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The emotional spectrum is a fictional concept within the DC Universe, primarily portrayed in Green Lantern titles. The colors of the emotional spectrum are harnessed as power sources by various fictional organizations wielding power rings.

The concept was created and developed by DC writer Geoff Johns from 2007-2009 as a reinterpretation of part of the Green Lantern mythos and has grown in prominence in the DC Universe with Johns' own ascension to his current position as DC's Chief Creative Officer in 2010.

The concept's influence has culminated in the various Green Lantern series and in the company-wide "Blackest Night" and "Brightest Day" crossovers.

The concept was also partially referred to in 2011's Green Lantern film, on which Johns served as a creative consultant and co-producer.

Colors

In DC Comics, the emotional spectrum is divided into the seven colors of the rainbow, with each color corresponding to a different emotion: rage (red), avarice (orange), fear (yellow), willpower (green), hope (blue), compassion (indigo), and love (violet). However, it also represents the absence of color (black), which is death, and the combination of colors (white) which is life.[1][2][3][4][5]

At San Diego Comic Con 2009, Geoff Johns described his own vision of the emotional spectrum; an aspect of the DC Universe he introduced at the end of the 2007-2008 Sinestro Corps War storyline in the Green Lantern titles and then began to shape more actively during the preliminary stages of 2009's Blackest Night plotline. He explained that the idea is something he sees as being real, and a product of the complexity of human emotions (as well as those of other sentient, fictional beings within the comics he writes).

The two emotions on the far ends of the emotional spectrum (rage and love), have a much stronger influence over their users.[6] Johns explains that rage is an emotion that's closely related to the primal instincts one needs in order to survive. In instances of fight-or-flight response, rage would embody "fight." Johns elaborates that love is the most pure emotion, but also "powerful and just as distorting as rage." Though these emotions are overwhelming, they are not negative if used correctly. While describing interaction between the different emotions, Johns describes willpower (the emotion central to the spectrum) as being the ability to maintain control over one's emotions and grow as an individual. Hope embodies a spiritual quality that emerges from that awareness, and compassion (according to Johns) is an even more difficult emotion to explain that is more rare in today's society.[7]

Although originally only the Green Lanterns and Sinestro utilized the spectrum, the formation of Corps around other colors of the spectrum is explored in the "Sinestro Corps War" and Blackest Night storylines.

  • Red Lantern Corps: With their origin introduced among plot elements revolving around the Five Inversions, this Corps draws their power from rage.[1] Making their debut appearance during the one-shot Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns, they are founded by the first Red Lantern: Atrocitus.[2] Described as "monsters" by Johns, most Red Lanterns are depicted as irrational and animalistic, though Atrocitus and his leadership of the corps could be described as Anti-heroic.[2][7]
  • Agent Orange: Powered by avarice, the sole bearer of the orange light, which represents the emotional power of greed, is a character named Larfleeze (referred to as "Agent Orange" by the Guardians); a creation that Johns has previously described as being one of his favorites.[8] Prominently featured during a multi-issue story arc also titled "Agent Orange," it is revealed that he has the ability to steal the identities of those he's killed and is able to transform them into orange light constructs which comprise his Orange Lantern Corps.[9]
  • Sinestro Corps: Story elements from Green Lantern: Rebirth and The Sinestro Corps War expand upon Sinestro's yellow power ring into a prototype for a larger group. The color yellow is established to be powered by fear, as a natural counterpart to Green Lanterns' will to overcome fear.[10][11]
  • Green Lantern Corps: An intergalactic police force founded and led by the Guardians of the Universe, their members draw upon willpower to generate constructs made of green energy from their power rings.[12]
  • Blue Lantern Corps: The first blue ring is created by Ganthet and Sayd at the conclusion of "The Sinestro Corps War" plotline, where it is noted that the emotion of hope is the color's source of power.[5] Blue Lanterns are only capable of the basic abilities of flight and aura generation on their own. It is only in the presence of an active Green Lantern that the full extent of their abilities is realized, as hope is nothing without the willpower to enact it.[13]
  • Indigo Tribe: Johns was very secretive in revealing plot elements surrounding the Indigo Tribe in Green Lantern, which corresponds to the indigo light of compassion being especially elusive in the DC Universe.[14][15] Making their first extended appearance in Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #1, they display the ability to teleport and reproduce the abilities of other Corps.[16]
  • Star Sapphires: The Star Sapphires are a Corps based around the Green Lantern villainess of the same name. The next Corps introduced after the Sinestro Corps, the "Mystery of the Star Sapphire" story-arc depicts the Zamarons creating power rings and batteries powered by love (a long running theme with the Star Sapphire character).[17] In Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #2, former Star Sapphire Carol Ferris is revealed as being invited to join the Star Sapphires in order to lead the new violet Corps.

Emotional entities

Emotional entities are a small pantheon of creatures, within the DC Universe, that are pure embodiments of the emotions comprising the emotional spectrum.[18] At San Diego Comic Con, Johns clarified that all of the Corps have a related entity. As of Green Lantern (vol. 4) #54 all seven entities have been revealed within Green Lantern titles. Though the Black Lantern Corps (introduced as major antagonists within the Blackest Night plot line) are powered by death rather than one of the lights of the emotional spectrum, Green Lantern #43 reveals that their leader (Black Hand) is a similar entity as well.[19] In Blackest Night #7, Nekron unearths another similar being referred to as "The Entity." Like Black Hand, the Entity does not belong to the emotional spectrum, but instead is the embodiment of the white light that creates life in Johns' creation story for the DC Universe.[20] In Brightest Day it's revealed that the former guardian Krona was the Caretaker/Handler for the entities and has immunity from the various lights of the emotional spectrum.[21]

The Butcher

File:GLRedEntity01.jpg

The Butcher[22] is the embodiment of rage and is connected to the red light of the emotional spectrum and its appearance bears a resemblance to a demonic bull. The Butcher is born to the DC Universe after the first murder.[23] The head and horns of this emotional manifestation resembles the Red Lantern Corps insignia. This entity is first mentioned during the "Blackest Night" event in Green Lantern (vol. 4) #51. Atrocitus becomes mesmerized by the amount of rage he senses within the Spectre while it is under the possession of a black power ring. After a conflict with Parallax, Atrocitus attempts to recruit the Spectre as the entity of his Corps. Although he is briefly infected by the uniform and characteristics of a Red Lantern, the Spectre shrugs off the effects. He explains that he is God's rage, and does not belong to Atrocitus. However, the Spectre does claim to have faced "the crimson creature of anger," adding that Atrocitus will be destroyed if he seeks out the entity.[24]

The Butcher was eventually found by the Spectre and Atrocitus, and was contained inside Atrocitus' power battery,[25] until Krona managed with the help of Ophidian to capture the entity. Krona then invaded Oa and made the Butcher possess the Guardian of the Universe named Herupa. The Butcher was eventually free from Krona's control, after Hal Jordan defeated and killed the rogue Guardian. The Butcher is once again at large in the Universe.

Ophidian

File:GLOrangeEntity01.jpg

Ophidian[22] is the embodiment of greed which is connected to the orange light of the emotional spectrum. This entity resembles a large serpent with the Orange Lantern insignia on its head. In its debut appearance, it is depicted being created when the first creature ate what it did not need.[23] In an interview with Newsarama, Johns revealed that the orange entity of greed resides in Larfleeze's power battery and speaks to Hal Jordan when he is briefly overwhelmed with the power of the orange light in Green Lantern #42. It was revealed that Ophidian had been trapped in the Orange Power Battery by Larfleeze.

After breaking out of prison and tracking down under the command of Krona, Larfleeze and Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Hector Hammond consumed the battery and became Ophidian's host. Currently, Ophidian has possessed one of the Guardians after Krona exorcised the greed entity from Hammond. Ophidian was eventually free from Krona's control, after Hal Jordan defeated and killed the rogue Guardian. Ophidian is once again at large in the Universe.[8]

Parallax

Main article: Parallax (comics)
File:GLParallax01.jpg

Parallax is the embodiment of fear, born when one of the earliest life forms first felt terror,[23] and is connected to the yellow light of the emotional spectrum; it is insect-like in appearance, and the inside of its mouth resembles the Sinestro Corps symbol. In Green Lantern: Rebirth #3, Parallax is described as an entity of living fear that is born at the dawn of sentience itself. Parallax creates fear and paranoia in any civilization it comes across, and threatens to trap the entire universe in a vicious cycle of fear and violence. To prevent this from happening, the Guardians trap Parallax in a comatose state and seal it within the Green Central Power Battery. Its presence within the battery eventually becomes the "yellow impurity" that renders the Green Lantern Corps power rings useless against the color yellow.[26] However it is able to possess Hal Jordan after Coast City is destroyed, and makes him slaughter nearly all the other Corps and Oans.

At the conclusion of Green Lantern: Rebirth, Jordan, Kyle Rayner, John Stewart, Kilowog and Guy Gardner fight Parallax and re-imprison him in the Green Central Power Battery.[27] Following the creature's defeat in Rebirth, it is established that an experienced Green Lantern (with effort) can overcome the yellow weakness by recognizing the fear behind it and facing that fear.[28]

Parallax is the first of the seven emotional entities to be captured by Krona. When Krona invades Oa with Parallax and the other six entities and had them possess the Guardians, Parallax takes over the Green Lantern Corps' central power battery, restoring its impurity and gaining control of the Green Lanterns save for Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, John Stewart, and Ganthet.[29] Parallax is eventually removed from the Green Central Power Battery, and is completely free from Krona's control, after Hal Jordan defeats and kills the rogue Guardian. Parallax returned to the Yellow Central Power Battery.

Ion

Main article: Ion (DC Comics)
File:GLIon01.jpg

Ion is the embodiment of willpower, born when life first moved of its own accord,[23] and is connected to the green light of the emotional spectrum. Ethan Van Sciver describes Ion as resembling a large, primitive whale or fish.[30] Representing the stability of willpower, Ion serves to support its host, providing a vast supply of power in return for the willpower provided by its host.[31] This contrasts with Parallax, who dominates its host, controlling them in order to inspire fear in others.[26] Ion is prominently featured in the "Sinestro Corps War" storyline, and is first seen when it is removed from Kyle Rayner.[32] The entity itself has several physical characteristics emulated by the Guardians and their Corps. The Guardians' insignia appears in a pattern on the creature's dorsal side. Ion also has a monk fish-like appendage that ends in a lantern-like lure.[33]

After being taken from Rayner, the Ion entity is held captive on Qward and experimented upon by the Anti-Monitor.[32] Later rescued by a team of Lanterns, it is returned to the Guardians of Oa, who bond the creature with Sodam Yat (a novice Green Lantern from the planet Daxam) in order to form an "ultimate weapon" to combat Superboy-Prime.[34]

Following its removal from Yat and captivity in Ryut, Ion is the second of the seven entities to be captured by Krona, who forces Ion to possess one of the Guardians of the Universe during Krona's invasion of Oa.[35] Ion is eventually free from Krona's control, after Hal Jordan defeats and kills the rogue Guardian. Ion is once again at large in the Universe.

Adara

File:GLBlueEntity01.jpg

Adara[22] is the embodiment of hope and is connected to the blue light of the emotional spectrum. It is bird-like in appearance, and has the Blue Lantern Corps' insignia on its chest. It is first shown during the "Blackest Night" storyline in Green Lantern (vol 4) #52, as Sinestro (recently transformed into a White Lantern) is recounting the creation of the emotional entities. The hope entity is depicted as being created from the first act of prayer from a sentient being during a flood.[36]

Adara is later captured along with Proselyte by Krona,[25] and after he invades Oa, Krona forces Adara to possess one of the Guardians of the Universe.[35] Adara is eventually free from Krona's control, after Hal Jordan defeats and kills the rogue Guardian, and is once again at large in the Universe.

Proselyte

GLIndigoEntity01

Proselyte

Proselyte[22] is the embodiment of compassion, and is connected to the indigo light of the emotional spectrum. Proselyte is explained simply as: "Rage grows from murder. Hope from Prayer. And at last, compassion is offered to us all." This entity has a form similar to a cephalopod with four visible appendages. Its inner surface is lined with features that resemble the Indigo Tribe's insignia.[36]

Proselyte is captured along with Adara by Krona.[25] After he invades Oa, Krona forces Proselyte to possess one of the Guardians of the Universe.[35] Proselyte is eventually free from Krona's control, after Hal Jordan defeats and kills the rogue Guardian. Proselyte is once again at large in the Universe.

The Predator

File:GLPredator02.jpg

The Predator is the embodiment of love and is connected to the violet light of the emotional spectrum. In earlier continuity, an energy-projection being named Predator is presented as a component of Carol Ferris' own personality, which acts as a masculine animus to the feminine anima of Star Sapphire. Falling into despair over losing Hal Jordan prompts the Predator to break off into a completely new individual with all of Ferris' ideal qualities in a man.[37] In Green Lantern (vol. 4) issue #43, Scar indicates that the Star Sapphires have access to an emotional entity that embodies love, which she also refers to as "the Predator". The Predator appears to reside on Zamaron, but its relationship with the women there is unclear. When Black Lantern rings reanimate the bodies of the couple whose eternal love fuels the Star Sapphires, Zamaron is devastated, and the Predator is able to escape its crystalline containment and return to the universe at large.[38] Eventually the Predator is returned to Zamaron, where it helps Carol Ferris prevent an invasion from Hawkworld.[39]

The Predator is captured off-planet by Krona.[40] When Krona invades Oa he forces the Predator to possess one of the Guardians of the Universe. The Predator is eventually freed from Krona's control, after Hal Jordan defeats and kills the rogue Guardian. The Predator is once again at large in the Universe.

Similar beings

Nekron

Main article: Nekron

Nekron is the embodiment of death in the DC Comics universe and while he does not represent a light of the emotional spectrum directly, he represents the void of life in the spectrum of the black light. Nekron is the physical embodiment for the Black Lantern Corps which are powered by death. Nekron uses his necromancing abilities to control the Black Lantern Corps to destroy and end all life.

Black Hand

Main article: Black Hand (comics)

When Black Hand, after killing himself, becomes the first Black Lantern, he also becomes Nekron's link to the living world.

The Entity

Main article: White Lantern Corps

Like Nekron, the Entity does not represent a light of the emotional spectrum as the Entity is the manifestation of the white light that creates life and is the physical embodiment for the White Lantern Corps which are powered by life.

Books of Light

The Books of Light are mystical artifacts connected to the colors that comprised the emotional spectrum, whose origin are unknown. It is known that within their pages lies all the knowledge, actions and views of all members of the different Lantern Corps. To note the Books seems to have no known power on their own except the power of knowledge. To this date however only four books were revealed or mentioned but it can be assumed that all Corps have a relative Book.

The Book of Oa contains the history of the Guardians of the Universe and the Green Lantern Corps. One member of the Green Lantern Corps is selected by the Guardians as Keeper of the Book of Oa, a highly honored position.[41]

The Book of Parallax contains all the knowledge of the Sinestro Corps and everything every Sinestro Corpsman has ever done. A power ring is needed to translate the Book's text into words familiar to the ring wielder.[42]

The Book of the Black is written in black, corrupted blood, within its pages lies troublesome prophecies about the rise of the Black Lantern Corps and much forbidden knowledge. This unholy Book, also known as "The Ultimate Facilitator of The Blackest Night", has in its pages all the forbidden history of the Guardians of the Universe.[43]

Though the Book of Rage has not made an appearance yet, it is first mentioned by Lyssa Drak while been questioned by the Guardians of the Universe who demanded to know the location of the Book of The Black. The Book is stated to contain fables of revenge so sweet which can only be attributed to the Red Lantern Corps.[44]

Others who tap the spectrum

Halo

Main article: Halo (comics)

A gestalt of a human woman named Violet Harper and an "Aurakle", an ancient energy-being resembling a sphere of iridescent color, Halo can create auras with the colors of the emotional spectrum around herself, each one giving her different powers.

During the "Blackest Night" storyline, Halo's powers proved highly effective allowing her to destroy Black Lanterns and their rings, a feat usually reserved only for the wielders of the various Lantern Corps and the users of the Dove power.[45]

Rainbow Girl

Main article: Rainbow Girl

A character featured in Adventure Comics, Rainbow Girl (Dori Aandraison from Xolnar), also wields the powers of the emotional spectrum; resulting in unpredictable mood swings. She is able to tap into red, blue, and green energies when she and other members of the Legion of Substitute Heroes come to the aid of Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes in their battle against the xenophobic Justice League of Earth.[46] She is also able to create a Pheromone field, that surrounds her in coruscating light resembling a rainbow, giving her an irresistible personality to everyone.[47] Johns comments on her briefly, stating in an interview that she does not fully understand her powers and uses them more for fun.[48]

Kyle Rayner

Main article: Kyle Rayner

In the aftermath of the Green Lanterns War, Kyle becomes a 'magnet' for the Lantern Corps rings and briefly wields the power of the entire emotional spectrum, yet the strain of doing so leaves him feeling significantly weakened by the effort and all of the rings barring his own and the orange ring turn to dust, although a measure of each ring's power resides in Kyle which he is able to channel in a combined burst of multicolored lights. Towards the conclusion of the "Rise of the Third Army" story arc Kyle learns how to channel the seven lights of the emotional spectrum, and also develops the ability to harness and channel the white light, thus becoming a White Lantern.[49]

Other versions

Other versions of the emotional spectrum have occurred and appeared within the DC Universe, outside of the Green Lanterns' canon. The Teen Titans character Raven has been imbued with an offshoot of the emotional spectrum, both in her normal comics continuity as well as in the Teen Titans television series. While not directly noted as the "emotional spectrum," Raven has been portrayed as having unique segments of her personality personified with a unique color in her attire for each emotional aspect, most notably from her appearances in the "Nevermore" episode of Teen Titans and the "Colors of Raven" episode of Teen Titans Go!. Judging from the television appearances as well as Issue #42 of the Teen Titans Go! comic book entitled "Pieces Of Me," each emotion almost perfectly corresponds to those found in the Green Lantern universe (Green for bravery, Blue for calm, Violet for passion, and Red for rage) while others modestly deviate (Pink for happiness, Gray for timidity, Orange alternately for rudeness and laziness, Yellow for intelligence, and Brown for sloth); however, once all these emotions are unified in perfect balance, she is able to reach the height of her powers as White Raven.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Johns, Geoff (w). Green Lantern v4, 28 (April 2008), DC Comics
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Johns, Geoff (w). Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns 1 (October 2008), DC Comics
  3. Johns, Geoff (w). Green Lantern: Rebirth 4 (March 2005), DC Comics
  4. Johns, Geoff (w). Green Lantern v4, 34 (May 2009), DC Comics
  5. 5.0 5.1 Johns, Geoff (w). Green Lantern v4, 25 (December 2007), DC Comics
  6. Johns, Geoff (w). Blackest Night 0 (April 2009), DC Comics
  7. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named sdcc1200
  8. 8.0 8.1 The Eve of Blackest Night: Geoff Johns on...Everything, Newsarama, July 3, 2009
  9. Johns, Geoff (w). Green Lantern v4, 40 (May 2009), DC Comics
  10. Johns, Geoff (w). Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special 1 (August 2007), DC Comics
  11. Johns, Geoff (w). Green Lantern v4, 21 (August 2007), DC Comics
  12. Script error
  13. Johns, Geoff (w). Green Lantern v4, 38 (March 2007), DC Comics
  14. Green Into Black: Geoff Johns on the Night to Come, Newsarama, March 17, 2009
  15. Johns, Geoff (w). Green Lantern v4, 46 (July 2009), DC Comics
  16. Johns, Geoff (w). Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps 1 (September 2009), DC Comics
  17. Johns, Geoff (w). Green Lantern v4, 20 (July 2007), DC Comics
  18. Johns, Geoff (w). Green Lantern v4, 43 (September 2009), DC Comics
  19. Johns, Geoff. DC Comics: Green Lantern: Blackest Night (15:39). San Diego Comic Con 2009. San Diego Convention Center, San Diego CA. 25 July 2009. Accessed 2 August 2009.
  20. Johns, Geoff (w). Blackest Night 7 (April 2010), DC Comics
  21. Johns, Geoff. DC Comics: Green Lantern: Blackest Night (41:15). San Diego Comic Con 2009. San Diego Convention Center, San Diego CA. 25 July 2009. Accessed 2 August 2009.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 Johns, Geoff (w). Green Lantern v4, 54 (July 2010), DC Comics
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 Johns, Geoff (w). Green Lantern v4, 52 (May 2010), DC Comics
  24. Green Lantern #51
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Green Lantern #61
  26. 26.0 26.1 Johns, Geoff (w). Green Lantern:Rebirth 3 (February 2005), DC Comics
  27. Johns, Geoff (w). Green Lantern:Rebirth 6 (May 2005), DC Comics
  28. Green Lantern #39
  29. Johns, Geoff (w). Green Lantern v4, 1 (June 2010), DC Comics
  30. Van Sciver, Ethan (w). "The Symbols of the Spectrum!" Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps 2 (September 2009), DC Comics
  31. Johns, Geoff, Gates, Sterling (w). Green Lantern/Sinestro Corps Secret Files and Origins 1 (February 2008), DC Comics
  32. 32.0 32.1 Johns, Geoff (w). Green Lantern v4, 23 (November 2007), DC Comics
  33. Gibbons, Dave (w). Green Lantern Corps v2, 17 (December 2007), DC Comics
  34. Green Lantern Corps #17
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 Green Lantern #64
  36. 36.0 36.1 Green Lantern vol. 4, #52
  37. Englehart, Steve (w). Green Lantern v2, 192 (September 1985), DC Comics
  38. Green Lantern #46
  39. Brightest Day #13 (November 2010)
  40. Green Lantern #63
  41. Green Lantern (Vol. 2) #188
  42. Green Lantern (Vol. 4) #18
  43. Green Lantern Corps (Vol. 2) #33
  44. Green Lantern (Vol 5) #7
  45. Outsiders (vol. 4) #24 (November 2009)
  46. Hamilton, Edmond (w). Adventure Comics 309 (June 1963), DC Comics
  47. Who's Who in the Legion of Super-Heroes #5 (September 1988)
  48. "Secret Origins and Blackest Night". Newsarama. March 7, 2008, Retrieved August 9, 2009
  49. Green Lantern: New Guardians #16 (March 2013)
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