If we look into the cosmic superheroes of DC Universe, the Green Lantern Corps always pops out first as the most notable group of the comics. Today, the intergalactic police force has over forty members listed, but at least ten stand out. One of them is Hal Jordan, a former military pilot that was kidnapped by the dying alien Abin Sur, who landed the disgraced soldier his place as the Green Lantern, a member of the intergalactic police force known as Green Lantern Corps. DC Comics developed a rich lore regarding Green Lanterns and other Corps spectrums, but one weakness really confused the fans over the last few decades – weakness to yellow. So, why is Green Lantern weak to the yellow color?
The yellow color vulnerability stems all the way back to the Golden Age of Comics when enemies could harm Green Lantern with any yellow subject – like a banana. However, over the decades, this silly vulnerability was revised. Green Lantern is vulnerable to yellow color because every Green Lantern ring contains a so-called yellow impurity, referring to the monster that instills fear in the bearer and corrupts them, Parallax. Green Lantern Corps kept Parallax imprisoned inside of Green Lantern Power Battery on Oa, which caused the yellow impurity of the Green Lantern rings. One of the most infamous stories regarding the monstrous Parallax and Green Lanterns’ vulnerability to yellow color is when the parasite slowly but surely “infested” Hal Jordan’s mind by feeding on his fear and grief, causing the famous Green Lantern to destroy half of the universe.
The yellow color was certainly a mocking Green Lantern Corps all those decades ago, but DC writers realized that intergalactic powerful being weakened by a banana was silly enough and came up with better lore behind this strange vulnerability. If you’re interested in this story, stay with us until the end.
Is Green Lantern stronger than yellow?
Green Lantern Corps are an intergalactic police force created by the Guardians of the Universe, who bestowed the green power rings on beings across the universe with the strongest will. The First Green Lantern of DC Comics was Alan Scott, who became a green superhero in 1940 during the train accident that killed his romantic partner Jimmy. Alan spotted a green light in the wreckage, which was revealed to be a Green Lantern ring.
Since then, Alan Scott has been one of the original members of Justice League of America, and one of the DC superheroes who was killed off and then brought back during ‘Doomsday Clock’ comic book story from 2018. Interestingly enough, Scott had an experimental weapon called Starheart Power Ring, which the Guardians of the Universe created.
Besides having more magical based powers, Scott never had yellow color as his weakness but wood, which was exaggerated since the superhero was struck with the wooden weapons in some comics during the Golden Age, which some fans connected with the weakness of the ring.
However, DC decided to create another Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, in 1959, as the new, fresh hero of the Silver Age. Of course, Jordan was a success, and since then, he has been one of the most notable superheroes of DC Comics. However, as it always is with the early age of comics, with many powerful superheroes, Green Lantern had a silly and strange weakness – yellow color. Yes, just anything that is yellow.
If enemies use yellow things and throw them at Green Lantern, one would weaken or defeat the superhero. Retrospectively, this weakness has been one of the most bizarre aspects of Green Lanterns mythos. But, new eras and new writers changed this weakness into something more reasonable – the “yellow impurity” of the Green Power ring and Parallax.
Since Hal Jordan, until the 1990s, there have been two more major members of the Green Lantern Corps introduced in DC Comics – John Stewart and Guy Gardner. Both superheroes proved to be as strong if not stronger superheroes than Hal Jordan, and DC decided to create a story where the fan favorite, and one of the most iconic characters at that point, becomes a villain of the story. Enter Parallax.
Hal Jordan is one of the strongest superheroes in the DC Universe, just because of his indomitable will and telepathic resistance. His will and strong mind are what made him so great, which made many villains in the universe prey on his downfall. Parallax is an ancient demonic parasitic entity, the parasite that is considered the embodiment of fear. Parallax would infect various populations all over the galaxy and make them destroy themselves out of paranoia.
This is confirmed when Guardians of the Universe capture Parallax and put it in the Central Power Battery on Oa, which is the source of powers for the planet and Green Lantern Corps. It also has a vast amount of willpower, which is the best counter to fear. However, during its stay in the Battery, Parallax damaged the Battery, and “yellow impurity” infected the Green Power Rings – Parallax weakened the Battery, making only the individuals with the strongest willpower the ones who could overcome the fear.
This is the main reason behind Green Lanterns weakness against “yellow color,” at least after DC writers revised the original silly premise. After seeing that the yellow color and its fear greatly affected Green Lantern champions, the Corps decided to train the new recruits or find the absolutely fearless ones. So yes, Green Lanterns are trained from the start against the “yellow impurity” to allow them to overcome any fear that would shatter their minds.
This is also the reason why the parasite sought out Hal Jordan, who had an insane will and strong mind, but it would never manage to catch the superhero off guard. However, Mongul destroys Coast City, and Hal Jordan deals with great fear and grief, letting the parasite infect him and creating the most powerful monster in the universe – Hal Jordan as Parallax.
What happens if Green Lantern touches yellow?
In the Silver Age, Hal Jordan was the main Green Lantern, and his weakness against the yellow color was absolutely absurd. The rings were unable to affect anything yellow in any way, so when someone like Hal Jordan attempts to go through something like that, he is ultimately defeated.
The reasoning behind this silly weakness was unknown, hence why writers decided to change this aspect of Green Lantern and make it make sense. Despite the relevancy in the 1950s, and 1960s, Green Lanterns vulnerability to yellow color isn’t relevant in its original premise, but revised in the way we already mentioned – writers also developed Sinestro Corps that are basically yellow and driven by fear.
However, that didn’t stop the DC Animated Universe from making fun of Green Lanterns original weakness – in ‘Justice League Unlimited,’ we see Lex Luthor throwing yellow-colored food at John Stewart, weakening him and fleeing the scene.
Even alternate universe comic book stories like ‘DC vs. Vampires’ saw Batman easily beating Green Lantern with, you guessed it, yellow color. Thankfully, retcons are sometimes good, and this weakness is developed much more.
What are Yellow Lanterns weak to?
One of the biggest villains of Green Lantern is Sinestro, a former member of the Green Lantern Corps that used his ring to take control over his homeworld Korugar. When Guardians of the Universe learned what their champion did, they expelled him from duty, but during his imprisonment in Anti-Matter Universe, where Sinestro learns of “yellow impurity.”
Sinestro learns that Green Power Rings cannot affect anything colored yellow, and with the help of Weaponers of Qward, the villain takes hold of the Yellow Power Ring that can project yellow energy and have the advantage of Green Lanterns.
He establishes Sinestro Corps, also known as Yellow Lanterns, and vows to destroy Green Lantern Corps.
Sinestro Corps members get Yellow Power Ring and Yellow Power Battery, which is connected to the Yellow Lantern Central Power Battery in the Anti-Matter Universe.
However, although Sinestro and his Corps are quite powerful, they have weaknesses. First of all, Yellow Lantern Power Battery has the same limitations as Green Lantern one on Oa since it needs constant recharging for it to work.
Of course, Sinestro Corps recharge their batteries by instilling fear into Green Lantern Corps, but even their weapon cannot eternally deal that massive damage for long periods of time.
Another great weakness that differentiates from Green Lanterns, and that’s counter to fear – hope. Another faction of Lantern Corps is the so-called Blue Lanterns and their Blue Power Rings that can disrupt heavily Yellow Lanterns due to the power that it’s sourced within hope energy.
Counters do exist in DC Comics, and even the biggest fear can be overwhelmed by the greater hope of the individuals. Despite being quite weaker than Green Lanterns, Blue Lanterns are like “healers” in MMORPGs – they power their allies rings against their villains.
That’s all for now. What are your favorite Lantern Corps in DC Comics? Let us know in the comments below!