Green Lantern (John Stewart)

John Stewart (comics)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Green Lantern
250px Greenlantern156 Green Lantern (John Stewart)
Promotional art for Green Lantern v3, #156 (Jan. 2003) cover, art by Ariel Olivetti.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Green Lantern (vol. 2) #87
(December 1971)
Created by Dennis O’Neil
Neal Adams
In story information
Alter ego John Stewart
Species Human
Place of origin Earth
Team affiliations Green Lantern Corps
Justice League
Supporting character of Katma Tui
Notable aliases Darkstar, The Master Builder,The Lord of the Ring(Animation)
Abilities Wields Green Lantern power ring

John Stewart is a fictional superhero, a member of the intergalactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps. He was created as a work for hire by writer Dennis O’Neil and artist Neal Adams for DC Comics, first appearing in the December 1971/January 1972 issue of DC’s comic book Green Lantern (volume 2, #87). Stewart has become a major recurring character in the Green Lantern mythos within the DC Universe, usually serving as Earth’s most prominent Green Lantern during the times when other notable Earth Green Lanterns, such as Hal Jordan or Kyle Rayner, are absent, on leave, or retired. He starred in the short-lived spin-off comic Green Lantern: Mosaic, of which DC published 18 issues between June 1992 and November 1993. Additionally, he was the primary character in Green Lantern (vol. 2) from issues 182 through 200, when Jordan relinquished his place in the Corps (1984-1986).

While initially not as popular among comics fans as other human Green Lanterns and virtually unknown among non-comics readers, his profile has been raised significantly since he was featured as one of the lead characters on the television cartoon Justice League from 2001 until 2004. He continued to appear on the show’s 2004-2006 sequel, Justice League Unlimited. As of 2007, John Stewart is prominently featured in DC’s monthly comic books Justice League of America and Green Lantern Corps. He is second Green Lantern not to wear a mask. He is also the first black Green Lantern.



  • 1 Fictional character biography
    • 1.1 Early years
    • 1.2 Cosmic Odyssey
    • 1.3 Green Lantern: Mosaic
    • 1.4 Darkstars and beyond
    • 1.5 Green Lantern: Rebirth
    • 1.6 Sinestro Corps War
  • 2 Powers and abilities
  • 3 Other versions
  • 4 Other media
    • 4.1 Animation
      • 4.1.1 History
      • 4.1.2 Characterization
      • 4.1.3 Controversy
    • 4.2 Video games
    • 4.3 Other appearances
  • 5 Notes
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

Fictional character biography

Early years

John Stewart is an architect and veteran U.S. Marine who was selected by the Guardians as Hal Jordan’s backup after Guy Gardner was seriously injured in a disaster. Although Jordan objected after seeing that Stewart had a belligerent attitude to authority figures, the Guardians stood by their selection.

To Jordan, Stewart’s first mission began badly with the assignment of protecting a racist politician and Stewart took advantage of averting an accident to embarrass him in the process. However, Stewart soon proved his worth when an assassin shot at the politician, but Stewart refused to intervene with Jordan to move in response to the attack. Stewart had good reasons for this apparent dereliction of duty when he stopped a gunman from killing a police officer in the outside parking lot at the event while Jordan was pursuing a decoy. When Jordan confronted Stewart about his actions, Stewart explained that the politician had staged it for political advantage. With that adventure, Jordan concluded that Stewart was an excellent recruit after all.

166px GL087 Green Lantern (John Stewart)

magnify clip Green Lantern (John Stewart)

First appearance in Green Lantern vol. 2, # 87. Art by Neal Adams.

For some time, Stewart occasionally filled in for him as Green Lantern when Jordan was unavailable, including some missions of the Justice League.

After Jordan gave up being Green Lantern in the 1980s, the Guardians selected Stewart for full time duty. Stewart filled that role for some years, during which time he married Katma Tui, the Green Lantern of the planet Korugar who was initially assigned to train John in the use of his ring. Kat and John served together within the Green Lantern Corps of Earth alongside Hal Jordan, Arisia, Kilowog, Salakk and other alien Green Lanterns.

After John’s ring was rendered powerless through the schemes of Sinestro and Katma Tui was murdered at the hands of the insane Star Sapphire, Stewart’s life began to unravel. First, he was falsely accused of killing Carol Ferris, Star Sapphire’s alter ego, and then falsely accused of theft by South Nambia (a fictional DCU nation similar to Apartheid era South Africa). Jailed and tortured in South Nambia for weeks, John freed himself with his old ring, now re-powered thanks to the efforts of Hal Jordan. As a result, John inadvertently freed both a serial killer and a terrorist. When Jordan confronted John over his actions, the two friends came to blows until John realized the “revolutionaries” he had been aiding intended to murder innocent civilians.

Cosmic Odyssey

Cosmic Odyssey (comic book)

Afterwards, John left Earth for space, where he participated in the Cosmic Odyssey and failed to prevent the destruction of the planet Xanshi by an avatar of the Anti-Life Equation. The incident earned him the ire of J’onn J’onzz, who was with him at the time. This series of tragedies left John a shattered man on the brink of suicide and created the villainess known as Fatality.

Green Lantern: Mosaic

150px Green Lantern  Mosaic issue 18 %28A Guardian Arises%29 Green Lantern (John Stewart)

magnify clip Green Lantern (John Stewart)

John Stewart as the mortal Guardian of the Universe, Master Builder

Green Lantern: Mosaic

John finally forgave himself for his past mistakes and grew into a stronger, more complex hero when he became the caretaker of the “Mosaic World”, a patchwork of communities from multiple planets that had been brought to Oa by an insane Guardian who had raped John’s mind. Although bitter and sullen at his assignment at first he overcame this and, using his formidable intellect and talent for unconventional thinking, Stewart forged the Mosaic into a new society and eventually became the first mortal Guardian of the Universe, known as the Master Builder. As his reward for this new level of awareness, John was reunited with his late wife, Katma Tui. However, tragedy struck once again and Hal Jordan, possessed by Parallax, destroyed both the Guardians and the Central Power Battery, robbing John of his newfound powers and his resurrected wife..

Darkstars and beyond


Following Emerald Twilight and the collapse of the Green Lantern Corps, Stewart was recruited by the Controllers to command the Darkstars, another interstellar peacekeeping force. Using the new resources at his command, John evacuated the Mosaic cities from Oa prior to its destruction and served the Darkstars with distinction until he was crippled in battle with Grayven on the planet Rann. John eventually regained the use of his legs as a parting gift from Jordan before Jordan sacrificed himself to destroy the Sun-Eater during The Final Night. Soon afterwards, he accepted a new ring entrusted to Kyle Rayner by a time-lost Hal Jordan and joined the Justice League.

Green Lantern: Rebirth

Green Lantern Corps: Recharge

With the return of Hal Jordan and the Guardians, the Corps has been reorganized. Each sector of space now has two Green Lanterns assigned to it, and Stewart and Jordan now share the responsibilities for Earth’s sector, 2814. After the dissolution of the Justice League in the aftermath of the events depicted in the 2004 miniseries Identity Crisis, and the destruction of their Watchtower headquarters on the moon, Stewart has begun playing a larger role in metahuman affairs, working with many former Justice Leaguers.

During the opening “One Year Later” storyline of Green Lantern, Hal Jordan tells Green Arrow that John Stewart is on an off-world undercover mission. The details concerning this mission were revealed in Green Lantern #17. John Stewart disguised himself as “Hunger Dog” to investigate in Europe. When John hears that Hal Jordan is being held captive by Amon Sur and Loragg, he goes off to rescue him. This leads to a confrontation with Amon Sur, who turns out to be the son of their predecessor, Abin Sur. During the fight, Amon receives a ring from the Sinestro Corps and vanishes.

In Justice League of America #7 Vol. 2, he and Wonder Woman designed one of the League’s new headquarters, The Hall. John later resumes his role as the League’s resident Green Lantern upon Hal Jordan’s request.

Sinestro Corps War

Sinestro Corps War

In Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special the Green Lantern Corps are attacked by Bedovian, the sniper of the Sinestro Corps who is capable of taking out a target from three sectors away, all from the inside of a red Sun-Eater. After Bedovian takes out several Green Lanterns, John Stewart uses his power ring as a scoped sniper rifle to track the nearby sectors. He eventually discovers Bedovian’s hiding spot and shoots him. As Green Lantern Corps member were forbidden from killing sentient beings at that time, it’s likely that Bedovian survived the attack, however his fate has not yet been made clear.

In Green Lantern Vol. 4, John and Guy Gardner are captured by Lyssa Drak and taken back to Qward, where the two Lanterns are held captive. Hal manages to defeat Lyssa and free John and Guy from their nightmares, while the Lost Lanterns recover Ion. The earth-based Lanterns then return home, only to find that New Earth, as the center of the Multiverse, is the Sinestro Corps’ next target.

The Sinestro Corps and the Manhunters invade Earth. The Cyborg Superman and Superman-Prime attack Superman, while Hal confronts Parallax, who has possessed Kyle Rayner, just before the latter is about to kill Hal’s family. John orders Guy to retrieve a painting by Kyle Rayner’s mother. When Parallax absorbs Hal inside himself, John looks on with sudden shock. Guy returns and shoves the painting into Parallax’s eyesight, allowing Hal to use it to help Kyle overcome his fears and expel Parallax. Now in its original form, Parallax is then contained by Ganthet and Sayd within the Power Batteries of Hal, John, Guy, and Kyle. Ganthet and Sayd then reveal that they are no longer Guardians. Ganthet gives Kyle a new Power ring and asks Kyle to become a Green Lantern again, to which he agrees. The four then race off to finish the fight. At Guy Gardner’s suggestion, John and the other Lanterns use Warworld as a gigantic grenade, badly wounding the Anti-Monitor, who is then thrown into space by Superman-Prime.

John Stewart witnessed Guy being infected by the Sinestro Corps member who is a living virus, named Despotellis, and asked Soranik Natu to help Guy. Soranik used the Green Lantern Corps smallpox virus named Leezle Pon, who stops Despotellis.

John Stewart was later approached by the Guardians to become one of the Alpha Lanterns, a new division of the Corps devoted to the internal affairs of the Corps. Stewart, desiring more information about the secrecy of the forbidden prophecies, declined the offer, to the extreme disappointment of the Guardians.

It has also been revealed that John served in the Marine Corps as a sniper prior to becoming an architect. While the idea of John being a former Marine was taken from the Justice League cartoon, the sniper angle is a new addition to the character’s background. During his time in the Marine, John met the then young Hal Jordan when he was in the Air Force before they both join the Green Lantern Corps.[1]

Powers and abilities

John Stewart’s ring provides him with the abilities of all other Green Lanterns. These abilities include flight and limited invulnerablility. As with all other Green Lanterns, the ring is a weapon of the mind and powered by will, therefore only limited to the wearer’s imagination. Like all Green Lanterns, Stewart’s personality affects his ring’s creations, giving them a solid, architectural quality. In Green Lantern: Rebirth, Hal Jordan remarks that “everything John builds is solid”. Hal has also remarked that Stewart is the best flyer in the Corps. In Green Lantern 26 it was shown that John’s willpower exceeds the limit of his ring (when he tried to recreate a planet from scratch), a feat that has not been discussed before which remains to be seen how this will play upon events in the future.

Other versions

John Stewart has appeared in the Justice League Unlimited spin-off comic book.

John is a member of the Green Lantern Marine Corps in Superman: Red Son.

John appeared as a reserve Green Lantern in Justice (DC Comics).

Other media


Green Lantern in other media

John Stewart (as voiced by Phil LaMarr) is one of the founding members of the Justice League, as seen in the animated series of the same name and its subsequent Justice League Unlimited. His characterization differs from the comics version by being a former United States Marine and having not been explicitly revealed to have studied architecture.

In a development not seen in any other version of the Green Lantern mythos, Stewart’s eyes glow green as a side effect of his fifteen years of exposure to the power ring’s radiation; the glow fades when the ring runs out energy or if he is physically separated from the ring. Bruce Timm said this was done to give Stewart’s face a more visually interesting look, as they decided to stick with the comic’s tradition that Stewart refuses to wear a mask because he’s not ashamed to let people know who he is.[citation needed]

By many accounts, the ring is also effective against yellow, contradicting an age-old weakness of the Lantern Corps. This is in continuity with the earlier appearance of Kyle Rayner on Superman: The Animated Series (producer Dwayne McDuffie has supplied a version of this historical facet in the choice of Stewart’s favorite film. As McDuffie has said, he’s always had a weakness for Old Yeller[citation needed]). There have been a few instances in the show of something yellow somehow counteracting the Lantern energy, but he is never explicitly shown to have the same weakness from the comics, much like the show’s J’onn J’onzz is never said to have his comic weakness to fire despite several quick moments across the series implying it.

Having two main characters with similar names (John and J’onn) can lead to minor confusion (Flash sometimes collectively refers to them as the two Johns); the closed captioning of some episodes misspell John’s name as J’onn.


While specific details have been vague at best, much of the history of John Stewart can be determined through various comments and revelations over the course of the series. Stewart grew up in a predominantly African-American urban neighborhood of Detroit (where, in his adult life, he declined the offer of private housing on the Justice League Watchtower, and rented a room from a Korean landlady). As a child, he was a big fan of “Justice Guild of America” comics (loosely based on the Justice Society of America). Stewart credits these comics with teaching him what it meant to be a hero.

He enlisted in the Marine Corps as a young man. His service dates are unknown, but it can be assumed it was at least for several years, given how much he absorbed the military’s demeanor and methods into his own. It was here that Stewart learned how to fight and strategize, as well as becoming a good friend of fellow Marine Rex Mason. After his service ended, he was chosen to be a Green Lantern, and trained in ring usage with Katma Tui, with whom he developed a romantic relationship. It is unknown how the relationship ended.

Because Sector 2814—the one that includes Earth—had a Green Lantern already (Abin Sur), Stewart spent fifteen years patrolling another sector in the universe. It was during this time when, pursuing space pirate Kanjar Ro, Stewart believed himself to be responsible for the destruction of the planet Ajuris 4—later revealed to be a falsehood concocted by the Manhunters.

When Abin Sur was murdered by Sinestro and passed his ring on to Kyle Rayner, Stewart was transferred to take over 2814 so that Rayner could train with Katma. It is at this point that Justice League joins John’s story, when he answers a telepathic call from the Martian Manhunter, which leads him to join a battle against an alien invasion force, with the help of four other heroes.


During the course of the series, Stewart would be the main focus in more stories than any of the seven members of the League: “In Blackest Night”, “Legends”, “Metamorphosis”, “The Savage Time“, “Hearts and Minds”, “Secret Society”, and “Starcrossed” (though he shares the focus with Wonder Woman in “Savage” and with Hawkgirl in “Starcrossed”).

The most crucial development during this time was the love story between him and Hawkgirl (real name: Shayera Hol). Shortly after they admitted their feelings for each other, “Starcrossed” occurred, revealing that Hawkgirl was a spy for the Thanagarian forces, and that she has betrayed their secrets to her home Thanagarians. Worse than that, she’d been promised/engaged to the leader, Hro Talak (whose name is an anagram for that of the Silver age Hawkman Katar Hol), before she even came to Earth. Over the course of the Justice League finale, Shayera and Hro fell out of love with each other and Shayera helped save Earth from destruction. After the battle, the League votes on whether to allow her back, but she resigns and flies off into the sunset without John ever telling her that he still loved her.

During Shayera’s self-imposed exile, the League expands to 57 members (in the retitled Justice League Unlimited) and Stewart gets a new girlfriend: superheroine and supermodel Mari Jiwi McCabe/Vixen. At first he treats this as a rebound relationship, but once Shayera returns to the League, he’s conflicted by feelings for both women. These feelings are exacerbated in “The Once and Future Thing”, when he travels to the future and meets his son with Shayera, Warhawk. He does not immediately share this revelation with her. Upon meeting Carter Hall, the would-be Hawkman, John makes the decision to inform Shayera of the son he met in the future. However, as his relationship with Mari had advanced (and Mari had been quite seriously injured before), he makes the decision to not leave Mari just because destiny would seem to decree it; he tells Shayera that whatever happens needs to happen because of how they feel now.

In the episode “In Blackest Night”, Stewart resigns himself to the treatment of the residents of Ajuris 4, believing he has destroyed a planet (unaware that he has been framed), claiming that superheroes need to be held accountable for their actions. In “Metamorphosis”, he deals with the opposite problem, noting how wealthy and carefree his old Marine pal Rex Mason is, and wonders if being a Lantern has cost him social and romantic opportunities. The episode “Only a Dream” explores Stewart’s fears over how his hometown has become as alien to him as the farthest reaches of the galaxy, and how he worries about the Lantern energy being the only thing of focus in his life.


When Bruce Timm first announced the lineup for Justice League, there was a good deal of commotion over the choices of John Stewart and Hawkgirl.[1] Regarding Stewart, the first complaint was that he had been included simply to have a black man on the team. Fans were angered for one of two reasons; they were not including Hal Jordan – the Green Lantern who founded the JLA – or they were not keeping in line with the continuity established in Superman by including Kyle Rayner, who was the current Green Lantern of the comic books at the time.

Timm did admit that one of the reasons for Stewart’s inclusion was that he brought diversity to the team, but also felt that Stewart was a more interesting character. Timm was fond of pointing to Dennis O’Neil’s original incarnation of the character, who was a complex character, and it was from that position that they ran with it. As the series ran, fans came to embrace Stewart’s presence as he became a deeply developed character.

The other major controversy, especially amongst Internet fans, was Stewart’s use of the ring. In the first season of the series, John would use his ring in a very straightforward, no-frills manner. Where a Lantern in the comics might form a clamp to restrain a fleeing vehicle, John would simply encase it in a bubble. Many felt they could accept this new character, but were disappointed with the limited imagination with which the power ring was used. Bruce Timm admitted that they could have been more creative in the first season with Stewart’s power-ring usage, and in the episode “Hearts and Minds,” Katma Tui even berates John for his lack of creativity. In the later seasons Stewart showed more creativity with his ring, creating objects and machines such as a gigantic power drill in “Starcrossed”.

It’s worth noting however that John’s business-like use of his power ring fit with his character in Justice League’s early seasons, and provided a clue in the Static Shock episode “Fallen Hero,” where the more creative use of the ring by Sinestro, impersonating Stewart to besmirch his good name, was a tip-off that something wasn’t right. In his audio commentary for Legends, Timm states that they also avoided using more complex constructs because he and his creative staff thought a modern audience would not accept it as being too much like Superfriends, and that going for straight up beams or bubbles were meant to differentiate Stewart from Kyle Rayner, who had used his ring in a very creative manner in his guest starring role on the preceding Superman series.

Video games

John Stewart is a featured character in the video game Justice League Heroes, voiced by Michael Jai White.

Other appearances

John Stewart was portrayed by Tim Meadows in a Saturday Night Live sketch inspired by the then-recent Death of Superman comic storyline, wearing his Green Lantern: Mosaic costume.


  1. ^ Green Lantern #29 vol. 4


  • Green Lantern (John Stewart) at the Comic Book DB
  • John Stewart at the Internet Movie Database
  • The Watchtower’s Profile on John Stewart, which quotes Bruce Timm at the 2001 Comic-Con (Hawkgirl’s controversial status is mentioned in Hawkgirl’s profile)

Attached Images:
Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Report DMCA Violation