When Green Lantern debuted in the 1940s, there was only a single hero by that name: Alan Scott, who found a magical Green Lantern that he used to fight crime. Years later, when DC revamped the character in the late 1950s, Hal Jordan became the Green Lantern of Earth, who was just one of a whole Green Lantern Corps made up of aliens from different planets who policed different Sectors of the universe (Earth was in Sector 2814).
When a new generation of comic book writers took over in the late 1960s, those ideas (which have always been popular with fans) began to proliferate, like showing what Superman would have been like had he become a Green Lantern. Over the years, a number of alternate reality stories have revolved around what it would be like if Batman, Superman and other heroes ever became Green Lanterns. A popular trend in the online comic book art community, though, has been taking that idea further and showing what it would look like if some Marvel Comics superheroes became Green Lanterns. We collected 15 of our favorite examples of this trend!
Spider-Man has a unique distinction among the characters on this list because he has actually already been chosen by an alien presence that exists in the Marvel Universe called the “Uni-Power.” As part of the Enigma Force, it is designed to protect Eternity itself. The Uni-Power possesses people and turns them into Captain Universe. They are usually transformed for a specific purpose and then the Uni-Power moves to a new person.
Typically, it is just ordinary humans who are possessed, but Spider-Man was the first superhero to get the Uni-Power and become Captain Universe. This happened during the “Acts of Vengeance” storyline, where supervillains around the world swapped heroes to fight. Spider-Man beat up a whole lot of villains during that crossover, so we wonder what he would do with a slightly less powerful, but still amazing weapon. DeviantArt user johnbecaro lit up our imagination further by giving us this image!
One of the most ironic superheroes to be depicted as Green Lantern is Deadpool. This is because the actor who played Deadpool in the blockbuster 2016 Deadpool film, Ryan Reynolds, had previously played Green Lantern in the 2011 movie flop that had attempted to launch the DC Extended Universe. When it didn’t work out, Man of Steel became the start of the DC Extended Universe, instead.
Reynolds had a trouble history in superhero movies up until Deadpool finally turned everything around. He played an awful version of Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and had co-starred in the worst of the Blade movies (which seemed like a failed attempt at spinning off the Nightstalkers into their own film). Deadpool even made fun of Reynolds’ turn as Green Lantern in the movie itself. This mashup by XxDan-The-ManxX lets us see if those two universes were ever merged.
When Hal Jordan was chosen to become Green Lantern way back in 1959’s Showcase #22, Abin Sur had crashed on Earth and needed his ring to find a “deserving” replacement for him as Green Lantern. Sur specified that a “deserving” candidate must be “without fear.” Many years later, it was revealed in an Action Comics Weekly story arc that since obviously all humans have fear, what the ring did was find the most fearless candidate it could and then literally remove the fear from him!
Were the ring to have landed on Earth, it is likely that it would have sought out Daredevil, since we all know that Daredevil’s whole deal is that he is “the man without fear,” but then again, that means it would have to do a lot less. Plus, as Eric Henson shows here, it sure does look cool!
12. GHOST RIDER
For years, Johnny Blaze gained the power of Ghost Rider from, simply put, Satan. That was when Ghost Rider was still sort of his own character and not all that integrated into the greater Marvel Universe. Over time, though, as he became more established in the Marvel Universe, he was first established to have gained his powers from Mephisto and then Zarathos.
When Dan Ketch debuted as the new Ghost Rider in 1990, though, it opened up the idea that there is more than one Ghost Rider out there. During Jason Aaron’s excellent run on Ghost Rider, Aaron established that there had been “Ghost Riders” going back to the days of prehistoric man! Whenever there was something to ride, there were Ghost Riders. In that sense, they really are sort of like the Green Lantern Corps, as they is practically a Ghost Rider Corps! Joe Sketch drew an image of what that might look like (and we think it looks crazy rad).
When Charles Xavier met Ororo “Storm” Munroe, she was being worshiped as a goddess in Kenya. She joined the X-Men and eventually became team leader. In the early 1980s, the United States government did not like that former evil mutant, Rogue, joined the X-Men, so they hired a mutant inventor named Forge to create a weapon that could neutralize mutant powers. Forge meant for it to be used only temporarily, so when he saw that Agent Henry Gyrich planned to use it permanently on Rogue, Forge blocked his shot, but it hit Storm instead!
Even without her powers, she remained leader of the X-Men. However, it left her mentally vulnerable and she was seduced by Loki to take over from Thor as the Goddess of Thunder with a fake Mjolnir. It is likely that Storm would have jumped at the chance of wielding a Green Lantern ring at the time, the visual of which pain16 has provided for us here.
10. CAPTAIN AMERICA
In the Marvel Universe, there are few heroes more selfless than Captain America. His entire origin involved him being willing to enlist in a dangerous enterprise just for the right to be able to serve in World War II. He had been rejected from the army because his body was too fragile. He volunteered for an experiment that could possibly turn him into a Super Soldier (it could have also killed him). Luckily, the Super Soldier serum worked and he became the peak of human physical condition.
Captain America is one of the few superheroes shown to be worthy of lifting Thor’s hammer, so he’d certainly be worthy of wielding a Green Lantern ring, as payno0 shows us. Similarly, we know that he is all about volunteering for dangerous missions, so this seems to fit him well.
In Jason Aaron’s first story arc on Thor, he had the god of thunder run afoul of Gorr the God Butcher, an alien who was slaughtering the gods of the universe. After Thor defeated him, Gorr told him that Thor’s actions were worse off for the universe than had Gorr succeeded. During the Original Sin crossover event, Thor was shocked to learn that Gorr was right! That knowledge made it so that Thor no longer believed that he was worthy to hold Mjolnir. So Jane Foster took up the hammer as the new Thor.
While Jane was acting as the new Thor, the previous Thor (who now goes by Odinson) was looking for a new weapon. You better believe he’d be cool with having a Green Lantern ring, as shown in Artchivist‘s rendering above. Although he isn’t worthy of wielding Mjolnir, would he really be worthy of wielding a Green Lantern ring?
Between the introduction of Green Lantern in 1940 and the introduction of the Green Lantern Corps in 1959, a notable science fiction series was introduced by author E. E. Smith called the Lensmen. The Lensmen were a Galactic Patrol that were the basic inspiration for the expansion of the Green Lantern concept from a single character to a corps worth of heroes. In other words, in the world of popular culture, everyone steals from everyone.
Keep that in mind if you ever take issue with the fact that the Nova Corps in the Marvel Universe is obviously inspired by the Green Lantern Corps. The difference, of course, is that the Novas wear suits of armor rather than rings. However, if artist SashScott had their way, it would be a very cool combination of both!
What’s interesting for a series that is based on the sociopolitical effects of prejudice on a minority group (you know, “protecting people who hate and fear them”), the X-Men have spent a surprisingly large amount of time having adventures in outer space. One of the X-Men with a lot of experience with outer space is Cyclops, who was seemingly orphaned at a young age when his parents’ plane exploded (and he and his brother were forced to share a parachute).
As it turned out, though, his parents were abducted by space aliens and his father became an intergalactic space pirate known as Corsair, who “sails” the outer space seas as the leader of the Starjammers. Thus, Cyclops would fit in remarkably well as a member of the Green Lantern Corps, as Marc Lewis shows here!
6. IRON MAN
Iron Man is also not a hero that you would normally associate with outer space, but in recent years he has been a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy and discovered that Howard and Maria Stark are not his birth parents. On the contrary, they adopted him as part of an attempt to fool a member of the Rigellian Recorders who had helped them save their unborn son’s life.
They then discovered that the Recorder had placed a “kill switch” in their son, so they genetically altered their son to remove it — when he was born handicapped, they feared the Recorder finding out, so they switched their birth son with Tony. Not only is he used to space, but Tony Stark is one of the world’s greatest weapons makers, so he naturally would be fascinated with one of the galaxy’s most powerful weapons. That heady combo is what 666Darks shows here!
An interesting aspect of Rogue’s power set is that what we traditionally think of as Rogue’s powers are actually the abilities that she swiped from Carol Danvers, aka Ms. marvel. She absorbed her powers too long and ended up with Carol’s abilities (and personality) seemingly permanently.
Once she lost Carol’s powers, Rogue struggled for years to gain other offensive abilities that would serve her on top of her power absorption. One of the ways that she could achieve that sort of power substitution was if she had a Green Lantern ring. Not only that, but the ring could create a constant barrier to keep her from accidentally touching anyone and absorbing their powers and personality. Lord-Lycan drew this one (and has drawn a ton of other heroes as Green Lantern).
In X-Men Annual #11, the X-Men were forced by a powerful alien named Horde to retrieve the Crystal of Ultimate Vision from the Citadel of Light and Shadow. As the X-Men went through the Citadel, they were each offered their heart’s desire and they each gave in to temptation. All except for Wolverine.
Logan managed to reach the Crystal, but Horde then killed him before he could pick it up. A drop of Wolverine’s blood, though, landed on the Crystal and Wolverine became one with it. Wolverine gained omnipotence and he restored his teammates to life before destroying the crystal for safety’s sake. Since Wolverine’s shown he can handle ultimate power, could handle a Green Lantern ring? The artist doubleleaf seems to think so (and so do we).
A peculiar thing that comic books have a tendency to do is that nobody can ever remain simple. Kitty Pryde was introduced as your typical girl next door, a point-of-view character for readers. A little over a year after being introduced, she was already a computer genius. Similarly, Piotr Rasputin was introduced as just a poor son of a poor farmer in the middle of Siberia.
Later, though, we learned that his older brother, Mikhail, was a famous cosmonaut who died in an accident. Then we learned that his older brother survived and had been transported to an alternate dimension. This is how comic books roll. However, traveling through outer space is apparently a Rasputin family legacy (their younger sister, Illyana, travels through dimensions as Magik), so he would be right at home with a Green Lantern ring, as JoeWillsArt shows here.
2. IRON FIST
Danny Rand, like Hal Jordan, knows all about being chosen for greater things. When Danny was a young boy, he lost his parents in the Himalayas and ended up at the magical city of K’un-Lun. Danny’s father had been there as a child and always tried to find it again. He grew up with the monks there before he was chosen to try out to become the next Iron Fist. As the mystical defender of K’un-Lun, he was given the ability to magically imbue his fist with unbreakable energies.
Being part of a tradition of similarly chosen heroes would also prepare Danny well for being part of the Green Lantern Corps. Not only that, but Yü-Ti (Danny’s mentor in K’un-Lun) prepared Danny well for having someone in charge who doesn’t always seem to make sense, just like the Guardians of the Universe. Yazol drew this one.
1. BLACK KNIGHT
Besides being absolutely pun-derful by merging the Black Knight with Green Lantern’s nickname as the Emerald Knight, Black Knight fits in well with the Green Lantern Corps because Dane Whitman was also chosen to be a superhero. It was not his idea. He inherited his family sword, known as the Ebony Blade, and it called for him to become the new Black Knight. After all, his ancestor, Sir Percy, was the Black Knight in the Middle Ages.
Not only that, but Dane has always been willing to experiment with different weapons during his superhero career. He replaced the Ebony Blade for many years with an electronic version of the sword. In the end, though, like Hal Jordan with his Green Lantern Ring, Dane always was drawn back to the Ebony Blade. If only, as BloodySamoan imagines, he was drawn to a weapon of another color.
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