Power Ring (DC Comics)

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This article is about the characters. For the Green Lantern Corps weapon, see Power ring (DC Comics).
Power Ring
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Justice League of America #29 (August 1964)
Created by Gardner Fox
Mike Sekowsky
In-story information
Alter ego Harrolds (I)
Unnamed white male(II)
Unnamed black male (III)
Harold Jordan (IV)
Jessica Cruz
Team affiliations Crime Syndicate of America
Crime Syndicate of Amerika
Crime Society of America
Crime Syndicate
Justice League
Abilities Power ring

Power Ring is the name of several DC Comics supervillains: alternate reality counterparts of Green Lanterns Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner and John Stewart, respectively. Originally residing on Earth-Three, which was subsequently destroyed during the 12-issue Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series, Power Ring, along with the other Syndicate members, end up being re-created in the Anti-Matter Universe's Earth.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Crime Syndicate of America[edit]

Little is known of Power Ring's history. From what little he has said on the matter, he had been given his magical power ring and power battery by a monk named Volthoom. With these weapons, he equaled the power of a Green Lantern.

When they first arrived on Earth-One, they attempted to destroy first the Justice League and later the Justice Society of America of Earth-Two. Though beaten on the native Earths, they were able to transport both teams to Earth-Three, where they defeated them. The JLA and CSA battled on Earth-Two after the JSA were imprisoned. The Syndicate was defeated and imprisoned in an inter-dimensional limbo by Green Lantern Hal Jordan.

They remained there for years until an experimental dimensional transponder used by the Secret Society of Super-Villains disrupted the stability of the Crime Syndicate's prison. Power Ring, Johnny Quick, and Superwoman used the opportunity to escape. The Syndicate assumed the Secret Society villains were heroes and battled them. In a second confrontation, the Society took Superwoman's magic lasso, the ring of Power Ring, and Johnny Quick's helmet. These objects of power were to be used by the Wizard to cast a spell.

The Crime Syndicate fought Captain Comet, believing he was part of the Secret Society. Focusing his will through his power battery, Power Ring was able to use it as a weapon, just as he had used his ring. Unknown to the villains, Power Ring's battery of power had been leaking energy, a result of its long confinement and disuse in limbo.

Victims left in its wake were stricken with nausea, severe pain and eventual loss of consciousness. Their inert forms would then glow an unearthly green before mutating into horrible rampaging creatures. Captain Comet discovered the source of the transformation, and after capturing the Syndicate, used the power battery to cure the victims and return the Crime Syndicate to their interdimensional prison. Comet destroyed the battery afterwards.

Years later, Ultraman did manage to escape on his own before being sent back by Superman. A few weeks after that, the Syndicate would get another taste of freedom. Travelling through time, Per Degaton stumbled upon the interdimensional prison. He offered the Crime Syndicate an escape if they would help him in 1962 to take Cuba's Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. After they accomplished this task, Degaton had little use for them. When the Syndicate betray him they are sent to 1982, as he had made sure this would happen when they touched him.

The Syndicators rematerialized on the JLA satellite by the League's teleporter. They quickly overcame the surprised heroes who were waiting for the JSA's annual meeting with the two groups. The JSA had been sent to the Crime Syndicate's interdimensional prison and were able to escape with the combined powers of Starman and Doctor Fate.

Power Ring returned with the Syndicate to assist Per Degaton's plan to rule the world. Though they had been double crossed by Degaton, they would help him until the moment came to strike. The villains once again fought the JLA, the JSA, and even members of the All-Star Squadron from 1942. When the villains were again defeated, the failure of Degaton's plan wiped the events from existence.

Crisis on Infinite Earths[edit]

The members of the Crime Syndicate were believed killed during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Power Ring and the Crime Syndicate were destroyed by waves of anti-matter, unleashed by the Anti-Monitor in his attempt to control all of existence.

Crisis 2[edit]

Years afterwards, a strange disruption in reality (featured in Animal Man by Grant Morrison) brought back Syndicators Ultraman, Power Ring, Johnny Quick, and Owlman, as well as other variations of the Justice League. Power Ring and Ultraman thought they had come back from the dead, but later learned forces beyond their imaginations were responsible for their brief return. Power Ring wished to return to the way his life used to be, and with that thought, he vanished. The others went into the Medusa Mask of the Psycho Pirate, and they have not been seen since.

Crime Syndicate of Amerika[edit]

See also: JLA: Earth 2

Eventually, the Crime Syndicate were re-imagined as being from the antimatter universe. This Power Ring, weak-willed and cowardly, had been tricked into accepting the ring from its previous owner. After invading the other universe, Power Ring is defeated by Aquaman, as the nature of the Earths gives native beings an advantage.[1]

Syndicate Rules[edit]

On the antimatter Earth, not much is known of the first Power Ring except his last name, Harrolds (corresponding to Hal Jordan). On this Earth, the power ring is powered by an entity called Volthoom. A second Power Ring (corresponding to Kyle Rayner), a blond man whose name was not given, was given the ring by Harrolds and joined the Syndicate, however when the antimatter universe was reconstructed after Krona had initially wiped out that plane of existence when trying to discover the origin of the Universe, certain elements of the antimatter universe's history had been changed, and now the second Power Ring was a black man whose name was also not given (corresponding to John Stewart). He confirmed that Harrolds tricked him into assuming responsibility of the ring, which was cursed as Volthoom was also inside the ring.

Crime Society of America[edit]

See also: 52 (comics)

In 52 Week 52, an alternate version of Earth-Three was shown as a part of the new Multiverse. In the depiction were characters that are altered versions of the original Justice League of America, including Green Lantern. The names of the characters and the team are not mentioned in the two panels in which they appear, but the altered Green Lantern is visually similar to Power Ring.[2]

Based on comments by Grant Morrison, this alternate universe is not the pre-Crisis Earth-Three, making this a new character unrelated to previous versions.[3] In Countdown #31 he is confirmed as being called Power Ring, a member of the Crime Society, alongside Ultraman, Superwoman and Owlman.

Justice League Omega[edit]

The antimatter Crime Syndicate has recently reappeared in writer James Robinson's Justice League of America series as part of the Justice League Omega storyline. Directly mirroring Hal Jordan's resurrection in Green Lantern: Rebirth, Power Ring has once again changed his appearance and now resembles Jordan. Ultraman mentions that Power Ring's transformation into a Hal Jordan analogue (as well as the Kyle Rayner analogue's transformation into John Stewart in the Syndicate Rules storyline) had happened suddenly and with no explanation, but notes that Power Ring is now once again in his "original" form (mirroring the mainstream DC continuity, where Hal was the first modern Green Lantern).

The Crime Syndicate attacks the Hall of Justice in order to steal Alexander Luthor's corpse from the Justice League's mausoleum, and Power Ring enters into a confrontation with Jade. Though Power Ring initially gains the upperhand, Jade ultimately defeats him after she absorbs the energy in his ring, rendering him powerless.[4] When the Crime Syndicate members agree to work with the JLA to stop a new villain named Omega Man, Power Ring begs Jade to return his powers to him, but is ultimately killed when Omega Man ambushes the group and impales him through the back.[5]

The New 52[edit]

In The New 52 (a reboot of the DC Comics universe), there are three different characters that use the name.

First Lantern[edit]

During the "Rise of the Third Army" storyline, the First Lantern is introduced as a mysterious entity trapped by the Guardians of the Universe in the place known as the Chamber of Shadows millennia ago. However, in the present, the Guardians, seeking to destroy all the universal emotions, reopen the Chamber to combine his powers with their own flesh, thus creating the Third Army.[6] However, the combined efforts of all the other corps against the Guardians end up weakening the First Lantern's prison, thus setting him free.[7]

In "Wrath of The First Lantern", the First Lantern's origins are revealed as of being a mysterious explorer named Volthoom from a parallel world, brought to Oa by Krona's first attempt to uncover the origins of the universe. When the Guardians later imprisoned their own emotions and created the original Lantern and Ring, Volthoom took its powers, becoming the First Lantern. The Guardians considered sharing the power of the lights with the rest of the universe, but Volthoom disagreed and wreaked havoc across the universe, killing millions. The Manhunters are then created to stop the rampage, but he could not be destroyed. Instead, the Guardians imprisoned the First Lantern.[8]

Freed, Volthoom began siphoning energy from multiple bearers of power rings, in the hopes of gaining enough power to rewrite the entire universe. However, using the Black Ring, Hal Jordan summoned Nekron and drained the villain from the Emotional Spectrum, rendering the Lantern powerless against The Dark Guardian, who kills him .[9] It is implied that the Ring of Volthoom possibly has the first lantern trapped within it.

Abin Sur (Earth 3)[edit]

Though he was never dubbed Power Ring, Abin Sur was the unwilling bearer of the Ring of Volthoom. He is weak willed and cowardly more so than Harold Jordan and is counterpart to Abin Sur of Earth-One who is brave and strong willed. and is shown to Abin Sur's ship has landed on Earth and he passes the ring onto Harold Jordan in an attempt to free himself, however he dies shortly after this from the injuries sustained from his crash finally being freed only to meet his bitter end. Abin Sur has shown to have suffered physical effects from the ring far worse than any other user ever displayed. His entire body has been destroyed due to bearing the ring for a long period of time.[10]

Crime Syndicate[edit]

Power Ring is one of the members of the Crime Syndicate to arrive from Earth-3 at the conclusion of the "Trinity War" event.[11] Power Ring is the villianous counterpart to Hal Jordan's Green Lantern, known as Harold Jordan on Earth-3. Harold works as a janitor at Ferris Air, where he spies on Carol Ferris' operations to sell them out. When being confronted by Carl Ferris, Abin Sur's ring of Volthoom chooses Harold, bringing him to Abin's crashed ship. Abin begs Harold to take the ring, which he does, freeing Abin Sur. Harold quickly realizes his mistake, as the ring opens a pocket dimensional portal to charge itself, unleashing a creature that attacks Harold.[12]

He is first seen at the end of Trinity War emerging with the rest of the Crime Syndicate from the portal from Earth-Three. He immediately attacks the Justice League upon arrival knocking them all down with an energy blast and is shown to be initially afraid of Grid.[13] During the "Forever Evil" storyline, Power Ring accompanies Deathstorm in his raid on Belle Reve and destroys the roof to free its inmates.[14] Later, again accompanying Deathstorm, Power Ring attacks the Rogues, who have refused to cause mass deaths in their own city, against the Crime Syndicate's orders.[15] When Deathstorm leaves to head back to the Syndicate's lab, Power Ring, with Secret Society members, attack Batman, Catwoman, and Lex Luthor's Injustice Society at Wayne Enterprises. Batman attempts to stop Power Ring with a Sinestro Corps ring, but Power Ring's constructs are able to remove the ring and destroy it. However, Batman's use of the ring summons Sinestro.[16] Power Ring battles Sinestro, but Sinestro cuts off his right arm, releasing him from the ring's control. Power Ring thanks Sinestro for freeing him from his curse. Sinestro welcomes his thanks and incinerates him. The ownerless ring then flies off to find a new host.[17]

Harold is shown wield the Ring of Volthoom quite proficiently despite its ill effects on him. At one point the Ring of Volthoom refers to him as slave and is a curse that constantly attempts to control him.[10] He is as powerful as any green lantern and even is able to destroy constructs from a yellow lantern ring, remove it from the user's hand and impressively destroy the sinestro corps ring itself.

Jessica Cruz[edit]

Jessica Cruz was made to become the new Power Ring against her will. The ring chose Jessica Cruz to destroy the Earth after Power Ring's death. Jessica was attacked by a group of unknown criminals. She escaped them and spent her life in a storage room after that. The ring found her due to her fear, which it feeds off of.[18] Jessica in the midst of tears tried to make it go away, but the ring did not. She pulled out a gun and shot it. This only angered the ring and it tortured her before forcing her to become Power Ring. Jessica unlike her predecessors did not willing accept the ring, it forced itself on her. Jessica was not in control of the ring and it began attacking some rescue workers with monstrous constructs. The Justice League went after her, looking for the ring, but Doom Patrol got to her first she informs them that she attempted to remove the ring to no avail.[19] Being the new owner of the weapon the Ring of Volthoom tortures Jessica with immense physical and psychological pain. It shown that like Harold Jordan that she has visible harmful vein formations of her ring hand and she also begins to stutter fearfully like Harold Jordan did. Lex Luthor explains that Jessica is not evil unlike Harold who is perfectly willing to harm and kill without remorse this makes it so Jessica cannot control the ring as long as Volthoom is able to dominate the ring through her fear; however when she overcomes her fears she is able to quiet Volthoom and use the ring. The costume the ring makes her bear includes a headband and a single eye patch shaped like the ring's insignia rather than a full eye mask. Jessica Cruz is the only Power Ring who is heroic rather than evil as she does not want to harm anyone and even begs the Doom Patrol to get away for their own safety and save the civilians trapped in the building that the ring of Volthoom set on fire.[20] Unlike other power rings Jessica is not a member of the Crime Syndicate of America nor does she have any association with the organization she is also the first female shown to wield the ring of Volthoom. Batman was able to depower the ring after convincing her to be brave freeing her from the ring's curse and releasing her from her torment.[21] Jessica is later seen with Flash in the watchtower; though Batman had taken away the ring's influence he did not remove it from her hand; Jessica in a moment of fear causes the ring to restart and it attempts to attack her but the Flash reminds her that she has control over her fear. Her resolve returned she successfully wins the battle of wills over Volthoom who becomes dormant one again but not before vowing to return. She then tells the Flash that she wants to learn how to use the ring's power to which the Flash agrees.[22] Jessica is later seen rescuing some civilians who were nearly killed by an earthquake apparently using the ring to no ill effect on herself. Flash then asks her what her favorite flavour of Ice Cream is to which she replies pistachio. Flash then appears with a cone in his hand further dumbfounding Jessica on how calm Flash could remain in such a situation. Later she is seen at the unveiling of the partnership between Wayne Enterprises and Lexcorp though she becomes nervous since she does not like being in crowds which allows Volthoom to weakly murmur to her but this is revealed part of Batman's plan to help Jessica fully overcome her fear.[23] Jessica later becomes very sick and is last seen in the watchtower infirmary [24]

Powers and abilities[edit]

All Power Rings wield a magical ring (as opposed to advanced scientific technology of the Green Lantern Corps Rings) that can generate a variety of effects and energy constructs which give them powers equivalent to a Green Lantern. In its first appearance it not unlike a lantern ring sustained purely by the ring wearer's strength of will. The power ring has been referred to on several occasions as the "most dangerous weapon in the universe" and it is important to note that the limits of its power are not clearly defined. With sufficient willpower, a Power Ring could conceivably wield nearly omnipotent power. However all stories after 1964 no longer have the ring draw its strength from willpower. After Crisis 2 the various incarnations of Power Ring refer to wielding the ring as a "curse"; Volthoom the entity within the ring would frequently try to overtake the user's mind and Power Ring is physically and mentally pained by wielding the ring. The New 52 series has the Ring of Volthoom rely on fear to work; unlike the Sinestro Corps ring which rely on the fear of others the Ring of Volthoom is sustained on the user's fear.

Power rings allow the user to fly and to cover themselves and others with a protective force field, suitable for traveling through outer space. They can also generate beams and solid structures of energy that can be moved simply by thinking about doing so, enabling the user to create cages, transportation platforms, walls, and battering rams. The ring can also be used to search for energy signatures or particular objects. It can serve as a universal translator. The ring can place people in a hypnotic trance, show other Earths, and enable people to travel between them, even drawing them if the user is on another Earth. The ring can manipulate sub-atomic particles (effectively producing new elements) and split atoms, but those powers are rarely used by Power Ring. It is not known if any of the various Power Ring's ring incarnations have had a specific weakness but in the original 1960's JLA/JSA/CSA encounter both wooden and yellow weapons were ineffective against Power Ring. His amused response to these tactics indicated that he had not as yet encountered any ring-specific weaknesses or he would likely have been more cautious. Harold Jordan was shown using the ring of volthoom to connect directly to the JLA watchtower computer to talk to Grid. Further in New 52 Harold Jordan was able to destroy a Sinestro Corps Ring crushing it in his hand. He also was able to destroy the constructs with his own and remove the ring from Batman it should be noted that sinestro corps ring was very low on power which may have contributed to Power Ring being able to destroy it (the Ring of Volthoom was also low on charge albeit not as much as the sinestro corps ring). This mistake by Batman would later be made by Power Ring as he had engaged Sinestro while his own ring was low on charge.[25]

The ring appears to have a fully sentient entity named Volthoom, able to talk to and advise the user as to various courses of action. Volthoom is purportedly the mad monk that offered the ring to the first Power Ring, at which point he kills Volthoom and takes the ring. Justice League of America #50 seems to imply that Volthoom is the Antimatter Equivalent of the Starheart which bestows its power on Alan Scott and Jade on New Earth. Volthoom's character has evolved along with Power Ring. In pre-crisis Volthoom simply was the entity of the ring and would act no different than a standard green lantern ring (albeit magical in nature as opposed to scientific) only responding to the bearer's will. Later Volthoom was retconned as the cursed spirit of the ring which attempted to overtake Harold Jordan mind and later other bearers of the ring. Volthoom would seek out cowardly weak willed individuals because they would rely on the Power of the ring and slowly allow Volthoom to possess them. In New 52 Volthoom is far less subtle in his manipulations and directly feeds off the fear of the ring bearer and forces them to do his bidding; Geoff Jones describes charging the ring as an horrific experience to the wielder. Volthoom causes the host tremendous pain to the point where Harold Jordan was actually relieved when Sinestro sliced off his arm and the ring left. The New 52 also implies that the entity within the ring may be the First Lantern encountered by the guardians in "Wrath of the First Lantern", as Volthoom informs cyborg that he was cursed and imprisoned within the ring eons ago.

In addition, the effectiveness of a wielder's power ring can be adversely affected by a weakening of resolve and will or later fear. The ring typically reserves a small portion of their power for a passive force field that "protects the wielder from mortal harm". In dire emergency, that energy reserve can be tapped, at the expense of said protection, until it too is exhausted. Earlier stories showed that Power Ring did not have automatic shields and they were forced to create constructs to defend themselves.

In the Forever Evil storyline in the New 52, Power Ring was shown with the ring of Volthoom, it was causing detrimental effects on his body. This effect was displayed through grotesque, greenish veins being visible on Power Ring's right hand and arm, extending to his neck. The same deformation was visible (to a much greater degree, resultant of a longer "bonding" period) on Power Ring's predecessor, Abin Sur. The deformation started to take effect on Jessica Cruz after the ring was placed on her hand. These veins are ring mainlining with the wielder's basolateral nucleus in their amygdala in order to channel their fear. The ring is rendered powerless if its user is not afraid, Batman shut down the ring after he convinced Jessica not to be fearful, also if the user is knocked unconscious the ring will stop working until the user retains consciousness as shown when Jessica Cruz was knocked out cold. Captain Cold was also able to "quiet" the ring for a few moments with a blast from his cold gun. Flash also states that the Ring of Volthoom is unable to do anything that the user will not allow it too, to this end Jessica Cruz was able to make Volthoom go into dormancy by enforcing her will over his; this was implied earlier In Forever Evil when Harold Jordan refused to charge his ring it could do nothing but make more demands to get charged. This action ironically lead to Harold's death as he foolishly battled Sinestro when the ring was low on power.

In other media[edit]

A version of Power Ring corresponding with Hal Jordan appears in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths voiced by Nolan North. In the final battle he is bested by Jordan and is arrested by the U.S. Marines along with Ultraman and Superwoman, the only surviving heads of the Crime Syndicate.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Greenberger, Robert (2008). "Crime Syndicate". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. p. 89. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5. OCLC 213309017. 
  2. ^ 52 52: 11/3-4 (May 2, 2007), DC Comics
  3. ^ Brady, Matt (2007-05-08). "THE 52 EXIT INTERVIEWS: GRANT MORRISON". Newsarama. Retrieved 2007-05-12. 
  4. ^ Justice League of America vol. 2 #50
  5. ^ Justice League of America vol. 2 #52
  6. ^ Green Lantern Annual vol. 5 #1 (October 2012)
  7. ^ Green Lantern Corps Annual vol. 3 #1 (March 2013)
  8. ^ Green Lantern vol. 5 #18 (May 2013)
  9. ^ Green Lantern vol. 5 #20 (July 2013)
  10. ^ a b http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/02/13/geoff-johns-talks-justice-league-31s-new-power-ring
  11. ^ Justice League Vol. 2 #23
  12. ^ Johns, Geoff (w), Reis, Ivan (p), Prado, Joe, Eber Ferreira, Rob Hunter, Andy Lanning (i), Reis, Rod, Tomeu Morey, Tony Avina (col), Napolitano, Nick J. (let). "Forever Numb" Justice League v2, 26 (February 2013), DC Comics
  13. ^ Trinity War end
  14. ^ Forever Evil #1
  15. ^ Forever Evil #3
  16. ^ Forever Evil #4
  17. ^ Forever Evil #5
  18. ^ Justice League vol. 2 #30
  19. ^ Justice League vol. 2 #31
  20. ^ Justice League vol. 2 #32
  21. ^ Justice League vol. 2 #33
  22. ^ Justice League vol. 2 #34
  23. ^ Justice League vol.2 #35
  24. ^ Justice League #37
  25. ^ Forever Evil#4 Batman attempts to wield a Sinestro Corps Ring against Power Ring but is disarmed; Batman however used the ring to attract Sinestro whom Power Ring then engages in battle

External links[edit]