Green Lanterns has been an excellent buddy-cop book since its inception, but recent arcs have taken Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz cosmic, featuring trips into outer space and flashbacks to the very first people to wield Green Lantern rings. The recently released extra-sized Green Lanterns #25, by Sam Humphries, Robson Rocha, Daniel Henriques, Alex Sollazzo and Dave Sharpe, again dove into the cosmic history of the Green Lantern Corps in a way that’s bringing back the expansive cosmic worlds of the DC Universe in a way no other title is doing.
The current story revolves around Volthoom, The First Lantern, and his quest to get back to his home universe. In the previous issue, he discovered that his Travel Lantern was used by the Guardians of the Universe to create the first seven Green Lantern rings, and if he could just track their lineage, he could use one of these original seven rings to return to his home universe. The past couple of issue issues also introduced us to the first Green Lanterns, Alitha of the Third World and the White Martian known as Z’Kran Z’Rann who first wielded Green Lantern rings ten billion years ago.
This week’s issue delves into the DC Universe of ten billion years ago even more, introducing us to the third and fourth Green Lanterns, and like Alitha, they have connections to the larger DC Universe and heroes of the present day. The first hero we meet is a tiger-man by the name of Tyran’r whom we actually meet in the present day before seeing his origin ten billion years earlier, and curiously he recognises Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz as old friends, even though they somehow are unable to remember even meeting a hulking tiger man with a giant sword much less befriending him.
Ten billion years ago, Tyran’r The Mighty was brought before the Wizard King of Tamaran who destroyed his mighty sword, but Tyran’r got revenge by breaking free and slaughtering the court before being visited by the third Green Lantern ring. Tyran’r, being from Tamaran, has a connection to Starfire of the Teen Titans, and as Sam Humphries explained in an interview with CBR earlier this week, he represents the earliest days of Tamaran’s warrior culture that predates the sci-fi utopia of Marv Wolfman and George Perez’s vision of the planet in New Teen Titans.
Also, while not confirmed in the comic itself, Tyran’r and the early Tamaranians have more than a passing resemblance to another race of DC aliens, the Karnans. The most famous Karnan is Tigorr of The Omega Men, and it wouldn’t be too surprising if at some point in the last ten billion years evolution splintered to give us the modern day Tamaranians and Karnans that we know in the present.
The third original Green Lantern introduced is from the planet Yod-Colu, which Superman fans will immediately recognize as the homeworld of The Collector of Worlds, Brainiac. Unlike Alitha or Tyran’r The Mighty, Kaja Dox is not a great warrior of her people but is instead a computer repair person living with her girlfriend and struggling with an overbearing mother. Nevertheless, she is found to have the ability to overcome great fear and is also visited by a Green Lantern ring. The real interesting thing about Kaja is her surname, which she shares with Brainiac himself, as well as his son Vril Dox II AKA Brainiac 2, and Brainiac 5 of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Querl Dox.
With three more original Green Lanterns yet to be introduced, there are plenty of potential connections to the DC Universe which may be explored within the ten billion years ago timeline. But this isn’t the only way in which Green Lanterns is opening up the scope of DC’s cosmic storytelling; Volthoom’s ultimate goal involves returning to his home universe of Earth-15 and saving it from the cosmic disaster that was facing it when he first left ten billion years ago.
Here’s how Grant Morrison’s The Multiversity Guidebook describes Earth-15:
“The so-called Perfect Universe was destroyed during a rampage by the deranged and so-called Superboy-Prime of Earth-33, during which billions of fictional lives were lost and the delicate structure of spacetime itself was irreparably damanged.
A solitary, immensely powerful fragment of this universe — known as the Cosmic Grail — is said to remain, hidden somewhere among the many worlds of the multiverse”
Earth-15 was destroyed by Superboy-Prime in Countdown to Final Crisis #24, and the reference to this event in The Multiversity Guidebook suggests that is still the case, post-Flashpoint. DC’s continuity is in a great state of flux right now, and while it was originally said that the Crisis on Infinite Earths and Infinite Crisis events didn’t happen, the reveal of the Multiversal Tuning Fork in Dark Days: The Forge #1 suggests otherwise. This would mean Superboy-Prime’s character arc still took place — and he still went on to destroy Volthoom’s homeworld.
The image accompanying the Earth-15 entry in The Multiversity Guidebook is that of a Green Lantern Power Battery, which is likely the “Cosmic Grail” mentioned in the text. Whether this has anything to do with Volthoom or his Travel Lantern remains to be seen, but it’s likely Humphries has larger plans for the Perfect Universe and Volthoom’s quest to return there. It doesn’t look like they’ll be taking place in the upcoming arc, though, which is sending Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz back in time ten billion years to the earliest days of the Green Lantern Corps to work alongside the original Lanterns.
In our interview with Humphries, he confirmed that Jessica and Simon — who is without a power ring — will be working with the original Lanterns to stop the original threat of Volthoom ten billion years ago. This explains how Tyran’r remembers Baz and Cruz as old friends and will likely continue to expand the history of the DC Universe in new and exciting ways before returning the pair to the present to deal with the modern day threat of Volthoom and his quest to return home to a world that no longer exists.
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