The humans chosen to be a Green Lantern, clockwise from the top left: Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Alan Scott, Guy Gardner, and Kyle Rayner. Not pictured: Charlie Vickers, Jennifer-Lynn Hayden, Simon Baz.
"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!"
TheSpace Cops.Outer space isn't as dark as you think.Green Lantern is a classic DC ComicsSuper Hero and one of the first to embrace the concept of a Legacy Character. Compared to other heroes, Green Lantern has the unique ability to create objects out of solid green light, whose forms are limited only by the character's imagination. In addition, he can fire energy blasts, fly in deep space, generate force fields, and translate (almost) any alien language. All this is provided by a quasi-technological Power Ring, that must be recharged every 24 hours with a lantern-esque Power Battery. Oh, and it can't work on the color yellow (usually).Created in 1940, the original Green Lantern was a railroad engineer named Alan Scott. The train he was traveling in wrecked when the bridge it was on collapsed due to sabotage. Alan was the only one who survived the wreck, thanks to the green lantern he was holding at the time. He fashioned his ring from a part of the lantern, which unknown to him at the time was constructed out of a magic metal made from a meteor that fell to Earth, later retconned into the Starheart.Alan used his fists as often as he used his ring, and was more of a pulp hero than a sci-fi one. Along the way he picked up comic sidekick Doiby Dickles who accompanied him on his adventures, and he became one of the founding members of the Justice Society of America. Like most of the other DC characters of the time, he had adventures against regular criminals as well as super powered adversaries, and then his comic ended as super-heroes fell out of fashion in the late 40s. Alan was one of the mainstays of the All-American anthology series, as well as his own Green Lantern title. His solo series was cancelled in 1949, and his last Golden Age appearance was in an issue of All-Star comics in 1951.However, in 1959 , after the successful reinvention of the Flash, DC Comics revamped the title with a sci-fi bent, reimagining the hero as test pilot turned space cop Hal Jordan, who was given a Power Ring by a dying alien who crash landed on Earth (and was just one of many extraterrestrial peacekeepers serving the wise Guardians of the Universe). What most people know of the character originated during this era: the villainous Lantern renegade Sinestro, the living planet Mogo, alien drill instructor Kilowog, and aerospace entrepreneur/love interest Carol Ferris. Other characters were brought in as backup Green Lanterns during this time. lovable jerk Guy Gardner first appeared, was Put on a Bus, then came back full time during the Crisis. Stoic architect and former U.S. Marine John Stewart became a backup Green Lantern during the well-known "relevant" Green Lantern/Green Arrow issues. Alan Scott would also return, first as an Earth-2 counterpart to Hal, then after continuities got merged in the Crisis on Infinite Earths as a respected elder hero with only the loosest connection to the Corps.Over the years, the Green Lantern title would gain infamy for being taken in a few controversial directions:
In the mid-'90s, Hal Jordan became a supervillain called "Parallax" due to witnessing the destruction of his hometown, Coast City. After Parallax obliterated the entire Green Lantern Corps, a single new replacement was chosen in geeky graphic artist Kyle Rayner, who brought in a whole new generation of readers with his nerd-chic attitude and more imaginative use of his Green Lantern powers. Unfortunately, the new status quo overrode the old supporting cast, driving a wedge between Hal Jordan fans and Kyle Rayner fans.
In the mid-2000s, DC Comics would return Hal Jordan to his former glory, by explaining that "Parallax" was actually the name of an imprisoned cosmic parasite that fed on fear and corrupted Jordan through his Power Ring. Furthermore, Parallax was blamed as the source of Green Lantern's infamous weakness towards yellow, by revealing that emotions of fear are attuned to the color yellow, as per a pseudo-mystical "emotional color spectrum" shared by all living creatures, with "green" attuned to the neutral emotion of "willpower". Later developments would merge the Jordan and Rayner eras, have the Guardians descend further into Knight Templar-hood, and introduce the rest of the spectrum and their corresponding Lantern Corps, such as Agent Orange or the Sinestro Corps.
The franchise was helmed by Geoff Johns, who spearheaded Jordan's return, developed the emotional spectrum and various Lantern Corps over the course of his nearly nine-year tenure. It currently consists of:
Green Lantern Corps (by Vendetti & Van Jensen), starring John Stewart and his love Fatality as they go on traditional space adventures.
Green Lantern: New Guardians (by Justin Jordan), starring Kyle Rayner and the new Templar Guardians, as the books follow the newly emerged Guardians as the explore a universe to gain insight to its problems, with Kyle, as a White Lantern, as their protector.
Red Lanterns (by Charles Soule), starring the rage-driven Atrocitus as some mix of Anti-Hero, Anti-Villain, Villain Protagonist, and so on. Following the creative team shakeups of all the Lantern books, Guy Gardner joins the Red Lantern Corps as a Reverse Mole to keep them from declaring war on the rebuilding Green Lanterns.
Threshold, (by Keith Giffen), though not primarily featuring the Lanterns, was headlined by disillusioned alien Lantern Jediah Caul, along with backup stories featuring Orange Lantern Larfleeze.
Larfleeze (by Keith Giffen & J.M. DeMatteis), which follows up on the above mentioned backup stories as the titular Orange Lantern and his indentured servant have adventures throughout the universe.
Earth 2 (by James Robinson), following the DC relaunch in 2011, most of the Golden Age Heroes (or their successors) were removed from the main continuity and given their own universe to start from scratch. Alan Scott in this title is a young, late 20's C.E.O of a broadcasting company who is chosen by Earth's life force, The Green, to protect the planet and his people as its Green Lantern. In addition to his younger age, Alan is a gay man who discovered his lover was murdered due to some connection to the leftover Apokoliptian forces left on Earth five years after an invasion.
Abusive Parents: Guy Gardner's father was an abusive alcoholic who favored Guy's older brother Mace over Guy.
One of Hal Jordan's minor villains, The Crumbler, also had an abusive father. That was largely his motivation to turn to crime, mainly sabotaging his father's business as a means of revenge.
A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Before forming the Green Lanterns, the Guardians tried a lil' automated help with the android Manhunters, who were so good at their job... they annihilated all life in Sector 666. After dispossessing the Manhunters, the Guardians proved they never learn by creating the cyborg Alpha Lanterns.
During "War of the Green Lanterns" it is revealed that the Manhunters didn't go bad at all, but were reprogrammed by Krona to commit the massacre.
The Alpha Lanterns are a subversion. They never turn evil of their own volition, so far it's only been when under the control of an outside force (such as Cyborg Superman or Krona).
All Your Colors Combined: The ultimate objective of Blackest Night is to get all seven corps of the light of the emotion spectrum together to find their source and get the white light of creation recreated to finish off the Black Lantern Corps.
Ancient Astronauts: Earth's very first Green Lantern, a Chinese man named Jong Li, received his Power Ring during the Qin Dynasty (between 221 and 206 BC). Being a Chinese peasant living before the birth of Christ, Jong Li naturally thought the ring was a gift from the gods and his mission as a divine command.
Angry Black Man: Bronze Age John Stewart. He cooled off thanks to later writers, becoming more contemplative, but he still has his moments.
Anthropomorphic Personification: Each of the seven shades associated with the Emotional Color Spectrum gets a physical manifestation of its power, which usually requires a sentient host to "bond" with. Parallax was this for fear (and the color yellow), and there's now one for every color, including Ion the Space Whale for the Green Lanterns.
On a broader note, all emotions are represented by the crystal-white "Entity" that allegedly seeded life throughout the universe, until hibernating in Earth. In practice, Nekron acts as its opposite number, despite christening Black Hand as the personification of Death.
The Antichrist: It has been shown that since an early age, Black Hand had an unnatural obsession with the dead, and was long destined to provide the "door" for the Black to enter our world. He just had to blow his own brains out and start licking Bruce Wayne's skull to do it.
Art Attacker: The Tattooed Man has the power to bring his tattoos to life.
Ascended Extra: a number of lanterns featured in Alan Moore's one-short shots became full out recurring characters. Most notably, Mogo the Planet Lantern, whose immense size, power, and memorability (due to being, well, a planet) have made him a critical player in many of the major sagas despite his debut being a silent role as the punch line in a 4-page joke short.
Asshole Victim: Sure, the Sinestro Corps' invasion of Daxam in order to enslave the inhabitants is beyond reprehensible but the Daxamites are violently xenophobic assholes with an intense hatred for anything not them, which makes feeling any sympathy for them a difficult task.
Back from the Dead: Hal Jordan's timely resurrection during the climax of Rebirth, thanks in no part to the Guardians preserving his corpse. Blackest Night serves as a huge lampshading and deconstruction of the whole thing.
Badass Creed: All the Green Lanterns, as well as the various other corps that have spun off from them (except the Orange Lantern Corps; if Larfleeze has ever come up with a motto, we've never seen him say it).
Alan Scott had his own initially, though later on he would use the same oath as Hal Jordan:
And I shall cast my light over dark evil For the dark things cannot stand the light The light of the Green Lantern!
This version was originally given to Tomar-Re as a Mythology Gag.
Berserk Button: Don't try to pry into Larfleeze's past. It won't end well. And don't even think about either mentioning Mongul's name in front of Arkillo.
The Guardians made sure that it would be physically impossible for a lantern to kill one of them. When Hal Jordan kills Krona they are shocked and afraid.
Simon manages to use his ring to will his brother-in-law out his coma. The Green Lantern accompanying him says this should be impossible, as the rings cannot cure illness or raise the dead. He concludes that the ring probably chose Simon for a greater purpose. However, even he cannot bring back the planet Korugar and its inhabitants from the dead when the First Lantern destroys them.
As of the Blackest Night arc, the Big Good for the DC Universe is The Entity, the embodiment of the Light (as in "let there be") that created the universe.
Light Is Not Good as it turns out — the Entity's unforgiving of deviation from its plan.
Bizarre Alien Biology: Truckloads of it. Most of the second-fiddle Lanterns (not limited to the Green Corps) aren't remotely humanoid (even if it's just from the neck down), except maybe for the communication capabilities. For example, Bzzd is a sentient fly-like Green Lantern, while Sinestro Corps member Slushh is pretty much a human-sized amoeba with bones scattered inside of it.
Brainwashed and Crazy: A disturbing number of Green Lanterns have fallen victim to this trope at some point.
Anyone possessed by an emotional entity tend to follow the emotion in charge rather than their own logic. Parallax in particular loves turning decent people into terrorizing monsters.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: John Stewart, throughout the "Mosaic" series. He's constantly addressing the reader, and once even notices that he's been drawn by a fill-in artist.
John Stewart: ''Why do I suddenly look so different?"
Break the Badass: Kyle Rayner once related to Green Arrow how Guy Gardner (a Green Lantern notable for not just being able to "overcome" great fear, but being honest-to-God fearless) used to tell funny stories about some of the truly ridiculous villains Hal Jordan used to fight. But, Rayner notes, "Guy never told any funny stories about Sinestro", the one villain who ever scared the crap out of Gardner.
Cats Are Mean: Red Lantern Dex-Starr, who's a blue housecat, and like all of his Red Lantern fellas is full to the brim of murderous rage and red-hot plasma that annihilates everything it touches.
The Cavalry: Sometimes things get too bad for one Lantern to handle. When they do, a call for help is made, and just in the nick of time any number of bright green dots will appear in the sky. It makes sense; they're effectively cops, so they would call for backup from time to time.
Taken to extremes in "Blackest Night," where cavalries were called in from several whole Corps.
Character Shilling: Widespread shilling for Kyle Rayner appeared when he replaced Hal Jordan.
Chekhov's Boomerang: Sodam Yat was officially created by Alan Moore as part of a prophecy detailing the end of the Corps. It took around twenty-five years for him to make his official comic book debut. Mogo got a similar deal.
The Chooser of The One: The Rings individually seek those who can overcome great fear, and Mogo helps them determine moral individuals.
Kyle Rayner attempted some form of this during his time as Green Lantern, except EVERYONE close to him figured it out in record time. A tiny little domino mask like that really isn't much of a disguise, you know! Guy Gardner and John Stewart don't even bother.
This happened to Kyle AGAIN in the first issue of Green Lantern: New Guardians, where rings from every Corps identified him by name in front of a crowd of people.
Close on Title: Every issue of the John Stewart-centric Green Lantern: Mosaic has the story title on the last page.
Cold Sniper: Sinestro Corps member Bedovian, who can snipe targets from three Space Sectors away.
Green Lantern John Stewart can become this, when needed.
Black = Death... or the vampiric absence of any emotion.
White = Life... the overwhelming extreme of all emotions.
Comically Missing the Point: When Saint Walker asks that he not be treated as special by the Blue Lantern recruits just because he was the first, they start talking about how even his humility sets him apart.
Conservation of Ninjutsu: One Green Lantern is powerful enough to pacify Superman, but all four of Earth's Lanterns together are a lot weaker than they should be (though still not easy to beat). The Green Lantern Corps as a whole, however, get their butts handed to them on a weekly basis, often leaving the last remaining Lantern to save everyone else.
Subverted in the Sinestro Corps War, where the Green Lantern Corps get utterly trounced, until the Guardians revoke the "no-kill" policy.
Played straight with the Manhunters, who have no problem crippling a single Lantern like Hal, but are destroyed in droves if they ever fight a GL in packs.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Larfleeze is quite possibly one of the more goofier characters in the books, and while the other Corps all agree with this to a fault, they also realize that when his greed kicks in, it is not a pretty thing to deal with.
Dark Is Not Evil: The modern take on Sinestro explores this, as far as him wanting to instill "order" throughout the universe as the motive for his villainy, which often plays out like an Evil Plan.
Technically, the Black Lanterns fulfill this as well. As evil as they appear, there is no intelligent malevolence in their motives. Nekron is beyond good and evil, and just wants to end all life because it's trespassing on his territory.
John Stewart is NOT dating Fatality, despite her borderline obsession with all things John Stewart; even BEFORE she was in the Star Sapphire Corps and still out to kill him she had no problem with stripping near/completely nude and grinding against his lap... while he HAD a girlfriend!
Alan Scott married Rose Canton, unaware that she had an alternate personality of the Thorn. She became the mother of Jade and Obsidian. She killed herself and Alan later married Molly Mayne, who had been his enemy the Harlequin. Alan seems to have a propensity for this trope. Both of these were retcons from the 80s. During the Golden Age, the Thorn was a Flash villain, and the relationship between Alan and Harlequin was more Foe Romance Subtext than Dating Catwoman.
Death by Origin Story: Abin Sur's impending death on Earth led the Green Lantern ring to choose its first human bearer (not counting Alan Scott, whose ring is of a different origin.) He's managed to stay dead and his death has even recently given Hal Jordan the nemesis Amon Sur, who blamed Hal for his father's death.
Death Is Cheap: Deconstructed in Blackest Night. It turns out it was Nekron all along that has been allowing heroes to return from the dead, which effectively makes them sleeper agents for his cause.
But Hal one-ups his claim by affirming that, while Nekron did allow them another shot at living, it was him and his resurrected friends - like Superman and Green Arrow - who decided to accept a second chance, meaning they could as well refuse to come back and stay dead.
That, and there are numerous other characters who died in some way but came back, and Nekron has yet to take credit for those resurrections. Most of the characters whom he claims responsibility for, such as Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Arrow, are just the most well known cases.
Death Seeker: The Cyborg Superman was an astronaut named Hank Henshaw, whose consciousness was bonded with technology after a deep space catastrophe. Now, all he wants from life is for it to put him out of his misery.
Guy Gardner is singled out by the Oans to be Lantern #1 of the Honor Guard for this reason. He's not the most imaginative, not the most heroic, and definitely not the brightest, but he has no fear whatsoever.
Early-Installment Weirdness: In Hal's original Silver Age stories, his uniform was not made of the ring's energy, but was instead taken from Abin Sur after Abin died. Hal himself came up with the Green Lantern moniker, naming himself after the power battery. Hal's ring didn't automatically translate alien languages, he had to figure out that the ring could translate and then make it happen. And he actually designed and built the flight simulator he was operating when Abin Sur's search beam found him, so he was a lot more technically adept than he's become in modern stories.
Actually, Oa is the center of the universe, but Earth is the center of the multiverse and would trigger the end of all reality if it fell. As of Blackest Night, our little backwater planet is the vacation home of the Entity that created all life.
Earth is also considered the most diverse planet in the universe, for some reason, with more variety in flora and fauna than most entire solar systems. May be hanging a lampshade on the fact that most alien worlds in the DCU are a Single-Biome PlanetOf Hats.
Sinestro (with Sector 3600) destroys the rebuilt Bolovax Vik (Kilowog's home planet), along with the spirits of Kilowog's race.
John Stewart's failure to save Xanshi in Cosmic Odyssey.
Kyle Rayner destroying Oa during his fight with Parallax.
During War of the Green Lanterns, John kills Mogo, the sentient planet, in order to stop Krona from using him to recruit any more mindless soldiers to his army.
And now, during Wrath of the First Lantern, Volthoom destroys Korugar, to leech off of Sinestro's emotions. Mogo, incidentally, manages to rebuild himself thanks to John & Fatality. As of now, the only Korugarians who survived were Sinestro & his daughter Soranik.
And now, Oa has been destroyed AGAIN in Lights Out, thanks to Relic draining the central power battery.
Eldritch Abomination: Subverted. All of the emotional personifications like Parallax and Ion very well seem to be creatures beyond mortal comprehension, except they're all really the ascendant forms of the first organisms to ever "feel" their respective emotions. Parallax really was a locust-like bug once, Ion was some kind of primordial fish, etc.
Played straight with the Entity and Nekron, who are the seed of all life, and the void between it.
Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Sort of. Each of the rings seen has different powers, and interacts with other rings in different ways. For example, Orange can absorb Green constructs but not Violet or Blue. Blue supercharges Green and nullifies Red, but is close to useless on its own. Yellow is devastating to a Green Lantern that hasn't figured out how to overcome fear (and can be dangerous even afterwards), and so forth and so on.
Enemy Mine: You will get a migraine from trying to keep up with the number of villains that have teamed up with the Green Lantern Corps over the years, either to stop a greater evil, or just because it made more sense to have them as a partner at that time than an enemy.
Since Blackest Night, this has almost become the status quo. First all the corps came together to fight off the Black Lanterns, then Sinestro's put back on the Green Corps and goes to Hal Jordan for help, plus there's the "New Guardians" team...
The Exile: Hal Jordan was exiled from Earth for a year by the Guardians, as punishment for not responding to a distress call from Ungara because he was helping Carol Ferris with business problems. Normally such an offense would have meant expulsion from the Corps, but his exemplary record saved him from that fate.
He was later expelled from the Corps much later due to his cavorting with "known enemies of the Corps" (read:the New Guardians) and managing to will his ring into killing Krona, who was then like a Guardian in all but name.
The Green Lantern archetype has also had an Evil Counterpart from another universe named Power Ring.
The Black Lanterns are the Evil Counterpart of ALL the other corps.
Kyle's first evil counterpart was Effigy, a troubled youth who used the fire powers given him by the Controllers for his own pleasure. Writer Ron Marz said he was intended to be Kyle's "Sinestro" but not just "The guy with the yellow ring"... which Nero ended up being!
The Guardians of the Universe to the Templar Guardians, due to subtly going mad due to their removal of the emotions & their inability to deal with the shocking current events.
Eye Scream: Kyle Rayner freaking LOVES this trope. During his first fight with Major Force he had no problem gouging out his eye with a thumb. When depowered and fighting a Cthulhuian horror, he slammed a sharpened bone into its eye. When he fought Major Force again he picked up a shard of glass and gouged his eye out AGAIN! When Parallax taunted him inside his own mind, he picked up a pencil and gouged out its eye. In a fight with Kyle Rayner he will go for the eyes.
Ironically, Batman's plan against him should Kyle go rogue is to blind him. If Kyle can't see, he can't properly "draw" constructs.
Genius Bruiser: Even without his ring, Kilowog is both superstrong and a technological genius.
Flanderization: The Guardians Of The Universe have always been distant and aloof, but were once wise and respected, having created an organization of star-patrolling peacekeepers that has survived for eons. With each passing year though, they become more incompetent, single-minded, and corrupt, lying to their members, holding their own mysterious agendas, and constantly having their mistakes blow up in the faces and inevitably needing to be saved by the Earth Lanterns (and then clearly resenting the aid). One comic even had a Guardian admit he didn't remember why they started the Corps in the first place. By this point, it's a genuine curiosity how they got an organization as advanced and well-functioning as the Green Lanterns working outside of dumb luck.
Glorious Mother Russia: Kilowog helped create the Rocket Red Brigade for the Soviet Union, due to his then-interest in Communism.
God for a Day: When Green Lantern Kyle Rayner became Ion, a being with all the power of the entire Green Lantern Corps, he tried to use his new might to feed starving children in Africa, heal his friend's back-injury, restore his girlfriend Jade's powers, etc, until Superman advises him to back down because people around the world have started to worship him as a god. Soon after he sacrifices the power so that the Guardians of the Universe and the Corps can live again.
Also Hal Jordan as Parallax tried to use his godlike power to destroy and remake the universe.
Handsome Lech: Hal Jordan, at his worst. Guy Gardner, though mostly in his own mind.
Heel-Face Brainwashing: The Indigo Tribe can take individuals of dubious morality and turn them into peace-loving hippies, whether they want to be or not. This includes themselves, at least until Indigo-1 eventually proves that one can go about wielding the Indigo light with genuine compassion.
Heroic Willpower: All Green Lanterns have this, as their rings are quite empowered by it.
How Do I Shot Web?: The Corps has training facilities that are optional in the older stories and mandatory for the modern ones.
Human Alien: Green Lanterns Sodam Yat (from Daxam) and Zale (from Bellatrix) look exactly like a Caucasian and African human respectively. Fatality (currently of the Star Sapphires, from Xanshi) also looks like an African human.
...and four cycles later, in the recreation complex, Katma Tui realized that for the first time in many years' service, she had heard a Guardian make a joke. She felt vaguely uneasy for the rest of that day.
Iconic Logo: It's varied from person to person over the years, but the one used by the Corps itself is the best known.
Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: Larfleeze of the Orange Lantern Corps was this, locked away in his own filthy paradise in Vega System for eons until the Guardians and Lanterns came a'knockin'. Now free to roam the cosmos, Larfleeze is too in love with his self-indulgence to realize he could probably take down every Lantern Corps by himself.
In Name Only: What Green Lantern Hal Jordan was to Green Lantern Alan Scott. Other than their superhero names the two had nothing else in common. Later writers clumsily tried to make the plot elements from Hal's series (guardians) behind plot elements from Alan's (star heart) and finally just retconned Alan Scott's history altogether in New Fifty Two.
“It is believed that the Rattle Watchmen, who patrolled New Amsterdam in the 1650′s, carried lanterns at night with green glass sides in them as a means of identification. When the Watchmen returned to the watch house after patrol, they hung their lantern on a hook by the front door to show people seeking the watchman that he was in the watch house. Today, green lights are hung outside the entrances of police precincts as a symbol that the ‘Watch’ is present and vigilant.”
Internal Affairs: The Alpha Lanterns, cyborg investigators who mirror the tactics and perspective of the Manhunters a bit too much.
Invocation: Green Lantern oaths, which are traditionally said when charging Rings from a Power Battery.
It's Been Done: In-universe, the Controllers and the Zamarons have tried their hand at making knock offs of the Green Lantern Corps. The Zamarons have been more successful with the Star Sapphires then the Controllers have been with any of their attempts. In fact, most of them were killed when they tried to make a Lantern Corps using the Orange Power Battery, promptly being torn apart by Larfleeze's Orange Lanterns the moment they tried to take it.
It goes deeper than that. The other GLs, when they lose their rings, get all mopey and feel useless. Gardner, when he lost his ring, went out and stole a yellow one from the vault of the Oans (a ring that could only be recharged by fighting other Green Lanterns), which got him his own ongoing, then when he broke that ring fighting Parallax, he unleashed his hidden alien DNA to become Warrior, then briefly joined the Corps' secret black-ops squad, and eventually got a new green ring. Gardner doesn't just jump, he knows where The Call lives and he willhunt it down.
Hal Jordan in issue 4 of "The Road Back". He's spent the previous three and a half issues wandering around, taking odd jobs and trying to find some purpose in life in the absence of the Green Lantern Corps, which didn't exist at the time. When he finds out that an insane Guardian is taking cities from all over the universe and relocating them to Oa, he mans up, recites the GL Oath, and heads out into space to deal with the problem.
Kick the Dog: Though he is being portrayed more sympathetically, Sinestro does occasionally do this to remind readers that while he might be justified in questioning the Guardians' authority, he is still a villain. He killed Red Lantern Laira just when it seemed like Hal might have calmed her down and taunted Hal about it and then he later stabbed Ganthet.
Kryptonite Factor: Infamously, the color yellow. This was later retconned to be caused by Parallax, a cosmic entity that embodies fear, which in turn is locked to the color yellow. Eons ago, the Guardians trapped Parallax within the Central Power Battery that fed all Power Batteries and Power Rings in the GLC. Over time, the entity was able to exert enough influence to cripple any Green Lanterns in contact with its favorite hue. Currently, Green Lanterns still have trouble with yellow objects, but it's no longer impossible to affect, just more difficult.
Since that discrepancy has been taken care of, each Lantern Corps have inherited a weakness against some other color of emotion. For example, Blue Lanterns have the only rings capable of quenching the flaming blood of the Red Lanterns, Green Lantern rings suck against Sinstro's custom yellow rings, and Indigo Lanterns can use any other color against its user.
Last of His Kind: Kilowog is the last survivor of his race after his home planet, Bolovax Vik, was destroyed during the Crisis. However, it was briefly restored by Kilowog, only for Sinestro to destroy it once again. Currently, the remnants of the race exist within Kilowog's psyche due to Kilowog's Bizarre Alien Biology, but can only really communicate with them while he is on Mogo.
Fatality is the last survivor of Xanshi, which John Stewart kinda-sorta helped to destroy.
Finally, Kyle for awhile was the last remaining Green Lantern and Ganthet was the last Guardian.
And according to the modern take on the Legion of Super-Heroes, Sodam Yat will be the last Green Lantern in the 31st Century.
Light Is Not Good: Played straight with the Red Lantern Corps, Agent Orange, and the Sinestro Corps, who are all part of the light of the emotional spectrum.
Almost none of the Corps are straight-up good guys. The Green Light is held by the Guardians, who have a reputation of causing as many problems as they solve. The Star Sapphires are getting better, but have a history of Love Makes You Crazy. The Indigo Tribe is believed to be largely made up of sociopaths who have to have emotions forced on them by the Indigo Light (and even if they're not they're creepily detached anyway). Only the Blue Lanterns haven't made any dick moves so far, but they're also shown to be utterly ineffectual without piggybacking on another light.
Good Is Not Nice: Even the Entity, the embodiment of life itself, isn't morally conventional, given the fact that part of its plans to preserve life, it revived powerful villains and tasked one of them with a murder and another with an assault. It's also become clear that for some of the revived heroes, the second chance given to them is by necessity not a gift but a loan.
Love Cannot Overcome: Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris have done this to each other repeatedly over the years, since his identity as Green Lantern and hers as the domineering, villainous Star Sapphire frequently complicate their underlying mutual love.
Love Makes You Crazy: The de facto trouble with the Star Sapphire and its Corps. The Star Sapphire itself is a symbiotic crystal that bonds with women in desire, at the cost of making them psychotic. Things got a bit better when the Zamarons started filtering the violet light of love through Power Rings, except now there's the Predator, the emotional entity of love, whose nature, despite the name, is actually somewhat benevolent. According to Carol it's the host that makes the Predator's love evil not the other way around.
Loyal Phlebotinum: At certain times in Green Lantern history, and Depending on the Writer, the power ring will only work for the Lantern who is currently in possession of it. Kyle Rayner's ring only worked for him the vast majority of the time, so when someone would try to steal it, they were unable to make it work. Hal Jordan was the exception to this rule, since Kyle's ring was constructed from the fragments of his old ring.
Some thugs once subdued Alan Scott and stole his power ring after figuring out that it was the source of his power. One of the thugs tried the ring on, and the ring killed him for doing so.
Power rings will choose their successors when their wielder dies. Though more recently it has been revealed that Mogo actually helps direct this process. Hal Jordan is one of the notable exceptions. Abin Sur actually triggered the search mechanism as he was dying and had a chance to introduce himself to Hal.
Kyle Rayner managed to be a total exception to this rule, as his selection for being a ring bearer was totally random, and a simple case of being in the right place at the right time. Not that it mattered.
Luke, I Am Your Father: Green Lantern Corps reveals that Soranik Natu's father is Sinestro. Apparently, Natu's mother thought that being the daughter of their planet's dictator would screw her up, so she was put up for adoption.
Magic Meteor: Hector Hammond found meteor rocks and used their powers for evil.
Metaphysical Fuel: Lantern rings draw their power from the emotions of all life in the universe.
Military Superhero: Both Hal Jordan and John Stewart are former military, but except for his DC: The New Frontier incarnation, it's not a big aspect of Hal's background. John, however, is VERY much this trope. He's a retired Marine, and you better not forget it.
Mind Rape: Done to Ganthet by the other Guardians after War of the Green Lanterns to rid him of his emotions & personality.
Done by Volthoom on the Lanterns to gather up emotions relating to the seven colors to rebuild his power.
Misplaced Retribution: One story's antagonist is the Aerialist, who's under the delusion that someone at Ferris Aircraft murdered his beloved (the death was in fact a freak accident) and therefore seeks revenge against the company. It's notable for being one of the few times Hal Jordan thought the Insanity Defense would actually work, even citing the M'Naughten guideline.
Missed the Call: Guy Gardner, initially. As revealed in Booster Gold, it is revealed to have been due to Booster and his time traveling. Who knew?
Most Common Super Power: If you're a humanoid female of any alien race, and have the option to join the illustrious Green Lantern Corps, you will have these. It's practically a minimum job requirement.
Must Make Amends: In The DCU, we had Hal Jordan completely lose his sanity and decide to fix his failure to save Coast City... by killing the Green Lantern Corps (They came back), killing Sinestro (He came back), and then killing the universe (it came back)... so he could remake reality "right". Fittingly, after all this nonsense, he got better and went on to try and make all of that right, and ended up sacrificing himself to save the world (of course, he came back). Then a few years later, Geoff Johns retconned the whole thing to Jordan being possessed by a killer space bug made out of fear, but...
Alan Scott has a lengthy monologue in the JSA series about how his greatest failure, and indeed that of many JSA members, is how they relate to their children. In his case, his son Obsidian was trying to kill him and destroy the Earth at the time, so Alan had a point. His is one of the few cases where he's able to correct his failure and restore his relationship with his son.
My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Happened to Guy Gardner in the Emerald Fallout arc in Guy Gardner: Warrior, when he sees a vision of Oa's destruction, and Hal killing Sinestro, after his yellow Power Ring begins to malfunction.
Also, Jack T. Chance, whom Hal describes as "being reprimanded more than Guy Gardner".
Non-Human Sidekick: Streak, the Wonder Dog, Alan's pet... who had human thoughts and eventually took over the book, right before it was cancelled!
Non-Mammal Mammaries: Occurs with a considerable frequency and in many alien races. Particularly notable in the case of the Guardians and the Zamarons. Both are descended from the Maltusian race, which may have been the first sentient organic race in the universe. The Guardians were originally the males of the race, and the Zamarons the females (although this has since been retconned somewhat). The two split up billions of years ago. In that time, both have individually diverged physically. The Guardians, who pretty much fly at all times, have become small and possess very short legs, much as one would expect. But the Zamarons, who have not borne any children in aeons, still have fairly impressive cleavage. This is all the more striking when one considers that the new female Guardians are barely distinguishable from the males.
Although recently it's been revealed that current forms of the Guardians aren't natural for them at all, but rather a result of some weird process that makes them ultra-powerful midgets. Most exemplified by Krona, who was tall and buff mere years ago, but now has evolved himself into a Guardian form. If the Zamarons did the same, they would probably look like the female Guardians.
Noodle Implements: The Controllers have been cited as responsible for the creation of the Darkstars, but also the invention of the Beta Men and the Effigy Platoon, which seem to be knockoffs of the Omega Men and another knock off of the Green Lantern Corps specifically.
Non-Uniform Uniform: Members of the Green Lantern Corps are allowed to customize their uniform pretty much however they choose so long as they keep the green-black-white color scheme and the Lantern badge is clearly visible.
The leader of the Red Lanterns is called Atrocitus. As in atrocity.
Odd Couple: A number of the Lantern partnerships. From Vath and Isamot, originally hailing from opposite sides in a war, to Mogo, a planet, and his partner Bzzd, a tiny fly-like insect.
One-Gender Race: The Zamarons and the Guardians could be considered this. They're really from the same race, the Maltusians, with the Zamarons being the females who decided to defend and fight for love and the Guardians being the males who decided to maintain order, but they live in totally separate societies and don't interact unless it's to butt heads. Kyle Rayner, when resurrecting the Guardians, chose to make half of them female in the process, and they've been that way in the comics since (although Geoff Johns retconned it so the Guardians were always half-female).
On a lesser level, the Star Sapphires, started by the Zamarons, only have female members. Geoff Johns says men can join, "but most are not worthy."
At one point things got so bad for the Green Lantern Corps that the last Guardian teleported to Earth and threw a ring at a random person. Eventually they got better.
This happens to the Corps every so often. When Hal Jordan was still a rookie, the villain Legion had defeated the entire corps with its gigantic yellow suit of armor, but Hal figures out that if he covers Legion in mud, his ring will work on him. When cracking the armor open turns out not to have been the best idea, Hal flies into the central power battery and supercharges his ring, giving him the strength to defeat the villain on his own.
After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the GLC is reduced to the three Lanterns of Earth and a small handful of others spread around the universe. When the sole remaining Guardian is driven mad by solitude, it's pretty much up to Hal to save the day again.
Nova Corps: After a devastating interstellar war, the superpowers of a million-man-strong force were co-opted into one super suit, leading to several Heroic RROD situations.
In First Flight Sinestro has destroyed Green Lantern battery, all of the remaining Green Lanterns are left powerless. Only Hal was able to get green elements power working again and fight Sinestro one on one.
Only Sane Man: Among the Guardians it's Ganthet and then his lover Sayd, the only ones to value emotions and not ignore an "end of existence" prophecy.
Passion Is Evil: The coda of the Guardians. The Green Light is the center of the spectrum and the most stoic. The other lights are further from the spectrum (with red and violet being the extremes). Red Lanterns and Star Sapphires represent Rage and Love, specifically, and since their colors are on the far ends, their emotions control them. The more powerful the emotion, the more it controls the Lantern. A frequent theme in the mythos, especially when the Guardians became despotic and started condemning emotions and the other Lantern Corps turned up as Foils.
Phlebotinum Battery: A Green Lantern ring is charged by a lantern connected to the central battery on Oa. The ring has a limited power life span and they have to recharge it every so often (the exact time changes based on the continuity).
Plot-Relevant Age-Up: In a 1987 issue of Green Lantern Corps, Arisia subconsciously uses her Power Ring to age herself to adulthood to get Hal to like her, due to her crush on him.
Plucky Comic Relief: Doiby Dickles, Alan Scott's sidekick. He's actually often fairly stalwart for a comic relief sidekick.
Put on a Bus: Guy Gardner wasn't just put on a bus from 1977 to 1985, he was hit by a bus and rendered comatose for years.
Charlie Vicker was put on a bus, only occasionally returning for backup stories featuring Corps members. Who? Vicker actually predates Guy Gardner as Green Lantern, having made his first appearance in GL #55, September 1957 as opposed to Guy Gardner's first appearance in GL #59, March 1968. Vicker was made Green Lantern of a sector that didn't contain Earth, which may be one reason he faded into obscurity.
Rogue Drone: Scar, the rogue member of the Guardians. A physical disfiguration — a scar on her face by an enemy — is what triggers her deviation from the rest of her race. Dying and becoming an undead will do that to you.
Save the Villain: Blue Lantern Saint Walker is introduced by him telling Hal Jordan that they need to save Sinestro, who is either going to be executed by the Green Lanterns or murdered by the Red Lanterns.
Series Continuity Error: Used deliberately. During Emerald Twilight, when Hal Jordan is on his rampage towards Oa, the Guardians are seemingly powerless to stop him. They send out the various other Green Lanterns to intercept him,and finally release Sinestro from the main power battery. In the end, they sit there and watch as Hal flies into the battery to steal all the power for himself. And yet, not that many issues earlier, one of the Guardians had completely depowered John Stewart's ring, and in the classic Green Lantern/Green Arrow run, the Guardians at one point weakened Hal Jordan's ring so his power was much more limited. The Guardians have long been shown to have near complete control over the rings when they choose, and should have been able to stop Jordan dead in space or on Earth, long before he ever got to Oa, a fact that was ignored so that the plot of Emerald Twilight could play out the way the editors wanted it to.
Sexy Jester: The various incarnations of the Harlequin.
Shell-Shocked Veteran: The Green Lantern Vath Sarn seems to show some signs of PTSD, more-so than his partner, and fellow veteran from the Rann-Thanagar War, Isamot Kol.
Vath discovered his greatest fear through Mother Mercy: the planet Rann without war or strife, rendering soldiers like Vath redundant. He was drawn holding a gun to his head, about to kill himself because he felt he had no other use.
Kyle Rayner once created Gurren with his Power Ring in Countdown To Final Crisis◊. He also created a Patlabor in Sinestro Corps War.
During Kyle's tenure on the Green Lantern series, a lot of his constructions were shout outs to Anime, video games, and cartoons. He enjoyed making Mecha and on at least one occasion he made a Chun LiExpy. Apparently Kyle Rayner is a Humongous Mechaotaku.
Allegedly in Green Lantern (Vol. 4) #25, the sound effect "EEEPAAAA" can be found. This is a shout out to The Simpsons Movie, in which Comic Book Guy says that "EEEPAAAAA" is a sound effect from a Green Lantern comic book.
The names of two GL Corps members, Arisia and Eddore, are also Lensman shout-outs — specifically, to the home worlds of that series' two Precursor races.
Split Personality: Carol Ferris (has since been retconned as the Star Sapphire influencing her).
Also occasional foe Dr. Polaris.
The Spock: Depending on the Writer, the Guardians are either this played straight or deconstructed. Most recent characterizations show their coldly intellectual designs as badly flawed due to completely misunderstanding emotion.
Mongul of the Sinestro Corps. Subverted in that Sinestro had a backup plan in case of an insurrection or attempted leadership coup. It doesn't end well for Mongul.
And before Mongul came onto the scene, Superboy-Prime was the Starscream, planning to betray the Sinestro Corps' "guardian", the Anti-Monitor, and kill him in revenge for the Anti-Monitor's destruction of Prime's entire universe.
Sinestro himself played the Starscream as well, back when he was still a Green Lantern. He had major plans to dethrone and murder his superiors, the Guardians, due to his belief they were doing a poor job running the universe (which, all things considered, probably isn't far off).
Bleez began sowing seeds of discontent among the Red Lantern horde once the ongoing series started, which partially resulted in Atrocitus restoring her intelligence. She's made her ambitions much more apparent since then.
Carol herself finds this irritating. She may wonder why some of the others in her corps wear comparatively conservative Silver Age versions of the outfit. For example, Miri Riam wears a distinctly "50's space girl" style costume, thus averting the somewhat naughty implications regarding Zamaron attitudes about the role of women in the universe. Unfortunately, and perhaps validated by their past histories, this may suggest something about the relationships that certain Star Sapphires such as Carol and Fatality have with the men in their lives.
Sudden Name Change: Carol Ferris's father was originally named Willard, but from his second appearance onward, he was renamed Carl.
Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: The Guardians. You have to admire a race that can make a starship capable of flitting across the galaxy in an afternoon, with integrated offenses and multispecies life support, in the form factor of a ring.
Survival Mantra: When Green Lanterns are hard pressed and in danger of succumbing to their fear, they can draw strength from remembering their oath and often, the worshipers of evil's might will once again learn the hard way to beware their power.
Take a Third Option: The Zamarons capture Carol Ferris and Jill Pearlman, two of Hal's girlfriends, and try to make him choose which of the ladies will be his mate... which will make the chosen girl be possessed by the Star Sapphire symbiote (again). What does Hal do? He plants a kiss on the Zamaron Queen, which makes Star bond with her instead.
Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Sinestro Corps has the Book of Parallax, which contains everything every Sinestro Corpsman has ever done or will do in the name of causing fear.
Later on we see the Book of the Black, penned in the tainted black tears of Scar, an undead Guardian.
There is also the Book of Oa which predated both of the above appearance-wise which tells the story of every Corps member, prophecies concerning the Corps, and the new Ten Laws. Of course, it's more of a Great Big Book of Everything as it isn't ominous... usually.
Too Dumb to Live: During Emerald Twilight (when Hal Jordan became Parallax), Jordan was on his way to Oa to take nearly limitless power from the Central Power Battery. After stranding several Green Lanterns in space (where they probably would have died), Hal arrives on Oa. Jordan removes his power ring, effectively making him a normal human, and the Guardians, who have power on a cosmic scale (give or take) just let him walk into the central power battery. They knew Jordan would kill them if he had the chance, and they practically let him. The central power battery explodes, revealing Hal Jordan as Parallax. All but one of the Guardians died, and for no good reason.
It's supposed to be because the Guardians don't directly interfere in anything. They tried that with the Manhunters and it didn't work out so well, which is why they give their powers to local mortals throughout the universe instead of doing everything themselves. It's still taken to the extreme here and later stories show the Guardians occasionally willing to get involved (at least some of them). Most times, it seems like no matter what they do, the writers make it backfire on them. Get involved, don't get involved, they will choose whichever is the wrong option and get a lecture from beings they are supposed to be vastly superior to.
Especially problematic since, only 48 issues earlier, the Guardians had directly and personally fought and killed the Old Timer.
Took a Level in Badass: Johns has pulled this with a number of characters. Sinestro went from being a good arch-enemy to Hal and already badass to becoming a full-blown Magnificent Bastard. Sodam Yat gaining the powers of Ion, even Black Hand gaining his own superpowers pre-Blackest Night was a nice level up in bad ass.
Translator Microbes: One of the powers that the rings grant users is the ability to translate between any sentient being and the wielder of the ring.
Trapped in the Past: In a blatant homage to A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Alan and Doiby were once transported to Arthurian England. They were there long enough that Alan's ring ran out of power, leaving the two of them apparently stranded. Thankfully, Alan's lantern was centuries old, and existed in that time period, so he was able to charge his ring and return to his own time.
Troubled Fetal Position: Happened to Hal Jordan (as Parallax) in Green Lantern Vol. 3 #62, after Ganthet allowed Hal to absorb him.
Two-Person Love Triangle: Poor Silver Age Hal Jordan... in love with Carol, who won't give him the time of day, but who loves Green Lantern... who is, of course, Hal Jordan. Hal constantly moans that he wants Carol to love him as himself, and yet he continues to make out with Carol while in his GL uniform, sabotaging his own efforts.
Very Special Episode: The "relevant" period in the '70s with Green Arrow. Showed up again during Judd Winick's run as writer in the Modern Age, though Winick's versions of said stories were widely panned for being way more Anvilicious than the O'Neill/Adams stories, which used science fiction allegory for their stuff.
The series originally had tendencies toward this anyway, though lapsed into Values Dissonance now. Carol was originally unambiguously Hal's boss, and was never shown to be less than competent at this. Tom Kalmaku was an Inuit, not only entrusted with Hal's secret identity, but also the source of his power and, in one story, fills in as a replacement Green Lantern. Both of these characterizations date back to the late 1950s. The dissonance comes when Carol was most know for being a crazy stalker to Hal when she was Star Sapphire, and Tom for being called (what is now an extremely slur) Pieface.
Walking the Earth / The Drifter: Hal Jordan during the first half of "The Road Back" storyline. Guy Gardner can't take the fact that Hal is doing this and keeps antagonizing him. Hal eventually snaps out of it.
Weaksauce Weakness: The colour yellow. Fortunately it's not really as much of an issue since experienced GLs can easily overcome it.
"So I can take out both [Alan and Hal] with a no. 2 pencil?"
It's a little more complicated than just wood, though Alan's series doesn't help in this regard, often describing wood as "Green Lantern's greatest enemy!" As the intro to each issue explains, it's more a case of the ring giving Alan an immunity from metals, meaning he's not protected from non-metals or organic objects. So he can't be shot, but he can be knocked unconscious by a cane or a falling moose-head. Yeah, it's a Weaksauce Weakness.
Weaponized Offspring: There's a villain called Evil Star who makes Starlings that are dwarf copies of himself.
"War Of The Green Lanterns" - Fallen Guardian Krona re-corrupts the central battery with Parallax, turning the entire Lantern Corps (Save Ganthet & the 4 human Lanterns) into his slaves, and infecting the Guardians with the other emotional entities; John kills Mogo to stop anymore brainwashed Lanterns being recruited, which leads to Sinestro losing his yellow ring and rejoining the Green Lantern Corps, whilst Hal kills Krona (Which shouldn't be possible due to the Guardians using failsafes to prevent the Lanterns from turning on them) to free the other Guardians, who dismiss him from the Corps to protect themselves in case he went rogue.
The 2012 Annual - The Guardians give Black Hand a power boost so that he can kill Hal & Sinestro, getting the two of them out of the way before they use their Third Army to destroy the various Lantern corps.
"Wrath Of The First Lantern": Korugar is destroyed, Mogo is back in business, Hal dies, becomes the new Black Lantern and gets Nekron to kill Volthoom, Sinestro takes Parallax into him and slaughters the Guardians save for Ganthet & Sayd and leaves Oa for parts unknown, the Templar Guardians emerge from their eons long entombment, and the following #21 issues all have new creative teams.
What Might Have Been: Shortly after the emotional spectrum reveal, ads circulated showing a grinning Mongul collecting and wearing rings from across the spectrum. Fans noted that Mongul was one of the few characters who could conceivably master each emotion in the spectrum, albeit twisted versions of some. This storyline never came to pass, however, and Mongul only ever wore yellow rings.
The original "Emerald Twilight" would have been vastly different to the published storyline. Ads were actually published soliciting the original storyline, in which Hal has to choose between two groups who both claim to be the true Guardians of the Universe, and in which he absorbs the power of the central power battery and leaves the Green Lantern Corps without going insane and trying to remake the universe.
Wingding Eyes: Corps. men of every color often have their Lantern symbol reflect in their eyes when using their power of strongly feeling the emotion they represent.
Women Are Wiser: The author's reason why the Star Sapphires are all female. Then again, the Sapphires use energies at the far end of the spectrum and are more likely to act crazy as a result.
The Worf Effect: In Green Lantern: Rebirth and Sinestro Corps War, the first thing Sinestro does upon showing up is beat the hell out of Kyle Rayner, even on the latter occasion when Kyle has a huge power boost. This is done just to make Sinestro look badass.
Alan Scott was often a victim of this during the modern day JSA series. Theoretically he should be the most powerful man on the team, but he was often the first to go down when the villain attacked.
Yandere: The Star Sapphire takes advantage of emotionally-troubled women and turns them into this.
You Have 48 Hours: One or more of the GLs face deadlines like this from the Guardians or some local authority often enough; in Final Crisis, for example, they are given 24 hours to save the universe.
In the 1981 miniseries, Tales of the Green Lantern Corps, the GLCs only had 24 hours to stop Krona and Nekron, after the Central Power Battery was destroyed.
In Blackest Night, Ganthet reveals that any Lantern's Power Ring can deputize someone for 24 hours.