Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.
He’s been through a lot in his life and is a better man for it.: John Stewart
Appearances in Heroclix: Justice League Unlimited, Wizkids DC 19, Batman the Animated Series, War of Light, DC 75th Anniversary, Cosmic Justice
First Appearance: Green Lantern #87 (December 1971/January 1972)
Team Affiliations: Green Lantern Corps, Justice League, Guardians of the Universe
Powers: Use of power ring grants: Flight, Force field, Generation of hard-light constructs, Real-time translation of all languages
Created by: Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams
John Stewart is a trained architect and veteran of the US Marine Corps from Detroit. John is chosen by the Guardians as a backup Green Lantern to Hal Jordan after Guy Gardner the previous backup, is seriously injured while saving someone’s life. Hal takes a quick dislike to John as Stewart has some issues with authority figures, though this does nothing to dissuade the Guardians. Jordan is shown to be wrong during their first mission, where Stewart actually sees a few things that Jordan misses.
After Jordan steps down as Green Lantern, John becomes a full time Lantern. He continues to work as an architect for Ferris Aircraft while also fighting to save the world. John is also the Lantern that battles the Anti-Monitor during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Katma Tui trains John in use of the power ring, accompanying him on many adventures until they fall in love and eventually marry.
Sinestro enacts a scheme that renders John’s ring inert which is soon followed by the murder of Katma Tui. This pushes John to his mental breaking point. When he is additionally (falsely) accused of murdering Carol Ferris and then accused and imprisoned by the nation of South Nambia, it’s too much. John is burned out and full of anger. He is eventually freed when Hal Jordan helps him repower his ring but in the process, John frees a murderer and terrorist without knowing who they are. Unsure of himself, John leaves Earth and hopes to do good in space.
He attempts to aid Orion and other heroes against a great evil in the universe. During this time, he is unable to save the planet of Xanshi from destruction by an avatar of the Anti-Life Equation. John becomes suicidal after these tragedies and is looked down upon by the Martian Manhunter.
An insane Guardian creates “Mosaic World” on Oa, made up of a patchwork of pieces of other worlds. John is selected as the caretaker of this world, with hopes that it will help him regain his confidence. John eventually is able to overcome his demons and forges the communities into one culture. Due to this, he becomes the first mortal Guardian of the Universe and is given the title of Master Builder. The Guardians are even able to resurrect Katma Tui and reunite the pair in bliss. This bliss is cut short, however, when Hal Jordan possessed by Parallax destroys the Guardians and central power battery. This robs John of his powers and his recently resurrected wife.
After the destruction of the Green Lantern Corps, John is recruited by the Controllers to lead the Darkstars. John uses this new power and agents to evacuate Mosaic World before the destruction of Oa. He continues to be a proud and honorable hero with the Darkstars until Grayven temporarily paralyzes him. Hal Jordan, free of Parallax’s influence, heals Stewart’s legs before sacrificing his life to destroy the Sun-Eater. After some time walking again, John eventually accepts a Green Lantern ring Kyle Rayner was gifted by a time traveling Hal Jordan.
After the resurrection of Hal Jordan and reforming of the Green Lantern Corps, two Lanterns are assigned to each sector of space. John and Hal serve as the Lanterns for Earth’s sector, 2814. Due to several events, John plays a larger role in ongoing metahuman affairs on Earth. This leads him to several encounters, such as battling the Great Ten and Black Adam as well as facing Amon Sur, the son of Abin Sur. John even gets to design The Hall, one of the Justice League’s new headquarters.
The Sinestro Corps sniper Bedovian attacks the Green Lantern Corps and kills several Green Lanterns. John uses his own power ring as a sniper rifle to track Bedovian down and shoots him, leaving Bedovian wounded but not dead. John and Guy Gardner are both kidnapped by Lyssa Drak and taken back to Qward. They are freed by Hal Jordan and help him rescue Ion before returning to Earth. They are followed closely by the Sinestro Corps including Cyborg Superman, Superboy-Prime and the Manhunters. John is able to use a painting by Kyle’s mother to help the younger Lantern overcome his fears and expel Parallax. Ganthet and Sayd are then able to trap Parallax in the Lanterns of the Earth-based Green Lanterns. Together they use Warworld as a massive grenade to defeat the Sinestro Corps empowered Anti-Monitor.
After these events, John is approached with an offer to join the Alpha Lantern program but refuses. Johnis among the Lanterns charged with escorting Sinestro to Korugar. The Sinestro Corps and Red Lantern Corps attack the convoy and leave the Green Lanterns to die in space. Saint Walker arrives to save them, but John is infected by the rage of the Red Lanterns. Saint Walker forges a construct of Katma Tui and is able to calm John down. Very soon, Fatality is accepted as a Star Sapphire and seeks out John. When she confronts him, she kisses him and tells him that she forgives him for Xanshi. Before leaving, she encourages John to forgive himself, as well.
During the confrontation with Krona, John absorbs a Qwardian superweapon known as a Void Hound. This leads to him entering seizures where his body produces numbers of weapons beyond his control. This continues until Krona is ultimately defeated. John returns to the League and helps them defeat Starbreaker before deciding to take a leave of absence.
During his leave of absence, John visits the grave of planet Xanshi. As he arrives, thousdands of Black Lantern rings fly into the debris field and resurrect the planet. The planet speaks to John, promising that it can help him save them. Too enticed, John flies to the surface of the planet and meets the entire population of the planet resurrected as Black Lanterns. He is even confronted by a Black Lantern Katma Tui. John fights back valiantly until he realizes that the Black Lantern Xanshi is headed towards Earth. He warns Hal and is able to hold on until the various other Lantern Corps arrive to battle the Black Lanterns.
After the defeat of the Black Lanterns, John helps with the rebuilding process on Oa. The Guardians summon him and ordered to help Boodikka in a mission to the planet Grenda. On Grenda, John is attacked by Alpha Lanterns as it is revealed they are revolting against the Corps. Hank Henshasw, the Cyborg Superman, has an Alpha Lantern battery and is leading the others after establishing a base on Grenda. As Henshaw begins to change John into an Alpha Lantern, he shares the last few months of his life with John. The entire revolt is an attempt to bring Ganthet to Grenda so Hank can be made mortal again and then finally die. Kyle Rayner and Soranik arrive in time to save John. After a minot set back, they fine the world’s population and organize an assault to overthrow the Alpha Lanterns. They manage to destroy Henshaw’s body as his mind leaps into Boodikka. There, her mind is able to destroy his, seemingly give him the peace he has wanted for so long. John also accompanies Ganthet and Kyle Rayner into the anti-matter universe on a rescue mission.
The trio return to the anti-matter Universe and are forced to battle the other Green Lanterns. While they were gone, Parallax was returned to the Central Power Battery by Krona and used to mind control the other Green Lanterns. John and Kyle abandon their rings and travel to the Oan underground, where they find Guy and Hal. Guy and Hal have the rings of the other Lantern Corps leaders and they all endeavor to use these other rings to free the Corps. John takes the Indigo ring and joins Kyle in attempting to free Mogo from Krona’s control. They find residual Black Lantern energy around Mogo’s core and with great regret, John absorbs it along with the extra Green Lantern energy and uses it to destroy Mogo before he can be used to recruit an army of tainted Green Lanterns. With Mogo destroyed, Kyle and John regroup with the others and regain their rings.
With Krona defeated, John helps a new recruit negotiate a peace treaty in her sector. John is forced to kill another Lantern and is ultimately arrested by the Alpha Lanterns. Sentence to be executed, John is freed by other Lanterns in a series of events orchestrated by the Guardians to destroy the Corps. John is then tasked with tracking the remains of Mogo, as the Guardians believe it is attempting to reform. John meets Fatality in the debris field and realizes that the Guardians are attempting to use Mogo as a pawn. John and Fatality soon form a relationship. John soon discovers that this Fatality is an imposter and, after defeating it, tracks down the real Fatality. She attacks John and reveals that the Zamorans made her love him but in her right mind, she hates him. John refuses to fight back, causing Fatality to leave vowing revenge.