so many green lanterns

Here’s What All the Green Lantern Power Rings Mean in DC Comics

Despite the Green Lantern’s ring of power first appearing in 1940 under Alan Scott, it was depicted as a magical ring. That was retconned when Hal Jordan took up the moniker and the Green Lantern Corps became a whole entity. The rings, now, were the creation of the Guardians of the Universe, who also created the Corps. Each ring needs to be recharged by a power Lantern of its corresponding color.

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Then, in the late 2000s, writer Geoff Johns and artist Ethan Van Sciver decided to expand the spectrum of power rings in the Green Lantern mythos. The storylines “Sinestro Corps War” and “Blackest Night” introduced these new rings, corps, and the emotions/qualities they were connected to—one for each color, in addition to the green/willpower combo that we’re all so familiar with. So what does each one mean?

Red/Rage:

DC Comics Green Lanter red power ring dex-starr.

The first Red Power Battery was created by a figure named Atrocitus. Naturally, the emotion that fuels the ring is rage. Users of the ring will hear commands of violence, and the power of the ring essentially stops your heart and fills it with pure rage—much like a Red Bull. Nullified by the color Blue, the Red Lantern Corps are sometimes anti-heroes, but often villains. The most well-known member is Dex-Starr, a cat who watched the killing of his owner and was evicted by the police. Living on the streets, he was grabbed and thrown off the Brooklyn Bridge. The rage he felt brought the red ring to him and saved him. He’s a bad boy, but a good kitty.

Orange/Greed:

Green Lantern power ring meanings orang lantern.
(DC Comics)

A corp of one, because the power of greed doesn’t allow its power to be shared. Larfleeze, also known as Agent Orange, is the holder of the Orange Central Power Battery. The orange ring allows Larfleeze to copy the abilities of others, but he also possesses an insatiable hunger that cannot be filled. He can absorb and steal the identities of others and all power rings save Blue and Violet.

Yellow/Fear:

Sinestro in DC Comics.
(DC Comics)

Sinestro’s color of choice. Far from mellow, the ring is fueled by fear instead of willpower, but is identical in abilities to the Green rings. In order to join Sinestro’s corp, a member has to free themselves from a prison and face their greatest fear and embrace it. Originally, Yellow rings could only be charged by Manhunter androids, but now there are portable batteries. The only known weakness for a Yellow ring is that their power can be drained by a Blue ring or corrupted by a Red one.

Blue/Hope:

Blue Lantern ring in DC Comics and its meaning.
(DC Comics)

Ganthet is one of the Guardians of the Universe who was banished following the events of the “Sinestro Corps War” storyline in the comics. He believed that all the colors would eventually lead to the prophecy of “Darkest Night.” He created the first Blue ring on the planet of Odym. Blue power rings are fueled by hope and are very powerful. But in order to temper that power, they must be around an active Green Lantern Ring in order to use it. Without that, they are just blue Green Lanterns in terms of power. When properly activated, they can heal wounds and counter the negative effects of other rings, but can also overwhelm and destroy other rings.

Violet/Love:

Violet lantern in DC Comics and meaning.
(DC Comics)

The Star Sapphires are fueled by the emotion of love, like all great musicians. They can allow the wearer to fly, generate a protective aura, and created constructs. They can create crystals that can be used to imprison other beings. Sapphires can teleport and use their constructs to make disorienting dust. One of the most powerful things a Violet power ring can do is restore the recently deceased to life by drawing power from the heart of one who loves them. However, while having no clear weakness, it is known for them to be overpowered by their own emotions. You know those majority female magical groups—so emotional.

Indigo/Compassion:

indigo lantern ring and meaning dc comics
(DC Comics)

The Corps of compassion, who carry staffs with them that harness their power. Indigo rings possess the generic flight and aura powers of all Lanterns. Their specific color grants them the ability to perceive compassion in others and force them to feel it when there is none. They can heal individuals with great empathy and make people feel the pain they have inflicted on others. They can also travel intergalactically, but it takes a lot of power, so they try not to use it that often.

Black/Death:

black lantern ring and meaning
(DC Comics)

On the cliché end of the color wheel, Black means death. Wow. Shocker. This zombie cabal is fueled by death. The first person to become a Black Lantern was Black Hand, after murdering his family and the taking of his own life. The Guardian Scar revives him and grants him the first Black Ring of Power. Members of this Corps are dead and retain any superpowers they might have had in life. Their power rings are capable of regenerating almost fatal injuries inflicted upon their users, and while not needing a charge, every time a user removes the heart of someone, they get a little boost. Black Ring users are not affected by magic and can read emotions. They can be harmed by White light and boosted Green Lantern abilities.

White/Life:

white lantern ring and meaning dc comics
(DC Comics)

And on our final cliché, there are the White Power Rings of Life. First introduced during the Blackest Night event, the full power of the rings is unknown, but besides the default abilities, they can restore the dead to life and overpower the abilities of other rings.

Which Lantern Corps would you want to join?

(image: DC Comics)


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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.