WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Warner Bros.’ Justice League, in theaters now.
When the roster was revealed for director Zack Snyder’s Justice League, two key heroes were noticeably missing. Traditionally, DC Comics’ premier team was founded by Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and The Flash — all present in the Warner Bros. ensemble film. However, Martian Manhunter was replaced by Cyborg in the publisher’s 2011 relaunch the New 52, leaving the Green Lantern of Earth, Hal Jordan, as the missing seventh member.
An early slogan, “Unite the Seven,” left fans to wonder whether, at some point, Jordan (or any Green Lantern, for that matter) would show up to fill out the League’s founding lineup. But despite Steppenwolf’s “No Lanterns” line in trailers, which made plenty of ears perk up, the film doesn’t fully introduce the Green Lantern Corps in the DC Extended Universe. It does, however, depict a couple of identified members of that intergalactic police force taking a stand against the forces of Apokolips. While they’re only brief cameos, their presence, and the scene in which they’re placed, provide context for how and why we should expect to see the arrival of Earth-affiliated Green Lanterns soon.
In his quest for the Mother Boxes, Steppenwolf attacks Themyscira and takes one of the Apokolipitan “living computers,” which leads Queen Hippolyta to send word to Wonder Woman of an impending invasion. As Diana explains to Batman the history of the Mother Boxes and why Steppenwolf wants them, we see in flashback the full ambition of the armies of Apokolips. Steppenwolf wants the three devices to terraform Earth and drive the Unity process, enslaving the planet and turning its people into Parademons.
However, he’s met by an alliance consisting of Amazons, Atlanteans, humans and, last but not least, the aforementioned Green Lantern duo. The first one, whom we can barely see, creates a fist construct and swats away a horde of Parademons, while the second, very much alien in appearance, ends up falling to Steppenwolf’s ax. Its ring, as is Lantern protocol, then flies off to find its next worthy bearer, whom the audience never sees.
Now, considering that battle took place 5,000 years ago, it’s unlikely the ring went to, say, Hal Jordan, or even other humans like Kyle Rayner, John Stewart or Guy Gardner, all of whom are modern-day Green Lanterns. However, one bearer who would be a perfect recipient and align with the comics is Abin Sur, the alien who trained the notorious Green Lantern traitor, Sinestro, before crashing on Earth and passing his ring to Hal.
If it did indeed go to Abin Sur, then this would give him ample time to learn from the ring about the history of the galaxy, including what transpired on Earth. Sur, inspired by the resistance against Steppenwolf, particularly the humans who weren’t gods or even superpowered, could hold the planet in high regard and view it as a prime location to seek out his replacement when the time comes — because he knows that humans, in the face of adversity, have heart, and can be as fearless as a Lantern should be.
The safety of the universe with the likes of Steppenwolf lurking could also be what the fleeing ring transmits back to the Corps, kickstarting their own inquest into Darkseid’s galactic tyranny and the New Gods in general. The rumored Green Lantern Corps movie suggests a possible rebuilding of the Corps, so the DCEU can shape the the older Green Lanterns as investigators of Darkseid’s forces, which ultimately ends up rendering them near extinction.
If Abin Sur is indeed one of thecasualties in this fight against Darkseid, or whether he’s just one of the final Lanterns in existence looking into the spectrum of emotions and potential threats such as Atrocitus or the Blackest Night prophecy in order to preserve his police force, what’s for sure is that all fingers point to Earth as a place where brave warriors are always ready to stand up in the face of near insurmountable odds. As Snyder’s film dictates, whether it’s humans or other godlike beings, there are several worthy candidates, not just on Earth, but across the galaxy, ready to be inducted into the Corps in the DCEU.
The Green Lantern Corps movie is targeted for release in 2020. In theaters now, director Zack Snyder’s Justice League stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jason Mamoa as Aquaman, Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, J.K Simmons as Commissioner Gordon and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor.
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