There are more members of the various Lantern corps in the DC universe than you can shake a power battery at, but one more has just shown up in the latest issue of Green Lanterns, and they’re a little bit different than anything we’ve seen before.
For the past couple of issues of Green Lanterns, DC has been teasing the power of the Phantom Ring – an all-powerful power ring that houses the abilities of the seven different colour corps in one. But it’s not just dangerous because of all those powers: Instead, unlike other power rings, the Phantom Ring can be used by anyone, with no checks or ability to shut itself off for those considered unworthy to wield a power ring.
When Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz see its powers in action for the first time, they’re both afraid and impressed by it – Simon sees its potential for power beyond what his green power ring provides, while Jessica, worried she’s not taking to the willpower of the Green Lantern corps well enough, hopes the ring could find the colour that would suit her the most.
However, neither of Earth’s latest Green Lanterns end up wielding the Phantom Ring themselves. Instead it’s taken by a man introduced in Green Lanterns #9, Frank Laminski, a former test pilot who was once rescued by Hal Jordan, prompting an obsession with becoming a Lantern himself. Frank’s quest nearly paid off, but ultimately broke him when a green power ring refused to serve him, flying off to find a new host.
Not your most ideal Green Lantern, right? Except now he has his hands on an even more powerful ring, thanks to a little help from a mysterious figure calling himself Volthoom, the first Lantern ever created by the Guardians, out for revenge. Frank manages to swipe the ring while Simon and Jessica are distracted, putting it on and giving himself a twist on the classic Lantern oath in the process:
So say hello to the Phantom Lantern, DC’s latest cosmic superhuman! Somehow I figure he won’t be getting along with the Green Lanterns – but will he be a permanent addition to the roster of power-ring wielders over the years? We’ll have to wait and see.