|Founder(s):||Guardians of the Universe|
|Leader(s):||Guardians of the Universe|
|Current Members:|| Guardians of the Universe|
The First Lantern
|Former Members:||Guardians of the Universe|
The Third Army was a long prophecised group of soldiers that were stated to replace the Green Lantern Corps. Its existence was mentioned within the Book of The Black that stated that the greatest threat to the Green Lanterns would come from the Guardians of the Universe. After the Guardians had decided to bring order to the cosmos, they created the mechanical Manhunters as their agents until the machines were sabotaged by Krona. Following them, they decided that organic sentients would serve them in the form of the Green Lantern Corps. Unknown to the Oans, the existence of this prophecy was known to Abin Sur who intended to stop the threat posed by his masters. Thus, he helped form the Indigo Tribe with the intention of using the light of Compassion to stop them. Though Abin Sur died, the Tribe he founded would continue to live on Nok with the goal of fulfilling their founders purpose. Ultimately, the resultant conflicts such as the Sinestro Corps War, the War of Light, The Blackest Night and the War of The Green Lanterns led the Guardians to determine that the Green Lanterns were similarly flawed. As a result, after the defeat of Krona, they brainwashed Ganthet who reported that their suspicions were correct and that they needed to move to the next step of their plans. To accomplish this goal, they required The First Lantern in order to use his power to bring about the rise of The Third Army who would be the successors of the Green Lantern Corps. However, the Oans knew of the opposition they would face from the various Corps and thus took measures to eliminate that threat.
Among their initial actions was the expulsion of Hal Jordan who had overridden his Green Lantern Power Ring which he used to kill Krona. After that, they indirectly inducted Sinestro into the Green Lantern Corps whilst claiming that they were unable to remove the Green Power Ring that had selected the Korugarian. Using Sinestro, they had him forcibly disband his own Sinestro Corps who were taken prisoner in the Sciencells. In addition, they had attempted to apprehend Kyle Rayner who had been selected by various Power Rings from the various Corps and gone rogue where he formed an incarnation of the New Guardians. Furthermore, they used events to turn the Alpha Lantern Corps against the rest of their comrades thus forcing John Stewart and Guy Gardner to destroy the cyborgs. Whilst this was happening, they plotted events to ensure that the two Earth Lanterns would be separated and eliminated. Finally, they helped bring about the resurrection of Abysmus and tasked him with destroying his "creator" Atrocitus and the Red Lantern Corps. With all these measures done, the Guardians moved to The Chamber of Shadows that was guarded by their kin known as The Hidden Ones who guarded the First Lantern. The Guardians ultimately had to fight the Hidden Ones and forcibly remove the prison of the First Lantern which they took to Earth. Once there, they began to siphon part of his energy and their forms bristled with power. This energy was then used in conjunction with their flesh to create an organic construct that served their will with this being serving as the first of the Third Army. This entity was composed of Oan flesh but completely subject to their will and had the ability to replicate by transforming other sentients into copies of itself. The entity demonstrated this by conducting such an act on a nearby human that had come to investigate thus creating a new member of the Third Army. Thus, the Guardians commanded their servants to build their number in order to wage war against the other Corps and bring about the order that they desired for the universe.
The Rise of The Third Army
Afterwards, the newly created Third Army moved on Earth where they attacked a truck and assimilated the pair of Humans. Their activity led them to detect the presence of newly inducted Green Lantern Simon Baz. They detected him from an energy signature which they decided to seek out for the Guardians and assimilate. In deep space, these creatures began converting alien races into more of their number. Such a process was similarly conducted in Space Sector 2819 where members of the Third Army entered Korgoth space where they entered into the native inhabitants starship after which they removed their helmets and forcibly assimilated them. On Arhtky in Space Sector 2967, some of the Third Army arrived on the planet when the Red Lantern Corps were summoned by the Rage felt by Taya. This saw the Third Army assimilate some of the natives with the new members attacking the Red Lanterns. During the confrontation, one of the Third Army assaulted Skorch where they separated her arm from her Red Lantern Power Ring. The loss of her Red Power Ring allowed the Third Army to assimilate her much to Atrocitus's shock. Atrocitus thus determined that the Third Army consisted of assimilated beings with the truth of their origins being present in their eyes which were stolen. During a fight with one of their number, Atrocitus stabs into its eyes where all the Third Army felt the pain. However, the Red Lanterns become surrounded by the Third Army and the wounded Taya became assimilated by them. Atrocitus's forces managed to defeat the creatures and taken one of them to Ysmault in order to use Blood Magic to divine its origins. The flesh of this Third Army member later assimilated one of the local animals and created a large abomination until it was destroyed by the Red Lanterns. Similarly, in the Vega System, the Third Army's ability to survive in space unaided served them greatly as they attacked the Spider Guild and transformed them into more soldiers for their ranks. These soldiers would later assault Okaara's where they invaded Larfleeze's lair where they were held back by Sayd and the New Guardians. This battle continued until Sayd told the Lanterns to teleport away whilst she was brutally killed by the Third Army who were being directed by the Guardians of the Universe. The growing nature of The Third Army meant that the Guardians power that they had used to create them was slowly being diluted as it was being spread amongst many individuals. As such, they decided to leech more power from the First Lantern Volthoom.
On Earth, the Third Army began increasing their numbers when the Guardians ordered them to find the bio signature of Guy Gardner and assimilate him after he had been stripped of Green Lantern status. Thus, they attacked a police station holding Gardner for questioning where they assimilated numerous police officers but failed in their target due to the intervention of B'dg and Simon Baz who protected them. They enclosed the Third Army within a force field and Simon Baz sent some missiles into it thus incinerating the creatures. Elsewhere, Ganthet discovered the betrayal of the Zamarons who initially claimed to agree with the Oans but intended to aid renegade Earth Lantern Kyle Rayner in harnessing the Emotional Spectrum to use as a weapon against the Guardians. As a result, Ganthet ordered the Third Army to proceed with the invasion of Zamaron where they assimilated a number of Star Sapphires until Rayner tapped the final emotion of love thus turning him into a White Lantern. With his new power, he destroyed the invading Third Army forces though Ganthet himself managed to escape. Afterwards, the Third Army was summoned to Oa in order to assimilate the captive Green Lanterns who had been tricked by the Guardians who claimed they had an inoculation for the creatures abilities. However, in truth, a Corps member had entered into a trap where they were frozen in place which would allow the Third Army to assimilate them with ease. This plan was shattered when Guy Gardner and those Green Lanterns aware of the Oans betrayal attacked the Guardians. The assault led to the Green Lantern Corps being freed and thus the Guardians were forced to bring in their Third Army leading to a massive battle on the planet. The Oans being attacked saw them tapping more into the First Lanterns power but this had the side effect of his prison being shattered where his power encompassed all the inhabitants of Oa as Volthoom was now free. In the aftermath, the First Lantern tapped back into his stolen power leading to the Third Army disintegrating into dust and being destroyed.
Powers and Abilities
- Mind Link: the Guardians retain the capability of remotely viewing the Third Army from their eyes through a mental link and thus observed everything their soldiers were able to see.
- Superhuman Strength: a trait taken from the DNA they gained from the Guardians meant that the Third Army possessed greater than ordinary strength.
- Transmutation: through simple physical contact, a member of the Third Army was able to infect living beings and transform them into copies of itself. The process led to the hearts of the infected person bursting from their bodies and they become subject to the command of the Oans with only the eyes being unaffected.
- Vacuum Resistant: another trait taken from their Oan DNA was the capacity to survive and travel in space unaided.
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- Oan Immunity: as the Third Army was composed of Guardian flesh, Oans were completely immune to the assimilation process though they were capable of being brutally killed in physical combat.
- Power Ring Immunity: whilst capable of assimilating ordinary beings by touch, the presence of a Power Ring seemingly prevented them from transforming their wearer into one of their ranks. As a result, the Third Army needed to separate a Lantern from their Power Ring in order to assimilate them.
- Inorganic Immunity: The Third Army can only transform organic beings (other than Oans) into one of them, thus inorganic lifeforms (such as the Manhunters) are immune.
- White Light Weakness: The Third Army is vulnerable to the white light of creation.
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- Green Lantern Corps
- New Guardians
- Blue Lantern Corps
- Indigo Tribe
- Red Lantern Corps
- Star Sapphires
- Orange Lantern Corps
- Sinestro Corps
- Artists Aaron Kuder and Doug Mahnke commented on the visual design of The Third Army. Kudar stated that in his view: "But with the Third Army, I love the fact that it's like giant space alien zombie beings; it represents that fear of this mass horde of something that we have such a hard time defeating, they're nearly indestructible. What do you do? I think they represent themselves in the story, and visualizing that is the easy part. Dealing with that element of a large army tromping down your steps, that's the story." According to Mahnke, "Yeah, they're supposed to all be the same, they're all interconnected. As they move through a population and go from one person to the next, they all become carbon copies of each other, and I believe they're all connected, nervous system-wise. I don't know if they have any intelligence or how they're supposed to operate, but you look at any group shot, and they're all the same."
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