During the Sinestro Corps War the Guardians Of The Universe saw fit to add a new law to the Book of OA decreeing the use of lethal force was now enabled in the Lantern Power Ring of all members of the Green Lantern Corps against any member of the Sinestro Corps. This new law allowed the Green Lantern to turn the tides of the war against the Sinestro Corps, and helped allow the Green Lanterns claim their victory over Sinestro and his Corps.
The enabling of lethal force was only the first of ten new laws that the Guardians of the Universe intended to add to the Book of Oa. They understood that the implementation of this as well as the other nine laws would create new complexities that the Corps had not yet had to deal with. The Guardians deemed it necessary to establish a new Corps, a police force that would exist within the Green Lantern Corps. This Corps who would guard over their own sector of the universe as a Green Lantern, but when the need arises they would be called upon to investigate inappropriate and unlawful behavior within the Corps, and judge their peers as the Alpha Lantern Corps.
Such a situation would come up soon after the end of the Sinestro Corps War. The Lost Lanterns had traveled to Ke'haan's world where they found that his family was brutally murdered by Amon Sur. Amon Sur offered himself up for justice, but due to his history with the Corps it is unknown if this was genuine or a ruse before springing an attack. Enraged at the site, Laira murdered Amon Sur in cold blood. After returning to Oa many of the Lanterns believed that justice was required despite Amon Sur's history. It was then that the Guardians decided to call upon their members to form the Alpha Lantern Corps to police their own.
The Guardians believed that because emotion could cloud judgment when trying members of the Corps, the Alpha Lanterns would have to be hand-picked out of those within the Corps that were capable of rendering judgment. The Alpha Lanterns would have to be devoid of emotion, and in being so would have to leave behind who and what they were before joining. In return they would be bestowed with what the Guardians considered the highest honor within the Corps, as well as great power. Unlike a normal Power Battery, the Alpha-Lantern Battery would link the bearer's mind directly to the Book of Oa and their body to the Central Power Battery on Oa. They would no longer need to charge their rings, would gain an additional power ring, and would no longer need to sleep.
The Guardians generated Alpha-Lantern Power batteries which, like their power rings, would seek out those that have the ability to enforce justice. The lanterns sought out Varix, Chaselon, Kraken, Green Man, Boodikka, and John Stewart. Not yet knowing what the other nine new laws would be, and therefore not knowing what he was agreeing to, John Stewart decided to decline their offer until he could know all of the situation. This decision displeased the Guardians. The others blind trust in the Guardians and the Corps inspired them to accept unconditionally, and were led off by their Lanterns for "Cosmic Surgery".
The next time the Alpha Lanterns were seen they would be robotic hybrids of their former selves, resembling the Manhunters that the Guardians had created. The Manhunters were the Guardians first attempt at a universal police force, but were disbanded because the Manhunters lacked the capacity to think and feel, and lacked the drive of sentient hosts. The Green Lanterns were created to remedy this, selecting members from within each sector of the universe to police their own. The Guardians believed that the best elements of the Corps and Manhunters would be embodied in the Alpha Lanterns: the sentient drive and thought process of the Green Lanterns as well as the cold logic and efficiency of the Manhunters. Unfortunately, their greatest weapon would become their greatest shame during the Final Crisis, when it was proved that even Alpha Lanterns were corruptible, when the Apokoliptian soul of the New God Granny Goodness possessed Alpha Lantern Kraken and use her as a puppet to reach the Green Lantern Power Battery. Despite her defeat, the concern remained: their weapon had been humiliated.
Major Story Arcs
Recently, it was revealed that Hank Henshaw has become "Alpha-Prime" of The Alpha Lanterns and has been building an army of them using Green Lanterns that were kidnapped by the First Generation Alphas. As of now, John Stewart, who refused to undergo the Alpha Lantern process months ago, is being converted by Hank into The Alpha Lantern he never became. However, this was all to try to bring Ganthet to Henshaw so Ganthet, being a Guardian, could restore Henshaw's humanity. Henshaw threatened Ganthet that if he did not comply, he would order the Alpha Lanterns to kill themselves. Once Henshaw was defeated, Ganthet was able to give all of the Alpha Lanterns their free will and their personalities back.
The Guardians began to believe that the willpower they used for the Green Lantern Corps was the real problem with the universe and began their plans to disband the Corps and replace it with "The Third Army." The Guardians began to manipulate situations, including a trial for John Stewart for the killing of a fellow lantern (who if he had not silenced him, Oa would have been destroyed). During the trial, the Alpha Lanterns sentenced John to death. Guy Gardner and the other Lanterns broke John out of the Sciencells and the battle between the Corps and the Alpha Lanterns came into full force.
Due to their abilities, the Alpha Lanterns were soon victorious and removed the power from all the Lanterns rings. But in a change of heart, Varix destroyed his comrades and then committed suicide for all the Alphas had done and what they had become. This is exactly what the Guardians wanted, as they believed the Alpha Lanterns were given too much independence and would have stood in their way of taking down the Corps. They stopped all the Alphas rings from finding suitable replacements.
In days of peace, in nights of war,
Obey the laws forever more.
Misconduct must be answered for.
Swear us, the chosen... The Alpha Corps!
Powers and Abilities
The Alpha Lanterns embody the ability to think and feel as well as the drive of the sentient members of the Corps that they were created from. Because they are part Manhunter, they are also devoid of emotion and gain the logic and efficiency that the Manhunters embodied. They are robotic hybrids of the organisms that they once were. The Alpha Lanterns have their power batteries in their chests, so like the Manhunters they do not need to recharge and are linked (like the Green Lantern's own power batteries) to the Central Power Battery on Oa. Their minds are linked to the Book of Oa allowing them full access to its knowledge and rules. The Alpha Lanterns possess the ability to drain the charge from the Green Lantern's own rings, enabling them to disable the rings of anyone they choose.