The two Future State: Green Lantern issues contain a total of five stories. Combined, the five stories each provide a puzzle piece in the timeline of Future State. According to the official Future State timeline the main Green Lantern story, Last Lanterns featuring Earth Lantern John Stewart, takes place in the year 2035. We join the story in the midst of action defending the homeworld of the Shaar from the Khund. A ringless Stewart is fighting alongside G’nort and Salaak (plus two others, Ilo and Hood, who may or may not be former Lanterns). We don’t know what happened to their rings or the power battery.
The lack of power rings brings up some big questions for Future State. What happened to the rest of the Lanterns? What happened to the power battery? And when?
Unlike the other back of stories, the individual Lantern backup stories are left off the Future State timeline. Figuring out where our heroes are in time requires understanding Future State as a whole.
All of the issues of Future State, being in the future, plop us right in the middle of storylines without any explanation. Pieces come together as issues are released but not all of the pieces. I’ve been reading all of the Future State titles, so I thought I’d take a minute to figure out a rough timeline of the Green Lantern stories. Here’s what I think happened:
Pre-2027 Teen Lantern: (back-up story in Future State: Green Lantern #2)
This story kicks off with Teen Lantern, Keli Quintela, reporting to the new Guardians of the Universe. These Guardians were introduced in Grant Morrison’s The Green Lantern. It appears Keli was dropped on Oa by John Stewart so the Guardians could examine Quintela’s gauntlet. Clearly, this happened after the events of The Green Lantern, Young Justice, and Death Metal. How long after? We don’t know. We also know it happens before Future State: Teen Titans which takes place in 2027. I’ll get to why I think that when we discuss Hal Jordan’s story.
Quintella is sent on a journey to learn about the origin of her gauntlet. Her mission will eventually lead her to Sojourner “Jo” Mullein who, to date, had only been seen in the pages of Far Sector. Mullein is another interesting Lantern because we don’t fully know her backstory or when she became a Lantern. I had assumed her stories were either in the near future or an alternate timeline. This adventure suggests she became a Lantern earlier than I suspected.
Additionally, her ring is tied to the willpower to “live through fear” instead of “overcome fear.”
We haven’t met her in the Green Lantern Future State stories yet, so more on her later.
Quintela is carried on her journey by the living planet Mogo. They’re doing great until they enter the Boötes Void (also home to a member of the F-Sharp Corps, Rot Lop Fan). This is when things go South. Moments after Mogo enters the void they panic and declare: “Central… Power Battery… gone!…” and goes dark. She’d be alone for 12 days before discovering Mogo can draw some energy from the power pack that fuels the gauntlet. The story ends with Quintela and Mogo on day 52 in the void.
Pre-2027 Guy Gardner: (backup story in Future State: Green Lantern #1)
Next up in the timeline is Guy Gardner. Gardner’s story finds him heading to a planet in Space Sector 0345. Moments after he arrives, his ring depowers. This places his story right around the time Teen Lantern and Mogo enter the void. Gardner spends 25 years on this planet helping the locals overcome their differences and solving hunger. It ends with Lobo arriving and taking his place as the Prophet.
Pre-2027 Hal Jordan: (backup story in Future State: Green Lantern #2)
Hal Jordan is next in the timeline. Here’s how we know we can position Guy and Teen Lantern before 2027 and likely before 2026. Hal states he hasn’t heard from the Green Lantern Corps in months. He also says Cyborg “built an energy amplifier for my ring before his accident. Then he disappeared, too.” In Future State: Teen Titans we know that Cyborg and Beast Boy have somehow merged into one being. However, we don’t know how they merged. We only know it was more than six months before the events of Future State: Teen Titans.
Jordan is on a long journey through space. We don’t know exactly how long it takes Jordan to get to his final destination (more on that shortly), but he passes some clues on the way that suggest it was possibly a few years.
2028 (ish) Jessica Cruz: (backup story in Future State: Green Lantern #1)
Jessica Cruz is on a Green Lantern Corps Space Station in Space Sector 0123. She has been trapped in this station for 13 months. That’s when she last had any communication with the Corps. She’s without her power ring when the station is boarded by members of the Sinestro Corps. She handily beats two by using the environment. The third, Lyssa Drak, is about to defeat Cruz when she makes one final effort to win by grabbing the yellow power battery. In a moment that makes absolute sense, Cruz is chosen by the lantern for her ability to instill great fear. Her thought bubble turns from green to yellow as she’s welcomed to the Sinestro Corps.
2035 John Stewart: (main story in both issues)
If the Future State timeline is accurate, we know John Stewart’s story takes place in 2035. If the timeline isn’t intended to be gospel, well, that throws off everything above. At some point in the last decade, a segment of Khunds became cultists worshipping someone called the “God in Red.” As noted in the intro, Stewart is fighting a horde of these Khund on the planet of the Shaar. However, this isn’t the first time we’ve met these Khund (in the timeline).
During his journeys across the Universe, Jordan investigated the home planet of the Red Lanterns, Ysmault. Instead of Lanterns, he found a planet overrun by feral cultist Khund worshipping their God in Red. This is an interesting development. Could Ysmault be the source of the Khund we find Stewart battling in 2035? We haven’t seen Atroticus since he tried to bring Red Dawn to Earth. Is he the God in Red?
It would make sense. Jordan passes the Khund before he passes the new Warworld. Warworld makes its first Future State appearance in Future State: Superman: Worlds of War. That story takes place in 2030. Of course, it is possible Jordan passed Warworld before Superman arrived on it.
The ending is spectacular and Universe altering (I mean, all of Future State is altering, but still…). As I mentioned previously, I had been reading Far Sector as if it was an Elseworlds title. It wasn’t clear to me that it was set in the prime DC Universe or, at the very least, the same time. We see Jordan crash land on Oa and come face-to-face with Mullein. The first time we ever saw her in a main Green Lantern title was The Green Lantern issue 11. She appeared alongside Quintela and Tai Pham in a flash created by a Guardian.
It’s a confusing timeline and, perhaps, not meant to be understood.