All Lantern Rings Meaning, Origin & Powers (Explained)

Imagine you own a ring that could make all your imaginations come alive. No, we’re not talking about the one from Lord of the Rings. Enter the lantern corps. Very few don’t know or have not heard about the Lanterns. The ones we are most familiar with are the Green Lanterns. For the most part, we know them as righteous space cops who would do anything to protect the universe.

However, this only really applies to the Green Lantern Corps. It turns out that there is a whole array of colored rings, and they all serve their unique purpose. From rings that harness love and hope to anger and greed; each of these colored rings represents a particular feeling on the emotional electromagnetic spectrum.

Once a ring has chosen its wielder based on its attributes or worthiness, this space jewelry allows the user to defy the general laws of physics and lets them create constructs that would otherwise dwell in their imagination.

Each of these emotions on the spectrum even has its entity as part of the entire shebang. Not all lanterns corps have the same objectives, with some even falling on opposite sides of a fight. We’re here to give you a round-up of what each power ring does and how the respective corps use their powers. Let’s get to it!

All Lantern Corps Powers Rings from DC Comics explained with their origin stories, wielders, powers, and abilities.

#9 Green Lantern Ring

#9 Green Lantern Ring

Represents: Willpower
What Does The Green Lantern Ring Mean:

We kick this list off with a lantern ring that pretty much everyone on the planet has heard of, the Green Lantern ring. A good chunk of us grew up watching the Justice League animated series and was awed by John Stewart’s coolness as the resident Green Lantern.

For comic book readers, the first one they were introduced to was Hal Jordan, and it has always been hard for anyone to top his might. Yes, we know there is Alan Scott, but the whole backstory is all over the place, so let us just stick with Hal Jordan.

The Green Lantern Ring harnesses the willpower of its user, and the stronger their will, the fiercer its wielder. There have been different versions of how the green power ring came to exist, but we’re going to stick to the basics.

At the very beginning of the Universe, a race of beings called Maltusians quickly became intelligent and went on to colonize and populate the farthest reaches of the universe. They eventually settled on Planet Oa, which is situated at the center of the universe. They dub themselves the Guardians of the Universe and choose the emotion of Will as their source of power.

After a failed experiment by one of their own, Krona, the guardians decide to form the Green Lantern Corps to act as a space police force that would protect every sector of the universe. Pretty much every sector of the universe has a Green Lantern protecting it.

When one user dies or is deemed unfit, the ring seeks other sentient beings with the potential for great willpower and selects them to be its wielder. It is how every lantern has come about its rings.

Since each lantern ring uses a different emotion as its source of power, it is hard to say which one is truly the most powerful. However, most often, a green lantern ends up the victor because of their sheer willpower and refusal to give up.

If a Green Lantern has strong willpower, then it is said that its constructs could be near indestructible. Every evil force in the universe is afraid of the Lantern Corps as they are portrayed as the champions of justice, and it is even in their oath they will serve and protect every living thing in the universe.

Characters Who Wear/Wore The Green Lantern Ring:

  • Hal Jordan
  • John Stewart
  • Guy Gardener
  • Kilowog

#8 Red Lantern Ring

#8 Red Lantern Ring

Represents: Rage
What Does The Red Lantern Ring mean:

We typically associate the color red with anger, and Geoff Johns took that to the next level. The Red Lanterns are not the most famous of the lantern corps, but one of the most dangerous. The Red Lantern ring seeks those with intense anger in their hearts and uses that rage as fuel. The angrier the wielder, the more powerful the ring. This corps is an anti-heroic organization and has gone against many of the Green Lantern Corps. Long story short, they’re pretty ruthless.

Before the creation of the Green Lanterns, the Guardians thought it would be best to leave emotion entirely out of the equation when it came to justice. So, they went out to create the Manhunters, a robotic army that would enforce their brand of right and wrong.

The renegade Krona, however, manipulated this army to the point where the cybernetic beings believed that the only way to bring peace to the universe was to destroy every living thing in it. Pretty morbid, right?

The first victim to fall prey to this belief was Sector 666, and all but 5 of its members survive, and every other living thing perishes. The remaining five members were called the five inversions, a terrorist organization hell-bent on seeing the demise of the Guardians of the universe.

Of the five, Atrocitus is the most consumed by rage, and there is so much in his heart that it results in the creation of the first-ever Red Lantern battery. Atrocitus is so ruthless that he bludgeoned the other members of the Five Inversions with this battery and is consumed by hate for Sinestro, who was responsible for Atrocitus’ capture and imprisonment. Hence, we see particular hatred between the Sinestro Corps and the Red Lantern Corps.

The Red Lantern rings eat away at the intelligence of the wielder and turn them into feral beings capable of unspeakable violence. Usually, they can’t even think straight or even string sentences together.

Atrocitus must use his magic to help his fellow lanterns keep their minds intact while still being consumed by their rage. It is even said that the battery gets its color because it is anointed in blood. It is hard to imagine feeling anything else apart from rage when your entire planet and a few other planets around you are subjected to a massacre for simply being alive.

Characters Who Wear/Wore The Red Lantern Ring:

Kyle Rayner

#7 Yellow Lantern Ring

#7 Yellow Lantern Ring

Represents: The power of fear
What Does The Yellow Lantern Ring Mean:

The Yellow Lanterns are probably the second most famous corps in this list, with the Green Lantern taking first place. They are considered to be the sinister opposite of the Green Lantern Corps, and the two forces are often found at odds with each other.

Like all other Lantern corps, the Yellow Lantern ring harnesses the power of fear on the emotional spectrum. The power of fear is represented by yellow light and is considered to be a weakness of the Green Lantern ring.

The Yellow Lantern Corps believes that order in the universe can only be brought about by fear. This particular corps was founded by Sinestro, a former green lantern who had trouble with the ideals of the lantern corps.

The origins of the Yellow Lantern ring go back to the time before the Green Lantern corps started. One of the original Guardians, Krona, grew distraught with his fellow Maltuseans and their way of doing things. He advocated that they could use more than just one emotion on the spectrum and believed that fear would be a more effective way of bringing order to the universe.

However, the rest of the Guardians knew that fear meant subjugation and would not bring true peace. It was later found that Parallax influenced Krona, the living entity of fear. This evil entity feeds on fear and grows stronger when it is around. Parallax was so powerful that it could even corrupt the mighty Hal Jordan, the strongest Green Lantern. Eventually, Parallax was imprisoned in the central battery on Oa and became known as the yellow impurity in the battery.

After Krona was punished and imprisoned, Sinestro was the next person who believed that the Guardians should protect with a firmer hand and that their current methods were not enough. Sinestro was banished by the Guardians to Qward of the Antimatter universe and soon returned with a Yellow Lantern Ring.

With it, he was able to go toe to toe with Hal Jordan and eventually created his corps called Sinestro Corps, which would go on to carry out his visions of order and justice with fear in its very heart. When Hal Jordan eventually defeated his former teacher, Sinestro was imprisoned in the central battery along with Parallax and managed to awaken the parasite from its hibernation. By doing so, Sinestro was able to manufacture the fall of the Green Lantern Corps. Turns out fear can be effective, but whether it’s ethical is an entirely different conversation.

Fun Fact: When Sinestro was a green lantern, his sector was considered the safest in the universe. Turns out that Sinestro simply used his power to enslave and rule over all the sentient beings of that sector. Now you see why he was kicked out of the club.

Characters Who Wear/Wore Yellow Lantern Ring:

  • Batman
  • Sinestro
  • Hal Jordan (Parallax)
  • Black Adam
  • Anti-Monitor

#6 Blue Lantern Ring

#6 Blue Lantern Ring

Represents: Hope
What Does The Blue Lantern Ring Mean:

The Blue Lantern corps derive their power from the emotion of hope. They are allies to the Green Lanterns and generally become more powerful if a green lantern is next to them. The known reasoning behind this is that if there is a benevolent person in possession of great willpower leading the universe forward, the hope for the future would be greater. You have got to love comic books!

The Blue Lantern Corps was formed toward the end of the Sinestro War storyline. Former Guardians of the universe, Ganthet and Sayd, were banished for being different from their peers and decided to form their Lantern Corps. However, unlike the other banished Guardians who sought revenge against the rulers of Oa, these particular ex-Guardians understood the importance of the Green Lantern Corps. They created the Blue Lantern corps to aid the original lanterns in their quests for peace and justice.

The Blue Lantern Battery was made from the immense hope that Ganthet and Sayd had for the future. Unlike the Lantern Corps mentioned earlier, these believe it is their ultimate destiny and duty to serve the universe. The Blue Lantern Battery is situated on the planet Odym where the two former Guardians are settled.

This corps has many members as their recruitment procedure is rather lengthy. Unlike the other rings’ quick initiation process, the blue lanterns’ selection takes place over three days. Each prospective blue lantern is brought to Odym, and they are briefed on their duties and what it truly means to be a part of the Blue Lantern Corps. The Blue Lanterns are not meant to be a force of strength but rather a symbol, a light that will never die.

The Blue Lanterns were first introduced to us during the events of the “Rage of the Red Lanterns” storyline. Saintwalker is the first one we see and is shown healing Hal Jordan by simply hoping for his well-being. The blue ring’s powers are even shown to increase the power of the green lanterns. However, we are shown that without the light of the green power ring to influence them, a blue lantern’s powers are reduced to only flight and aura projection. This just goes to show that willpower is nothing without hope and vice-versa.

Damn, that felt like the closing line of a hallmark family movie.

Characters Who Wear/Wore Blue Lantern Ring:

  • Barry Allen
  • Saint Walker
  • Kyle Rayner

#5 Violet Lantern Ring

#5 Violet Lantern Ring

Represents: The power of Love
What Does The Violet Lantern Ring Mean:

The Violet Lantern Corps or the Star Sapphire Corps draw the power of love from the Electromagnetic spectrum. We imagine compassion, patience, and kindness when we think of love. However, that was not precisely the principle on which the Violet Lantern Ring was founded.

Originally, this lantern ring was forged and tasked to find sentient beings who have been loved and spurned so that it can aid them in their revenge against those who have cheated them. The Violet Lantern ring was created by the Zamarons, who are the female counterparts of the Maltusians, currently known as the Guardians of the universe.

When the beings of Maltus evolved, they reached a point where they did not need to reproduce again and left their female counterparts behind. These Maltuseans focused on their intellectual capabilities, whereas the Zamarons went on to become fierce warriors who did not particularly like the Guardians. When the former Maltuseans settled on Zamaron, they found a crystal called the Star Sapphire that would go on to use as a source of their power. The Star Sapphire drew power from the emotion of love. Those who have been hurt by love or have a profuse amount of grief in their hearts usually end up with the violent lantern ring.

For the most part, the Violet Lanterns had allies to the Green Lanterns, but that was not how it all started. Before the Violet Ring was forged, the Star Sapphire was just a powerful parasitic crystal that the Zamarons gave to the strongest champion in their fight against the Guardians.

However, it soon became clear that the gem could instigate malice in the form of rage and was too powerful to control. Eventually, they created several Violet Lantern Rings from the gem and sent them out to find new wielders. One such wielder was Carol Ferris, the love interest of Hal Jordan. She accepted the ring, hoping it would help her save Hal during the events of the War of Light. This too, turned sour, and Carol found herself at odds with her betrothed.

Towards the end of this storyline, Zamaron is attacked by the Black Lantern Corps, and the living embodiment of the violet light, the Predator, is freed. Hal, Carol, and Sinestro escape as the attack ensue, but it is unclear if the rest of the Violet Lantern Corps survives this attack.

Moral of this story?

Don’t ditch your spouse for no reason. They’ll create a space club that’s out to get you.

Characters Who Wear/Wore Violet Lantern Ring:

  • Carol Ferris
  • Dianna of Themyscira
  • Queen Aga’po
  • Fatality

#4 Orange Lantern Ring

#4 Orange Lantern Ring

Represents: Avarice/Greed
What Does The Orange Lantern Ring Mean:

This is probably one of the most interesting of all the Lantern Rings. The Orange Lantern Corps isn’t exactly a corps. I mean, you don’t call a one-man operation an organization.

The Orange Lantern Ring draws power from the emotion of Avarice/Greed. Just from that, you can derive that the wielders of this ring aren’t exactly the good guys. There are no actual members of the Orange Lantern Corps except for Larfleeze, the Keeper of the light.

There is no real explanation as to how the Orange lantern ring came into existence, but one can only imagine that Larfleez’s immense greed for power manifested in the creation of the first orange lantern ring. All the other members of the Orange Lantern Corps are those that Larfleez has slain. Once he kills his opponents, Larfleez steal’s their identity and body and makes them part of his corp, having full control over them. This way, he does not have to share his power and can still be the leader of his Corps. Larfleez is otherwise known as Agent Orange and has been a foe to the Green Lanterns on many occasions.

Before the creation of the Green Lanterns, the Guardians of the Universe went to war with the Keeper of the Orange light, and this confrontation almost destroyed both sides. They eventually reached a treaty, with Larfleez simply wanting to be left alone with his orange power battery. Another sect of the Maltuseans, the Controllers, sought the power of the Orange Lantern Battery and attacked Larfleez. Larfleez slaughtered the controllers and came out of hiding to exact revenge on the Guardians, believing they were the cause of his attack.

Agent Orange is settled on the planet Okaara and operates out of there. It is hardly a headquarters but rather somewhere for him to be left alone with his things. The Orange Lantern’s powers have turned the planet into a wasteland covered in vines, and nothing could penetrate it. If something was brave enough to get through, the chances of surviving the hordes of Orange Lantern constructs are virtually zero. Lex Luthor even managed to get his hands on the Orange Lantern Ring once, and that just makes perfect sense.

This supervillain took “Joey doesn’t share food” to a whole other level.

Characters Who Wear/Wore Orange Lantern Ring:

  • Larfleeze
  • Alexander Luthor
  • Gretti

#3 Indigo Lantern Ring

#3 Indigo Lantern Ring

Represents: Compassion
What Does The Indigo Lantern Ring Mean:

Also known as the Indigo tribe, this band of space warriors rely on the emotion of compassion for their power. Everyone who wields an Indigo lantern ring is overcome with profound remorse for everything wrong they have done and sets out to rectify their wrongdoings.

Funnily enough, the entire Indigo tribe is made up of the worst killers and sadists in the known universe. Abin Sur, the former owner of Hal Jordan’s ring, helped create the Indigo tribe. The Indigo light is the hardest to achieve out of all the powers available on the emotional electromagnetic spectrum. This is simply because a wielder of an Indigo lantern ring must give themselves completely to the universe. Not many can make that sacrifice, and very few are worthy of it. They are allies to the Green Lanterns, and the two corps have fought alongside each other under many circumstances.

Long ago, the planet Nok was invaded by violent explorers, and they later turned Nok into a Slave planet. All its inhabitants were subjugated, taken away from the planet, and sold across the galaxy. Eventually, Abin Sur, the greatest Green Lantern of that time, arrived at Nok and vowed to free its people.

The Green Lantern partnered with one of the natives, and together they discovered a cave hidden deep in the jungle. Inside this cave, they found indigo light. The original inhabitants of Nok would use this light to forge their weapons and found that if cut by these blades, the wounded would experience great compassion and regret for their actions. Abin Sur helped his companion to make use of this power and forge the indigo rings from it.

With this power, they could defeat the invaders and regain control of the planet. The Green Lantern would later leave the planet, only to return with the worst of the worst in the universe. Each of these violent offenders was given an Indigo lantern ring, and they would become beings of great compassion. While redemption was the reasoning, the Indigo tribe was meant to be an army for Abin Sur if the day came when he would have to battle the Guardians of the Universe. It would later be made clear that Abin Sur was preparing for the events of the Blackest Night. The Indigo tribe is led by the mysterious Indigo-1, who believes their only purpose is to serve the universe.

Two attributes set this corps apart from the others. One is that they can teleport anywhere, meaning they can travel at the speed of light. Another exciting factor is that they can copy the unique abilities of the other Lantern users as long as they are nearby. That’s pretty cool. Who knew that being nice to people would pay?

Characters Who Wear/Wore Indigo Lantern Ring:

  • John Stewart
  • Thaal Sinestro
  • Ray Palmer
  • Shane Thompson
  • William Hand

#2 Black Lantern Ring

#2 Black Lantern Ring

Represents: Death
What Does The Black Lantern Ring Mean:

The name of this Lantern Corps is a bit of a giveaway. Death isn’t exactly an emotion, so it’s hard to harness it in that way. In contrast to its counterparts, this ring reanimates deceased characters in a zombified form. The only purpose of this corps is to eliminate all life from the universe.

The first wielder of the Black Lantern ring that is introduced to us is Black Hand. Though initially, he does not possess a black lantern ring. Black Hand comes into possession of a weapon made by Atrocitus that can absorb the light of all the other lantern rings and, thereby, their power. His need to extinguish the light of the emotional spectrum is not revealed much later during the events of the Blackest Night.

The Black Lantern is powered by the darkness that existed before the creation of the universe. The entire Blackest Night premise is based on that very darkness fighting back against the white light of creation that has been fractured dues to the overuse of its powers by the various Lantern corps.

The former Guarding was the first person to create a Black Lantern Ring and give it to Black Hand. Her goal was to realize the Blackest night as she grew more militant and aggressively opposed to the Guardian of the Universe ideologies. The original mastermind of the Black Lanterns is Nekron, the Physical embodiment of Death. However, this entity does not have a natural attachment to the living world and is confined to its world of darkness. Nekron uses his Black Lanterns, Black Hand, and the Anti-Monitor to create a connection to the living universe, to kill the very first living being in the universe, The Entity. He was nearly successful.

Unlike the other Lantern Corps that is powered by a particular emotion, this corp has its strings pulled by an ancient evil entity that wants control of everything it can get its hands on. They are the most dangerous among all the corps and can use any deceased being to carry out their plans.

Pretty much a controlled, super-powered zombie invasion. Yikes.

Characters Who Wear/Wore Black Lantern Ring:

  • Batman
  • Nekron
  • Black Hand
  • Aquaman
  • Martian Manhunter

#1 White Lantern Ring

#1 White Lantern Ring

Represents: Life
What Does The White Lantern Ring Mean:

The White Lantern Ring made its first appearance during the Blackest Night Storyline. As you might have guessed, it is meant to be the benevolent opposite of the Black Lantern Corps. A ring that draws its power from life itself.

Funnily enough, the first White Lantern was Sinestro, who transformed when he bonded with the Life Entity, the embodiment of life itself. The White Lantern ring soon finds its way to Hal Jordan, who can use its power effectively and revive Black Hand, Nekron’s tether to the living universe. This generates twelve more White lantern rings which find their way to various heroes and a few villains.

With their combined might, the newly formed White Lantern Corps can defeat Nekron and save the universe from his sinister plans. However, after its purpose, the white Lanterns are discharged from their duty, and the only person seen possessing one is Deadman.

The White Lantern’s power shows itself again when Kyle Rainer masters the powers of all the lantern rings and uses his newfound ability to battle the now emotionless Guardians and their new weapon, the Third Army. The White Lantern ring is considered the most powerful of the lot and nearly impossible to achieve or control. Only the mightiest heroes have been seen to be worthy of it, and often for not too long.

The White Lantern Corps, during its brief existence, seemed to be an unstoppable force of nature, much like life itself. The White Lantern ring eventually became too powerful for Kyle Rainer to control and was split into seven rings that were sent off to find worthy wielders.

At one point, Earth itself was inducted into the White Lantern Corps to help defeat the Ultraviolet lantern corps. It would be pretty cool to get your hands on a White Lantern, right, wouldn’t it?

Characters Who Wear/Wore White Lantern Ring:

  • Kyle Rayner
  • Superman
  • Swamp Thing
  • Green Arrow
  • Wonderwoman

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First Lantern Ring

The first lantern ring was worn by Volthoom, the very first lantern created by the Guardians of the Universe. Unlike the other rings on this list, this ring did not rely on just one emotion from the spectrum but rather a mixture of them.

The ring had immense power but turned its user into a sadist who liked to play with everyone else’s emotions. The Guardians eventually imprisoned him for his transgressions. Seems about right.

Phantom Ring

The Phantom Ring was created by Rami, a former Guardian who believed that his new ring would replace the Green Lantern ring that had a weakness of yellow.

Turns out that not everyone was a fan of change, and he was banished along with the ring. Like the First Lantern Ring, this ring allows the user to use the powers of all the emotions in the spectrum. However, it possessed a dangerous weakness wherein it would take its user through a cycle of emotions over and over again, making them unstable. That does not sound fun.

Ultraviolet Lantern Ring

The Ultraviolet Lantern Ring is the newest addition to the list of all power rings. Unlike most other rings that rely on emotion, this one draws its power from negative thoughts. Ultraviolet lanterns don’t have rings but tattoos of rings. That’s pretty rad, actually. It is the corps of the unseen light and at its heart is a phantom galaxy powered by a sentient star called Umbrax.

Like Ultraviolet rays, Umbrax remains unseen and is drawn to a world where negative thoughts thrive. Once the entity finds such a place, the world is absorbed into this phantom galaxy, which is how it grows in power. John Stewart was one of the first Ultraviolet Lanterns.

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This brings us to the end of our list of all the lantern rings from DC Comics. Imagine how awesome it would be if you could get your hands on one of these. This would depend on what lies within you. So here is a question, if one of these rings were to choose you, which one do you think would fly your way and why?

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Later, nerds.