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Who are the Green Lanterns? A guide of the Emerald Warriors of the DC Universe

In the DC Universe, there are multiple heroes known as The Flash or Robin, but not as many as there are Green Lanterns. The reason is that, even if the name came with one hero in the 1940s, it became a title. Being a Green Lantern is being a peacekeeper in the Galaxy. It’s being a member of the Green Lantern Corps, an intergalactic law enforcement organization created by the Guardians, a race of immortals residing on the planet Oa, in order to combat evil and create an orderly universe. 

In 1959, the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott was replaced by Hal Jordan. Introduced in the pages of Showcase #22 in a story written by John Broome and drawn by Gil Kane, Hal was a fearless jet pilot who received a power ring from an Alien named Abin Sur, a member of the Green Lantern Corps who’d just crashed on Earth. The idea by editor Julius Schwartz was to go from the vigilante type of stories told with Alan Scott to a full sci-fi reinvention with Hal Jordan.

Since then, the world of the Green Lantern Corps never stops to expand. New members joined the corps through the years, human members from Sector 2814, but also alien members from all over the Galaxy.

A firm and unyielding sense of willpower is the most crucial characteristic of a Green Lantern. The Lantern’s will powers the Green Lantern ring, enabling them to build structures and conquer obstacles. In the midst of difficulty, a good Lantern is courageous, ready to face both their own fears and those of others. They can face down formidable adversaries and defend the defenseless because of their lack of fear.

The power ring must be periodically refilled by being exposed for a few seconds to its lantern-shaped power battery. Most Corps members say an oath upon charging their rings:

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!

There are a lot of members in the Green Lantern Corps. And when one dies, their ring usually finds a replacement. The following guide is not an exhaustive presentation of all the Lanterns, but a quick introduction to the more prevalent ones.

All the Different Green Lanterns of Earth and Beyond

I. The Human Lanterns

Alan Scott

The first Green Lantern and a founding member of the Justice Society of America is Alan Scott. He does not use the Green Lantern Corps power ring like the other Green Lanterns; instead, he draws strength from a mystical lantern. He uses his magical skills to fight for justice. Created by Martin Nodell and Bill Finger in “All-American Comics” #16 (1940).

To know more about Alan Scott, check out our article about his origins.

Hal Jordan

Hal Jordan is the Green Lantern Corps’ first human member. His life as a bold and fearless test pilot takes an unexpected turn when he meets the dying alien Green Lantern, Abin Sur. Hal is introduced to the world of intergalactic law enforcement and the Guardians of the Universe after being chosen by the dying Lantern to inherit his power ring and the responsibilities of the Corps.

Hal’s involvement in some of the most well-known storylines in the DC Universe during his time as a Green Lantern left an indelible mark. Despite having incredible abilities and an unyielding resolve that enables him to overcome impossible odds, he suffers from relationships, doubts, and personal issues. Created by John Broome and Gil Kane in “Showcase” #22 (1959).

Guy Gardner

Coming from Baltimore, Guy Gardner grew up in a difficult family situation, marked by a troubled relationship with his parents, and became a social welfare caseworker and then a teacher for children with disabilities. At least, before the New 52 reboot. In 2011, his origin story was rewritten, and he became an ex-police officer. But then, the Rebirth era reintroduced most of his original story…

Known for his iconic bowl-cut haircut, Guy Gardner is often portrayed as brash, impulsive, and headstrong. His no-nonsense attitude and confrontational nature set him apart from other Green Lanterns. He can be abrasive and quick-tempered, which often leads to conflicts with his fellow heroes and even other Green Lanterns. He is one of the DC characters who has notably evolved over time. He never lost his never-give-up attitude, but his edges softened and he developed real leadership qualities. Created by Steve Englehart and Joe Staton in “Green Lantern” Vol. 2, #59 (1968).

John Stewart

John Stewart was born and raised in Detroit. He is a highly skilled architect and Marine veteran known as a talented and innovative designer. However, he also faced personal challenges, including racial prejudice and his own feelings of inadequacy which made him initially resist the idea of becoming a Green Lantern. His early interactions with his power ring were marked by skepticism and hesitance.

Despite this, he eventually embraced his role as a Green Lantern and began to demonstrate his immense potential. He quickly proved himself to be a capable protector, using his architectural background to create intricate and powerful constructs. He also quickly proved to be a natural leader capable of strategic thinking who possessed the ability to think outside the box and to inspire others. Created by Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams in “Green Lantern” Vol. 2, #87 (1971).

Kyle Rayner

Kyle Rayner was a talented freelance graphic artist based in Los Angeles. He lives a relatively ordinary life until he stumbles upon the last surviving Guardian of the Universe, Ganthet. Ganthet gives Kyle a power ring and the last Green Lantern power battery, making Kyle the last Green Lantern in the universe following the destruction of the Corps.

Initially overwhelmed by the power and responsibility of the Green Lantern ring, Kyle is a reluctant hero. He grapples with self-doubt and insecurity, unsure if he’s up to the task of being a Green Lantern. However, he gradually learns to harness the ring’s abilities and becomes more confident in his role. His creative approach to using the ring sets him apart from other Lanterns, allowing him to craft imaginative constructs and face challenges with ingenuity. Created by Ron Marz and artist Darryl Banks in Green Lantern Vol. 3, #48 (1994).

Simon Baz

Simon Baz is from Dearborn, Michigan, and comes from a Lebanese-American family. As such, he faced challenges due to cultural misunderstandings and post-9/11 discrimination that affects his family’s auto repair business. His life takes a drastic turn when he unwittingly becomes involved in a terrorist plot. He discovers a car containing a bomb and tries to dismantle it, but he is arrested by the authorities for his actions, despite his intentions. While in custody, Simon Baz encounters a Green Lantern power ring that had been created in an untraditional way. The ring chooses Simon as its new wielder.

Despite his initial lack of training or understanding of the ring’s capabilities, Simon embarks on a mission to prove his innocence and earn the trust of his fellow Earth heroes and the Green Lantern Corps. Along the way, he faces obstacles that test his determination, resourcefulness, and commitment to doing what’s right. His street-smart and pragmatic approach sets him apart from other Green Lanterns as he navigates the complexities of his role as a Green Lantern and the challenges that arise both on Earth and throughout the universe. Created by Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke in Green Lantern Vol. 5, #0 (2012).

Jessica Cruz

Jessica Cruz’s life is forever altered when she and a group of friends stumble upon a cult performing a ritualistic murder. She narrowly escapes but is left deeply traumatized by the experience, suffering from anxiety and agoraphobia. These conditions isolate her from the outside world. Due to her trauma, she is targeted and forced to wield the Crime Syndicate’s power ring, Ring of Volthoom, a corrupted version of the Green Lantern ring. The ring feeds off her fears and amplifies her anxieties.

Jessica Cruz is ultimately selected by the Green Lantern ring itself, freed from its corrupting influence, after demonstrating her strength and bravery. She joined the Green Lantern Corps, where she developed her skills and turned her weaknesses into assets. Created by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver in Green Lantern Vol. 5, #20 (2013)

Sojourner Mullein

Sojourner “Jo” Mullein is a law enforcement officer from the planet Earth who is selected to serve as the Green Lantern of City Enduring, a massive city inhabited by three distinct alien races. The city is known for having suppressed its citizens’ emotions in order to prevent conflicts.

Jo’s responsibilities as a Green Lantern extend to upholding the law and maintaining order within City Enduring. She is tasked with investigating a high-profile murder that threatens the delicate balance of the city’s society. As she delves deeper into the case, she uncovers layers of corruption, secrets, and political intrigue. Created by N.K. Jemisin and Jamal Campbell in Far Sector #1 (2021).

Jade

Jade, also known as Jennifer-Lynn Hayden, is the daughter of Alan Scott. Unlike her father’s powers, Jade’s abilities manifested after a radiation accident at her father’s factory. The exposure to a green meteorite imbues her with energy manipulation abilities, allowing her to create constructs, manipulate energy, and fly. These abilities are reminiscent of traditional Green Lantern powers, although they are uniquely tailored to her.

While living in New York City, she was the roommate of Kyle Rayner–and this proximity led to a romantic relationship. After losing her powers during a confrontation with Starheart, Kyle gave her a spare power ring and battery. Now a real Green Lantern, she joined the Corps.

However, when Kyle came into a situation allowing him to do it, he restored Jade’s original powers. Subsequently, the power ring was passed on to John Stewart. Jade still fought alongside the Green Lanterns but she’s better known as a founding member of Infinity, Inc. and a member and leader of the Outsiders. Created by Roy Thomas and Jerry Ordway in All-Star Squadron #25 (1983)

II. The Alien Lanterns

Kilowog

Kilowog is a prominent Green Lantern known for his unparalleled strength, his dedication to training new recruits, and his pivotal role within the Green Lantern Corps.

Kilowog comes from the planet Bolovax Vik, a world populated by a physically robust and hardy species. He was originally an engineer who helped build an interstellar cruiser, showcasing his technical expertise and resourcefulness. His guidance has helped shape the destinies of many Green Lanterns, including some of the most iconic members. Created by Steve Englehart and Joe Staton in Green Lantern Corps #201 (1986)

Sinestro

Thaal Sinestro was initially chosen by a Green Lantern power ring to represent the planet Korugar in the Green Lantern Corps. He was known for his exceptional willpower, strategic thinking, and dedication to upholding justice across the universe. He was assigned a new recruit, Hal Jordan, to mentor. However, their differing approaches to maintaining order and controlling fear caused friction between them. Sinestro’s increasing use of fear-based methods and authoritarian rule on Korugar led to his removal as a Green Lantern. His fall from grace was marked by his quest for control at any cost.

Sinestro learned about the yellow power ring, which is powered by the feeling of fear, after being forced out of the Green Lantern Corps. He used this power to form his own army, the Sinestro Corps, which terrorized the universe in an effort to enforce his idea of order. Created by John Broome and Gil Kane in Green Lantern Vol. 2, #7 (1961).

Tomar-Re

Coming from the planet Xudar, home to a bird-like species known as the Xudarians, Tomar-Re was a scientist before answering the call of the Green Lantern Corps.

Tomar-Re played a crucial role in the Corps as he mentored new recruits and later served in the Honor Guard, staying true to his oath and the fight against evil until the last end.

He is known for his role in the creation of Superman and his investigation into the abuses of power by Sinestro on Korugar. Created by John Broome and Gil Kane in Green Lantern” Vol. 2, #6 (1961).

Tomar-Tu

Tomar-Tu is the son of Tomar-Re. As such, his upbringing is marked by the influence of his father’s legacy, the Hero of Xudar (even if he originally didn’t know of their family connection), and his deep connection to the values of the Corps, which led him to be recruited. Like many others, he was trained by Kilowog.

Throughout his journey, Tomar-Tu’s connection to his father’s legacy remains a driving force. He continues to learn from his father’s teachings, seeking guidance and inspiration from the example set by Tomar-Re. Created by Gerard Jones and Pat Broderick in Green Lantern Vol 3 #5 (1990)

Mogo

Mogo is a sentient and living planet created by the Guardians of the Universe. Mogo’s unique nature as a sentient planet endowed with the ability to generate energy constructs was a result of the Guardians’ vast cosmic powers.

Mogo’s immense size and power also make him a unique asset to the Green Lantern Corps. He serves as a living Green Lantern battery, capable of recharging the power rings of fellow Lanterns within his sector. This ability makes Mogo a vital resource for the Corps. Created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons in Green Lantern Vol. 2, #188 (1985).

Arisia Rrab

Arisia is a member of the Graxosian species and hails from the planet Graxos IV. Graxosians age more slowly than other species and, despite their youthful appearance, this fact gave Arisia an unusual perspective on time and existence. Like others before her, she joined the Green Lantern Corps following in the footsteps of her father and uncle.

After being stationed on Earth, Arisia started a relationship with Hal Jordan, but, after losing her power, her life changed dramatically. She eventually regained her place in the Corps, but she literally had to die and come back to life before that. Created by Mike W. Barr, Len Wein, and Joe Staton in Tales of the Green Lantern Corps #1 (1981).

Katma Tui

Katma Tui was born on the planet Korugar, a world known for its strong-willed inhabitants. She served as an officer in the planet’s militia, where she met and fell in love with Thaal Sinestro, a Green Lantern who was assigned to protect Korugar. Sinestro later trained her in combat techniques and introduced her to the ways of the Green Lantern Corps.

Following Sinestro’s departure from the Corps and his descent into tyranny, Katma Tui was chosen by a Green Lantern power ring to become his successor as the Green Lantern of Sector 1417. Despite Sinestro’s fall, Katma Tui’s sense of duty and determination led her to embrace her new role as a protector of the universe.

When she met John Stewart, Katma Tui didn’t care for him, but their relationship quickly evolved as they began to frequently work together. They eventually got married until death separated them. Created by John Broome and Gil Kane in Green Lantern Vol. 2, #30 (1964).

Soranik Natu

Soranik Natu was born on the planet Korugar, a world known for its history with the villainous Sinestro, her father. Despite her planet’s complicated relationship with him, Soranik pursues her dreams of becoming a skilled surgeon, aiming to contribute positively to society.

Soranik’s commitment to justice and her desire to distance herself from her father’s legacy lead her to accept the power ring and join the Green Lantern Corps. She embraces her new role as a protector of the universe, bringing her medical skills and compassion to her mission. Created by Geoff Johns, Dave Gibbons, Patrick Gleason in Green Lantern Corps: Recharge #1 (2005).

Sodam Yat

Hailing from the planet Daxam, Sodam Yat belongs to a race that shares similarities with Kryptonians. However, the xenophobic Daxamites don’t allow his citizens to explore the stars, but Yat found a way and a ring found him. He became a member of the corps and teamed up with Arisia who was tasked to keep an eye on him, ignoring at first, that he was destined to merge with the Ion entity.

As Sodam Yat’s connection to the Ion entity grew stronger, he finally embraced his destiny by merging with it, becoming a being of immense cosmic power. This transformation elevated him to a cosmic guardian capable of immense feats. His journey of self-discovery, sacrifice, and his ultimate transformation into a guardian of immense power solidified his place in the annals of the Green Lantern legacy. Created by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill in Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Annual #2 (1986).

Ch’p

Ch’p was born on the forested planet H’lven and raised in a community of fellow sentient squirrels. His upbringing instilled in him a deep respect for nature and a strong sense of camaraderie. Ch’p’s path changed dramatically when he was chosen by one of the Guardians of the Universe to become the protector of Space Sector 1014.

Despite his small stature, Ch’p’s determination and strong willpower made him a worthy candidate for the Corps. His tenure as a Green Lantern was marked by his dedication to upholding justice and defending his sector (mostly) against his old nemesis Doctor Ub’x, and his friendship with Hal Jordan, Mogo, and Salaak. Created by Paul Kupperberg and Don Newton in Green Lantern Vol. 2, #148 (1982).

Salakk

Salaak is from the planet Slyggia and is known for being a pessimist, but also brilliant with protocol and laws. This led him to become the administrator and the Keeper of the Book of Oa–which chronicles the lives and times of the Green Lanterns.

He served for a time on Earth and H’lven with his good friend Ch’p, before coming back to Oa to help reconstruct the corps. In fact, Salakk survived multiple destructions of the corps and the Oan battery, betrayals from the Guardians, being lost in the dying universe, and more. Created by Marv Wolfman and Joe Staton in Green Lantern Vol. 2, #149 (1982).

G’nort

G’nort Esplanade G’neesmacher originates from the planet G’newt who’s more of a comical character than anything else at the start. He got the ring because his uncle was a lantern before him. He lacks tactical judgment and intelligence but compensates by being brave, loyal, and honorable. Nevertheless, the corps gave him an uninhabited sector of space to patrol to avoid any problems.

G’nort lost his ring more than once but still lived great adventures as he joined the Darkstars, became the only member of Super Buddies Antarctica, and worked with his cousin, Larfleeze, the wielder of the orange light of avarice. With time, G’nort was involved in serious stories and even worked again with the corps. Created by Keith Giffen and J. M. DeMatteis in Justice League International #10 (1988).

Boodikka

The 300 years old Boodikka was a member of the “Bellatrix Bombers,” a group of women mercenaries, and was selected by Lantern Chaselon of Barrio III to become a member of the corps. Recognizing her as a skilled fighter and strategist, Kilowog validated her recruitment into the Corps.

Despite her continuing problems with authority and her regular conflicts with Lantern Kreon of Tebis, Boodikka proved herself as an excellent power ring wielder, effectively contributing to the Corps’ mission of safeguarding the universe. With time, she gradually learned to work within the structure of the Corps and align her strengths with the greater mission.

She later became a member of the Alpha Lanterns, a group of cyborg lanterns dedicated to policing the corps members. Created by Gerald Jones, Pat Broderick, Romeo Tanghal, Albert De Guzman, and Anthony Tollin in Green Lantern (vol. 3) #20.

Even more Green Lanterns!

Xax of Xaos: An insectoid reminiscent of a grasshopper from a world governed by insect rulers who became a good friend of Hal Jordan.

Green Man: A member of the Green Lantern Corps from the planet of Uxor who’s an amphibious creature. He was a powerful ring wielder but disobeyed the orders of the Guardians and left the corps to become a member of the Omega Men (a team of extraterrestrial superheroes).

Isamot Kol: A member of the Lizarkon species on the planet Thanagar where he was part of the Imperial Army, Isamot Kol’s story takes a unique turn when he becomes a Green Lantern after being chosen by a power ring. He initially had difficulties finding his place in the corps as he often questioned his orders, but he eventually became a trusted Lantern.

Vath Sarn: Originally from the planet Rann, he was a natural enemy of Isamot Kol, but as members of the corps they became friends.

Laira Omoto: Coming from the planet Jayd, Laira became a ring bearer after the death of her father, a lantern himself. She proved her worth and found a place in the corps, but her path led her to become one of the Lost Lanterns. Tragedies continued to mark her life after that.

Kreon: A Chieftain from the world of Tebis, Kreon wanted peace, unlike the other members of his militaristic warrior race. Kreon developed a conflicting relationship with Bootika that led to a lot of problems until they both finally learn to know each other.

Hannu: Coming from Ovacron 6, a planet with a distinct cultural stance against the use of weapons, Hannu becomes a Green Lantern but didn’t use his power ring to fight if possible, employing brute strength instead.

This is only a small part of the corps, there are thousands of Lanterns (but probably only a hundred or two with a name in the comics).

III. The Guardians

The development and direction of the Green Lantern Corps were significantly influenced by the ancient and mysterious species known as the Guardians of the Universe. They often work in groups and are not frequently singled out for attention, but some of the Guardians from Oa became predominant in the Green Lantern stories:

Ganthet

Ganthet is one of the most recognizable Guardians due to his actions deviating from his fellow Guardians’ conventional decisions. He often showed more empathy and concern for the well-being of individuals, which led to his involvement in various significant events within the Green Lantern universe.

Sayd

Sayd is another Guardian who, like Ganthet, displayed more compassion and a willingness to understand the emotional spectrum beyond just willpower. She has had notable interactions with different Lanterns and played a role in the formation of the Blue Lantern Corps.

Appa Ali Apsa

The Guardians select Appa Ali Apsa to serve as their envoy to experience life on Earth when Green Arrow draws their attention to the fact that they are too far removed from the mortals they have pledged to save. Appa has several adventures while traveling the US with Green Lantern Hal Jordan and Green Arrow, and he also picks up some important life lessons. Later, he decides to give up his Guardian status, his abilities, and his immortality in favor of exploring the cosmos.

Scar

Called Scar because of a recognizable scar on the right side of her head acquired from battling the Anti-Monitor. After that, she started to behave very differently from the other Guardians, becoming menacing, militaristic, and obsessed with the power of death. That’s why she ended up playing a part during the Blackest Night event.

Krona

Krona was originally a scientist from Oa responsible for the creation of the multiverse. His reckless experiments led to disastrous consequences, including the creation of the Anti-Monitor. He is often associated with the Crisis on Infinite Earths event.

Want to know more about the Green Lanterns? We invite you to check out our comic book reading order dedicated to the Emerald Warriors.

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