The Green Lantern Corps’ new Teen Lantern may be largely inexperienced as a cosmic crimefighter, but her power gauntlet definitely makes her a one-woman army with her very own Justice League at her beck and call. Originally a member of Young Justice, Keli Quintela has recently been serving with the Corps as its newest recruit. Brought into the fold by Green Lantern John Stewart, she’s grown especially close with fellow Green Lanterns like Simon Baz and Jo Mullein.
With the universe in disarray since the destruction of the Central Power Battery, the Corps will need all the help it can get. Green Lantern #5 by Geoffrey Thorne, Tom Raney, Marco Santucci, and Andy MacDonald presents the Teen Lantern in a more powerful light than fans may have expected. While most Lanterns seem content to simply fire energy beams or make giant, green fists, Keli is a little more creative than that – and her constructs prove it.
After she suspects Sinestro’s involvement with the attack on Oa, Green Lantern #5 features Keli taking the fight right to the homeworld of the master of fear pretty much single-handedly. Keli faces wave after wave of Yellow Lanterns with giant constructs resembling her fellow superheroes. She uses a version of Superboy to shield from the Yellow Lanterns attacks, retaliating with energized versions of her friends Amethyst and Jinny Hex. And when she’s seemingly overwhelmed by the Fear Lanterns’ assault, she fires back with a giant construct of her greatest hero: John Stewart himself. Keli is eventually subdued by a mysterious Yellow Lantern whom some fans may recognize, but the fact that she lasts so long says a lot about the character’s powers levels.
While the source of her powers is very different from those of her fellow Lanterns, Keli’s display proved she’s no less powerful. Very few Lanterns, let alone rookies, can say that they’ve launched a full-frontal assault on Sinestro and his Lanterns and lived to tell the tale. She may eventually get overwhelmed, but she has the Yellow Lanterns on the ropes for longer than anyone would expect, and she even catches the attention of Sinestro himself.
Teen Lantern’s constructs also reinforce just how impressionable she still is a young hero. With her back against the wall, she creates hard-light constructs of heroes she admires to help her out, whether it’s fellow Green Lantern John Stewart or her Young Justice teammates. These heroes have clearly meant a lot to her and guided her toward being the force of good she wants to be, and she feels as if she can always depend on them, even if she has to create them herself.
Keli Quintela may be DC’s newest member of the Green Lantern Corps, but she’s certainly not its weakest Green Lantern. Anyone who can go toe-to-toe with the Sinestro Corps is worth keeping an eye on. And if she really does live up to potential, one day the Teen Lantern may fight alongside a Justice League that she doesn’t have to create herself.