Among the earliest intelligent races to evolve were the inhabitants of the planet Maltus. Little is known about their earliest years until, in the year 10,000,000,000 B.C., a group of Maltusians emigrated to the planet Oa, in the center of the Universe.
In 5,000,000,000 B.C., an Oan scientist called Krona attempted to view the origin of the Universe, which attempt nearly led to the Universe's destruction. After a lengthy debate, the penitent Oans decided to work to maintain order and stability in the Universe - in fact, setting themselves up as the Guardians of the Universe.(1)
The decision made, there was much debate among the new-minted Guardians as to how the Universe ought to be "guarded". There were many false starts. One such was the Guardians' attempt to remove all magical energy from the universe.(2) The Guardians' official line is that the attempt was only partially successful, and resulted in the creation of the artefact known as the "Starheart."
While the creation of the Starheart did indeed result in the removal of much magical energy from the universe, a small fragment of it escaped the Guardians' control, soaring off into deep space, to a fate unknown to any at the time, except possibly the Guardians.(3)
Eventually, the Guardians hit upon the idea of using agents to preserve order in the Universe, and, so it was that in 3,000,000,000 B.C., the Guardians created the androids known as the Manhunters. This ended badly as the Manhunters eventually turned on the Guardians and had to be destroyed.(4) The Guardians subsequently began recruiting the beings who would become the Green Lantern Corps.
Eventually, many years later, during the so-called "Middle Ages", the Starheart fragment crashed on the planet Earth, but not before splitting into four lesser fragments - one landing in China, one in Africa, and two in what would become known as "North America".
The Chinese fragment was found by a local artisan, who crafted it into a lantern. To his amazement, it spoke to him, prophesying that it would first bring death, then life, then power. It fulfiled the first part of its prophecy by bringing death to the artisan's whole village. The lantern became dormant until the 20th Century, when an inhabitant of an insane asylum re-shaped it into a railroad lantern. The lantern fulfilled the second part of its prophecy by restoring the inmate's sanity, thus giving him new "life". The lantern was donated to a railroad, and in 1940, it fulfilled its final prophecy when it saved Alan Scott from a derailed train, causing him to become Earth's first Green Lantern.
Alan Scott continued to fight crime, both on his own, and as a member of the Justice Society of America, well into the 21st Century. In time, Alan Scott would unknowingly father two children, Todd Rice and Jennie-Lynn Hayden, Born in 1963, the two would find each other twenty years later, and begin fighting crime as Obsidian and Jade, becoming founding members of Infinity, Inc.
In 1942. Alan's cousin, Jim Scott, found one of the Starheart fragments that had crashed in North America. Imbued with its power, he became the crimefighter known as the Human Lantern.
In 1959, Earth gained its first official Green Lantern when Abin Sur, the Green Lantern of Sector 2814, crashlanded on Earth and chose Hal Jordan as his successor. Hal went on to become a legend in the Corps, as well as serving as a founding member of the Justice League of America. Hal had many friends among Earth's super-heroes. Two of them, Tony Stark and Hank Pym, even named sons after him.
In 1963, the League and the Society traveled to the so-called "Mirror Universe", where they encountered the Crime Syndicate of america. One member of the syndicate called himself "Power Ring" and possessed a power and battery that appeared to be powered by Starheart energy. What connection - if any - these items had to our universe's Starheart are unknown.
In 1972, architect John Stewart was appointed the back-up Lantern for Sector 2814, serving honorably for many years. Stewart eventually married fellow Green Lantern Katma Tui, and the two had a long, happy life together.
In 1984, Hal Jordan was appointed to the Guardians' Honor Guard on Oa, and was replaced as the Green Lantern of Sector 2814 by the Brazilian pilot Jose Hernandes. Although Hernandes served with distinction, a dispute (5) among the Guardians during the so-called "Great Crisis" of 1985 led a faction of Guardians to appoint Guy Gardner as an alternate Green Lantern for Sector 2814.
In 1990, Hal Pym began fighting crime as the Green Goliath, wearing a costume inspired by his "Uncle" Hal. Pym would later go on to be one of the founding members of the X-League.
Hernandes was killed in battle in 1991. In his last official act before retiring from the Corps, Hal Jordan chose FBI agent Dana Scully (6) as the new "official" Green Lantern of Sector 2814. Scully would go on to serve, both in the Corps and in the League, well into the 21st Century.
In 1994, Aspiring cartoonist Kyle Rayner was selected by the renegade (5) Guardian Ganthet to become yet another alternate Green Lantern for Sector 2814. Rayner served honorably for quite some time, and was eventually recognized by the other Guardians as an official Green Lantern.
In 1996, an ancient Oan prototype Green Lantern battery, believed long lost(5), crashed to Earth in North America. Hal Stark, son of Tony, was able to fuse the battery with his father's armor technology and became the heroic Iron Lantern, a founding member of the JLX. Intrigued by Stark's ability, and assured of his good intent, the Guardians allowed him to keep the technology.
The second North American Starheart fragment manifested itself near Atlanta, Georgia, in 1997. It was found in a cemetery by Lois Lane II .(7) The fragment itself commanded her to shape it into a lantern and staff, and she found that it gave her the power to temporarily raise the dead. She used this power to fight against evil as the Green Lantern of Atlanta.
In 2002, the final Starheart fragment was found in Africa. Centuries before, it had crashed at a nexus point between the various extra-dimensional realms, fusing with a root of the World-Ash, Yggdrasil. Found by archaeologist Len Lewis, it imbued him with its power. Returning home, he fought crime as the Green Lantern of Los Angeles, becoming a founding member of the Los Angeles branch of the JLA..
In 2012, Simon Baz was recruited to join the Corps. Kyle Rayner retired from the Corps in 2013, and was replaced by the blind Chinese woman Jade Yifei, who served with distinction for many years. In 2016, she was joined by Jessica Cruz, a woman who had previously been possessed by the extradimensional power ring inhabited by Volthoom.
In 2019, Keli Quintela obtained a device that enabled her to tap into the Green Lanterns' power battery. She used this device to fight crime as the Teen Lantern. Elsewhere, rookie Green Lantern Sojourner "Jo" Mullein was assigned to serve in the City Enduring, a settlement on the edge of the known universe.
Little is known definitively of the history of the Guardians, the Corps or the various "unofficial" Green Lanterns after the early 21st Century. The Corps is known to have still existed in the 30th Century, and there are hints that it may still have existed as late as the 73rd Century, but its final fate is as yet unknown.
(1)Little is known as to the attitude of the other elder races towards this decision, although, in an unguarded moment, the Time Lord known as "the Doctor" once hinted that the long-standing, cordial detestation between his people and the Oans had its origin during this time period.
(2)It is not known to what extent the Guardians of the time were aware of the existence of other universes or the extra-dimensional regions sometimes referred to as the "Magical Realms"
(3)Considering the subsequent effect that the Starheart was to have on the history of the Earth, there are those (i.e., The Doctor) who speculate that the Starheart did not "escape" the Guardians' control, but was instead directed on its journey, on which speculation the Guardians have never commented, except to suggest that it sounds like the sort of idea a Time Lord might come up with.
(4)At least, the Guardians thought they had destroyed them all.
(5)As he did concerning the Starheart, a certain well-known space-time wanderer has called into question the genuineness of the Guardians' 1985 dispute, the "accidental" nature of the crash to Earth of Hal Stark's power battery, and the "renegade" status of Ganthet, suggesting that these were merely "cover" for Oan meddling in the history of 20th Century Earth, a space-time "node" in which many of the Universe's "great powers" (including said time traveler and his people) seem to have taken an inordinate amount of interest. The Guardians have never responded at length to this suggestion.
(6)Scully was in fact a former traveling companion of the Doctor, a fact which surely could not have been unknown to the Guardians at the time of her induction into the Corps. This has led certain people to suggest that the famous "feud" between the Time Lords and the Guardians was a fiction, disguising covert cooperation between the two races. These people are, of course, delusional. Probably.
(Author's Note: Although I haven't spelled it out, Scully and Mulder's lives are very different in the Earth-44 timeline. They'd have to be, in a universe where aliens and magic were commonly known to exist. In point of fact, the abduction of Mulder's sister was foiled by the Martian Manhunter, and the "Black Oil Alien" conspiracy was rooted out by the JLA back in the 60's. Mulder himself rose high in the Bureau, and was eventually Scully's boss. He is happily married, and Scully does not know him socially. My suspicion is that juggling her responsibilities to the League, the Corps and the Bureau would eventually become too much for Scully, and that she would leave the Bureau in time, supporting herself with a private medical practice. I have a whole biography for her worked out in my head, if I ever get around to writing it.)
(7)This woman is not known to be related to the wife of the original Superman, although a distant relationship is possible.