The Green Lanterns are typically said to wield the most powerful weapon in the world. This is a ring that can create a "hard light" construct of anything the user thinks, from any form of weapon or armor to the most mundane or weirdest errant With only the wielder’s imagination to hold it back, the power of a Green Lantern power ring is theoretically limitless. In the comics we have seen Green Lanterns use their rings to create force fields, missiles, guns, aircrafts, boxing gloves, and even entire cities. One capability that often gets overlooked, however, is the ring’s ability to generate a Green Lantern’s costume.
Over the years we have seen that many members of the Green Lantern Corps have adopted their own version of the standard uniform. Hal Jordan wears the traditional suit, John Stewart has the green and black jumpsuit, Guy Gardner wears his trademark jacket, and Kyle Rayner has changed his look multiple times. It seems that there is no required uniform anymore, because everyone has their own unique spin on what used to be considered standard. Some of these costume changes have turned out great, while others have looked horrible. Here are the 10 greatest Green Lantern uniforms and 10 others that were total duds.
20 GREATEST: EMERALD KNIGHTS ABIN SUR
Abin Sur was the Green Lantern who used his dying breath to gift his power ring to Hal Jordan. Since he’s usually only been seen in flashbacks, he never had the chance to play around with his uniform. All that changes in the 2011 Green Lantern: Emerald Knights animated film.
From the beginning, the Green Lantern Corps wears some pretty cool costumes, but Abin Sur’s stands out.
The film gives the standard Green Lantern costume an overhaul that makes it look somewhere between a superhero costume and an alien battle suit. Out of all of them, though, it is Abin Sur’s costume that stands out most of all. Where others begin to take on the appearance of armor, the art team incorporates minute details that allow his to stand apart and take on new life. He doesn’t wear the standard uniform set, and it looks great.
19 DUD: KYLE RAYNER
Sorry Kyle Rayner fans, but the black, white, and green costume that Kyle Rayner has worn on and off for years is actually incredibly ugly; or at very least, it has become very dated. Considering it was created in the ‘90s, during a time where different for the sake of being different was all the rage, it does a nice job of looking nothing like a Green Lantern costume. It’s why DC has tried so many times to find him a new uniform over the years.
The green boots, gauntlets, and mask all look overwrought in an attempt to appease the extreme armor looks that were popular at the time, but aren’t what anyone would call timeless. Recent attempts to dust off the costume in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps have especially shown off how much of a throwback it really is. No matter who tries to make it look good, it just looks completely out of place, especially with the classic looks standing as a contrasting backdrop.
18 GREATEST: PARALLAX HAL JORDAN
On the completely opposite end of the ‘90s spectrum of excess was Hal Jordan’s turn as the villainous Parallax. The preeminent Green Lantern went from his heroic jumpsuit to this monstrosity, making it very clear from the beginning how evil he had become.
No matter how long this costume has been out of use, when it shows up in a Green Lantern comic, you know it’s serious.
It’s so over the top with armor, shoulder pads, and a cape that it actually kind of works in a dorky comic book way. The subtle outline of white and the difference in textures actually helps stylize the armor in such a way that would normally feel like too much. It’s too bad that more hasn’t been done with this design on a regular basis, but maybe its scarcity is why it’s still so effective.
17 DUD: INJUSTICE HAL JORDAN
Alternate universe apocalypse scenarios usually produce some pretty cool outfits for popular characters. Imagine some of the cool looks to come out of "Age of Apocalypse" and other storylines like that. Unfortunately, Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern costume doesn’t really measure up. In Injustice: Gods Among Us, there are two different Hal Jordans. One is the super cool Yellow Lantern, and the other looks pretty lame in his green suit.
For some reason, the makers of the game decided Hal’s Green Lantern uniform needed a lot of random lines and lights. Considering that this version of Hal is supposed to come from the main universe, it’s clear they tried to give him a more standard look. Perhaps a comic book rendering of this costume could have made it look workable, but the animation doesn’t really help here. The design is simultaneously a little too busy and incredibly dull.
16 GREATEST: GREEN AND RED GUY GARDNER
There was a weird time in Green Lantern comics where the entire Corps was somehow sent back in time to the end of the previous universe before this one existed. After two six-issue miniseries, the entire idea was basically ignored, but it did introduce us to the idea of Guy Gardner wielding Green Lantern and Red Lantern power rings at the same time, and it was awesome.
Given the combination of colors, it’s easy to dismiss the silliness of Guy Gardner, Christmas Lantern, as John Stewart calls him.
However, even despite this, it’s a pretty fun design that modernizes Guy’s traditional jacket look while also mixing and matching with his typical color scheme. The whole outfit is incredibly short lived with Guy losing the Red Lantern ring before too long, but it was a cool little moment.
15 DUD: RENEGADE HAL JORDAN
One interesting concept that DC decided to roll with at the end of the New 52 was the idea of Hal Jordan going rogue from the Green Lantern Corps. He ditched his ring and replaced it with Krona’s old energy gauntlet and started living out of a spaceship. The unfortunate part is that he was also given a new costume that looked like a cross between Green Lantern and a vagrant.
In order to sell the whole renegade angle, Hal grew out his hair, put on a raincoat, and just looked far more dirty than ever before. Underneath the suit, he also wore a white and green jumpsuit, which just doesn’t really work when it comes to Green Lantern. The storyline was divisive for fans (at best), and it was quickly dropped. Apparently not one wants to read about a Hal Jordan that looks like he smells through the page.
14 GREATEST: SIMON BAZ
DC Comics made waves when Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke introduced a new muslim Green Lantern in 2012 by the name of Simon Baz. Much was said about the character’s origins and the decision to make him a suspected terrorist.
People even had a problem with him walking around with a gun, but it needs to be said that Simon may have one of the best Green Lantern costumes around.
First of all, he’s a little different from his Earth counterparts because he wears a full mask. The color patterns of the green and black help this costume look like a fantastically fun superhero costume when everyone else in the Corps is wearing a uniform. The short sleeves and gloves also make him look a bit like a motorcyclist, but it actually works in a strange superhero-y way.
13 DUD: KYLE RAYNER ION
Kyle Rayner has probably gone through more transformations than any other Green Lantern, but the costumes he usually finds himself in are just not very good. Take the time he transformed into Ion for the first time, it’s far from a classic look, and many fans described it as downright ugly. Creators always look for a way to differentiate Kyle Rayner from the ordinary Green Lanterns, but that's not always a good thing.
The first iteration of the Ion suit was a white and green bodysuit that cleverly stylized itself in such a way that it had an “i” on it, just so you knew he went by Ion now. Forget the fact it basically rejected everything to do with the Green Lantern Corps, it looked like a superhero outfit that was more fitting for the Image Universe. He has the powers of a god, but there’s no way anyone took him seriously looking like that.
12 GREATEST: YOUNG JUSTICE GUY GARDNER
The Young Justice animated series introduced quite a few interesting redesigns of familiar comic book characters. One of those redesigns turns Guys Gardner into a tank top-wearing ringslinger who looks ready for a fight. It may seem weird at first, but the green and black body makes for some good contrast with his bare arms. The gloves only making him look better.
That being said, it is a design that probably only works well in the cartoons. After all, it would be pretty weird to see a live action Guy Gardner hanging out with his arms showing, especially when he’s probably working up quite a sweat in his duties as a Green Lantern. Less usually means more, but the context also matters. This is still a pretty cool take on Guy Gardner, even if it is one without his trademark jacket.
11 DUD: GREEN LANTERN ANIMATED SERIES KILOWOG
Despite the series being considered a commercial failure, Green Lantern: The Animated Series was actually a very creative show for the single season it was on the air. However, one drawback of the blocky animation was that it resulted in a pretty forgettable render for Kilowog and his Green Lantern costume.
What was supposed to look like armor made him look like a ham in a tin can.
Kilowog is a big dude, but it helps that he typically wears the standard issue Green Lantern costume. In the show, the creators decided to make him fat with stranger proportions than usual. On top of that, they stuck him in an armored costume with shoulder pads and random plates. As a result, he looked like he couldn’t even fit into his own uniform. This was the character’s most prominent role outside the comics, and it was a disappointing visual for many of his fans.
10 GREATEST: INJUSTICE 2 JOHN STEWART
After the disappointing costumes the Green Lanterns wore in the first Injustice game, the creators decided to give them a makeover for the sequel. As a result, both Hal and John received far more impressive costumes that looked familiar and still fit in with the Injustice universe. As far as detailed designs go, though, the costume for John Stewart was just a little cooler than Hal’s.
In Injustice 2, Hal’s costume looks like technologically advanced armor, but John’s still gives off a sense of wonder, where this is a uniform created from his mind. It takes on a vaguely military style that fits perfectly with his background, but also still feels very alien at the same time. The lights in the gauntlets and boots help give him some flare in order to help him stand out.
9 DUD: JESSICA CRUZ POWER RING
After introducing five different Earth-based Green Lantern dudes, DC Comics finally allowed a woman to get a ring, and a woman of color at that! Jessica Cruz showed up in 2014, but before she joined the Corps, she had to deal with a very different ring. As the host to the villainous Power Ring, Jessica was first an enemy of the Justice League before becoming a hero, but her costume was not as popular as the character.
As part of her origin story, all of Jessica’s friends were wiped out during a hunting trip. For some reason, that means the evil ring made her look like she was going hunting. There might be a good costume buried in there somewhere, but there are so many busy designs going on that it’s hard to tell. One thing is for sure, it’s a good thing she ditched that little hunting vest thing.
8 GREATEST: GOD OF LIGHT HAL JORDAN
During the events of “Darkseid War,” Darkseid’s death triggers a massive change in the alignment of the universe. With no God of Evil, the superheroes of the Justice League move in to fill various roles in the pantheon of New Gods.
Green Lantern Hal Jordan becomes the new God of Light, which was a role previously filled by Lightray.
In this new form, Hal’s traditional Green Lantern costume is combined with the garb of Lightray to create a brand new look. The costume adds various shades of green with some Kirby-esque features to create an impressively sleek design. Hal uses his new powers to defeat an invasion of Parademons and even resurrect the entire Green Lantern Corps. It’s too bad this costume couldn’t get some more time before Hal reverted back to his human form.
7 DUD: EARTH-MAN
Everything about Earth-Man seems questionable when looking back. He was an obscure Legion reject who took on the identity of Earth-Man and introduced an anti-alien agenda to the 31st Century. After Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes stopped him, he eventually managed to get his hands on the last working Green Lantern ring in the universe, but it didn’t look great.
Not only was a white supremacist now a member of the Legion, he also commanded the power of a Green Lantern ring. His white and blue jumpsuit became white and green, but it didn’t look much like the costume of a proper Green Lantern. It probably didn’t help that he had a zipper going from his neck down to his crotch. After DC somehow managed to redeem a fascist, he sacrificed himself in the line of duty.
6 GREATEST: NEW 52 SINESTRO
Everyone knows that Sinestro used to be the greatest Green Lantern of them all before it was discovered he was using his ring to enslave his people. Stripped of his ring that ran on willpower, Sinestro eventually found a yellow ring that was powered by fear. He gained a black and blue costume and became one of Hal Jordan’s greatest enemies, until they became allies.
Sinestro had one of the best costumes in the GLC, and you probably didn’t even notice it.
In the New 52, Sinestro was somehow awarded the use of a Green Lantern power ring once again. He used the power of the ring to give himself one of the best costumes out of anyone in the GLC, and you probably didn’t even notice it. Similar to his villainous suit, this costume’s coloring extends down his torso where it expands out into shorts. It looks great on him.
5 DUD: HYBRID LANTERN KYLE RAYNER
During Kyle Rayner’s journey to become the next White Lantern, he goes through several costume mishaps. After mastering all the colors of the Emotional Spectrum, he attempts to bring them all together in order to form a white power ring. Unfortunately, the first attempt didn’t go over too well and he created an incredibly volatile (and worse, forgettable) form before finally ascending.
The hybrid lantern form came into being when a ring from every color Corps chose Kyle Rayner to be a member of their faction. With seven different rings vying for control at once, he took on an ugly gray costume that looked more villain than hero. The costume was also overloaded with the symbols of all seven Lantern Corps, despite the fact there wasn’t enough room for them all. Thankfully it didn’t last more than a few pages.
4 GREATEST: DCAU JOHN STEWART
Believe it or not, John Stewart has worn many different Green Lantern costumes over the years. He has worn white gloves, he has worn no gloves, he has used the traditional green and black costume, and he has worn mostly black. It took awhile before he settled into the look we all recognize today, but Justice League from the DC Animated Universe helped to popularize John’s most memorable costume.
If John Stewart ever gets the live action treatment, this will be an easy costume to bring to life.
His green and black uniform is a great minimalistic design that differs from a lot of other superhero costumes that try to be a bit more grandiose. Justice League helped to make John’s costume truly iconic, and it’s why you likely won’t see him wearing anything different any time soon.
3 DUD: GUY GARDNER JLA PILOT
In 1997, CBS produced an unsuccessful pilot for a Justice League of America live-action television show. It would have been a team made out of the Martian Manhunter, the Atom, the Flash, Fire, Ice, and Green Lantern Guy Gardner. Have you seen the costumes for this thing? They are incredibly bad, and Matthew Settle, who played Gardner, looked especially bad.
The most obvious problem with his costume was that they didn’t even use the right kind of green. Considering the show already had two green-colored heroes, the creators decided a nice teal would make sense. Worst of all is that everything seems to be made of shiny leather, and even though he has the trademark jacket, it doesn’t look anything close to actual clothing. It’s a good thing this got dropped quickly.
2 GREATEST: OMEGA LANTERN KYLE RAYNER
One of Kyle Rayner’s greatest looks was created as a disguise after the Green Lantern Corps disappeared and he was seemingly executed by the Omega Men. He eventually joined their cause as the Omega Lantern, a name he used to fundamentally change how Green Lanterns appear to the universe at large, and it was an amazing change for him.
It beautifully reflected his dark inversion from the time he was the White Lantern.
As the Omega Lantern, Kyle began to wear a slick black costume stylized with glowing segments of light in the arms and legs. It beautifully reflected his dark inversion from the time he was the White Lantern to when he aligned himself with brutal freedom fighters. The costume took on a subtle militarized look, but it also glowed like something out of Tron, so it worked really well together.
1 DUD: RYAN REYNOLD’S MOVIE COSTUME
Nothing is worse than the Green Lantern costume Warner Bros. had Ryan Reynolds “wear” in the 2011 Green Lantern film. For some reason the moviemakers decided an all-CGI costume would look good, and since it was made out of light, you almost get a sense that they intentionally made it look bad. In the end, the whole thing looked incredibly hokey, which only made the film itself that much worse.
One major design failure was the decision to make the Green Lantern suit look more organic than it ever has been before. The sickly bright colors with the muscular striations does not mesh well together to make something that would actually look “cool” to wear in the first place. It all felt very generic and uninspired with a simple symbol thrown on to make sure you know who Reynolds was supposed to be.