Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Blackest Night Primer - Green Lantern Corps

Continuing with our primer for Blackest Night comes the first of many corps related posts. The first of these deals with the first corps - the Green Lanterns. These corps primers will cover the basics of each corps, from their oath to their leaders to their homeworlds, as well as their strengths, weaknesses and noteworthy members heading into the event.

If you missed any of our Blackest Night primer, make sure to check out the index post for basic information, links to all the other posts and the schedule for upcoming posts. When you're ready, hit the jump for everything you need to know about the Green Lantern Corps.


Corps Colour: Green
Emotional Spectrum: Willpower
First Appearance: Showcase #22 (original), Green Lantern Corps: Recharge #1 (current, two Corpsmen per sector version)
Homeplanet: Oa (Sector 0)
Leader: Guardians of the Universe
Key Stories: Green Lantern: Rebirth, Green Lantern Corps: Recharge, Sinestro Corps War, Sins of the Star Sapphire, Rage of the Red Lanterns, Agent Orange, Emerald Eclipse
Oath:
"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!"

Note: The Alpha Lanterns have their own oath and it goes as such:

"In days of peace, in nights of war
Obey the Laws forever more
Misconduct must be answered for,
Swear us the chosen -- The Alpha Corps!"


Origin: The origin of the Green Lantern Corps goes back billions of years. The Guardians of the Universe, a race of immortals that were among the first sentient beings in the universe, took it upon themselves to establish peace and order throughout the cosmos.

Their first attempt at a cosmic police force resulted in the creation of the robotic Manhunters. The Manhunters began showing signs of problems through their use of excessive force and disregard for the mandates set about by the Guardians. The Manhunters believed that order could not be established unless all life was eliminated and this resulted in the Massacre of Sector 666, which saw trillions of beings executed and only five survivors, who became terrorists hellbent on revenge against the Guardians for their crimes. Atrocitus was one of these survivors and later formed the Red Lanterns.

When the Guardians attempted to deactivate the Manhunters, they rebelled and instigated a millenia long war against their creators that culminated with an attack on Oa. While never fully defeated, the Manhunters were no longer a threat to the universe. This left the Guardians without anyone to help police their laws. As they believed the Manhunters failed due to not having or beng able to recognize emotion, for their new corps, they chose sentient beings with the ability to overcome great fear and expressed great strength of will. These attributes were to be used with the Guardians' newest creation - green power rings that harnessed willpower from the emotional spectrum.

This new corps would go on to become the Green Lantern Corps, named after the original police force of the universe, which began on a fog covered world and saw police officers carry green flame-filled lanterns on their nightly patrols. Those green lanterns became known across the universe as a sign of order and was the perfect symbol for the Guardians new police force.


Initiation: Mogo, the sentient planet and fellow Green Lantern, is responsible for the Green Lantern recruitment process. Mogo controls the rings of deceased Lanterns and guides them to new recruits. Recruits are chosen based on their ability to overcome great fear and the strength off their willpower. There are currently two Green Lanterns for each of the 3600 sectors, as well as various honour guard members, such as Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner, that do not fall under any sector and are chosen at the Guardians' discretion.

During the Sinestro Corps War, Mogo was nearly destroyed by Ranx and the Children of the White Lobe. It was stated that due to his guidance of the rings, if he had been destroyed, the Green Lantern Corps would be unable to recruit new members and the rings would simply return to Oa upon the death of any Green Lantern. No other corps has been shown to have this limitation.


Rewriting Of The Book of Oa: During the Sinestro Corps War, the Guardians of the Universe saw fit to begin rewriting the Book of Oa to enact ten new laws. So far, only four of these new laws have been revealed and they are as follows:
1. Lethal Force is authorized to be used against the Sinestro Corps.
2. Lethal Force is authorized against all enemies of the Green Lantern Corps.
3. Love and physical relationships between members of the Green Lantern Corps is forbidden.
4. The Vega System is no longer Outside the Green Lantern Corps' jurisdiction.

Powers: Green Lanterns harness the power of willpower from the emotional spectrum to create powerful light constructs. The constructs are typically shown to be limited only by the users imagination and each Green Lantern's constructs take on aspects of their own personalities. For example, Hal Jordan would only use the simplest of constructs, such as boxing gloves or giant hands to catch things, while Kyle Rayner, an artist, created elaborate constructs far more detailed and filled out than his predecessor.

Furthermore, the rings provide basic life support, shields, flight, communications and access to the near-infinite knowledge held within the Book of Oa. In the presence of a Blue Lantern, Green Lantern power levels more than double and expenditures of this power are quickly refilled.


Weaknesses: Due to Parallax's imprisonment within the central power battery, rookie Green Lanterns are weak against anything yellow and cannot affect them with their rings. Those that have overcome their fears can use the rings on anything yellow, though. Green Lantern rings must be recharged every 24 hours or whenever they expand too much energy.

Also, Red Lanterns can easily burn away Green Lantern power reserves with their rage powered flames. Finally, Orange Lanterns can absorb any and all green light, rendering Green Lanterns attacks useless against the orange light of avarice.


Notable Members

Guardians of the Universe (Sector 0)

Powerful and immortal race of beings that were among the first sentient beings in the universe. Originally from the planet Maltus, one faction of the group decided they needed to police the universe and moved to the center of the universe, Oa, and began their crusade by creating the Manhunters and, later, once they proved to be failures, created what we now know as the Green Lantern Corps.

One group splintered off from the Guardians became the Controllers, who were recently decimated by Larfleeze in Agent Orange. Another faction of females did not agree with the need to ignore all emotions in a crusade to police the universe and left on their own in pursuit of love. They settled on Zamaron and became known as the Zamarons.

The Guardians powers are quite extensive and they have shown to be immortal, highly durable, and possessing vast psionic abilities and knowledge. Kyle Rayner has been quoted as saying Ganthet has the power to crack a planet in half and the Guardians, while typically shown to take Watcher-like non-involvement type stances, have been shown to be strong enough to go toe-to-toe with Superman-Prime and even the Anti-Monitor.


Ion

Ion is the embodiment of willpower. Unlike the possessive, bug-like fear entity, Parallax, Ion takes the form of what looks like a green whale and supports the user. The stronger the user's willpower, the stronger his use of Ion will be. Kyle Rayner was the first known user of Ion's power and used it to resurrect the Guardians and Green Lantern Corps. Kyle was stripped of Ion by Sinestro during the Sinestro Corps War and merged with Parallax for a time. The Guardians viewed this as Kyle being tainted by Parallax and chose a new Ion in the form of Sodam Yat.


Sodam Yat (Sector 1760)

Daxamite mentioned in prophecies of the Blackest Night as the ultimate Green Lantern. His fall was what was said would lead to the Blackest Night. The prophecy played out nearly word for word durng the Battle of Mogo, but both Mogo and Sodam survived and he went on to become the current Ion, disproving the prophecy for the time being.

In the recent Emerald Eclipse storyline, Sodam Yat tapped into the Ion power and used it to convert Daxamite's red star into a yellow star. The yellow star would empower the people of Daxam, effectively giving them powers similar to Superman. Both Sodam Yat and the Ion entity were presumed dead as a result of this sacrifice and have not been seen since. However, many believe he survived this and will be seen again at some point during Blackest Night.


Hal Jordan (Sector 2814)

To explain Hal Jordan's storied past would take more space than this entire primer, as he has been both saviour and destroyer of the Green Lantern Corps, nearly wiped out all of time and space in Zero Hour, died (he got better) reigniting the Sun after the Suneater extinguished it and was even the Spectre at one point or another.

Hal also has a history with several key players going into Blackest Night, namely Sinestro, who was his friend and mentor in the past, Atrocitus, who was the first villain Hal ever fought, and Black Hand, who is the herald of the Black Lanterns.

At present, Hal Jordan is still viewed with disdain by his fellow corpsmen for his destruction of the corps, even with them knowing he was possessed by Parallax at the time. In the build up to the Blackest Night, Jordan has also come into contact with the other corps and has, at one point or another, used their rings, which lends credence to the theory that he will use all of the rings or somehow become a White Lantern during Blackest Night.


Kyle Rayner (Sector 2814)

Kyle Rayner has a storied history with the Green Lantern Corps. After Hal Jordan was possessed by Parallax and destroyed the corps and central power battery on Oa, Kyle became the lone Green Lantern left in the universe through a special ring given to him by Ganthet. Kyle would remain the only Green Lantern for many years before helping to restart the corps with the power of the willpower entity, Ion.

Upon the rebirth of the corps, Kyle became known as the Torchbearer of the corps and was viewed as a living legend by his fellow corpsmen. He later lost the power of Ion durng the Sinestro Corps War, but maintains Honour Guard status as a Green Lantern.

Along with Guy, he was recently given a temporary suspension from the Green Lantern Corps by the Guardians of the Universe for disobedience and dissenting opinions over the execution of prisoners at the conclusion to the riots on Oa in Emerald Eclipse. This suspension saw them teleported to Earth just as Blackest Night was beginning.

As Kyle has suffered many hardships in his life, primarily through the deaths of loved ones, it is expected that the at least some of his past loves will be revived as a Black Lantern.


Guy Gardner (Sector 2814)

Guy Gardner, along with Kyle Rayner, were granted the status of Honour Guard of the Green Lantern Corps and, as such, are not tied to any sector like other Green Lanterns. Hot headed and impulsive, Guy is also one of the most dedicated and experienced Green Lanterns in the corps and much respected, despite his character flaws. Along with Kyle, he was given a temporary suspension from the Green Lantern Corps by the Guardians of the Universe for disobedience and dissenting opinions over the execution of prisoners at the conclusion to the riots on Oa in Emerald Eclipse. This suspension saw them teleported to Earth just as Blackest Night was beginning.


John Stewert (Sector 2814)

John Stewert is one of two Green Lanterns assigned to Sector 2814 and takes up residence on Earth as a member of the Justice League of America. While Stewert is currently an architect, Johns has retconned his past to include time as a sniper for the marines and played it up in many of his battles. Stewert shares a past with the former Sinestro Corps, current Star Sapphire member, Fatality, whereby Fatality had blamed Stewert for not saving her homeworld from destruction. As a Star Sapphire, Fatality saved Stewert's life from the Orange Lanterns and apologized for blaming him all these years. There relationship, as well as the possibility of Stewert's dead wife and former Green Lantern, Katma Tui, are sure to be followed up on in Blackest Night.


Abin Sur (Sector 2814)

Currently deceased, Abin Sur was the former Green Lantern of Sector 2814. Abin was close friends with Sinestro and was obsessed with the Book of Oa and the prophecy of the Blackest Night. So much so that he sought knowledge from the blood rituals and prophecies of Atrocitus and the other Inversions imprisoned by the Guardians on Ysmault. Believing their predictions that his ring would fail him, Abin Sur gave into fear and Atrocitus was freed. Abin's ship crashed on Earth and, in his dying moments, Abin deputized Hal Jordan as his replacement as Green Lantern of Sector 2814. As Abin Sur has been mentioned continuously in regards to the various prophecies for Blackest Night and given his pasts with Atrocitus, Hal Jordan and Sinestro, it is all but guaranteed that he will return as a Black Lantern.


Sinestro (Sector 1417)

More will be said about Sinestro in the Sinestro Corps section of this primer, but he was equally as important to the Green Lanterns, so he at least deserves a mention here. Before his expulsion, he was known as the greatest Green Lantern to ever live. He was freind and mentor to Hal Jordan and close friends with Abin Sur before he died. Sinestro was expelled from the corps for his near-dictator-like policing of his sector and would later go on to form his own, self-named corps. He is the father of current Green Lantern, Soranik Natu.


Other Notables:

Alpha Lanterns

The Alpha Lanterns were created post-Sinestro Corps War as sort of Internal Affairs for the Green Lantern Corps to deal with the new laws enablng lethal force. There were five Alpha Lanterns chosen - Boodika, Green Man, Varix, Kraken and Chaselon. Of those, there are four remaning as Kraken was possessed and destroyed by Granny Goodness in Final Crisis. The Alpha Lanterns were merged with Manhunter technology, as well as their own power batteries, and given a second ring. Like Manhunters, they can drain Green Lantern rings of energy.


Kilowog (Sector 0674)

One of the most senior members of the Green Lantern Corps, Kilowog acts as mentor and drill sergent for new recruits.





Mogo (Sector 2261)

As stated above, Mogo is a sentient planet that governs the distribution of Green Lantern rings and guides the rings towards suitable new recruits. He has not been seen since the Sinestro Corps War, but, as rings are still finding new recruits, Mogo must still be alive somewhere. As he was a prime target of the Sinestro Corps durng the war, it is speculated that Mogo will also be targeted by the other corps during Blackest Night.


Salaak (Sector 1418)

Salaak is the current Green Lantern Corps administrator and direct liason to the Guardians of the Universe. He also watches over the Book of Oa. Even Salaak, who is typically a staunch supporter of the Guardians and stickler for law and protocals, has begun to question their decisions of late.



Saarek (Sector 0773)

Saarek was recently introduced to readers and possesses the unique ability to see and speak to the dead. Scar sent him, along with fellow Green Lantern, Ash, on a mission to find the Anti-Monitor's corpse, which was sent flying into space by Superman-Prime at the end of the Sinestro Corps War. Both he and Ash eventually met up just in time to find the Anti-Monitor's corpse together, only to learn that it had been imprisoned inside a giant Black Lantern power battery. Both were last seen on the Black Lantern homeworld as someone's, or something's, hands were bursting out of the ground and shouts for flesh could be heard, signalling the possible deaths of these two unfortunate souls and the beginning of the Blackest Night.


Soranik Natu (Sector 1417)

Kyle Rayner's girlfriend and the daughter of renegade Green Lantern, Sinestro. Soranik wields Sinestro's old ring and has been one of the most prominent Green Lanterns in the Green Lantern Corps title. Expect her relationship with Kyle and heritage as Sinestro's daughter to be followed up on in Blackest Night.


Related Posts


12 comments:

Sebastian said...

I just remembered that part in Rebirth mentioning how Guy's ring is always sparking and Kilowog's ring is the only one that makes a sound. Way cool.

Mogo... I thought he'd end up as the new Oa after BN, since he is such an integral part of the Corps and since the Guardians look to be on the outs, but then I remembered he's dead in the 31st Century. Curses, foiled again.

Hal's entry brings to mind the cover to Green Lantern #49 and #23 with the rings. A good portion of my own personal iconic covers are Lantern-related. You should definitely do a special post where you detail different Lantern covers.

Cool stuff, kids. Really. This is one of the reasons I read comics. The discussion, the contention, the community. Seriously, great work. Can't wait for the rest of the posts.

Christopher said...

Is Parallax in the central power batter in Oa???

I thought he was trapped within the four Earth-based Green Lantern's batteries at the conclusion of Sinestro Corps War.

brandon said...

Wow...forgot all about Mogo. When did we last see he/she?

I also thought Parallax was encased within the four batteries.

Great stuff.

Kirk Warren said...

Parallax is, indeed, inside the four Earth lanterns batteries, but the yellow impurity due to his first imprisonment in the central battery still causes all the rookie Green Lanterns to have problems dealing with yellow objects. I should have clarified it better.

Anonymous said...

From my (admittedly meager) knowledge, there was a Yellow Lantern Hal Jordan, but it was a Bizarro, not the real Hal Jordan. Was there another time that Jordan has used a yellow ring?

Kirk Warren said...

@Anonymous - Hal used multiple yellow rings during the Sinestro Corps War when he helped rescue Kyle Rayner. Much like other rings, Hal could barely used it and was laboured by the process, similar to how Ollie reacted when using the Green Lantern ring in Rebirth. Sinestro laughed at his attempts to use the yellow rings.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info -- I remember now what you're describing. (Curse my feeble human memory!)

Tyler said...

Ive always thought that Kilowog, Mogo and Salaak should be honor guards too because they really cant patrol their sectors

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