List for List's Sake: Green Lantern List
(Or Why Sledge Hates Hal Jordan List)
On this week’s episode of the Court of Nerds podcast, Droo made some statements about Green Lantern 2814.1, known as Hal Jordan. Droo called Hal Jordan the smoothest space man next to “Billy D Williams” and a “bad ass.” I grew angry and shouted expletives to the wind. This got me thinking about making a list of Green Lantern’s and ranking them all out of sheer spite.
Now, it is well documented, even recently, that I don’t much care for the character of Hal Jordan: “The Greatest Green Lantern.” Hell, just read this bit of our Court of Nerd’s thread.
So, dammit, I’m making a list. It’s MY LIST, and MY RANKINGS. If you don’t like it (Droo), make your own damn list. I’m angry and petty so this is how I see things. The rules are that the people involved must carry the title “Green Lantern.” I work primarily in Rebirth continuity, but I will not limit myself to just one universe. So, buckle up, because I’m counting down to number one.
Last place: Sodam Yat, “The Ultimate Green Lantern” – Sodam Yat is a Daxamite, so he already has Kryptonian like powers. Give him a ring he should be even more amazing. Give him the Ion entity, and he should be unstoppable. But, man was he a little bitch in Infinite Crisis when Superboy Prime took him on. Seriously, the Guardians made a huge mistake (big surprise there) in asking Kyle to pass on Ion. Sodam, however, is prophesized to be the last living Lantern and Guardian of the Universe… hence the title “Ultimate.” He just spends eternity sitting on a pile of rings wishing he and Arisia Rrab sealed the deal.
Second to Last: Hal Jordan, “The Greatest Green Lantern” – Hal is many things, but primary amoung them is that he is a fuck up. Sure, he tries to fix his fuck ups and he usually does, but it always comes with such a cost. He destroyed Oa and all but one Guardian by playing host to the Fear Entity, He then played host to incarnation of God’s Vengeance, and when he was done being bad at that, he was reborn so he could fuck up the Green Lantern Corp again. He has been cast out of the Green Lantern Corp more times than you can count and it was always because he thought he knew better than everyone else, including the people that saved his life. If you ask me, Sinestro isn’t the most evil Green Lantern, Hal is.
Third to Last: Sinestro, “The Greatest Green Lantern” – Like Hal, he wore the moniker of “Greatest Green Lantern” before his fall to fear. He ruled Korugar, his home world, in Sector 1417 with an iron fist. When Hal uncovered his totalitarian regime, he helped conscript Katma Tui to bring his crimes before the Guardians. The little blue guys banished Sinestro to Qward in the Anti-Matter Universe as punishment. There, he enlisted the help of the weaponers, made his own battery, and started his own Corp named after himself. For the longest time the Sinestro Corp was the greatest enemy of the Green Lantern Corp… Fitting now that they serve under Hal Jordan and the combined Corps.
16. Rot Lap Fan, “The Green Lantern Who Can’t See.” Hailing from a species that evolved in complete darkness, Rot Lap Fan is one of the most unique Green Lanterns. Projecting light is a bit of a problem for a species that has no concept of color. Green Lantern Katma Tui coaches him to create a hand bell with the ring, and describes the Green Lantern Corps as the "F-Sharp Bell Corps" — "F-Sharp" being a reassuring note for Rot Lop Fan's race in the same manner that green is a reassuring color, and the ring's powers in terms of sound instead of light. She also composes a new oath for him to recite:
In loudest din or hush profound, my ears hear evil's slightest sound, let those who toll out evil's knell, beware my power, the F-Sharp Bell!
15. Tomar-Re, “The Fishy Green Lantern” This honor guard member of the Corp hails from Sector 2813 and the planet Xudar which wasn’t very far from Krypton. He was a scientist before he enlisted in the Corp, and was concerned about the tectonic instability that the planet was experiencing. He was on a mission to save Krypton, but was blinded by a solar flare before he could complete his mission. Krypton exploded and he forever bares the guilt of letting the planet die. He investigated reports of abuses of power by Sinestro and was close friends with Abin Sur. He was also the first Lantern to meet Sur's replacement, Hal Jordan, but like most of the other Green Lanterns, was killed by Hal Jordan eventually. His son, Tomar-Tu, is currently his replacement Green Lantern for his sector.
14. Laira, “The Angry One”- Laira is a red skinned ass kicker from space sector 112. She is trained by her father Kentor Omoto to take over his role as a soldier of the Guardians of the Universe. She survived the rescue of Ion from the Anti-Moniter (a feat in itself), and was instrumental in recovering the “Lost Lanterns.” During the rise of the Alpha Lanterns she got a bit too chummy with her fellow ring slingers and showed a bit too much emotion for the cold heartted Boodikka’s liking. She was stripped of he ring and tossed out of the Corp, only to be picked up by Atrocitus and becoming the second Red Lantern. She was later killed by Sinestro, but left her mark before she died. She was mourned by Hal… probably because he never got a chance to ruin their relationship.
13. Katma Tui, “The One Carol Ferris Sliced Open” – Katma is one of the older Green Lanterns and one of the many repeated victims of being a Hal Jordan acquaintance. She is Korugan, like Sinestro, and had an undying hatred for what he did to their world. She trained allot of Lanterns like Rot Lap Fan and John Stewart, whom she eventually married. Katma and Hal had a strong friendship even after he left the Corp, which led to her demise. While Katma had her ring off, Star Sapphire chopped her up into little bits to get at Hal. She is resurrected by her husband John Stewart, who became a temporary Guardian of the Universe, only to be killed off again because Hal Jordan became Parallax and killed off 99.9% of the Corp and the Guardians. She is reanimated a third time in Blackest Night only to have her former husband destroy the black ring turning her back into a corpse.
12. Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz, “The Odd Couple Green Lanterns” – Jessica Cruz is a human from associated with the alternate reality “Crime Syndicate.” She was possessed by the Ring of Volthoom, and was given the title “Power Ring.” She broke away from his power at the end of the Darkseid War. Simon Baz is an Arab American from Dearborn, Michigan who had a penchant for being on comic book covers with a gun in his hand. He proved himself worthy to wear a ring during the “Rise of the Third Army,” but like Jess, he lacks training and focus. Being the newest editions to the Green Lantern Corp, both Jess and Simon are being trained on Mogo by Guy Gardner and Kyle Raynor respectively.
11. Arisia Rrab, “The One With the Pointy Ears and Mini Skirt” – Coming from a long liniage of Green Lanterns, Arisia was groomed to be a Green Lantern, but her time came before she was ready after both her father and uncle died in the line of duty. She trained with Hal Jordan and developed a crush on him. Hal, being Hal, decided why not damage a young impressionable girl and became her boyfriend. While on Earth together, she learned that Hal is a bit of a jerk and broke up with him. Other members of the Corp love her. Ch’p refered to her as “Big Cutie.” She would later develop feelings for Sodam Yat, who is the only Green Lantern I have less respect for than Hal Jordan. I wonder if having bad taste in men also runs in her family.
10: Mogo, “The Big Gun” – He’s a fucking planet. A sentient, mother fucking planet. He helped defeat Superboy Prime in Infinite Crisis and saved Superman in the process. After Hal Jordan destroyed the Corp, Mogo drifted through space and lost sentience. Kyle Raynor woke him up and brought him back into the rebuilt Corp. During Blackest Night, Mogo was taken over by the Black Lanterns and became a death ring factory. John Stewart made the choice to kill him, and Mogo’s remains rained down on Oa. Later, John Stewart and Fatality help reform Mogo and reignite his/her consciousness. Mogo now acts as the home for the combined Green Lantern/Sinestro Corp.
9. Bzzd - Bzzd is a small wasp-like Green Lantern from the planet Apiaton in sector 2261. He is the partner of Mogo, the living planet making. He is fond of making crazy large constructs for someone so small, which some might say is an effort at over compensation. Bzzd often faces extra scrutiny from his fellow Lanterns because of his size but he has shown that his willpower is as strong as anyone else's. Bzzd didn’t get along very well with Guy Gardner… but that describes just about everybody in the entire Corp. He gave his life to defeat Mongul II all while defending a team of his fellow Lanterns. His ring was bequeathed to Mother Mercy. As far as I know, no other member of his species has become a Green Lantern.
8. Salakk, “The dude with extra arms” – Salakk is the guy that keeps everything from crumbling all around you. He’s the guy that despite being super overworked, he will make sure the donuts arrive on time for the big meeting. He is the keeper of the book of Oa, which tells the story of every Green Lantern... or it's supposed to. When Kyle Rayner is briefly turned into a ring magnet, Salaak attempts to remove Kyle's Green Lantern ring on the Guardians' orders. Kyle's ring resists Salaak's attempt at removal as Kyle protests the decision and what they did to Ganthet, stripping him of all emotion. Salaak begins to spy on the Guardians, learning of their plans for the Third Army. He is subsequently caught and locked away despite his protests that their plans are wrong. After the unemotional Guardians are killed off by Sinestro, Salaak is freed from his imprisonment by Kilowog and Guy Gardner, who explain to him the events regarding the villainous First Lantern. Salaak is meticulous, supportive, and caring. His life is the Corp, and he almost never left Oa, and now rarely leaves Mogo.
7. Alan Scott (Earth 2), “Only in Title, Green Lantern” - This is kinda cheating because neither Alan Scott from Nu Earth, Earth Prime, nor Earth 2 is a member of the Green Lantern Corp, but is instead a supporter of “The Green.” That said he is awesomely badass. I chose the Earth 2 Alan for a few reasons. First, his costume looks so much cooler. Second, he was one of the first openly gay headlining heroes for DC. Third, he has managed to survive every damn Convergence DC has thrown at him. He may not be the father of Jade in this continuity, but he still is awesome. Speaking of…
6. Jade, “The hottest of the Green Lanterns” – Jade is the daughter of Alan Scott and Rose Canton (Thorn). She grows up in Milwaukee where her meta human powers manifest after she defends herself from sexual assault. She can make green energy constructs and control plants. When she shacks up with Kyle Raynor in his loft in New York, they become romantically involved. When she looses her powers, he offers her a spare ring and she joins the Green Lantern Corp. Honestly, she was probably the most powerful of the Green Lanterns at this time, but dies trying to save the Universe from Alexander Luther. Upon her death, her power awakens the Will Power Entity inside of Kyle and he ascends to ION.
5. John Stewart, “The Green Lantern From JL Unlimited” – John Stewart is a former marine and architect from Detroit, Michigan and was the first African American hero to appear in DC Comics (1971). He is compassionate but at the same time thoughtful and acts with conviction and purpose. He had learned several life lessons over the years from inadvertently helping terrorist to failing to intervene in assassinations. As previously read before, he lost his wife… 3 times, killed Mogo, and is now a leader in a mixed Sinestro/Green Lantern Corp. There is no better Green Lantern to have at your side than John Stewart.
4. Ch’p “The Squirrely One” – I love Ch’p. A native of the planet H'lven, he helped save his homeworld from an invasion by the Crabster army of Doctor Ub'X. He was captured and sentenced to death, but one of the Guardians came secretly to induct him into the Corps with the power ring of his predecessor, who had fallen attempting to stop the invasion. Using the ring, Ch'p was able to defeat Doctor Ub'x and free his world. Shortly afterward he traveled to Oa where he was instructed by Kilowog along with Hal Jordan. Ch'p went on to become the Green Lantern of sector 1014. He died in service but was one of the few Lanterns to survive Hal’s temper tantrums. He was reanimated in Blackest Night, but was put down by Guy Gardner was a Red Lantern at the time. Speaking of…
3. Guy Gardner, “The Toughest Green Lantern” – Like Lanterns Baz and Stewart, Guy is another Michigan native who managed to find a ring. He had a rough upbringing but managed to work his way into college. He played football for the University of Michigan, until an injury sidelined him before the Rose Bowl. Guy would have been selected to be the first Green Lantern of Earth if it were not for Booster Gold convincing him to visit his dying father, ensuring that Hal Jordan would be closer to Abin Sur’s crash site. Guy would forever live in Hal’s shadow as a result. Out of spite, when Ganthet offered up the last Green Lantern ring to him after Hal killed the Corp, Guy refused thus allowing the ring to go to Kyle Raynor. After Blackest Night, Guy joins the Red Lanterns and even wrests control from Atrocitus. He sets up camp on Earth’s moon, and makes sure new Red Recruits (like Supergirl) have a positive influence over their lives. Kyle Raynor saves him, because that’s what Kyle does, and Guy returns to Green Lantern Corp. He is currently an Honor Guard and is training Jessica Cruz.
2. Kyle Raynor, “The Savior” – After Hal destroyed the Corp, Ganthet passed the last Green Lantern ring to Kyle, a struggling artist with a heart of gold. His imagination and artistic talent afforded him the ability to make some of the most off the wall and elaborate constructs. He covered Sinestro in chewing gum, he harpooned space sharks as Ahab, he became a space Viking simply because he wanted too. Kyle reconstructed the Corp, resurrected the Guardians (and added gender balance), defeated Parallax, become the embodiment of will hosting the Green Entity ION, he gave up the power, shed the Parallax entity that Hal succumbed to, saved countless Lanterns regardless of spectrum affiliation, mastered every single color of the emotional spectrum becoming the White Lantern, saved the multiverse as the White Lantern and found the hidden Guardians, stole the heart of Hal Jordan’s second love (the first being himself), then gave up power again to serve the Corp he loves. He is currently training Simon Baz to be more creative in his problem solving.
I love Kyle. He was “Green Lantern” for me growing up in the 90’s and early 2000’s. It was Kyle’s character that made me go back and buy up Crisis books and familiarize myself with Hal. Kyle was my lens through which I saw the GL Universe. He has that purity of soul that inspires those around him to be better people. Sure, his girlfriends tend to die… allot… but he feels real bad about it.
1. Kilowog, “The Grizzled Vet” – Kilowog is old. He’s been training “Poozers” since before Hal Jordan was smearing feces on the bars of his crib. He big. He’s gruff. He has a heart of gold. For the longest time he was a trainer and drill instructor for the Green Lantern Corp, but he also filled many roles over the years. Kilowog, a gifted genetic scientist, from the planet Bolovax Vik, located in Sector 674. During the Crisis of Infinite Earths , Bolovax Vik was destroyed. Kilowog was heartbroken because his race lived a highly communal lifestyle, and to be alone was one of the worst things imaginable. Owing somehow to this genetic similarity to and affinity for each other that all Bolovax Vikians possessed, Kilowog was able to rescue the entire population of his homeworld by storing their collective life essences within his ring upon that world's annihilation. Later, Kilowog was disintegrated by Hal Jordan when he went crazy and the restless spirit of Kilowog became the “Dark Lantern.” Kyle would fix this, like he did all of Hal’s messes, and resurrect Kilowog and calm his spirit. He is back to training “Poozers” these days and holds special sway as an honor guard. Despite my love of Kyle, I have to grudgingly admit that he can be a bit much at times. Kilowog is THE DEFINITION of what it means to be a Green Lantern. Unfaltering. Loyal. Good. For me, he really is the “Greatest Green Lantern.”
So that's my list. There are more Green Lanterns than I could possibly name, and I left a few out that were note worthy (Soranik Natu), but to include everyone would be a monumental task. If you think I got some wrong (Droo), then let me know in the comments.