I am only including one ring from that whole emotional spectrum, and I’m staying classic. Now, I’m not talking about the sweat shop made sales lures that DC knocked out during the Blackest Night event I’m talking about the actual thing that the character wears. I don’t read a lot of DC but if I’ve got it right it means that whoever is the Green Lantern is gets this wicked cool ring that can manifest anything you can think of. You can make novelty-sized baseball mitts to catch your flying compadres with or turn your will forced energy into a sniper rifle to better direct the aim of your retribution. It’s pretty cool, even if it is a little too powerful for my liking. If I wrote a GL story I’d have an older Lantern have gone nuts and created their own planet filled with people completely from the ring and they slowly lose more of their mind in this self-fulfilled fantasy land. That would be a cool story.
2 - Legion Ring
I only included this ring because I think it looks the coolest and would be one that I’d actually wear but then as I researched it I found out that if you wear one you get the ability to fly, even in outer space. This is because the Valorium is a special material (so I can’t knock one up in gold-plated stainless steel and consider myself from the 31st century, which sucks) and so imbues the wearer with these special qualities. I’m assuming it also helps people breath in outer space, or else you have to provide your own flight suit, otherwise that thing should come with a warning or something. I wonder if DC will ever write about other Legion rings, maybe even from the 41st century, that help you live underwater, or teleport, or jump to the front of really long lines for cold lemonade on hot days.
3.- The Phantom’s Ring
He’s the ghost who walks, and so to ensure that some people don’t actually believe he’s some false superstition or doctored photo he makes sure to leave a permanent mark, and that’s where his rings come in. He wears two of them, one on each hand, and one is for good people and the other for bad. The rings are forged like those old wax seals so that they can permanently imprint people, so when he punches you with the bad ring it leaves a permanent skull mark on you and then all shall know of your dastardly ways. That sounds pretty good, like a scarlet letter, though I assume he doesn’t pimp slap too many ladies of the night, but I figure rather than branding these villains and then setting them off into the night why doesn’t he just finished the job, either jail or death will suffice, I’m not picky. It seems a little silly to mar these people but not actually try and stop them. I figure most crims would wear their skull mark as a badge of pride that they fought the Phantom and got away.
My other concern is his good ring. I consider myself a good guy, one of the best I’ve ever had the honour of meeting, but I don’t want to have to get floored with a left-handed cross just to get a mark to prove I’m good. Even if it’s just a hearty back hand slap I still don’t want it. I’d rather fall in the camp of people Phantom doesn’t know or guys he hasn’t made up his mind about yet.
4 - Mandarin Rings
I never wore a permanent ring until I got married and I’m not one to judge, if I were offered any of the previous rings I’d be all over them, to be honest, but I don’t think I have the commitment it takes to wear five rings on each hand, no matter what they all do. The Mandarin comes from a different country than me so perhaps it’s a cultural thing, I won’t say it’s lame, but it can’t be easy sneaking up on the good guy when you’ve got ten little tinkles coming from your hands constantly. With their power combined he’s able to do some pretty cool stuff, but he still looks like a goon. I’d keep them in a sack, or some pouches on my suit, and bust them out as necessary. You know there’s at least one completely gaudy one he only ever uses once a decade but he just can’t bring himself to take off, or heaven forbid, get rid off. There needs to be a superpowered good will shop to donate these things to.
5 - Eye of Agamotto
This is the pimp medallion that every rapper wishes they had. It’s big, it’s round, it’s starin’ at all the ladies, and it’s completely awesome. It helps that Stephen Strange packs it into an ensemble that includes one of the best capes in the business, a pencil thin moustache, and Wong the ever present Asian man-servant. Strange has got it all going on but the Eye of Agamotto ties it all together. Through it, Strange can summon all sorts of mystic powers and that's what you need from your added jewellery, extra abilities. Dr Strange held down the role of Sorcerer Supreme for years wielding this bad boy in all manner of fights. Now it resides with Brother Voodoo, though seems to have become a heavy plot point in the latest New Avengers relaunch. Perhaps they’ll look into branching out in Eye of Agamotto rings, they seem to be the thing to have.
6 - Luke Cage’s Tiara
I don’t think I’ll ever understand why this impenetrable bruiser from the Bronx decided to wear a golden tiara atop his manly and intimidating ‘fro. Scientists could work round the clock, in shifts, to throw anything from chaos theory to multiple level string mathematics at this conundrum and they’ll never figure it out. It’s one of those things like why Santa even kept Rudolph around in the first place or how Matt Murdock still has past lovers who aren’t completely incapacitated. This is the worst, most laughable, and probably racially obnoxious costume design but the weirdest thing is that Cage still manages to pull it off. That’s his power, the ability to actually make certain items of clothing work when by all chemistry and physics they shouldn’t. There’s no point getting angry or feigning confusion when in the end you just have to pay respect. Perhaps it’s because he accessorised it with that damn chain belt.
7 - Black Widow’s Bracelets
Functional. Sexy. Dangerous. Fatal. Do I even need to string a sentence together for this one? Just imagine her only wearing these little trinkets. ‘Nuff said.
Okay, so as not to come across as a complete mysoginist ass, these bracelets are cool because they're her main weapon, they discharge the dreaded 'widow's bite', which is a massive electric charge that drops most people she nails with it. She's also had tear gas cartridges in there, radio transmitters, even plastic explosives. They're like the Bat Utility Belt except way easier to accessorise with and nowhere near as lame because the Black Widow would never need shark repellant, she'd just pick the shark up and homerun swing her enemy with it in the face. Not really, she's not that strong but she's easily that awesome.
8 - Clark Kent’s Glasses
A few pieces of metal around some glass lens and suddenly no one can recognise you. That’s a pretty cool gadget, you’d expect it to be some sort of alien technology or S.H.I.E.L.D. encoded transformation device to be able to get people to see you as someone completely different. No, it’s just some cheap dime store glasses. A mate of mine tried to tell me that the lenses even alter the colours of his eyes, but if someone wore contact lenses that modified their iris colour I doubt I’d suddenly lose them in a room. Perhaps I’m overthinking it, or perhaps using some shoddy frames and a different part really does make the man someone new. I’ll have to try it some time, see if I can play my own party animal twin brother, Mike.
9 - Jesse Custer’s Lighter
There’s absolutely no doubting that this fine piece of accessory is all that is bad ass in the world. For all of Ennis’ hardcore meat sex and bullets that shattered craniums, his lasting tribute to the world of cool was the ‘Fuck Communism’ lighter. This thing was given to Custer's father during the war by John Wayne. It’s brilliant and says so much without needing to say more than two words. It’s an economy of words, and ideas, that Ennis doesn’t always possess but here he created something that would leap from the pages and define what it meant to have an enemy, and to stick it to them.
10 - Spider-Man’s Web Shooters
I love how Stan Lee always wanted to explain how things worked. He’s had little cross section diagrams made up of Daredevil’s billy club and the secret headquarters of all the gangs but the one that always fascinated me as a kid was the web shooter. Seeing just how it worked and having the science fit into the story so that Peter would have to make the web fluid, and it would usually break down within an hour, and he could run out of it while on the job was just awesome storytelling in all aspects of the craft. Stan was always thinking that one step ahead, sure, his reasons and explanations weren’t guaranteed to be logical but they were sure as hell a damn lot of fun. Having Peter walk around with these web shooters on his wrist all day was something that any kid could pretend to have. That’s what makes comics fun, the fact that kids can play it and every kid wanted a pair of these.
It's an amazing world when you delve into the accessories that comic characters are adorned with. It's this little minutae that fills a universe and adds density to the reading experience. What comic jewellery would you most like to wear, and what would you do with it? Let us know in the comments below.