Coinciding with the dawn of the universe, seven different entities were spawned, each representing a single emotion. The first of them, Ion, took a form resembling a whale or fish, and represented willpower. Parallax, the parasitic entity of fear, bears the image of a large insectoid creature. The demonic bull, known as The Butcher, represents the overwhelming power of rage. Ophidian, depicted as a large serpent, embodies the subtle power of avarice, or greed. Adara, a large three-headed bird, represents the undying essence of hope. The embodiment of compassion, known only as the Proselyte, appears in the form of a squid-like creature. The Predator, who represents the far-reaching power of love, appears as a skeletal draconic creature.
The immortal Guardians of the Universe first learned to unlock the power of these entities, when they tapped into the immense power of Ion. This led to the creation of the first Lantern Corps. The members of this force became known as Green Lanterns, named for the shape of their power batteries with which they were able to harness Ion's green energy of willpower. The Green Lanterns were tasked with maintaining order throughout the universe, as an intergalactic police force. This force replaced the failed robotic Manhunters, who had become a threat to all life due to a programming glitch. New recruits to the Green Lanterns were chosen from individuals who exhibited a great capacity for overcoming fear, and wielded the green energy of willpower through the use of a power ring. These rings allowed the Lanterns to generate hard-light constructs limited only by the user's will and imagination, although each Lantern was required to adhere to a central tenet of non-lethal response tactics. Violators of this code were swiftly stripped of their status as a Lantern, and subjected to judgment by the Guardians themselves.
Although the Green Lanterns remained the only Lantern Corps for a great while, six other Corps were eventually formed, each represented by another color of the spectrum. The former Green Lantern Sinestro was eventually disgraced and incarcerated after his attempt to subjugate his home planet of Korugar, but escaped to form the Sinestro Corps. This Corps wielded the yellow light of fear, and became a grave threat to the Green Lanterns due to the debilitating effect that fearful emotions can have on willpower. On the planet of Zamaron, the alien natives learned to harness the violet power of love, resulting in the creation of the Star Sapphire Corps. The tormented alien Atrocitus, whose home planet of Ryut had been massacred by the rogue Manhunters, harbored a neverending hatred for the Guardians as a result, as well as against Sinestro, who had imprisoned Atrocitus in exile on the planet Ysmault. From the boiling depths of his rage, the Red Lantern Corps was born. On the distant planet of Okaara, the alien Larfleeze (also known as Agent Orange) hoarded a collection of valuable items, foodstuffs, and his own orange light constructs, formed from the deaths of beings which he had murdered. Although he was the only living member, along with his constructs, he forms the Orange Lantern Corps, wielding the orange light of avarice. When the Guardians Ganthet and Sayd were exiled by their peers for displaying emotion, they escaped to the planet Odym, where they formed the Blue Lantern Corps. This Corps was designed solely for the purpose of using the blue light of hope to bolster the Green Lantern Corps, in anticipation of the coming War of Light. Finally, a nomadic alien tribe learned to wield the indigo light of compassion, forming the Indigo Lantern Corps. These Lanterns are the only known group that does not make use of a power ring, choosing instead to use a staff to channel their power.
Of these seven emotional types, willpower is constantly described as the most powerful, as it is represented by the color green - the balancing point of the spectrum. As the colors drift closer to the outlying edges of the spectrum, it becomes increasingly difficult to control the associated emotional manifestation, potentially leading to the corruption of a power ring's wielder. This is most clearly demonstrated by the emotional energies of love and rage, which occupy polar opposite ends of the color spectrum. The overwhelming nature of rage leaves Red Lanterns primarily reliant on base instincts, as only their leader Atrocitus appears to have retained the ability to make conscious decisions.
Although the majority of the Guardians refused to believe in it, the Guardians Ganthet and Sayd anticipated the emergence of each new Lantern Corps, and that each force would inevitably fight against the others in a battle across the universe. This eventually culminates in the event known as "The Blackest Night", the worst of the hidden prophecies of the Book of Oa. This resulted in the emergence of the Black Lantern Corps, initially led by the former Guardian Scar and her puppet William Hand (Black Hand), who reanimated a large number of heroes and villains that possessed emotional ties to those still living. These Black Lanterns proceeded to goad their living counterparts into strong emotional reactions, at which point the intent was to harvest their hearts to charge the Black Power Battery and bring about the rise of the Black entity Nekron. As the seven Corps eventually united to face this new threat, they successfully triggered the appearance of the white light of life, represented by a force known only as The Entity. Sinestro forcibly merged with this entity, believing himself to be destined as the savior of the universe, and the white power ring enabled him to provide the spark needed for the seven Lantern Corps to finally cut off the source of Nekron's power.
During Geoff Johns 2018 run of the Justice League, Sinestro discovers the Ultraviolet Corps (Prime Earth). A corps that dedicates itself to the darkness people hide within themselves. John Stewart temporarily is forced to join this corps by Sinestro.
Equipment: Power rings, with the exception of the staff-wielding Indigo tribe
Transportation: Flight, enabled by the use of fields generated by the power rings. The Indigo tribe is also capable of limited teleportation.
Weapons: Hard-light constructs, with the exception of the Red Lantern Corps, which primarily utilizes a napalm-like plasma that is ejected through the Lantern's mouth, in addition to beams of red light.
For over forty years, the dominant cosmic entity in the DC Universe has been the Green Lantern Corps, so named because of their color-coordinated costumes, equipment and weaponry. In 2007, writers Geoff Johns and Dave Gibbons expanded upon the colorful concept with the introduction of a Yellow Lantern Corps. More popularly known as the Sinestro Corps (after its founder Sinestro), this organization serves as the arch rivals to the Green Lantern Corps. They were the primary antagonists of a multi-part storyline titled the "Sinestro Corps War". The final chapter of this story-arc, Green Lantern (Volume 4) #25 included an epilogue that teased readers with a taste of things to come... namely, the establishment of an ever-growing series of Lantern Corps organizations, each one corresponding to a different color. Green Lantern #25 sets the stage for a string of storylines that will be chronicled in 2008 and 2009 tentatively titled the "War of Light" and the "Blackest Night". Green Lantern #28 gets the ball rolling even further with the introduction of the Red Lantern Corps and the introduction of the first of the Red Lanterns, Atrocitus. According to writer Geoff Johns, Atrocitus will become a major adversary for the Green Lantern Corps in 2008.
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Links and References
see also Lantern Corps Category
- Appearances of Lantern Corps
- 1 Images that include Lantern Corps
- Organization Gallery: Lantern Corps