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See DC Comics * List of DC Comics characters Green Lantern in other media

Golden Age Green Lantern fan art by Roger Caldwell
Golden Age Green Lantern fan art by Roger Caldwell

Green Lantern is the name of several superheroes appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The first (Alan Scott) was created by writer Bill Finger and artist Martin Nodell in All-American Comics #16 (July 1940). The best-known is Hal Jordan, created by John Broome and Gil Kane in Showcase #22 (Oct. 1959).

Each Green Lantern possesses a power ring that gives the user great control over the physical world as long as the wielder has sufficient willpower and strength to wield it.

While the ring of the Golden Age Green Lantern (Alan Scott) was magically powered, the rings worn by all subsequent Lanterns were 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.

After World War II, when sales of superhero comic books generally declined, DC ceased publishing new adventures of the Alan Scott Green Lantern. At the beginning of the Silver Age of Comic Books, DC editor Julius Schwartz had writer Broome and artist Kane revive the Green Lantern character, this time as test pilot Hal Jordan, who became a founding member of the Justice League of America. In the early 1970s, 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 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 John Stewart, Guy Gardner, and Kyle Rayner.

Each of Earth's Green Lanterns has been a member of the Justice Society of America or the Justice League, 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/Flash), Hal Jordan and Barry Allen (the Silver Age Green Lantern and Flash), and Kyle Rayner and Wally West (the modern age Green Lantern and Flash), as well as Jordan being friends with West.

Contents

Publication history

Golden Age

Green Lantern (sometimes called The Green Lantern in the early days) was created by Martin Nodell (using the name Mart Dellon) and Bill Finger. 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. The collector market for original copies of this issue is strong, with a sale in October 2007 selling on an online vintage comic trading site, ComicConnect.com, for $29,250.http://boards.collectors-society.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1939651&page=0 This Green Lantern was Alan Scott, an engineer who had come into possession of a magic lantern. 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 wood.

Nodell had originally planned to give 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 of the same name a movie star. Nodell would always joke that they'd missed a great opportunity.

Green Lanterns of two worlds: Hal Jordan (left) meets Alan Scott in Green Lantern #40 (Oct. 1965). Cover art by Gil Kane & Murphy Anderson.
Green Lanterns of two worlds: Hal Jordan (left) meets Alan Scott in Green Lantern #40 (Oct. 1965). Cover art by Gil Kane & Murphy Anderson.

Green Lantern was a popular character in the 1940s, featured in both All-American Comics and in his own title and 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 declined. The Green Lantern comic book was cancelled with issue #40 (October 1949). All Star Comics #57 (1951) was the character's last Golden Age appearance.

Silver Age revival

In the late 1950s, DC Comics successfully revived superheroes, ushering in what became known as the Silver Age of Comic Books. Rather than bringing back the same Golden Age heroes — as Atlas Comics, the 1950s precursor of Marvel Comics, unsuccessfully attempted — DC re-imagined them as new characters for the modern age. 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. The Corps' rings were powerless against anything colored yellow, due to a necessary impurity in the ring. 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.

The Silver Age Green Lantern was unique in several ways. He was the first DC superhero with a family. Written by John Broome and drawn by Gil Kane, these stories have been reprinted in deluxe hardback editions.

This Green Lantern was a founding member of the Justice League of America and starred in his own title as well; in issue #40 (Oct. 1965), he met his Golden Age predecessor, who was established to live on the parallel world of Earth-Two, separate from Jordan's Earth-One. The two Lanterns struck up a close friendship and have periodically come to each other's aid. Hal Jordan's Green Lantern also became close friends with Barry Allen, and the two heroes appeared frequently in each other's comics to team up.

Later developments

"My ward is a junkie!" Green Lantern vol. 2, #86 (Nov. 1971). Cover art by Neal Adams.
"My ward is a junkie!" Green Lantern vol. 2, #86 (Nov. 1971). Cover art by Neal Adams.

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 light fantasy, worked with the writer-artist team of Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams to spark new interest in the book and address a perceived need for social "relevance" — a general pop-culture catchphrase of the time. 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 Arsenal) 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".Wright, Bradford W. Comic Book Nation. Johns Hopkins, 2001. Pg. 227 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, Geoff Johns returned Hal Jordan as Green Lantern in Green Lantern: Rebirth. The Green Lantern Corps would follow with Green Lantern Corps: Recharge. Currently there is a regular series for each, as well as some specials. Johns and Gibbons have been bringing back many elements from the title's rich and varied history, including formerly dead characters, ideas from Alan Moore's Green Lantern Corps' stories, with a sci-fi cop feel. This culminates in the creation of the Sinestro Corps and the Sinestro War. The Sinestro War ended shortly after the Guardians issues the first of ten new laws: Green Lantern's rings are now authorized to kill any member of the Sinestro Corps. This seems to have been Sinestro's goal because people will now fear Green Lanterns.

The groundwork has been laid for more future lantern corps, including black, blue, and red.

Awards

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; and 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), and in 1971 for Best Individual Story ("Snowbirds Don't Fly", Green Lantern vol. 2, #85 by O'Neil and Adams).

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. Inker Dick Giordano received the Shazam Award for Best Inker (Dramatic Division) for his work on Green Lantern and other titles.

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 and received two GLAAD awards for his Green Lantern work.

Fictional character biographies

Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern. Promotional cover art for JSA # 77, by Alex Ross.
Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern. Promotional cover art for JSA # 77, by Alex Ross.

Golden Age Green Lantern: Alan Scott

See Alan Scott

Alan Scott's Green Lantern history traditionally began thousands of years ago when a mystical "green flame" fell to Earth. The voice of the flame prophesied that it would act three times: once to bring death, once to bring life, and once to bring power. By 1940, the flame had been fashioned into a metal lantern, which fell into the hands of Alan Scott, a young engineer. Following a railroad bridge collapse, 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 crimefighter. Alan was a founding member of the Justice Society of America. He is also an honorary member of the Green Lantern Corps. However, two subsequent stories threw this separation of Alan Scott from Corps history into question.

At least one story during one of the earliest cross-over adventures of the Justice League with their pre-Crisis Earth-2 counterparts, the Justice Society, showed Hal Jordan and Alan Scott charging their rings from the same Power Battery, an impossibility if the source of the two rings' power was different and incompatible. Thirty years later, a post-Crisis Tales of the Green Lantern Corps story brought Scott even closer to the Corps' ranks. It was revealed that Hal Jordan was predated as Earth's Green Lantern by a citizen of ancient China. Not only was the Corps' now-familiar green, black and white uniform motif not yet adopted, but this ancient Chinese GL altered the basic red of his uniform to more closely resemble the style worn by his countrymen. Power ultimately corrupted this early GL and the Guardians allowed his ring to manifest a weakness to wood, the material from which most Chinese weapons of the time were fashioned. This allowed the locals 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.

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 the damaged link to the Guardians, those immortals presumed the ring and lantern to be lost in whatever cataclysm overcame their last owner of record. Thus it was that Scott was never noticed by the Guardians and went on to carve a history of his own separate and apart from that of the Corps, still 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.

Silver Age Green Lantern: Hal Jordan

See Hal Jordan

Hal Jordan, Silver Age Green Lantern. Promotional cover art for Green Lantern vol. 4, #1, by Carlos Pacheco & Jesús Merino.
Hal Jordan, Silver Age Green Lantern. Promotional cover art for Green Lantern vol. 4, #1, by Carlos Pacheco & Jesús Merino.

The next Green Lantern to see publication was Harold "Hal" Jordan, a second-generation test pilot, having followed in the footsteps of his father, Martin 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 Green Lantern. Jordan 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 was also a member of the Green Lantern Corps, which was modeled after the "Lensmen" from the science fiction novel series written by E.E. Smith. The early 1980s miniseries "Green Lantern Corps" honors this 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. When Jordan finally entered the Central Power Battery and absorbed all the power, he unwittingly freed 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 youthened) 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 imprison it in the Central Power Battery once more.

Hal Jordan is once again a member of the Green Lantern Corps, and along with John Stewart is one of the two Corps members assigned to Sector 2814.

Bronze Age Green Lanterns

Guy Gardner

see Guy Gardner

Guy Gardner. Promotional interior art for Green Lantern Corps: Recharge #1 (Nov 2005), by Patrick Gleason.
Guy Gardner. Promotional interior art for Green Lantern Corps: Recharge #1 (Nov 2005), by Patrick Gleason.

In the late 1960s, Guy Gardner appeared as the second choice to replace Abin Sur as Green Lantern of sector 2814. This placed him as the "backup" Green Lantern for Jordan. During Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Guardians split into factions, one of which appointed Gardner their champion. He has gone through many changes, including wielding Sinestro's Qwardian 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 new Green Lanterns' training.

John Stewart

see John Stewart

John Stewart. Promotional cover art for Green Lantern vol. 3, #156, by Ariel Olivetti.
John Stewart. Promotional cover art for Green Lantern vol. 3, #156, by Ariel Olivetti.

In the early 1970s, John Stewart, an unemployed architect, was selected by the Guardians to replace 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 joining the Darkstars when the Green Lantern Corps was 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.

Modern Age Green Lanterns

Kyle Rayner

see Kyle Rayner

Kyle Rayner. Promotional cover art for Green Lantern vol. 3, #151, by Jim Lee & Scott Williams.
Kyle Rayner. Promotional cover art for Green Lantern vol. 3, #151, by Jim Lee & Scott Williams.

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 last power ring. Ganthet's reasons for choosing Rayner remained a secret for quite some time. Despite not being cut 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 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. Rayner later began operating as the Green Lantern known as Ion.

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 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 War between the Green Lantern Corps and the Sinestro Corps, Ion was imprisoned while Parallax possesses Kyle.

In Green Lantern #24 Parallax consumes Hal Jordan. Hal Jordan entered into Kyle's prison, and with his help Kyle finally escaped Parallax.

Afterward, Ganthet and Sayd trapped Parallax in the Lanterns of the four Green Lanterns of Earth. Ganthet asked Kyle to give up his right to be Ion and become a Green Lantern again. Kyle accepted, and Ganthet gave Kyle a power ring. Kyle was 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.

Jade

See Jade The daughter of Alan Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern, Jennie-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 to restart the Green Lantern Corps, Jade donned the classic Green Lantern uniform and served as Earth's Green Lantern until losing the ring during a battle with the villain Fatality. When the ring was later returned to her, she changed to a modified version of Rayner's Green Lantern uniform. 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 all her Starheart powers to Rayner.

Others who have worn a Green Lantern Power Ring

See also: Green Lantern Corps and List of Green Lanterns

Other DC Superheroes who wield the GL Ring and/or powers temporarily include:

  • Superman Action Comics #642,
  • Nightwing Action Comics #642, DC Comics Presents #6,
  • Green Arrow Green Lantern: Rebirth #4,
  • Zatanna Green Lantern [2nd series] #42, Green Lantern 80-Page Giant #2.
  • The dark form of the 21st century Supergirl (Kara Zor-El), while under the influence of black kryptonite, wields John Stewart's Ring Supergirl [4th series] #4.
  • Batman uses Hal Jordan's ring, on the Green Lantern's suggestion, to confront his fear; the ring shows images of his deceased parents talking to him, presumably generated from the Caped Crusader's mind Green Lantern [4th series] #9.
  • The future version of Superman witnessed in DC One Million acquires a ring when the heroes of the past replace a sample of kryptonite with a long-lost Green Lantern ring, allowing him to destroy the weakened supercomputer Solaris.
  • The Silver Age Atom (Ray Palmer) uses a power ring on three separate occasions. The first is in his Justice League of America debut "Menace of the Atom Bomb", during which he uses Jordan's ring to free the Justice League from a mental trance. The second occasion the Atom pulls the ring off the finger of an impostor Green Lantern and captures him with it"Decoy Missions of the Justice League". Finally, Palmer and Jordan are pitted against the villain Traitor, who has shrunken Earth down to microscopic size, intending for it to be destroyed when it rapidly expanded and exploded. Using a spare ring, the Atom was able to slow Earth's growth enough that it was not destroyed, leaving Jordan to battle Traitor.
  • The Flash (Barry Allen) has also wielded a power ring. T.O. Morrow created three duplicates of Hal Jordan with upgraded power rings (they were not vulnerable to yellow). When Barry defeats one of the false Lanterns, he temporarily wields the upgraded ring until he realizes that the real Hal Jordan is in danger. Barry then wills the ring to fly to Hal in order to save him. Silver Age Flash Tale "Trail of the False Green Lanterns" Wally West, as Kid Flash, receives a temporary power ring from Jordan, after he loses his powers while in pursuit on the Mirror Master and Black Hand, which he uses to become the Kid Lantern.Flash & Green Lantern: The Brave And The Bold #3
  • Ice used Guy Gardener's power ring during a Justice League adventure against Professor Ivo published in Justice League Quarterly #5.

In addition to the noted heroes, some villains have also worn a Lanterns ring:

  • Star Sapphire (Carol Ferris) briefly had control of Hal Jordan's ring DC Comics Presents #6.
  • Hector Hammond, in his initial appearance, gains control of a facsimile ring created for Thomas Kalmaku by Jordan, through the use of advanced technology. The ring grants Hammond the full powers of a Green Lantern before the charge expires.
  • During Identity Crisis, Deathstroke (Slade Wilson) tried to gain control of Kyle's ring, believing his enhanced mental powers would overcome Rayner's will. Slade interrupts the use of the Green Lantern's ring; although it is unclear whether this is due to the mercenary's cognitive prowess or the mere fact that he broke the Green Lantern's fingers.

Most recently, the November issue of Sinestro Corps displays Oliver Peckham, a noted DC Universe scientist, donning the Green Lantern logo and wearing what appears to be a power ring. It is unknown whether this is the 'new Green Lantern' to which Geoff Johns referred in June.

Powers and abilities

Each Green Lantern wields a power ring that can generate a variety of effects, sustained purely by the ring wearer's strength of will. The greater the user's willpower, the more effective the ring. The limits of the power ring's abilities are not clearly defined and it has been referred to as "the most powerful weapon in the universe" on more than one occasion. Across the years, the ring has been shown capable of accomplishing anything within the imagination of the ring bearer. Stories in 2006 retconned the ring's long-established lack of effect on yellow objects, stating that the ring-wielder need only feel fear and overcome it in order to affect yellow objects. In one issue Kyle Rayner blows up an entire yellow sun in order to destroy a group of hundreds of unpopulated planets that held deadly sicknesses by manipulating the sun's energy to destroy itself.

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

  • Constructs of green 'solid-energy,' often of tremendous size and/or complexity.
  • Plasma bolts.
  • Ability to walk through walls by travelling through 'the Fourth Dimension' [Alan Scott]
  • Semi-sentient computers, including Book of Oa reference, from laws to the history of the universe.
  • Flight, including flight at speeds beyond that of light.
  • Time travel.
  • Power source, but no longer limited to 24 hours. Kyle Rayner's ring was the first ring to absorb more power than originally thought, having stored the main power battery's energy following its explosion on Oa.
  • Telepathic powers.
  • Translation of virtually all languages.
  • Force field generation.
  • Radiation, including simulated kryptonite radiations.
  • Generate "earplugs" to block out all telepathic communication and manipulation.52, Week #13. Writers Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid Artists Todd Nauck and Marlo Alquiza.
  • Render user invisible.Identity Crisis #2
  • Green Lantern: Rebirth revealed that only a certain type of willpower can use the ring effectively, as evidenced when Green Arrow's "cynical" willpower barely allows him to generate a single arrow and leaves him exhausted after this feat.

Green Lantern oath

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

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

Alan Scott (This oath was later given as an in-joke to Tomar-Re, Green Lantern of sector 2813 and the first Lantern Hal Jordan met after Abin Sur.)

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!

Hal Jordan/All Current Lanterns

The word "blackest" was often replaced with "darkest" to avoid racist connotations. The above is the most popular version of Green Lantern's oath. Science fiction writer Alfred Bester, who wrote many Green Lantern stories in the 1940s, has been credited as the creator of this oath. However, in an interview with journalist F Gwynplaine MacIntyre at the 1979 World Science Fiction Convention in Brighton, England, Bester stated that the brightest-day oath was already in place before he began writing for the character.

It had been established in the past that each Green Lantern has his, her, or its own oath. For example, Medphyl, 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 restart of the Green Lantern Corps, the only oath used has been the Brightest Day, Blackest Night version.

In Green Lantern 27, the Alpha Lanterns are revealed to have their own 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!

Duck Dodgers' oath

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-joke: "watermelon" and "cantaloupe" are words traditionally muttered repeatedly by extras in crowd scenes to simulate actual conversation, and "superstitious and cowardly lot" were the words associated with Bruce Wayne's realization of why he needed to use the image of a bat as a means to scare criminals.)

Green Lantern parodies/references

Comics

  • Doctor Spectrum - There are three versions of Dr. Spectrum from three different alternate realities in Marvel Comics, none of them mainstream Marvel continuity.
    • The version of Dr. Spectrum that had the most development was a member of the Squadron Supreme. Dr. Spectrum used to be an astronaut, adventurer and something of a playboy. On one of his space missions, he saved the life of a benevolent alien of the Skrull race. In gratitude for rescuing him, the Skrull gave Joe Ledger the Power Prism, an energy synthesizer his people had created.
    • The version of Dr. Spectrum in Supreme Power series is a rebooted version of this character. In this version, Joseph (Joe) Daniel Ledger is a Colonel in the United States Army, who perform covert operations missions. He is considered the perfect soldier: an army man who follows any and all orders and is a natural killer. Joe Ledger was the only candidate who was focused and single minded enough to be able to control the power prism found in Hyperion's space ship.
    • An evil version of Dr. Spectrum was a member of the Squadron Sinister. Although the Squadron Sinister Dr. Spectrum preceded the Squadron Supreme version in appearance, the former is considered the original as the latter was revealed to be just a copy.
  • The Beacon - from Big Bang Comics.
    • Beacon of Earth A, corresponding to the 1960s version: Dr. Julia Gardner
    • Beacon of Earth B, corresponding to the 1940s version: Scott Martin
  • The Green Ghost - from Invincible series.
  • Green Lambkin - a funny animal version, first appearing in Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew #14, April 1983. Given his ring by the Goat-Guardians of the planet Uh-Oh, the Green Lambkin was a member of Just'a Lotta Animals, fighting evil alongside heroes such as Batmouse and Super-Squirrel on the parallel world Earth C-Minus.
  • In issue #10 of Warren Ellis' Planetary, "Magic and Loss", there is a race of red-robed beings providing blue lanterns to those worthy of being "Policemen." One noble alien is selected, and a glowing blue lantern (a "mind-powered weapon") is placed within his chest. The alien, now capable of space-travel, heads to Earth where he is captured, vivisected, and has the blue lantern extracted by Dr. Randall Dowling of the Four, after having his powers nullified through the use of red-hued light. Following this, Lamplight gained the power of the lantern and joins the group Stormwatch, a multi-national superhero organization sponsored by the United Nations.
  • One of the stories in Endless Nights, entitled "Dream: The Heart of a Star" introduces "Killalla of the Glow," one of five ancient Oans learning to harness the "Glow" of their sun. She meets the incarnation of her sun, Sto-Oa (meaning "The Light of Oa"), and falls in love with him, despite being the lover of Morpheus.
  • Christian Walker becomes a member of the Millennium Guard, an agency similar in jurisdiction to the Green Lantern Corps, in Powers.

Television

  • In the ReBoot TV series there is a group know as the Guardians. Their mission is to "mend and defend," they have Keytools, devices that are capable of almost infinite feats by just changing their configurations, thus showing a great similarity to the Power Rings. In the latest movie, the Keytool Glitch gain energy-based powers that work just like the Power Rings.
  • The American sitcom Seinfeld made references to Green Lantern in three episodes: "The Barber" (November 11, 1993), "The Stand In" (Feb. 25, 1994) and "The Strong Box" (Feb. 5, 1998).
  • The comic book read by Walt on the TV series Lost is Green Lantern/Flash: Faster Friends #1.
  • In the Warner Brothers animated series Freakazoid!, villain Armando Guitierrez, upon discovering that Freakazoid is not vulnerable to kryptonite, attempts to menace him with a yellow piece of paper. Freakazoid shakes his head and says "That's the Green Lantern."
  • The Green Swoosh as portrayed by the Johnny Bravo. His power does not come from a ring, but instead superpowered boots.
  • In the UK comedy series Coupling (2001), there is a short reference to Green Lantern and his ring in the episode "Her Best Friend's Bottom"
  • In an episode of Dexter's Laboratory titled "You Vegeta-believe It!", Dexter builds a gardening tool called the Green Thumb 1, which has several functions parodying the powers of Green Lantern's power ring.
  • In an episode of Duck Dodgers, Duck Dodgers has his dry cleaning mixed with the Green Lanterns and joins the Green Lantern Corps.
  • On the reality animated TV parody show Drawn Together, Captain Hero (when he is under stress) makes a reference that he wishes that the Green Lantern were there because "he always knew how to help me relax"
  • In 2007, ls:tv (Leeds Student Television, a member of the National Student Television Association) aired a short sketch series entitled "The Green Intern" in a comedy program called "Bits".
  • Bradin Westerly on the TV series Summerland is a Green Lantern fan. In an episodeTemplate:Fact, he argues with another character about who knows more about Green Lantern.
  • In The Simpsons Movie, when asked by Marge about the significance of "EPA," Comic Book Guy mistakes it for the scream made by Green Lantern when thrown into a vat of acid by Sinestro.
  • In the English TV series Whoops Apocalypse, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Home Secretary briefly dress up as Green Lantern, Hawkman and the Flash.
  • In The Challenge of the Superfriends series, he was seen in every episode and had spoken lines in fifteen out of the sixteen episodes of the series. His arch enemy was Sinestro. It should also be noted that he was one of the three most powerful members of the Justice League, mentioned in the episode: "Secret Origins of the Superfriends." That episode itself, told the story on how Green Lantern (Hal Jordan version) got his powers.

Music

  • Green Lantern is mentioned in the hit 1966 song "Sunshine Superman" by British folk musician Donovan.
  • The New Zealand band the Mutton Birds has a song called "Green Lantern", about someone whose status in life has diminished. The refrain has the narrator assuring the subject, "you're still the Green Lantern to me."
  • The German rock band Blue Harvest composed a song called Green Lantern, which named and described all the Earthborn Lanterns from Alan Scott to Kyle Rayner. The song is listed as track 15 on their album "Rub the Slave"
  • Hardcore band, Kids Like Us have a song called Lantern Corps, in which they recite the Green Lantern Oath.

See also

Green Lantern Store

References

External links

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