Now we all know that Superman is way more powerful than Green Lantern. He is basically invulnerable, has the infinite power of the sun and can move faster than anyone can think. We also know from Superman: Red Son that all he has to do is snatch that ring right off Green Lantern’s finger using super-speed and it’s game over. The idea of them battling is preposterous. But wait a minute. Can Green Lantern beat Superman? Is it possible? It turns out that it is.
Straight off the cover of DC Comics Presents 26 we see Green Lantern torturing Superman with a giant piece of imaginary kryptonite. It actually turns out that someone stole his ring and was pretending to be him, but this is not the first time we’ve seen a bait-and-switch comic book cover. With the ring, the villain created a “world” of kryptonite to kill Superman and to steal his powers and presence. Ironically, the real Green Lantern, Hal Jordon, defeats the villain without his ring, but by throwing a rock at the villain’s head. Yes, never underestimate the power of a rock, ladies and gentlemen.
Now here’s the twist. With the villain distracted, Superman uses his super-strength to punch him so hard that the protection of the Green Lantern ring could not withstand it. And so we learned two things here. We learned that if Green Lantern can beat Superman by creating a Kryptonite rock. But we also learned that Superman is so strong that he can literally punch through Green Lantern’s power. Yes you read that last sentence correctly, and no it doesn’t make any sort of logical sense. But I guess that’s why they call him Superman, am I right?
There is a lot of great stuff (Affiliate Link) in DC Comics Presents 26. The first New Teen Titans was actually published in this issue as a preview to promote the new series. It even has the same yummy artwork from George Perez. I suppose that is why it is worth so much money. So bottom line, can Green Lantern beat Superman? It’s possible. But it’s also possible that Superman could punch him so hard that Green Lantern turns to green dust.
Alan Scott Could Beat Superman
If Superman were to engage in a fair one-on-one battle with a Green Lantern, the best bet would be Alan Scott, since his ring’s power works a little different. Alan Scott is recognized as the premiere individual to assume the mantle of Green Lantern and belongs to the earlier generation of heroes known as the Golden Age. This era also included notable figures like the Justice Society of America and the Flash, Jay Garrick.
Although he shares numerous powers and abilities with subsequent Green Lanterns, there are significant distinctions within Alan Scott’s abilities due to the nature of his ring. Unlike modern Green Lanterns who are unable to affect magical objects, Alan’s ring specifically has limitations when it comes to objects made of wood. This peculiarity can be attributed to the source of Scott’s power deriving not from the central power battery on Oa, but from a mystical weapon known as the Starheart.
The Starheart itself was created by the Guardians with the intention of collecting and removing magic from the universe by encapsulating it within a single weapon. Consequently, Alan’s power is markedly different from that of standard members of the Green Lantern Corps, even though he employs it similarly to form energy constructs. This variation in abilities proves to be incredibly significant, particularly when faced with the formidable task of combatting Superman.
The reason why Alan Scott could beat Superman so easily is due to his vulnerability to magic. While he is impervious to most conventional forms of harm, magical attacks have been proven to be capable of causing him significant damage. This vulnerability to magic stems from the fact that his extraordinary abilities are attributed to his biology and exposure to Earth’s sun, leaving him less able to resist the mystical forces wielded by skilled sorcerers and magical entities.
As previously mentioned, any Green Lantern could create Kryptonite with their ring. Exposure to even the smallest fragments of this green mineral, originally from his home planet Krypton, renders Superman severely weakened, and prolonged proximity can even prove fatal. In addition to Kryptonite, Superman is also adversely affected by red sunlight. Unlike Earth’s yellow sun, which empowers him with incredible strength and abilities, exposure to red sunlight strips him of his powers, leaving him as vulnerable as an ordinary human. It is through this exposure that Superman can become just as susceptible as any other person, lacking his superhuman strength, speed, and invulnerability.