When ecstatic DC Comics fans were treated to the news of the upcoming 10-episode Green Lantern TV series, the announcement also included the names of the cosmically powered heroes we can expect to see in the galaxy-spanning drama. Even if you’re a longtime fan of comics, you might not be as familiar with some—or even all—of the characters on the list.
Let’s take a look at the Lanterns who will be lighting up the screen when the Green Lantern series comes to HBO Max.
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What Is the Green Lantern Corps?
The Green Lanterns are a group of enforcers handpicked by the ancient and powerful Guardians of the Universe. They formed the Green Lantern Corps as a peacekeeping force whose protection extends across the far reaches of the universe. Each member is granted a glowing green power ring that transforms the bearer’s willpower and imagination into energy and hard light.
Over 7,000 Green Lanterns protect the thousands of worlds under their purview. The Corps itself is based on the planet Oa and its members are assigned to sectors across the galaxies. Earth’s Sector 2814 is a rarity with more than two Lanterns patrolling its stars. In the comics, six humans have officially joined the Corps in defense of Sector 2814: Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, John Stewart, Kyle Rayner, Simon Baz, and Jessica Cruz.
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Every Lantern takes the following oath:
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!
Alan Scott is the oldest character on this list and one of the most intriguing. The original Green Lantern to wield the ring on Earth, Alan Scott made his debut in 1940 in All-American Comics #16. The railroad engineer miraculously escaped a train wreck by grasping a strange, glowing lantern. He was instructed by the spirit inside to create a ring, and with the incredible powers it granted he became the first Green Lantern.
Even among a group as diverse as the Green Lanterns, Scott stands out as a unique part of their ranks. His bright costume was a delightful arrangement of green, red, purple, and yellow, complete with a mask and flowing cape. He wasn’t a formal member of the Green Lantern Corps and stayed decidedly Earthbound in his early adventures. The abilities of Scott’s ring, which was mystically powered by a green lantern fashioned from a mysterious meteorite, were unable to affect anything made of wood or plant-based materials.
In more recent comic storylines, Scott is an out gay man, and the upcoming television series won’t shy away from that aspect of his character.
Guy Gardner is instantly recognizable with his bowl-cut red hair and a fiery temper to match. His first appearance in the pages of Green Lantern comics was in 1968, but he didn’t find his footing as a hotheaded hero until many years later.
When Abin Sur crashed on Earth, his Green Lantern ring identified two possible successors: Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner. Originally, Jordan sought out Gardner as a potential back-up and the two struck up a friendship. In a revised New 52 origin, the two Lanterns met on the planet Oa and were assigned to protect the same sector. Gardner would go on to become a valued member of the Green Lantern Corps, although his stubborn attitude was often at odds with his trainer Kilowog and the rest of the Corps.
His overwhelming anger often proves to be his undoing, but Gardner has showed time and again that he is a loyal friend and hero worthy of the Green Lantern’s light.
When DC Comics’ Rebirth continuity kicked off in 2016, Earth had two new Green Lanterns added to its ranks: Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz. Cruz seemed an unlikely choice for the Corps, suffering from debilitating PTSD and panic attacks after she saw her friends murdered by criminals. As her body was taken over by a fear-based power ring attracted to her crushing anxiety, she fought against its overpowering influence and eventually won. A Green Lantern ring was offered to Cruz for her formidable bravery.
Veteran Green Lantern Hal Jordan, recognizing the potential of both Cruz and Baz, fused their ring power batteries together to forge their partnership. Cruz continued to be challenged by her anxiety even as she fought alongside her fellow rookie against threats big and small. The two wary partners gradually overcame their differences and even became valuable members of the Justice League.
Cruz bears a glowing mark of the Green Lantern on her right eye.
The massively muscled Kilowog is a Bolovax member of the Green Lantern Corps and one of its most instrumental team players. He first appeared in 1986’s Green Lantern Corps #201 as the guardian of Sector 674 and quickly became known as the Corps’ rookie trainer. He taught new recruits how to master their power rings, often bellowing his nickname for all of them, “Poozer!”
Kilowog’s home planet of Bolovax Vik and its people were destroyed during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. The Lantern persevered, but their absence left a huge hole in his heart. His found family in the Green Lantern Corps meant more to him than ever afterward.
As a Bolovax, Kilowog has naturally superhuman levels of strength and durability. He was also a gifted scientist before he joined the ranks of the Green Lantern Corps.
While Simon Baz made his first appearance as a cameo in another comic book, it was 2012’s Green Lantern #0 and its attention-grabbing cover that revealed his full story. The brash Baz was another seemingly unlikely candidate for the Green Lanterns, proving once again that bravery and willpower come in many forms. Baz was an automotive engineer before he lost his job and turned to illegal street racing and stealing cars. Taken into custody on a false terrorism charge, the Green Lantern ring selected him as he faced off against his violent interrogators.
The malfunctioning ring, seeking a new recruit after the disappearance of Hal Jordan, didn’t give Baz much guidance as a new Lantern. In time Baz was mentored by Green Lantern B’dg (and later Jordan). Baz would go on to join the Justice League with fellow Lantern rookie Jessica Cruz.
Unwilling to trust in his ring’s finite power, Baz carried a gun until Batman persuaded him to give it up and trust in himself. He’s also unique among the Lanterns with his ability to heal others’ injuries as well as see the future.
Thaal Sinestro was both one of the Green Lantern Corps’ biggest heroes and its worst enemies. His first appearance was in 1961’s Green Lantern #7.
A Green Lantern from the planet Korugar, Sinestro took Sector 1417 under his protection, but his harsh approach made him more of a tyrant than a guardian. While Sinestro was hailed for keeping his sector extraordinarily safe, Hal Jordan discovered he had conquered his own planet to do so. The Guardians learned the truth and Sinestro was banished from the Green Lantern Corps’ ranks.
Sinestro would go on to form the Sinestro Corps and the Yellow Lanterns, brandishing the yellow energy of fear. He and Hal Jordan remained bitter enemies and clashed time and time again. Whether he’ll be a trusted member of the Corps or already an enemy of the universe’s guardians in the upcoming television series remains to be seen, but Sinestro’s presence alone is intriguing.
But What About Hal Jordan, John Stewart, and Kyle Rayner?
Of all the Green Lanterns HBO has revealed will be in the series, there are three very notable names missing. Hal Jordan, John Stewart, and Kyle Rayner, usually the headliners in Green Lantern comics, are nowhere to be found. Will these three venerable heroes be a part of the story? Or does fate (and HBO Max) have something else in store for them?
Considering that we’re already seeing a strategy of Warner Bros. and HBO Max pairing their film and TV properties (The Batman is getting a Gotham PD series while The Suicide Squad will have a Peacekeeper show), don’t rule out a Green Lantern movie connecting to this series eventually!