GREEN LANTERN vs. NOVA [Special Report, Part 3]: Powers and Abilities.

The last part of this series is meant to illustrate the similarities and differences between the premier space cops in comics: Nova and Green Lantern.

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So Different, So Alike


Similarities and Differences:


  • Both are members of Universal-level peace keeping forces with members from different alien races that number in the thousands.
  • The first human member of both groups has been hailed as ‘The Greatest…” of their respective groups (Hal Jordan for the GL Corps, Richard Rider for the Nova Corps)
  • The same human member eventually took on the mantle of another established hero (Hal Jordan became The Spectre, Richard Rider was briefly the new Quasar)
  • Both groups are powered by an incalculable energy source (The Central Battery of Oa for the GL Corps, The Nova Force for Nova Corps)
  • Both groups have a definitive military-like rank structure.
  • Both groups’ members have a set of powers that allows for interstellar space travel, force-field generation and energy projection. Both groups also have an onboard computer and universal translators.
  • Both groups have had a living planet as a member (Mogo for The GL Corps, Ego The Living Planet for The Nova Corps)
  • Both characters have an archenemy that is a disgraced member of their respective groups (Sinestro for Green Lantern, Titus for Nova).
  • Both groups have been completely wiped out and reformed multiple times.
  • Both groups are overseen by a collective entity that has been around for eons.
    • The Green Lantern Corps report to The Guardians of the Universe.
    • The Nova Corps is monitored by The Xandarian Worldmind.


  • The GL Corps issues a power ring as the conduit for full access to their source of power. As for The Nova Corps, a portion of The Nova Force was transmitted directly to their bodies according to their rank. However, with the introduction of Sam Alexander, it is revealed there is a black ops section of the Nova Corps known as The Black Novas or Supernovas, who have special helmets that allow for access to the full power of The Nova Force.
  • The time frame of full charged GL power rings only lasts 24 hours at a time and requires recharging. The Nova Force does not require recharging.
  • GL power rings, at one point, were ineffective against anything colored yellow. The Nova Force has never had any such weakness.
  • The Nova Force enhances their members’ physical abilities to superhuman levels. Without their rings, most GL members are ordinary mortals.
  • The Nova Corps have gravity manipulation powers. The GL Corps does not.
  • GL Corps power rings can create hard light constructs based on the user’s imagination. The Nova Corps has no such power.
  • While many other alien species in the Marvel Universe have their own paramilitary forces (The Super Skrulls, The Galadorian SpaceKnights, The Shi’ar Imperial Guard, The Imperial Kree Army, etc.), the use of the Nova Force and The Xandarian Worldmind put The Nova Corps in a class of their own.
  • Two former Nova Corps members became Heralds of Galactus, The Devourer of Worlds (The Air Walker and Firelord).
The Lantern Spectrum
  • On the other side, The GL Corps are just one of a number of similar groups that ran across the entire Emotional Electromagnetic Spectrum.  The groups (and the emotion that powers them) are as follows:
  • Green Lanterns (Willpower)
  • Red Lanterns (Rage)
  • White Lanterns (Life)
  • Yellow Lanterns (Fear)
  • Orange Lanterns (Avarice or Greed)
  • Blue Lanterns (Hope)
  • Indigo Lanterns (Compassion)
  • Violet/Star Sapphire (Love)
  • Black Lanterns (Death)


The Green Lantern Corps

Green Lantern Corps

Group Info, Structure and Powers

Creators/Overseers: The Guardians of The Universe: a group of gnome-like beings said to be the oldest and most intelligent creatures in existence.

Base of Operations: Oa: a planet located at the center of the universe.

Power source: The Central Power Battery of OA: A giant lantern shaped structure that serves as a reservoir for all of the combined cosmic power which was based on the Green Light of Will in the Emotional Spectrum. 

Notable members: Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Kyle Rayner, Guy Gardner.

Rank structure:

  • Green Lantern Corps Honor Guard:  A special force of elite Lanterns who have been chosen for their excellent service to serve full time on Oa. They don’t operate to any one sector and serve as special operatives or troubleshooters.
  • Torch Bearer: a title held only by Kyle Rayner who had kept the legacy of the Green Lanterns alive after the destruction of the organization and, for a time, meant that he was exempted from ordinary tasks and only called in times of great need.
  • Lantern Sentinel: a newer rank for an individual Green Lantern with complete control over the Corps. Guy Gardner is the only GL to get this rank.
  • Clarissi: a rank second only to the Guardians themselves and held by the chief administrator of the Green Lantern Corps who also served the role as keeper of the Book of Oa
  • Illustres: a position below that of the chief administrator and held by leaders of the Green Lantern Honor Guard.
  • Cryptkeeper: this rank is held by those that tend to the Crypts that hold the Fallen Lanterns.
The uniform of the GL Corps

Uniform: “Upon recruitment, each Green Lantern in the Corps received a Power Ring, a Power Battery shaped like a lantern (with which the ring is recharged), and a uniform. The default uniform design for humanoids was a green section covering the torso and shoulders, black arms and leggings, green boots, white gloves, green domino mask and a chest symbol of a stylized Green Lantern icon on a white circle. Lanterns could customize their uniforms as long as the color scheme and the symbol were present” (2019, “Green Lantern Corps”, Green Lantern Wiki). The Green Lantern’s uniform is not made of fabric. It is created by the Power Ring whenever the wearer wills to wear it. It automatically appears over the wearer’s normal clothing and vanishes when the wearer wills to return to their civilian attire.

Green Lantern Oath: The recharging process is not instantaneous so many Green Lanterns recite an oath while the ring powers up. The oath is not required to charge the ring but it is recited to reaffirm the person’s commitment to the Green Lantern Corps and to measure the time it takes the ring to charge. The oath is as follows:

“In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power… Green Lantern’s light!”


The Most Powerful Weapon In the Universe

Green Lantern Power Ring: A piece of jewelry which is actually an advanced device created by the Guardians of the Universe. The ring is considered the most powerful weapon in the universe.  The ring serves as a conduit to The Central Battery of Oa. All power rings need periodic recharging, and this is done with small power batteries to each G.L. carries with them.

 Here are the abilities the power ring grants the Green Lantern:

  • Energy Projection: The ring can be project beams of concussive force powered by the will of the user. The weapons power is more an indication of the will of the user. “Certain users (i.e. Hal Jordan) have been powerful enough to stagger even Superman” (2019, “Green Lantern Power Ring”, Green Lantern Wiki).
  • Force Field: The ring can create various force fields of various sizes and shapes to protect the wearer and others around him. “With the cosmic scope of a Green Lantern’s duties, it is only natural that the power ring is designed for operation in space. An atmosphere appropriate to the ring wielder’s biology is created inside the force-field, body temperature is maintained, and waste products are removed” (2019, “Green Lantern Power Ring”, Green Lantern Wiki).
  • Energy Constructs: (The most well-known power of the Green Lantern Corps). “The primary function of the Power Ring is to provide a weapon capable of transforming the wearer’s thoughts into physical constructs through the wearer’s strength of willpower. The constructs are made from green energy, which is a tangible form of pure willpower, and they exist only if a Green Lantern is fueling it with their willpower. The types of constructs usually reflect the ring wearer’s personality” (2019, “Green Lantern Power Ring”, Green Lantern Wiki).
    • Examples: Hal Jordan’s constructs were simple shapes like boxes, cones and fists. Kyle Rayner’s were more creative and imaginative based on his job as a commercial artist. John Stewart’s were detailed, and machine based due to his time as an architect.
  • Phasing: The Power Ring allows the wearer to pass through certain solid objects, such as walls.
  • Energy Absorption: The ring can absorb and store most other energies. Doing so does NOT replenish the normal store of energy the ring has. A ring that needs recharging but contained a store of electricity could only discharge that electricity.
  • Flight: By the manipulation of anti-gravitons and directed molecular movement, the ring allows the user to fly at incredible speeds. In atmosphere, a Green Lantern has been known to fly as fast as Mach 10 in atmosphere by creating an aerodynamic envelope around his body. In space, a Green Lantern’s speed can be significantly greater and has been known to approach 80% of lightspeed in normal space. Flight is possible at velocities exceeding light speed.
  • Wormholes & Spatial Warps: The power ring grants its wearer access to wormholes in space, enabling the ring wielder to rapidly cut time and distance needed for transport.
  • Galactic Encyclopedia: Each ring functioned as a ready reference on most peoples, stellar events and conditions that may have been seen by other rings or other Green Lanterns. The rings also served as a repository of adventures had by the Green Lantern and these mission reports were stored in the Prime Battery on Oa for review and training.
  • Universal Translator: The power ring can translate virtually any language in the universe.
Xandar’s Finest

Nova Corps

Creators/Overseers: The Xandarian Worldmind: (formerly known as The Living Computers of Xandar), an artificial intelligence made of the minds of all dead Xandarians and is said to be at least 10 million years old.

Base of Operations:  Xandar: a planet located in the Tranta system in the Andromeda Galaxy.

Power source: The Nova Force:  a near-limitless source of energy harnessed the Xandarian Worldmind that is very similar to the Power Cosmic. Its primary power appears to be the ability to manipulate gravity fields

Notable members: Richard Rider, Sam Alexander, Jesse Alexander, The Guardians of the Galaxy (temporary).

Nova Facts and Rank Structure


Rank structure:

  • Nova Prime:  The highest-ranking member of the Nova Corps and its ultimate field leader. The Nova Prime has access to powers the other Corpsman do not like energy absorption, the gravimetric pulse and the electromagnetic static burst. The Nova Prime is chosen from the Centurion rank and answers only to The Xandarian Worldmind itself.  NOTE: On rare occasions, the Nova Prime has been given 100% access to the Nova Force. This is only meant for brief periods as prolonged exposure to this level can lead to a severe mental breakdown and possible insanity.
  • Centurion: Centurions are the upper echelon of the Nova Corps. Centurions can command standard starships and are trained to be exceptional fighters and pilots. A Centurion can lift approximately 20 tons.
  • Denarian: Denarians have access to approximately 75% of the Nova Force. They are limited to flight, speed, strength and invulnerability. A Denarian can lift approximately 15 tons.
  • Millennian: Millennians have access to approximately 50% of the Nova Force. They cannot fly on their own but can use the Corps’ one-man sky flyers. Millennians can lift approximately 10 tons and have limited invulnerability. They also have small photon blasters in the armbands of their uniform.
  • Corpsman: Corpsman is the entry level to the Nova Corps. Graduates from the Space Academy apply to the Corps upon graduation. They have access to approximately 25% of the Nova Force. They can lift approximately 5 tons with very limited invulnerability.
  • Supernovas:  Otherwise known as The Black Novas, this group was a rogue black-ops offshoot of the Nova Corps. The Black Nova founder, Adomox, created the Black Nova helmets to take whatever amount of Nova Force given to a Nova and amplify it through an on-board reactor to the maximum. Unfortunately, one weakness was that the wearer’s ability to use the Nova Force from within their body is no longer possible once the Black Nova helmet is taken off.  A Black Nova’s use of the stolen Nova Force comes strictly from the helmet which is coded to only the user’s DNA. The last remaining Black Nova helmet was in the possession of Sam Alexander, but it has confiscated by the new Nova Corps.
The Nova Corps Uniform

Uniform: The standard Nova Corps uniform consisted of a dark blue/black skintight outfit which covered the torso and legs. The uniform’s sleeves were yellow and stretched from the shoulder to the fingertips. The wrist areas had dark blue/black armbands which went over the yellow sleeves. On the torso area are a few starbursts which signified the rank of the corpsman. The back of the uniform had a single large yellow starburst. The leg area of the uniform had a yellow stripe which began as a belt around the waist and ran down each side. The stripes ended around mid-calf where it became a leg band which encircled the leg.

The golden helmet also included a malleable Xandarian alloy which could lower to cover the face by cybernetic command or via sensors in the uniform which could sense changes in pressure and atmosphere and activate automatically. The helmet also provides access to a Nova Prime spaceship and could see through its cloaking shield. When removed, the helmet would collapse into a cloth-like material. The size of the red crest of the helmet is another indicator of rank. The Supernova helmet is like the golden helmet except it is all black and encoded to each wearer’s DNA.

Nova Corps Priorities:

    • Defend the Xandarian Civilization.
    • Protect and safeguard the Xandarian Worldmind.
    • Maintain and defend galactic peace.
The Nova Corps in action


All members of the Nova Corps throughout the universe are empowered as hosts to the entire Nova Force.  In the process, each Corpsman become a super soldier that is the living equivalent to a major starship.

Here are some of the powers they possess:

  • Super Strength:  Nova Corps members can channel the Nova Force for the purpose of increasing their physical strength to superhuman levels.  The average Nova Corpsman lift anywhere from 5 to 20 tons. Access to 100% of The Nova Force granted corpsmen like Richard Rider or Garthan Saal class 100 level strength (meaning he had enough power to take on the likes of the Silver Surfer, The Mighty Thor and The Incredible Hulk in one on one combat).
  • Super Speed:  Nova Corps members can run and move at speeds that are beyond the physical limits of the finest human athlete.  Theocratically, corpsmen with enough Nova Force empowerment can move at speeds faster than light.
  • Super Stamina: Due to the Nova Force’s augmentation of their musculature, Nova Corps members produce much less fatigue toxins during physical activity than a normal human.
  • Enhanced Durability: Nova Corpsmen is highly resistant to most forms of conventional physical injury. They can withstand high caliber bullets, falls from tremendous heights, exposure to extremes in both temperature and pressure, powerful energy blasts, acidic corrosives, and tremendous impact forces without sustaining injury.
  • Regenerative Healing Factor:  It is possible for a Nova Corpsman to sustain injury. On the rare occasion this happens, more experienced Corpsmen can channel the Nova Force to rapidly heal damaged bodily tissues.  However, the Nova Force cannot regenerate lost limbs. The uniform itself also has self-repairing capabilities, allowing it to seal rips and tears on its own.
  • Flight: Higher ranking Nova centurions can use the Nova Force to propel themselves through the air at tremendous speeds.  This power is achieved by moving along the paths of electrons in an atmosphere or in space. Nova corpsmen like Richard Rider or Sam Alexander are fully capable of achieving faster than light velocities and can enter and traverse hyperspace. However, moving as such speeds while in the atmosphere of a planet would cause devastation to the planet itself, so they travel much slower while within a planetary atmosphere (usually at supersonic speeds). The side effect is that it creates a golden sparkle-filled trail that gives the visual of a Nova being a ‘human rocket’.
  • Energy Generation/Gravimetric Powers: The Nova Prime can channel the Nova Force and expel the energy in the form of extremely powerful concussive blasts that they often use in combat situations. Applications of this power include:
    • the ability to manipulate the Nova Force to create hyperspace portals in space.
    • the ability to release extremely powerful gravimetric pulses (beams that can increase or decrease gravity), either from specific parts of his body or from his whole body surface.
    • the ability to release an omnidirectional blast called the Supernova Blast. NOTE: This is meant as a last resort as it drains a Corpsman and it takes time to recover.
  • Xandarian Worldmind:  The Worldmind contains all knowledge collected by the Xandarian people including art, science, history, and philosophy. Nova Corpsmen can access any aspect of this technology by communicating with the Worldmind verbally or mentally. The Worldmind usually offers advice, instructions, insights, recommendations, and even criticisms. Worldmind was highly useful when it was bonded exclusively with Richard Rider as it helped Rider maintain self-control when tapping into the full might of the Nova Force.

Abilities for the Worldmind include:

    • Downloads profiles of opponents directly into a Nova Corpsman’s mind.
    • Detects nearby energy surges, including those used in teleportation.
    • Access other computer systems including S.H.I.E.L.D. records).
    •  Analyze attackers, including detecting adrenaline surges in their bodies.
    •  Detects approaching super-humans with energy-based powers.
    • Alter the moods of corpsmen by releasing endorphins during stressful situations.

This is meant as a factoid feature for those of you that enjoy that sort of thing.  I hope this help to show you all the full powers and abilities of these great characters. Until Next time!

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