Green Lantern Corps


Green Lantern Corps

An intergalactic police force dedicated to preserving peace, the Green Lantern Corps are known throughout the cosmos for their willpower and fearlessness.


Aliases: The Emerald Gladiators, The Emerald Knights
First Appearance: SHOWCASE vol. 1 #22, 1959




“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!”


Those are the words of the ancient oath that every member of this, the most elite institution the universe has ever known, must speak aloud before doing their sacred duty and charging up their emerald power rings—the most powerful weapons in the universe. The members of this intergalactic police force come from every known sentient species in the cosmos, each a fearless warrior with indomitable willpower. 


For over three billion years, the fabled Green Lantern Corps has been the keeper of the peace in the known universe, with a standing army of 7,200 members patrolling 3,600 sectors of space. Although there are other similarly powered Lantern Corps out in the universe, each drawing its power from a different color in the emotional spectrum, none is more respected or recognized than the Green Lanterns.


Although the Corps has had its ups and downs over the millennia—and in fact has been destroyed and rebuilt several times—they have remained a symbol of hope and justice in a universe fraught with chaos. Several notable Lanterns have risen from the planet Earth, including test pilot Hal Jordan, considered the greatest of all living Green Lanterns, as well as John Stewart, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner and, most recently, new recruits Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz.



greenlanterncorps-origin-TGLC001015-v1.jpg The story of the Green Lantern Corps actually begins billions of years ago, on the planet Maltus. On this overcrowded world, the citizens of Maltus eventually evolved into a race of powerful immortals with significant mental abilities. Having conquered every known science, one member of their race, a scientist named Krona, dared to break the Maltusian law and peered into the past to learn the origin of creation. In doing so, he accidentally unleashed a wave of energy that split the universe into a Multiverse, and also created the evil Anti-Matter Universe.


After banishing Krona for his misdeeds, the Maltusians felt tremendous guilt over what they had done, having unleashed so much evil upon all creation. To atone for Krona’s crime, a group of dedicated Maltusians left their homeworld and settled on the planet Oa, located in the center of the universe. There they cast off their emotions and became the Guardians of the Universe, and began the task of containing evil in the cosmos, wherever and whenever possible. 


Their first attempt at a peacekeeping force was an android army called the Manhunters. The robots ultimately malfunctioned, at the cost of billions of lives, and the Guardians then replaced them with sentient beings with a strong moral compass, arming them with highly advanced rings that were powered by the green light of willpower. This army, which counted some 3,600 members in its original incarnation, was able to make hard light constructs out of the green energy from their rings into anything they could imagine. 


The Central Power Battery, aside from containing the energy that made the Corps possible, also housed Ion, a creature born of pure willpower. The existence of Ion was long a closely held secret of the Guardians of the Universe—one of many. 


The Corps has several branches. There is a Corps Protocol Officer/Administrator, which, along with Drill Sergeant, is a job often occupied by Lantern Kilowog. There is also always a Crypt Keeper and Corps Prosecutor. The Honor Guard is for the most elite and decorated members, among them Earth Lanterns Kyle Rayner, John Stewart and Guy Gardner. The Book Keeper tends to the Book of Oa, and all its laws and prophecies. In recent years the Alpha Lanterns were created, dedicated members of the Corps who are fused with their power rings and batteries and serve as the Internal Affairs of the Corps. Finally, there is “the Green Lantern Corpse,” the secretive black-ops branch, which only a very few Lanterns even know exists.


Powers and Abilities

greenlanterncorps-powers-GLS_1_04_600-v1.jpg Every member of the Green Lantern Corps is armed with a power ring, which needs to be recharged every 24 hours with an individual power battery, which every member of the Corps possesses. That battery then channels energy from the Central Power Battery, originally located on the planet Oa. 


Despite looking like just a piece of jewelry to the casual observer, the Green Lantern power ring is the most powerful weapon in the universe, as it allows its wearer to construct anything they can think of, and is in fact only limited by the imagination of its wearer. A Green Lantern who is an artist like Kyle Rayner might make more elaborate constructs than a former test pilot like Hal Jordan, but all Lanterns must have tremendous willpower for it to work. 


The power rings also allow for flight, as well as hyperspeed travel across the universe, and protection from the vacuum of space. It also serves as a universal translator, overcoming alien language barriers, and can analyze objects using the vast reservoir of knowledge at the Guardians’ disposal.


The ring’s main weaknesses are its need to be recharged once per day and a longstanding inability to work against the color yellow. This was due to the entrapment of the yellow fear entity Parallax inside the Central Power Battery. That weakness has since been overcome. The ring also can’t heal injuries, although if a Green Lantern happened to have significant medical knowledge, they could conjure the tools needed for treatment.










Essential Storylines and History



Getting to Know the Corps (GREEN LANTERN vol. 2, #6-199, 1961-1986)

Although Hal Jordan of Earth first received his power ring from dying Green Lantern Abin Sur in his very first appearance, it wasn’t until two years into his publication history that he met the rest of the Green Lantern Corps in full assembly on the planet Oa. Over the next several decades Jordan met other members of the Corps like Tomar-Re and Katma Tui, who would become his close companions. 



Jordan also met the Corps’ first traitor, Sinestro, who used his power as a Green Lantern to subjugate his own people and was stripped of his status as Lantern because of it. Later he would fashion a yellow power ring of his own, thanks to help from beings hailing from the Anti-Matter Universe world of Qward.



During this time, Hal Jordan would sometimes take a sabbatical from the Corps, and in his place heroes like John Stewart and Guy Gardner would serve as the Lantern of Sector 2814. It was during Hal Jordan’s early tenure as Green Lantern that he learned of the existence of the Book of Oa, a giant tome that contained the history of the known universe, and all the laws governing the Green Lantern Corps that were written in its pages.




Leaderless and Scattered (GREEN LANTERN vol. 2 #200, GREEN LANTERN CORPS #201-224, 1986-1988)


greenlanterncorps-essential-leaderlessandscattered-GL_200_C1-v1.jpg After the universe-changing events of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Guardians of the Universe, who had long been a gender-segregated species, reunited with their female counterparts, the Zamarons. Together they decided to depart this reality, but before doing so, they abolished all space sectors and left the Green Lantern Corps to decide its own fate, leaving them to their own devices as a peacekeeping force. A group of Green Lanterns led by Hal Jordan settled on Earth, and for a time, the world had its own mini-corps protecting it.



During this time, the Corps chose to execute the villainous former Green Lantern Sinestro, and unknowingly triggered a fail-safe within the Central Power Battery on Oa, rendering almost all power rings useless. Only the power rings of Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner and two other alien Lanterns remained. The Corps was essentially no more.



The Rise and Fall of the New Corps: Emerald Twilight (GREEN LANTERN vol. 3 #1-8, 1990-1991, #48-50, 1994)

Eventually, the Guardians returned from their other-dimensional retreat and decided to restore the Corps to full strength. They assigned Guy Gardner to protect Sector 2814, John Stewart to protect the so-called “Mosaic World,” a patchwork planet made up of several different alien cultures, and Hal Jordan to recruit new members for the Corps. For a time it seemed the Green Lantern Corps would return to its former glory.


But it was not to be. After the alien despot Mongul destroyed Hal Jordan’s home of Coast City, Jordan’s grief and rage allowed him to become influenced by the ancient fear entity, Parallax. When the Guardians refused him the power to restore Coast City and its inhabitants, he turned on the Corps, killing what remained of most of the membership, and drained the Central Power Battery on Oa of all its energy. Jordan was now fully possessed by Parallax, and he destroyed all of the Guardians except one, who managed to preserve the last working power ring. 


That last Guardian, named Ganthet, bestowed the last ring in existence on a young human artist named Kyle Rayner. For nearly a decade Rayner was the only operating Green Lantern in the universe. After several more villainous acts, including attempting to rewrite time itself, Jordan regained a flicker of his humanity, and he sacrificed himself while helping to reignite Earth’s sun during the so-called “Final Night” crisis. 



The Corps Returns Again, Along with Hal Jordan (GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH #1-6, 2004-2005)

greenlanterncorps-essential-thecorpsreturnsagain-CV-DR-GRLE006-1-v1.jpg One of Kyle Rayner’s last acts as the primary Lantern was to use the energy that Hal Jordan had stolen to resurrect the Guardians. Jordan, too, was resurrected, revealing to everyone that his crimes had been committed while he was possessed by Parallax, the source of the power rings’ yellow weakness. 


With Parallax now extracted from Hal Jordan permanently, the veteran Lantern cleared his name of all crimes and regained his standing in the galaxy. Together with Kyle Rayner, Guy Gardner, John Stewart, Kilowog and a few other veterans, he took to recruiting a new Green Lantern Corps, made up primarily of rookies. This time two Lanterns would be assigned to any given sector, increasing the number of Green Lanterns in the universe to 7,200.



Fear Spreads Throughout the Universe (GREEN LANTERN vol. 4 #21-25, GREEN LANTERN CORPS vol. 2 #14-19, GREEN LANTERN: SINESTRO CORPS SPECIAL #1, 2007-2008)

The Green Lantern Corps was barely back in order when former Lantern Sinestro also returned from the grave, this time having started his own Corps of ring wielders, all of whom used his signature yellow energy. Members of the newly christened Sinestro Corps were recruited for the ability to instill great fear, and their numbers swelled. 


Soon the Sinestro Corps, together with the powerful Anti-Monitor, attacked Oa and later Earth, in what would be dubbed the Sinestro Corps War. Although Sinestro himself was defeated, his Corps remains a thorn in the side of the Green Lanterns. It was during this time that the prohibitions against killing were removed from the Book of Oa, and individual Lanterns were allowed to use lethal force if necessary, a controversial decision among the Corps veterans. 



The Emotional Spectrum Emerges (GREEN LANTERN vol. 4 #25-38, 2008-2009)

Not long after the Sinestro Corps War, other Lantern Corps began emerging around the universe, all utilizing different colors of the emotional spectrum for their main power batteries. The Star Sapphires harnessed the violet light of love, while the Blue Lanterns drew their energy from hope. For the Indigo Tribe it was compassion, and Agent Orange was a one-man Corps defined by absolute greed. The Red Lanterns, meanwhile, were sustained by rage. Together with the Sinestro and Green Lantern Corps, these seven armies clashed in what would be called “the War of Light.” 


This conflict was particularly troubling for the Guardians, as the ancient Book of Oa prophesied that the War of Light would be a precursor to an event they called “the Blackest Night,” an event that it was said would engulf the universe and destroy the Green Lantern Corps. But when the Blackest Night finally occurred, it was much worse than anyone could have predicted.



The Dead Rise (BLACKEST NIGHT #0-8, GREEN LANTERN vol. 4 #39-42, GREEN LANTERN CORPS vol. 2 #29-38, 2009-2010). 

After the War of Light, the Guardians could not prevent Nekron, the embodiment of death itself, from unleashing the Blackest Night upon the universe, the Corps’ greatest challenge. Nekron used his ability to raise the dead, including several deceased Lanterns and Super Heroes, and armed his undead warriors with black power rings. With their dark rings, the Black Lanterns’ goal was to eliminate all life and emotion from the cosmos—by destroying the White Entity, the source of all life in the universe. Ultimately, it was the White Entity, and the creation of a White Lantern Corps, that ended the threat of the Black Lanterns.



War Within the Corps (GREEN LANTERN vol. 4 #63-67, GREEN LANTERN CORPS vol. 2 #58-60, GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD WARRIORS #9 -0, 2011)

After the events of the Blackest Night, the ancient Maltusian scientist Krona, who’d been banished eons earlier for unleashing evil into the universe, returned. Using his vast mental abilities, he took control of half of the Green Lantern Corps, causing a split within their forces. Only with the help of the other Lantern Corps, who were enlisted by Hal Jordan, was the war ended and the mind-controlled Green Lanterns set free of Krona’s domination.



New 52 (2011-2016)

The new reality created by FLASHPOINT didn’t much alter the history of the Green Lantern Corps, but chaos continued to threaten the universe on a regular basis and drew the Corps in. The first major threat faced by the Corps in the new reality was the long-prophesied rise of the “Third Army”—after the robotic Manhunters, the first army created by the Guardians, and the Corps the second. 

After so many devastating battles, the Guardians came to the conclusion that the Corps was hampered by their emotion and free will. They created a new, third peacekeeping force, one hell-bent on destroying the various Lantern Corps in the universe. This Third Army had no emotions, and though technically alive, they functioned as extensions of the Guardians’ will. The Third Army was ultimately destroyed by the release of Volthoom, who reabsorbed his power from the Third Army, causing it to dissipate into dust. Not long after this, Hal Jordan took the reins and became leader of the Green Lantern Corps.



Rebirth (2016-Present)

Following the events of DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH #1, Earth has two rookie Green Lanterns defending it: Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz. The sentient planet Mogo is now the home base of the Green Lantern Corps instead of Oa, and Hal Jordan has rejoined his fellow Lanterns John Stewart, Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner out in the far reaches of space. The Sinestro Corps and the Green Lantern Corps joined forces, both stationed on Mogo. But tensions between these two factions ultimately came to a tipping point and ended their alliance.













Team Affiliations

• None

Appearances in Other Media


Main Character Appearances



  • • Superman/Aquaman Adventure
  • • Challenge of the Super Friends
  • • World’s Greatest Super Friends
  • • Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show
  • • Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians
  • • Justice League
  • • Justice League Unlimited
  • • Green Lantern: The Animated Series
  • • Justice League Action


Guest Appearances/Cameos



  • • Superman: The Animated Series
  • • Duck Dodgers
  • • Batman: The Brave and the Bold




Main Character Appearances


Live Action:

  • • Green Lantern



  • • Green Lantern: First Flight
  • • Green Lantern: Emerald Knights



Video Games

  • • DC Universe Online
  • • Injustice: Gods Among Us