The start of Grant Morrison’s new run on Green Lantern is less than one month away, and anticipation is building with variant covers and other details beginning to drop. DC Comics has produced a lot of surprising announcements across 2018, but this may still be their most impressive turn. Morrison has redefined the legacies of Superman and Batman, and is still in the midst of creating an impressive Earth One trilogy for Wonder Woman. Whatever he has in store for Green Lantern is bound to impress.
While Morrison and his team have released some details on the upcoming run, clarifying that they will be returning to Hal Jordan’s career as a “space cop,” there is still one big question that remains: who will play the villain in this upcoming saga? Space is a big place filled with classic Green Lantern villains and other baddies from across DC Comics. Morrison and his collaborators have their pick of impressively overpowered tyrants or Silver Age villains in need of a new take.
In anticipation of the new Green Lantern series, we’ve assembled a collection of 10 DC Comics villains most in need of Morrison’s eye as he picks out new threats for Hal Jordan to battle across the cosmos.
Created by John Broome and Gil Kane
First Appearance: Green Lantern (vol. 2) #21
Dr. Polaris is a classic Green Lantern villain with all of Magneto’s powers but none of his creativity or respect. This is a case of a powerset in need of a personality. Considering what Morrison did with Magneto in New X-Men, both as a villain and hero, there’s clearly more to be done with this very potent ability. It’s time that Dr. Polaris moved up in the rankings of DC villains and this new run on Green Lantern is the perfect place for that to happen.
Created by Gardner Fox and Gil Kane
First Appearance: Green Lantern (vol. 2) #23
The Tattooed Man came only two issues after Dr. Polaris and provides a similar problem. His ability to control any of the art on his skin comes packed with a lot of potential for an imaginative writer, and there is probably no more imaginative writer in superhero comics than Grant Morrison. The process of adding new constructs and cleverly using what is already there could make for an incredibly inventive issue or even an expansive saga. It’s time for Tattooed Man to rise up in the ranks of Green Lantern foes.
Created by Grant Morrison and Howard Porter
First Appearance: JLA (vol. 1) #37
This climactic world-destroying foe from Grant Morrison’s run on JLA remains one of the greatest threats to ever face Earth. It has been years since Mageddon made a proper appearance, and its return is likely to be in the far-flung reaches of space where it's a problem for the Green Lanterns, not the Justice League. This foe provides a perfect chance for Morrison to connect his runs and return to one of his strangest creations.
Created by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky
First Appearance: Justice League of America (vol. 1) #3
Kanjar Ro is a classic Justice League villain who led the team to confront intergalactic dictatorships for the first time. If Morrison is looking for analogies to real-world political strongmen abroad, there are few better options than this despotic villain. His ego and hunger for power are matched only be a few, and Kanjar Ro is a villain best suited to adventures throughout space.
Created by Greg Weisman, Cary Bates, and Pat Broderick
First Appearance: Captain Atom (vol. 2) #12
Major Force has been defined as a foe for Kyle Rayner due to his grisly murder of a loved one -- notably involved a refrigerator. He is just as well-suited to Hal Jordan though. Both men possess immense power and will within the confines of a military career, but Major Force lacks all of Hal’s humanity. This is a matchup that could help Morrison define what makes Hal a classic hero in spite of some notable failures over the years.
Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
First Appearance: Superman (vol. 1) #30
Morrison dug into the politics and powers of the fifth dimension during his run on Action Comics, and he made it clear that Mr. Mxyzptlk was a force to be reckoned with even at his silliest. This is one imp who has been obsessed with Superman for a long time, but whose nature allows him to travel the galaxy with a snap of his fingers. Playing with the Green Lanterns would provide a fun diversion and a great reunion between character and writer.
Created by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill
First Appearance: Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Annual (vol. 1) #2
In only a few stories writer Alan Moore created some of the most interesting characters in all of the Green Lantern mythos, including this living city that would go on to join the Sinestro Corps. In the past couple of decades, Ranx has primarily been used as an evil opposite for Mogo, but there’s so much more potential to the character. It would be very exciting to see Morrison provide an evil twist to his own conception of sentient locales like Danny the Street.
Created by Steve Englehart and Dick Dillin
First Appearance: Justice League of America (vol. 1) #140
One thing that Grant Morrison is very skilled at is taking the entire history of a character, from the Golden Age through today, and making it all count. There have been lots of iterations of Manhunters, including lethal galactic guardians and earthbound cults. Having Morrison tackle all of these takes and merge them into something more cohesive would provide a lot of value for the Green Lantern franchise.
Created by Gil Kane and John Broome
First Appearance: Green Lantern (vol. 2) #14
Sonar is yet another Silver Age villain with a lot of potential and absolutely zero personality. His ability to manipulate sound waves offers lots of explosive uses and more subtle ideas. It’s about time that a writer with some creativity boosted this villain’s profile and exploited all the possibilities of mastering sound. Grant Morrison might just be the man for the job.
Created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino
First Appearance: Action Comics (vol. 1) #242
Brainiac was recently killed in the pages of Justice League: No Justice, but it’s only a matter of time until this android with seemingly infinite forms returns. Brainiac is best known as a Superman villain, but he’s really a threat to every sector of space considering his penchant for kidnapping cities and wrecking planets. It’s about time that the greatest Green Lantern took on one of the greatest threats roaming the galaxy.