Publisher: DC Comics
First Appearance: Tales of the Green Lantern Corps #1 (May 1981)
Little Arisia had some big shoes to fill. Though being a Green Lantern is rarely a hereditary condition, at least four of her relatives had served as GLs. When her parents and uncle all fell in the line of duty, the ring came to Arisia, then only thirteen years old by her planet’s standards. She was immediately flung into the Green Lanterns’ war against Krona and Nekron. Eh, it’s still better than dealing with middle school.
Arisia rapidly developed a crush on Hal “Statutory” Jordan, and, after the Crisis, relocated to Earth with him and a handful of other GLs. Though Hal initially turned down her advances, when her subconscious desire to be with him caused her ring to physically age her to adulthood, he apparently figured that looking like an adult was close enough to being an adult, and they became an item. Soon after, Arisia – along with many other Lanterns – lost her powers. She elected to stay on Earth and work on her secret identity as Cindy Simpson, fashion designer, but the strain of the changes to the Corps caused her and Hal to break up.
That was proooobably a pretty good call, since, you know, age of consent issues aside, Hal went crazy a few years later and started killing…oh, everyone. Arisia volunteered to join Guy Gardner’s mission to find the missing Kilowog, was rejected, strapped on a bunch of semiautomatic weapons, and insisted on coming along. Impressed, Guy hired Arisia as a bouncer at his bar once they got back to Earth.
Shortly thereafter, Arisia was killed by Major Force, who super loves killing ladies that Green Lanterns care about. Years after she was found, totally alive, as part of the Cyborg Superman’s creepy collection of Lanterns. Turns out Arisia’s people have healing powers and Guy actually accidentally buried her alive. Whoooops. He did it with love, at least?
Arisia subsequently rejoined the Corps and remains a member in the New 52.
So What’s So Great About Her?
I’m sure you’re all tired by now of hearing how much I love cute, spunky characters, but seriously, Arisia is so cute! And spunky! She’s an adorable little bug’s ear of a Lantern, even as an adult (a real adult like she is now, not the creepy aged-up version), and a ray of sunshine for her older and more jaded compatriots. That contrast just helps to underline how truly exceptional she is: she was chosen for the most elite peacekeeping force in the universe at age thirteen. Though still essentially a child, she was deemed not just fearless and strong-willed, but wise enough to be trusted with the safety of her entire sector. That is a hell of a vote of confidence.
And look, I ragged on her relationship with Hal in the bio, but let’s lay the blame where it belongs: with Hal. That relationship was inappropriate at best, but it’s not Arisia’s fault that she fell for a handsome older man, and it’s not her fault that he eventually took advantage of that. She certainly wouldn’t be the first girl to impress an unscrupulous man by looking older than she is. I just wish she were known less for that and more for how, after the relationship went south, she rebuilt a life for herself on Earth with no powers and no family while looking visibly alien. Or how she repeatedly tried to rejoin the good fight, petitioning the Guardians and Guy, never faltering in her determination. Or how she wound up so badass even Guy “Everyone Is a Wuss But Me” Gardner was impressed. I mean, she was a bouncer, you guys! What is she, five foot nothing?
Basically, I wish she was known less for her artificial, romance-inspired “aging up” – and more for the real, complicated, and ultimately triumphant work she did as she grew into herself.
The Green Lantern franchise tends to neglect its ladies, but I would love to see more Arisia action in the DCnU. How about a book with Arisia, Soranik, Boodikka, Katma, and a time-travelling alternative universe Jade? I’d read the crap out of that.
Tales of the Green Lantern Corps #1-3
Green Lantern v2 #149, 150, 163, 172, 181, 185, 188, 198-200
The Green Lantern Corps v1 #201-224
The New Guardians #4-8, 11
Action Comics Weekly #601, 602, 607-620
Green Lantern v3 #32-35, 38, 41, 42, 55, 150
Green Lantern v3 Annual #1-2
Green Lantern Corps Quarterly #1, 6
Guy Gardner: Warrior #20, 21, 25, 26, 29-32, 36, 38, 39, 41-44
Green Lantern v4 #12, 13, 21, 23-25, 65, 67
Green Lantern Corps v2 #11, 14-17, 19, 23-26, 29-31, 33-48
Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #2-8, 10
Blackest Night #4-8
Green Lantern Corps v3 #1, 9, 17