Featured Columns

May 28, 2017

Character Spotlight: John Stewart

In Brightest day. In Blackest night. No evil shall escape his sight. Let those who worship evil’s might, beware his power. Green Lantern’s light! John Stewart may not be the first human of Earth to be a Green Lantern but he’s probably the most well known to pop culture thanks to the Justice League cartoon. So how did John become a Green Lantern? Let’s find out!

John Stewart was a marine before he became an architect and eventually was deemed fit for a Green Lantern ring by the Guardians of Oa, themselves. He was given a ring and made the back up for Hal Jordan, Earth and Sector 2814’s primary Green Lantern. Jordan, having met before when John was in the Marines and Jordan was in the Air Force, saw John as having a chip on his shoulder but John proved he was fully capable of taking care of himself and others. John used his experiences and training to help on his first mission to stop an attack on a racist politician. When it looked like failure, John exposed the scam the politician was pulling while saving the life of a police officer.

Taking Jordan’s role as Earth’s protector whenever he was off world, John found himself a member of the Justice League as their resident Green Lantern. Eventually Jordan would step down as Green Lantern altogether and John would take over full time. He took to the role well, defending his Sector and home from many dangers and being an architect for Ferris Aircraft Company, the same place Hal Jordan was a test pilot for when he first started as a Green Lantern. When the Crisis of Infinite Earths occured, John was there to fight off Anti-Monitor’s minions. Traveling off world, John would meet fellow Green Lantern, Katma Tui, the two would adventure often and fall in love then marry.

Everything would come crashing down so quickly for John and Katma, Sinestro would depower John’s ring while Star Sapphire, Carol Ferris of Ferris Aircraft, would kill Katma. To make matters worse, John would then be framed for the death of Carol Ferris and theft from the nation of South Nambia. Locked in prison and tortured until Jordan would arrive to help repower John’s ring and help him escape. Heading off world to try and get his bearings, John would fail to save the planet Xanshi from being destroyed and the creation of the villain Fatality. This would haunt John for a long time as he dealt with the guilt of his failure.

To help him attone, he’d take on the task as the protector of a Mosaic World, a new planet made from the remnants of broken planets. His work was so successful that the Guardians would make John the first human Guardian. He’d be granted immense powers and used them to resurrect Katma Tui and the two would be happy for a time. Hal Jordan would be possessed by the entity, Parallax, that fuels the Yellow Lantern rings with its fearsome power and was originally trapped in the Green Lantern Core Battery which gave them their weakness to yellow. Now in control of Jordan, he would begin a destructive path across the universe and destroying the Core Battery, ending the Lantern Corps and taking away John’s new powers which meant Katma died once more.

The Lantern Corps gone, John would be recruited into the Darkstars, another intergalactic police force. His new powers allowed him to help evacuate Mosaic World but in his efforts to stop the destruction of Oa, John would become parapalegic. Jordan would return in control of himself, somewhat, and he’d heal John before sacrificing himself to save reality. When a new Green Lantern Corps started by Kyle Rayner began, John would be offered a ring but he’d turn it down originally until a visit from a Hal Jordan lost in time would inspire him to rejoin and take on his old position as the Green Lantern of Earth when other planets required the primary Lantern to head off world.

Eventually, Hal Jordan and the Guardians of Oa would all return to life and the Green Lantern Corps would reform once more. John would work with fellow Justice Leaguers as they were also rebuilding and he worked with Wonder Woman in designing and building a new Hall of Justice. Before long, Sinestro and his own Sinestro Corps army wielding yellow rings powered by fear to wage war with both the Green Lantern Corps and Earth. The War of Light would begin as Lantern Corps of many colors began to spring up and choose to side with either the Green Lanterns or Sinestro.

During the war, John’s skills as a former Marine sniper would come in handy in fighting off enemy snipers but on a level measured in light year distances. John would also be offered a position as one of the new Alpha Lanterns, the internal affairs of the Corps, but wold turn it down so he could keep his independence to search through hidden Lantern files. When Sinestro is captured and sent to face trial for many of his crimes, John would escort him but the Sinestro Corps along with the Red Lantern Corps leader, Atrocitus, would attack them to free Sinestro and infect John with the rage of the Red Lanterns to try and convert him. John would be rescued by Blue Lantern, Saint Walker and healed of the Red Lantern rage, by seeing a vision of Katma Tui. He’d also be visited by the Fatality, the villain he helped create when failing to save Xanshi, who was now a Star Sapphire, the Violet Lantern Corps, who would forgive him and tell him it was time he forgave himself.

Visiting the remains of Xanshi, John would witness as million of Black Lantern rings would fly across space to the planet and give raise to not only a planet full of Black Lanterns but a Black Lantern planet. ¬†Able to escape, John would soon learn the planet was heading to Earth to bring about the prophecised Blackest Night. After defeating the Black Lanterns, John would go in search of missing Green Lanterns along with an Alpha Lantern and learn that the Alpha Lanterns had gone rogue. The Alpha Lanterns joined with former Sinestro Corps member, Cyborg Superman to become cyborg Alpha Lanterns and kidnap Green Lanterns to forcibly convert them, John being one of them. Even though he’s turned into a cyborg, John maintains his autonomy and helps the Green Lantern Corps stop the Alpha Lanterns and return everyone to thein prior forms. John would prove instrumental during the War of the Green Lanterns in which the Guardian Krona attempts to corrupt the Green Lanterns by imprisoning Parallax once more to make a Lantern Corps in his own image. Forced to use an Indigo Lantern ring until he can gain his old green ring back.

In the New 52, John is one of the several human Green Lantern’s of the Corps. He deals with the Alpha Lanterns and is even imprisoned for killing a fellow Lantern so he could save the rest so he is eventually set free. John would start a relationship with Fatality until they discover she was warped by the Star Sapphires to fall for John but in actuality hated him and the Star Sapphires. In DC Rebirth, John is helping figure things out amongst the now cooperative Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps.

There you have it! John Stewart made an impression on many people as he appeared on their televisions for many years as their Green Lantern. Since then, he’s made appearances in other animated features and shows but Hal has taken up the role as the primary Lantern again since his return in comics. There hasn’t been a new Green Lantern since the start of the DCEU yet so it’s possible for John to make his silver screen appearance at some point in the future.

Suggested Reading
Green Lantern #87
Blackest Night
Green Lantern Corps
Justice League
Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors

Dr. Bustos




  1. Iron_Matt

    My favorite GL next to Kyle

  2. He’s my fav next to Kilowog

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