After a conspicuous absence in the early days of the DCEU, the Green Lantern Corps movie is finally ramping up. So far, we know the movie is going to star both Hal Jordan and John Stewart, who will serve as something of an intergalactic buddy cop duo. This is a fairly elegant way to sidestep the disappointing 2011 Ryan Reynolds version of the emerald knight, presenting the world of Green Lantern from a slightly different angle.
And what a world it is. Not just the story of space cops with magic rings, Green Lantern is one of the most sprawling, epic corner’s of DC’s universe. Massively expanded a decade ago by Geoff Johns (who is co-plotting the new movie with Man of Steel’s David Goyer), the Green Lantern mythos has become a science fiction story told through the emotional spectrum, where different levels of elemental power are derived from different feelings.
While Hal and John are great choices to lead the franchise, the bench is deep for Green Lantern. Be they trusted allies, nightmarish villains, or something in between, there is no shortage of iconic characters who deserve to make the leap to the big screen. These are the 16 Characters We Need To See In Green Lantern Corps.
16 Guy Gardner
If there’s a major criticism of having Hal Jordan and John Stewart us a lead duo, it’s that they’re not a lead trio with Guy Gardner. Hal and John differ in several ways, but are still essentially two fundamentally decent, heroic men. Comparatively, Guy Gardner is, well, a gigantic jerk. Obnoxious, arrogant, and thick-headed, Guy clashes with pretty much everyone. He’s more than happy to offer loud, pointed criticism of his ostensible allies.
While he finds John to be too uptight (and let’s not even get started on what he thinks of Batman), his real beef is with Hal, who engenders in Guy a massive inferiority complex. Guy believes himself to be much more fit to serve as Earth’s primary Green Lantern, and he's always more than ready to prove that point in dramatic fashion. He might be a self-obsessed egomaniac, but when the chips are down, he’s never anything less than heroic. He’d serve as a great foil to the lead duo in a film.
15 Saint Walker
During his acclaimed run on the Green Lantern comic book, Geoff Johns expanded the idea of tangible emotional energy beyond just emerald will, introducing the emotional spectrum, where every color of the rainbow has a corresponding emotion whose power can be wielded through a power ring. The blue light is the power of hope, and its most notable wielder is a curious, monk-like alien named Saint Walker. A priest from the planet Astonia, he was able to calm his people and help them find hope in the face of planetary extinction as their sun was on the brink of death. It was in this moment he was granted a blue power ring, at which point he rejuvenated his planet’s sun, saving his people.
A proponent of peace and harmony, Saint Walker abhors violence, and his blue ring is largely used as a defensive weapon. It would be interesting to have Saint Walker show the titular Green Lanterns that there’s a corner of the DCEU where violence and darkness have no place, where enlightenment and faith are the prevailing emotions.
Mogo is not like other Green Lanterns. It may be tough to see what’s so different about him if you’re looking too closely, but take a few (thousand) steps back, and the realization should sink in.
Mogo, of course, is a sentient planet. The largest Green Lantern by a wide margin, he is able to communicate telepathically with the other Lanterns. While originally introduced as something of a loner, Mogo would eventually become an important cog in the revamped Green Lantern Corps. Not only does he serve as training ground for new recruits, he also coordinates the delivery of new rings to their bearers. I
f the Green Lantern Corps movie is looking to avoid Earth as a primary setting (and it should), Mogo would be an intriguing choice for a base of operations. Oa generally comes off as a cold, sterile citadel; a living breathing entity that can control its own weather and environment like Mogo could provide some genuine moments of cinematic magic if utilized properly.
13 Carol Ferris
DC has no shortage of awesome leading ladies. Lois Lane is well established as an icon of truth and justice, just as much as Superman. The upcoming Aquaman movie figures to introduce the world to the fierce, fearless Mera in a major way. Carol Ferris has gamely filled that role for Green Lantern since the character was revamped for the Silver Age in the 1950s.
A childhood friend of Hal Jordan, she is the CEO of Ferris Air, where Hal works as a (very often absent) test pilot. She was eventually possessed by a mystical stone wielded by the Zamarons, a race of immortal female warriors. This transformed her into the villain Star Sapphire, who would battle Hal (against Carol’s will) for many years.
This eventually evolved into the Star Sapphire Corps, who wield the volatile violet light of love. Carol freely serves as a senior member of that organization as an ally to Hal and the Green Lantern Corps. Far from a damsel in distress, Carol is a hero in her own right, fighting the forces of evil in her own way. It would be quite refreshing to see a superhero movie love interest on equal footing with her male counterpart, especially in a sci-fi epic.
Despite being a character who’s only existed for about a decade, it’s difficult to imagine the Green Lantern mythos without Atrocitus. The victim of one of the most egregious sins the Guardians of the Universe ever committed, his planet was ravaged by the rogue Manhunters, where he watched his wife and daughter die.
Atrocitus and the handful of survivors from his sector became a terrorist group called The Five Inversions, hell-bent on destroying the Guardians and all they stand for. They were eventually defeated and imprisoned on the planet Ysmault. While being transported by Green Lantern Abin Sur to Earth to confirm a dark prophecy, Atrocitus escaped and mortally wounded Abin, leading directly to Hal Jordan’s rise.
Atrocitus would eventually found the Red Lantern Corps, a group of murderous warriors powered by the emotion of rage. While he is a nightmarishly horrible supervillain, he also serves as a living, breathing reminder of the Guardians’ hubris, which can’t help but be haunting to their latest attempt to police the universe… the Green Lanterns.
There’s not much information unavailable to a Green Lantern. There are thousands of Green Lanterns spread across the universe, all of them connected to the Central Power Batter on Oa, and their collective information is archived and available instantly through their rings. The Guardians of the Universe are some of the oldest, most knowledgeable beings in all of existence; they’re not always the most forthcoming, but when a Green Lantern genuinely needs to know something, the information is likely to be available.
And yet they know almost nothing about the elusive Indigo Tribe. Wielders of the indigo light of compassion, Green Lanterns are unable to decipher their language, or really even understand how they harness their powers. A secret organization founded by Abin Sur as insurance against the Guardians’ unchecked power, Indigo-1 was the initial member of the tribe.
Originally a violent criminal, the power of compassion transforms Indigo-1 into a cold, enigmatic figure, whose motivations are rarely completely clear. In a universe where most of the rules are well-documented, the Indigo Tribe is a genuine wild card.
Most of us would probably reluctantly admit there’s a little too much of Larfleeze inside of us. The one and only wielder of the orange power of avarice, he is obsessed with material possession. Greed is his sole motivation-- he doesn’t particularly care what it is you have; he wants it for himself regardless. Largely uninterested in the cosmic war of light between the feuding Lantern Corps, Larfleeze (whose name is a combination of “lard” and “sleaze”) sees no value in fighting such wars, and has never bothered recruiting an Orange Lantern Corps, because he wants the power all for himself.
While there is some tragedy and menace to him, Larfleeze is one of the closest things Green Lantern has to a comedic character. In his natural state, he is something of a petulant child. He has strong, pointed opinions about the concept of Santa Claus. He is a pretty strong parody of capitalism run amok: someone who has their priorities hilariously out of whack, yet thinks it’s really everyone else who has it all wrong. He’s not exactly fun (he’s more than willing to murder people in his quest to acquire more stuff), but he’s amusing in a very specific, grotesque way.
The Guardians of the Universe are cold, calculating, impossibly old beings who have taken it upon themselves to create order in the universe. Their efforts have ranged from the mostly successful (the Green Lantern Corps) to horrific failures (the Manhunters). The Guardians answer to no one, and their motivations can seem, at best, amoral and, at worst, knowingly malevolent. There is almost never any sort of dissent in their ranks.
And yet there’s Ganthet. Unlike the other Guardians, Ganthet expresses emotions like kindness and empathy for individual beings. He’s a critical thinker who can see past his own relative omnipotence to understand the flaws in some of the Guardians’ most controversial decisions. Though they’d be loath to admit it, the Guardians are better for having Ganthet. While they don’t always heed his advice, he’s often a final line of moral defense that keeps them in check, even in their darkest, most ruthless moments.
8 Kyle Rayner
To a certain generation of comic book readers, there’s really no debate about whether Hal Jordan or John Stewart or anyone else is the best Green Lantern. For them, there is only one Green Lantern, and it’s Kyle Rayner. Created during the 1990s upheaval at DC Comics, which saw dark, edgy storytelling become the house rule (think Superman dying and Batman breaking his back), Kyle Rayner was bequeathed the final Green Lantern power ring by Ganthet after an insane Hal Jordan destroyed the Central Power Battery and killed the majority of the Green Lantern Corps (it was a very strange time at DC).
While fans were polarized by the events leading to his arrival, it’s difficult to argue with the basic idea of Kyle Rayner. A young artist who’s given no training and barely any basic information about the amazing power granted to him, he has to learn on the job, and largely on his own. The comparisons to Spider-Man are plentiful and accurate; Kyle experiences equal measures of joy and heartbreak as he finds out what it means to be a hero. While it’s unlikely the DCEU would be able to tell that exact story, Kyle is a character more than worthy of entering the live-action realm, even in a slightly retooled capacity.
Most of the primary Green Lantern protagonists are, understandably, humans. Yet there’s also a deep, rich cast of supporting players who hail from somewhere other than Earth. Guardians of the Galaxy has recently proven audiences are more than happy to spend time with a largely non-human cast, and Green Lantern is a perfect platform for a little species equality.
One of the brightest, most enthusiastic Green Lanterns is Arisia Rrab. Unusually, she comes from a long line of Green Lanterns; it’s something of a Rrab family tradition on her native Graxos IV. Sunny and positive in even the most dire circumstances, Arisia is an easy character to like, and indeed, she and Hal Jordan share an attraction that is sometimes portrayed as a full on relationship (the efforts to retcon the very creepy fact she was initially introduced as a teenager have been well-intentioned, but not 100% effective). A Green Lantern who’s relentlessly chipper in the face of universal horrors could be a fun flavor to mix in with the more traditional, straight-faced heroes.
There is really no alien Green Lantern as beloved as Kilowog (and let’s be honest, he’s more beloved than a few of the human ones). One of the most respected members of the Corps, this enormous orange "poozer" is the Green Lanterns' resident drill sergeant. When a new Green Lantern is recruited, their initial feelings of elation and honor are quickly overwhelmed by the terror they feel as Kilowog whips them into shape on Oa. He might come off as intimidating, but he’s just doing his best to make sure the new recruits have the wherewithal to survive the trials that await them in defending their sectors.
The last survivor of Bolovax Vik, Kilowog never openly despairs about his considerable pain. He was initially a mentor to Hal Jordan, but the two eventually developed a strong friendship that transcends the usual bonds among fellow Green Lanterns; if you’re likely to find Kilowog somewhere other than Oa, it’s on Earth, testing the limits of Hal’s couch. Kilowog one of the most physically impressive Green Lanterns, and it’s hard to imagine a film version of the Green Lantern mythos without him.
Let’s just start with the obvious: there is no Green Lantern character as visually distinctive as Tomar-Re. An orange fish man with a beak, it’s virtually impossible for Tomar to fade into the background, even in a room full of aliens. He looks like a grab bag of animal pieces jammed together by a toddler. He is glorious.
A scientist from the planet Xudar, Tomar-Re is one of the most highly respected members of the Green Lantern Corps. As a close confidant of both Hal Jordan and John Stewart, he seems a natural fit for the DCEU.
Interestingly, Tomar’s most prominent moment in DC lore involves an entirely different hero: Superman. Tomar is the Green Lantern of sector 2813, which is where Krypton was located. Realizing the planet was near destruction, Tomar attempted a last ditch effort to it, but was of course unsuccessful. It was a failure that haunted Tomar for years, and truly drove home for him the solemn duty he’s sworn to carry out.
4 Soranik Natu
A neurosurgeon from the planet Korugar, Soranik Natu initially has no time for the Green Lantern Corps. Her people have a very distinct, valid reason for rejecting the Corps: they were once ruled by a rogue Green Lantern (we’ll get to him in a minute) who used his power to make himself a cruel dictator. The Green Lantern symbol signifies oppression and horror for Korugarians.
Only accepting the ring to save the life of one of her patients, she is immediately vilified by her own people. Reluctant to serve in the Corps, she eventually decides to stay on and attempt to redeem the Green Lantern Corps in the eyes of Korugar. An instantly powerful and effective Lantern, Soranik is eventually revealed to have a secret lineage that makes her ascension seem more like fate than happenstance. It’s genuinely great space opera stuff, and adds personal stakes that are occasionally elusive in Green Lantern stories.
Even an intergalactic space police force powered by emeralds will needs a bureaucrat or two, and every organization needs a reliable curmudgeon. Salaak expertly fills both of those roles for the Green Lantern Corps. Surly, cynical, and pessimistic, Salaak is the Keeper of the Book of Oa, an archive of all Green Lantern activity throughout the universe.
A slave to procedure and protocol, Salaak is naturally irritated by Hal Jordan, who throws the rulebook out the window whenever it suits him. He views Hal’s cowboy methods as chaotic and a terrible example to the other Lanterns. Yet despite their slightly antagonistic relationship, Salaak recognizes that Hal is generally doing the right thing, even if he’s doing it in a way that drives Salaak crazy. It’s rare that Salaak will actually leave Oa and engage in battle, but he’s an invaluable resource to the Corps, and would be a welcome presence in the DCEU.
2 Appa Ali Apsa
If Ganthet is the compassionate, reasonable conscience of the Guardians of the Universe, Appa Ali Apsa is his dark mirror. Initially introduced as a Guardian in good standing, “The Mad Guardian” was selected to travel across America with Hal and Oliver Queen to experience life in a more tangible, focused way than the Guardians are accustomed to. Appa was receptive to the lessons being offered by the two men and seemed to gain a sense of empathy and progressive thinking the Guardians had always eschewed. However, when his time with Hal and Oliver ended, Appa renounced his position as a Guardian and chose to travel the universe on his own.
When the Guardians briefly retreated to an alternate dimension after Crisis On Infinite Earths, Appa chose to stay, and his isolation eventually drove him insane. Unhinged and with considerable power, Appa began bizarre experiments that endangered countless lives before being confronted by the returning Guardians.
The concept of a rogue Guardian is a really great one, and it’s given added depth by the fact that he’s unintentionally driven mad by humanity’s benevolent effort to expand and modernize his worldview.
Batman has the Joker. Sherlock Holmes has Moriarty. Green Lantern has Sinestro. As elemental to the franchise as any of the heroes, the story of Green Lantern is as much Sinestro’s as it is anyone else’s. Once considered the greatest Green Lantern of all, Sinestro served as a mentor to Hal Jordan, who replaced his fallen friend Abin Sur as the Green Lantern of sector 2814. Though initially unconvinced of Hal’s ability to live up to Abin’s legacy, Sinestro eventually came to respect Hal. When Hal discovered that Sinestro had been abusing his power by ruling his home planet Korugar with the iron fist of a dictator, Sinestro was expelled from the Corps.
Sinestro would eventually wield the yellow power of fear, and created the Sinestro Corps, the greatest threat the Green Lantern Corps has ever faced. The relationship between Hal and Sinestro is complex, and it’s almost impossible to reduce it to a basic hero/villain dynamic. They have hurt each other in almost unspeakable ways, and yet they still harbor something approaching affection for each other. It’s the richest, most rewarding dynamic in the entirety of the Green Lantern mythos, and there’s just no way Green Lantern Corps is going to work without it.
Who do you most want to see in Green Lantern Corps? Let us know in the comments!