Ryan Choi (The Atom)

It’s positive by now that we’ll never get the infamous Snyder Cut of Justice League (and I’m not exactly sad for it), but new images and photos from the scrapped version of the movie keep surfacing, even more than one year after the film’s release. One of the latest showed Silas Stone working with another S.T.A.R. Labs scientist, portrayed by Orion Lee… and Zack Snyder confirmed that he was meant to be Ryan Choi, a name that we can actually read in the list of S.T.A.R. Labs employees even in the final version of the film. Comicbook readers now the name quite well, as Choi is the fourth person to don the mantle of The Atom. Whether we’ll ever see him for real in the DC Extended Universe or not is unknown, but he’s already been mentioned in The Flash as a (future) friend of Barry‘s, and he’ll design for him the suit that Nora brought back. In the meantime, as usual, let’s take a look at the original.

Ryan Choi was born in the urban area of Kowloon, in Hong Kong, son of a renowned professor. Growing up among scientists gave him quite a taste for the discipline, and he distinguished himself as a phenomenal student since he was very young: he was little more than a boy when he received his (first) doctorate. Physics was his main game, and he started an epistolary relationship with other scientists all around the world, and one in particular became his mentor: Ray Palmer. The relationship with Palmer became something more than a simple teacher-student exchange, and the two became true friends through science, exchanging theories and sharing a deep passion for discovery and investigation. Ryan couldn’t hope for anything better than to work with his mentor side by side, and when his mother died he finally moved to the United States, in Ivy Town, having obtained a post-doc in Ivy University, where Palmer worked. When he arrived, though, things didn’t go as he had imagined them: Ray Palmer was exposed to the world as the shrinking superhero The Atom, and he disappeared without leaving a trace. Choi’s respect for Palmer only grew when he heard the news, but even if he had the chance to work with other great physicists like Dr. Helmond Kettering, he was sad that he couldn’t even meet his hero. It didn’t take much to him to make an impression on his older colleagues, and he was soon invited by Kettering, who had been a friend of Palmer’s as well, into the Lighter Than Air Society, a group of geniuses who worked together and shared their love for physics: this way, Choi met Professor Martin Campbell, Professor “Panda” Potter and Professor Thomas Dinawa who, along with Kettering, became some of his best friends in Ivy Town. Of course, the one he still felt closest to him was still the missing Ray Palmer, and he obtained to live into the doctor’s former house in the campus. Here, he made the discovery of a lifetime.

While living among his mentor’s possessions, Ryan Choi stumbled upon a strange belt that he recognized as a duplicate of the Bio-Belt, the device that allowed The Atom to shrink. Believing he should have followed Dr. Palmer’s footsteps both in university and in his heroic deeds, Ryan decided to become the new Atom, tailoring a costume and inheriting both Palmer’s equipment and name. He believed he could use The Atom’s abilities mainly for scientific investigation, to use what he found in the subatomic world to make people’s lives better… but he was wrong. Apparently, the repeated experiments of Dr. Ray Palmer and his colleague Professor Alpheus Hyatt had weakened the fabric of reality around Ivy Town, putting the basis for a war between Science and Faith that Ryan inevitably found himself entangled in. Without even knowing what was happening yet, the new Atom met representatives of both factions: first, he met the Waiting, a race of minuscule aliens who lived in a subatomic dimension. The Waiting were planning to install a mind-control device in Duster, the President of the United States‘ dog, and to use it to direct the White House. The Atom foiled their plan, but as he escaped from the angry aliens he was abducted by yet another weird opponent, the self-appointed Cancer God M’Nagalah. The monster told him about the war between magical and “scientific” creatures, and also revealed that he was a critical figure in the war, prompting him to join his side against the Waiting and their allies. The Atom refused, and M’Nagalah attacked him. Escaping from both sides, Atom was rescued by the dean of Ivy Town, Mayland, who informed him about the collapse of reality, and insisted to send him back home, where he would have been safe: he even called Ryan’s father from Hong Kong to force his hand. Mayland, in reality, wanted Science to win, and he needed Atom out of the way, so that his own agent, Dwarfstar, could replace him and cripple the other faction. Ryan, though, realized he just couldn’t leave, and convinced his father that it was important for him to stay: he was the Atom now, and he had responsibilities to assume. First, he had to stop a war.

Ryan Choi is an absolute genius, with an IQ exceeding 200, and a deep commitment to use this amazing intellect for bettering human life; keen and intuitive, he always uses reason and knowledge to get out of a dangerous situation, trusting science as his best ally. As The Atom, he originally used one of Chronos‘ Bio-Belts to modify his size, weight and mass from normal to subatomic, accompanying it with a Singularity Field Generator that created an artificial environment around him so that he could breathe and maintain a molecular stability in every state; now, however, the “matter-borrowing creatures” that powered the Bio-Belt live in his bloodstream, allowing him to access his powers without any equipment. A scientist and an explorer, the fourth Atom is moved by an infinite curiosity and an ethical imperative to learn as much as he can in order to increase the treasure of human knowledge: more an academic than a costumed hero, he’s nevertheless committed as few others, always ready to live up to his predecessor’s legacy.

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Nuidis Vulko

The latest cover of Empire provided a good look at (almost) the entire cast of the upcoming Aquaman, so we got our first look at two of the remaining main characters. On the right we can see Willem Dafoe wielding a sword: that’s Nuidis Vulko, the chief counselor to the throne of Atlantis, and Aquaman‘s secret mentor. Vulko was supposed to appear last year in Justice League, but just as Iris West all his scenes were ultimately cut from the movie (and, unlike Iris’ one, they have not been seen yet). It appears that the movie’s version will embrace the new warrior nature of the character seen on Prime Earth, but the original Vulko is a man of science, not of sword, and for that exactly he can help his king in ways nobody else can. Let’s see together.

Nuidis Vulko was born in the submerged kingdom of Atlantis, a keen intellect who soon became the most prominent scientist in the entire city, preferring to study science rather than magic as most wise men in the continent. His knowledge and intelligence became so requested that he rose to become the chief scientific adviser of Atlantis, always at disposal of the throne for any matters his judgement was required for. He befriended Queen Atlanna, who was intrigued by Vulko’s field of expertise, and even King Trevis trusted him, albeit he preferred to rely on the advises of his sorcerers. This became blatant the moment the Queen became pregnant (despite Trevis was allegedly sterile) and gave birth to Orin, a boy with blonde hair. According to Atlantean legends, blonde hair were the mark of Kordax, an ancient warlord who had brought Tritonians and Poseidonians to a bloody civil war, and all babies born with his “curse” were to be exposed and left to die. The Queen opposed her husband, and Vulko sided with her, declaring that the Curse of Kordax was but a silly superstition. The King didn’t listen to such words, and ordered the baby to be abandoned… an order that the Queen didn’t obey to, as she escaped with the infant, covered by Vulko. Trevis unleashed his anger and frustration on his adviser, and Vulko was imprisoned for his betrayal. He spent years in the royal prison, and some time later he was joined by Atlanna herself, how had tried to come back home after entrusting her baby to a surface dweller. Years passed before Vulko had the company of another prisoner… Orin himself, who had arrived to Atlantis investigating his origins. Vulko was happy to see the prince he had witnessed the birth of alive and well, and befriended him, telling him about his parents and his roots. When Orin freed himself and claimed the throne, his first royal act was to free Vulko as well, naming him his regent, a trusted replacement for all the times he would have left Atlantis to defend the surface world as the hero Aquaman.

With a new King who connected in himself the surface world and the underwater one, even Vulko had finally the chance of expanding his own knowledge and skills, learning much of the surface science. The first time he met a friend of Aquaman’s from the Justice League of America, it was Atom, one of the greatest scientists of the surface: Vulko helped Aquaman and Atom repel and invasion from the microscopic army of Galg the Destroyer, extremely destructive but tiny enough to fill just a drop of water, and learnt much from the cooperation. He embraced Aquaman’s vision of a peaceful cohabitation with the surface dwellers, and helped him investigate the theft of the Royal Seal, attributed to a surface diplomat; thanks to Vulko, Aquaman and Nuada Silverhand managed to find the real culprit, not the ambassador but rather Ocean Master. This made Orin trust Vulko even more, enough to make him King during an extended period of absence. He ruled with wisdom and skill, until Aquaman came back, missing a hand, lost in a vicious battle with Charybdis. Vulko resumed his role as scientific adviser, watched over the king’s convalescence, and later replaced his left hand with a harpoon. He then spent the following years assisting Aquaman with high-tech devices to help him in his task of guarding the Seven Seas, such as a futuristic stealth suit and several weapons, but the greater task arrived when the entire ocean came under attack, and in a moment of desperation, the king decided that all the Atlanteans had to take refuge in the surface world. It was up to Vulko to find a way to make everyone able to survive out of the water, and with respirators and special suits he proved to be up to the task, allowing his people to survive yet another crisis. Something, however, was changing in Vulko’s soul: he wasn’t so enthusiast anymore in following Orin, seeing how much time he spent outside his kingdom, nor in embracing his policies, considering how much they had endangered Atlantis in the previous years. Maybe it was the right time for a change…

Nuidis Vulko is a man of science, devoted to knowledge just as much as he is devoted to his home country, Atlantis. As all Atlanteans, he’s much stronger and more durable than any human, and he can breathe underwater (staying too much on the surface, on the opposite, weakens and eventually kills him), but he rarely uses force to solve problems, preferring to trust his remarkable skills as a scientist and as an inventor. An atheist living in a deeply religious and devoted to magic country, Vulko is like a fish out of water in his own environment, but his superb intellect and his loyalty to the throne make him one of the most reliable and trusted allies King Orin will ever have by his side… until he too becomes disillusioned with the king’s rule, of course.

Elinore Beatty

It’s finally time for the last character appearing in Justice League, another small cameo: Elinore Stone, the late mother of Cyborg portrayed by Karen Bryson. We know that there was a flashback involving her and her son somewhere down the line, but that got cut out, so we only get to see her in a family picture with her husband and son. As far as we know, she died in the same accident that eventually transformed Victor into Cyborg, and that mirrors what happened to her (on Prime Earth, she keeps guiding her son as a hologram, much like the way Jor-El does with Superman). Now, let’s take a look to this secondary, but yet important character in Cyborg’s story.

Not much is known about Elinore Beatty‘s life before her last years. She was probably born in New York City, where she received a superior education, that nurtured her already remarkable natural talent for scientific disciplines. Her talent didn’t go unnoticed, and immediately after college she was hired by S.T.A.R. Labs, the most advanced research facility in the country, and one of the most advanced in the entire world. With an expertise ranging from physics to chemistry to biology, Elinore had the chance to prove herself in several important projects, and while working at S.T.A.R. she also met a fellow scientist, Silas Stone, whom she eventually fell in love with. The two got married some time later, and even had a son together, Victor. Both of them were working on a project to increase human intelligence and, believing they were opening a brighter future for Victor, they used their son as a guinea pig, artificially increasing his I.Q. since his childhood. The experiments were quite a success, but both Elinore and Silas had quite great expectations for their son, and the pressure eventually became unbearable.

Unavoidably, when he became a teenager, Victor snapped, and he didn’t want to have anything to do with his parents’ work anymore; after all, he wasn’t the one who had asked to become smarter with experiments he didn’t even understand. Victor’s phase of rebellion drove him away from Elinore and Silas, making him even join a street gang, and only then Elinore realized her mistake, and tried to be a mother before being a scientist… but it was a little bit too late, and everything she said was always charged with the failed expectations she had for her son. Eventually, however, she and her husband dropped their project on increasing intelligence, and they moved onto something else entirely: dimensional transportation. After a year of work, the couple managed to build a Dimensional Transmitter that successfully opened a small portal on another dimension… unfortunately, it wasn’t small enough to prevent the arrival of an unwanted guest, an alien spore with plainly unfriendly intents. Before Silas managed to reverse the process and send the jelly monster back home, the alien attacked Victor, who was visiting the lab: Elinore tried to protect her son, but she was killed by the monster, while Victor was horribly maimed nevertheless. At last, however, she had managed to do something a true mother would have.

Elinore Beatty Stone is an incredibly smart and intelligent woman, a genius scientist who’s totally dedicated to her work. While she has absolutely no flaws as a scientist, she still struggles in her personal relations, even familiar ones, and she tends to treat even her son as a test subject. She’s an accomplished physicist, biologist and bio-chemist, and she even has some knowledge in medicine. Apparently, the only thing she has left to learn, is how to be the mother her son needs…

Atlan

The last character from the huge flashback in Justice League (but not the last one from the movie) is the ancient King of Atlantis portrayed by Julian Lewis Jones: King Atlan, the one who hides one of the Mother Boxes in his kingdom after the battle. Atlan is a relevant character in Atlantis‘ mythology. In the most recent incarnation, he’s the first king ever, who goes mad after his brother Orin betrays him and kills his entire family. In the original timeline, however, he’s better known for being the quasi-immortal father of Aquaman. Let’s see together.

Atlan was born centuries ago, the son of warmongering King Honsu of Atlantis and of his wife, the deceiving Queen Lorelei. Atlan was the second of three princes, the first one being the great warrior Kraken, and the youngest the wise scholar Haumond. Since his birth, it was apparent that Atlan was different from his brothers: he showed the signs of the Curse of Kordax, meaning he was born with blonde hair, a unique trait among Atlanteans that was believed to be a deformity. If this wasn’t enough, Atlan was also a homo magi, a sub-species born with a natural affinity and ability in magic. All these traits together made him a pariah among his people, and he was eventually exiled from the capital city of Poseidonis as soon as he showed he was actually developing his skill with magic. Known as “Atlan the Loner“, he traveled the seas for years, but his thirst for knowledge led him even beyond the borders of the Atlanteans’ realm, and he explored the surface world as well. Posing as a human, he visited land as well, and he got fascinated by human culture and cities. Enthusiast with what he had seen, Atlan broke the rules and came back to Atlantis, telling his father Honsu of the many wonders he had witnessed. Intrigued by his son’s tales, and spurred by his cruel wife, Honsu made something Atlan didn’t expect: he moved war to the surface world, with intention of conquering it. Embittered by his family’s warmongering spirit, Atlan came back to his self-imposed exile, and dedicated himself to the study of magic, becoming a powerful sorcerer.

Years later, Lorelei’s plan came into fruition, and she managed to put her son Kraken on the throne in place of Honsu. Kraken married a beautiful woman, Atlanna, and in her Atlan saw an occasion of revenge against his family. Using his magic, he approached the queen in his spirit form, and seduced her: from their relationship was born a son, Orin, who inherited the Curse of Kordax from his real father. The prince was cast out of the kingdom, and Kraken was publicly humiliated. Atlan, however, followed Orin’s growth, and secretly led him into becoming not only the new king of Atlantis, but also a hero for Atlanteans and humans alike. He also fathered other children: he had a relation with an Inuit woman, and another son was born, Orm Marius, who was destined to follow a much darker path than Orin’s. He even had a daughter, Deborah Perkins, from a Japanese woman named Miya Shimada, better known as the superhero Tsunami: Deborah would have become a heroine like her mother, with the name Deep Blue. Gifted with the extremely long life of the homo magi, Atlan kept guiding his family from a distance, using his magic to assist his descendants and to pull the strings of fate. He sometimes intervened in a more direct way, such as when he bestowed Aquaman’s adopted son, Garth aka Aqualad, with great magic abilities, and secretly taught him how to use them. For being a pariah who officially ceased to exist centuries ago, Atlan was practically ruling over the kingdom he had been denied centuries before…

Atlan is a wise and highly intelligent man, a centuries-old sorcerer who loves life and everything it has to give him, but who knows how to pull the right strings to make fate follow a path only he knows. As an Atlantean, he possesses superhuman strength and durability, and the ability to breath under water; inheriting the Curse of Kordax, he’s able to communicate with sea life, and being a homo magi he’s virtually immortal and naturally skilled in magic, with spells including telepathy, astral form, hydrokinesis and much more. An ancient and powerful being, Atlan is one of the secret weavers of history, a secret presence who keeps influencing his kingdom and family from behind the curtains.

Artemis

Back to Justice League, we meet another Olympian present on the battlefield during the first invasion attempt from Steppenwolf: Artemis, portrayed by Aurore Lauzeral. Artemis appears to make short work of the Parademons with her powered-up arrows, and she oversees the final victory and the division of the Mother Boxes. We know that, centuries later, she will be killed by her brother Ares, who stands besides her in Justice League, as told in Wonder Woman, so it’s unlikely we’ll see her again, apart from possible flashbacks. Even if the character clearly originates from Greek mythology, she’s quite relevant in the comics as well, being one of the goddesses who gave birth to the Amazons in the first place. Let’s see together.

Artemis was born at the dawn of time when Zeus, betraying once again his wife Hera, seduced the beautiful Titaness Leto. The woman, haunted by Hera’s jealousy, hid herself in a land not touching any ground, Delos, where the sun never shined, and gave birth to twin brothers: Artemis and Apollo. The two kids grew with their mother, and soon learnt archery to provide for food. When she was still a child, Zeus admitted both her and her brother to his presence, allowing them to take their rightful place among the gods their peers. Having a soft spot for Artemis, Zeus allowed her to express six wishes he would have granted, and the baby asked: godly bow and arrows, and a short tunic, to be allowed to hunt; many names that could differentiate her from her brother Apollo; to be a Phaesporia (Light Bringer) to bring comfort to the ones lost in darkness; to have sixty Nymphs to be her choir, and then to have other twenty to be her handmaidens; last, to be a virgin forever. She didn’t want any city dedicated to her, but she would have gladly taken the woods instead; no king would have called for her aid, but the women suffering from childbirth would have. Zeus granted all this, and Artemis became the Goddess of Moon, of Hunt and of Forests, a fierce protector of all women and the mistress of all animals. Bringing light to the night and assisting the ones forgotten and mistreated by everyone, she became one of the most worshiped goddesses of ancient times, and thus one of the most powerful, as Olympians draw their power from mortals’ prayers.

Artemis lived the time of myth as a virgin huntress who only loved the company of her maidens and her dogs, with only a hero, Orion, managing to win her heart, but dying in a tragic accident soon after. It was her vicinity to women, however, that eventually brought her to change the world forever: saddened by all the useless death and suffering humans were bringing on themselves, Artemis summoned other four goddesses (Athena, Aphrodite, Demeter and Hestia) to try and put a stop to all this violence. The five deities created bodies from the clay of the Mediterranean Sea, and filled them with godly gifts: Artemis provided her keen senses and her hunting skills, as well as a natural affinity with animals. After that, they brought on the souls of the many women who in history had suffered and died at the hands of men, inviting them to inhabit those bodies; then, they pleaded their father Zeus to give life to those bodies. The result was the birth of the Amazons, a powerful tribe of warrior women who were tasked with bringing peace to the world of men, torn by war and violence, and to keep it with might and kindness. Artemis guided and protected the Amazons in their mission, and rejoiced for their successes, but couldn’t do anything to prevent their fall and their separation. Despite the Amazons who lived in Bana-Mighdall still honored Artemis, the goddess rejected them, as they had turned their ways becoming murderous and violent like men, and she kept favoring the ones exiled on Themyscira. When, centuries later, Queen Hippolyta magically created a daughter, she named her with Artemis’ Roman name, Diana, and the goddess thanked her by blessing the child with all her gifts. Maybe, this new champion would have finally brought justice to a world that was still destroying itself life after life.

Artemis is, as all Olympians, a unique mix of wisdom and whim, of benevolent kindness and murderous vengeance, known both for motherly assisting women in labor and for having mauled by her dogs the few men who ever saw her naked. As the Goddess of Moon, Hunt and Forests, she’s an immortal and nearly invulnerable Olympian who possesses superhuman strength, speed, agility, durability and stamina, extremely keen senses, the ability to travel between dimensions and alter her shape, telepathy applicable to both animals and humans, and the power to increase or decrease animals’ fertility; she’s also an extremely skilled huntress and archer, one of the fiercest Olympian warriors. A consecrated virgin who devoted her entire immortal life to the protection of women, Artemis is a wonderful and fearsome apparition for whoever lay eyes on her, a bringer of life who can as well turn into a bringer of death.

Zeus

One of the big surprises in Justice League was to see that, along with humans, Atlanteans and Amazons, also the Olympic gods fought together against Steppenwolf and his Parademons. Of course, the king himself couldn’t miss it: Zeus makes his live action debut portrayed by Sergi Constance, after appearing on a painting only in Wonder Woman. With his remarkable power, Zeus is the one who separates the three Mother Boxes with a bolt of lightning, stopping the transformation of Earth into Apokolips. We know that he doesn’t live much after the battle, as his son Ares soon kills him along with all the other Olympians, but that he managed to father a daughter in Diana, the last goddess. In the comics, Zeus is Diana’s father only in The New 52 story line, while in the original one his story is quite different. Let’s see together.

Much of what is told by the ancient myths is actually true: Zeus was the son of Chronos, king of the Titans, and of his wife Rhea; his mother saved him from his father, a cannibalistic monster who ate his own children fearing they would take his place. Growing up hidden in a cave, Zeus freed his brothers and sisters from his father’s stomach, and then led them into a war against the Titans. During the war, Zeus slew Chronos, and took his place as the king of the gods on Mount Olympus. Zeus married one of his sisters, Hera, and he shared the power over the universe with her and the other ten siblings, who formed the twelve Olympians. For the entire age of myth Zeus intervened in human lives, often fathering demigods with mortal women, the most famous and powerful of them being Hercules. Nobody dared to challenged the nearly almighty King of Gods, but a few beings of remarkable power: one was Darkseid, the New God from Apokolips, who eventually managed to split the very essence of the Olympians in two, creating a separate pantheon that would have been worshiped by Romans; Zeus himself was separated in two different gods, the other being Jupiter. This separation lasted for centuries, until the united might of the Olympians managed to absorb the other pantheon assuming their whole power once again. In ancient times, Zeus blessed the Olympian goddesses as they created the Amazons, keepers of peace and justice in a world haunted by war and violence, but didn’t intervene when his son Ares orchestrated the Amazons’ fall using his own step-brother Hercules to do it, later forcing the warrior women to a self-exile on Themyscira. Centuries would have passed before Zeus became interested in the Amazons again.

Centuries after these events, the Amazon queen Hippolyta had a daughter, Diana, whom she crafted from clay. Diana grew to become an amazing warrior, and later the superheroine Wonder Woman, who made herself noticed by the King of Gods when she defeated Ares, forcing him to exile. Intrigued by the Amazon princess, Zeus appeared to her, offering her the status of a goddess and immortality… in exchange of her virginity. The first woman in history to do so, Diana rejected him, stating she loved him as a daughter could love a father, but definitely not as a lover. In the meanwhile Hera and the other goddesses who had created the Amazons, enraged, intervened to stop Zeus from further offenses, stating that Themyscira wasn’t his personal brothel… but Zeus, not used to be rejected, retaliated by forcing Wonder Woman to undertake the Challenge of the Gods, an inhuman trial nobody ever survived to. While battling the horrors trapped under Themyscira, not only Diana managed to slay legendary monsters such as the Lernaean Hydra and to survive the ordeal, but she even freed Hercules, trapped for centuries in the island’s basement. Humiliated by the Amazon’s prowess, Zeus renounced any claim on her or her virtue, even if this didn’t mean he stopped cheating on his wife (quite the opposite, he even conceived with a human archaeologist Cassie Sandsmark, the future Wonder Girl). Soon after that, however, Zeus would have been forced to think of more urgent matters than copulating: from behind the scenes, in fact, the sorceress Circe manipulated many gods from different pantheons to wage war on each other, causing a conflict that involved Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse, Babylonian, African and Thanagarian deities in an unprecedented clash, each of them wanting to destroy the world and recreate it anew in their own images. This time, even the proud and mighty Zeus could need the help of mere mortals to avoid a catastrophe of cosmic proportions…

Zeus is an ancient and wise deity, but also an arrogant and authoritative tyrant who rules over the universe with equal doses of compassion and hardness, of mercy and strength. As the King of Gods, he’s a nearly omnipotent being with immense strength, speed, durability, stamina and reflexes, with senses so keen they can perceive anything through dimensions, and with a magical power so extended that not only he can control lightnings and storms, but he can also create life itself, resurrect the dead, transform into anything or anyone, use telepathy, share his power with others and much more. One of the most powerful beings in existence, Zeus is both a just ruler and a misogynist dictator, a loyal ally and a whimsical adversary, an ever-living contradiction that reflects all the incompatible natures of the people worshiping him.

Yalan Gur (Green Lantern)

Justice League has been released, and it’s unexpectedly funny. The movie introduces several characters, and we’re going to see them together as soon as I get the pics. Most of them appear during the huge flashback scene portraying the first battle against Steppenwolf: even two Green Lanterns join the massive alliance, and while one of them is never clearly seen, the other one, on the opposite, can be easily identified… albeit only when Steppenwolf strikes him down. The dragon-like Lantern is Yalan Gur, a renegade corpsman who in the comics protected Earth two thousands years ago. His presence is pivotal to explain a couple of things in the DC Universe, but if that will be referenced to also in the film universe remains to be seen (though it’s unlikely, considering his end). In the meanwhile, as usual, let’s take a look at the original guy.

Yalan Gur was an alien from an unknown planet, who was recruited in the Green Lantern Corps more than two thousands years ago. The Guardians of the Universe admired his indomitable will, and they were quite right to do so, as Gur proved to be one of the greatest Lanterns of his time, successfully patrolling Space Sector 2814. For great a warrior that Yalan Gur could be, however, he couldn’t escape the flaws of his Green Power Ring: while intervening in a crisis, the Green Lantern was attacked by a yellow beast, and was nearly killed by it. The Guardians of the Universe didn’t want to lose their best corpsman due to such a blemish in his ring, so they decided to remove the Yellow Impurity from Yalan Gur’s Power Ring only. This way, the greatest Green Lantern of his time became pretty much invincible. Problem was that all this power made him believe he was also infallible. Intoxicated by his own strength, Yalan Gur decided to model Sector 2814 the way he saw fit, starting from Earth, a small planet inhabited by a rapidly evolving race: humans. Humans were becoming more and more advanced, and Yalan Gur feared, due to their lack of moral restraint, that they would have become a threat for the entire galaxy. Committed to stop their progression, Yalan Gur descended on Earth, aiming to the most advanced country of the planet: China.

China was approaching the apex of its civilization, expanding on the Western border. One of its warlord, Minister Xiang-Fa, had just built a fortress around the trading city of Chao-Tsu, that was expecting an attack by a hostile tribe from the Sinkiang Hills. It was here, the center of the country’s military might, that Yalan Gur decided to strike, in order to cripple humanity’s development. The mighty Yellow Warriors couldn’t do anything against the alien invaders, and the Green Lantern laughed at their primitive attempts to harm him. Unbeknownst to Yalan Gur, however, the Guardians of the Universe had been watching him from a distance, and they were not pleased at all in witnessing the corruption of their greatest warrior. They decided to humble him, so they manipulated his Power Ring and Power Battery, changing their very nature and adding an unprecedented weakness: wood. Yalan Gur made short work of the mighty warriors from the army, but suddenly found himself affected by the simple wooden clubs and spears of the peasants who were trying to fight him off. Taken by surprise, Yalan Gur was severely beaten by the peasants and, half dead, he left China, seeking shelter in the outer atmosphere. It was too late, however: his wounds were rapidly killing him. Burning while reentering the atmosphere, Yalan Gur’s body was merged with his Power Battery, becoming a green burning meteorite, that eventually absorbed also the mystic remnants of the artifact known as the Starheart. Eventually, all that remained of the once brave and powerful Green Lantern was a unique Power Ring, holding magic power and a weakness to wood, the same ring that, centuries later, would have been found by Alan Scott.

Yalan Gur is a brave and powerful warrior, whose iron-strong will is surpassed only by his unlimited arrogance. As a Green Lantern, his Green Power Ring grants him several abilities, including: superhuman strength, speed, durability and stamina, flight, self-sustenance (he can survive in the void of space), accelerated healing, the ability to speak and understand any language, and of course the power to materialize anything he can think of, in energy constructs fueled by his own willpower. A great Green Lantern corrupted by his own thirst to do good for his sector, Yalan Gur is a hero who just can’t handle the enormous power he’s been granted, a freedom fighter who ended up becoming what he had been fighting his entire life…