In brightest day, in blackest night. These words are spoken by every Green Lantern ever inducted into the Green Lantern Corps, and they represent the ideals that the Corps believes in. No matter what danger arises, the Green Lantern Corps will rise up against it through sheer force of will.
As an intergalactic police force, the Corps is charged with protecting the universe and everyone within it. With 3600 sectors to patrol and no fewer than twice as many members, the Green Lantern Corps has had its fair share of memorable characters wield its mighty green light. Beings from every corner of the universe have been appointed the honor of wielding the Green Power Ring, one of the most powerful weapons in the entire DC Universe.
Given a history like that, it’s no surprise that this title has brought to life some of the most memorable and powerful characters to ever grace the pages of a comic book. With a stable full of some of the most highly skilled fighters in the universe, narrowing things down to the best can be tricky, but we managed to do it anyway. Here are the 15 Most Powerful Green Lanterns To Ever Wield The Ring.
16 Honorable Mention: Alan Scott
Before we get this list underway, let’s kick things off with an honorable mention. Alan Scott is the Golden Age incarnation of the Green Lantern character and is the first to ever hold the mantle. The rest of the Green Lanterns of Earth all look up to Scott as a mentor of sorts for his decorated service and position as a founding member of the Justice Society of America, itself a predecessor to the Justice League.
With a resume like this, you may be wondering why isn’t Alan Scott higher up on the list. Unfortunately for Scott, his Golden Age tenure pre-dates the creation of the Green Lantern Corps, and the rest of the lore that goes along with it. It wasn’t until the Silver Age Green Lantern Hal Jordan hit the pages that we came to know the Green Lantern lore as we know it today.
While Scott does fight crime with a ring that creates objects at his bidding, its power is magic-based and not linked to the Central Power Battery on Oa from which every other Green Lantern draws their power. It’s a bit of a technicality, but Alan Scott’s heroics during the Golden Age and beyond still lands him a place on the periphery of this list.
15 Jessica Cruz
We kick things off with the newest Green Lantern to spring into action, Jessica Cruz of Earth. Jessica makes for an interesting character amongst the Green Lantern roster due to her origin being the complete opposite of every other Lantern in history. Most Corpsmen are chosen because they possess the power to overcome great fear, but Jessica was initially chosen because she was crippled by fear.
When the evil Green Lantern doppleganger Power Ring is killed, his weapon, the Ring of Volthoom selects Jessica as its new host. The Ring of Volthoom is nearly identical to the Green Lantern Power Ring, except instead of being fueled by willpower and the ability to overcome fear, it feeds off of the fear within its host.
While initially a slave to her own fear, Jessica overcomes her struggles, and with the help of Justice League members Batman, The Flash, and Hal Jordan, she learns to control the ring. After she heroically saves Barry Allen from death, she is able to rid herself of the fear-consuming Ring of Volthoom and is granted a Green Lantern Power Ring due to her courageous efforts.
14 Simon Baz
Simon Baz is another relatively new character to the Green Lantern roster, initially debuting during the Rise of the Third Army storyline back in 2012. Originally selected due to a malfunction in a duplicate power ring that Sinestro created for Hal Jordan, Baz has gone on to garner quite a following, and is currently headlining the flagship Green Lantern title alongside Jessica Cruz (one of the best comics DC's Rebirth has to offer).
A Lebanese-American who was forced to learn how to live tough and take care of himself in post-9/11 Detroit, Baz has quickly demonstrated that he is more than worthy of wielding the most powerful weapon in the universe. While still a bit rough around the edges, Baz is an exciting Green Lantern to keep an eye on because we simply don’t know the full limits of his power just yet. What we have seen is that he clearly has what it takes to represent the Corps, and in fact, he has already accomplished something no other Green Lantern has before him. Towards the end of the Third Army story, he shocked readers by repairing the damage to his comatose brother-in-law’s brain through the use of his willpower alone.
13 Soranik Natu
Soranik Natu is generally seen as a combat medic of sorts, stemming from her pre-Green Lantern occupation as a neurosurgeon on the planet Korugar. While she is a decorated hero in her own right, Natu is perhaps still best known as the daughter of Sinestro and Arin-Sur. Initially reluctant to wear the power of the Green Lantern Ring, Soranik eventually accepts her role as a member of the Corps, and has gone on to become one of its most respected members.
Though she is still a relatively new Green Lantern, Soranik has repeatedly shown a natural inclination and skill with the Power Ring. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise considering the family she comes from, with her father and uncle being Sinestro and Abin Sur respectively, both highly regarded members of the Corps. Perhaps the best example of her natural abilities with the Power Ring is the moment it first appeared to her. While in the middle of a complex surgery that was quickly heading south, she bravely accepted the ring and immediately used its power to save her dying patient. Quick on her feet and as strong-willed as any of her peers, Soranik Natu is looking to carve out a legacy for herself that’s all her own.
Much like another small extraterrestrial being who happens to be quite fond of the color green, Ch’p is someone you should “judge not by his size.” A small alien being that resembles a squirrel or chipmunk, Ch’p is a key example of just how creative and fun members of the Green Lantern Corps can be. While Ch’p was often used in a comedic capacity, his power and mastery with the Green Lantern Ring is highly regarded by Corpsmen to this day.
While his exploits during the Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline were impressive and some of his most memorable, it’s perhaps in the Injustice: Gods Among Us universe that he makes his most awe-inspiring appearance. In it, Ch’p, along with Kilowog and a Green Lantern strike team, are given the task of capturing none other than Superman himself. While his teammates are struggling to defeat the Man of Steel and his allies, Ch’p surprises everyone by attacking Superman’s mind with his power ring, preventing the synapses in his brain from firing. The image of a fallen Superman with a tiny space squirrel flying over him in victory is all you need to know to understand how powerful this little rodent truly is.
A true veteran of the Green Lantern Corps and Ch’p’s best friend, Saalak is a four-armed alien from the planet Slyggia who currently serves as a sort of administrator and the guardian of the Book of Oa. Now, this may sound like Saalak is some sort of glorified green librarian, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
During his long tenure as a Green Lantern, Saalak has participated in many of the largest and most memorable battles, such as in Crisis on Infinite Earths, where he was charged with protecting multiple sectors at once. In his new administrative role, Saalak became the official second-in-command for the Green Lantern Corps, directly behind the Guardians of the Universe themselves.
The best way to describe Saalak is that his power and mastery over the Green Power Ring is so strong, that it tends to remain hidden until the moment when it is absolutely necessary. It’s with this subdued and reserved strength that Saalak truly leaves his mark on the Green Lantern Corps.
When it comes to brute force, few Green Lanterns can even come close to matching the power that Hannu brings to the table. A large hulking figure from the planet Ovacron Six, Hannu comes from a long line of warriors who all believe that the use of a weapon makes a warrior week. It’s because of this belief that Hannu tends to rely on his own strength than his mastery of his Power Ring during battles.
This natural fighting ability came in handy after Hannu, along with the rest of the Lost Lanterns, were freed by Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner. After being released from his prison, Hannu proceeded to attack his android captors and rip them apart using only his natural strength.
The scariest part about Hannu is that while his tendency to fight without the use of his ring is impressive, his ability when he does decide to use his Power Ring is downright intimidating. In fact, during the events of the Sinestro Corps War, Hannu punched straight through the body of Horku, one of Sinestro’s soldiers and a member of Hannu’s own species.
9 Guy Gardner
Of all the human Green Lanterns ever created, none are quite as polarizing of a character as Guy Gardner. A man who truly lives life on his own terms, Guy Gardner is cocky and a bit of a jerk, but at the same time, he’s a dependable Green Lantern who sure knows how to use that fancy piece of jewelry he walks around with.
Originally brought into the Corps as a backup to Hal Jordan, this star collegiate football player wasn’t one to sit on the bench for too long. Initially gaining a strong following due to his role in the popular Justice League International series, Guy has gone on to prove that he possesses a strong will that few other beings in the universe can match.
More recently, Guy traded in his Green duds for a Red Ring of Rage, and while the red getup suits him quite well, we’ll always remember Guy best for his time sporting the green.
8 Abin Sur
Abin Sur is an interesting hero of the Green Lantern Corps, best known for his demise rather than any of his feats during his service. It was during his tenure as a member of the Corps, however, that Abin Sur created a reputation for himself as one of the most well-respected members of the Green Lantern Corps.
During one of his final missions, Abin Sur learned of the Blackest Night Prophecy and became obsessed with what it foretold. After being forbidden to speak of it, Abin Sur would actually go on to be one of the driving forces behind the founding of the Indigo Tribe in an attempt to protect the universe from the Guardians of the Universe themselves.
As the Green Lantern charged with protecting Space Sector 2814, Abin Sur spent a great majority of his tenure protecting Earth from harm and even visited numerous times before that fateful day he would end up passing his ring on to Hal Jordan.
If there was an enforcer of the Green Lantern Corps, it would be their head drill instructor, Kilowog. The last survivor of his species, Kilowog is well-respected within the Corps for his strength and toughness as well as his signature catchphrase, “Poozer,” used in reference to his rookie trainees.
Aside from his exploits as the Corps' head trainer, Kilowog is highly regarded as one of the most powerful and skilled Green Lanterns in battle. His Bolovax physiology grants him levels of super strength and durability that most of his fellow Corpsmen cannot match. Noted for his sheer might in combat, Kilowog is also an extremely intelligent and skilled leader capable of devising strategy just as well as he delivers the hurt.
Still, as powerful as Kilowog is on his own, the greatest display of Kilowog’s power with the Green Light of Oa is evidenced by his students. Never forget that almost every powerful Green Lantern you see was once nothing more than one of Kilowog’s young Poozers.
Once called the finest and most respected officer in the Green Lantern Corps, Sinestro is perhaps most famous for his fall from the Corps and his role as the longtime arch-nemesis to Hal Jordan. Still, if we are counting down the most powerful Green Lanterns to ever wield the Power Ring, it would be a crime not to put everyone’s favorite villain on the list.
These days, Sinestro relies on the Yellow Power Ring of Fear to do his bidding, but don’t let that sway your opinion of his willpower. In fact, during his return as a Green Lantern at the beginning of the New 52 reboot, Sinestro demonstrated a wide array of powers that no other Corpsman ever has.
From something as fantastic as replicating his Power Ring to give to Hal Jordan, to simply dimming his green light to black, Sinestro has proven that his knowledge of how to wield the ring far surpasses most current members of the Green Lantern Corps -- and may even surpass the Guardians of the Universe themselves.
Keep an eye out for him to make a villainous return to the big screen in the very near future.
5 John Stewart
For those who grew up watching the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited shows on Cartoon Network, John Stewart is the most familiar member of the Green Lantern Corps. A former marine and architect, Stewart’s decorated tenure as a member of the Corps landed him a position on the Honor Guard of Oa.
Noted for the sheer strength of his constructs, Stewart is known as the Corps “Master Builder.” Utilizing his background as a U.S. Marine Sniper, one of his most famous constructs is a ring-generated sniper rifle that he often uses to pick off enemies too far away for his fellow Green Lanterns to even see.
All that is good and fun, but the real power that John has stems from his sheer strength of will. In fact, in Green Lantern Vol. 4 issue # 26, John attempts to rebuild a destroyed planet, only to have his ring inform him, “Willpower exceeding power ring capabilities.” If that doesn’t justify John’s spot in the top 5, we're not sure what does.
4 Sodam Yat
We all know that a Green Lantern’s Power Ring is the amongst the strongest weapons in the DC Universe, limited in power only by the will of its bearer. We also know that the Big Blue Boyscout, Superman, is generally considered the strongest character in the entire DC Universe. What would you get if you combined these two together? Simple, you would get Sodam Yat.
Sodam Yat is a Daxamite, a race of alien beings descended from Kryptonians and sharing many of their abilities when exposed to a yellow sun. While his near-Kryptonian levels of power remains Yat’s defining characteristic, his character is also notable for a prophecy that states he is simultaneously destined for greatness -- but also signals the end of the Corps.
During the Sinestro Corps War, a group of new Lantern graduates including Yat are called into battle on Mogo. Yat impresses his Lantern peers over the course of the various battles during the war and proves himself a highly capable fighter and leader. With his unique combination of strength and leadership, it should be interesting to see the levels of greatness that Sodam Yat can achieve.
What makes a Green Lantern powerful? Is it the sheer amount of willpower that they possess? Maybe we base it on their ability to overcome great fear? Well, with Mogo, what it really comes down to is the fact that he’s a living planet.
In the entire pantheon of crazy looking Green Lanterns, Mogo the Living Planet really stands out above his peers. Originally created by the superstar team of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons as a one-off character in the story, Mogo Doesn’t Socialize, the character has proven to be one of the most popular non-human Lanterns. In times of great peril, Mogo is often called upon to utilize the immense power that can only be contained within a single, sentient planet.
Aside from the standard powers associated with a Power Ring, Mogo can also move faster than the speed of light as well as control the various functions on his planet, such as weather and gravitational pull. Mogo also telepathically controls every power ring, guiding them towards their new users. With powers like these, it’s no wonder Mogo is one of the most intimidating and powerful Green Lanterns in existence.
2 Kyle Rayner
Kyle Rayner’s history is a little different than most other Green Lanterns. Instead of a ring from a fallen Green Lantern finding and choosing him, one of the Guardians of the Universe, Ganthet, sought out and gave Rayner the last power ring after Hal Jordan destroyed the Green Lantern Corps as Parallax.
As an artist, Kyle often produces the most creative constructs of any Green Lantern, at one point even vowing to never reuse the same one. He’s not just fun and artsy though; far from it, in fact. At one point, Kyle became a godlike being named Ion who could bend time and space at his leisure. What really makes Kyle a hero though is the way he used his new godlike power to recharge the Central Battery and breathe new life into the Green Lantern Corps. More recently, Kyle achieved mastery over the entire emotional spectrum and became the White Lantern.
Rayner is often called “The Torchbearer” for the way he carried the legacy of the Green Lantern Corps in its darkest hour, and it’s this heroism, along with the strength he demonstrated to hold onto his humanity, that places him so high on our list.
1 Hal Jordan
Let’s face it, Hal Jordan isn’t a hulking alien like Kilowog or a sentient planet like Mogo, but when you’re backed against a wall, no one delivers quite like old Highball. Sure, he’s had his fair share of ups and downs, but who among us hasn’t suddenly turned into an all-powerful entity hell-bent on twisting the universe to meet his own bidding?
His time as Parallax aside, this Silver Age test pilot is generally regarded as the greatest Green Lantern of them all, and with good reason. His constructs may not be as strong as John’s or as creative as Kyle’s, but no other Green Lantern has fought through as many epic events as Hal has. From his heroic efforts in major events such as the Sinestro Corps War and Blackest Night to his defeat of several other Lanterns -- including Sinestro and Kilowog -- Hal has proved time and again that his willpower is far beyond that of his peers. If a Green Lantern is judged on their ability to overcome fear and harness their willpower, Hal Jordan is the measuring stick by which all others are judged.
What do you think of our rankings? Who do you think is the most powerful Green Lantern ever? Sound off in the comments.