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Green Lantern's Lantern: How the Power Battery Lit DC's Blackest Nights

Green Lantern Power Battery

The Central Power Battery of Oa is a mainstay in Green Lantern comics, surviving retcons, universe reboots and even physical destruction. As the very thing that powers the Green Lantern Corps through its brightest days and blackest nights, it gives every ring-carrying member of the GLC the ability to weaponize their will and create a plethora of constructs.

As a touchstone for the cosmic side of the DC Universe, it's also been subject to the reality-reshaping shenanigans that have affected the universe. Now, we're taking a look back at its admittedly complex history of the Green Lantern Corps' Central Power Battery.

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HOW WAS THE POWER BATTERY CREATED?

Green Lantern Central Battery

Originally, the Central Power Battery was a giant Green Lantern powered by cosmic energy. Created by the Guardian (then known as the Philosophers of Oa), this object charged Green Lanterns' individual batteries, allowing them to carry out their duties.

However, writer Geoff Johns' Green Lantern and Green Lantern: Rebirth recontextualized much of the Green Lantern Corps lore, including the history of the Central Battery. This modernized origin revealed that the Guardians of the Universe fled their home planet, Maltus because one of their own had been performing dangerous forbidden experiments. Essentially, the battery was a repository for their collective powers, based on the Green Light of Will. When the Guardians moved to Oa, they created a group of cosmic law enforcement officers to ensure their fate would never befall anyone else.

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In the world of Green Lantern , fear is the antithesis of will and is represented the color yellow in the Emotional Spectrum. Parallax was the embodiment of fear and the only way the Guardians could subdue it was by trapping it inside the Central Power Battery. Although the threat was vanquished, the altercation was responsible for causing Green Lantern's infamous yellow impurity, which prevented constructs from functioning properly in the presence of the color yellow. Thus, when Parallax escaped from the battery, the rings' weakness against yellow also disappeared.

HOW HAL JORDAN DESTROYED THE GREEN LANTERNS

The Central Power Battery has been destroyed and rebuilt more than once, including one instance caused by the Krona forces. However, Hal Jordan who had the greatest impact on Green Lantern lore when he demolished the Central Power Battery.

In the famous Emerald Twilight storyline, a grief-stricken Hal Jordan is driven mad by the destruction of Coast City. Descending into villainy, Jordan takes on the name of Parallax and destroys the Central Power Battery, devastating the Green Lantern Corps. The Guardians focused all of their remaining power into Ganthet, rendering him the last of his kind.

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Green Lantern

Of course, Johns' Green Lantern: Rebirth retconned these events slightly, making it so Parallax was a parasitic entity who possessed Jordan rather than these acts being of his own free will. However, his actions tarnished the legacy of Green Lantern for quite some time, earning Hal the enmity of many of his former teammates. Through Final Night and Day of Judgment, Hal would seek redemption, sacrificing himself in order to save the Earth and later becoming the new Spectre.

After Jordan's fall in Emerald Twilight, Ganthet gave Kyle Rayner the only remaining Green Lantern power ring.

THE REBIRTH OF THE GREEN LANTERNS

Green Lantern Central Battery

For a long period of time, Kyle Rayner was the only Green Lantern, which gave the character some big shoes to fill.

During a confrontation with Nero, Kyle absorbs all the powers of the Green Lantern Corps, becoming the godlike entity, Ion. Rayner even assumes the identity of Ion as his own, ditching the Green Lantern alias and sporting a new costume to match. Ion's power allowed him to be in more than one place at a time, stretching himself to rescue people all over the world while still being able to have dinner with his girlfriend, Jade.

Both Jade and Superman expressed concern for Kyle and eventually, he chose humanity over godhood, expelling the Ion power from himself and channeling it into restoring the Green Lantern Corps. Rayner recreated the Guardians of the Universe on Oa, placing Ganthet in charge of teaching them humility. Additionally, he recharged the Central Power Battery that Hal had previously destroyed, earning Kyle the nickname "Torchbearer."

Geoff Johns' work on Green Lantern also expanded on the idea of the Ion entity, defining it as the embodiment of Willpower itself. It was revealed that when the Guardians trapped Parallax in the Central Power Battery eons ago, Ion was housed inside as well, quietly keeping the fear avatar at bay for all those years.

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