Penelops (Green Lantern)

Green Lanterns are getting weirder and weirder in appearance the more we dwell with Lucy W.‘s request. This time, always from the Green Lantern movie, we meet Penelops, the curious tentacled alien with a single eye protruding from his main body seen on Oa, among dozens of others. In the film, as most of the others, Penelops doesn’t do anything but to stroll around, but believe it or not, in the comics he is a living legend, one of the most powerful Green Lanterns ever lived, and a source of inspiration for all his peers, including the most seasoned and expert ones among them. Let’s see together why.

Penelops was born on Penelo, an ocean planet inhabited by jellyfish-like creature who lived in the abyss of its seas. The light of the sun was painful to creatures used to live in the deep, so none of the Penelopians ever explored the surface…none but Penelops, who was the first one among his race to win his fear and to reach the top of the sea, becoming renowned among his people for both his courage and his foolishness. This single act of bravery was enough for Penelops to be noticed by the Guardians of the Universe, who were constantly monitoring sentient beings’ willpower, especially the one strong enough to conquer fear. Penelops definitely was worthy of the offer they made to him, to become a Green Lantern and protect Space Sector 1355, a responsibility that Penelops accepted. The alien trained for a time on Oa, but due to his introverted nature he didn’t make any friends, with the sole exception of Tomar Re, his mentor, who saw through him and understood his enormous potential. As he became a Green Lantern, Penelops came back to his home world, and started patrolling the Sector he had been assigned. Rising the surprise and the irony of his colleagues, he showed no fantasy at all in terms of energy constructs, as he only used his Green Power Ring to create tentacles, bigger versions of his own, with no creativity whatsoever. Some Green Lanterns even started believing the Guardians of the Universe had made a mistake in recruiting him, as some worthier candidates may have been present in that area of the universe…then Penelops accomplished something that nobody else did or would have ever done, entering by right in the chronicles of the Book of Oa.

Penelo was facing a cataclysmic climate change, with its oceans literally starting to boil, with obvious consequences on the local population. Penelops investigated the phenomenon, and as he left the atmosphere he discovered an alien ship near the sun, firing an unknown kind of energy beam into the star to raise its temperature. The Green Lantern tried to stop the beam, but was attacked by the ship, and sent directly into the sun…but his enormous willpower was enough to allow him to escape the star’s gravitational field, and he boarded the ship. He found it was occupied by blue-skinned aliens, refugees from a dying world, who had found the perfect new home in Penelo, that was however too cold for them. Believing it to be deserted, they had started to raise its temperature, and were shocked in realizing what they had done to the local population…but the process was irreversible, and they had doomed an entire species to extinction. Penelops, however, wasn’t giving up yet: using one of his mocked energy tentacles, he enveloped the entire planet Penelo, and with his sheer willpower he moved the world to a safer orbit, far enough from the sun to restore the original temperature, but allowing one part of the planet to be more exposed to the light and warmer, to allow also the refugees to call Penelo home. He had accomplished something unthinkable up to that point, and he became a living legend. Back to Oa, he found out he had become a role model for many, and a lot of fellow Lanterns, even ones who had more years of service than him, came to him to be taught how to use their willpower to the fullest. Despite his obvious power, Penelops was no master, and he politely declined every request he was made: he had just raised the standards of the Green Lantern Corps, showing that “impossible” was just a word, when applied to one’s willpower.

Penelops is a shy and introverted man, who hides behind his meek attitude one of the greatest and strongest willpower ever seen in the Corps. As a Penelopian, he can breathe underwater, he has many prehensile tentacles that also contain mouths for feeding and stingers to stun enemies, he possesses superhuman strength and he can blend with the surroundings becoming nearly invisible; as a Green Lantern, his Power Ring allows him to survive in any environment, to fly, to communicate in any known language and to create energy constructs, in his case usually tentacles. Penelops is the living embodiment of the unbreakable will that conquers any fear, as it’s highlighted by his personalized oath: “In brightest light, in darkest sea, All dangers will be seen by me! While others from these dangers flee, I shall always a Green Lantern be!

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