The Green Lantern Corps is one of the most powerful law enforcement agencies in the DC universe. Besides their vast interstellar beat, each Green Lantern wears a power ring that uses green energy to create solid constructs of almost anything they can imagine. Led by the mysterious Guardians of the Universe, the Green Lanterns travel across the stars, fighting evil and righting wrongs. Despite their incredible power, the Green Lantern Corps weren’t able to do one thing. No, not affect the color yellow; that was fixed years ago. We’re talking about murder.
For most of the history of the Green Lantern Corps, there was a no-kill policy just like Batman or Superman, but formalized with basically a safety on their rings. In recent years, it was even established as a limit on the ring that it wasn’t allowed to create constructs that would kill. However, times have definitely changed. During the 2008 storyline, “The Sinestro Corps War,” when the Green Lanterns were being slaughtered left and right, the Guardians of Oa took away the block on lethal force, and it was open season. We’ll be going over 16 of the most important deaths caused by the members of the Green Lantern Corps, both before and after the war.
Sinestro is the mortal enemy of the Green Lantern Corps, a former Green Lantern who abused his power to become a dictator. When the Lantern Corps tried to rein him in, Sinestro went rogue. The Corps had tried several times to stop him, including keeping him prisoner inside their own prison called the Sciencells, but he always escaped.
In 1988, Green Lantern Corps #222 (Steve Englehart, Joe Staton), the Corps finally had enough, because he had just blown up Kilowog’s entire race. The Corps put him on trial, found him guilty and voted to execute him. Their problems were just beginning, though, because a failsafe in the power battery was triggered on Sinestro’s death that began to destroy it. That ended up almost destroying the Corps. It was the first death of Sinestro, but not the last.
Sinestro came back in 2007’s “The Sinestro Corps War,” which will be the cause of many of the deaths on this list. In the story, Sinestro forged a yellow lantern in the antimatter universe of Qward, which allowed him to use fear the same way the Green Lantern Corps used willpower. He formed his own team, the Sinestro Corps.
The Anti-Monitor, a powerful being controlling the antimatter universe, was the Guardian of the Sinestro Corps. During the war between the Sinestro Corps and the Green Lantern Corps in Green Lantern #25 (Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Ethan Van Sciver), the Green Lanterns blew up the Yellow Central Power Battery next to the Anti-Monitor, and contained the explosion all around him with a shield for extra oomph. That let Superboy-Prime smash and throw the Anti-Monitor’s corpse into space.
14. SINESTRO (AGAIN)
In the 1994 story arc “Emerald Twilight,” Hal Jordan was driven mad with grief and went on a rampage which we’ll get into later on, but we’ll focus on one significant moment in Green Lantern #50 (Ron Marz, Darryl Banks). In that story, the Guardians found Hal Jordan was unstoppable, so they brought in the only person they thought could handle him: Sinestro. The Guardians of the Universe released Sinestro’s spirit from the power battery and brought him back to life as a reformed Green Lantern to face Jordan.
Unfortunately, Hal Jordan turned out to be more than a match for Sinestro. The two of them fought with their power rings until it came down to a brawl with bare fists on Oa. The fight came down to Hal getting Sinestro in a headlock and snapping his neck. It seemed like the end, but once again, he didn’t stay dead.
13. CYBORG SUPERMAN
Going back to the Sinestro Corps War, let’s go to another casualty, Cyborg Superman. Cyborg Superman was first introduced as Hank Henshaw, an astronaut who went through radiation and became a being of pure energy. He discovered he had the power to control electronics, and after the death of Superman, forged a new cybernetic body with Kryptonian technology to pass himself off as Cyborg Superman.
During the Sinestro Corps War, Sinestro recruited Cyborg Superman to join his team in exchange for the death he craved. During the final destruction of the Anti-Monitor, Cyborg Superman was inside the shield when it exploded, for which he thanked the Green Lantern Corps for his death. Unfortunately for him (and the DC universe), the Manhunters were able to bring him back to life.
12. KENTOR OMOTO
Let’s step away from Sinestro and the Sinestro Corps for a moment to talk about a more obscure Green Lantern who went rogue, Kentor Omoto. Omoto was a Lantern who first appeared in 1993’s Green Lantern Corps Quarterly #6 (Ruben Diaz, Travis Charest). When he tried to use his ring to control his world, he was stripped of his ring and his daughter was made the Green Lantern of Jayd instead.
When she heard of her father’s death, she returned to her home world to discover he wasn’t dead, but had formed a cult that worshipped him as the Golden Dragon. He tried to get her to join him, but she refused and they fought. She finally beat him by impaling him on a sword. He begged for death and when she refused, he committed suicide, leaving her responsible for his death, anyway.
During the Sinestro Corps War, one of the most dangerous members of Sinestro’s army was the microscopic virus Despotellis who could control the minds of anyone he infected. He killed Kyle Rayner’s mother as well as countless others. In Green Lantern #11 (Dave Gibbons, Patrick Gleason) in 2007, Guy Gardner went to the sector home of two Corpsmen, Tanakata Z and Quond. He found them dying and (with his last breath), Quond said Gardner was his killer.
Gardner was charged with murder, and fled when all the evidence pointed his way. Later on, Gardner was cleared when they discovered that Despotellis had infected the two Green Lanterns and turned them against each other. Tanakata Z had actually killed himself, just to make Gardner look more guilty. That’s crazy.
Enkafos was a sadistic member of the Sinestro Corps who ran the slave labor camps along with the psychic Children of the White Lobe and the Sinestro Corps’ training instructor, Arkillo. He took great joy in the suffering of the slaves he oversaw, and in the deaths he caused. In 2007’s Green Lantern Corps #16 (Dave Gibbons, Patrick Gleason, Angel Unzueta), while fighting at the sentient city of Ranx, Enkafos killed many Green Lanterns, including Chthos-Chthas Chthatis.
At a critical moment, the Guardians of the Universe changed the course of the war by rewriting the Book of Oa, allowing the Green Lantern Corps to use lethal force against their enemies. One of Green Lantern Sodam Yat’s first responses was to create an energy sword with his ring and cut Enkafos in half, avenging Chthatis.
9. CHILDREN OF THE WHITE LOBE
The Children of the White Lobe were some of the creepiest enemies of the Green Lantern Corps, a group of aliens with huge heads who looked like kids, but had amazingly powerful psychic abilities. The Children could fly, move objects with their minds and shoot psychic beams. They were also suicidal, willing to blow themselves up just to get revenge against their enemies.
During the Sinestro Corps War, the Children of the White Lobe were working with the Sinestro Corps to attack the living planet and largest member of the Green Lantern Corps, Mogo. The Children tried to create a massive Blink bomb that could destroy Mogo and everyone on it. Fortunately, the Green Lanterns (with their new lethal ability) were able to stop the attack and kill the Children before it was too late.
If a planet could be a member of a Corps, why not an entire city? Ranx was a living city created long before anyone could remember who had been a thriving hub of commerce until it was shut down by the Green Lantern Corps for harboring crime and corruption. Ranx became the home of drifters and beings trying to hide, as well as nursing a deep grudge against the Corps and Guy Gardner specifically.
During the Sinestro Corps War, Ranx became a base of operations for the evil organization in exchange for revenge against Gardner. Essentially the evil counterpart to Mogo, Ranx became the frontline when the Sinestro Corps attacked Mogo to stop his guidance of the power rings. During the battle, Sodam Yat destroyed Ranx’s power core, blowing up the city.
John Stewart has always been one of the most militant of Earth’s Green Lanterns, but in 2012, Green Lantern Corps #6 (Peter Tomasi, Fernando Pasarin) faced a tough and controversial choice. Stewart and another Green Lantern Kirrt were being tortured by an alien race called the Keepers for the access codes to Oa’s force field. When Stewart thought Kirrt was about to reveal the access codes, he made the choice to snap Kirrt’s neck.
It was a devastating moment to see a Corpsman murder another, but it also seemed to be the only way to protect Oa’s defences. Stewart made the hard choice and didn’t shy away from the consequences. After he escaped, he personally took Kirrt’s body back to his family, and allowed himself to be put on trial for the murder. Tough decision but he stood by it.
6. AMON SUR
Amon Sur was the son of Abin Sur, the Green Lantern who gave Hal Jordan his ring to join the Corps. Amon was bitter about the loss of his father, and fought against the Lanterns both on his own and as a member of the Sinestro Corps. He didn’t fare too well during the war, running away when he found out the Green Lantern Corps could use lethal force.
After the Sinestro Corps War, some Green Lanterns found Amon Sur on the planet Varva, where he had murdered the family of a dead Lantern. When they captured him, Amon said that he expected other Yellow Lanterns to find and murder the families of fallen Lanterns because of what he did. In a rage, the Green Lantern Laira killed Amon Sur.
In 2011, the Green Lantern Corps faced one of its deadliest enemies in Krona, a being from the race that would eventually become the Guardians of the Universe. In the history of the Guardians, the name Krona lived in infamy. He dared to break the taboo against looking at the beginning of time, which caused the shattering of reality into the multiverse.
Krona returned in the War of the Green Lanterns to take control of the Green Lantern Corps. He eventually went on to possess all the entities of the emotional spectrum, becoming almost unstoppable. In Green Lantern #67 (Geoff Johns, Doug Mahnke), Hal Jordan and Sinestro teamed up to stop Krona with a final battle. With a blast of energy, Hal Jordan killed him, ending the war and freeing the Corps.
In the 1989 event Cosmic Odyssey, the Justice League was recruited by Darkseid to stop the Anti-Life Equation, which threatened to destroy the universe. In Cosmic Odyssey #2 (Mike Mignola, Jim Starlin), John Stewart and Martian Manhunter went to the planet Xanshi. Abandoning his partner, Stewart charged in to stop the Anti-Life Entity, only to find a Blink Bomb at the planet’s core that he couldn’t affect because it was yellow. The bomb exploded, sending it and all the natives of Xanshi into the sun.
It was an accident caused by Stewart’s overconfidence, but he still blamed himself for the destruction, and almost committed suicide because of his grief. Not only that, one of the planet’s survivors blamed him for the bomb as well, and became his enemy Fatality, dedicated to killing Green Lanterns.
In case it hasn’t been clear yet, here’s more proof that John Stewart is one of the most hardcore Green Lanterns ever. In 2011’s Green Lantern Corps #60 (Tony Bedard, Tyler Kirkham), the Green Lantern Corps was turned against itself by Krona, and one of the most devastating traitors was the sentient planet Mogo. Mogo was in charge of creating new rings and guiding them to new owners, so during the War of the Green Lanterns, Mogo was bringing in new Green Lanterns under Krona’s control and had to be stopped.
Kyle Rayner and John Stewart went to the core of Mogo wearing Blue and Indigo rings, but couldn’t reach him because of Black Lantern energy Mogo had absorbed. John Stewart used his Indigo ring to draw the Black Lantern energy into himself and used it to create a bullet capable of killing even Mogo. It was a devastating loss for the Corps, as Mogo was one of the most powerful and loved of the Green Lanterns.
2. SINESTRO (ONCE AGAIN)
The third death of Sinestro took place at the start of the 2013 “Wrath of the First Lantern” storyline, where the Green Lantern Corps fought Volthoom, the one who discovered the Emotional Spectrum and became the first Lantern. Volthoom was imprisoned by the Guardians of the Universe for millions of years, and wasn’t too happy when he escaped.
In Green Lantern #18 (Geoff Johns, Szymon Kudranski, Ardian Syaf), Simon Baz was a new recruit for the Green Lantern Corps. Baz was pulled into the Black Hand’s Dead Zone where Sinestro and Hal were trapped along with other souls of the dead. Sinestro attacked Simon trying to get his ring, and Baz couldn’t use it against Sinestro. That’s why Baz shot and killed Sinestro. Once again, Sinestro was brought back to life, this time because he was already dead.
1. EMERALD TWILIGHT
Now we’re getting back to “Emerald Twilight,” one of the worst killing sprees of any active Green Lantern. Hal Jordan was devastated when his home Coast City was destroyed, and the desire to bring the city back to life turned into an obsession. When the Guardians denied him, he flew to Oa to drain the central power battery. The Guardians sent the Green Lantern Corps to stop him, and in Green Lantern #49 (Ronz Marz, Fred Haynes) Jordan smashed his way through them, taking their rings to become more powerful along the way.
When Jordan reached the power battery and drained its energy to become the villain Parallax, his fellow Lanterns were left powerless in space for dead. He was eventually redeemed when it was discovered he was possessed by the fear entity Parallax, but the massacre has remained a stain on his legacy.
What’s the worst murder of the Green Lantern Corps? Let us know in the comments!