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DC May Have Just Renamed the Green Lantern Corps

Green Lantern Corps Liam Sharp

Warning: This article contains minor spoilers for The Green Lantern #3 by Grant Morrison, Liam Sharp, Steve Oliff and Tom Orzechowski, on sale now.

The Green Lantern Corps is one of the most powerful forces in the DC Universe. With a legion of members who possess rings that can create anything imaginable, the Green Lanterns' light is known in every corner of DC's cosmos.

Even though they're one of DC's most famous hero groups, the publisher may have just given the Green Lantern Corps a new name in The Green Lantern #3.

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In this issue, Hal Jordan, Earth's primary Green Lantern, and the other Green Lanterns track down Volgar Zo, an alien slave trader who was trying to sell the Earth to the highest bidder.

After a seemingly benevolent cosmic being called the Shepherd buys the planet, Jordan identifies himself as an officer of the Green Lantern Intergalactic Police Patrol instead of the Green Lantern Corps.

Given the context of his comments, it's not clear whether the GLIPP is the GLC's new, official name or simply a new division within the traditional GLC. Either way, the GLIPP reasserts the Green Lanterns' central mission and larger role in the DC Universe.

In theory, the Green Lanterns are essentially supposed to be space police. That's why most Green Lanterns have a specific space sector that they're supposed to patrol. But for the past decade or so, it's been easy to lose sight of the GLC's central mission.

Instead of serving as an intergalactic police force, the GLC has been more of a paramilitary force in massive cosmic wars with other organizations or powerful cosmic villains. While stories like the "Sinestro Corps War" propelled Green Lantern to new heights of popularity and critical acclaim, Hal Jordan and the other Green Lanterns have been portrayed more as heroic soldiers and generals instead of investigators and beat cops.

Even though protecting the universe is ostensibly part of the Green Lanterns' overall mission, Grant Morrison has openly discussed moving away from grand universe-shaking epics and getting Hal Jordan back to his roots as a "space cop" during his time writing The Green Lantern.

RELATED: Green Lantern Just Introduced DC's Most Powerful New Cosmic Threat

In addition to identifying himself as a policeman to a suspect, Hal acts like an officer of the law in several other ways in this issue. Hal and his fellow Lanterns wait to apprehend Volgar and his associates until after they make an illegal sale so they can be caught "red-handed."

Hal talks about jurisdiction and cites specific statutes of space law when he arrests the Shepherd, who's actually a planet-eating monster in disguise. When the people of Earth start defending the Shepherd, Hal even arrests Earth's entire population until the mind-controlling effects of the Gamma Gong wear off.

Given the value of the Green Lantern Corps as a multimedia brand and a signature part of the DC Universe, that marketable name probably isn't going anywhere any time soon. Whether the Green Lantern Intergalactic Police Patrol is a rebranding or just a smaller part of the larger GLC, it still serves as a reminder of The Green Lantern's central thesis and overall mission.

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