If you're new to the world of Green Lantern, there's a few things you should know before stepping into the theater this weekend to see the new movie starring Ryan Reynolds. Not that they won't explain this to you there but hey, wouldn't it be cool to be able to chat with your friends about it while waiting on line? Or perhaps you're a casual fan who could use a refresher course, either way, here's a few simple bits of info that will help you sound like a Green Lantern Corps member yourself.
1. You are chosen: Not just anyone can be a Green Lantern. In fact, before Hal Jordan, a human was never even considered to serve in the Corps. Lanterns are chosen. Chosen by whom? Well it gets slightly tricky there. You could say the Guardians (I'll get to them later), but that's not entirely accurate, you could say Mogo (he's a planet AND a Green Lantern) but he's really just guide. Most would say it's the ring itself that chooses a worthy candidate to defend our universe. And the most important quality? The ability to overcome fear.
2. Power Ring: Your most important weapon as a Green Lantern, besides your mind, is your power ring. Some call it an advanced computer, others, magic, but what it really is is a tool. A Lantern's power ring not only feeds them information about whatever planet, civilization or foe they come into contact with, it also serves as a means to defend themselves. Green Lanterns are named so because the color green is the embodiment of willpower in the universe. With their minds, and the help of the power ring, Lanterns can create anything they can imagine out of green light. "How does this help in the field," you ask? Well, it's not light as you and I know it, it's hard light. Light, that when formed into a shape, can act as a weapon, a prison or a safety net. Thinking about a giant bear? You can use your power ring to form one of those out of hard light as well. You're mind and willpower to create it are its only boundaries. Well, there is one other boundary, the rings run out of power eventually. That's where the "Lantern" part of a Green Lantern comes in. Each Lantern has a personal charging station of sorts that links to a central "power battery."
3. Oa and the Guardians: Just like the United States military has its base of operations at the Pentagon, the Green Lanterns have their own fortified citadel. In fact, they get a whole planet - Oa. It's where the Guardians of the universe reside as well as the central power battery that acts as the source of the Lanterns' power. It was the Guardians who first forged the rings in an attempt to create order out of chaos. Originally, they selected androids to defend the universe but after these "Manhunters" took their programming a little too literally, the Guardians decided to give their power to living beings instead. The Guardians are immortals, or at least as immortal as immortals can be these days, and are vastly knowledgable and very secretive.
4. You are not alone: While it may be a scary thing to realize you've been chosen as a protector of the universe, relax, you're not alone. The Green Lantern Corps is there to help you. The Corps is made up of thousands of beings from across the universe who were chosen among their people to defend their home planet as well as any others in their "sector." There are 3600 sectors in the universe and most of the time, two Green Lanterns are assigned to patrol it. Earth, which lies in sector 2814, has four Green Lanterns in the Corps; Jordan, Kyle Rayner, John Stewart and Guy Gardner. As I mentioned earlier, Jordan was the first human Green Lantern, there are all shapes and sizes in the Corps.
5. There are other color Lanterns: If green is the embodiment of willpower in the universe, what about the other colors in the spectrum? There are eight other colors represented by their very own Corps out there as well and almost all of their powers are defined by an emotion. Red is rage, orange is greed, yellow is fear, blue is hope, indigo is compassion and purple is love. Black Lanterns represent death while White Lanterns represent life. Only one comes into play in the new Green Lantern film but it's a very interesting concept to keep in mind while watching.
And that, in a nutshell, is all you need to know about Green Lantern!