The newest Justice League trailer introduced fans to the DC Extended Universe’s Steppenwolf, the bad guy from Apokolips who attacks Earth with his Parademon army. Steppenwolf is a fierce warrior, who shows great confidence of victory when he mentioned that Earth doesn’t have any Lanterns to protect it. Anyone who is familiar with DC Comics will recognize that this is a reference to the Green Lanterns, the intergalactic police force introduced in the Silver Age of comics of the 50s and 60s. The Green Lantern Corps reboot will eventually happen in the DCEU, but Steppenwolf’s statement seems to indicate that during the events of Justice League, the Green Lantern of Sector 2814 is either dead or missing in action.
If you are not familiar with the Green Lantern history in the comics, the DC universe is divided into 3600 sectors, and each sector has at least one Green Lantern to patrol it. Earth rests in Sector 2814, and before Hal Jordan became the first human member of the Green Lantern Corps in the comics, our sector was protected by Abin Sur. Right now, it’s unclear what Earth’s Green Lantern situation is when Justice League comes to the theater.
It has been reported that the Green Lantern Corps movie is expected to be a “Lethal Weapon” type cop movie between Hal and John Stewart, with Hal presumably being the senior Lantern like in the comics. Also, it’s been speculated that Abin Sur will cameo in Justice League, suggesting that a human Green Lantern hasn’t been assigned yet. Whatever the facts are, it’s hard to imagine the Guardians of the Universe, the leaders of the Green Lantern Corps, not assigning a Green Lantern watching over Earth. Just because humanity has not known about the Corps existence doesn’t mean that one of the members wouldn’t protect the planet if something threatened to harm it.
So then what’s the reason for Steppenwolf’s words in the Justice League trailer? Our guess is that either before the movie events or early into the story, the Green Lantern of Sector 2814 has either been eliminated or is elsewhere. If the Green Lantern who is assigned to the earth is an alien, then he or she could be dead, or dying. If the Green Lantern is Abin Sur, then his injury and death could serve as a lead in to Hal Jordan’s origin as Green Lantern. Abin Sur tries to stop Steppenwolf from reaching Earth, and is fatally injured in the process. From there, the ring selects its new wielder within that sector, and Hal meets Abin Sur like he did in the comics but the events of Hal Jordan learning the power of the ring and the timing of Steppenwolf’s attack prevent Jordan from aiding Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg in battling Steppenwolf and the Parademons.
However, if we assume that Hal Jordan or another human has been serving as the Green Lantern of Earth for some time, then that person is likely just missing in action somehow. Maybe Hal and/or John are dealing with a different emergency in Sector 2814, and by the time they learn about the assault on Earth and return home, the crisis has been averted. Steppenwolf’s monologue in the Justice League trailer only indicates that Earth is without a Green Lantern, not that the entire universe is without the power of the Green Lantern Corps.
Because of the poor performance of the first Green Lantern movie, DC and Warner Bros are taking their time to re-introducing the Green Lantern film to the movie goers. As of this date, there hasn’t been official confirmation of any kind of direct Green Lantern appearance in Justice League, so Steppenwolf’s line may be the only Lantern reference we get in that movie. Even so, it is assuring to Green Lantern fans that Green Lantern Corps is one of the top priorities for the DCEU in the coming years, so it’s only a matter of time before we see a Green Lantern reintroduced. Until then, enjoy the movie about this newly-formed superhero team and their efforts to repel the alien invaders.
We may learn more about the status of the Green Lanterns in the DCEU when Justice League hits theaters on November 17. Green Lantern Corps is expected to arrive in the summer of 2020. 🙂 Walt