Unlike Superman, who is an alien from a distant planet, Green Lantern is just an ordinary human who has been given great power by the beings who maintain the balance of good and evil in the universe.
Although an early hero named "Green Lantern" appeared in 1940, the 1959 reboot of the character is the superhero we recognize. In the comic "DC Showcase No. 22," an alien spacecraft crash-landed in the southwestern United States. As he dies, the alien pilot selects military flier Hal Jordan to inherit his power ring and uniform. Jordan becomes Green Lantern, protector of Space Sector 2814.
Created thousands Of years ago, the Power Rings are a weapon for focusing willpower, channeled through the Central Power Battery on the planet Oa. The wearer can project force beams, fly through space and create objects by imagining them. The ring's power is proportional to the wearer's will. A Power Ring chooses it's user, preferring beings who can "overcome great fear".
The Power Ring enables the wearer to create physical objects which exist as long as the user maintains the willpower to imagine them. The constructs glow with green light. Even complex mechanical objects can be created.
Originally the Power Rings held a 24-hour supply of energy, after which they must be recharged from lantern-shaped Power Battery. In the current continuity, there is no time limit and the ring is only charged when its energy runs low.
A planet at the center of the universe, Oa is the HQ of the Green Lantern Corps and home of the Guardians. A huge Central Power Battery on Oa directly links to each Green Lantern's Power Battery, channeling green energy to fuel the Power Rings.
Oa was destroyed in a battle between Green Lanterns Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner. The planet has since been restored.
These ancient beings evolved soon after the universe began. The Guardians originated on a planet called Maltus but later relocated to planet Oa.
The Guardians created the Green Lantern Corps thousands of years ago, and have maintained peace since.
GREEN LANTERN CORPS
The Corps is a vast interstellar police force designed to keep order in the universe. Members are recruited from planets in each of the 3,600 Space Sectors. The Power Rings themselves choose the beings who are to become Green Lanterns. The total membership of the Corps is 7,200. Hal Jordan is the most renowned Lantern from planet Earth.
OTHER LANTERNS OF EARTH
- ALAN SCOTT
The original Golden Age hero debuted in 1940. Scott's mystical power was obtained from the Starheart, an artifact shaped like a lantern.
- GUY GARDNER
Debuting in 1968, Gardner was revealed to be the Power Ring's alternate choice after Hal Jordan.
- JOHN STEWART
In 1971, Stewart was an architect chosen to become the backup Green Lantern after Gardner was injured in a disaster.
- KYLE RAYNER
Originally a graphic designer, Rayner became Earth's defender in 1994 when Jordan turned into the villain Parallax.
FAMOUS ALIEN LANTERNS
- ABIN SUR
First appearing in 1959, the dying Abin Sur gave his ring Power Ring, costume and lantern to his successor, Hal Jordan.
Tomar was the first member of the Corps to be introduced into the comic book in 1961.
Introduced in 1982, Ch'p resembles a a combination chipmunk and squirrel.
Drill sergeant of the Corps, Kilowog hails from the planet Bolovax Vik. He first appeared in 1986.
The entire planet Mogo is as a Green Lantern. Mogo is a sentient being possessed of enormous willpower and is responsible for guiding Power Rings to new users. This most unusual of Green Lanterns was introduced in thgr 1985 story "Mogo Doesn't Socialize".