Power Ring (DC Comics)

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Power Ring
Power ring character.jpg
Art by Ivan Reis.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Justice League of America #29 (August 1964); Green Lantern Rebirth #1 (2016)
Created by Gardner Fox
Mike Sekowsky
In-story information
Alter ego Harold Jordan
Jessica Cruz
Team affiliations Crime Syndicate of America
Crime Society of America
Abilities Power ring

Power Ring is the name of several supervillains, and one superheroine, appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The supervillains are 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.

Convergence[edit]

During the Convergence storyline, Power Ring was with the Crime Syndicate when they planned to free Superwoman from death row.[1]

Crime Syndicate of Amerika[edit]

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.[2]

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]

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.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7] However, the combined efforts of all the other corps against the Guardians end up weakening the First Lantern's prison, thus setting him free.[8]

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 called Earth 15, brought to Oa by Krona's first attempt to uncover the origins of the universe. Taken before the Guardians of the Universe, Volthoom was shown to be able to harness the power of the Emotional Electromagnetic Spectrum to warp reality. As they scrambled to learn everything they could about the Emotional Spectrum they also try to copy his gifts using technology until they were finally able to create the original Lantern and Ring. However, over time Volthoom grew proud and when the Guardians considered sharing the power of the lights with the rest of the universe, Volthoom disagreed. He left the Guardians and began wreaking 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 as well as their own emotions and wrote him out of their history. A number of Oans (who kept their emotions) remained behind to ensure that the First Lantern was kept imprisoned and became known as The Hidden Ones.[9]

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 .[10] Though it is possible that Volthoom may have narrowly escaped death from his encounter with Nekron, dialogue from the entity of the ring that the Earth-Three villain Power Ring wield who is named "Volthoom" claiming to have been imprisoned within the ring, it is implied that this Ring of Volthoom possibly has the first lantern trapped within it. However, it is revealed that Volthoom is from Earth-15 and while travelling to various Earths within the Multiverse to seek a way to save his home, he arrives on Earth-3 and meets the wizard Mordru, who fused a piece of Volthoom's soul to create a power ring. Volthoom described that they had a dispute and left.[11]

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 break his curse. 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 adverse 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.[12]

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.[13] Power Ring is the villainous 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.[14] Harold dubs himself Power Ring going on to form the Crime Syndicate along with Ultraman, Superwoman, Owlman, and Johnny Quick [15]

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 nervously questioning whether the area is safe.[16] During the "Forever Evil" storyline, Power Ring accompanies Deathstorm in his raid on Belle Reve and destroys the roof to free its inmates.[17] 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.[18] 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.[19] 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.[20]

Harold is shown to wield the Ring of Volthoom quite proficiently despite its ill effects on him. However the Ring of Volthoom refers to him as its slave and is a curse.[12] He is as powerful as any Green Lantern [21] and even is able to destroy constructs from a Sinestro Corp ring, remove it from the user's hand and impressively destroy the Sinestro Corps ring itself. The Outsider refers to Power Ring as his master and mentions to Pandora that Power Ring has killed many immortal beings during the crime syndicates time on Earth-Three [22]

Jessica Cruz[edit]

Powers and abilities[edit]

All Power Rings wield a magical ring (except in the New 52 where the ring appears to be alien technology) that can generate a variety of effects and energy constructs which give them powers equivalent to those of 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 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 the Power Ring is physically and mentally painful to wield. 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 by 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, in 'Darkseid War', Grail the daughter of Darkseid states that the ring is a tether to Earth-Three and assaults its host to open a portal to Earth-Three which allows the Anti-Monitor to cross over onto Earth-Zero. 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 the 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, though the 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.[23]

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 (though it is stated that Volthoom can be unreliable), most portrayals show Volthoom to have a personality and a mind of its own unlike the highly advanced programs which reside in the Green Lantern rings. In the 1964 comic book 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 to manipulate and control 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 and directly feeds off the fear of the ring bearer and forces them to do his bidding. 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 ring is able to fully possess a host if need be. The New 52 also seems to imply 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 which is consistent with the story of the First Lantern. This could suggest that Nekron did not succeed in actually killing him or that perhaps the Guardians or some other party trapped him in the ring before he could truly be killed. This is also further supported when the entity within the Ring of Volthoom states to Cyborg that he is dying implying that by sealing him in the ring his life was spared until the present where he is currently dying. If Volthoom was to die then the ring will crumble to dust.

In addition, the effectiveness of a wielder's power ring can be adversely affected by a weakening of resolve and will or later fear. Prior to Post-Infinite crisis most if not all Power Rings did not have automatic shields provided by their rings and were forced to create constructs to defend themselves (this was a major difference between Power Ring and Green Lantern). In later stories like New 52 the ring would 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. Power Ring in his original appearance had a magical lamp which would act as a power battery for his ring. In New 52 Power Ring's battery is located in a pocket dimension and has tentacles and a mouth with sharp teeth, Geoff Jones describes charging the ring as an horrific experience to the wielder.

The ring has a green pocket dimension located within it which houses its central battery and other members of the Power Ring Corps [24]

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. These effects were 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.

The Outsider also mentions to Pandora that Harold Jordan along with the rest of the Crime Syndicate know how to kill immortal beings such as herself and have done so many times.[22] Being magical in nature Power Ring's ring is more effective than a normal green lantern ring against Kryptonians like Superman. As shown in Power Ring first appearance when he was able to defeat Superman by transporting him to Earth-Three while pointing out that Superman is vulnerable to his ring's magic.[25]

In other media[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Convergence: Crime Syndicate #1
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ 52 52: 11/3-4 (May 2, 2007), DC Comics
  4. ^ Brady, Matt (2007-05-08). "THE 52 EXIT INTERVIEWS: GRANT MORRISON". Newsarama. Retrieved 2007-05-12. 
  5. ^ Justice League of America vol. 2 #50
  6. ^ Justice League of America vol. 2 #52
  7. ^ Green Lantern Annual vol. 5 #1 (October 2012)
  8. ^ Green Lantern Corps Annual vol. 3 #1 (March 2013)
  9. ^ Green Lantern vol. 5 #18 (May 2013)
  10. ^ Green Lantern vol. 5 #20 (July 2013)
  11. ^ Green Lanterns #18
  12. ^ a b http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/02/13/geoff-johns-talks-justice-league-31s-new-power-ring
  13. ^ Justice League Vol. 2 #23
  14. ^ 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
  15. ^ http://www.dccomics.com/blog/2014/05/22/forever-evil-five-unanswered-questions
  16. ^ Trinity War end
  17. ^ Forever Evil #1
  18. ^ Forever Evil #3
  19. ^ Forever Evil #4
  20. ^ Forever Evil #5
  21. ^ http://www.dccomics.com/blog/2013/09/04/the-crime-syndicate-is-coming-to-dc-collectibles#7
  22. ^ a b Trinity of Sin: Pandora (2013-2014) #5
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ Justice League #49 Cyborg Mental Projection tells Jessica that the Power Ring Central Battery is located within the ring, Jessica and Cyborg then notice the Power Ring Corp closing in on them.
  25. ^ Justice League of America #29 (August 1964)

External links[edit]