Before he became a Green Lantern, and predecessor to Hal Jordan, Abin Sur was a history teacher on the planet Ungara. His ring was passed to him by the Green Lantern Stakoar sometime around the Earth year 1860.
Abin Sur was created by Gil Kane and John Broome in the classic first appearance of the Green Lantern, Showcase #22. His character would be heavily influenced by Alan Moore's short story "Tygers" ( Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Annual #2), which introduced the groundwork for Geoff Johns' contemporary retcon of Abin Sur, as the first Lantern to learn the prophecy of the Blackest Night.
In the early years of the Green Lantern mythos, Abin Sur was a relatively unimportant character, his sole function being the means in which earthman Hal obtained his power ring. After his initial introduction and death in Showcase #22, Abin Sur made only a few sporadic appearances in the DC Universe in the form of flashbacks or parallel worlds.
In 1981 Abin Sur's "ghost" appeared in the Nekron War limited series, wherein he served an important role in aiding Hal in his battle with the villain Nekron. Abin Sur next appeared in action in the 1985 flashback story "Tygers". Over twenty years later, this story would later serve as the foundation for the most defining stories of Abin Sur's character history.
Following "Tygers" Abin Sur's visibility increased, as more writers expanded upon his legend in flashback stories. During the late 70's and early 80's, Abin Sur received several mentions in the pages of Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps. Writers began expanding on his legend as a highly beloved and respected member of the Corps. Characters like Tomar Re, Eddore, and Arkkis Chummuck were all depicted friends of Sur who held Abin in the highest regard. The limited Series Emerald Dawn, retconned Abin Sur's death into a heroic end that came in defense of the Green Lantern Corps.
Geoff Johns later use of Moore's Five Inversions and the Prophecy of the Blackest Night is a classic example of a contemporary writer mining a character's history for storylines that can be expanded upon in the modern. Under Johns' control, it was revealed that Abin Sur shared a close friendship with Sinestro and struggled with the Guardians refusal to acknowledge the Prophecy. Johns continues to evolve Abin Sur, posthumously, as an important Green Lantern in the Corps mythos.
Major Story Arcs
Abin Sur is introduced as a Green Lantern whose spaceship crash lands on earth after running through a belt of "yellow radiation". With his dying breath he passes on his ring to test pilot Hal .
His death would be later retconned into a more heroic ending in Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn. When the monster LEGION began hunting down and killing Green Lanterns, Abin Sur risked his life trying to stop the monster from completing his bloody path to Oa. LEGION attacked Abin's ship which then crashed on earth. As before, the dying Abin Sur passed on his ring to Hal .
Abin Sur's own origin was told in the pages of the Legends of the DC Universe. Prior to Sur's induction into the Corps, the cyborg villain Traitor had gathered a vast army of pirates and murderers, until, eventually coming into conflict with the Green Lantern Stakaor, an early defender of Sector 2814. During the battle much of Traitor's armor was damaged, forcing him to retreat, but Starkaor was badly injured, and forced to appoint Abin Sur as his successor.
Years later, Abin Sur would defeat Traitor on earth during the "old west" era. Abin joined forces with Marshall Henry Lee Jordan, the ancestor of Abin's eventual successor Hal , to stop Traitor and his band
of outlaws. Abin Sur would travel frequently to earth during his tenure, and once met Alan Scott, and after losing his own ring, borrowed Scott's ring.
Abin Sur was a widely respected Lantern amongst the Corps and was a close friend and ally to Tomar-Re and to Sinestro, the Green Lantern of Sector 1417. Years after Abin's death, Sinestro would confided to Hal Jordan that during his Lantern career he had regarded only Jordan and Abin Sur as his friends; seeing the other Lanterns he served with as merely "colleagues".
Abin Sur's life would forever be altered by a mission on the planet Ysmault. Eons earlier, before the elders of Oa ascended to become the Guardians of the Universe, the galaxy was still prevalent with the powers of magic.
Among the most horrific practitioners were the Empire of Tears, deathless demons of pure evil. The Oans decided that it was the time for technology and science to rule and sought to eradicate the evil of the Empire's magic from the universe.
Ysmault was the final battleground in their war. There, the Empire tortured those Oans who were not strong willed enough with visions of ghastly horrors.
The Oans prevailed in the battled however were unable to destroy their demon foes. The Oans chained down and crucified the demons on the surface of Ysmault and declared the planet permanently off limits to all.
Millennia passed until one day Abin Sur attempted to aid a badly damaged Ungaran starship that was sent careening to the surface of Ysmault. Ignoring the Guardians edict against traveling to Ysmault, the Green Lantern pursued the falling starship in an effort to save the lives of the many passengers on board.
Abin Sur located the damaged craft but was unable to locate its passengers. The entombed demons offered assistance to Abin, enticing him to free them. One of the demons, Quill of the Five Inversions, promised to give the answers to any three questions, free of charge.
After Quill answer Abin Sur's first question the Green Lantern located a young Ungaran girl, the only survivor of the crashed ship.
Although still skeptical Abin Sur was intrigued by the demon and returned to ask Quill a second question about his own fate. Abin was told that he would die when his ring failed him during a crucial moment and that his successor would eclipse him to become the greatest of all Green Lanterns.
Now annoyed by the demons obvious trickery, Abin Sur asked to know the fate of the Green Lantern Corps. The third question concerned the final battle of the Green Lantern Corps.
He was told a prophecy: "After untold millennia, the Weaponers of Qward, Ranx the Sentient City, the Children of the White Lobe, and the Empire of Tears would rise united against the Green Lantern Corps".
" Sodam Yat, a Daxamite hailed as the ultimate Green Lantern, would perish battling the lobe-spawn. The planet-form Green Lantern named Mogo would be the last to fall as Ranx the sentient city explodes a blink-bomb within his core".
Abin Sur laughed dismissively at the demons transparent attempts to rattle him and left the planet with the young girl, intent of wiping his mind of Quill's nonsense. The demons reportedly laughed for nineteen weeks after he left, convinced that they had broken the strong-willed Lantern.
Although he refused to admit it, the demon's warnings deeply troubled Abin He began charging his power ring excessively, trying to ensure that it did not fail him as Quill predicted. He also began using a spaceship rather then his ring for long space flights and missions.
Abin Sur's death would be retconned a third time, to tie his end into the larger storyline of the Blackest Night.
Abin Sur was depicted as having become obsessed with the prophecy spoken by the Empire of Tears, and was determined to find out everything he could about the Blackest Night.
He freed Atrocitus from Ysmault and took the demon with him to Earth, convinced he would be able to force Atrocitus to help him find the clues he was looking for. Abin Sur confided his plan to Sinestro and made his friend swear he would investigate this prophecy further in the event of Abin's death.
While in custody, Atrocitus taunted Abin Sur that he was acting out of fear. As Atrocitus struggled against his bonds he informed the Lantern that his fear was overtaking him and that fear was infecting and weakening his constructs.
With a final effort, Atrocitus broke free of Abin Sur's ring willed prison and mortally slashed the Lantern with his claws.
Remarking on the irony of Abin Sur failing his ring, rather than the opposite of Quill's prediction, Atrocitus threw himself out of the rapidly descending starship to the Earth below.
Seriously wounded, Abin Sur directed his craft away from Coast City and crashed in the desert. Abin Sur knew he was dying and left information detailing the Blackest Night prophecy as well as the Manhunter-conducted massacre of sector 666 and the Five Inversions. After leaving this information for Sinestro, his pupil and friend, Abin Sur instructed his ring to find a suitable replacement.
The ring found Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner and selected Jordan, the closer candidate.
With a final smile upon meeting his replacement, Abin Sur succumbed to his injuries and died. As he passed, he remarked how he thought he would never see the day a human was selected to join the Corps.
In the alternate universe of Earth 20, Abin Sur is also a member of the Green Lantern Corps and protector of the Earth sector. However, he keeps his presence hidden for most of the Earth population because his appearance resemble the one associated to devils and demons (red shaded skin, pointy hears and horns in his forehead). Only a few individuals among mankind, specially Doc Fate, know about his presence and count with his help. His main enemies are the analogs to Parallax and Sinestro from Earth 40.
This Abin Sur has experience with travel among other universes. He helped against the Gentry and recently he is involved in and adventure with several lanterns from other universes, including Magic Lantern, Bat-Lantern and Earth 0 Hal Jordan.
Earth 20 Abin Sur uniform is similar to the suit of the Golden Age Green Lantern, Alan Scott.
In the divergent universe of Flashpoint, Abin Sur's ship never crashed and he still lived as earth protector. He was forced to fight against a treacherous Sinestro and the rise of the Black Lanterns who were defeating the corps and spreading in the universe. Despite being not involved with earth business, Sur had to intervene to preserve earth. With the help of the Life Entity, Abin Sur became the White Lantern and assumed a role against the Black Lanterns war.
Powers And Abilities
Abin Sur is a bearer of the Green Lantern Ring and one of the most powerful of the Corps. The abilities the ring grants him are:
- Artificial Intelligence: Every ring has a connection to the Main Battery on Oa, which taps into an artificial intelligence. It acts as an "on-board computer," telling the wearer what they need to know. It can either respond out loud, or silently directly to the wearer's mind. The AI contains a large database of information that may be crucial to a Lantern's success. The ring also translates nearly every language to and from the wearer (though they have difficulty translating profanity), which is why the Corps can communicate with each other. When the bearer of a Green Lantern ring dies, the ring will seek out a suitable replacement for their sector. The AI can be used to play a holographic playback sequence complete with colors across the spectrum based on information in memory banks. The ring can dictate when to pause or stop the playback should an interruption arise where the Lanterns undivided attention is needed. The AI can also alert the wielder of incoming threats or of attempts to manipulate the wielders construct by an outside party.
- Communicator: The ring can act as a personal communicator between Green Lanterns. They have also been seen connected to telephones.
- Costumes: The wearer of the ring may create any costume they choose, based on their personal preferences, whenever they choose. The ring projects the costume over any clothes already worn at the time. The only rules that the Guardians of the Universe implement on the creation of a individual costumed is that the ring bearer display the insignia of the Green Lantern Corps.
- Energy Projection: The rings can also project beams, form protective bubbles and force fields, and fire destructive blasts. Sometimes, depending on the wearer, the beams and blasts make sounds. Kilowog's ring is one such example of blasts making sounds.
- Energy Constructs: The rings can construct anything the wearer can imagine from hard-light energy, as long as they are willing to make it. The more determined the wearer is, the more complex and intricate these things can be. The constructs can even be so complex as to form working machines, computers, and even people.
- Flight: The ring allows the wearer to fly in atmosphere or in space, and can achieve incredible speeds, moving from planet to planet in a matter of hours.
- Matter Manipulation: A Green Lantern can use their ring to manipulate nearby matter, such as water, for various purposes such as a construct that acts like an energy construct but can block something yellow and may serve a purpose that an energy construct couldn't perform.
- Recharging: The rings need to be recharged by means of a Power Battery. Other large sources of power may be used to recharge a power ring, however effectiveness may vary. The internal power source of a Manhunter Android is, in effect, the same as a power battery, and can be used to recharge a power ring. During the JLA / Avengers crossover, a Cosmic Cubewas used to recharge a depleted ring, although this is not an ideal solution and is available if there are no other options.
- Temperature Control: The Ring can increase or decrease the temperature of anything, even something as large as stars, or even create bubbles of intense heat or cold, even down to Absolute Zero. This could be seen in the recent Sinestro Corps War when Sallak used his ring to incase an enemy in a force bubble an incinerate him.
- Wormhole/Warps: The ring can open wormholes to cut down on distance.
- Healing: A wielder can command a ring to heal him/her/itself of any injures incurred. It can also heal others. This ability however cannot regenerate lost limbs.
- Energy twin: The ring can create an energy copy of the wielder which is connected to the ring wielder, any information the twin gathers is transferred to the wielder upon touch while others cannot see this twin apart from fellow Green Lanterns. (An ability which has not been seen for some time)
- Sub-routines: The power rings have inner programmings or mechanisms which can executed without the users permission. One such sub-routine is the autoshield. This shield automatically protects a wielder from external harm and has been proven to be capable of protecting the wielder from planetary level attacks.
Mental Incapacitation: The ring cannot be wielded correctly if the wearer is under the influence of drugs or if there is an involvement of neural interference.
Yellow Impurity: In the beginning the Green Ring was vulnerable to the color yellow. It was unable to defend against attacks from wielders of the Sinestro Corps as well. This weakness however has now be changed and can be overcome by veterans who have the ability to overcome great fear.
Recharge: Previously had to be recharged every 24 hours or when it has been depleted of energy. This can be accomplished if the bearer of the ring recites an oath into his power lantern while holding the ring to it. However now, the power ring only needs to be recharged when it runs out of energy.
Red Lantern Corps. Bearers of the red ring have the ability to drain a Green Power Ring of its energy. The ring of a Blue Lantern however has the ability to charge a Green Lantern Ring or negate this negative effect.
Ability To Kill: One of the main weaknesses of the Power Rings that greatly disturbed Sinestro was the fact that the bearers of the Green Lantern Ring were unable to kill. Recently however, this restriction on the rings has been lifted but murder is still against the law of the GL Corps.
Green Lantern File
Space Sector: 2814
Sector Partner: Service pre-dates Sector Partners
Successor: Hal Jordan
Abin Sur makes his first animated appearance in Challenge of the Superfriends.
Abin appeared in the Superman TAS series episode "In Brightest Day".
He is mentioned in Batman the Brave and the Bold.
He appears in "Justice League Final Frontier".
Abin Sur appears in the animated film "Green Lantern First Flight" where his appearance is more alien.
Green Lanterns: Emerald Knights
Abin Sur appears in the movie as a subplot to the main story that is told by Sinestro to the young Arisia, a new rookie. In the story, Abin sur battles with Atrocitus who had escaped from a prison planet. He has the ability to hunt down and kill Green Lanterns. The convict had already killed two Green Lanterns. During the fight, Atrocitus captures Abin Sur source of green energy. Therefore, Abin Sur ring is losing power since he forgets to charge prior to the confrontation. He seems close to be defeated when Sinestro intervene it. Two Green Lanterns prevail in the skirmish to overcome the prisoner.
However, in a final intent to victory, Atrocitus tries to break the Green Lantern source of energy to create an explosion and to let the Green Energy free. Abin Sur recognizes the imminent danger that can kill everyone in the planet. He takes the lamp and flies as far as he can go away from the planet. At the last minute he is able to charge the ring to avoid the tragedy before the explosion. With his energy at 100%, he come back to easy defeat his enemy He takes him into custody.
As they return to the prison planet, Sinestro and Abin Sur discuss what destiny means vs. fate. While they travel into space they run into a spaceship in trouble. They aided it and send it on course. They use the situation to discus what it means for the passengers to be rescue for them. What is the difference between destiny and fate? As, Abin Sur enter his own sector Sinestro and leaves his friend behind with a hand shake. Atrocitus talks about the impended future to Abin Sur before he is incarcerated. He explains that he has the ability to see the future. He give details about the reason why Abin Sur is going to die and what is going too happed to the Green Lanterns and the Guardians. Abin Sur does not believe in that future, he can not pretend to alter destiny. That is a road that he does not want to take. He closes the gates and leaves.
Green Lantern (2011)
Temuera Morrison will play Abin Sur in 2011's " Green Lantern" live action movie. In the movie we are told the Abin Sur was the only Lantern to defeat Parallax, and trap him within the lost sector, which had been massacred by the fear entity. While on his usual patrol of Sector 2814 from his Spaceship he recieves a message from Thaal Sinestro, warning him that Parallax is free, and moments after the message an attack is made on Abin Sur by Parallax, who mortally wounds Abin Sur, leading him to escape with the use of a small space pod and crash land into earth, waiting for the worthy successor of the ring, Hal Jordan. He shortly dies after passing on his ring to Hal.