- The Red Lanterns, fueled by anger, are some of the most dangerous adversaries to the Green Lantern Corps, with tragic backgrounds as former victims of Sinestro and his Corps.
- Despite the powers and abilities they gain as Red Lanterns, such as flight and acidic red bile, the cost is losing their past memories and being driven solely by anger.
- Several Red Lanterns are notable for their power and resilience, including Laira, Skallox, and The Judge, each with their own unique stories and strengths within the Corps.
The Red Lanterns are some of the worst foes the Green Lantern Corps has ever faced. Fueled by the red light of anger and led by Atrocitus, the mindless, zombie-like Red Lanterns have cut a path of terror across the universe. Yet, at their core, many of the Red Lanterns are tragic figures and many of them were former victims of Sinestro and his Corps.
Being a Red Lantern brings with it a number of fantastic powers, such as flight and the ability to spew acidic red bile. These powers however come with a cost: the Red Lanterns have no memory of their past lives and are only driven by anger. Simply removing the ring does not help either, as it can kill the wielder. Despite this, a number of the Red Lanterns are quite powerful, and here are the top 15, ranked.
Laira started as a Green Lantern who survived Parallax’s massacre of the Corps. This survivor’s guilt, coupled with feelings of abandonment, eventually led Laira to the Red Lantern Corps. Laira came from a family of Green Lanterns, and she tried her best to live up to the legacy. Despite her skills as both a Green and Red Lantern, Laira’s time with Atrocitus was even shorter than her tenure with the Green Lanterns, and she was killed right before The Blackest Night.
Skallox was one of the first members of the Red Lantern Corps shortly after Atrocitus first fashioned the Red Power Battery. Notable for his goat head, Skallox had once been a high-ranking member of an intergalactic crime syndicate until he was betrayed. Shoved into an oven, the Red Lantern ring found him shortly before he was burnt alive. Skallox was one of the most loyal Red Lanterns, and when last seen, was still a member. Given the short lifespan of Red Lanterns, this makes him quite powerful.
13 The Judge
Judge Sheko felt the law on her home world had become corrupt and ineffective, and a Red Lantern ring found her right as she was being executed. Most Red Lanterns, upon getting the ring for the first time, lose their memories and humanity, but the Judge largely retained hers.
The Judge joined the Red Lanterns later in their existence, using her ring to act as the law. On top of her Red Lantern powers, the Judge was also telepathic, which gives her an extra edge.
Aquaman’s wife, Mera briefly became a Red Lantern during The Blackest Night. Angered over then-dead husband’s conscription to the Black Lanterns, Mera proved a worthy wielder of the red light of rage, despite only being a Red Lantern for a short while, impressing even Atrocitus.
Mera’s water manipulation powers, combined with the powers of a Red Lantern ring, made her quite powerful. Mera’s participation in both the Red Lanterns and The Blackest Night helped elevate her status in the DC Universe.
Many of the Red Lanterns were intelligent, generally humanoid creatures, but not Dex-Starr. An Earth cat, Dex-Starr was once a well-loved house cat until his owner was killed. Cast out onto the streets and nearly killed himself, Dex-Starr’s anger over his owner’s treatment led him to the Red Lantern Corps.
One of the earliest Red Lanterns, Dex-Starr is a particular favorite of Atrocitus. Dex-Starr’s feline instincts are only heightened by the Red Lantern ring, making him quite deadly.
10 Zilius Zox
Another of Atrocitus’ first recruits to the Red Lantern Corps, Zilius Zox is one of its unique looking members. A faithful and loyal servant to the Corps, Zox was also one of the first Red Lanterns to have his consciousness returned to him, making him even deadlier than ever.
Much like Skallox, Zox has fought alongside Atrocitus and the Red Lanterns since their inception, and his long-term survival gives a true indication of Zox’s power.
9 Kyle Rayner
After The Blackest Night, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner became able to wield the entirety of the Emotional Spectrum, meaning he can channel the red light of rage as well. What makes it even more impressive is Kyle can wield the red light without a ring.
While this may make his connection to the Red Lanterns a little dubious, he can still use their powers better than them. Factor in the powers of the other colors, and Kyle Rayner is one of the most powerful Red Lanterns.
8 Hal Jordan
During the buildup to The Blackest Night, Hal Jordan briefly became a Red Lantern after Laira’s murder. Now a mindless slave to his anger, Hal Jordan’s skills with a green ring translated to the red as well.
A Red Lantern Hal Jordan was bad news for the DC Universe, and had Jordan not overcome the ring’s influence thanks to the Blue Lantern Corps, he could have been just as big a threat as Parallax.
In the alternate reality of Injustice, the star-fish shaped alien known as Starro joined the Red Lantern Corps, which gave upgrades to both him and the Corps. As a member, Starro was able to meld the red light of rage to his ability to create clones of himself.
These clones would then attach themselves to innocent people, turning them into powerful, rage-filled zombies. If this had happened on Earth-0, Starro’s power was so great he could have challenged Atrocitus for leadership of the Red Lantern Corps.
One of the earliest members of the Red Lantern Corps, Bleez had once been a princess in her home world, until the Sinestro Corps ravaged it. Full of anger and rage, Bleez became a natural recruit for the Red Lantern Corps. The Red Lantern ring can induce horrifying physical transformations and Bleez was no exception.
Once an angelic alien, Bleez is now downright demonic looking. She was also one of the first Red Lanterns to have her humanity restored, but she remained with the Corps. A lethal killer, Bleez makes full use of her Red Lantern powers.
During the New 52, Supergirl had a much harder edge than previous incarnations, and she joined the Red Lantern Corps led by Guy Gardner, which opposed Atrocitus. Weilding the red light of rage, Supergirl became one of the most powerful Red Lanterns, thanks to both the ring and her Kryptonain DNA.
Supergirl eventually left the Red Lanterns, and to this day is still the only member who was able to remove their ring without the aid of a Blue Lantern.
One of the few survivors of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Superboy-Prime joined the Red Lanterns briefly during The Blackest Night. Originally tapped for a Black Lantern ring, Superboy-Prime’s anger and rage instead granted him a Red Lantern ring.
Superboy-Prime’s appearances have made it clear he is just as strong–if not stronger, than Superman. When this is combined with the deadly powers provided by a Red Lantern ring, he becomes one of its most powerful and deadlly members.
3 Guy Gardner
A former Green Lantern like Laira, Guy Gardner became one of the most important and powerful members of the Red Lantern Corps. Able to use both his red and green rings together, Guy Gardner would go on to form his own faction of the Red Lanterns, powerful enough to challenge Atrocitus’ authority.
Guy was unsuccessful, and eventually returned to the Green Lanterns. Guy’s power was so great that he nearly usurped the Red Lanterns away from their founder.
2 The Butcher
Every Lantern Corps has their own entity, a being that exists as the personification of that particular emotional drive, and the Red Lantern Corps is no different. The Butcher is the ultimate expression of anger and rage, and it can possess anyone whose heart is full of those emotions.
Furthermore, no ring is necessary for the Butcher to use its extensive powers. The Butcher, unlike other Red Lanterns, was also able to create hard-light constructs with powers as well as manipulate reality.
The first Red Lantern, and still the most powerful. While the others on this list were all extremely powerful Red Lanterns, Atrocitus used his anger to forge the Red Power Battery and created the Corps. He was briefly removed as the leader of the Red Lanterns by Guy Gardner, but eventually reasserted his leadership over the Corps, and is now biding his time, waiting for the moment to return. Atrocitus’ anger knows no bounds, making him the ultimate Red Lantern.
The Red Lanterns have been largely absent from the Green Lantern mythos in recent years, but they remain a constant threat to the security of the cosmos. The red light of rage makes them a powerful foe for the Green Lantern Corps.