The Green Lantern oath has made the Lantern Corps a very distinguished group of superheroes. Some heroes have distinctive sayings and jokes: Robin adds “holy” to the beginning of any sentence he says. Spider-Man often tells villains to “hang around” after he ties them to a lamp post with web. And Flash makes numerous sarcastic comments (at least the Wally West Flash does). But none of these compare to the Green Lantern oath that has been made so recognizable by several Lanterns who have worn the power ring.
The first Green Lantern oath recited was done by Alan Scott, who was the first character to wear a green power ring. Alan Scott appeared in All-American Comics #16 in 1940. The only other media appearance by Scott was in the Smallville episode “Absolute Justice.” Scott’s Green Lantern oath was the following:
“…and I shall shed my light over dark evil.
For the dark things cannot stand the light,
- The light of the Green Lantern!”
So that doesn’t sound too catchy, but it got the point across … for a time.
Then a few years later, the oath was revised into a more epic and memorable version. It was Hal Jordan (who first showed up in 1959) that made the newer version of the Green Lantern oath popular. The Green Lantern oath as it is known today is the following:
- “In brightest day, in blackest night,
- No evil shall escape my sight
- Let those who worship evil’s might,
- Beware my power… Green Lantern’s light!”
Since this oath was established, there have been several other oaths established by other Lantern Corps. Medphyll, a Lantern who protects a planet inhabited by a sentient plant species has a Green Lantern oath that applies more to his world. Rop Lop Fan is a Green Lantern whose species does not have sight, so his oath replaces words that have to do with light and sight with sounds (“In loudest din or hush profound…”). There are other forms of the oath as well, including one used by the last Green Lantern (in the 31st century), Sodam Yat.
The Green Lantern oath has been used for a number of reasons, including ceremonial reasons when many Lanterns are gathered, and as a confidence-builder for Lanterns as they fight. But perhaps the most notable use of the Green lantern oath is in re-charging the power rings of Green Lanterns.
As of right now, it is only Green Lantern fans that are familiar with the Green Lantern oath. But when Ryan Reynolds recites it in the Green Lantern movie to be released in 2011, it will become a mainstream quote among the rest of the population. From the time the movie is released onward, Reynolds will most likely be connected with the saying before any other comic character or voice actor from an animated series. It is then that people will beware the power … “Green Lantern’s light!”
Jack Stewart is a writer for SuperheroLegacy.com