Warning: This article contains spoilers for Batman Universe #5, by Brian Michael Bendis, Nick Derington, Dave Stewart, and Troy Peteri, on sale now.
For better or worse, Batman's got quite a history with Lantern rings. He's used them as a protector of Earth, a zombie-like being under the Black Hand and as a full-blown villain across every corner of the DC Universe and the DC Multiverse. While Batman holding such power is not exactly a new concept, it is always surprising to see Batman, who has no superpowers of his own, wielding a ring and becoming one of the most powerful beings in the entire multiverse.
As part of his ongoing battle against Vandal Savage, the Dark Knight just had a team-up in the Old West with Hal Jordan, Earth's most famous Green Lantern. And in Batman Universe #5, Batman gets even closer to a lantern when he starts wielding an ancient ring that encased him in white armor. Now, we're going to take a closer look at how this went down, along with some of the other times Batman used a Lantern ring.
In Batman Universe #5, Batman was mysteriously resurrected by a White Lantern ring after being killed by Vandal Savage. He gained incredible cosmic powers by wielding an ancient White Lantern ring and managed to dispose of Savage in quick fashion.
Despite it's apparent power, the White Lantern Ring is unstable and doesn't seem to be able to recognize friend from foe. As Batman states, he feels almost trapped in the armor before it lashes out against the Green Lantern Corps and transports him into a mysterious dimension.
The Darkest Knight
Of course, that wasn't the first time Batman wielded a White Lantern Ring. He also wore one in the wake of the Blackest Night crossover by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis. After disappearing in the timestream in Final Crisis, the supposedly-dead Batman's body was possessed by the Black Hand as he fought as one of the Black Lanterns.
After that zombie invasion was dealt with, Brightest Day brought new light and life back into the DC Universe. After Deadman was gifted a ring following the resurrection of many fallen heroes, he chose Batman to wear the ring. The Caped Crusader was able to wield it for a little bit of time, but Batman wasn't destined to be a White Lantern as the ring discharged from him soon after.
BATMAN GOES GREEN
While he hasn't worn the Green Lantern ring for a prolonged period of time, he's encountered it enough times to probably realize how to deal with it by now. In the Justice League storyline "Darkseid War", by Johns, Jason Fabok and Francis Manapul, Hal Jordan saved Batman from Metron's Morbius Chair by putting the green ring on him. In 2006's Green Lantern #9 by Johns and Ethan Van Sciver, Hal briefly let Batman wear his Green Lantern ring while confronting the trauma of losing his parents.
In the Elseworlds story, Batman: Darkest Knight by Mike W. Barr and Jerry Bingham, Bruce Wayne is chosen as a member of the Green Lantern Corps alongside Clark Kent, Diana Prince, and Barry Allen. In The Batman animated series, Batman wields a Green Lantern ring after taking a barely charged one from the Penguin. He fights Sinestro but has to give the ring back to Hal after it become completely depleted of power.
In the Green Lantern crossover, "Sinestro Corps War," by Johns, Dave Gibbons, Reis, Van Sciver and Patrick Gleason Batman is chosen by a Yellow Lantern ring after hundreds look for new hosts throughout the universe.
While he almost takes on the fear-based ring, Batman's previous interactions with the Green power ring give him enough willpower to reject it. However, Batman later wields a Yellow Lantern ring in Forever Evil, by Johns and David Finch, where he uses the object as a last-ditch effort to take down an evil version of the Green Lantern.
Bruce Wayne's Earth-32 equivalent, the Dawnbreaker of the Dark Multiverse, has a pretty messed up relationship with his ring. He was given a Green Lantern ring after watching his parents die. His anger corrupts the ring and instead of protecting the universe, Batman starts killing villains including Joe Chill and the Penguin. Eventually, he takes a more sinister turn and becomes the Dawnbreaker, who menaced the heroes of the DC Universe in Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's crossover Dark Nights: Metal.
Batman's latest interaction with a Lantern Ring probably won't be the last time we'll see Batman holding the enormous power, and he might put one on again sooner than you think. If a ring was the only way for Batman to fall into that mysterious dimension in Batman Universe, he might have to wear another one on his way out.