Brilliant geneticist. Trainer of new recruits. Last of his kind. Green Lantern. These are all ways to describe Kilowog. But who is this large alien and how did he get to training all the new Green Lanterns that are deemed worthy of a ring? Let’s find out!
Kilowog of Bolovax Vik, was already a well established geneticist on his home planet when a Green Lantern Corps ring deemed him to be fearless enough to wield the ring and join the corps. Belonging to a highly communal race where being alone was tantamount to exile, Kilowog braved to go away from his species, though he would miss them greatly and vice versa. He would train under the Green Lantern Ermey who would impress upon Kilowog many of his own methods of teaching later in life, including his favorite word for his comrades, “poozer.”
While working on the Lantern Headquarters planet of Oa, he would work closely with Ermey and rescue many young Lanterns who would get in danger, including Sine strong who would become one of the greatest enemies of the Corps later on. While in battle, Ermey would die but before his last breath, he’d yell Kilowog he would make a great leader. Given Ermey’s position, Kilowog would train hundreds of recruits including the first human to join the Corps, Hal Jordan. He would even assist Jordan in fighting the killer of his ring’s former wielder. In fact, Kilowog would go on to train all the Earth Lanterns that would come along, becoming good friends with each of them.
During the Crisis of Infinite Earths, Bolovax Viz would be destroyed, thankfully, Kilowog’s quick thinking and immense willpower would allow him to save the souls of all 16 BILLION individuals of Bolovax Vik inside his ring. He would then spend time finding a new home for evertone and use his ring to REBUILD HIS ENTIRE PLANET AND HIS PEOPLE ON IT WITH JUST HIS WILLPOWER.
Tragically, one of the Lanterns he’d rescued all those years before, the now renegade Sinestro, would destroy this new Bolovax Vik. Now truly the last of his kind with none of them to feel bonded with as only his species could, Kilowog would enter a depression. Only his friend and fellow Green Lantern, Arisia, could help him out of this despair. He realized he loved Arisia but knowing she did not feel the same, would remain good friends with her and always thankful for her aiding him in recovering from his loss. Other Green Lanterns would remain close to Kilowog, literally, knowing his species enjoyed being in crowds, he’d find himself surrounded by his fellow Lanterns for support.
Many upheavals had also occurred on Oa during the Crisis, several of the nearly immortal race who’d been there from the beginning of time had died. This caused the others to reevaluate the entire Lantern Corps and allowed the Lanterns far more freedom to patrol where they saw fit. Kilowog would join his Earth friends on their home world. Here, he would find the closest to his own world’s community to be that of the USSR. Here he would help them found the Rocket Red Brigade. He’d soon leave Russia upon seeing their failings when compared to his own people’s form of socialism.
The capturing of Sinestro would tear the Corps apart due to the majority vote of condemning Sinestro to death. As the Corps regrew, Kilowog would return to Oa as the drill sergeant of new recruits. When Hal Jordan would be possessed by the evil entity, Parallax, Kilowog would be the last Lantern to stand between him and the core power battery of the entire Green Lantern Corps. Trying to reason with his old friend and then eventually fighting him, Kilowog would die, leaving only a blackened skull and ashes behind.
Several former Lanterns who’d lost their rings to Hal Jordan during his time as Parallax would form the Brotherhood of the Cold Flame. Using dark magics, they would find the dead Kilowog and make him their Dark Lantern to seek out vengeance for them. Hunting down Hal Jordan, who was now the Spectre, Jordan would help remake Oa and the core Power Battery. This would allow Kilowog to cease his path of vengeance and thanks to the Guardian Ganthet and Kyle Rayner, first of the new Lanterns, they were able to revive Kilowog back to life.
Returning to a semblance of normalcy, Kilowog would return to being Drill Sargeant to new recruits. He would do this until the Rann-Thanagarian War, where he and Kyle Rayner would work together to play pivotal roles in and during thenpost-war times. In fact, during these times Kilowog, along with the rest of the Lantern Corps, would spend most of their time in wars. The Sinestro Corps Wars would have him fighting alongside Mogo, the living planet and going to Earth to fight. He’d spend time after the war residing on Mogo spending time with energy constructs of his family.
The Blackest Night would raise the dead of the Green Lantern Memorial Vaults, the undead Ermey would come to taunt and terrorize Kilowog. Blaming him for his death and for rescuing Sinestro all those years ago, Ermey would kill Kilowog’s current class of students and nearly killing Kilowog in the process. Soon following this was the War between the Green Lanterns themselves. The ending of which would have Hal Jordan removed and Sinestro reinstated. Kilowog almost resigned before being talked into staying to give some stability to an already scared set of new recruits. Even though he always loved his students, he’d retire as Drill Sargeant and stay on for the sake of others. For the first time ever, the man who loved crowds and closeness, was distant.
In the New 52, Kilowog is still Drill Sargeant for the Green Lantern Corps but soon sides with many of the Earth Green Lanterns when the Guardians are shown to be deceptive. He’d aide in rescuing John Stewart from execution and break in to the Core Power Battery so he may broadcast a signal to all Lantern members to warn of the Guardians and their betrayal. When things had settle, he and others accepted Hal Jordan as the new leader of the Green Lantern Corps. Kilowog would also fight against the New God’s who threatened the universe.
There you have it folks! Kilowog is probably one of the most iconic non-human Green Lanterns around. For his signature almost Earth Brooklynian accent and his gruff exterior but kind interior, Kilowog is often one of the first aliens thst comes to mind for the Green Lantern Corps. See you next time!
Green Lantern Corps Vol. 1 #201
Green Lantern Corps Vol. 2
Green Lantern Corps Vol. 3
War of the Green Lanterns: Aftermath