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For over half a decade now, we’ve been waiting for Green Lantern Corps to arrive in the DC Extended Universe, and while that movie remains in limbo, this DC Comics property is getting a different shot at live-action glory. Last year, it was announced that HBO Max is developing a Green Lantern TV series, and earlier this month, the show scored a 10-episode, straight-to-series order, with Seth Grahame-Smith (who was once supposed to direct The Flash movie) serving as showrunner and co-writing with Marc Guggenheim.
With Green Lantern officially moving forward, HBO Max also revealed that the show’s main lineup of characters will include human Lanterns Alan Scott, Guy Gardner, Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz, as well as alien Lanterns Sinestro and Kilowog. So who are all these people, and why are they important to the Green Lantern mythology. That’s what we’re here to explain.
Although Alan Scott is DC Comics’ first Green Lantern, he differs heavily from those who would hold that mantle in the decades to follow. Rather than wielding the traditional emerald ring of willpower bequeathed to members of the Green Lantern Corps, Alan operates separately from the Corps and uses a ring powered by magic rather than science, although he can do many of the same things a Corps member can do, namely fly and create hard light constructs. Rather than being weak against the color yellow, Alan’s ring is unable to affect anything made of wood.
Kicking off his superhero career during World War II, Alan Scott is one of the few founding members of the Justice Society of America who’s still living in modern times, although in the New 52’s Earth 2 series, Alan was a younger man whose emerald power came from The Green, the elemental force that connects all plant life on Earth. All we know so far about the Green Lantern series’ Alan is that like in the New 52 continuity, he is gay, and he’s described as Earth’s first Green Lantern. However, it remains to be seen if Alan’s ring and power battery will be magically-powered like in the comics, or if he’ll be operating with the standard Green Lantern Corps arsenal.
Hal Jordan was the first human to be recruited into the Green Lantern Corps, but when the time came that he was unable to keep Earth safe, Guy Gardner was tapped as his temporary replacement. In fact, the only reason the late Abin Sur’s ring chose Hal over Guy is because Hal was closer to Abin’s crash site. Later on though, as with John Stewart, Guy would gain a permanent Green Lantern ring and protect Sector 2814 at the same time as his fellow Earthbound Lanterns, although there have been times when he’s been empowered from other sources, such as having Vuldarian abilities and wielding a Red Lantern ring. Guy was also one of the original members of the Justice League International.
Guy Gardner is chiefly well-known for being outspoken and arrogant, so count on those traits being present in the Green Lantern TV series. Beyond that, it’s hard to say how Guy will be depicted on the show, although if Hal Jordan isn’t involved, then presumably that means the circumstances in which Guy obtains his emerald ring will be changed. Perhaps a connection will be established between him and Alan Scott instead.
Within the grand tapestry of DC Comics history, Simon Baz is still a relatively new addition to the Green Lantern mythos, having debuted in 2012. While Simon always had a good heart, he was on the wrong side of the law when he became a Green Lantern. Weirdly enough, the ring that chose him was a weird melding of Hal Jordan and Sinestro’s rings, although he would later be given his own unique ring. Like Hal and Kyle Rayner, Simon wears a mask to protect his identity, and early into his Green Lantern career, he carried a gun with him for protection in case his ring ran out of power in the midst of battle.
Except for one video game, Simon Baz hasn’t appeared outside of the comics, so the Green Lantern TV series will introduce him to a lot of people. One way Simon has distinguished himself from other Lanterns was channeling his raw willpower through the ring to awaken his brother-in-law from a coma, something that had never been done before. Hopefully a scene like this is included in the show.
Jessica Cruz is another relative newcomer to the Green Lantern world, having debuted in 2014 and originally going by Power Ring after she was forced to become the host for The Ring of Volthoom, a twisted weapon from the sinister Earth-3 that feeds off a person’s fears and insecurities. After Jessica was freed from Volthoom’s control, she was chosen to be a Green Lantern, and soon after she was partnered with Simon Baz, with them protecting Sector 2814 while the other Earth-based Lanterns dealt with problems elsewhere in the universe.
Thanks to projects like Justice League vs. the Fatal Five and DC Super Hero Girls, Jessica Cruz has gotten a lot more screen time compared to Simon Baz, but the Green Lantern TV series will surely propel her to new heights of popularity. One thing that the show will need to do in order to effectively adapt Jessica is keep her traumatic history intact. Jessica witnessed her friends being killed and spent the following several years locked up in her home, afraid to go outside. As such, she struggles with fear more than your average Green Lantern, but she’s still able to overcome these challenges when it counts.
Before he embraced the power of fear and became the Green Lantern Corps’ greatest enemy, Thaal Sinestro was a Green Lantern himself. Sinestro was determined to instill law and order so much on his homeworld of Korugar that he ruled the planet as a dictator. When the Guardians of the Universe learned that Sinestro was using his ring’s power to instill fear in Korugar’s citizens, they expelled him from the Corps and banished him to the antimatter universe. Unfortunately, not only did Sinestro manage to return, but he’d obtained a yellow power ring from the Weaponers of Qward that functions quite similar to a Green Lantern ring, but feeds off the wearer’s ability to instill fear rather than their willpower.
For years Sinestro antagonized the Green Lantern Corps on his own, and nowadays he leads the Yellow Lanterns, a.k.a. the Sinestro Corps. Just like the 2011 Green Lantern movie did, it sounds like HBO Max’s Green Lantern TV series will introduce us to its Sinestro while he’s still part of the Green Lantern Corps. However, don’t be remotely surprised if the series chronicles his fall from grace, and by the end of the first season, or perhaps later, he’s exchanged his green ring for a yellow one.
Other than Sinestro, Kilowog is arguably the most famous non-human Green Lantern. Essentially serving as the Green Lantern Corps’ drill sergeant, it’s his job to ensure that new recruits (who he refers to as “poozers”) learn how to effectively use their power rings and are ready for combat. But Kilowog often jumps into battle without a moment’s hesitation, and when the Green Lantern Corps was relaunched in the comics following Hal Jordan’s resurrection, he was among the first veterans to be brought back in.
One can reasonably surmise that Kilowog will retain his position as the Green Lantern Corps’ trainer in the Green Lantern series, but beyond that, it’s unclear how much he’ll be spotlighted on the show. Kilowog was previously portrayed by Michael Clarke Duncan in the Green Lantern movie, but his appearance was quite different than how he looks in the comics, so fingers crossed that the show depicts him in a more physically faithful manner.
That accounts for all the main Green Lanterns who will appear in the upcoming HBO Max series, though you can expect plenty other wielders of the green energy of willpower to pop their heads in. For those of you wondering about why Hal Jordan, John Stewart and Kyle Rayner weren’t mentioned to appear in the show, the former two were previously said to be starring in Green Lantern Corps, so perhaps that means the movie is still in development rather than shelved. As for Kyle, it’s a coin flip on whether he’ll appear on the big screen or small screen first, though given how popular he is, it’s difficult to imagine him never being adapted for live action.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on how the Green Lantern series is progressing, and keep track of the DC TV shows that will be arriving sooner with our comprehensive guide.