Five Very Temporary Green Lanterns the Guardians Refuse to Acknowledge (because they failed miserably)
Yes, the citizens of Earth are extremely lucky. Beyond a preponderance of super-powered protectors, they have anywhere from one to six Green Lanterns protecting them from supervillains, collapsing escalators, rusty jungle gyms, and alien invasions.
However, when grand cosmic crises threaten to unmake the universe, Earth’s emerald warriors must make their way to OA – the location of the Central Power Battery – before receiving their marching orders from well-intended, but mostly stand-offish Guardians of the Universe.
And sure, our wonderful planet is still under the protection of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and about 300 other Metahumans who are mostly beneficent, but the Guardians aren’t particularly enamored -- they would prefer a Green Lantern keep an eye on things while more experienced Lanterns handle more imposing catastrophes.
To whom did the Guardians of the Universe bequeath Power Rings in the absence of Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz? Well….no one special.
You see, the Power Rings are attracted to candidates with the ability to overcome – or just plain scoff at – great and unruly fear. Unfortunately, one may be fearless because one is utterly foolish.
Knowing these temporary replacement Lanterns would only be active for 48-minutes to 48 hours, the Guardians allowed Power Rings to alter their very selective AI, lowering (significantly) their usually impeccable recruitment standards.
So, who was hastily recruited to “protect” Earth while the finest Green Lanterns of Sector 2814 risked their lives against Sun Eaters, Starros, and the raging, toxic blood-maces constructed by perpetually irascible Red Lanterns?
Well, a few folks (five, specifically) who were certainly fearless, but mostly insane, inebriated, completely inanimate, distressingly daft, and not age-appropriate.
1. Luke the NASCAR Fan from Tennessee
Luke Loved NASCAR. I mean, he LOVED NASCAR. An aspiring pit crew engineer, Luke worked at the local Jiffy Lube and fixed cars on the side for six-packs of Bud Light.
Luke wasn’t the most skillfully woven dishrag in the towel drawer, but he had a good heart, and he never flinched when his favorite driver – engulfed in flames – emerged from a massacred race car. However, Luke liked to drink. Luke liked to drink A LOT, which is why he…
- Never advanced beyond the Second Third Key Junior Assistant Manager position at Jiffy Lube.
- Is currently on parole and affixed with an ankle monitor.
And his drinking was particularly heavy during especially interesting NASCAR races. While watching a particularly interesting NASCAR race, a pressed-for-time and extremely frustrated Power Ring sensed Luke’s noble heart and apparent – but inebriated -- fearlessness.
Rushing to fulfill its prime directive, the ring took a chance – it launched itself through Luke’s trailer and immediately took the place of Luke’s ankle monitor.
After the Power Ring’s/Power Ankle Bracelet’s 35-second tutorial, Luke immediately created a bright green race car and drove it in circles for sixteen hours above the local beer distributor. After winning the “race,” Luke decided it was time for a drink. Smashing his car into the beer distributor, Luke grabbed 75 cases of Bud Light, a cardboard cut-out of Dale Earnhardt Jr., an official NASCAR keychain, and about 458 sticks of beef jerky.
Sitting in a blow-up chair courtesy of Nabisco (an official NASCAR sponsor), Luke finished another Bud Light, burped a mighty burp, and fell asleep.
(The extremely disappointed Power Ring/ Power Ankle Bracelet quietly removed itself and sought another candidate, making a mental note to screen for unusually high blood alcohol content before recommitting itself).
2. Sandra Bixley, the Green Lantern of Chicago’s Anti-Cruelty Animal Shelter
Sandra (“Sandy” to her human friends) loved animals. I mean, she LOVED animals. A Power Ring chose Sandy for her compassion and the indomitable will necessary to protect and treat said animals.
As a skilled veterinarian, Sandra showed no fear while helping animals driven ferocious with pain – she received quite a few scars and lost ¾ of her upper lip while removing LEGO bricks from a German Shepard’s paw.
Because of her courage in the face of fear, a Power Ring appeared -- it granted Sandra the ability to treat animals with green, hard-light medical implements. She also created green, sizable squeak toys and a giant, floating, and self-contained animal park which took the place of unusually cruel crates and cages.
But then came the day when state funding ran out, and the shelter had to close. Sandra, refusing to leave the shelter, was eventually entreated to do so by an ever-increasing (and surrounding) police presence.
After 32-hours, tear gas canisters crashed through the shelter’s windows.
After 32-hours and 17-seconds, a giant green fan blew tear gas from the shelter and towards the encamped police force.
After 32-hours and 3-minutes, giant green dogs started feeding on the teary-eyed officers.
After 32-hours, 3-minutes, and 7-seconds, the Power Ring rendered Sandra unconscious with a mild shock and continued its quest to find the next potential Green Lantern.
3. Mikey “Chubby Legs” Groland: The Three-Year-Old Green Lantern
Mikey was your average three-year-old. He liked trains, trucks, Power Rangers, puppies, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and chocolate milk. Mike was learning important things like what’s funny/not funny, what tastes good/terrible, and more importantly, what hurts/doesn’t hurt.
Regarding “what hurts/doesn’t hurt”: he would fearlessly test his pain threshold by placing his face on the oven door regardless of his parents’ warnings (sorry – their screams). Thankfully, the oven was never actually turned on, but they warned him just the same – a three-year-old hasn’t quite figured out the difference between the “on” and “off” states of various appliances and electronics.
Sensing Mikey’s fearlessness (which was simply Mikey’s complete lack of experience with more serious boo-boos), a nearby Green Lantern Ring immediately grafted itself to the child’s wrist during an intense bubble-blowing session with Grandma.
After the Power Ring granted Mikey a very brief “how-to” tutorial (with the help of a green Thomas the Train hologram), Mikey began creating hard-light sippy cups filled with green milk. It was supposed to be chocolate milk, but even the ring has its limits.
Within 15-minutes, Grandma’s “chubby bunny” created a one-thousand-foot Megazord. Piloting Megazord, Mikey created Goldar for Grandma.
Grandma and Mikey “accidentally” destroyed Los Angeles.
Mikey laughed. Grandma laughed. The Power Ring – and Los Angeles -- did not.
After “The Destruction of Los Angeles by a Ridiculous Pair of ‘90s TV Show Characters,” Grandma put Mikey down for a nap, and the Power Ring immediately excused itself from Mikey’s chubby little wrist.
4. Reginald “Reggie” Caplan, the Geriatric Green Lantern
Reginald started most sentences with “Back in my day…” and liked to spend hours talking about his triple bypass surgery. He also liked to talk about WWII, and how he and Jimmy “Sausages” Johnson stormed a German gun nest with nothing but fishing line and a rolled-up issue of Mystery Comics #4.
Unfortunately, that daring attack cost Reggie his left leg, and Jimmy his life.
During one such story (told to a completely uninterested grandson), a nearby Power Ring sensed Reggie’s bravery in the midst of great fear and immediately grafted itself to Reginald’s ring finger.
After the ring’s very brief tutorial – which prompted Reggie to say “stop mumbling” at least a dozen times – Reggie immediately recreated his missing left leg.
Standing upright for the first time in decades without a cane/walker/uninterested grandson, Reggie created a Green Lantern costume based on his sharp Army Service Uniform complete with glowing rank insignias.
Reggie flew to the site where he lost Jimmy, and created a giant green memorial complete with a gushing, green fountain that could be seen from outer space (according to NASA and Hal Jordan).
After apologizing to Jimmy for his “stupid-ass idea” to storm a gun nest, Reggie laid next to the fountain, took a nap, and died in his sleep.
The Power Ring removed itself and scattered Reggie’s granulated remains along the beaches of Normandy. And yes, the blazing fountain remains -- and that’s without a Green Lantern providing a constant current of willpower. A miracle? Perhaps. Or…a very sentimental Power Ring.
5. “Wilfred” the Dependable Crash Test Dummy
After witnessing a perpetually smiling human bravely smash into walls at extreme speeds, the Power Ring was certain it found the perfect part-time Green Lantern.
Affixing itself to the strangely stiff ring finger of a human presumably known as Wilfred (thanks to a t-shirt denoted with the words “Hello, My Name Is Wilfred”), the Power Ring presented its tutorial and waited for this completely fearless recruit to become the ‘envy of the Corps.’
And it waited. And waited. And then it presented the tutorial again, but in a different language. And then in another language. And then in every language. Louder this time.
And then the Power Ring determined that the human was, in fact, a human facsimile built specifically for automobile safety testing.
The Power Ring quietly removed itself and set a direct course for the sun.