The following are 4 Green Lanterns active on Earth:

  • Hal Jordan
  • Guy Gardner
  • John Stewart
  • Kyle Rayner

I know that some of these characters died, then came back to life. But why would they still be a GL if they were replaced?

What sectors do these Green Lanterns protect? If they all protect Earth, I thought that there was only 1 GL per sector.

  • there is 5 green lanterns of earth Alan Scott, Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, John Stewart, and Kyle Rayner
    – user14306
    Commented May 6, 2013 at 7:35
  • 3
    @greenlanternfan While Alan Scott does carry the name of Green Lantern (he was the first in print) he is not a memeber of the Green Lantern Corps and is typically not included in the list of Corps members.
    – Monty129
    Commented May 6, 2013 at 18:20
  • Because aliens only seem to attack Earth. It's a focal-point for bad guys & invasions in the DC universe.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 22:04
  • 7
    One for each corner, obviously.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 15:20
  • A more relevant question: Why does the United States have four Green Lanterns?
    – GordonD
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 10:28

3 Answers 3


Earth originally had one Lantern: Hal Jordan.

Guy Gardner was selected as Hal's backup. When Abin Sur was dying, both Guy and Hal were qualified to be Green Lanterns; Hal got the ring because he was closer. (from Green Lantern v2, #59)

When Guy was injured such that he couldn't serve as a backup, John Stewart became the back-up GL. (from Green Lantern v@, #87)

Guy recovered and served as the backup when Hal was unavailable on at least one occasion after John became the backup backup. Guy was injured further when his power battery exploded; in fact, he was presumed dead, but had actually been tossed into the Phantom Zone. He was eventually retrieved from the Zone, but the combination of his time there, his first injury, and the power battery explosion left him with brain damage, and comatose. (circa Green Lantern v2, #116-123)

This left John as the backup Lantern again. When Hal decided to retire from being Green Lantern, John took over the role. (circa Green Lantern v2, #182).

This lead into DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover. During this story, one group of Guardians brought Guy out of his coma and gave him a ring and a mission. His personality was radically different (presumably due to the brain damage), and he took to considering himself the one true Green Lantern. Hal got his ring back at that time as well. The events of that story lead to the Guardians leaving the universe, and the GLs being allowed to stay where they wished. For a time, not only were Hal, John, and Guy all Green Lanterns, but 5 other GLs came to Earth and worked with them. Well, with Hal and John; with his personality issues, Guy did not work well with this little Earth GL Corps. (circa Green Lantern v2, 193-200; Green Lantern Corps v1, 201-224)

A lot happens from there for all three characters, but little that's relevant to the question for a while.

  • The GL Corps was basically disbanded for a while, when most of their rings were destroyed (though all three of the above kept theirs).
  • Hal helped work to rebuild the GL Corps, splitting his time between Earth and space, until his home town was destroyed (in the Death of Superman storyline and following); then, he went kinda berserk and killed or maimed a lot of the Lanterns. He ended up destroying the Corps, caused Zero Hour, and then sacrificed himself to restore the sun during the Final Night storyline.
  • John technically became a Guardian for a short while, then (following Hal's destruction of the Corps) joined another intergalactic peace-keeping organization, the Darkstars.
  • Guy wound up getting involved with the Justice League when it reformed following the Crisis. Eventually, he got booted from the Lanterns for a while. During that time he first acquired Sinestro's yellow ring, then a different power set altogether.

Following Hal's destruction of the Corps, Kyle Rayner of Earth was found by a Guardian - Ganthet - and given the last ring. He served as the only Lantern for years, before helping to refound the Corps. During the rebuilding period, Kyle convinces John Stewart to accept a ring again.

Eventually, Jordan was restored to life (and cleansed of an alien entity which had been responsible for his evil actions). During this, Guy lost his other power set, and was given a ring back as well, leaving all four of Earth's Lanterns alive and active again.

In recent times, the Corps has doubled in size: each sector now has two Lanterns. Officially, Hal Jordan is GL 2814.1 and John Stewart is GL 2814.2 (Earth being in Sector 2814). Guy and Kyle are members of the Green Lantern Honor Guard - described as Lanterns with no sector. The Honor Guard are 3rd in line as decision makers on Oa, and are free to act in any Sector they choose.

Other members of the Corps have been known to complain about the number of 'Earthens' represented in the Corps - most species have only a single active member at a time (if that many).

  • Point of order: Hal's died twice?! So Guy replace Hal when he died the first time. Later he died while Kyle was the lone ringbearer. I didn't know about that first death.
    – user1027
    Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 15:39
  • I may be mistaken about that - it was from memory. He may have been presumed dead or missing or shrank to a miniscule size. Or he may have just retired...
    – Jeff
    Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 16:07
  • @Keen: cleaned up a bit.
    – Jeff
    Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 16:10
  • 3
    "The Honor Guard are 3rd in line as decision makers on Oa..." Presumably the Guardians are first, but who's second?
    – Nerrolken
    Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 16:37
  • 2
    Second in line is the Clarissi - the official term for the 'Protocol Lantern'. This is a special post, a senior administrator who oversees the activities of all GLs, oversees the Book of Oa, manages access to the Guardians (probably also scheduling diplomatic visits), and presumably getting the Guardians coffee. Salaak is typically the lantern seen in this goal. It is always held by a superior administrator.
    – Jeff
    Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 17:08
  1. The original (Golden Age character) Alan Scott is not part of the Green Lantern Corps. He has a different origin and is generally a friend or mentor to the newer Lanterns.

  2. Hal Jordan is the first of the modern era Green Lanterns. In subsequent stories it was revealed that Guy Gardner was equally worthy but Hal was selected being closer when Abin Sur died. Guy never served as a "backup" as he was subsequently injured rescuing a child.

  3. John Steward is introduced as Hal's backup. If memory serves this is first seen in a Justice League story, Who Killed Santa Simpson. John is summoned when, of all things Hal slipped in the bathtub and was unable to answer a JLA emergency alert.

  4. Guy later recovers from his "brain damage" and is given the primary backup role, later promoted to primary role with John his back up when Hal is suspended.

  5. Kyle Rayner is promoted to GL when the Corps is destroyed by a Parallax possessed Hal Jordan.

6 Jennifer-Lynn "Jade" Hayden is no longer part of the current New 52 continunity and technically does not count. Daughter of Alan Scott, she was a living power battery. She gained control of the ring when she had lost her own powers.

  1. The latest human to gain a ring is Simon Baz. His ring was previously worn by Sinestro and merged with a "copy" that had been given to Hal.

As for the 2 Lanterns per sector, the promotion of Guy and Kyle to Honor Guard status maintained that limitation. There was also a brief story line that certain sectors may require more or fewer active duty lanterns due to their population. Sector 2814 appears to be especially active in comparison to several exceptionally peaceful sectors.

  • 1
    Hi! Welcome to StackExchange. There's a few things you should take into account with your answer: This question is pre-New52 and limited its scope to the four mentioned Lanterns. It would help if you clarified what parts of your answer apply to pre-reboot and which to post. Also, you might want to correct your character name - who is Kyle Raymond?
    – Jeff
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 14:28
  • I'll just leave this here. Commented Apr 18, 2018 at 15:20

Technically there are 15 green lanterns that have been assigned to earth. We are generally more familar with the main 5 and the green lantern story line has become so conviluted it almost not worth following anymore. Also it was only made worse by the movie in which they chose to go with Hal Jordan instead of the way more relevant John Stewart. Anyway here is the full list of all people who have ever been Green Lanterns assigned to earth

  1. Laham (deceased)
  2. Waverly Sayre (deceased)
  3. Stakaðr (deceased)
  4. Abin Sur (deceased)
  5. Daniel Young (deceased)
  6. Donna Parker (retired)
  7. Jennifer-Lynn "Jade" Hayden
  8. Vidar (aka Universo) (30th century)
  9. Rond Vidar (30th-31st centuries)
  10. Alan Scott
  11. Hal Jordan
  12. Guy Gardner
  13. John Stewart
  14. Kyle Rayner
  15. Simon Baz
  • 3
    Hello and welcome to Scifi.SE! A little formatting would be very welcome. I could do it, but I'll let you the pleasure to make yourself more understandable ;)
    – Kalissar
    Commented Aug 21, 2013 at 9:11
  • @Kalissar He came and left. I edited his post Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 9:44
  • Didn't Lar Gand (Mon-El) wear the ring for a while too? Commented Nov 26, 2017 at 16:00
  • Seems like you might be missing a few. This wiki mentions Jessica Cruz, Sinestro, Anya Savenlovich, Yalan Gur, and Jong Li Commented Apr 18, 2018 at 15:34

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.