The Powerful (Human) Green Lanterns of the DC Universe
Over the years, more and more humans in DC Comics have taken up the role of the protectors of the galaxy: The Green Lanterns. Green Lanterns are powered by a Green Lantern power battery, which they connect to through their Power Rings. And with James Gunn and DC set to release a new Green Lantern series, there are so many characters we could meet.
Quite a few of these Lanterns have exemplified their true willpower in unique and unexpected ways, so let’s take a look at just a few of the many human heroes and the ways they’ve used Green Lantern’s light!
A reinvention of the Green Lantern of the Golden Age (Alan Scott), Hal Jordan is the first Green Lantern whose power came from the Green Light of Will. He is the classic Green Lantern that everyone knows and loves, and he has been a pivotal force for good for generations. Countless times, he has saved the world as a hero, endangered it as a villain, and then saved it all over it again. All of his stories span the entirety of the known DC Omniverse.
Even without a charged lantern ring, his connection to the Green Light of Will is so strong that he can transform his own body into a construct. Effectively, he can make himself one with the Green Light of Will. Hal has made his own ring, and he is his own ring. Often, Hal overrides the programming of the rings because he is willpower. He has lead the Green Lanterns before, and he will continue to be one of the most iconic and powerful of them all.
John Stewart wasn’t the first choice for Earth’s Green Lantern. And yet, when Hal Jordan alone wasn’t enough, John Stewart stepped up to the plate with a new perspective. He brought his military and architectural experience to the forefront of imagination. It’s said that when he builds a construct, he builds every single nut and bolt and screw.
Because of his building method, John Stewart’s constructs are arguably more sturdy than any other Green Lantern’s constructs. But he has done much more than build complex Kryptonian machines. He has also used a willpower greater than his ring could handle. John has successfully created planets, even a galaxy for a moment in time. There are few Green Lanterns with a hard and steely will like John Stewart’s.
Sojourner “Jo” Mullein
Sojourner “Jo” Mullein is a particularly unique Green Lantern. There is still quite a bit of mystery behind her character, and we won’t spoil anything about Young Animal’s Far Sector at this time, but we can certainly look at just how powerful Jo Mullein already is.
First of all, it should be noted that her power ring is different than other Green Lantern rings. Her ring actually recharges itself! But its power is much more limited, and she has to be aware of its limits. Even with that, she destroyed some futuristic alien military tanks with a single beam from her ring. While her constructs are sometimes unpredictable due to this unique ring, her willpower cannot be questioned.
Stationed in the City Enduring, a society that has turned off the emotions of its citizens, Jo is the only person who can legally feel. Fear, will, anger, hope — Jo alone is able to exhibit her power in this way. She has been given a Green Lantern Ring unlike any other, and only she has the true willpower and ability to wield it.
Keli Quintela (Teen Lantern)
She’s a member of Young Justice, an international hero, and an absolute genius. When an alien Green Lantern crash lands and dies in La Paz, Bolivia, Keli finds a way to use the Green Lantern power. It cannot be understated that Keli was able to hack into and modify the Green Lantern Ring so that she was able to use its power.
Green Lantern Rings are one of the most intricate, complicated, and powerful artifacts in the universe. They were created by immortal and infinitely more powerful beings. Despite this, Keli is able to fashion the power into a backpack and gauntlet that grant her all the powers of the greatest Green Lanterns. She dreams of one day working with the Justice League, but until then, she’ll just have keep saving the multiverse and keep creating her genius inventions.
Alan Scott is the original Green Lantern. He was created in 1940. Not only does he predate the modern Green Lanterns in the real world, his powers pre-date the Green Lantern Power Ring within the DC Universe. While the Guardians of the Universe eventually tapped into the emotional spectrum to create the Power Rings that respond to willpower, their first attempt was dramatically different.
The Guardians first attempted to capture the essence of magic itself by harnessing the power of the Starheart. That Starheart still lives within Alan Scott’s Lantern. It grants him similar abilities to the rest of the Green Lanterns, but it differs in one large way: The Starheart is magic. It grants the wielder unlikely powers, and over time, it’s made Alan Scott into pure magical flame. He’s a founding member of the Justice Society of America, and a hero who protected Gotham City and Earth.
Kyle Rayner is an absolutely incredible Green Lantern. Of course, he’s not even a Green Lantern these days — he’s a White Lantern, drawing power from the concept of life itself. But that’s a story for another time. When he was the leading Green Lantern, he was known for his incredibly creative constructs. He was an artist as a young man and he brought his artistic vision to his constructs.
Kyle has created Giant Mechas, firefighters, a hand to draw more constructs, and even a floating head drinking water from a flood. His creativity knows no bounds, and that’s part of the reason he’s not shackled to the powers of a single Lantern Corps. He understands the power of creation, and with it, he understands the White Lantern power of life.
Simon Baz has not been a Green Lantern for a particularly long time. In fact, he is known colloquially as the “Green Lantern with a Gun,” a man who carries a firearm because of his distrust of general authority. He hasn’t had much time to show off impressive feats of strength or unique constructs of any particular kind.
Instead, Simon Baz has shown us that the Green Lantern power of will can be used to accomplish nearly anything, so long as the ring’s wearer wills it. In his early days as a Green Lantern, he was able to wake his brother-in-law up from a coma, healing him from whatever ailed him. He can heal people with his will. And most interesting of all is his ability to use Emerald Sight, which is an extremely rare if not entirely unseen Lantern ability to see the near future.
Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz are patrol partners, though it wasn’t originally by choice. Hal Jordan assigned them to be partners and gave them a Lantern that required both of them to be present to recharge their rings. Jessica has witnessed terrible atrocities and struggles with intense anxiety and PTSD, but that doesn’t stop her from having a unique control over the emerald light.
She was able to survive wielding the dangerous Ring of Volthoom, and she even came back from the dead after being killed by Darkseid’s Omega Beams. In fact, Jessica can now shoot Omega Beams of her own. As a Green Lantern, Jessica Cruz is able to connect with and summon people from The Green Realm. The Green Realm (not to be confused with The Green, of Swamp Thing fame) is where the souls/consciousnesses of previous Power Ring hosts reside. She can also banish others to The Green Realm. At one point, Jessica also harnesses the power of fear to work as a Yellow Lantern.
Who do you think is the most powerful Green Lantern? Which members of the Green Lantern Corps, human or alien, is your favorite? Share your thoughts with other DC fans at side.show/geekgroup, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!