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Legion Of Super-Heroes: What's The Future Of The Green Lantern Corps?

Future Green Lanterns

In the star-spanning future of DC Comics' Legion of Super-Heroes, many familiar extraterrestrial worlds and beings live, work and occasionally fight together. Naturally, readers might expect to see the intergalactic Green Lantern Corps represented, or at least referenced. Nevertheless, it's still been surprising whenever any Green Lanterns have shown up a thousand years from now.

In recent years, though, that's changed. Indeed, since Brian Michael Bendis and Ryan Sook's upcoming Legion reboot will include a "Gold Lantern," we're looking at the legacy of the Green Lantern Corps in the Legion's 31st Century.

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Vidar and Son

Always read the footnotes
Green Lanterns vs. Legionnaires, from Legion of Super-Heroes #295

Three Green Lanterns figure most prominently in Legion lore: Vidar, infamous as the supervillain Universo; his son Rond Vidar; and the Daxamite Sodam Yat.

Universo first appeared in October 1966's Adventure Comics #349. Created by Jim Shooter and Curt Swan, he was a super-hypnotist who sought to control the Inner Council of the United Planets. However, he was the Green Lantern of space sector 2814 before that, apparently unbeknownst to the Legionnaires.

Early in the Legion's existence, Vidar was one of three Lanterns assigned to stop a group of Legionnaires from traveling backwards in time. As revealed in January 1983's Legion of Super-Heroes #295, by Paul Levitz, Keith Giffen and Howard Bender, the Guardians of the Universe hadn't stationed a Lantern on Earth since the days of Hal Jordan and the modern age's other familiar Lanterns. The Guardians preferred instead to focus on "worlds which [didn't have] the resources to ensure their own survival," unlike the members of the United Planets.

On this occasion, though, the Guardians sought to prevent Earth's Time Institute from investigating the beginnings of the universe, because they knew what malevolent forces such pursuits could unleash. This, of course, referred to Krona's experiments depicted in October 1965's Green Lantern #40, which later laid the foundation for 1985's Crisis On Infinite Earths.

It's not you, it's us
The Guardians and the Legion say goodbye, from Legion of Super-Heroes #295

Regardless, this made Vidar curious about what the Guardians were hiding, so he tried to duplicate Krona's experiment and was thwarted by the Legionnaires. Because this made him the first renegade GL in about a thousand years, the Guardians stripped him of his ring in order to give it to someone more suitable. Acknowledging the Legion's potential for good, the Guardians agreed to let the Time Institute operate with one big restriction, but Earth's government didn't like the Guardians' "unreasonable and destructive" interference and banned all Green Lanterns from the planet.

Thus, when the Guardians went ahead and gave Vidar's power ring to his son Rond, a scientist at the Time Institute who was also introduced in Adventure Comics #349, they required him to work in secret. Rond Vidar wasn't revealed as a Green Lantern until September 1988's Legion of Super-Heroes #50, during a battle with the Time Trapper. He then left Earth in the next issue.

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Green knights not shown
Rond Vidar fights Mordru, from Legion of 3 Worlds #2

There's not much on Rond's GL career in the texts, except the notation that he fought Khunds alongside Laurel Gand during the dark times before the "Five Years Later" era began. For that matter, it's not quite clear what happened to the Guardians and the GL Corps after Legion of Super-Heroes #295's flashbacks. In the "Five Years Later" timeline (which apparently never came to pass for this particular version of the Legion), the Guardians and Corps were no more, and private investigator Celeste Rockfish was empowered by green Oan energy. Regardless, Rond eventually operated as a GL on his own, not unlike Kyle Rayner early in his GL career.

Ultimately, in November 2008's Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #2, Rond sacrificed himself to save his Legionnaire colleagues as they rescued the White Witch from Mordru's dungeon. Rond's ring returned to the GL Corps homeworld of Oa, where the self-styled "Last Guardian" Sodam Yat had gone into exile.

Sodam Yat Wants You

ROCK
Sodam Yat's very metal return, from Legion of 3 Worlds #3

Sodam Yat was first mentioned in the seminal "Tales of the Green Lantern Corps" story "Tygers," a tale of a hellish future written by Alan Moore and drawn by Kevin O'Neill for 1986's Green Lantern Corps Annual #2. He joined the Green Lantern Corps in the present day in July 2007's Green Lantern Corps #12, written by Peter Tomasi and penciled by Patrick Gleason. As a Daxamite, Yat combined the might of a green power ring with an array of Kryptonian-style super-powers, making him the ultimate GL. However, by the 31st Century, Yat had gotten frustrated and burned out, and the GL Corps was no more. The events of Legion of 3 Worlds changed his mind, though; and with the Central Power Battery re-lit, Yat began recruiting new Green Lanterns.

One of those was a Legionnaire, Kirt "Earth-Man" Niedrigh, who was formerly known as Absorbency Boy. Cary Bates and Mike Grell created Kirt for July 1976's Superboy #218, and Geoff Johns and Gary Frank revamped him as Earth-Man starting with January 2008's Action Comics #859. An Oan creature called Dyogene gave Niedrigh a power ring in July 2010's Legion of Super-Heroes #1, but he gave it back in September 2010's Legion of Super-Heroes #3.

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What could go wrong?
Earth-Man as a Green Lantern, from Legion of Super-Heroes #3 (2010)

That didn't sit well with Sodam Yat, who explained(in issue #4 that "[t]he Corps is fated to be reborn on Earth, among humanity," and also that "find[ing] the one who will accept the burden" will prevent him from "fac[ing] the rest of eternity waiting to die."

This turned out to be Yat's fellow Daxamite Mon-El, who operated as a Green Lantern, having resigned from the Legion, from February 2011's Adventure Comics #521 until October 2011's LSH #16. Accordingly, it seems like Earthgov's Green Lantern ban has long since been lifted. The chief of the Science Police even told GL Mon-El that "Earth could use a Green Lantern again" in March 2011's Adventure Comics #522.

While there wasn't a lot of GL action in the Legion books after October 2011, clearly some form of Lantern is coming back to the 31st Century. Given the mix of power and politics the informs the Green Lantern Corps and Legion's relationship, this new Lantern should have an interesting relationship with his teenage colleagues.

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