Green Lantern is one of the most unique comic book concepts of all time. Where else but comics could you find color coded space cops using rings as weapons? The GLs stand up there with Star Trek and Star Wars when it comes to the depth of the lore and a massive catalog of characters. In Green Lantern comics, the story begins at the beginning of time and spans into the last minutes before the universe dies of old age.
The Lanterns have split the universe up in 3,600 sectors with multiple ring-slingers patrolling each one, protecting the people from evil, but there aren’t just Green Lanterns flying around anymore. There’s a corps for every color in the spectrum, each representing a different emotion—green for willpower, yellow for fear, red for rage, blue for hope, orange for avarice, indigo for compassion, and violet for love. Each member of the corps has a living embodiment of that emotion to power their rings. Do the math on that, and yeah, you'll discover that there are more than a few characters running around out there.
We couldn’t use everyone for this quiz, but we grabbed a little bit from every corps and the deepest, weirdest places in the mythology to test your knowledge. So, the big question now is, Can you Name These Green Lantern Characters?
If you don’t know who this is, this is going to be a long quiz
With his bomber jacket, perpetually well-coiffed hair, and his mountain of daddy issues, there’s no mistaking this GL. At once representing “the system” and bucking authority, he is known as the Greatest Green Lantern. Mind you, this is even after he was possessed by Parallax, who made him kill several thousand Green Lanterns, so maybe the bar is just set low. Thanks to Jordan’s leadership, the Corps rebounded, and with Hal at the helm, he went on to save Coast City, planet Earth, the galaxy, and then all life itself. He may be an imperfect man, but he is the best of them all.
This Red Lantern leader wants revenge for the outrage he’s suffered
Before the Green Lantern Corps, the Guardians of the Universe used robots called Manhunters to maintain order. Well, they installed Windows 8 and everything went to hell. They wiped out an entire sector. One of the survivors was this creepy fellow who started his Empire of Tears (and eventually the Red Lanterns) to get his revenge on the Guardians. He became guilty of many of the crimes he wanted to kill the Guardians for, and though he and the Red Lanterns did veer toward becoming anti-heroes for a while, he was eventually able to fulfill his heart’s desire. He killed the final Guardian of Oa. Yay?
Oh, come on, this one’s easy. He’s exactly what he looks like
This character isn’t what you’d expect from a villain. Sure, at first he was: he pretended to be Superman, then went crazy, and killed seven million people in Coast City and eventually took command of the Manhunters. What sets him apart is, well, you don’t find that many supervillains who are so suicidal. Not suicidal in the incompetent villain way, but in the actually wanting to die way. Problem is, his program and technology are just too resilient. He would rather be dead and with his wife. He can't even shutdown because his memories play on loop. There’s a sense of irony that the worst punishment for a mass murderer is continued existence, and that completely applies to this Man of Steel pretender.
This is the one true GL the eyes of many '90s kids, thanks to the beloved Justice League animated series from Bruce Timm
He was the second Green Lantern of Earth (well, technically third, but let's not get into a continuity battle here). A former soldier and architect, This Green Lantern that has to make the tough choices and live with them. From having to kill fellow GLs Mogo and Kirrt Kallak to save others, to being put on trial, he is the consummate war general. He makes command decisions and lives with the scars of them more than any lantern. As bad as the things Hal Jordan did were, he at least has the excuse of being possessed. His world is a moral gray area. He navigates it, and he doesn’t complain. He endures.
If Hal Jordan doesn’t propose to her on a Ferris Wheel, he’s an idiot
Originally meant to only be Hal Jordan’s love interest, she has become so much more. She’s the CEO of Ferris Aircraft, an aerospace military defense contractor and airline (mixing those two up would be an insurance nightmare), as well as a Star Sapphire. She’s launched a coup d'etat against them, helped stop universal Armageddon during the Blackest Night and the attack of Volthoom, and even became a White Lantern for a while. She often uses her business acumen to manipulate others into doing what she wants—mostly notably, forcing Kyle Rayner to use his White Lantern powers to bring Hal Jordan back to life, even if it could cost Kyle his own.
The only Green Lantern who can wield all colors of the emotional spectrum is…
This GL received his ring from Ganthet after stumbling out of a bar late one night. Sinestro has referred to him as “alley rat” ever since and, you know, eventually murdered Kyle’s mom. Despite being one of the youngest GLs, he is easily one of the most powerful. He’s played host to the entity known as Ion—the living embodiment of willpower—and is the only one in the universe to be able to wield all the colors of the emotional spectrum. He’s used his powers to defeat Parallax and cure the sick; he’s essentially Space Jesus. His girlfriend was also murdered and stuffed into a refrigerator. It’s been a strange life for the former cartoonist.
This fallen angel is the second in command of the Red Lanterns
She was the haughty royal daughter of a powerful family on Havania. Beautiful with angelic wings, she generally treated others like they were beneath her. Then she and her people were enslaved by the Sinestro Corps and she was used as entertainment. She became so angry at the enslavement that she earned herself a Red Lantern ring and she proceeded to kick every Sinestro Corps member’s ass she could find. In doing so, her design changed to more of a devil than an angel. However, she has maintained her self-control and ability to reason, making her nearly as powerful as Atrocitus -- and possibly smarter.
If Biff from Back to the Future turned his life around, he’d be like this blandly named character
Originally known for being so obnoxious that Batman knocked him out with a single hit, This character is that jock friend you have that’s always responsible for getting you kicked out of the bar. Despite this, he is a complex character and loyal friend. He also never runs out of mean-spirited nicknames for the Guardians of the Universe, and he references Star Trek constantly, so he has that going for him. He has saved countless lives, but has never been able to convince himself that he isn’t a failure and that his father was wrong about him. He also had a longstanding relationship with fellow JLI member Ice, which raises all kinds of interesting questions.
If you know what it’s like to be the daughter of an intergalactic, jewelry-obsessed despot, you can only be…
This GL was originally a doctor, who wants nothing more than to eradicate all illness in the universe. This is good, because her father is Sinestro, who wants to eradicate all chaos in the universe and rule it with an iron hand. She spent most of her life not knowing Sinestro was her real father; he kept tabs on her by the tattoo he imprinted on her face as she slept (as any normal father does). The doctor has saved many planets and lanterns in her years of service, using her vast medical knowledge to create perfect constructs of medical machinery to save lives. There are few ring slingers who can make constructs better than her. Also, she used to date Kyle Rayner, which infuriated Sinestro to no end.
This hopeful soul is the champion of the Blue Lanterns
This character is the universe’s first Blue Lantern. While the Blue Lanterns don’t have offensive capability, they can supercharge Green Lanterns that’ll blast their enemies to kingdom come (the place, not the story). He is one of those guys that can’t stop talking about hope the way that some people can’t stop talking about veganism and yoga. During an event called Blackest Night—an event so dark it’s in the damn name—he was still completely certain victory was assured. He's also ridiculously positive. It’s probably because if he gets reminded of the fact that his entire family was killed while he was climbing a mountain, he’d probably have a breakdown and go full Red Lantern on half the galaxy.
This villain is awfully sinister. Get it? SINISTER?
This character is based physically on David Niven and philosophically on anyone you disagree with politically. Despite ostensibly being the villain of the entire Green Lantern series, he is a villain we can identify with. We understand his desire for peace, we pity him for the loss of his wife, his planet, and for his daughter hating him. He, however, is a victim of his own ego and severe character flaws that he himself can never acknowledge, let alone escape. All of those tragedies he’s suffered can be traced directly back to decisions he’s made. This character isn’t just the main villain in Green Lantern, he’s its most tragic character.
This respected legend trains the Green Lanterns and carries a bigger hammer than Thor
We admit it, we don’t know what a “poozer” is either, but we know it isn’t good. He has been responsible for training some of the best lanterns of them all—including Hal Jordan. However, the massive character isn’t just a glorified gym teacher. He’s a former geneticist and a family man who had to deal with the destruction of his home planet. The trauma would have broken most people, but he instead dedicated his life to protecting the survivors and others in the universe from having to suffer the same thing. Also, he’s one of the few people Guy Gardner doesn’t talk back to.
This is the first human female GL in continuity
She has one of the best origin stories of any modern comic character. Rather than be defined by her race, gender, or ethnicity like many new characters are, Cruz’s story is all about the difficulty of overcoming fear. Having accidentally witnessed a mob hit, Jessica lived in seclusion for years, afraid of being found out. While her stories spin out into the usual sci-fi fare, her character arc remains something that is carefully explored. For each new experience and each social encounter, Jessica is dealing with things we all deal with: social anxiety and fears about everyday life. In comics, especially ones with talking alien squirrels, this kind of down-to-earth character we can identify with is a real treat.
Without this Lantern’s bad driving, Hal Jordan never would’ve gotten a GL ring
This character is the cornerstone of Green Lantern mythology. His death allowed Hal Jordan to inherit his ring. Despite this, he was little more than a plot device until Geoff Johns' Green Lantern run, which saw the secret history of this character through flashbacks and retcons. He was a man whose faith in the Corps faltered when he learned of Atrocitus and the prophecy of the Blackest Night. Believing the GLC was doomed to failure and wishing to overcome the loss of his daughter, he created the Indigo Tribe in the hopes that compassion could save the universe. This revelation makes his son's fall from grace even more tragic.
Of all the Guardians of the Universe, this one is arguably the only good one
This Guardian of the Universe is the father you never had. Strict but not unbending, he was a central figure in saving the Green Lantern Corps many times over the years. He was the one who gave Kyle Rayner the final lantern ring during the Emerald Twilight arc, and was instrumental in bringing Hal Jordan back into the fold. After he was thrown out of Oa for using emotion, he and his lover Sayd created the Blue Lantern Corps, which played a pivotal role during the Blackest Night incident. Even Sinestro, who hates the Guardians more than anyone, spared him and Sayd rather than killing them with the rest of the Guardians of the Universe. That’s how much good he has done, and how much respect he’s earned.
This fear entity is without parallel in comic books
It turns out that fear does have a name and face, and he’s a giant yellow insect that’s as old as the universe and is the source of all fear a sentient being can feel. Well, how did we not see that coming? This character is the source of the yellow impurity that plagued the Green Lanterns for millennia. It is also capable of instilling fear subtly over time—as it did with Hal Jordan—in order to weaken the target for a full-on demonic possession—which he has done to several Green Lanterns and even the Guardian Ganthet. He was responsible for Hal Jordan’s downfall and the near-destruction of the entire Corps. Sinestro might be the main villain of the series, but he is the one that’s unstoppable. As a living emotion, he’s implicit.
This furry blue kitty shares his name with a fictional serial killer
You know, if it weren’t for the fact that he can fly, you’d think he was a normal cat. He even vomits like a normal cat, only he’s a Red Lantern, so it’s acidic blood he’s vomiting. This character is the most loyal Red Lantern of them all; he also wants to find the people who killed his owner so he can tear them apart. You know, people always go on about how aloof cats are, but it sure as hell sounds like he is one loyal feline. Search out his eight-page origin story. By the end, if you don’t think “I find one who hurt you. I kill. I good kitty” is the sweetest, saddest line ever, you have no heart.
This character is based on an Alan Moore pitch and sounds very carnal
This Green Lantern is from Daxam who, like the Kryptonians, becomes powerful from yellow sunlight. If you thought he was The Greatest Green Lantern mentioned in the Book of Oa and not Hal Jordan, well, we have terrible news for you, but that doesn’t mean he is any less awesome. As young and brash as he is, he’s also earned the right to be a little arrogant. He built a spaceship to escape his home planet when he was a kid. Despite hating his people, he literally went into their sun and used his willpower to keep it from dying and pledged to stay there, in the star, until he died. Now that’s a badass.
This member of the Sinestro Corps is the alternate universe counterpart to a beloved DC legacy character
To say that this villain is a whiny, self-absorbed winner of the Victim Olympics would be fairly accurate. Once one of the greatest heroes in the DCU, this dimensional refugee was unable to cope with being away from his true home, which was much more wholesome than the version of Earth he was living in now. Fans tend to him a bad rap because he “punched time”, which caused the heavy retcons from Infinite Crisis. However, he is much more than just a weeping infant. He just wants acknowledgment and friendship, but has no idea how to get it. The story of Superman is the story of an outsider, and this character is the ultimate outsider.
This giant planet doesn’t socialize
You really do have to love comics. Where else would you hear “There’s a sentient planet whose best friend is a wasp that likes roller coasters. They’re also space cops.”? This character is the most powerful Green Lantern of them all, capable of firing energy blasts from deep within his core. Other lantern energies could be filtered through him, as it was during the battle against Volthoom, the First Lantern. Not even death can stop him. While under the control of Krona, John Stewart was forced to destroy him from within, blasting the planet apart. He later literally pulled himself back together again.
This ugly creature is so greedy, he won’t even wash the dirt off himself for fear of losing it
This character is greedier than a starving man at a buffet. He killed his own group of thieves just to possess the orange lantern, despite the fact that he would have to remain in hiding with it forever. He also developed his own Corps. True to its avaristic origin, however, a corpsman is manufactured by the Orange Light. They’re essentially an energy clone of someone he or one of the other clones kills. The victim’s personality is even copied so they can be a sentient slave for all eternity. Despite greed being the crux of the character, his solo comic sold poorly and was canceled after 12 issues.
This dimensional traveler was the first true lantern
This ultimate villain was a dimensional traveler who witnessed the creation of the first lantern ring. He took it for himself, and the ensuing release of energy made him incredibly powerful and even more unhinged. The Guardians imprisoned him for eons in a black hole (conveniently located near the DMV). Eventually escaping, He used his fluent control over the Emotional Spectrum to psychically manipulate the Guardians of the Universe and all of the ringslingers in every corps. He used his reality-bending powers to understand his targets and break them from the inside. It took the combined effort of every single lantern in all of the corps (plus Nekron) to finally bring him down.
This character is Sinestro’s most trusted general
If you’re going use an army of criminals to enforce your fascist regime, you want this maniac by your side. Sinestro has been replaced as a leader on two occasions, and this character has twice refused to serve the new leader. Twice he has been brutally tortured for this. Seriously. Every last member of the Corps fell right into line. He wouldn’t. He believes in the Sinestro Corps, but he is loyal to Thaal Sinestro himself. Mongul ripped his tongue out over this. He is an amazing fighter as well. He and Kilowog nearly razed all of Oa during one of their spats, and he is one of the few characters that could possibly beat the Green Lantern trainer in a fight.
This once spoiled princess of Betrassus eventually became one of the best Green Lanterns of them all
Despite being a princess, this Green Lantern didn’t have it easy. Her lover, the first GL of her sector, was killed (as was her brother Stentar) and she had to take up the mantle. Oh, and then she found out her brother Ragnar had killed Myrrt and Stentar in a failed bid to become the new Green Lantern of the sector. This would create some uncomfortable Thanksgiving moments, but thankfully, her father Nol executed Ragnar in front of her. Glad they avoided that awkwardness. Trained by Kilowog, with whom she didn’t get along, she eventually had to become both Queen of Betrassus and lead GL in her sector. To be fair, though, when she does get a minute to rest, her palace is pretty damn sweet.
This unfortunate creature’s name gives away how much he loves taking things
He was a lowly cleaner. He worked at a bar where he would consume whatever was on the floor after the patrons left for the night. Really. That was his job. Well, eventually, he got tired of it and ate his captors before going on the run. Unfortunately, he was eaten by Blume, one of Larfleeze’s constructs, while trying to steal Fleeze’s food. Oh, the wretched irony. As usual, his identity was replicated and the strangely adorable creature became an Orange Lantern. While he was able to eventually (sorta) free himself, Larfleeze murdered him for his betrayal.
This character's first name is a reference to long-time Green Lantern editor and writer, Peter J. Tomasi
This character was new to the Green Lantern Corps when he was partnered with Vath Sarn; their planets were at war and the two of them would consistently get into physical fights and try to kill each other. They eventually became best friends after finding an enemy they had in common: giant spiders (if only all world problems were solved by giant spiders). He is a noble but impulsive GL, who would literally give his arms and legs for a fellow soldier. When Vath’s legs were blown off in battle, he donated his own legs, since his limbs would grow back anyway. That’s class.
This character was one of the lost lanterns and is one of the few to wield more than one ring
She was a tragic character in Green Lantern lore, but since she was a side character, it’s only after reading through her bio and seeing it all laid out that you realize how tragic it was. It can be emotional, because it isn’t heavy on the sci-fi stuff. She just had bad luck. Her father was a traitor, her friends were killed, and the love of her life was murdered by Amon Sur, her former coworker. She snapped and executed him. Her anger earned her a Red Lantern ring (okay, it gets sci-fi from here), which turned her into a bestial state. She was eventually killed, but not before mastering the Red Ring the way she had the Green one, nearly taking down Sinestro in the process.
Oddly, this Sinestro Corps member is named after a carnival ride
This villain was literally raised by animals. Her family was killed in front of her at a young age, and rather than becoming Batman, she was adopted by a pack of wild animals. Wanting to be more like these beasts, she disfigured herself and sharpened her teeth into fangs. By the time she reached adulthood, she was completely feral, and though rescued and institutionalized, she was unable to assimilate back into society. However, thanks to her brutality and terrifying look, she instilled great fear in others, and she was found by a Sinestro Corps ring. In battle, she often used constructs of the animals that raised her, using them to kill Green Lanterns as revenge for taking her away from her home.
The compassionate leader of the Indigo Tribe is a reformed killer
Before becoming Indigo-1, this character was a brutal sociopath (as are all of the members of the Indigo Tribe). Abin Sur created the Indigo Tribe and she was his first ringbearer; she was the one who killed his daughter. Her story is one of complicated redemption. The rings allow them to feel compassion and understand the damage they’ve done to others. Without the ring, the bearer reverts to the way they were before. However, her strength and the depth of her emotion allowed her to no longer require the ring to feel compassion. Abin Sur wasn’t able to save his daughter, but he was able to save his daughter’s killer, who can now do for others what Abin Sur did for her.
This character can kill you without leaving a trace
This villain is a germophobe’s nightmare. A member of the Sinestro Corps, this microscopic virus destroyed entire civilians because it felt like it. Created in a lab to be a biological weapon, it became ever more powerful with every new experiment until achieving sentience. It then wiped out the planet it lived on and ran amok throughout sector space. Sinestro drafted the creature because of its ability to instill great fear, and even sent the virus to Earth to specifically infect and kill Kyle Rayner’s mother. Only one person was ever able to cure the disease, and that was Sinestro’s own daughter, Soranik Natu.
This modern Green Lantern is a former beat cop and friend of John Stewart
This character was a cop on her planet of Calados. However, being a police officer for a planet is different than being a police officer for the rest of the universe. Brought in during a mass recruitment drive following the major losses the GLs suffered after Krona’s civil war, she questioned her abilities as a police officer in the face of the massive expansion of her duties and powers. Many chose to leave or got washed out, but her sense of duty to her people along with the potential to do good throughout the universe made her stay. Eventually, she became a powerful Green Lantern.
This Lost Lantern eventually became an Alpha Lantern
When the Guardians rescinded the no-kill order on the rings, no Green Lantern adapted faster than this character. A vicious warrior with over three hundred years of experience, she is one of the lanterns you really should just stay away from. Great to her friends and destructive to her enemies, there isn’t a better fighter in the GLC than her. Known and respected throughout the Corps, she eventually became an Alpha Lantern (think internal affairs), which required her to be combined with a mystical computer so she could commune directly with the Book of Oa. Her personality became more impersonal and abrupt. No one noticed.
This creepy bookkeeper is the embodiment of Sinestro’s word
If Arkillo is a loyal commander, then this character is a fundamentalist. She is a fanatical believer in the power of fear and the sometimes paramour of Sinestro himself. Her belief is so strong that she has the Book of Parallax chained to her at all times. A combination of Salaak and Kilowog, she keeps the history of the Sinestro Corps and determines if a candidate is worthy of the ring. While not often seen fighting, she is incredibly powerful due to her knowledge of fear, and is so dedicated that she tattooed the Book of Parallax onto her skin. Yes, she’s wife material.
This Green Lantern's ties to Apokolips have led to rumors of him showing up in the DCEU
This character is one of the few Green Lanterns to be sent by the Guardians as a representative to Apokolips. Darkseid killed the first two. He ripped up half the planet attempting to overthrow the Dark Lord, only to be captured and tortured. The Guardians reached a peace treaty with Darkseid, with one of the amendments being that this GL remains as Darkseid’s pet. He was then erased from the Green Lantern records, but secretly given a ring and battery to continue fighting. Darkseid allows him to live and stir up hope among the slaves so that he could eventually take that hope away (everyone needs a hobby). Recently, Zack Snyder mentioned an interest in using Raker in the DCEU, as he is a character connected to two very important facets of the DCU: The GLs and The Fourth World.
This character should never be your babysitter
This Sinestro Corps memeber targets the children of Green Lantern members, kidnapping them and keeping them in a crib-like growth coming out of her back. She also secretes a hypnotic toxin from her breasts that she can use to force others to do her bidding; she has managed to make parents willingly give up their children to her. She also feeds the children on her back with the same toxin (efficiency is important). Despite the efforts of several lanterns, none have managed to kill her, though Guy Gardner once ripped her arm off and jammed it down her throat, bless his heart.