The Corps of the Emotional Spectrum might be a colorful bunch, but these Ultraviolet Lanterns aren’t cut from the same cloth, and for good reason.
At this point, DC Comics fans are extremely familiar with the Green Lanterns and their ability to overcome great fear. They know about the Emotional Spectrum and how each distinctive emotion can be wielded as a powerful and colorful tool to either help or hurt the universe at large. But what many aren’t aware of is the most recent addition to this galactic set of Corps, in a group of Lanterns that are part of something more, something less seen, something entirely invisible in fact. They go by the name of the Ultraviolet Lanterns.
Introduced by Scott Snyder during his recent Justice League stint, the Ultraviolet Lanterns are quite literally powered by an invisible energy, and are a Corps unlike any other. The rest of the galaxy might have the Green Lantern Corps and any number of other friendly Corps to protect it, but with the Ultraviolet Lanterns, things get a bit more complicated.
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Originally sought out by a pre-Green Lantern Sinestro, the eventual leader of the Yellow Lanterns of fear and main bad guy to Hal Jordan and the rest of the Green Lantern Corps, the ultraviolet light was a power that – in a surprise twist for Sinestro – was considered too terrifying to wield even by him. Hidden away for decades, this ultraviolet light was eventually freed after the Source Wall, the literal edge of the DC Universe, was broken, unleashing the “heart” of what powers the ultraviolet light: the sentient sun known as Umbrax, the Living Phantom Galaxy.
Part of the Invisible Emotional Spectrum that Umbrax taps into, these Ultraviolet Lanterns are seemingly powered by the self-destructive, negative, most hateful and most “unseen” emotions deep within the heart of whatever person or being has been assimilated into the Corps by Umbrax’s immense power. Technically an invisible form of light, the ultraviolet power takes on the color of a lighter shade of purple/violet that looks like a mix between the elusive light of the Indigo Lanterns and the love-torn light that the Star Sapphire Corps’ wield, while also mimicking the base power set of all Lanterns by having the power of flight, energy construct creation and a protective, space-faring field.
Unlike the other Corps who brandish a physical ring through which to channel their power, the Ultraviolet Lanterns have a tattoo of a ring on their finger – an “invisible” ring if you will – that links everything and anything they do back to Umbrax and his authoritative will. Coupled with the constant pull Umbrax has in being drawn to planets that have the most self-destructive tendencies (obviously including Earth), the UV power of these Lanterns – much like the twisted Orange Lantern ring – also essentially corrupts its wielder, bringing to the forefront the most cruel, raw and primeval thoughts and feelings that person has, further keeping them under the control of Umbrax. As of now, the only two people that have been able to take back control of the UV light for their own have been Sinestro and Green Lantern great John Stewart; feats that took immense willpower to achieve.
But while it seems like the Ultraviolet Lanterns could have been a unique and interesting new wrinkle in the ever-growing Green Lantern lore, recent events stemming from the epic Death Metal storyline has rendered their power kaput for the time being. Despite that, no DC idea is ever truly gone for good, and it might not be too long before these Ultraviolet Lanterns show up again in full force, but until then, the threat of an invisible Corps powered by the basest and most destructive of hidden emotions is a promise for another day.
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