Green Lantern, starring Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, is fast approaching. Green Lantern is a lesser-known hero than DC Comics' instantly-recognisable Superman and Batman, and with a total of 70 years' worth of continuity to wrestle with, Digital Spy thought it would offer a crash course in the film's main characters.
The first hero to bear the name was introduced in 1941, but it wasn't until the '50s that Hal Jordan, the film's star and best-known incarnation, was introduced alongside the Green Lantern Corps, an organisation of super-powered guardians tasked with policing the universe.
Sometimes called the 'greatest green lantern', Hal became the first human being to wield one of the green power rings that transform thought into reality. He is a US Air Force test pilot and unabashed womaniser who has major issues with authority figures. The movie centres on his induction into the Corps and his role in protecting it from an ancient threat. Flash Fact: Hal once destroyed the Corps and attempted to remake existence to his own specifications. It turned out to be all Parallax's fault (see below).
Jordan's boss at Ferris Aircraft and on-again, off-again love interest. Struggling to establish herself as a female boss in a macho industry, she has a policy of never dating employees but can't help falling for Hal's well-used charms. Unlike her Superman counterpart Lois Lane, Carol never seems to quite get her happy ending. Flash Fact: Carol has frequently been possessed by the Star Sapphire, an alien crystal with an unhealthy obsession with Hal Jordan.
Variously portrayed as a small time crook, a Ferris Aircraft consultant and - in the movie - a scientist, Hector Hammond gains psychic powers after exposure to an alien substance. Bearing horrible physical mutations, he is as bitterly jealous of handsome Hal Jordan as he is obsessed with Carol Ferris. The trailer indicates that he forges an alliance with Parallax in the film, a connection that has never been made in the comics. Flash Fact: In the comics, Hammond's powers leave him with a gigantic head and pathetically withered body.
Sinestro takes on the role of Hal's mentor when the human is first inducted into the Green Lantern Corps. Initially suspicious of his unreliable human student, Sinestro slowly warms to Hal as their relationship develops. He is a stern and unbending figure who prizes order above all other things - his space sector is considered the most orderly in the universe. Flash Fact: Sinestro goes on to become one of Green Lantern's greatest foes, though he remains a morally ambiguous character with a twisted sense of justice.
The Green Lantern of space sector 2814 before Hal Jordan, Abin Sur crash lands his spaceship at the beginning of the film and passes his ring on to the film's star. While best known for being dead, his body and ship are retrieved by a group of scientists and are responsible for Hector Hammond's grisly transformation. Flash Fact: Abin Sur was very close to Sinestro in life, and was recently revealed to be his brother-in-law.
Dr Amanda Waller is a government agent representing US interests in the events of Green Lantern. Waller is driven and ruthless - a sometime villain and anti-heroine who will offer help or hindrance to anyone as long as it serves her purposes. Bassett has said that she plays a small role in the film, leading to speculation that she might take on a role similar to Samuel L Jackson's Nick Fury in the lead up to a rumoured Justice League movie. Flash Fact: Waller is best known as the leader of the government sponsored team of reformed villains called the Suicide Squad.
The unstoppable cosmic threat of the movie, Parallax is an entity comprised purely out of the yellow energy of fear. It was imprisoned by the Guardians of the Universe - the founders of the Corps - in the distant past, but has returned to threaten all existence. It is immensely powerful and exists only to spread terror throughout the galaxy. Flash Fact: The Parallax entity was introduced in Green Lantern: Rebirth to explain some long-standing pieces of Green Lantern lore, from Hal Jordan's villainous turn to the power rings' former weakness to the colour yellow.
The dubiously named Kilowog is the drill sergeant for the Corps's newest recruits. While friendlier than his hulking appearance suggests, Kilowog does not go easy on rookies (or 'poozers') and will knock Hal Jordan around a bit before the film is over. Flash Fact: Kilowog was once killed trying to halt the plans of the Parallax-possessed Jordan. He got better.
With a relaunch of its entire superhero comics line coming in September, DC will be keen to hook new fans with the movie and draw them into its refreshed Green Lantern series.
The film will be released in cinemas in the UK and US on June 17.
Watch the trailer to Warner Bros' Green Lantern below: