War of Light: A Guide to DC's Lantern Corps

The Green Lanterns are just the tip of the emotional iceberg.

These days everyone is familiar with Green Lantern. This fearless hero has existed in one form or another since the earliest days of DC Comics, and he's one of the few characters besides Batman and Superman to make the jump to Hollywood. And with DC's movie lineup expanding in the next few years, fans can look forward to plenty more Green Lantern goodness on the big screen.

But did you know that there are other Lantern Corps? The Green Lanterns are just one faction in a massive intergalactic conflict called the War of Light. Join us as we break down each of the nine Lantern Corps in the DC Universe and what makes them unique. 

01
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The Red Lantern Corps

Red Lanterns art by Ed Benes
DC Comics

Emotion: Rage

Notable Members: Atrocitus, Bleez, Rankorr, Guy Gardner

Each member of the Corps has suffered a great tragedy or loss in their life, and that anger fuels their power. For instance, their leader Atrocitus is one of the only survivors of the massacre of his people, while Bleez was a princess held captive and tortured for years.

In addition to the usual lineup of Lantern abilities, Red lanterns can also spew a destructive blood-like substance. The downside is that new Red Lantern recruits are stuck trapped in a savage, mindless frenzy until their minds are restored by Atrocitus' magic. 

02
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The Orange Lantern Corps

Larfleeze art
DC Comics

Emotion: Avarice

Notable Members: Larfleeze, Lex Luthor

Only the most profoundly greedy and selfish beings in the universe are capable of wielding the Orange Ring. That's pretty much Larfleeze in a nutshell. But because he's so selfish, Larfleeze refuses to share his power with anyone. He may not have numbers on his side, but being a one-man Lantern Corps makes Larfleeze an insanely powerful foe. As long as he's able to cling to his lantern, that is.

03
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The Sinestro Corps

Sinestro Corps War art by Ethan Van Sciver
DC Comics

Emotion: Fear

Notable Members: Sinestro, Arkillo, Parallax, Scarecrow, Soranik Natu, Lyssa Drak

The Sinestro Corps are the polar opposite of the Green Lanterns. They too desire an orderly universe, but they use fear and terror to inspire obedience rather than defending the innocent.

Sinestro himself is a fallen Green Lantern who acquired his Yellow Ring thanks to the Weaponers of Qward. Now he's amassed a massive army powered by similar rings, and he's obsessed with toppling the Green Lanterns and carrying on their mission by other means.

04
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The Green Lantern Corps

Green Lantern Corps art by Doug Mahnke
DC Comics

Emotion: Will

Notable Members: Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Kyle Rayner, Guy Gardner, Kilowog

The Green Lanterns are the premiere peacekeeping force in the universe. Eons ago, the Guardians of Oa learned how to harness the power of will and turn it into a weapon. Now they've divided the universe into 3600 sectors and tasked two Green Lanterns with policing each one.

Only the bravest heroes are capable of wielding a Green Lantern ring. Something about the combination of fearlessness and cockiness makes humans like Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner ideal candidates for the Corps.  

05
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The Blue Lantern Corps

Saint Walker art
DC Comics

Emotion: Hope

Notable Members: Saint Walker, Brother Warth, Superman

The Blue Lanterns are among the smallest of the various Lantern Corps. Maybe it's because only the most optimistic and spiritually enlightened beings are worthy to join their ranks.

The Blue Lanterns were formed by Ganthet and Syed, two ex-Guardians who fell in love and struck out on their own. The Blue Lanterns don't have much in the way of offensive abilities. Instead, they serve as a support system for the Green Lanterns, able to instantly super-charge Green Rings to 200% capacity. 

06
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The Indigo Lantern Corps

Indigo Lanterns art by Ivan Reis
DC Comics

Emotion: Compassion

Notable Members: Indigo-1, Munk, The Atom

The Indigo Lanterns are easily one of the most mysterious factions in the War of Light. They speak their own language and live as reclusive hermits. They don't even wear rings, preferring instead to carry large staves. The Indigo Lanterns first made their mark during the Blackest Night storyline, as it was revealed that only the combined power of a  Green Lantern and an Indigo Lantern can destroy an undead Black Lantern.

The Indigo Lanterns are fueled by compassion and believe firmly that all beings are capable of redemption. However, there's a darker side to this group as well. Many members have been forcibly pacified by the Indigo Light and revert back to their old personality when separated from its influence. 

07
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The Star Sapphires

Star Sapphire Wonder Woman by Nicola Scott
DC Comics

Emotion: Love

Notable Members: Carol Ferris, Fatality, Wonder Woman

The Star Sapphires are fueled by love, which makes them both incredibly powerful and extremely volatile. It's all too easy for a Star Sapphire to be consumed by their love and let their power rage out of control.

For many years, Hal Jordan's on again/off again girlfriend Carol Ferris would be consumed by the Star Sapphire and lash out at Hal. These days, Carol has mastered her emotions and has emerged as the strongest of the growing Star Sapphire army.

08
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The Black Lantern Corps

Blackest Night art by Ivan Reis
DC Comics

Emotion: Death

Notable Members: Nekron, Black Hand, Scar, Earth-2 Superman, Martian Manhunter, Aquaman

The Black Lanterns aren't powered by emotion so much as the absence of it. Any dead being in the universe can be unwillingly revived as an undead Black Lantern, unless their souls are at peace.

Black Lanterns retain none of their humanity upon being revived. They only exist to seek out emotional energy and feed on it for the pleasure of their master, Nekron. Unfortunately for the living, the sight of a dead loved one suddenly risen again is usually enough to inspire plenty of emotion.  

09
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The White Lantern Corps

White Lantern Kyle Rayner
DC Comics

Emotion: Life

Notable Members: Sinestro, Kyle Rayner, Swamp Thing

The White Lanterns are the polar opposite of the Black Lanterns. Whereas the Black Lanterns are undead and have no emotion whatsoever, the White Lanterns are fueled by the entirety of the emotional spectrum. Only a very select few heroes are able to wield a White Ring, because it requires that they master all emotions on the spectrum and achieve a perfect balance. But when they do, they gain a power unlike any other.   

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Your Citation
Schedeen, Jesse. "War of Light: A Guide to DC's Lantern Corps." ThoughtCo, Mar. 1, 2016, thoughtco.com/dc-lantern-corps-3960281. Schedeen, Jesse. (2016, March 1). War of Light: A Guide to DC's Lantern Corps. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/dc-lantern-corps-3960281 Schedeen, Jesse. "War of Light: A Guide to DC's Lantern Corps." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/dc-lantern-corps-3960281 (accessed November 20, 2017).