“What, if any, Lantern Corps is this?” which becomes “what’s a Legion Flight Ring?”

On November 28th, 2014, /u/lead_boat asked the following on /r/DCcomics:

What, if any, Lantern Corps is this?

In relation to this photo:


Seeing as there’s not only other confused people in this thread but some responses would could make it seem more complicated, I thought I’d step in. Firstly, /u/blackmanandrobin’s answer is correct: it’s a Legion Flight Ring, one of the pieces of equipment worn by the Legion of Super-Heroes.

What’s the Legion of Super-Heroes?

The Legion are basically a future version of the Justice League, the preeminent, and much larger, super hero team of their time:

The Legion of Super-Heroes is a 30th Century inter-galactic team of super-powered young adults. Inspired by the legend of Superboy, they were founded by Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl under the funding of an eccentric millionaire they had saved named R.J. Brande. This cast expands to include dozens of members with a diverse array of powers and personalities. There have been several versions of the team in main continuity because of the constantly changing nature of the future, including the Reboot Legion and the Prime Legion.

What’s a Legion Flight Ring do?

So, the Legion is basically made up of people with special abilities, or sometimes simply the natural abilities of their race, from dozens of worlds and defend the United Planets. Now some, like with the Justice League, can fly but given the world and space spanning adventures they have members are also issued with one of the rings which allows them all to fly. The designs have changed a little over the years (and many continuity changes) of the Legion, but they’re mostly pretty similar and look just like that:

Engraved with the signature “L” of the Legion of Super-Heroes, this ring enables its wearer the ability to fly in both atmospheric environments and outer space. Legion Flight Rings are composed of the compound known as Valorium. Valorium has been compared to Thanagarian Nth Metal, which possesses similar anti-gravity capabilities.

the_flash_by_kearse-d4v0mgd
Flash Fact!
Nth Metal mentioned there is also the secret of how Hawkman and other Thanagarian hereoes fly, depending on his (incredibly muddled) continuity.

Now, thinking it’s a Green Lantern Ring isn’t that much of a stretch as, along with being visually similar, they’re actually controlled the same way!

A Legion Flight Ring is controlled by mental command, and like a Green Power Ring, it can be willed for varying effects. For example, because of Dream Girl’s strong will, she has used the Flight Ring to move other objects by negating the gravity around it. Its main function, however, is to allow its wearer to fly.

Another function of the Legion Flight Ring is to send out a distress call. If a Legionnaire rotates the “L” symbol 45 degrees, the ring will send out a distress message that will be received by other Legionnaires and the Mission Monitor Board at Legion Headquarters.

Brainiac 5 has modified the functions of a ring specific to each Legionnaire. For example, Colossal Boy‘s ring will enlarge with him, and Shrinking Violet‘s will shrink with her. Other examples of this include the Legion Flight Ring being able to “Duplicate” with Duplicate Damsel, resist temperature extremes around Sun Boy and Polar Boy and handle the increased mass of Blok as he originally has to wear three rings due to his massive size.

So the rings are only worn by the Legion?

Nope! Aside from the Legion, there are a few others who wear/have a ring. One is Superman:

Superman as a former or reservist Legionnaire also possesses a flight ring, and keeps it in the Fortress of Solitude or cloaked on his hand as a reminder of his time spent in the 31st century [depending on the continuity].

The other is of course Booster Gold! Centuries from now, Booster was a ex-football player/museum security officer who basically nicked a bunch of stuff from the future and travelled back to our time to use that equipment to be a superhero. One of the things he stole from the museum? A Legion Flight Ring!

Hence the scene that /u/Deckard52 posted below where a time jumping Booster Gold met Sinestro, while still a Green Lantern, and inadvertently inspired the creation of the Sinestro Corps.

Also, you’ll see a few jokes in here about him being Green Lantern – it’s an ongoing jokes across DC books, TV shows etc that he’s mistaken by the public for a Green Lantern, so the fact he wears this ring and you thought it was a lantern ring is too much to resist for people :)

Anyway, that’s a quick little overview. Hope it helps clear things up and helps you enjoy the ring – I’m totes jelly of it! :P

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