Do you know your Lantern symbols?

With the War of Light approaching faster than, well…light, it’s important to have all your information in order. Blackest Night #0, being released on Free Comic Book Day, will give us brief dossiers on what each Corps is about but Ethan Van Sciver spoke with Newsarama specifically about their respective symbols.

“The one thing they all have in common, I’m sure almost everyone has noticed by now that there is a ring in the center. There is a circle. And that means something. And that something will be addressed in Blackest Night,” Van Sciver said in the first installment of his interview. Apparently it’s not just because they physically all wear rings. He continued, “I think that it’s safe to say even the idea of wearing a ring comes from somewhere and means something.” Intriguing, very intriguing.

Here’s what he had to say about each design:

Rage – Red (Lanterns)
“I poked around a little bit for different symbols in the DC Universe, and I loved the Manhunters from Geoff’s first story arc on Green Lantern, so I took the little lines from their chest, and I put the little circle in between them. That doesn’t actually have any big meaning behind it or anything.”
Avarice – Orange (Lanterns)
“With the Orange Lanterns, which are obviously going to be the opposite of the Indigo Lanterns, I just kind of reversed that so that the arrows were pointing inward, and then I broke it a little bit so it would kind of suggest a person. You know, a singular kind of “me.” It’s all about “me” – an individual rather than something more universal. And that’s where that symbol came from. It’s no accident that it looks like a little devil. It’s intentional.”
Fear – Yellow (Sinestro Corps)
“The original design for Parallax created by Darryl Banks inspired that Sinestro Corps symbol. I was just trying to lift the motif from something that already existed and that we were familiar with.”
Willpower – Green (Lanterns)
Hope – Blue (Lanterns)
“The idea was to invert that Sinestro Corps symbol to create the opposite. Hope. I tried to have them all be the opposite of their counterpart on the other end of the spectrum.”
Compassion – Indigo (Tribe)
“They’re [arrows] pointing outward from the top and bottom. So it ends up making a lantern shape, but the little triangular shapes point outward, so it’s a giving kind of suggestion.”
Love – Violet (Star Sapphires)
“I’m not exactly thrilled with that one because it is so dissimilar to everything else. I guess I probably would have liked to have gone and done some sort of reversal of the Red Lantern symbol. But my attitude was, and the rule book I set up for myself was that, wherever something already existed, use that. And so, since the Star Sapphires already had this kind of star shape associated with them, the answer was just to poke a hole in it like a doughnut and call it the Violet Lantern symbol.”

Black (Lanterns)
“That’s the symbol that Black Hand uses on his uniform – his newly designed uniform. So the credit would go to either Geoff Johns or Peter Tomasi or somebody. I really like his new costume design, but I didn’t design that. I was assigned to design a Black Lantern symbol, and I thought, why? Let’s just use this and keep everything consistent. And everyone agreed.”

Even with all that explanation, Van Sciver pointed out that to him, these symbols have been around since the creation of emotion itself. “So, for example, when fear was devised and fear was created and Parallax was born, that symbol was created by the very first beings to know what fear was,” he said, “I mean, you can go back to Green Lantern: Rebirth and see very primitive creatures drawing very primitive Parallax shapes on cave walls. It’s always existed.”

Now I understand what Geoff Johns meant when he said Van Sciver is constantly adding tiny clues in his art to the future of a run. He said that everything you need to know about Flash: Rebirth is in the first issue. Really makes you want to take out a magnifying glass doesn’t it? The dead will rise July 15.

2 Responses to “Do you know your Lantern symbols?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    another way you can look at the red vs violet symbols is rage/hate kinda makes a twisted wall around you while love reaches outward… so in a bit of a stretch the who symbolizes are still opposites.

  2. Eric N B says:

    All I know is Ethan Van Sciver is a fantastic artist and he is a great match for Green Lantern.