Why Are the Tales of the Green Lantern Corps so Special?


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!

This is the official oath spoken by most members of the Green Lantern Corps, a sort of cosmic police force that patrols the whole universe, divided into different sectors. The Green Lantern Corps were officially created by John Broome and Gil Kane, and they debuted in Showcase #22 (September 1959). This series has since been enlarged and now includes a lot of masterful stories about this cosmic aspect of DC’s fictional universe, which is why I have decided to write about the Green Lantern Corps in today’s article, telling you something about the cosmic background in which they exist. 

The Green Lantern Corps Stories are special because they expand the DC Comics lore, and because they successfully combine a rich and diverse cosmology with the classic ideas of comic book super heroism, thereby creating a unique narrative that one cannot but adore.

In today’s article, you are going to find out a lot of interesting information about the Green Lantern Corps and the cosmology behind that series. I am going to tell you how many Corps there are based on the Emotional Spectrum and what each of the colors actually represents. In the end, I am going to explain why the stories about the Green Lantern Corps and their universe are so special, and they truly are very, very special. Let us begin!

How many Lantern Corps are there?

In order to fully comprehend the Lantern Corps, one has to understand how the Emotional Spectrum works. But, I am going to explain that in the next section. In this section, I am just going to give you a direct numerical answer and then explain everything later. 

Now, as of 2021, there are ten Lantern Corps in total. They are:

  1. Green Lantern Corps
  2. Red Lantern Corps
  3. Yellow Lantern Corps
  4. Orange Lantern Corps
  5. Blue Lantern Corps
  6. Indigo Tribe
  7. Star Sapphires
  8. Black Lantern Corps
  9. White Lantern Corps
  10. Ultraviolet Corps

Until recently, there have been only nine Lantern Corps but the authors introduced the Ultraviolet Corps recently. There is also a Gold Lantern from the 31st Century, but as of yet, there is no Corps associated with that unique Lantern. Now, let me explain the emotional spectrum and the meaning behind the colors of the Corps.

What does each of the colors represent?

The concept of the Emotional Spectrum has been explored in a series of sagas which speak of the appearance of seven corps of different colors that symbolize the Emotional Spectrum and their color’s respective entity, and interpreted in the seven colors of the rainbow, with each color corresponding to an emotion: anger (red), greed (orange), fear (yellow), willpower (green), hope (blue), compassion (indigo), and love (purple). 

The two emotions that are on each end of the spectrum (anger and love), have much more influence on their bearers than the others, but they are not necessarily negative if they are used properly. Willpower, due to its central location on the emotional spectrum, is balancing and has the ability to keep one’s own emotions under control, which is why it was chosen by the Guardians of the Universe as the central emotion. 

The existing Corps and their meanings are as follows: 

  • Red Lantern Corps: With its origin rooted in elements around the Five Inversions, this corps utilizes the power of rage. The debut of this body occurs in Final Crisis: Its founder and the first Red Lantern is Atrocitus, the monster that killed Abin Sur. 
  • Agent Orange: Fueled by greed, the only bearer of the orange light is an alien named Larfleeze (referred to as “Agent Orange” by the Guardians of the Universe); he has the ability to steal the identities of those he has killed and is able to transform them into constructs of orange light that are the ones that make up the Orange Lantern Corps, as Larfleeze is so greedy that he doesn’t want to share his power with anyone. 
  • Sinestro Corps: Founded when Sinestro’s yellow ring was transformed into a prototype for a larger group. The Yellow Lantern Corps extract their powers fear and act as a natural counterpart to the Green Lanterns’ ability to overcome fear. 
  • Green Lantern Corps: An intergalactic police force founded and led by the Guardians of the Universe; its members rely on willpower to generate constructions made from the green energy of their power rings. 
  • Blue Lantern Corps: The first blue ring is created by Ganthet and Sayd, who indicated that the light of hope is the source of their power. Interestingly, Blue Lanterns are only capable of flying and warding off space on their own. Their full potential is unlocked only in conjunction with a Green Ring of Power. They do not need their battery to recharge, as they can absorb the hope of living beings and with it recharge their rings. They can lower the power level of the rings worn by the Sinestro Corps. 
  • Indigo Tribe: Besides the fact that their powers correspond to the indigo light of compassion, not much is known about the Indigo Tribe. They can teleport around the universe and have the ability to copy the powers of the other rings. 
  • Star Sapphires: The Star Sapphires are natural enemies of the Green Lantern and use the power of Love. 
  • Black Lantern Corps: Instead of light from the Emotional Spectrum, these Lanterns are powered by Death and the ring bearers are actually deceased entities. 
  • White Lantern Corps: These enigmatic Lanterns focus exclusively on Light and have such powers as flight, protective aura generation, and light construct creation, but their most important power is the ability to revive the dead. 
  • Ultraviolet Corps: A new addition to the spectrum that can tap into the Invisible Emotional Spectrum and instead of rings, uses tattoos.
Credit DC Comics

Why are the tales of the Green Lantern Corps so special?

Well, it’s pretty much clear now, isn’t it? The Green Lantern saga is one of DC Comics’ most potent and diverse series, a series that actually digs into the very core of DC’s cosmology and the large universe whose fundaments were built by Jack Kirby a long time ago. No other comic book series gives us so much cosmic diversity while, at the same time, keeping a connection with DC’s core ideas. 

The Green Lantern Corps stories offer more than any other DC series. They retain the essential heroism associated with the likes of Superman or Batman – which is not strange as Hal Jordan, a member of the Corps, is also a member of the Justice League – but they give it a larger cosmic perspective that not only encourages diversity but also expands DC’s lore and the borders of our imagination. 

The expansion of the Green Lantern universe, which came with the introduction of the whole Emotional Spectrum and the new Corps, was a revolutionary move that changed DC’s cosmology forever and I can only state that I truly love these stories and that the Green Lantern Corps stories are among the best and most interesting that DC has to offer. 

Ali R.

I'm Ali, and I'm very much a geek of the 80's. I love all things involving comics, weird dice, low-resolution pixels, badly lipped synced action films with plasticine monsters, loud bright clothes that nobody should have worn, pop songs that nobody should have sung, and TV cartoon shows that ...well everyone should watch.

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