lantern (vol. 4) #24, Parallax consumes Hal Jordan. Hal Jordan enters into Kyle's prison, and with his help, Kyle finally escapes Parallax.

Afterward, Ganthet and Sayd trap Parallax in the Lanterns of the four Green Lanterns of Earth. Ganthet asks Kyle to give up his right to be Ion and become a Green Lantern again. Kyle accepts, and Ganthet gives Kyle a power ring. Kyle is outfitted with a new costume including a mask that looks like the one from his first uniform. Kyle is now a member of the Green Lantern Corps Honor Guard, and has been partnered with Guy Gardner.

Kyle now shows up mostly as part of the ensemble cast of Green Lantern Corps. Corps rookie Sodam Yat took over the mantle of Ion. Sodam has made an appearance in the Legion of Super Heroes Final Crisis tie-in Legion of Three Worlds as the last surviving Green Lantern/Guardian of the Universe.

Kyle is designated as Green Lantern 2814.4 within the Corps.[citation needed]

Kyle Rayner died in Green Lantern Corps #42 (Jan. 2010) after sacrificing himself to save Oa from an attack by the Black Lantern Corps. The following issue, Kyle is brought back to life by the power of a Star Sapphire who connects Soranik Natu's heart to his heart.

Simon Baz[edit]

Simon Baz is a Lebanese American Muslim from the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, Michigan. He first appeared The New 52! FCBD #1 before making his first full appearance in Green Lantern #0 during the "Rise of the Third Army" story line written by Geoff Johns. He was caught by the police street racing in a stolen car with an armed bomb in the back of the van. While being questioned by authorities, Sinestro's Green Lantern ring chose Simon as its next ring bearer, recruiting him into the Green Lantern Corps. The Justice League eventually tracks him down and questions him as to how he came into the possession of a Green Lantern ring. Batman tries to disarm him by removing Simon's ring, but self-defense mechanisms of the ring prevent this.[14] Simon Baz plays an important part in the "Rise of the Third Army" storyline.

Others who have headlined as Green Lantern[edit]

Jade[edit]

The daughter of Alan Scott, Jennifer-Lynn Hayden would discover she shared her father's mystical connection to the Starheart, which gave her the abilities of a Green Lantern. Choosing to follow in her father's footsteps, she became the superheroine Jade. She would later fight a manifestation of the Starheart and lose those abilities.

After Jade was stripped of her powers, Kyle Rayner gave her a copy of Hal Jordan's power ring. When Rayner left Earth to restart the Green Lantern Corps, Jade donned the classic Green Lantern uniform and served as the planet's Green Lantern until losing the ring during a battle with the villain Fatality. Later, when the ring was returned to her, she changed her Green Lantern uniform to a modified version of Rayner's. Jade continued to function as a Green Lantern until Rayner, as Ion, used his power to restore her connection to the Starheart. During Infinite Crisis, she died while trying to stop Alexander Luthor, Jr. from destroying the universe to create a new multiverse. Upon her death, Jade returned her Starheart power to Rayner. In the Blackest Night event, her remains have been reanimated as one of the Black Lantern Corps after receiving a black power ring. She was resurrected by Hal Jordan while he was bonded with the White Entity along with eleven other Black Lantern Corps members.

Thaal Sinestro[edit]

Sinestro was born on the planet Korugar and became Green Lantern of space sector 1417. He was a friend of Abin Sur and mentor to Hal Jordan. His desire for order was an asset in the Corps, and initially led him to be considered one of the greatest Green Lanterns. As the years passed, he became more and more fixated upon not simply protecting his sector, but on preserving order in the society of his home planet no matter the cost. Eventually, he concluded that the best way to accomplish this was to conquer Korugar and rule the planet as a dictator. Exposed by Hal Jordan and punished, he later wielded a yellow ring of fear from Qward. Later in league with Parallax, he would establish the Sinestro Corps, which began the War of Light. Following Blackest Night and War of the Green Lanterns Sinestro would once again receive a Green Lantern ring, and he headlines the monthly Green Lantern following The New 52.

Jediah Caul[edit]

Premiering in Green Lantern: New Guardians Annual #1, Caul is an undercover Green Lantern agent who unwillingly helps Carol Ferris and the New Guardians attempt to petition Lady Styx to send aid against the Third Army. For betraying them, the New Guardians leave Caul behind and he is forced to become part of a reality program called "The Hunted". Stripped of his powers, Caul stars as part of an ensemble cast of space bound DC characters including the Blue Beetle and a new Captain K'rot in the Hunted feature of Threshold.

Powers and abilities[edit]

Each Green Lantern wields a power ring that can generate a variety of effects, sustained purely by the ring wearer's imagination and strength of will. The greater the user's willpower, the more effective the ring. The upper limits of the power ring's abilities remain undefined, and it has been referred to as "the most powerful weapon in the universe" on more than one occasion. The Weaponers of Qward say that every weapon has a weakness and the weakness of a Green Lantern power ring is its wearer, although some argue that the wearer is its strength. The ring can produce a very wide variety of effects, but all these effects are accompanied by a green light projected from the ring, and any object the ring conjures is always pure green in color. The 2005-2006 miniseries Green Lantern Corps: Recharge clarified the ring's long-established ineffectiveness on yellow objects, stating that the ring-wielder need only to understand and overcome their fear in order to affect yellow objects, which means that even experienced Lanterns can at times succumb to this weakness.

Power rings as used by various wielders have exhibited (but are not limited to) the following effects:

  • Constructs of green 'solid-energy,' which can vary from microscopic to tremendous in size and/or complexity and are limited by the imagination of the ring's wielder. This can be used to attack, defend, or to grab targets (Pre-Crisis, the rings generated telekinetic skills without constructs, if needed).
    • Force field generation, a somewhat protective aura (limited by user's willpower) used to shield the wearer from the rigors of the vacuum of space. This provides a breathable atmosphere for the user as well. Contrary to older canon, a Green Lantern ring currently does not automatically protect its wearer from harm but must be willed to do so (previously, an unconscious wielder generated a protective force field automatically).
    • Generation of mental "earplugs" to block out telepathic communication and manipulation.[15]
    • Rendering targets invisible.[16]
    • Lights and beams of various intensity and colors, such as destructive plasma and harmless multicolored lights.
  • Movement capabilities:
    • Flight, including flight at speeds beyond that of light, although this requires an enormous expenditure of energy.
    • Relatively instantaneous transport across the galaxy and other distances through generated wormholes
    • Teleportation (an ability that has not been used in quite some time and is outside the ability of modern Green Lanterns. In modern stories, only the Indigo Rings allow instantaneous teleportation)
    • Pre-Crisis, the rings allowed for travel faster than the speed of light.
    • Time travel, though several power rings are needed to complete this.
  • The rings can act as semi-sentient computers and access information through their connection with the Book of Oa; the rings have problem-solving skills but they cannot make decisions or take actions on their own, and must be given directives by the wearer:
    • Translation of nearly all languages (originally, this was accomplished by using willpower, but this has changed in the modern era to be a function of the rings themselves).
    • Communication between ringwielders, regardless of distance apart
    • Diagnostic capabilities, allowing the user to see in X-Ray, diagnose illnesses, and identify materials.
  • Mental powers of various stages:
    • Telepathy
    • Hypnosis, including projecting the target's thoughts onto constructed maps
    • Creation and emission of certain types of radiation, including simulated wavelengths, such as Kryptonite[17]
    • Placing humans into a state of suspended animation [18] and pulling them out of it
  • Changing the state of targeted matter and the wearer:
    • Allowing targets and the wearer to phase through solid objects
    • Rendering the wearer and targets invisible
    • Accelerated healing of wounds, protection and treatment from viruses and biological attacks and certain surgical procedures including reattachment of severed limbs and digits. More advanced medical procedures may be performed manually and are limited by the wearer's knowledge of medicine. Lanterns can still do this via constructs of objects with that capability, although Pre-Crisis, a wearer could instantaneously reinvigorate limbs that had not been used in years, so someone bedridden for years could walk as though their muscles had not atrophied.
    • Virtual shape-shifting by generating a hard-light holographic disguise around the ring bearer.
    • "Digitizing" the wearer to absorb them into the ring where they can live in a wearer-generated "world" of their own nearly indefinitely.
    • Pre-Crisis, a ring could alter a target or wearer's molecular size (including shrinking to an atomic level or growing to galactic sizes), evolutionary stage (such as turning a target human into an ape), or distort specific areas or the entirety of the body (such as slowing the Flash down by making his upper torso too large for him to run, or causing Arisia to age when she wanted to be older subconsciously).
    • Pre-Crisis, a wearer could animate non-living matter and make the target do whatever he willed.
    • Pre-Crisis, the rings could create a construct of a ring that a "non-Lantern" could use for 4 hours at a time (as opposed to 24) without a great effort of will. In the modern era, Guardians can simply create duplicate rings at will.
    • Pre-Crisis, a ring could create multiple copies of its wearer if certain conditions were met; each copy had the capabilities of the original wearer.
    • Pre-Crisis, rings could extract information from corpses. An example of this is shown in the animated film Green Lantern: First Flight. Sinestro was able to "reconnect synapses" in the brain of a dead criminal in order to extract information via a kind of guided discussion.

Green Lantern Oath[edit]

Green Lantern is famous for the oath he recites when he charges his ring. Originally, the oath was:

...and I shall shed my light over dark evil.
For the dark things cannot stand the light,
The light of the Green Lantern!

This oath is also used by Lanterns Tomar-Re of sector 2813, and Chief Administrator Salaak.[19]

In the mid-1940s, this was revised into the form that became famous during the Hal Jordan era:

In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil's might,
Beware my power, Green Lantern's light!!!

The oath in this form is credited to Alfred Bester,[20] who wrote many Green Lantern stories in the 1940s, although his version used "darkest" in the first line; the change to "blackest" came a few years later, probably by Henry Kuttner.[21]

Many Green Lanterns have a unique personal oath, but some oaths are shared by several Lanterns. They are usually four lines long with a rhyme scheme of “AAAA” or “AABB”.

The Pre-Crisis version of Hal Jordan was inspired to create his oath after a series of adventures in which he developed new ways to detect evasive criminals: in the first adventure, he used his ring as radar to find robbers who had blinded him with a magnesium flash; in the second, he tracked criminals in a dark cave by using his ring to make them glow with phosphorescence; finally, Jordan tracked safecrackers by the faint shockwaves from the explosives they had used.

Medphyll, the Green Lantern of the planet J586 (seen in Swamp Thing #61, "All Flesh is Grass"), a planet where a sentient plant species lives, has the following oath:

In forest dark or glade beferned
No blade of grass shall go unturned
Let those who have the daylight spurned
Tread not where this green lamp has burned.

Other notable oaths include that of Jack T. Chance,

You who are wicked, evil and mean
I'm the nastiest creep you've ever seen!
Come one, come all, put up a fight
I'll pound your butts with Green Lantern's light!
Yowza.

and that of Rot Lop Fan, a Green Lantern whose species lacks sight, and thus has no concepts of brightness, darkness, day, night, color, or lanterns.

In loudest din or hush profound
My ears catch evil's slightest sound
Let those who toll out evil's knell
Beware my power, the F-Sharp Bell!

Since Green Lantern: Rebirth and the re-establishment of the Green Lantern Corps, the only oath used has been the Brightest Day, Blackest Night version.

In Green Lantern (vol. 4) #27, the Alpha Lanterns use the oath:

In days of peace, in nights of war
Obey the Laws forever more
Misconduct must be answered for,
Swear us the chosen: The Alpha Corps!

In Legion of 3 Worlds, Sodam Yat in the 31st century - the last of the Green Lanterns and the last of the Guardians - recited a new oath:

In brightest day, through Blackest Night,
No other Corps shall spread its light!
Let those who try to stop what's right,
Burn like my power, Green Lantern's Light!

In the animated TV series Duck Dodgers, Duck Dodgers temporarily becomes a Green Lantern after accidentally picking up Hal Jordan's laundry. In the first part of the episode, he forgets the real quote and makes up his own version:

In blackest day or brightest night
Watermelon, cantaloupe, yadda yadda
Erm... superstitious and cowardly lot
With liberty and justice for all!

In 2011, soon after the release of the Green Lantern movie, a trailer for The Muppets featured Kermit reciting a parody of the oath:[22]

In brightest day, in darkest night
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who laugh at my lack of height
Beware my banjo... Green Froggy's light!

The TV show, Mad, included a movie parody called "RiOa", a fusion of Green Lantern and Rio. Blu from Rio is turned into a Green Lantern, and recruits Big Bird, the Road Runner, Mordecai from Regular Show, Mumble from Happy Feet, and one of the Angry Birds, and turns them into Green Lanterns.

In brightest day, in blackest night,
Despite our shape, our size, our height,
We're birds who walk, which isn't right,
But starting now, we will take flight!

The phrase "in the brightest day and in the darkest night" can also be found in a letter Sullivan Ballou wrote to his wife during the American Civil War, shortly before he was killed in the First Battle of Bull Run (1861).

With the exception of Alan Scott, all Lantern oaths are formatted in four lines of Iambic tetrameter.

In other media[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Wallace, Dan (2008). "Green Lantern". In Dougall, Alastair. The Marvel Comics Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. pp. 144–147. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5. OCLC 213309017. 
  2. ^ Kistler, Alan (2006-02-13). "(Feb. 13, 2006): "Alan Kistler's Profile On: Green Lantern!"". Monitor Duty. Retrieved 2010-09-14. 
  3. ^ Albert, Aaron. "Green Lantern - Hal Jordan Profile". Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Wright, Bradford W. Comic Book Nation. Johns Hopkins, 2001. Pg. 227
  5. ^ Green Lantern: Blackest Night. "Green Lantern: Blackest Night (9781401227869): Geoff Johns, Doug Mahnke: Books". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-07-07. 
  6. ^ Joel Hahn (2006). "1961 Alley Awards". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c Joel Hahn (2006). "1970 Academy of Comic Book Arts Awards". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  8. ^ Joel Hahn (2006). "1971 Academy of Comic Book Arts Awards". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  9. ^ Melby, Nathan; "Gay comics characters get media attention: Green Lantern writer Winick focuses on hate crimes, while Marvel’s Rawhide Kid is called out"; cbgextra.com[dead link]
  10. ^ Jonah Weiland (13 June 2003). "Green Lantern Honored by GLAAD". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  11. ^ "Hal Jordan (Green Lanter) - #7 Top Comic Book Heroes". IGN. May 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  12. ^ Daniel Trotta (June 1, 2012). "Gay Green Lantern appears in alternate universe". Reuters.com. 
  13. ^ Thomas, Roy (2001). "The Lensman Connection". Alter Ego 3 (10). p. 24. 
  14. ^ Green Lantern v5 #14 (Jan. 2013)
  15. ^ 52, Week #13. Writers Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid Artists Todd Nauck and Marlo Alquiza.
  16. ^ Identity Crisis #2
  17. ^ Man of Tomorrow 19 (1998)
  18. ^ Justice League of America v1 #77 p18 Dec 1969"
  19. ^ Green Lantern Corps 206
  20. ^ Schwartz, Julius (2000). Man of Two Worlds: My Life in Science Fiction and Comics. New York: Harper Collins. pp. 67–68. ISBN 0-380-810514. 
  21. ^ "Green Lantern's Oath". Dial B for Blog. 
  22. ^ "The Muppets - Being Green Teaser Trailer". MuppetsStudio. Retrieved 9 July 2011. 

External links[edit]