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Friday, 30 June 2017

The Lantern Corps

Eight of the Lantern Corps
The Lantern Corps are some of my favorite aspect of the DC universe after the entire mythos surrounding Gotham. The Blackest Night story arc is one of my favorite non-Batman stories to come out of DC comics. In recent years the popularity of the Lantern Corps have been growing and new comic fans, or non-fans who enjoyed Injustice 2, may wonder who exactly the Lantern Corps are. The Lantern Corps harness one emotion to give them powers through a power ring and each emotion manifests itself as a color on the color spectrum; hence it is referred to as the Emotional Spectrum. With the basics covered let's look at each Corps.

Red Lanterns
Red Lantern Logo
The Red Lanterns utilize rage to create their powers; their own rage and the rage of others. Unlike other power rings the rings of a Red Lantern turns the blood of the user into highly corrosive flames which the user spits out instead of constructing light constructs. This blood is highly corrosive and can even burn through the light constructs of other Lanterns. When someone becomes a Red Lantern they become filled with so much rage that they start a murderous rampage and will kill any who crosses their path until they are forcibly bathed in the Blood Lake of Ysmault. With other Lantern Corps they can simply remove their ring but the Red Lantern ring is connected to the wielder's heart so it will kill the wielder when removed. The ring provides the circulation of the wielder so if the heart is removed as long as the ring is intact the wielder can survive. However, the Red Lanterns have a weakness. The combined power of a green and blue ring can destroy a red ring. Also, if the wielder's heart fills with love over rage this will cancel out the effects of the red ring (as love is on the opposite end of the Emotional Spectrum to rage) but a Blue Lantern is still required to properly 'cleanse' the wielder. This happened to Mera during the Blackest Night event and currently she is the only Red Lantern to be cured this way. The Red Lanterns were founded by a former psychologist called Atrocitus on Ryut whose rage against the Manhunters, who massacred his planet and family, and the Guardians of the Universe, who didn't stop it, caused the creation of the Red Lanterns after mixing his rage with blood magic. Their oath is:
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!

Agent Orange
Orange Lantern Logo
Other than being named after a chemical weapon the Orange Lanterns are unique with it being the only Lantern Corps to have only one member for most of its history. Agent Orange, Larfleeze, was a member of a thieves guild who discovered the Orange Power Battery in a temple on the planet Okaara. The Guardians of the Universe made a deal with Larfleeze and his companion: one of them could keep the Battery if it never left the system. Larfleeze killed his companion and he took the power of the Orange Power Battery. The Orange Ring is powered by avarice. This explains why there is only one Orange Lantern at once. Larfleeze's greed is so great thanks to the Orange Ring so much that he cannot let the power be shared with others. During the Blackest Night story the Guardian Ganthet copied each of the rings making another member of each corps (Mera became a Red Lantern), and Lex Luthor became an Orange Lantern. During the event Luthor tried to take another person's ring and when the event ended Larfleeze stripped him of his ring and handed him to the heroes (commenting it was the only time he ever gave someone something). Larfleeze can absorb the energy of other rings with the exception of Blue and Violet Lanterns. Their oath is:
What's mine is mine and mine is mine. And mine and mine and mine! Not Yours!
Sinestro Corps
Sinestro Corps Logo
The Sinestro Corps, or Yellow Lanterns, are likely the most famous Lantern Corps after the Green Lanterns. Yellow Lanterns use fear for power but not their own fear. Instead they inspire fear in others which powers them. They are named after their founder: Sinestro. Sinestro was a Green Lantern who became a tyrant over his homeworld of Korugar. The Guardians of the Universe banished him to the antimatter universe where he returned wielding yellow energy unlocking the ability to use fear. Here it is time to introduce the entities. Each emotion is represented by an entity and for fear this is Parallax. Sinestro with Parallax brought down Hal Jordan and the Green Lanterns. It's a bit confusing but Parallax was Hal Jordan's evil alter-ego but that has been retconned so Parallax is the entity of fear. During the Blackest Night event the Batman villain Scarecrow, (who uses a toxin to make people see their darkest fears), was briefly made a Yellow Lantern. Batman at one time was even offered the chance to become a Sinestro Corps member. Like many totalitarian regimes the Sinestro Corps do not see themselves as being evil. Instead they see themselves as bringing order to the universe where the Green Lanterns have failed to do so. Their oath is:
In blackest day, in brightest night! Beware your fears turned into light, Let those who try to stop what's right, Burn like his power...Sinestro's might!
Green Lanterns
Green Lantern logo
The Green Lantern Corps is by far the most famous of the Lantern Corps. The Green Lanterns were founded by the Guardians of the Universe from the planet Maltus. As one of the first intelligent species in existence the Maltusians disagreed about how they should interact with the universe, and those who believed that they should contain evil moved to the planet Oa. At first they created a group of androids called the Manhunters (they originally tried to recruit the Martians but they refused). However, the Manhunters were seen as flawed as they could not recognize emotion and they themselves went full Skynet and rebelled against the Guardians. Later, when the Guardians had exiled the Manhunters the androids massacred Ryut leading to Atrocitus' rage which formed the Red Lanterns. The Guardians instead resorted to using biological lifeforms using power rings powered by the use of willpower (albeit it is not an emotion). It instead involves controlling ones emotions. A Green Lantern can create energy and light constructs of anything, and is only limited by their will and imagination. The Green Lanterns act as intergalactic police fighting evil, bringing peace etc. throughout the DC universe. The Guardians divided the area of the universe which they patrolled into 7200 sectors where two Green Lanterns patrol each sector with the exception of Sector-2814. Sector-2814 is home to Earth and usually have around for Lanterns. However, one is usually on Earth while the other three are on Oa or somewhere across the universe. As of writing the Green Lanterns from Earth have included: Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, John Stewart (my personal favorite), Simon Baz, Jade, and Jessica Cruz. A good way to describe the Green Lanterns is that they are DC's jedi which use willpower instead of the Force. During the Blackest Night event Guardian of the Universe Ganthet was made a Green Lantern. Their oath is:
Inn 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!
Blue Lanterns
Blue Lantern Logo
The Blue Lanterns use hope to create their light constructs. Those who have much hope, or inspire hope in others, are chosen to become Blue Lanterns on the same basis as the other Lantern Corps. Two Guardians of the Universe founded the Blue Lanterns, Ganthet and Sayd. In the Book of Oa there is a prediction of the Blackest Night (more on that later) and these two Guardians were the only ones to acknowledge that the prophecy was coming to pass. Thanks to this, and their willingness to show emotion, led to their exile from Oa. In exile they formed the Blue Lanterns where Saint Walker of the planet Astonia becomes the first Blue Lantern. The sun which Astonia orbited was dying and Saint Walker offered a beacon of hope for the doomed people of Astonia; hence he was chosen to wield the first blue power ring. Blue power rings are simultaneously weak and powerful. They can only perform the basic ring functions when they are not near a Green Lantern but become very powerful when they are near, or working with, a Green Lantern. Without willpower hope is nothing. A blue ring can negate the effects of a red ring, drain the power of a yellow ring, block orange rings, and charge any ring (although it works best on green rings). It can power a green ring so much that a blue power battery can accidentally overcharge a green ring making it explode. Blue rings can heal wounds, regenerate lost limbs and even reduce the age of Astonia's sun. During Blackest Night Barry Allen, the Flash, was made a Blue Lantern. Their oath is:
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!
Indigo Tribe
Indigo Tribe Logo
The Indigo Tribe uses compassion to power themselves. However, despite this they have a sinister side to them with them forcibly recruiting people and appearing to be ready to replace the Green Lanterns. Hal Jordan's predecessor, Abin Sur, helped found the Indigo Tribe after he helped slaves overthrow their captors on the planet Nok. Their he and the leader of the resistance, Natromo, bring an enemy of Abin Sur called Iroque (who murdered his daughter) to Nok where she becomes filled with compassion. Iroque, now called Indigo-1, became the first Indigo Tribe member. Now the Indigo Tribe collects the worst murderers, sadists and monsters filling them with compassion to induct them into the Indigo Tribe. Instead of using a power battery to charge the ring Indigo Tribe members use a staff. If forced to wear an indigo ring, (so most members), a wielder cannot feel any emotion other than compassion but this allows Indigo Tribe members to channel emotions of others. When this is done to other Lantern Corps members this can allow the Indigo Tribe to use their light constructs. For example, when channeling a Red Lantern they can spit the fire-blood. If the ring is removed from a wielder who does not willingly wear it they resort to their original passionless self. During Blackest Night Atom became a member. The Indigo Tribe's oath has no direct English translation with an alien language being used instead:
Tor lorek san, bor nakka mur, Natromo faan tornek wot ur. Ter Lantern ker lo Abin Sur, Taan lek lek nok- Formorrow Sur!
Star Sapphires
Star Sapphire Logo
The Star Sapphires use love to power their rings. This group had their origin in the founding of the Guardians of the Universe. A group of female Guardians disagreed with their fellows that they should live life without emotion so left. There on the planet Zamaron they discovered the parasitic Star Sapphire which attached onto them and give them the power to revenge themselves. Knowing the Star Sapphire would get too powerful they constructed a Power Battery to control them. The love which powers Star Sapphires is not as clear cut as one would imagine. It is powered mainly by lost love: either through a spurned love where the power is used to revenge the lost love, or through the love for someone they've lost in order to fight against fear and hate. Star Sapphires can convert other Lantern Corps member through conversion crystals. On Zamaron someone can be encased in a conversion crystal which fills them with love over other emotions; later on we find out that this actually forces the person to feel love rather than awakening the love in someone's heart Kingdom Hearts style. Curiously the Star Sapphires only accept females although occasionally males have been members. Guy Gardner briefly wielded a violet ring, Superman-Prime was made a member during Blackest Night, and Sinestro himself was placed in a conversion crystal but it failed to convert him. Wonder Woman was made a Star Sapphire during Blackest Night as well. Their oath is:
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!
Black Lanterns
Black Lantern Logo
The Black Lanterns do not use emotion. Instead they are the dead resurrected. In the beginning of the DC universe it lost the fight against the white light of creation but the fighting caused the white light to splinter into the Emotional Spectrum. The Guardians created a prophecy that the Black Light would return one day bringing the Blackest Night but only one Green Lantern took it seriously: Abin Sur. After he discovered that the Blackest Night would come only Ganthet, Sayd and the Zamarons believed him. During the War of Light the Anti-Monitor was thrown onto a planet disturbing the Black Power Battery. A Guardian called Scar is corrupted by the battery and she convinces the villain Black Hand to kill his family before committing suicide. Scar then resurrected Hand with the first Black Lantern Ring where she informed him that he was the embodiment of Death in the same way that Parallax embodied fear. Hand then uses the skull of Bruce Wayne to release thousands of black rings from Sector 666 which head towards Earth and Oa resurrecting dead heroes, villains, and Lanterns. We later find out that a being called Nekron created the black rings in order to kill the Entity, the embodiment of Life. The Black Lanterns gain power through killing people but at even minimal power they can fly, create energy constructs etc. The ring grants them invulnerability with normally fatal injuries and magic being useless on them. Other than resurrecting the dead the rings can kill those who have died and come back to life. Only the original Dove, Don Hall, managed to resist the black ring which continued to say 'Don Hall of Earth at Peace'. Black Lanterns do have weaknesses. They are made redundant by White Lanterns as well as white light. If all seven Lantern Corps shoot a Black Lantern it can destroy them. Also, people who can wield white light, like Doctor Light, can destroy them and Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth works against them. The Flash even stopped him and Hal Jordan from becoming Black Lanterns by running them two seconds into the future. After the Blackest Night they have virtually gone out of existence. Their oath is:
The Blackest Night falls from the skies, The darkness grows as all light dies, We crave your hearts and your demise, By my black hand, the dead shall Rise!
White Lanterns
White Lantern Logo
While the Black Lanterns are death the White Lanterns are life. Earth was the source of all life in the universe in the form of the embodiment of Life called the Entity. Nekron hoped to destroy the Entity during the Blackest Night but failed when Hal Jordan bonded with the Entity (although Sinestro briefly bonded with it first). Jordan used the Entity to resurrect the already resurrected heroes who Nekron killed to become Black Lanterns as well as the Anti-Monitor who acted as the Black Lantern Power Battery. He then used the Entity to sever Nekron's tie to Black Hand and release twelve White Lantern rings to resurrect a further twelve heroes and villains. Following the defeat of the Black Lanterns all the White Lanterns, with the exception of Deadman, return to normal. Since then Kyle Rayner has mastered all seven emotions that comprise the Emotional Spectrum becoming a White Lantern. White Lanterns when possessed by the Entity have the ability to resurrect the dead (including dead plants) as well as being able to wipe out Black Lanterns. Kyle Rayner while possessing a white ring can use powers from each of the Lantern Corps with the exception of the Black Lanterns. Currently we don't know the White Lantern oath unless if they don't have one at all.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it.


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