The Green Lantern Corps serve as an intergalactic police force, using their power rings to enforce the laws imposed by the Guardians of the Universe. But they are not the only Lanterns Corps that uses power rings.
Most of the rings create hard light constructs when the wearer taps into the corresponding emotion represented by their specific color: Green for Willpower, Yellow for Fear, Blue for Hope, and so on. However, there is another power that all of the rings share, though they each approach it in their own unique way. All of the Lanterns can, at least theoretically but in many cases outright, use their power to defeat death.
In a strange paradox, the Black Lanterns are simultaneously the most and least logical starting point for this discussion. Most power rings tap into the essence of life, focusing on a color of life’s emotional spectrum. The Black Lanterns, on the other hand, are the antithesis to life, and are connected to Nekron, DC’s nigh-omnipotent personification of Death.
At their (ahem) heart, the power of the Black Lantern rings can be used to kill people and resurrect them as zombies, giving them life after death, and usually siphoning that life energy into another being, like the aforementioned Nekron. There have been occasions, however, where the rings have simply brought people back to life — or something like it — as when Hal Jordan used one to fight Volthoom, the first Lantern, or more recently, in the resurrection of Roy Harper.
The Guardians created the Green Lantern rings to harness willpower in the form of emerald light. The immortal being and living avatar of this energy — known in the DC Universe as an “entity” — is called Ion. Ion was the first sentient life-form in the universe to exert willpower, and thus, spark life.
Throughout many parts of his tumultuous career, but most importantly when he was charged with being the last remaining Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner was granted Ion’s godlike power. With it, he found he was able to conjure anything into existence, even life itself, without needing a ring.
But perhaps the most interesting use of his power, at least for the purposes of this article, was when he used almost all of it to resurrect the Guardians of the Universe. Once again, Ion was able to spark life, and in this case, resurrect arguably the most powerful beings in existence.
Just as Green Lantern rings are fueled by Ion, the yellow rings of the Sinestro Corps take their power from Parallax, an entity that embodies fear. This usually manifests as yellow energy constructs, but when Hal Jordan was possessed by Parallax leading up to and during the events of “Emerald Twilight,” he was able to use its power, in concert with the Oan energy he absorbed, to tap the chronal power of the universe and manipulate time itself.
During DC’s Zero Hour event in 1994, by Dan Jurgens and Jerry Ordway, Parallax was also shown to be able to, at least theoretically, “bring back” dead heroes by summoning them from the multiverse, and implied that he could “reset” the universe and create life. While he was stopped before he could prove it, the creature seemed very set in his convictions and sure of his power to do so.
When a person bonds with a Red Lantern ring, their heart is ripped out of their chest, effectively killing them. The ring then replaces their heart and resurrects them in the red light of rage. Very few have been able to stave off being completely transformed by the power once they are “brought back,” and nearly all need to be cleansed by a Blue Lantern’s light when they do (something we’ll get to shortly).
Red Lantern rings also alters their owners’ blood, filling their bodies with a boiling plasma. Those who try removing their rings die a second time (though some, like Supergirl, have survived).
The Blue Lantern Corps were formed by the Guardians Sayd and Ganthet after they lost faith in the Green Lanterns. Their rings channel the power of hope, working in tandem with other rings to affect various power boosts or drains. In the case of the Green Lanterns, their powers are amplified, given that hope drives willpower.
Blue Lanterns can also heal themselves and other Lanterns from damage, no matter how severe that damage might be, which essentially gives new life to those on the brink of death. However, most interestingly, the Blue Lantern energy is the only thing that can truly revive and resurrect a sentient being infected by the Red Lantern ring, jump-starting their hearts and bringing them back to life.
“Owned” by Larfleeze and powered by his entity Ophidian, the Orange Lantern represents avarice. As such, its tremendous miserly power does not merely make constructs in the traditional sense, but actively steals the identities of those who have been killed by the rings and replicates, then resurrects them as part of the Orange Lantern Corps.
After death, these victims are given a new “life” as hard light constructs serving the ring and its bearer. As such, it’s probably the grossest of all the rings and the absolute oddest when it comes to raising the dead.
The Indigo Tribe have rings draw upon the emotion of compassion, connecting them to others and allowing them to tap into the abilities of other power rings. This essentially means that they should be able to replicate any of the resurrection powers of the other rings, such as Blue’s ability to counteract the death dealt by the Red Lantern ring.
They could also, theoretically, bring back the dead like the Black Lanterns, or tap into the same reality-altering power of Parallax and Ion, though arguably to a more limited degree. Still, and perhaps more metaphorically the Indigo Tribe was conceived of by Green Lantern Abin Sur to help control and reform the universe’s most hardened criminals by forcing them to feel compassion. This, in itself, is a sort of “resurrection,” or as others might say, a second chance at life.
The violet power of the Star Sapphires is love, which binds Star Sapphires to lovers across the universe. They are the protectors of that love and, as such, are called and drawn to instances when it is imperiled anywhere in space. What it can do once the Sapphires find them is pretty remarkable.
When Kyle Rayner was killed fighting the Black Lanterns during Blackest Night, his lover, Soranik Natu, wept over his body. Seeing this, one of the Star Sapphires connected Natu’s heart to Rayner’s, causing his heart to beat in tandem with hers. Through the power of love, he was restored. Also during Blackest Night, and perhaps an even more impressive power display, was when Wonder Woman, who had been taken by a Black Ring, was similarly resurrected. Even though she was “dead,” the Sapphire ring shattered her Black one, and brought her back to life.
The White Lanterns have the combined power of the full emotional spectrum, as white light has every wavelength of the emotional spectrum within it.
These rings wield the very power of life and have resurrected many dead characters, including many Black Lanterns, but also deceased DC superheroes and villains. Because of that, it is the ultimate foil to the Black Lanterns, and the ultimate power of true resurrection.
from Ultimate Comic Blog