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The Lantern Corps' Symbols, Oaths, and Notable Members
So Green Lantern is now one of the most popular and recognizable super-heroes in mass media today. But did you know there was a veritable rainbow out there defending (or defiling) our universe?
Note: This article only refers to Green Lanterns of the Earth 1 portion of the Multiverse. Alan Scott, though the original Green Lantern, has been omitted because his ring is only indirectly related to the Guardians of the Universe and he's from the Earth 2 dimension, a separate reality from the one discussed here.
All Lanterns of any color have similar abilities, such as flight, force-field projection which allows them to travel in the vacuum of space unaided by a protective suit, energy blasts and the creation of hard light constructs. Most are also able to open wormholes, making interstellar travel much speedier than it would be otherwise. Many of the spectrum, however, have abilities unique to the color ring they wield. These will be discussed in the relevant section.
Their oaths are also unique to each color and usually recited while the Lantern is recharging their ring at their personal battery, which looks like a lantern. Hence, Lanterns. While the oath is not necessary for the re-charge, writers have explained that the length of time it takes to charge a ring to full power is the same amount of time it takes to utter the oath. Each color ring is fueled by a different part of the bearer's psyche, referred to as emotion, but some of the "emotions" don't really qualify as such. For example, is will power an emotion? Not really, which is why it is sometimes referred to as courage by some writers.
Due to the obvious vastness of space, most Lanterns are not of Earth origin. Home planets will be listed next to each notable member.
White and Black Lanterns, fueled by Life and Death respectively, will be discussed in a separate article as they are not strictly part of the emotional spectrum.
The Green Lantern Corps
An interstellar police force, the Green Lantern corps has been providing stability to the universe for millions of years. The Guardians of the Universe originally created androids called Manhunters for this purpose, but their programming was corrupted and they came to view all sentient life with emotions as too erratic for universal order and went on an interstellar murder spree.
The Guardians realized only living beings could truly understand other living beings and the Green Lantern Corps was born. Each Lantern guards and protects his or her own sector of space, often consisting dozens of systems.
Emotional fuel: Will power, sometimes called courage.
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!
Hal Jordan, Earth. The original Silver Age Green Lantern and current leader of the corps.
John Stewart, Earth. Architect and designer of the Justice League's satellite HQ, the Watchtower.
Kilowog, Bolovax Vik. Drill sergeant and man-at-arms of the Corps.
Abin Sur (deceased), Ungara. The man who gave Hal Jordan his ring, bringing Earth into the fold.
Arisia Rrab, Graxos IV
Simon Baz, Earth. One of the first Muslim super-heroes to be named as such.
Mogo, a sentient planet and current base of operations for the Green Corps
Soranik Natu, Korugar. Daughter of Sinestro and resident medic for the Greens.
G'Nort Esplanade G'Neesmacher, G'Newt. A dog-like humanoid essentially used as comic relief, G'nort is as unintelligent as he is loyal and is known for creating giant green hard light fire hydrants for stereotypical canine use.
The Green Lanterns are the most populous corps, consisting of thousands of members, far too many to list here.
Former members of note:
Sinestro, Korugar, now head of the so-called Sinestro Corps, or Yellow Lanterns.
Guy Gardner, Earth, now one of the only surviving Red Lanterns
Kyle Rayner, Earth, now the one and only White Lantern
Yellow, a.k.a Sinestro
Yellow Lanterns, or the eponymous Sinestro Corps
Sinestro was once an archaeologist who received a ring from a dying member of the Green Lantern Corps and used it to defend himself against the Green's attacker, a Weaponer of Qward. When the injured Lantern began to recover, he asked for his ring back, but Sinestro let him die and took his place in the Green Lantern Corps. The Guardians, though immortal, are not omniscient and went unaware of Sinestro's duplicity for some time. He was eventually expelled from the Greens for abuse of power and made his way to the home of this former enemies, the Weaponers of Qward. Qward is a planet that exists in an "anti-matter" dimension and it was here that Sinestro create his own weapon, a yellow ring fueled by the antithesis of courage, fear.
And although the Sinestro Corps is primarily made up of bullies, by nature a cowardly lot, the fear that fuels their rings is the fear they inspire in others, making them the only corps that uses emotion outside themselves for power. Many of them create monstrous, nightmarish constructs, while others are terrifying in their own right.
A reflection of his arrogance, the Corps is more often referred to as the Sinestro Corps than the more accurate Yellow Lantern Corps.
While the Sinestro Corps are generally painted as villains, they often ally themselves with other Lanterns to combat threats too big for a single corps to handle.
Mildly interesting fact: It is claimed that Sinestro's general physical appearance is based on that of British actor David Niven, minus the red skin, of course. The resemblance is actually quite uncanny.
Emotional fuel: Fear
In blackest day, in brightest night
Beware your fears made into light
Let those who try to stop what's right
Burn like my power, Sinestro's might
Arkillo, home planet unknown, drill sergeant and second in command of the Yellows. It should be noted that he uses his own name in place of Sinestro's when reciting the oath. Arkillo is big and scary and Sinestro seems content to let him celebrate himself.
Lyssa Drak, Talok IV, blue-skinned witch and spiritual prophetess of the Yellows.
Amon Sur, Ungara, son of Abin
Dozens, if not hundreds of others.
Batman also briefly possessed a yellow ring, but it didn't stick.
Violet, a.k.a. Star Sapphire
Violet Lanterns, or Star Sapphires
The Zamarons were once members of a race known as Maltusians. When one of their kind, the villainous Krona, went rogue, the Maltusians were split on how to handle him. Those that sought to contain and negate him were primarily male, those who chose to disavow and wash their hands of him were mostly female. Since the Maltusians were immortal and had no reason to procreate, the two factions split, eventually evolving into two separate races. The males became the Oans, the Guardians of the Universe, the females came to be known as Zamarons.
Star Sapphires were originally simply the humanoid host of the disembodied Zamaron queen, given a star sapphire to wield that gave them abilities similar to those of Green Lanterns, but with a sometimes pinkish hue, sometimes more violet depending on the artist/colorist.
Though originally cast in a villainous role as a foil to Hal Jordan, the Star Sapphires were later retconned into the role of one of the seven corps wielding a section of the emotional spectrum, and are now often shown as allies of the other corps in the bigger struggle to maintain universal order.
Star Sapphire candidates are placed inside crystal that transform them into beings capable of wielding the immense emotional power of the rings.
The Sapphires are almost always female, with a few exceptions listed below.
Unique ability: Star Sapphires are able to manipulate the emotions of members of the opposite sex, making them malleable and willing to do anything for the Sapphire.
Emotional fuel: Love, but not always the sweet, romantic kind. It is often portrayed as love's more negative aspects, such as jealousy, obsession and unrequited desire.
For hearts long lost and full of fright,
For those alone in blackest night,
Accept our ring and join our fight,
Love conquers all with violet light.
Carol Ferris, Earth. Once Hal Jordan' boss and girlfriend, Ferris now travels with universe with new paramour Kyle Rayner and the next generation of Guardians.
Fatality, Xanshi. Originally a powerhouse in her own right, Fatality became a Yellow Lantern. She was encased in a Sapphire crystal to rehabilitate her yellow ring and emerged as a transformed Star Sapphire.
Queen Aga'po, Zamaron. Queen of the Zamarons, she sacrificed herself in battle and is now the fuel inside the main Violet power battery.
Dela Pharon, Xanador. Once Carol Ferris' rival for hosting the Zamaron queen, she is now a member of the Corps.
Jillian Perlman, Earth. A Texan, Perlman was an Air Force consignee who met Hal Jordan when he was in the Force as well. They later became romantically linked.
Kyle Rayner, Earth. Kyle once possessed a ring of every color, including that of a Star Sapphire.
Guy Gardner, Earth. Guy once used a violet as well as red ring to disengage Parallax from the Central Power Battery on Oa.
John Stewart, Earth. Stewart was temporarily given a violet ring in order to help members of the Green and Yellow Corps escape the clutches of Highfather's New Gods.
The Blue Lanterns
The Blue rings were created by Ganthet and Sayd, two Guardians ostracized for openly showing emotion, a taboo among Oans. Girded by an apocalyptic prophecy, they created the blue rings and recruited some of the most reverent beings in the universe to bear them.
Each recruit is tasked with recruiting the next newest member. One of the smallest corps, the Blues can be viewed as almost a monastic order.
Unique ability: Blue Lanterns possess all the abilities of the Greens, but in addition, the Blue rings can amplify the abilities of Greens, and negate those of Reds. The Blues are also healers and the only ones that can safely remove a red ring without killing its bearer.
In fearful day, in raging night,
With strong hearts full, our souls ignite.
When all seems lost in the war of light,
Look to the stars, for hope burns bright!
Ganthet and Sayd, Oa.
Saint Walker, Astonia. Recruited because he was able to instill hope in his people even in the face of their sun's death.
Brother Warth, Unknown planet of origin. An elephantine humanoid, Warth bears a strong resemblance to the Hindu god Ganesh.
Brother Hynn, Unknown.
Sister Sercy, Unknown.
Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner and Barry "The Flash" Allen have also wielded the blue light in the past.
Atros of Ryut was a politically ambitious man but above that, he was a family man. Ryut was a war-like planet and drew the attention of the Manhunters. Atros watched as his family was murdered before his very eyes and was one of the few survivors of the planetary massacre. Befriended by four extra dimensional demon-gods, Atros was shown how to create Red Lantern rings, which were fueled by rage and the need for revenge. He and the four became known as the Five Inversions, a terrorist cell bent on destroying the Manhunters' creators, the Guardians of the Universe. After learning all their secrets, Atros - now known as Atrocitus - murdered the other four Inversions and began recruiting other vengeance-seeking sentients into his Red Lantern Corps.
Red rings are brutal to the host. The first a ring does when it attaches itself is cause the bearer's heart to explode, and the ring takes over as the primary circulatory organ, replacing the wielder's blood with a type of plasmic napalm. The ring also makes the wielder so angry, they are virtually mindless and susceptible to Atrocitus' suggestions. Only a dunking in the blood sea of Ysmault, part of the source of the Reds' power, will restore a Red Lantern's cognitive abilities.
More anti-heroes than villains, the Red Lanterns go about the universe enforcing their brand of twisted justice. This had lead to conflict with other Corps - primarily the Green and Blue - but the Reds, like Yellows, have often found themselves the allies of the other Corps when faced with bigger threats.
Because of their overwhelming rage, most Red Lanterns are too unfocused to create light constructs, instead relying on the generation self-sustaining force fields and unleashing blasts of concussive energy. Over time, however, most have learned to make constructs of at least a rudimentary nature.
Unique ability: Red Lanterns are able to "puke" the plasmic napalm that flows through their veins in a corrosive cone in front of them. A Green Lantern has joked that they learned how to do it by watching Atrocitus' cat Dex-Starr coughing up a furball. The way it's drawn, it looks just as painful.
Emotional fuel: Rage.
With blood and rage of crimson red,
Ripped from a corpse so freshly dead,
Together with our hellish hate,
We'll burn you all - that is your fate!
Atrocitus, Ryut. See above.
Dex-Starr, Earth. It is unknown how a feline of Terran origin made his way into space and became Atrocitus' putty tat. Dex-Starr is also a full-fledged member of the Red Lantern Corps. He wears his ring on his tail.
Bleez, Havania. Havanians possess proportionally-sized bird wings, giving them an angelic appearance. Bleez was born into the planet's royalty and was considered one of the most beautiful and desirable women on the planet. As such, she was literally a royal bitch. After snootily turning down many would-be suitors, she was kidnapped by a Yellow Lantern paid by some of said former suitors and taken to Ranx, the A.I. planet of the Yellows, and enslaved. She escaped into space, fully expecting to die, but a red ring found her. Her wings were burned off down to the bone, giving her a demonic appearance.
Skallox, Unknown planet of origin. Skallox was the top interrogator of an interstellar crime syndicate. Though fiercely loyal, he was accused of betraying his boss and thrown into an incinerator, where his hair and skin was burned off. His lust for revenge at his imminent death summoned a Red Lantern ring and he survived to become one of the first member of the Corps.
Vice, Unknown planet of origin, deceased.
Ratchet, Unknown planet of origin, deceased. Ratchet had the appearance of a tentacled brain. He came from a race that eschewed all forms of physical contact and was tortured for breaking this taboo. The torture lead to a Red Lantern ring finding him.
Zuilus Zox, Unknown planet of origin. Zox looks like a large ball with limbs.
Rankorr, Earth. John "Jack" Moore gained his ring after his brother was killed by London police. His brother was seeking revenge on a mugger that murdered their grandfather with a brick. Rankorr is among the first of the Reds to successfully create constructs.
Guy Gardner, Earth. Sent by Hal Jordan to spy on the Reds, Gardner ousted Atrocitus as leader and eventually made a deal to have the Reds be the protectors of Space Sector 2814, which houses Earth.
Larfleeze, THE Orange Lantern
Born on the pastoral planet Ogaato, Larfleeze was abused, neglected and insulted as a child before being enslaved by the world-conquering Lakadakians. He was forced to mate with a fellow prisoner, siring numerous children before he escaped and joined a gang of thieves. They stole a box containing the yellow entity Parallax and made their way to the Planet Okaara, where the planet's sentient jungle killed one of them. The rest fell into a hidden temple that housed the Orange Power Battery. Overcome by greed, the three fought amongst themselves until the Guardians with a group of Manhunters arrived, only wanting the box containing Parallax. They told Larfleeze and the other thief, Blooch they could keep the Orange Battery as long as it remained hidden and they gave up the Parallax box. They agreed and fought to the death. Larfleeze won and became known as Agent Orange.
Due to the nature of the Orange energy, the only other members of the Orange Lantern Corps are constructs created by Larfleeze himself. In his greed, he kills any other being who comes into possession of an Orange ring.
Emotional fuel: Greed
What's mine is mine and mine and mine
And mine and mine and mine
Larfleeze, aka Agent Orange. See above. It should be noted that in the final issue of Larfleeze's solo book, it is revealed that he and Green Lantern G'Nort are distantly related cousins and they go off into the universe together to have undocumented adventures. Fingers crossed for a limited series.
The Indigo Tribe
The most enigmatic of the Corps, the Indigo Tribe is primarily made up of former criminals - murderers and thugs who possess, deep down, a metaphorical "heart of gold." An indigo ring finds these individuals and attaches itself to them, suppressing their violent tendencies and bringing out their deep-seated compassion in an attempt to rehabilitate and possibly redeem them.
The first Indigo was a woman named Iroque, who was responsible for the death of Abin Sur's daughter. She is now known simply as Indigo-1, as identities are partially stripped away by the rings. Rather than a ring, she wields a staff that grants her the same abilities as a ring.
The Indigo Tribe is extremely tight-knit and form an extended familial unit, even possessing their own language.
Unique ability: Members of the Indigo tribe are able to teleport themselves and others over vast cosmic distances.
Tor lorek san, bor nakka mur,
Natromo faan tornek wot ur,
Ter Lantern ker lo Abin Sur,
Taan lek lek nok - Fromorrow Sur!
Indigo-1 (Iroque), Unknown. See above.
Munk, Unknown, Second in command of the Indigo tribe.
Natromo, Nok. Not a bearer of ring or staff, Natromo was tasked by Abin Sur to create the rings and staffs used by the tribe. Nok is the Indigo's home base.
Slog the Slayer, Unknown. First degree psychopath and mass murderer.
Kreaven, Unknown. Bird-like humanoid considered the worst psychopath on his homeworld.