If you have been reading the DC Universe for some time, you must know the Green Lanterns. They are some kind of galactic cop organization, appointed to bring order to each sector of the Universe. Big as it is, the universe has been divided into 3600 sectors, each of them with two Green Lanterns assigned to it.
It means that if there are two Green Lanterns by sector, there could be a maximum of two earthlings wearing a Green Lantern ring, right? Wrong!
There are 6 Green Lanterns from The Green Lantern Corps from Earth: Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, John Stewart, Kyle Rayner, Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz. But if we extend a little bit the range, we could add a couple more: Alan Scott, whose ring doesn’t belong to the Green Lantern Corps, and his daughter, Jade, who inherited her powers from her father, but later received a power ring and joined the Corps.
Would you like to know a little bit more about these characters and which comics are the best to get to know them better?
Hal Jordan is the Silver Age Green Lantern and the most well known one. If anybody talks about Green Lantern, it’s probably talking about him.
He was created by writer John Broome and artist Gil Kane, and his first apparition was in Showcase #22, from October 1959. The story explains how Abin Sur, a Green Lantern himself whose aircraft crashes on planet Earth, passes his ring before dying to Hal Jordan. Hal, a test pilot from the Ferris Aircraft company, is selected by the ring by two main characteristics: because he´s fearless and because he’s honest.
The story sets the basic rules of the ring itself, the vulnerability to the yellow color and the need to charge every 24 hours, and introduces us to the greatest Green Lantern of them all.
Through history, Hal has come and gone out of the Green Lantern corps, even turning to the bad guys side while becoming Parallax. But he always found a way back to be the best Green Lantern of Earth, and maybe from all the Corps.
You may find many of the best adventures from Hal Jordan as Green Lantern in our previous article about the best Green Lantern comics that you MUST read here.
Guy Gardner was introduced in Green Lantern 59, from 1968. He was created by the same creative team than created Hal Jordan, Broome and Gil Kane.
In that book, we find out that when the ring selected Hal Jordan, it had found two people equally worthy of the ring: Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner. Jordan happened to be the one closer to the site of Abin Sur crash, so that’s why he was selected.
Guy Gardner plays an important role in the post crisis Justice League by Giffen, DeMatteis & Maguire, where he plays a obnoxious character who believes himself over the rest of the Lanterns, and has many, many funny moments with this league (if you haven’t read it… you should! Click here to find these books on Amazon)
After this, Gardner confronts Hal Jordan to reclaim his title as Green Lantern of Earth, and the loser should quit the Corps. Gardner loses to Hal, and he surrenders his ring.
After that, he manages to get a yellow ring that belonged to Sinestro. Later on, he wears an exo suit and even opens his own superhero themed bar, Warrior.
During the miniseries Green Lantern: Rebirth (click here to buy it on Amazon), Guy Gardner recovers his Green Lantern power ring and returns to the Green Lantern Corps. After that, Guy’s always been portrayed in the Green Lantern Corps comics, being one of the fans favorites.
John Stewart first appeared in Green Lantern 87, from December 1971. The character was created by Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams, and he was the first afro-american hero to appear in the DC universe, his design based on the actor Sidney Poitier.
John is assigned as substitute of Hal Jordan after Guy Garner gets injured while trying to save a girl to fall from a bridge. The Guardians select John Stewart, and after Hal Jordan’s initial doubts, John proves himself worthy of his ring.
For some time John Stewart filled in while Hal Jordan was unavailable, but from issues 182 to 200, when Hal left the Green Lantern Corps, John became the main character of the book.
Maybe one of his worst moments is in the miniseries Cosmic Oddisey, when he fails to prevent the destruction of an entire planet. This event shatters John, who has to rebuild himself to become the hero he is now, leader of the Green Lantern Corps and the current Green Lantern of the Justice League
In the middle 90’s, DC decided to revamp their characters, and made Hal Jordan come crazy after Mogul destroyed his home town, Coast City. He then turned on his fellow Corp members and killing them all and the Guardians themselves, becoming the villain known as Parallax.
When that happened, Ganthet, the only remaining Guardian of the Universe, gave Kyle the only Green Lantern ring that remained on the universe. Quite a responsibility for this new character!
From then on, Kyle proved himself worthy of the ring, and even became the most powerful lantern of them all, achieving godhood when he became Ion, and later the only White Lantern.
One of the characteristics of Kyle is that, being a comic book artist himself, his green lantern constructs are the most elaborate, creating images of comic book characters, animes, mechas, etc.
Geoff Johns and Dough Mankhe created Simon Baz during the “Rise of the Third Army” storyline, in 2012. A muslim himself, the character is mistakenly blamed of bombing a factory and even being tortured when the ring selects him, while Hal Jordan and Sinestro are being held captive by the Black Hand.
Since he is a mechanic engineer from the automotive sector, his green lantern construct often resemble cars and different vehicles. He’s also the only Green Lantern that it’s also carrying a gun, and the one that could wake a living being from a coma.
After fighting the Justice League in one of his first appearances, Simon becomes a Justice League member in the Justice League of America and the post-rebirth Justice League, and later is appointed Green Lantern of Earth and personal protector Hal Jordan’s family.
Jessica Cruz was created by Geoff Johns and first appears in Green Lantern #20, but her first full appearance is in Justice League 31, from 2014. One of the main characteristics of this character is that she’s deeply traumatized, and she’s forced to take this ring. The ring belongs to Volthoom, from the Crime Syndicate of America, and feeds on fear.
Despite her constant fear, Jessica manages to become a hero, so that’s probably her main attractive as a character.
Alan Scott was the original Golden Age Green Lantern. It’s first appearance, in All American Comics #16, from 1940, was written by Bill Finger and drawn by Martin Nodell, who is also credited as the creator.
The book “Green Lantern: A Celebration of 75 years” explains the origin of the character: “… inspired by a glimpse of a subway worker waving a green lantern to indicate that a track was clear for travel, Nodell’s creation began to take shape…”
The result was a masked hero that controlled a green flame by sheer force of will. Some of the elements of the Silver Age Green Lantern were already there: the need to recharge every 24 hours, and the inability to affect certain objects, which in the case of Alan Scott were objects made of wood.
Later on, Alan Scott would be part of the Justice Society of America, one of the first superhero groups of comics.
Even though it’s not a proper Green Lantern Corp himself, he’s the father of all Green Lanterns and deserves to be included on this list.
Jade is the daughter of Alan Scott, and due to her father’s exposure to magic energies she was born with metahuman powers. Jade’s powers resembled her father’s, since she was able to generate constructs out of green energy.
Together with her brother Obsidian, she was originally a memeber of Infinity Inc., a group formed by the original Justice Society of America sons and daughters, and later was romantically involved with Kyle Rayner.
When she lost her powers Kyle gave her a spare power ring and a battery, thus making her a member of the Green Lantern Corps (and yes, this is why Jessica Cruz is not the first woman from Earth to become a Green Lantern!)
Jade died, disappeared from DC’s continuity after Rebirth, and recently reappears after Doomsday Clock, which if you haven’t read… you should. Probably will see many heroes coming from these pages in the coming months!
Did you know all these Green Lanterns from Earth were there?
If you didn’t now you have good chances to find a little more about their stories reading some of these good books.
As we always say… keep reading good comics!!