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I've been watching the Justice League animated series and just watched the episode featuring the Justice Lords (A Better World - season 2, episodes 11 and 12). In it, the alternate version of the Justice League in an alternate universe hit a critical point in their history where they deviate from the attitude/mindset of the prime Justice League counterparts. They begin to resort to killing and/or adhoc medical procedures to suppress the criminal element on their Earth, and eventually dictating the rule of law.

Lord Green Lantern is in on this, and his combat style makes it clear that he uses more lethal attacks than other Green Lanterns we've seen in the prime universe. With the more lethal mindset and being directly involved in the suppression of a population, this would seem to be counter to the overall mission of the Green Lanterns which is presumably similar between the two universes.1

Ignoring the fact that the rest of the Green Lantern corp isn't doing anything about the situation, this got me thinking: the Green Lantern power rings seem to be semi-intelligent in that they choose their wielders. But once a power ring has chosen someone and ignoring death, can that ring then decide to leave that being if the being's nature changes? And if so, under what criteria would it be necessary for the ring to decide to leave?


1: This is an educated guess based on the introduction of Part 1 of A Better World. The opening scenes make it clear that the Justice Lords are operating about the same way as the Justice League when the episode starts. After some back and forth between one of the Lords and one of the supervillains, that Lord decides to resort to lethal force. This appears to be the moment where the Justice League and Justice Lords fork into very different mindsets when dispensing "Justice". Presumably, the Green Lantern power ring would have already chosen alternate John Stewart for similar reasons that prime John Stewart was also chosen.

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    Doing some mildly unreleated reading I found this from the wikipedia article on Sinestro "When Hal Jordan joined the Green Lantern Corps, Sinestro was assigned to be his instructor. Jordan was horrified at his new mentor's totalitarian methods, though Sinestro maintained that his iron-fisted rule was necessary to protect his people from alien forces." Sounds like the rings might not actually have a problem with totalitarian rule. Of course, I don't think this applies directly to the DCAU, but it is a precedent. – Sidney Dec 29 '16 at 18:25
  • @Sidney: Looks like you're right about the rings, although the Guardians appeared to have a problem with it: dc.wikia.com/wiki/… – Ellesedil Jan 14 '17 at 0:11
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There's some evidence that yes, they can. Unfortunately, all the evidence I've seen so far isn't directly from the DCAU.

On screen, the concept of a power ring leaving it's wielder is mentioned by Razor, a Red Lantern from Green Lantern: The Animated Series. While perhaps not a perfect reference due to continuity questions with the DCAU, I'd find it surprising if power rings behave very differently between the two series.

In episode 5 ("Fear Itself"), Razor has turned away from the Red Lantern Corps, but has retained his ring. He makes the following comment about recharging his red ring:

"You don't understand how hard this is. I've turned from Atrocitus's cult of hate, but the ring stayed with me which means the rage in my heart remains and so I must use the Red Lantern oath to recharge it."

Here, Razor rather clearly states he is surprised that his red power ring has decided to remain with him, which means it could choose to leave if it wishes to.

Also, in the final scene of the final episode of season 1 ("Dark Matter"), it is strongly implied that Razor becomes a Blue Lantern. The actual transformation is off-screen, so we can't be sure how the transformation takes place or what happens to the red power ring he possesses. But, since blue light is that of Hope, which happens to extinguish red power rings by merely being present and Hope happens to counter fear, which can be viewed as a component of anger from a certain point of view, we can make an educated guess that the red power ring would seek a better candidate.

Sliding down the scale of creadible sources, the Green Lantern and DC wiki pages both note that one weakness to red power rings is Love Influence.

Love Influence: Love can be fatal to a Red Lantern. Being the opposite of anger, any Red Lantern who feels love for another being will immediately be rejected by their ring and die without its life support.

While there are some sources linked to various pieces of information on the wiki page, I didn't see a clear one for the influence of Love. However, this states that the red power ring can decide to reject the Red Lantern it had selected. It appears different continuities have different details for the "life support" aspect, as Razor is seen to remove is red power ring in GL:TAS on several occasions. But... that's another topic for a different question.

Also from the Wiki, there's a reference of Saint Walker's blue power ring leaving him when he loses hope which the Wiki sources from Green Lantern (Volume 5) #27.

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