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Green Lantern

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.

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Green Lantern Reading Order

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Created in 1940 by Martin Nodell and Bill Finger in DC Comics’ All-American Comics #16 (July 1940), the first superhero named Green Lantern was Alan Scott–one of the founding members of the Justice Society of America.

Alan Scott was the first, but certainly not the last. He was a Golden Age hero (read all about Alan Scott here) and, with the Silver Age, a new Green Lantern appeared: Hal Jordan. This test pilot was given a power ring and a battery (the famous lantern) by a dying alien named Abin Sur whose spaceship crashed on Earth. The ring wants only go to someone “utterly honest and born without fear,” and there is more than one human being fitting that description as new Green Lanterns from Earth appeared in the DC Comics Universe through the decades: John Stewart, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, Simon Baz, Jessica Cruz, and more.

Once chosen by the ring, Hal and the others automatically joined the Green Lantern Corps, an intergalactic law enforcement organization founded by the Guardians, a race of immortals residing on the planet Oa. The Green Lanterns must protect the 3600 “sectors” of the universe–Earth is in Sector 2814.

The Lanterns have only one weapon, but it’s the most powerful one in the DC universe: the power ring. Those who wear a ring gain incredible abilities and control them with their own willpower. The ring protects the Lanterns and, with it, they can form constructs of Oan energy: thoughts become physical constructs. There are downsides, like the need to recharge the rings or the effects of the color yellow (for a time thought).

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Last Updated on May 2, 2024.

Green Lantern Rebirth Reading Order

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After almost five years, the New 52 era came to an end to make way for a new era, a new beginning: Rebirth! It had, from a continuity point of view, minimal impact on the Green Lanterns, as their story simply continues from the previous era.

From a more behind-the-scene angle, new creative teams worked on the title. Or titles should I write, as the main Green Lantern series was replaced by two books. Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz headlined Green Lanterns, written by Sam Humphries for its first 32 issues and for the most part penciled by Robson Rocha. Humphries was followed by Tim Seeley (#33-47), Aaron Gillespie (#48-49), and Dan Jurgens (#50-57) with art from Ronan Cliquet, Carlo Barberi, V. Ken Marion, Mike Perkins and Marco Santucci. Our two Green Lanterns were also members of the Justice League during this period. At the same time, Hal Jordan was still flying with writer Robert Venditti and artist Rafa Sandoval in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps

Things changed not long after Dark Nights: Metal. Grant Morrison took over and teamed up with British comic book artist Liam Sharp for a run on Green Lantern. There was also some shake-up in the Justice League, following the No Justice arc, with the creation of different teams. Simon Baz stayed with the classic Justice League, but Jessica Crews joined the Justice League Odyssey, a team formed to bring order to the newly created space sector known as the Ghost Sector. And a little bit later, a new Green Lantern was introduced…

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Last Updated on September 30, 2022.

Green Lantern New 52 Reading Order, with the Green Lantern Corps, Red Lanterns, New Guardians and Sinestro

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Green Lantern New 52 Reading Order

A new era started in the DC Universe with the New 52. But the impact on the Green Lantern was quite limited. Geoff Johns took over creative duties on Green Lantern with the limited series Green Lantern: Rebirth in 2004 and was still the main writer for this relaunch with Doug Mahnke as penciler.

Like most DC characters, Green Lantern Hal Jordan was five years younger than his previous incarnations but there was no change in his history — all of Johns’ run on the Green Lantern title was still part of the continuity. During Geoff Johns’ time, Green Lantern Corps vol. 3 was written by Peter Tomasi, and the new Red Lantern series (written by Peter Milligan) was launched, as well as the Green Lantern: New Guardians series (written by Tony Bedard).

After issue #20, all the teams were changed with writer Robert Venditti and artist Billy Tan taking over as the main creative team for Green Lantern Vol. 5. Venditti also co-wrote Green Lantern Corps vol. 3 with Van Jensen before the latter became the sole writer. The Red Lanterns series continued with Charles Soule (#21-37) and Landry Q. Walker (#38-40), and the Green Lantern: New Guardians series was written by Justin Jordan (#21-40). The new Sinestro was launched, written by Cullen Bunn.

What to read before Green Lantern New 52?

First, you can check out our Green Lantern Reading Order which covers the history of the GL characters from start to finish. But it may be a bit too big. After all, we are here for the New 52 era. The DC Universe was rebooted after the Flashpoint event. It is not required reading, but you could take a look at it before reading anything else.

If New 52 was presented as a jumping point for new readers, Geoff Johns was the main writer for Green Lantern for almost 7 years at this stage, and, as said above, his run stayed in continuity. The events in Green Lantern Vol. 5 take place immediately after the last two books, War of the Green Lanterns and Aftermath. Don’t hesitate to check out Geoff Johns’ massive and celebrated run before entering the New 52 era. 

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Last Updated on September 30, 2022.

Alan Scott, the comic origins of DC’s first Green Lantern

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If Hal Jordan can be considered the most famous Green Lantern, he was not the first human to bear the name. That title belongs to Alan Scott, the Green Lantern of the Golden Age.

A selfless and dedicated man, Alan Scott could only become a role model for others and inspired other men to take up the fight. Even though he serves as an inspiration for many Green Lanterns, Alan Scott always holds himself to a higher standard than anyone else.

Though Alan Scott has never been a member of the Green Lantern Corps, he was a founding member of the Justice Society of America. With or without other superheroes, Alan Scott always fought to protect others and choose to make his emerald glow a sign of hope and a source of inspiration for decades…

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Last Updated on February 23, 2024.

The Final Night Reading Order, 1996 DC crossover event

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Published in 1996, The Final Night is a DC Comics crossover event written by Karl Kesel with art by Stuart Immonen. For a change, it was not about a Super-Villain fighting the Heroes, but about an extraterrestrial entity called the Sun-Eater that envelopes and extinguishes the Sun, causing Earth to freeze and wither into ecological collapse. It’s an End of the World scenario in which heroes, villains, and everybody else had to work together to surmount the impossible.

Here is the official synopsis: In The Final Night, the heroes and citizens of Earth face the impending end of the universe. When a cosmic force of nature known as the Sun-Eater extinguishes the Sun, Earth is thrust into its final night. Deprived of the massive star’s illumination and heat, the world experiences a catastrophe of epic proportions.

But even in a situation devoid of hope, the world’s greatest champions struggle on against the inevitable. Featuring many of the heroes of the DC Universe, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, and Aquaman, this book graphically illustrates the true definition of a hero, as Hal Jordan, the former Green Lantern, makes the ultimate sacrifice to save the world.

What to Read Before The Final Night?

The Final Night is a self-contained event, but you may want to be familiar with the character of Parallax to have a better understanding of his decisions in this story. First, the famous Emerald Twilight storyline (Green Lantern Vol. 3 #48–50), collected in:

Second, the event “Zero Hour: Crisis in Time!” You can find our reading order here.

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Last Updated on September 30, 2022.

Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Reading Order (plus Green Lantern Corps, Blackest Night, Red Lanterns and more!)

When you look into Green Lantern, Geoff Johns’s run is considered the one to read. It certainly is influential, it leads to the famous Blackest Night event, and it was epic and full of colors. Johns started by bringing back Hal Jordan in the Green Lantern Corps (he became The Spectre after his redemptory appearance as Parallax in the 1996 event The Final Night), then he introduced new concepts and expanded the Green Lantern mythos in a big way that still defined it to this day.

If Geoff Johns is mostly credited for the success of the Green Lantern title at that time, he was not alone. Peter Tomasi was in charge of the Green Lantern Corps series, and reading the two together is highly recommended. That said, DC Comics can’t stop republishing Johns’s books, but Tomasi’s work can be more hard to find.

Here is the official synopsis: It’s been years since the death of Hal Jordan and the end of the Green Lantern Corps. But as the Torchbearer Kyle Rayner is about to find out, the adventure of epic and mythological proportions is about to begin as the former Lantern returns to the land of the living to atone for his sins. And the cosmos will never be the same as Sinestro wages his war against the Green Lanterns with his newly founded, Sinestro Corps!

What to read before Green Lantern by Geoff Johns?

It’s a new beginning. You can go ahead with Green Lantern Rebirth, but if you want to know the basics about Green Lantern, these two books are recommended:

  • Green Lantern: Secret Origin
    Collects Green Lantern #29-35
  • DC Universe by Alan Moore
    Collects Action Comics #584, Batman Annual #11, Dc Comics Presents #85, Detective Comics #549-550, Green Lantern #188, The Omega Men #26-27,  Secret Origins #10, Superman #423, Tales Of The Green Lantern Corps Annual #2 & 3, Superman Annual #11 and Vigilante #17-18.

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Last Updated on July 27, 2023.

The Green Lantern by Grant Morrison Reading Order

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Grant Morrison is back on a regular DC Comics series, but not on Batman. As part of the DC Rebirth relaunch in 2016, the regular Green Lantern series was canceled and replaced with “Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps” and “Green Lanterns.” After that, the Scottish writer teamed up with British comic book artist Liam Sharp to give us a new kind of Green Lantern series with a very European style.

This new series began when one of the famous Green Lanterns from Earth, the intrepid Hal Jordan, encountered an Alien hiding in plain sight. This set off a chain of events that rocks the Green Lantern Corps to its foundations.

The Green Lantern is divided into two “seasons” with a miniseries between them, for a total of 27 issues + 1 annual

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Last Updated on September 30, 2022.

Green Lantern: Wrath of the First Lantern Reading Order, the follow-up to Rise of the Third Army

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In the outcome of Rise of the Third Army, the mysterious First Lantern is unleashed against the Green Lantern Corps, still under Geoff Johns’s supervision.

As per the official synopsis, The Wrath of the First Lantern is here as the Green Lanterns battle the Guardians of Oa and the Third Army, but who will win and at what cost?

And as First Lantern moves on the brightest of the Corps for his reality-altering experiments, we learn the shocking fate of Hal and Sinestro in this crossover event!

What to read before Wrath of the First Lantern?

Wrath of the First Lantern is taking place after the Rise of the Third Army event. You’ll need to read it first:

  • Green Lantern: Rise of the Third Army
    Green Lantern Vol. 5 #13–16, Green Lantern Corps Vol. 3 #13–16, Green Lantern: New Guardians #13–16, Red Lanterns #13–16, Green Lantern Corps Annual Vol. 3 #1.

Of course, these storylines are set near the end of Geoff Johns’s run on Green Lantern, we invite you to consult our reading order to know more about what came before (a lot!).

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Last Updated on September 30, 2022.

Brightest Day Reading Order (the sequel to Blackest Night)

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Following Blackest Night (go to the reading order for details), the massive DC Comics crossover event of 2009-10, Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi gave us the follow-up: Brightest Day, a year-long comic book maxi-series depicting the aftermath of the events of the Blackest Night storyline on the DC Universe.

Once dead, twelve heroes and villains were resurrected by a white light expelled deep within the center of the earth. Now, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Firestorm, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Deadman, Jade, Osiris, Hawk, Captain Boomerang, and Zoom must discover the mysterious reason behind their return and uncover the secret that binds them all.

What to read before Brightest Day?

There’s a simple answer to this question: Blackest Night. You can find the reading order here.

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Last Updated on November 24, 2022.