This week, myself and Ryan have arrived in Africa, where Bengali the fictional home of superhero the Phantom is said to be, so we can look into power rings!Oh and just in case you were wondering our trek across the globe may seem to jump around at times, but that’s simply because no expense has been spared to get us to wherever we feel like we want to go to next.As usual Ryan ask’s the questions and I answer them.So let’s get started.
WHAT ARE THEY?
They’re circular bands worn on the fingers of heroes and when wielded the rings showcase a number of different abilities.
OH.WHO DO THEY BELONG TO?
Rings have been adorning the fingers of many a person throughout the ages, from the Egyptians to the Romans, but for superheroes the Phantom, Captain Planet and Green Lantern they’ve been a huge factor in their continued success against the bad guys.Created in 1936 by Lee Falk, the Phantom had no actual superpowers, but led his enemies to believe he was immortal (they called him The Ghost Who Walks) by passing down his costume from father to son.Captain Planet on the other hand was an environmentally aware superhero who cleaned up crime whilst he took out the trash.Created in 1990 by Ted Turner and Robert Larkin III, Planet was helped by his friends The Planeteers (who were the ones who actually owned the rings) to make the world a happier and more eco-friendly place.Finally Green Lantern was an intergalactic superhero that was a member of a long line of ‘space police’, who used their rings to become the heroes they were clearly meant to be.
SO WHAT DID THE RINGS DO FOR THE PHANTOM, THE PLANETEERS AND GL?
The Phantom wore two rings, one good (left hand), one bad (right hand), with the right hand ring featuring four crossing sabres and being used as a symbol of protection and the left being a skull that would leave a mark on the skin of evildoers.For the Phantom the rings helped him appear to be supernatural at times, even though he had no real superpowers, by leaving his mark on those who crossed him.The Planeteers were also devoid of superpowers and were instead a group of five environmental crusaders chosen by Gaia, the spirit of Earth, to keep the planet fresher than a KFC wet wipe.Each Planeteer was given an elemental ring, of earth, wind, fire, water and, erm... heart (?) so when things got tricky they could chant the name of their element to summon superhero Captain Planet!As if raised from the very earth itself, Cappy P would appear chanting the immortal words, “By your powers combined, I am Captain Planet!” and then he’d use whatever tricks were up his sleeve to dispatch the bad guys.He’d then bugger off, but not before telling the Planeteers, “The power is yours!”As for Green Lantern Hal Jordan, his ring could pretty much create anything (as long as it looked like a sort of emerald hard light).Dubbed the most powerful weapon on the planet the ring allowed Hal to fly, translate any language, shoot energy beams, communicate telepathically and was actually limited only by imagination.General usage was kick started with a rousing verse that went, “In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight.Let those who worship evil’s might, beware my power... Green Lantern’s light!”Oh and just like Skittles the rings also came in other colours too; including red, blue and orange, amongst others.
WHAT WOULD IT DO FOR ME?
Rings are made from a variety of different materials (stone, metal... bone) and are said to represent power, wealth, status and commitment.They also can be worn for religious reasons, used as currency and are associated with certain cultures, so wearing a ring can hold different meanings to different people.Depending on which finger a ring is worn, it can also hold a particular significance, as a thumb ring for instance is connected to will power and internal beliefs and attitudes.So just in case you’re not getting it, different rings mean different things.
SO IF I HAD A POWER RING WOULD IT DO FOR ME WHAT IT DID FOR THE PHANTOM, THE PLANETEERS AND GREEN LANTERN?
Don’t be silly, of course not!Magic rings are fictional, although they’ve been linked to Norse mythology and Jewish lore, technically they don’t exist.However, don’t rule them out altogether as rings are often linked to superstitious powers, like those containing birthstones, which are said to hold certain qualities often associated with superheroes.Amethyst rings are said to aid soldiers in battle, diamond rings represent courage and invincibility, emerald rings are said to give ring wearers the power to predict the future and pearl rings are worn for protection.Heck, even opal rings are said to aid wearers in remembering past lives (the Phantom, anyone?).Of course the abilities locked within rings are only what some people choose to believe, so what is more likely is the link between the Phantom’s ring and signet rings.Signet’s often bear a coat of arms and have been used to imprint a wax seal, just like the Phantom’s ring imprints a skull on a person’s skin.In truth you’re not likely to gain any superpowers from wearing a ring, but if you want to wear one (and believe in it) then maybe it can hold a special meaning for you too.After all, as Captain Planet often said, “The power is yours!”
And now you know.
SUPER SCIENCE EQUATION: Rings + Ryan = Ryan believing in what he feels necessary.
Well, we’ve got to be heading off.Ryan’s misplaced his passport and things are getting a bit hairy.See you next time!