To start off this Superhero Spotlight, I’d like to dive into my favorite DC hero, The Green Lantern. Most of my superhero stuff on this blog have been about Marvel guys, strictly because I am a Marvel guy through a through, but there are a lot of DC heroes that need some love too, such as old Green man himself!
|The Green Lantern|
The Green Lantern has been portrayed by an astounding 7 characters; Alan Scott in the Golden Age, Hal Jordan in the Silver Age, Guy Gardner and John Stewart in the Bronze Age, Kyle Rayner in the Modern Age, and Simon Baz & Jessica Cruz in the New 52. It would take far too long to explain each one’s origin, so let me just explain every Green Lantern’s similarity: The Green Power Ring.
The Green Lantern Power Rings belong to the Green Lantern Corps, which is a group of Green Lanterns dedicated to defending the universe against evil. Using their Green Lantern Power Rings which are powered by their willpower, they are able to use energy projection to make objects, and in some cases, make them perform as if they were said objects. For example, It has been confirmed that a Green Lantern can produce active Kryponite from their ring to effectively power down Superman. Whenever a member of the Green Lantern Corps dies or is stripped of their Power Ring, that ring is then sent out in search of one who has a strong will and little to no fear. Each of the Green Lanterns that we know have had their rings bestowed upon them because of their strong will and lack of fear, it has even been documented that the Flash (Barry Allen) and Batman among others have both been worthy of Green Lantern Rings.
History of Hal Jordan
I know I said I wouldn’t go over every Green Lantern’s Origin, but I will briefly discuss the history of probably the most iconic and influential Green Lantern of all time, Hal Jordan. Hal Jordan was the son of a pilot who died in a plane crash. He inherited his Green Lantern ring from an alien by the name of Abin Sur, who crash landed to Earth. Upon his death, Sur’s Green Lantern Ring left it’s host and sought out Hal Jordan for his ability to overcome great fear. He learned the ways of the Green Lantern Corps from Kilowog and Sinestro, his drill instructor and mentor respectively. During his training under Sinestro, he learned that his mentor had subjugated his own home planet using the fear of his power ring. Eventually defeated Sinestro, Hal Jordan testified against him and was a key element in his mentor being expelled from the Green Lantern Corps. Sinestro was banished to the Anti-Matter Universe in which he began his own Sinestro Corps, using Yellow Power Rings of fear.
After the banishment of Sinestro, Green Lantern became a founding member of the Justice League. Hal then continued to not only have adventures with the Justice League, but other superheroes such as the Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) with which he was good friends, and Star Sapphire’s former identity Carol Ferris. After Carol had been chosen by the Zamarons to become Star Sapphire, her relationship with Jordan became incredibly strained, as she was a super-villainess who despised men.
|The Emotional Entity: Parallax|
Little known to anyone except the Guardians who were the Green Lantern Corps’ superiors, there was an evil yellow impurity in the Green Lantern Central Control Battery known as Parallax. Parallax was the physical embodiment of fear and was the exact opposite of the green willpower, which made him the most dangerous entity known to the Green Lantern Corps. After Hal Jordan’s home of Coast City was destroyed, along with it’s 7 million inhabitants, by Mongul and Cyborg Superman in Reign of the Supermen!, Hal loses his mind. He then begins to become susceptible to fear, thus becoming susceptible to parallax. The evil entity then gains roots inside the mind of Jordan through his ring, and begins to control him. After defeating Mongul in combat, Jordan returned to ground zero of the explosion that took Coast City and all it inhabited it. Jordan then created a monstrous construct with his ring to recreate the city and everyone in it. This took all of Jordan’s concentration and all of his ring’s power, but it was accomplished. While talking to the people he had lost in the explosion, the Guardians made contact with Jordan, furious that he was using his ring for personal reasons. They demanded that Jordan meet them in person for disciplinary action, but Jordan had other ideas. Enraged at the fact that the Guardians had little sympathy for his loss for the Corpse, he decided to take them out and use the power of their rings to create a more realistic projection of Coast City. Stricken with grief and insanity, Jordan took the battle to the Green Lanterns and single-handedly killed all of the Green Lantern warriors, Guardians, and even Sinestro. He then went into the Green Lantern Central Battery and absorbed all of the Green Energy from it, effectively killing the Green Lantern Corps and emerging from the battery with the new identity, Parallax.
|The Green Lantern/Parallax|
As Parallax, Hal fought many of his former friends and allies including Kyle Rayner, the newest Green Lantern of Earth, while attempting to restore Coast City. He conspired with Extant to restart the universe and attempted to sway others to his cause by offering them wealth and power in this new universe, the purpose of which was to ‘set things right.’ Hal was ultimately defeated by heroes of Earth. Hal seemed to gain lucidity, healing the paralyzed John Stewart and resurrecting Oliver Queen, who had died in an explosion. He extinguished his powers and sacrificed himself to destroy the Sun Eater and re-ignite Earth’s sun, effectively snapping him out of his insanity, undoing his tyrade of death and destruction, and regaining his status as ‘hero’. A short while after his death, the Spectre (the divine Spirit of Vengeance) attached itself to Jordan’s soul. Hal then attempted to bend the Spectre’s mission from vengeance to redemption, using the powers of the Spectre to remove the Star Sapphire persona from Carol, however, Spectre was able to take over the mind of Jordan due to Spectre being the stronger of the two minds. The entity of Parallax that laid dormant in Jordan’s soul then re-awoke and took over Spectre, but were both soon expelled from Jordan’s soul as he regained control.
Return to the Green Lantern Corps
Jordan soon became a Green Lantern of Sector 2814 once again, as he was seeking to atone for his actions while under the influence of Parallax.
There is much more to the story of the Green Lantern, much of it has been written for the New 52 and Brightest Day/Blackest Night, but I feel like the history is best read on its own. At least now you have a general understanding as to where The Green Lantern came from.
Green Lantern Ring Mastery – Jordan’s constructs are among the most powerful of The Green Lanterns. When he creates them, one often witnesses an “afterburner” behind Jordan of all his stray thoughts unconnected to the job at hand.
White Lantern Ring
Blue Lantern Ring
Red Lantern Ring
Yellow Power Ring
Orange Lantern Ring
Black Lantern Ring