Superman Is No Longer DC’s Strongest Superhero | CBR

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WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Green Lantern #9, now on sale

Green Lantern has put an entire corner of the DC Universe into an unexpected situation thanks to the destruction of the Central Power Battery. As a result, almost all of the Green Lanterns have been sent through the wringer. But, no former Lantern has gone through as much as John Stewart, who has discovered that the power within him may be stronger than any other Lantern — or almost any other hero, for that matter.

Green Lantern #9 by Geoffrey Thorne, Tom Raney, Marco Santucci, Maria Laura Sanapo, Michael Atiyeh, and Rob Leigh reveals how much more powerful John Stewart really is becoming, and officially sets him up to surpass Superman in terms of raw power.

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Since the destruction of the Central Power Battery, the Green Lantern Corps has been decimated. Only a handful have retained their rings, while most former Lanterns have been left depowered. Simon Baz and others have turned to technology to replace their lack of weapons, but another Green Lantern veteran has found a far more potent power source. John Stewart has figured out how to embrace the energies entrusted to him by the Guardians during his time as Mosaic and achieves a new power level during his journies across time. He’s recently gotten the chance to fully explore the use of these powers alongside the New God Lonar while facing off with Esak.

Esak has been draining the life force from various aliens to create a godlike entity known as the Lightbringer — catching the attention and ire of Stewart. Despite taking many hits that should have been lethal to him during the battle, John Stewart turns out to be fine. As Lonar explains, it’s because John’s current form allows him to draw on cosmic energy from across the universe. As time passes, he’ll only grow stronger and pick up even more endurance. In effect, John is becoming more powerful by the moment — potentially absorbing all sorts of energy from the universe. John compares himself to Superman at this moment, but Lonar suggests that John might actually have more potential than the Man of Steel.

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Lonar argues that while Kryptonians only collect solar energy, nearly all cosmic elements can be used to empower “the Ascended” like John. Ultimately, with this recognition, John is able to draw pure energy into himself, creating a blast powerful enough to destroy the Lightbringer that Esak was constructing from the absorbed lifeforce. In effect, John is officially at least operating at the power levels of the New Gods. The idea that his new form can absorb power from almost any source suggests he might really be on the path to becoming one of DC’s single most powerful figures. In theory, John could even become just as powerful as Superman — and escalate it even further due to his adaptable ability to absorb other energy sources as well, powering up not just from the sun.

It’s an impressive twist for the former Green Lantern to discover, granting him potentially one of DC’s most important abilities. By fueling himself via the cosmic powers of the universe, John Stewart may have just found the way to turn himself into DC’s version of the Silver Surfer. He could grow more powerful over time, and his extensive training handling the Green Lantern Ring means he’ll likely have a good deal of mastery over his newfound power. It’s a huge step forward for John Stewart and his importance in the DC Universe. A step that could result in John taking a far more important and open role in the future — especially with New God elements like the returned Darkseid threatening the entire universe.

KEEP READING: Who Was DC’s First Green Lantern – And Why Has Everyone Forgotten Him?

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