For months Green Lantern fans have been waiting to see if, and who, might show up as the protector of Sector 2814 in the new Justice League movie. Rumors have been floating about surprise appearances in the final act or Abin Sur dying on-screen and Hal Jordan being recruited in an end credits scene. Well, the movie is out now and we can finally confirm whether or not there is a Green Lantern in the film or not. There are spoilers ahead, so be forewarned.
Disappointing as it may be there is no Green Lantern serving as a member of the Justice League in the film, however that’s not to say that there is no Green Lantern presence to be found. In a terrific battle scene which recounts Steppenwolf’s previous visit to Earth centuries ago there is a caped alien Green Lantern in the battle who has about ten seconds of screen time using his ring to dispatch Parademons. He dies at the hands of Steppenwolf before his ring takes off to find a new bearer. While I still maintain that a Justice League without a Green Lantern isn’t the Justice League, I do appreciate how this small cameo ties deep into DC history.
When DC was trying to rectify how Alan Scott connects to the larger Green Lantern mythology they published the story of Yalan Gur, the Green Lantern of Sector 2814 centuries before – and that’s who shows up during the film. While his appearance here doesn’t line up exactly with his comic book roots it does show how DC Entertainment in mining the rich history of their universe and using those elements versus taking the easy way out and just making something up to fit the narrative.
The short version of Yalan Gur’s backstory from the comics is that he was once one of the greatest members of the Green Lantern Corps, and when he was nearly defeated by a yellow clad army the Guardians removed the impurity from his ring. Gur became abusive of his limitless power and he tried to enslave the people of 10th century China. For his hubris the Guardians gave Gur a new weakness, wood, which they thought would humble Yalan Gur. Instead Gur was severely wounded by the primitive weapons dying as he tried to leave Earth to exact revenge on the Guardians. He and his power ring fused together with a portion of the Starheart, burning up as they re-entered the atmosphere, forming the basis for the origin of Alan Scott’s magically infused power ring. Yalan Gur appeared in Green Lantern volume 3 issue 19 and Green Lantern Corps Quarterly #7, both published in the early 1990’s.