DC and Warner Bros. are finally starting to show some movement on their Green Lantern Corps project and combined with a stellar run in DC's Rebirth era of comics, the Corps is primed for a big next few years.
While the current series gives fans a great hopping on point, there's an enormous amount of Green Lantern lore that will help you get the most out of the stuff coming down the pike.
Why not then give yourself a headstart then and read this quick primer on some of the bigger highlights from the franchise's history? If you have read the original material, maybe you just need a refresher. Either way, hope this helps fill in a few of the gaps and shows you just how fantastic and rich this DC Comics property can be.
There wouldn't be a Green Lantern Corps without the Guardians, the small in stature blue-skinned race of immortals who sought to bring peace and stability to the universe.
The Guardians come from the planet Maltus of the Vega system and are a society of highly intelligent and powerful beings. Due to one of their own performing forbidden experiments, the world was forever changed. After this, the rest of the Guardians claimed the planet of OA to create a cosmic police force to keep that kind of thing from happening again.
After numerous experiments and attempts, they decided that the power of will was the most stable of the emotional spectrum, and forged the central power battery that would go on to power thousands of new members of the Green Lantern Corps.
The Green Lantern Corps wasn't the first attempt at a cosmic police force, but the first go round sort of blew up in everyone's face.
The first unit was made up of androids that lacked any sort of empathy or emotion. Things went well at first, but after they were sent after the rogue Guardian Kronos, they were reprogrammed. The Manhunters slaughtered millions in sector 666 and were then decommissioned by the Guardians.
The Guardians would go on to create the Green Lantern Corps, and the Manhunters would then fall under the leadership of Hank Henshaw, and as you can imagine, that would lead to another conflict down the road.
Green Lantern Corps
After the debacle with the Manhunters, the Guardians forged power rings out of willpower and created the Green Lantern Corps. Millions of planets would b searched for those who could overcome great fear, including names like Salaak, Kilowog, Tomar-Re, Ch'p, Sinestro, and Abin Sur.
This of course also included the earth lanterns from sector 2814, where names like Guy Gardner, John Stewart, Kyle Rayner, and Hal Jordan would be drafted to the cause.
Hal Jordan was an Air Force pilot who followed in his dad's footsteps. He was always a bit cocky, and more than self-sure, but his at times reckless attitude also allowed him to overcome great fear.
One night the legendary Green Lantern Abin Sur would crash land near Jordan, and Sur would pass his ring to Jordan before he died. This started Hal's journey to becoming one of if not the greatest Green Lantern that ever lived.
Hal's story is intrinsically tied to the Green Lantern mythos, as despite being a villain, hero, and everything in between at some point, he is somehow always in the mix.
Before Jordan, Sinestro was the most revered and respected Green Lantern in the corps. When Hal came aboard, Sinestro was initially not very impressed with the earthling upstart but did manage to see some potential.
As time progressed, Sinestro would become Hal's mentor and guide, and the two formed a powerful team. That would fall apart however when the pair visited Sinestro's home planet of Korugar. It was here that Hal saw Sinestro's leadership methods in action, which consisted of the Green Lantern using his powers to inform a tyrannical rule over the populace. Jordan would side with the people of Korugar to dethrone Sinestro, and the Guardians exiled him and stripped him of his ring and uniform.
Sinestro would join forces with his other exiled brethren and would create a new ring forged out of the power of fear, eventually leading his own force The Sinestro Corps. It also came to light that he had a daughter by the name of Soranik Natu, who would eventually become a Green Lantern herself, and then later a member of Sinestro's Fear Corps.
The Fall Of The Corps
Jordan remained the beacon of the Green Lantern Corps until a series of events led to his downfall.
In the aftermath of Superman's death, four others claimed to be the one true Superman. One of these men turned out to be Hank Henshaw, the cyborg Superman. Teaming up with Mogul the two would end up wiping out most of Jordan's home base Coast City, and Jordan's pleas for help to the Guardians fell on deaf ears.
This drove him over the edge, and Jordan then set out on a quest to derive the Guardians power for himself to recreate his lost city, and one by one claimed the lives of his former friends. He also took down all of the Guardians save for Ganthet and killed Sinestro by snapping his neck. He would then go on to almost destroy the universe in the Zero Hour event, with the heroes barely managing to undo his actions.
With only one Lantern ring left after Jordan's rampage, Ganthet picked a young upstart named Kyle Rayner to wield it. Rayner had a natural ability with the ring, but he would face an uphill battle during his initial time in the role.
Hal Jordan, who was going by the name Parallax at the time, sought out the last remaining ring (ironically his old ring), and the two collided for possession of it with Rayner ultimately departing with the ring intact after Ganthet gave up his power to Jordan.
Rayner would grow to become one of the most powerful Lanterns, taking on the title of Ion during this time. He would set out to restore what was lost, giving John Stewart the use of his legs back, and eventually putting all of his energy back into the power battery on OA, restoring the Green Lantern Corps. He would also use his last remaining power to create a new generation of Guardians from the traces the previous ones left behind.
Green Lantern Rebirth
At this point, Hal had undergone quite the journey. He sacrificed himself to save mankind from a cosmic entity and then transitioned to a new role as The Spectre.
The events of Green Lantern Rebirth revealed that the path to purgatory wasn't all his fault, though. In Rebirth it is learned that Parallax is not just a name that Hal took on for a period of time, but is instead the name of a powerful yellow entity that could cause great fear. The Guardians captured the entity back in the day, but the only way they could keep it contained was by putting it in the central power battery. That's why their rings were ineffective against yellow for all those years.
It also turns out Sinestro wasn't dead after all. It was an illusion meant to drive Hal Jordan past the brink. Sinestro had at one point been imprisoned in the battery, and he worked with Parallax on a long-term plan to destroy the Green Lantern Corps. After the destruction of Coast City, Parallax was able to take hold of Jordan due to his grief and fear, and that is what caused his meltdown.
Through a long series of events (which you should definitely read) Jordan is brought back to the land of the living, and along with Ganthet and Kyle Rayner, the Green Lantern Corps is restored.
Now, there's plenty more to the Green Lantern story, but this is just a primer to get you started. The Corps is still going strong, and with the Green Lantern Corps film coming in 2020, there is no better time to hop aboard the Green Lantern train then now.