Abin Sur, art by Tom Mandrake.

Abin Sur is a fictional character and a superhero from the DC Comics universe. He first appeared in Showcase #22 (September-October 1959): "SOS Green Lantern". He was a member of the Green Lantern Corps and recruited Hal Jordan as a Green Lantern.

Fictional character biographyEdit

Originally a history professor on the planet Ungara, Abin Sur is appointed Green Lantern of Space Sector 2814 in the mid 1860s. As a child, he became best friends with Ruch Ehr and later, by association, Munni Jah. The two of them were a couple and Abin secretly loved Munni, but never spoke overtly of this.

Recruited by the Green Lantern known as Starkaor, he is known to have come to Earth on several occasions. In the American Old West, he teams up with an ancestor of Hal Jordan's to battle an alien named Traitor (who was responsible for the death of Starkaor). During World War II, he encounters Starman and Bulletman when the three battle an alien being under the control of Mr. Mind. On a later visit, his ring's power is neutralized by the foe he was tracking. He discovers the unconscious forms of Alan Scott and Jay Garrick, and borrows Scott's slightly different ring. He used it against his adversary, taking advantage of the ring's effectiveness against the color yellow. He also visits Earth at some point between the Golden and Silver Ages, when he encountered the Martian Manhunter.

While on patrol, he is attacked and pursued by the being known as Legion while on its way to Oa. Badly injured and with his spaceship seriously damaged, he makes an emergency landing on the nearest habitable planet (Earth). Due to his injuries, Sur was aware that his death was inevitable and he uses his ring to search for a successor. The first possibility was Clark Kent. Since he was not native to earth, he is not chosen. The next candidates were Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner. As Jordan was closer, the ring chose him as the most suitable replacement right before Sur's death.

For a brief time during Zero Hour, he was pulled into the present, where he assists the Darkstars in their battle against Entropy. He is then returned to his own time.

In the afterlife Sur is able to help Jordan again when Jordan enters the realm of the death lord, Nekron. Jordan is attempting to stop Nekron from entering the living universe and destroying it. Jordan manages to incite the spirits of the deceased members of the Corps to destroy the god long enough for the Guardians to drive Krona and his forces back and seal the portal. Before the sealing was complete, Sur helpes his successor exit the realm while saying how proud he was of Jordan. Abin Sur later sacrifices his soul to assist the Swamp Thing in rescuing his infant daughter Tefé Holland from the demon Nergal in Hell.

It is later revealed that part of his soul was still being tortured in Hell while his spirit was acting as a companion to Hal Jordan during his brief stint as the Spectre. Eventually, he frees his soul from Hell and assisted Hal Jordan on several spiritual adventures and metaphysical dilemmas. Eventually, Abin Sur engaged in the Karamm-Jeev Descent, an Ungaran form of reincarnation, and was reborn as Lagzia, daughter of Sur's old friends Ruch Ehr and Munni Jah.

During some point in his life, Abin sires a son, Amon Sur, who grew up to become leader the Black Circle crime syndicate. Amon is angry at his deceased father for abandoning him for the Corps, and decides to take his anger out on all Green Lanterns. Amon is eventually stopped by Hal Jordan's successor, Kyle Rayner and a second-generation Guardian of the Universe called Lianna. Amon eventually has a confrontation with Hal Jordan himself, who had returned to his position as Green Lantern after being both resurrected and freed from the influence of Parallax. Hal defeats Amon, but Amon received a duplicate of Sinestro's ring from the Qwardians and vanishes. After Hal finally took Abin's body home and buried it, a mysterious yellow light appears in the sky after Hal left.

During The Sinestro Corps War, it is revealed that Abin discovered a prophecy concerning of the Multiverse and "The Blackest Night" prior to his death. Green Lantern: Secret Origin, reveals details of Abin's quest to learn more about The Blackest Night as he interrogated a group of demons who had foreseen the prophecy. He learned that Earth is the birthplace of The Black: the antithesis of the emotional spectrum that the prophecy predicts will "one day consume all light and all life." [1] He discovered that the prophecy foretells his own death, when his ring fails him in his time of greatest need. He subsequently journeys to Earth in an effort to learn more about The Blackest Night, so that he might stop the prophecy's fulfillment. During his quest, Abin Sur begins to lose his faith in his willpower and his ring, and begins to feel fear. His weakened willpower results in his ring creating correspondingly weaker constructs, allowing his prisoner (the demon Atrocitus he captured on the planet Ysmault) to break free, attack him, and cause his ship to crash on Earth. Abin Sur is critically injured in the crash, leading him to instruct his ring to seek out a successor - and the ring settles on Hal Jordan.


In the Silver Age comics, as the abilities of Hal Jordan's power ring began to show it was capable of practical long range space travel, that raised the question of why Abin Sur needed a ship.

Pre-Crisis explanationEdit

In the story "Earth's First Green Lantern," Jordan revealed that he wondered that himself and asked his ring to explain.

The ring told the story of how Abin Sur discovered a parasitic energy being species that fed on sentient beings' "I-factor," a substance that enabled inventiveness, attacking civilizations and stalling their development. Sur captured them to stop their destruction, but one of their number had escaped and vowed to free his brethren. To do so, he tracked down Sur's planet and created a disaster to force him to appear to stop it. Since Sur did not mask himself, the being recognized him immediately and followed him to his home. As Sur neglected to charge his ring before going to sleep, he was unable to stop the being from taking control of him.

With the being in control of his body and about to force him to go and free his fellows, Sur tricked the being into thinking that he would not be able to do so because the ring would be low on power after the trip there while in reality the ring's charge is purely time based. The being decided to have Sur take a ship to the destination, but before leaving, Sur managed to get a hold of his invisible power battery. On the ship, Sur piloted the ship and waited until he moved into a green colored planetary radiation belt which allowed Sur to charge his ring without the being noticing. Thus armed, Sur battled and captured the being. However during the fight, the ship wandered into Earth's radiation belt. With his ring useless, Sur lost control of the battered ship and crashed. Mortally wounded, Sur sought out his replacement and drew Jordan to him.

According to Jordan, this account prompted him to keep a secret identity as a security precaution and to carefully navigate around Earth's radiation belts.

Post-Crisis explanationEdit

In Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Annual #2 (1986), writer Alan Moore answered the question with a story of how the hero once visited Ysmault, a prison planet for an ancient race of demons, the Empire of Tears, vanquished millennia ago by the Oans. He was on a rescue mission and felt he could not wait for instruction from the Guardians.

While there, Abin Sur met a demon named Qull of the Five Inversions, a humanoid with a gaping mouth in his chest and a tongue-shaped head, crucified by three glowing spikes topped with the symbol of the Green Lantern Corps. This unholy messiah predicted the hero would die when his power ring ran out of energy at a critical moment, while he was fighting an opponent or unprotected in hard vacuum. Abin Sur, worried by this prophecy, began using a starship for interstellar voyages, as an additional safeguard.

A decade later, fleeing his enemy, his spaceship collided with a girdle of yellow radiation around Earth that rendered his starship and his power-ring useless within moments. Had he relied on his ring alone, he realized, he might have tested the planet's magnetosphere before rashly entering it. Thus, while Legion may have wounded him, it could be argued that it was Qull that was actually responsible for Abin Sur's death, having sown the seeds of doubt in the Green Lantern's mind.

Post-Infinite Crisis explanationEdit

In the new Secret Origins of Green Lantern (Green Lantern #30, 2008) Abin Sur's final fate was tweaked again, incorporating elements of the Parallax impurity. Still forced to use a starship due to his growing fear of his impending death, he dies while escorting Atrocitus, another prisoner of the Empire of Tears, on Earth in his search for the Black Energies who he were foretold would bring on the Blackest Night. Atrocitus, caged in the starship, reawakens Abin Sur fears, allowing the yellow weakeness to seep into his constructs enough to weaken his restrains and be able to escape. While Atrocitus, successfully manages to free himself, Abin Sur is left to choose between a crash landing on Coast City, or a riskier one in the desert nearby. Abin Sur chooses sacrifice, and lands in the deserts. He dies of his wounds after warning Sinestro, still a loyal Lantern at the time, and designating Hal Jordan as his successor.

Other versionsEdit

  • In Superman: Red Son, Sur's spacecraft was the UFO that crashed at Roswell. Sur died shortly after the crash, and it is mentioned that J. Edgar Hoover arranged for Sur and his ship to be hidden in Area 51. In 1978, John F. Kennedy arranges for Lex Luthor to be allowed to examine the wreckage to develop weapons to use against Superman, in this setting the ruler of the Soviet Union.
  • In the story, Superman: Last Son of Earth, Abin Sur failed to protect Earth from a meteor that nearly destroyed the planet, resulting in the deaths of all but one million people, due to him being preoccupied by another conflict elsewhere in his sector. He is later seen towards the end of the novel to pick up Kal-El's Green Lantern Power Battery and Ring due to the latter's resignation from the Corps. to aid in the rebuilding of Earth.

In other mediaEdit

Abin sur

Abin Sur as depicted in Superman: The Animated Series

In the episode, Abin is used for Kyle's GL origin in much the same way he was used for Hal Jordan's. Abin battles with Sinestro, who is hunting Green Lanterns and stealing their rings. He crashes his spaceship on earth and sends his ring off to find a suitable replacement just before his death.

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