Rot Lop Fan (Green Lantern)

We’ll finish with the characters from Green Lantern eventually, but this is not the day. Another Green Lantern awaits for us, and this one is possibly the most comic-accurate in the film, at least from an aesthetic point of view. We’re speaking of Rot Lop Fan, that weird shark-like eyeless alien seen among (too) many others on Oa. The total lack of eyes is an extreme version of the character’s blindness in the comics, but for all the rest the movie’s Rot Lop Fan is pretty much identical to the comics’ one, including his unique uniform, that sports a symbol different from the usual lantern. Let’s see together why.

Rot Lop Fan was born on an unknown planet in the wide void known as the Obsidian Deep, a sector of space completely devoid of light. To adapt to this unique condition, the local species evolved completely blind, compensating this lack with an incredible hearing. Among his people, Rot Lop Fan led a relatively normal life, but he was acknowledged to be a noble and brave man, characterized by a strong willpower that attracted the attention of the Guardians of the Universe, who wanted to recruit him to be the first Green Lantern patrolling the Obsidian Deep. The Guardians sent Katma Tui to offer Rot Lop Fan a place within the Green Lantern Corps, and she found him in total blackness thanks to her Green Power Ring…but the recruitment was more difficult than expected. Rot Lop Fan, in fact, had no concept of anything involving light, so even the terms “Green” and “Lantern” had no meaning for him, and even Katma Tui’s Power Ring was unable to translate them. It was apparently a situation without solution, as even the oath of the Green Lanterns was meaningless to the blind alien, but eventually Katma Tui found a way to reach Rot Lop Fan in a language he could comprehend: she slowly but steadily converted all the light and color concepts into sound ones, explaining to Rot Lop Fan the history, mission and values of the Green Lantern Corps replacing everything that involved at least an abstract idea of light with sound. By the end of their conversation, Rot Lop Fan was more determined than ever to join what he believed to be the F-Sharp Bell Corps.

Following this concept of the Green Lanterns, Rot Lop Fan was granted a unique equipment: his Power Ring was shaped after a musical instrument, the F-Sharp Bell, that worked like a Ring but used sound constructs instead of light ones. He was also given a unique uniform, that displayed on the front not the usual Green Lantern, but a Green Bell. This way, he successfully became the protector of Space Sector 0911, the first in the entire Obsidian Deep. Although he usually stayed within his space, Rot Lop Fan was able to hear anything in a radius of four sectors, so he was always among the first ones to intervene in cases of grave emergency, such as during the war against the Anti-Monitor and his minions from the Anti-Matter Universe. He survived the crisis and came back to the Obsidian Deep, only to be summoned to Oa not much time later, to witness the departure of the Guardians of the Universe, who left the regular plane of existence in a self-exile. As during an attack the Central Power Battery on Oa was destroyed, Rot Lop Fan was depowered as all his teammates, and as many others he was targeted by a slave ring. The slavers captured him and put him on auction for the highest bidder, but luckily there was a Green Lantern who had found a way to claim his power back and was using it to free all the captive ex-Lanterns: Guy Gardner from Earth. Gardner freed Rot Lop Fan (among the others), and led him to claim back his F-Sharp Bell. Despite the two of them couldn’t be more different in terms of character and attitude, this episode gave birth to a weird friendship between the two, a bizarre relationship that would have lasted for long, as the Green Lantern Corps (or the F-Sharp Bell Corps) were now reborn and ready to return to duty.

Rot Lop Fan is a selfless and generous man, a courageous corpsman who’s ready and willing to protect all on his own one of the most isolated Space Sectors in the whole universe. He naturally possesses an amazing sense of hearing, that compensates for his lack of sight and allows him to hear everything even light years away; as a Green Lantern, he possesses a unique Power Ring, actually an F-Sharp Bell, that produces sound he can manipulate into powerful energy constructs. Since light or color have absolutely no meaning for him, even his oath is unique: “In loudest din or hush profound, my ears catch evil’s slightest sound. Let those who toll out evil’s knell, beware my power: the F-Sharp Bell!