On September 5th, the release of GREEN LANTERN #0 will introduce a brand new Green Lantern to the DC Universe. Then starting in October, the monumental crossover event, “Rise of The Third Army,” will span the pages of GREEN LANTERN, GREEN LANTERN CORPS, GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS, and RED LANTERNS. To help you prepare for these exciting adventures, we’ll be putting a spotlight on the Green Lantern universe and the upcoming events that will change it forever each day this week on THE SOURCE.
To kick us off, editors Matt Idelson and Pat McCallum break down the Green Lantern universe and explain some of the fundamentals of what you need to know before picking up GREEN LANTERN #0 and the “Rise of the Third Army” titles. Take it away, fellas!
How many color Corps are there? What are they?
MATT: There’s the Green Lantern Corps, of course. And the Red Lanterns, the Star Sapphires, Sinestro’s erstwhile Yellow Corps, the Indigo Tribe, the Blue Lanterns and the one-man-Corps that is Larfleeze the Orange Lantern. There’s also the Black Lanterns, who are foul, undead creatures that plague ALL the other Corps. And then there’s also the White Lantern, who is the embodiment of life.
PAT: Each Corps has a unique color and mission: green (the most famous), as well as yellow, blue, violet (but everyone calls them “pink”), indigo, orange, red and...uh...no, that’s it. Seven total, a rainbow of fruit flavors.
What unique qualities distinguish the colors from one another?
MATT: The different colors represent the different emotions in the color spectrum. As everyone knows, green represents willpower. Red is for rage, yellow for fear, violet is love, orange is greed, blue is hope and indigo is compassion.
PAT: Green represents willpower, which readers will have to exert in order make it through my answers during this interview. Yellow is easy to remember: “Yer YELLA!” Yellow = fear. Red’s another easy one: “I’m seeing RED!” Red = rage. Blue is hope, orange is greed, violet is love and Indigo sounds like “Inigo,” the best character from The Princess Bride. Also, indigo = compassion.
How many Earth-born Green Lanterns are there? Who are they?
MATT: We’ve currently got four Earth-born Lanterns: Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner. But we’re about to introduce a fifth human in GREEN LANTERN #0, and believe me, he’s nothing like any Green Lantern you’ve met before.
PAT: Yeah, the new fella showing up in GREEN LANTERN #0 is going to be the straw that stirs the drink! On the Red Lantern front, we have two earthlings that wear the red ring. Jack Moore, now known as “Rankorr,” and the house cat-turned-most-dangerous-pussycat-in-the-Galaxy, the frothing feline fury men call Dex-Starr! A fan-favorite, he wears his ring on his tail.
How many Lanterns are there altogether? What sectors are represented?
MATT: There are roughly 7,200 Green Lanterns who patrol 3,600 sectors, but if you’re asking how many Lanterns in every Corps combined...? Wow. A lot. Thousands. While not every Corps is represented in every sector, there are ring bearers of one spectrum or another scattered all across the universe.
PAT: Ah, the joy of counting all those little Green Lanterns in those giant group shots. Then combine that number with ALL the other Corps...? That’s nuts! There’s a lot of these ring slingers out in space, and the area they cover is spreading. The Red Lanterns seek to bring their rage-fueled justice to the darkest corners of the universe, while the same can be said for the Blue Lantern’s mission of hope, the Star Sapphire’s mission of love, etc.
How does someone get chosen to be a Green Lantern?
MATT: When a Green Lantern is killed, his or her ring seeks out the one person in that sector worthy of taking on the responsibility of being a Green Lantern.
PAT: While there are a lot of Green Lanterns out there, comparatively speaking there AREN’T a lot of them when you factor in the size of the universe. Only those rare few with iron will, the ability to overcome fear, those who have what it takes to fight through any obstacle -- those are the ones chosen to be a soldiers in the Green Lantern Corps. Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, John Stewart...those are some tough dudes who don’t know the meaning of the word quit!
How does this ring decide who gets chosen?
MATT: The ring bases its selection first on willpower, but it seems to also hunt for a specific personality profile as well, of the prior wearer. If Hal Jordan were to fall in battle, his ring would seek out someone like Hal, where as if Sinestro were to buy a one-way ticket to the afterlife, his ring would seek out someone very different from the person Hal’s ring would choose.
PAT: While the rings all seek out those with willpower, each ring seems to lean toward someone with similar traits of the last one who wore it. If Guy Gardner died, the next person the ring sought out would be someone with willpower AND those Guy Gardner-ish sensibilities.
What happens if the ring runs out of power?
MATT: Like an electronic device, it goes dead until recharged. So if you’re flying through space and you forgot to charge up before leaving the house, or you’ve expended all your energy fighting, you’re in a lot of trouble. Unless of course you’ve brought your Lantern Battery along to recharge from.
PAT: POOF! You’re naked. No, seriously, Green Lantern uniforms are energy constructs, so never forget your underwear when you’re a Green Lantern. The Green Lantern power ring may be the most powerful weapon in the universe, but if it runs out of juice, all it is a pretty piece of jewelry. That’s why Green Lanterns need to keep their power batteries someplace safe AND handy. A quick recharge from a Power Battery and Green Lanterns are up, running and, perhaps most importantly, wearing pants.
Who are The Guardians?
MATT: The Guardians of the Universe are an ancient race of aliens who took it upon themselves to bring peace & order to the universe. An early attempt at building a peacekeeping force, the robotic Manhunters, went murderously, monstrously wrong. Their more recent experiment is the Green Lantern Corps, a “space police” type organization designed to patrol the universe. The very first example the Guardians tried in this type of experiment was the mysterious First Lantern, who we see a glimpse of in GREEN LANTERN ANNUAL #1 … and who may very well have a larger role to play in the coming saga.
PAT: The Guardians of the Universe, the little blue aliens who inhabit the planet Oa, were once a great force for good, using their advanced tech and staggering powers to try and bring peace to the universe. But their thoughts and beliefs have grown darker, souring over centuries of watching chaos rule. The Guardians still want to deliver order and peace, but their methods have changed and their goals have become corrupted. Once the shining light of the universe, the Guardians have succumbed to a darkness that threatens to extinguish not just will, but all emotions: fear, love, rage, greed, hope, and compassion. All the fragile expressions of free will rest in the hands of the Guardians ... and the Guardians are clenching their fists.
(The cover for GREEN LANTERN ANNUAL #1, in stores this Wednesday)