Star Trek Guide

Star Trek Heroes Get Recruited Into DC's Green Lantern Corps

Star Trekfans don't often have reason to wonder how their favorite Starfleet officers would fare in a different fictional universe, but their crossover story with DC's Green Lanterns remains proof that in comics, anything is possible.

The Internet is full of lists predicting Star Trek characters sorted into Hogwarts, or speculating how well Kirk and Spock would fit in with Marvel’s Avengers. Remarkably, however, comic book crossovers have provided “official” answers to these questions by literally taking the Enterprise crew to fictional places where no man has gone before -- and allowing them to meet other pop culture icons. Both Captain Kirk and Picard’s crews have met Marvel’s X-Men, but even more surprising was the time the Enterprise encountered the peacekeeping Lanterns of the DC Universe. And even more incredible, found themselves getting recruited into multiple Lantern Corps!

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The story took place in the 2015 Star Trek/Green Lantern crossover miniseries “The Spectrum War.” Beginning in the DC Universe (in presumably an alternate timeline), it finds Ganthet, the Guardian of Oa narrowly escaping capture from the seemingly all-powerful Nekron, and executing a desperate final strategy called “Last Light.” The contingency plan transports him and multiple rings (blue, indigo, red, orange, violet, and yellow) to a parallel universe... which just happens to be the alternate timeline established in J.J. Abrams' rebooted Star Trek movie franchise.

How Green Lantern Went Where No Man Has Gone Before

This universe finds Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the Enterprise crew (all drawn to resemble Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and the other new actors), exploring a rogue planet where they find Ganthet’s lifeless skeleton and the rings he was safeguarding. Taking Ganthet’s corpse and the rings onboard, the crew realizes the rings are sophisticated energy conduits. Things get dicey, however, when the Enterprise is attacked by a Klingon Bird of Prey commanded by General Chang (previously seen as William Shatner’s nemesis in Star Trek VII).

From here, things get weird. Chang’s arrival activates the rings, causing the yellow ring to empower the Klingon with the power of Fear. Three other rings find champions as well: Doctor McCoy gets the indigo ring of compassion, Pavel Chekov the blue ring of hope, and Nyota Uhara the violet ring of love. Fortunately, the Enterprise gets some extra support from Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern, who appears outside the ship asking about Ganthet.

After helping the Enterprise ward off Chang (and allowing the chosen crew members to grow accustomed to their new powers), Hal explains that in his home universe Nekron destroyed everything, causing multiple Lanterns, including the normally antagonistic Sinestro Corps and Red Lantern Corps, to join forces in a last ditch effort to save what remained. Their attempt failed, and Ganthet’s final act sent the surviving Lanterns Sinestro, Star Sapphire, Larfleeze, Saint Walker, and others into the Kelvin timeline.

Determined not to have the same disaster happen in the new universe, Jordan and Kirk work together and manage to regroup with some of the friendlier Lanterns, including Carol Ferris and Saint Walker. However, the remaining red and orange rings end up finding champions in a bloodthirsty Gorn and the greedy Romulan, Decius. Worse, Hal realizes that although the rings are currently at full charge, the new universe doesn’t have a power battery, meaning everyone’s powers will eventually fade.

Things get even worse when the Enterprise discovers that Nekron has made it to the new universe as well, and seeks to recreate his “Blackest Night”… on the obliterated planet Vulcan. This leads to a completely unexpected but insanely fun scenario where the Lantern Corps and the Enterprise crew team up against an army of zombie Vulcans (and Spock’s reanimated mother), using both phaser blasts and ring power.

A Crossover Unlike Any Other

While a crossover between Green Lantern and Star Trek sounds weird at first, the two franchises mesh surprisingly well. Part of this has to do with the nature of the Lantern rings – since they’re basically all forms of alien technology, the Enterprise is particularly well suited to analyze and understand them. In fact, Scotty winds up creating technical schematics of the rings, leading to one of his most incredibly inventions ever.

Likewise, the crew members chosen to be ring wielders prove remarkably well suited to their job – as the optimistic young Chekov takes to his blue ring of hope incredibly well – joyfully flying outside the Enterprise and even enhancing its shields and propulsion with his new power. Likewise, the normally curmudgeonly Doctor McCoy becomes unexpectedly overly compassionate under the influence of the indigo ring, going so far as the conjure up bowls of soup and freshly baked cookies for his patients.

The villains also get plenty of time to shine, as General Chang uses his yellow ring to obliterate the Klingon High Council with an energy bat’leth. The Romulan Decius, likewise, uses his orange ring of greed to destroy the Romulan Senate and then recreate his own senate out of orange constructs to form his new Romulan empire. They’re both chilling displays of power, but completely in keeping with what Star Trek fans know about the personalities of such characters.

The (initially) prickly relationship between Captain James T. Kirk and Captain Hal Jordan is also a fanboy’s dream as the men are both mavericks who find it unsettling to have to work with someone who reminds him uncomfortably of himself. However, the storyline’s crowning moment comes when the rings select the one crew member capable of wielding all of them at once – who turns out to be a most… logical choice.

Unlike traditional crossovers, Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War doesn’t simply end with the two groups going back to their respective universes (as the circumstances surrounding the Lanterns’ arrival make that apparently impossible). This allows the story to continue in a sequel – and a fantastic new universe based on how the two properties continue to merge.