multi-colored lanterns

Green Lantern has been lots of sci-fi fun lately. It kind of sounds silly to write it all out, but in the comic book world Geoff Johns makes it work beautifully. When he and Ethan Van Sciver rebooted the title a few years ago, they added in the beginnings of a concept that there are different energies in addition to the Green Lantern’s green energy, all of which are keyed differently. Green Lanterns harness willpower to make it work, and the energy comes out green. Sinestro uses fear, and it comes out yellow. Recently Johns wrote a story about Star Sapphire and the Zamorans, hinting that their major motive is love, and that the Star Sapphire power works the same way as the Green Lantern and Sinestro energy. This led to the big reveal at the end of that issue, showing three pedestals holding a green, yellow, and violet lantern, and a bunch of empty pedestals, along with a “gotta catch ‘em all” line. Internet speculation is that eventually we’ll see an entire emotional energy spectrum.

The Sinestro Corps Special contains the following dialog which is widely believed to be the tip-off to what the other emotions are going to be:

Cyborg Superman: Without life, there will be no fear or avarice or hate.

Ganthet: Without life there is also no hope or compassion.

Sayd: Or love.

We’ve already seen that fear’s color is yellow, and love’s color is violet, so mapping the remaining emotions to colors, we get:

  • Hate: red
  • Avarice: orange
  • Fear: yellow
  • (neutral): green
  • Hope: blue
  • Compassion: indigo
  • Love: violet

Which also sets up a nice set of dueling pairs:

  • Love vs. Hate
  • Compassion vs. Avarice
  • Hope vs. Fear

This puts green in the middle. Green Lantern rings work on sheer willpower alone, and require their bearers to set all emotions aside. What’s interesting also is that the Zamorans are villains, so it doesn’t look like Johns is setting up one side of the spectrum to be good versus evil. Love can be destructive, hope can be false, and so on. If each color gets a lantern corps of its own, that will mean the Green Lanterns are going to be stuck battling off colors from all sides.

A scene in an early issue of 52 contained a chalkboard on which Rip Hunter had written a jumble of things, many of which turned out to be clues to the series later plot development. Booster Gold 1, released a few weeks ago and written by Johns, featured a similar chalkboard, on which the words “Beware the Red Lantern” were written. Pair this with statements by Van Scriver that he an Johns are going to do another big GL some time after the Sinestro Corps stuff, and it seems that they have a whole rainbow coalition war planned for down the road.