There are a lot of weapons in the DC Universe, but few are as powerful as a Power Ring wielded by a member of the Green Lantern Corps. But of course, the Green Power Ring is only one of many that DC has created over the years and thanks to the recent “Sinestro Corps War” and subsequent events, there are more types of rings than ever before. Each of these rings is powerful on its own, but it takes a powerful individual to wield them properly.
Ranking these in terms of actual power proved to be the most difficult part of this list, since the power level has a lot to do with whomever is using them. With that in mind, here are the most powerful power rings in the DC Universe listed chronologically in the order they were released.
Starheart was the ring wielded by Alan Scott, and made its first appearance in “All-American Comics” #16, written and penciled by Russell Cole in 1940. After Scott is nearly killed in a train derailment, he awakens with an old, green miner’s lantern in his lap. The Lantern begins to radiate light and tells him the tale of the green flame of life and the prophecy, “Three times shall I flame green! First- to bring death! Second- to bring life! Third- to bring power!”
The story the lantern tells begins long ago in China when a meteorite slammed into the Earth and broke open. Molten metal spilled from the crack in the rock, which is collected by a lamp-maker named Chang. Chang forges the metal into a green genie-lamp, which passes through the centuries providing luck to those who possessed it. Finally, the lantern instructs Scott to forge a ring from the metal and touch it to the lantern every 24 hours to recharge it. Scott’s ring used his willpower, faith and the mystical Starheart itself to power it. Its only weakness is wood, making baseball bats something of a problem for Scott in his early days.
14. GREEN POWER RING
The Green Power Ring is worn as both a badge of office and primary weapon for the members of the Green Lantern Corps. The ring made its first appearance in “Green Lantern” #1, written by John Broome and penciled by Gil Kane in 1960. This was a new ring for a new age and was dissimilar to the original ring in a number of ways. The modern ring is an incredibly powerful tool capable of judging the worth of an individual to wield its power, projecting anything the wearer can imagine as a solid object. It also allows its bearer to travel through time, fly, survive in the vacuum of space and can even protect the wearer from mortal damage (most of the time).
The rings derive their power from their wearer’s Green Lantern, which is powered by the Central Battery on OA. Each Green Lantern must recite the oath to charge their ring: “In brightest day, in blackest night, No evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil’s might beware my power — Green Lantern’s light!” The original rings were susceptible to the color yellow due to the cosmic entity Parallax infecting the main battery, but the new rings formed after Parallax was defeated removed the so-called yellow impurity.
13. YELLOW POWER RING
Yellow Power Rings are the badge and primary weapon of the Sinestro Corps. Originally, they were called Qwardian rings due to their construction on the antimatter universe planet of Qward, but most simply refer to them as Yellow Power Rings. Their power is comparable to the rings of the Green Lantern Corps, but instead of deriving their power from the emotional spectrum of green/will, they are powered by the cosmic entity Parallax, who empowers them with the yellow light of fear. Yellow Power Rings made their first appearance in “Green Lantern” #9, written by John Broome and penciled by Gil Kane in 1961.
The powers of the Yellow Power Ring mirrors the Green Rings, but have also shown some modifications. Yellow Power Rings can manipulate a target’s mind to help with control and they can also absorb the power from other powerful entities. Wielders of the rings recite the Sinestro Corps oath when recharging their rings, “In blackest day, in brightest night, beware your fears made into light. Let those who try to stop what’s right, Burn like his power… Sinestro’s might!”
12. POWER RING’S POWER RING
Power Ring is the alter ego of Joseph Harrolds of Earth-Three, who is the counterpart of Hal Jordan. Joseph is much weaker in willpower than his Earth-One counterpart, which led him to be chosen by the Ring of Volthoom in “Justice League of America” #29, written by Gardner Fox and penciled by Mike Sekowsky in 1964. Wielding Volthoom’s Ring forces a terribly immense psychological and physical pain on its bearer. Additionally, Harrolds received a power battery along with his ring from a Tibetan Monk (Volthoom) and went on to form the Crime Syndicate of America alongside four other super-powered criminals intent on conquering the Earth (you know, that old chestnut).
Power Ring eventually met up with his Earth-One counterpart who easily defeated him in battle. He was then trapped alongside his criminal partners between universes. The Power Ring showed similar powers to a normal run-of-the-mill Green Lantern Power Ring, but showed no weaknesses. The Ring itself was shown to have incredible power and was able to even use the lantern itself as a weapon, which, while being a tactic used by the GLC, isn’t done so very often.
11. OAN POWER RING
Before the Green Lantern Corps was created, a Guardian called Meadlux created a ring specifically for the Guardians to use themselves. The Oan Power Ring had the same abilities as the Green Lantern rings that would later be created, but lacked the “Yellow Impurity” that would come to restrict the Green Lantern Corps. The revelation that a weapon had been created without the Yellow Impurity enraged a number of Guardians and members of the Green Lantern Corps, who had lost friends and allies to Yellow-empowered weaponry. This formed a schism among the Guardians and the Corps and even caused Galius Zed, Eddore and Kaylark to leave the group entirely. They would eventually engage Hal Jordan in combat, much to his surprise.
The Oan Power Ring and the schism created by it turned out to be a psychological test for Hal Jordan that spanned two issues in “Green Lantern” #166 and 167, written by Dick Giordano and penciled by Dave Gibbons in 1983. Meadlux was acting in his capacity as the Corps’ psychological aid by running Jordan through his paces in a test of his will.
10. ANTI-OAN RING
The Qwardians sought to discredit the Corps by forging their own rings and handing them to a group of misfits known as the Poglachian Green Lantern Corps. The rings they forged were called Anti-Oan Rings since their entire purpose was to cause trouble for the Oans and their Green Lantern Corps. This occurred in “Green Lantern” #10, written by Gerard Jones and penciled by Joe Staton in 1991. The plan was hatched by the Qwardian Weaponeer who had forged 12 rings and provided them to the rather childish and irresponsible race of aliens called the Poglachis, who, as their name implies, were just a bunch of literal clowns. The Poglachis thought they were true recipients of the rings and were therefore full members of the Green Lantern Corps.
The plan came to light when G’nort came to Earth and insisted to Guy Gardner that he was the Green Lantern of the planet. After contacting the Oans and learning that G’nort had not received his ring from them, the two set out to discover the Weaponeer’s master plan. Once they had prevailed, all 12 rings were destroyed, but because he was so impressed by G’nort’s skill and contributions to the fight, Gardner recommended he be inducted into the Green Lantern Corps.
9. VIOLET POWER RING
Violet Power Rings are the badge of office and primary weapon for members of the Star Sapphires. Their power is derived from the emotional spectrum of violet/love and they first appeared in “Green Lantern” #20, written by Geoff Johns and penciled by Ivan Reis, though they originally appeared simply as gems much earlier. They were shaped into rings later because the un-tempered stones had too much influence over their bearers, driving them insane with love. The Corps consists of members of the Zamaron race — an offshoot of the Guardians — and a few human women, one of whom was Carol Ferris. The Corps is comprised almost entirely of women from various species who recite the following oath, “For hearts long lost and full of fright, for those alone in blackest night, accept our ring and join our fight, love conquers all with violet light!”
In addition to the powers normally attributed to a Power Ring, the Violet Rings possess the added powers of Love Cognizance, True Love, Crystallization and Undying Love, which allows a member of the Corps, called a Star Sapphire, to restart a dying heart by connecting two lovers and using herself as a channel between them. This enables them to bring anyone back from the brink of death so long as they have love in their heart.
8. BLACK POWER RING
Following the Sinestro Corps War, the Black Lantern Power Battery was created from the corpse of the Anti-Monitor. The rings are the primary weapon and means of reanimation allowing the corpses of the Black Lantern Corps to exist. When a ring is presented to a corpse, the person is reanimated into an evil aspect of their former self, intent on recruiting more members to the Corps (that means killing as many people as possible). Unlike every other ring, the Black Power Ring wears its host instead of the other way around, making the body merely a vessel for the power of the Ring to function.
Black Power Rings possess the unique ability to reanimate the dead, read the emotional spectrum of any living being and restore the body of its host if damaged or destroyed so long as the ring remains intact — it can only be destroyed if one color of the emotional spectrum is combined with that of the green light of willpower, thus recreating the white light of life. The oath of the Black Lantern Corps is rather dark, “The Blackest Night falls from the skies, The darkness grows as all light dies. We crave your hearts and your demise. By my black hand, the dead shall rise!” Black Power Rings first appeared in “Green Lantern” #25, written by Geoff Johns and penciled by Ivan Reis.
7. RED POWER RING
Red Power Rings are the primary weapon and badge to members of the Red Lantern Corps, which was formed by Atrocitus. The Red Power Ring is different from the others due to the manner in which it draws its power. The red spectrum follows the emotion of Rage and the ring’s power is increased via the blood of the people killed using it. It also has the habit of speaking aloud various words constantly. These words are most often kill, pain, rage, blood, burn, hatred and occasionally the names of the people who have wronged the ring’s wielder at some time during their life.
Red Power Rings have some unique powers, unlike the other spectrum rings. A wielder of the ring has their heart replaced with the power of the ring itself. They can also use Corrosion Blasts and manipulate rage in others via Rage Telepathy. The oath of the Red Lantern Corps is “With blood and rage of crimson red, Ripped from a corpse so freshly dead, Together with our hellish hate, We’ll burn you all– that is your fate!” Red Power Rings first appeared in “Green Lantern” #28, written by Geoff Johns and penciled by Mike McKone.
6. ORANGE POWER RING
The Orange Power Ring is the badge of office and primary weapon of the Orange Lantern Corps. Orange Power Rings first appeared in “Green Lantern” #25, written by Geoff Johns and penciled by Ivan Reis. The Orange spectrum derives its power from the emotion of Avarice (or “greed” as it’s known on the streets) and has an oath to match, “What’s mine is mine and mine and mine. And mine and mine and mine! Not yours!” Orange Power Rings share the same powers as the others with a couple of unique differences.
An Orange Ring has the ability of Light Capture, enabling the wearer to absorb the power of any other power ring (except for Blue and Indigo) and use it for its own purposes, which perfectly aligns with the emotional spectrum of Avarice. It can also create avatars of anyone Agent Orange (the only actual member of the Orange Lantern Corps, otherwise known as Larfleeze) kills. These avatars act as other members of the Orange Lantern Corps and consist entirely of the stolen identities of Agent Orange’s victims.
5. BLUE POWER RING
Blue Power Rings are the badge of office and primary weapon of the Blue Lantern Corps. They are powered by the emotional spectrum of blue/hope and are enabled by willpower. The Blue Power Ring made its first appearance in “Green Lantern” #25, written by Geoff Johns and penciled by Ivan Reis. Blue Power Rings have the same powers as the others, but are unique in a number of ways. Because the rings are fueled by hope, they are fully charged when around any other ring wielder so long as the Blue Lantern hopes for their own well-being. This keeps them permanently charged requiring no recharge. Of course, this being a power ring in DC, there is an oath, “In fearful day, in raging night, With strong hearts full, our souls ignite. When all seems lost in the War of Light, Look to the stars, for hope burns bright!” Although this is perhaps not as well known as the Blue Lantern mantra that “All will be well.”
Blue Power Rings are capable of healing physical, spiritual and mental injury. They are a counterbalance to the Red Lantern’s energy and can extinguish their fire. Blue Power Rings are limited due to their affiliation with willpower. If there are no Green Lanterns nearby, the rings are only capable of defensive action and flight.
4. INDIGO POWER RING
The Indigo Power Ring is coupled with the Indigo Power Staff (their version of a battery) and together mark the badge of office and primary power source for members of the Indigo Tribe. The staff and ring are powered by the Indigo light of Compassion and are unique to the Tribe. Also unique to this “corps” is that the Indigo rings actually act as behavior controllers. In reality, the Tribe is composed of the most vile and dangerous villains in the universe, captured by Abin Sur and forced to wear the rings, which make the bearers feel compassion for all the wrongs they have done while also spreading a similar peace throughout reality.
Unlike many of the other corps, the Indigo rings aren’t normally used to create light constructs of their own power, but rather channel the light of other corps. This made them indispensible during The Blackest Night event. They can also teleport directly to anyone requiring aid and heal them from nearly any injury.
3. WHITE POWER RING
White Power Rings are powered by the will to live itself. White Power Rings first appeared in “Blackest Night” #7, written by Geoff Johns and penciled by Ivan Reis and Rodolpho Migliari. The power of the White Rings comes from the White Light Entity, which was hidden with the Earth eons ago. When Nekron began raising his army of the dead, the first of 12 White Power Rings appeared to counter the “Blackest Night” event, which affected the entire DC Universe.
Members of the White Lantern Corps are few, and have mostly consisted of formerly dead heroes who have chosen life over death. White Power Rings are themselves sentient and don’t always do what their bearer wishes; often acting on their own interests when necessary. However, when former Green Lantern Kyle Rayner become the sole White Lantern in the galaxy, he showed that, as the avatar of Life, he could channel any of the lights from the emotional spectrum and exhibit godlike power over creation.
2. VOLTHOOM’S RING
The mysterious being known as Volthoom was the first Lantern created by the Guardians of the Universe. Volthoom was empowered by the Guardians eons prior to the Green Lantern Corps making his ring and lantern unique, not to mention the original. Instead of utilizing only one aspect of the Emotional Spectrum, Volthoom was given the ability to access them all (in much the same way as the White Lantern). He was meant to protect life, but became something of an emotional sadist who enjoyed playing with the souls of the living. Volthoom and his ring first appeared in “JLA: Earth-2” #1, written by Grant Morrison and penciled by Frank Quitely.
To fix their mistake, the Guardians sealed Volthoom away, placing half of their number as his guardians for eternity. Volthoom’s Ring has powers similar to the others in the Spectrum, but also grants Volthoom the ability to manipulate dimensions, become immortal and invulnerable, change reality, travel through time and possess psychic telepathy and empathy. It has recently been revealed in the ongoing “Green Lanterns” comic that Volthoom was originally a human from an alternate Earth who was twisted during his mission to save it.
1. PHANTOM RING
Unlike the other spectrum’s rings, anyone can put on the Phantom Ring and utilize its power, which is something it has in spades. Unlike the other rings that focus on a single emotion along the spectrum, the Phantom Ring gives its bearer the ability to tap into whichever spectrum of emotion they are feeling at any given time. Rage, Avarice, Fear, Will, Hope, Compassion and Love are all at play by whomever dons this incredibly powerful weapon.
The Phantom Ring made its first appearance in the Phantom Lantern storyline in “Green Lanterns” #9, written by Sam Humphries and penciled by Robson Rocha. Through the course of the event, the ring comes into the possession of Frank Laminski, thanks to the machinations of Volthoom. As soon as Laminski dons the ring, he assumed the mantle of the Phantom Lantern with a modified oath “In desperate day, in hopeless night… The Phantom Ring is our last light… We yearn for power, strength and might… I seize the ring, that is my right!”
What is your favorite DC Universe power ring? Let us know in the comments!
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