A long time ago, and far, far away….
Imagine, if you will, a room. The room has a single table, curving gracefully in an oval shape. A group of wizened old men sits at the table, all dressed in similar uniforms, all sharing the same thoughts. "All is in chaos," they believe. "There must be order. It falls to us to impose order upon an unruly universe. We will create an army of powerful soldiers to go forth and achieve this goal."
That's not a pretty picture, is it? A little fascistic, perhaps? I couldn't really be talking about a comic book, here, could I?
You betcha! It's all about the Green Lantern Corps! Yeah, baby!
Here's the skinny: countless millions of years ago, a race of powerful immortals unleashed 'evil' upon the universe by daring to seek the origins of the universe.
So much for pure research.
To make amends for their actions, they decided to recruit a corps of warriors to fight the evil they had sparked. They gave each member of the corps a green power ring, each limited in power only by the strength of their will power. In other words, Jenny Craig drop-outs need not apply. The immortals allowed themselves to age physically to appear as old men, and began to call themselves - somewhat pretentiously - 'The Guardians of the Universe'.
Unfortunately, it's difficult to write stories in which the hero of the piece has an all-powerful weapon at his disposal, which leads to another comic book cliché - the Arbitrary Weakness! The Arbitrary Weakness has a long, rich history in the annals of comic history (kryptonite, anyone?), so it's hardly unexpected that Green Lantern would have one too.
His ring is powerless against the colour yellow.
Weird, I know, but compare it to the Arbitrary Weakness of his golden age counterpart. That guy's ring was powerless against anything made of wood. Yep, you could take him out with an acorn and a slingshot.