Green Lantern is the name of several fictional characters, superheroes appearing in comic books published by DC Comics
Each Green Lantern possesses a power ring that gives the user great control over the physical world as long as the wielder has sufficient willpower and strength to wield it. While the ring of the Golden Age Green Lantern (Alan Scott) was magically powered, the rings worn by all subsequent Lanterns were technological creations of the Guardians of the Universe, who granted such rings to worthy candidates. These individuals made up the intergalactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps
After World War II, when sales of superhero comic books generally declined, DC ceased publishing new adventures of Alan Scott as the Green Lantern. At the beginning of the Silver Age of Comic Books in the late 1950s, DC editor Julius Schwartz assigned writer John Broome and artist Gil Kane to revive the Green Lantern character, this time as test pilot Hal Jordan, who became a founding member of the Justice League of America. In the early 1970s, writer Denny O'Neil and artist Neal Adams teamed Green Lantern with archer Green Arrow in groundbreaking, socially conscious, and award-winning stories that pitted the sensibilities of the law-and-order-oriented Lantern with the populist Green Arrow. Several cosmically themed series followed, as did occasional different individuals in the role of Earth's Green Lantern. Most prominent of these are John Stewart, Guy Gardner, and Kyle Rayner.
Each Green Lantern wields a power ring that can generate a variety of effects, sustained purely by the ring wearer's strength of will. The greater the user's willpower, the more effective the ring. The limits of the power ring's abilities are not clearly defined and it has been referred to as "the most powerful weapon in the universe" on more than one occasion. Across the years, the ring has been shown capable of accomplishing anything within the imagination of the ring bearer. Stories in 2006 retconned the ring's long-established lack of effect on yellow objects, stating that the ring-wielder need only feel fear and overcome it in order to affect yellow objects. In one issue Kyle Rayner blows up an entire yellow sun in order to destroy a group of hundreds of unpopulated planets that held deadly sicknesses by manipulating the sun's energy to destroy itself.
Power rings as used by various wielders have exhibited (but are not limited to) the following effects:
- Creates solid 'light energy' which is only limited by the mind
- Constructs of green 'solid-energy,' often of tremendous size and/or complexity.
- Flight, including flight at speeds beyond that of light.
- Plasma bolts.
- Ability to walk through walls by travelling through 'the Fourth Dimension' [Alan Scott]
- The rings can act as semi-sentient computers, including accessing the Book of Oa, a massive database of everything from the laws of the Guardians and the Corps to the history of the universe.
- Time travel.
- The rings are still reliant on the lantern-shaped power batteries, but no longer limited to 24 hours' charge as they originally were. Kyle Rayner's ring was the first ring to absorb more power than originally thought, having stored the main power battery's energy following its explosion on Oa.
- Telepathic powers.
- Translation of virtually all languages.
- Force field generation.
- Radiation, including simulated kryptonite radiations.
- Generate "earplugs" to block out all telepathic communication and manipulation.
- Render user invisible.
- Green Lantern: Rebirth revealed that only a certain type of willpower can use the ring effectively, as evidenced when Green Arrow's "cynical" willpower barely allows him to generate a single arrow and leaves him exhausted after this feat.
- Put humans into a state of suspended animation