Green Lanterns Can Technically EAT Their Ring Energy
Green Lanternrings allow their bearers to do practically anything. In addition to giving the ring wielder the power to fly, fire energy blasts, and throw up powerful force fields, the rings can manifest anything a Green Lantern can imagine. Depending on their creativity level, Green Lanterns have created giant hammers, boxing gloves, and even dinosaurs.
When it comes to manifesting food or drink, however, the situation becomes a bit more complicated. The objects a Green Lantern manifests are only energy constructs, after all, and while they can look, feel, and presumably taste like the items they represent, they also fade as soon as the Green Lantern stops concentrating. However, the rings do technically feed Green Lanterns – and may even give them a way to eat their favorite foods without gaining a pound!Click the button below to start this article in quick view. Start now
To understand how this works, one needs to examine several of the power ring’s abilities. Since Green Lanterns need to fly vast distances through space, the protective auras the rings generate around their wielders don’t just protect Green Lanterns from harsh environments and give them an oxygen supply – they provide an entirely self-contained life support system that gets rid of waste products like carbon dioxide, maintains muscle tone, and basically keep a Lantern alive indefinitely (or at least until the ring runs out of power).
When it comes to feeding Green Lanterns, however, the rings have a weirder way of doing that. In Green Lantern #13, ring bearer Guy Gardner is punished for insubordination and is assigned to guard the criminal Superboy Prime 24 hours a day and seven days a week for an entire month. Guy isn’t even allowed to eat, drink, or take bathroom breaks during this time. According to the Lantern guiding him, Guy’s power ring will provide him with all the necessary nutrients and even dispose of any waste he excretes.
Of course, Guy’s ordeal is meant as a punishment, but the revelation that the ring can provide a Green Lantern with nutrients (presumably through some sort of direct energy transference) indicates that Green Lanterns can actually gain sustenance from the power of their rings.
Naturally, this probably isn’t how most Green Lanterns would prefer to eat or drink – but the ring has other useful tricks that can make the ordeal more bearable, even pleasurable. In Green Lantern #69, Hal Jordan uses his ring to manifest a “Super Aspirin” painkiller which he ingests (and presumably concentrates on until it takes effect inside his body). This indicates that Green Lantern constructs can mimic the chemical compositions of drugs that affect the body like the real thing.
While an aspirin isn’t exactly food, in one unusual crossover, a Lantern Ring was shown to create some actual tasty dishes. In Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War, several different Lantern Corps cross into the Star Trek Universe and end up empowering several Starfleet officers with different rings. This includes Doctor Leonard McCoy who receives an Indigo Lantern Ring, and uses it to manifest tomato soup, hot chocolate, and even cookies for his patients who noted they were “appetizing” hallucinations.
Given that Indigo and Green Lantern rings can manifest similar energy constructs, it seems probable that a Green Lantern could produce similar forms of food and drink that look, feel, smell, and taste just like the real thing (albeit with a greenish tinge – making one wonder if “green eggs and ham” will be a staple on their menus). Naturally, the food would dissipate the second the Lantern stopped concentrating, but he/she/it could have all the fun and pleasure of eating the food, not worry about any problems with digestion, and simply gain the necessary nutrients directly from the ring itself.
This would actually be an amazing power for any Green Lantern who needed to lose weight or stick to a strict diet. The Lantern could manifest an entire buffet of tasty foods and drinks and gorge himself/herself/itself silly. The energy constructs would then vanish before the Lantern could gain any excess weight. Meanwhile, the ring would administer the proper nutrients and calories necessary for the Lantern’s activities and even ensure his/her/its digestive system remained healthy. Food allergies or dietary restrictions would no longer be an issue since the food would technically just be an energy construct and not contain any substances that would adversely affect the Green Lantern.
Naturally, certain Green Lanterns would be better at manifesting food and drink than others. Creativity and clear memories of food textures, smells, and tastes would probably be essential to manifesting ideal dishes, so a Green Lantern who happened to also be a foodie and/or chef would probably make the best meals. It should also be noted that with all the alien species in the Green Lantern Corps, palates will inevitably vary and what might be appetizing to one group of Green Lanterns might be considered repugnant to another.
Of course, there’s still the issue of whether or not a Green Lantern would actually use his/her/its power in this way. Certainly, there are Green Lanterns like Guy Gardener who would manifest an entire river of green beer just to indulge himself. Others, however, would probably resist the temptation as creating food would be a drain on their rings and it would be very embarrassing (not to mention deadly) if a Green Lantern’s ring died during a firefight just because the Lantern wanted to make himself a hamburger earlier. Green Lanterns are chosen for their great willpower, after all, so most Lanterns probably can probably resist the urge to make themselves a five-course meal while on assignment.
Even so, it’s very likely that Green Lanterns do use this “miracle diet” during their off hours to indulge in their favorite foods while maintaining a healthy superhero physique. While their unique ability to make food and drink with their rings probably wouldn’t be of much help in ending a famine or drought, it should be very effective for personal use. Green Lantern duties can be taxing, but the job does come with plenty of perks. Especially if you’re on a diet.