This week at Comic-Con International in San Diego, Warner Bros. dropped a hot new trailer for Justice League, DC's ensemble superhero film rolling into theaters November 17. In addition to some stellar scenes featuring Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman, who is coming to the film fresh off her own box office success, the sneak peek offers the first good look at Jason Momoa's Aquaman, Ezra Miller's Flash, and Ray Fischer as Cyborg. But the trailer also reveals a curious fact about the current state of the DC Extended Universe: Earth has no Green Lanterns.
In comics, of course, Earth is lousy with GLs. There's Hal Jordan, whom some believe is the greatest of them all. There's also John Stewart. And Guy Gardner. And Kyle Rayner, and Simon Baz, and Jessica Cruz. And Alan Scott, if you live on Earth 2. It's true that not all of them currently live on Earth -- John, Kyle, Hal and Guy are high-level commanders patrolling the stars -- but it's strange to think of a universe in which Earth isn't the thematic center of Sector 2814.
And yet that's precisely what the movie's main villain Steppenwolf, in a portentous voiceover, tells us. Earth is doomed because there are "no protectors here," "No Lanterns. No Kryptonian. This world will fall like all the others." The villain's brief line serves not only to establish the Green Lantern Corps' significance in the DCEU -- they are formidable enough to deter an Apokaliptian invasion -- but also to establish that Earth currently does not merit the Lanterns' light.
What we don't know is where we are in the timeline of Earth-based Green Lanterns. We know only that there isn't one now. Has Hal already taken up the emerald ring, or is that event still in the DCEU's future?
We know (for all but certain) that the DCEU will not incorporate 2011's Green Lantern film into its continuity; this was before Warner Bros. decided to take a "shared universe" approach to its DC Comics heroes, and anyway the movie was poorly received -- and its star, Ryan Reynolds, shows no indication he'd like to return to the role of Hal Jordan. But this doesn't mean that Hal's basic origin story hasn't taken place in some form. It's entirely possible that Hal is occupied elsewhere in Sector 2814 during the events of Justice League, or subduing the rogue Lantern Sinestro, or engaged in any number of interstellar shenanigans Jordan has been known to entertain throughout his long and storied career.