on December 23, 2022
Katma was the Green Lantern of Space Sector 1417. She succeeded the infamous Sinestro, who was once thought of as the greatest Green Lantern. Sinestro used his power ring to enslave his planet in the name of order. Katma was part of a rebellion the people waged against the tyrant. She testified to the Guardians of the Universe about Sinestro’s misdeeds and Green Lantern Tomar-Re elected that Katma take over as Green Lantern for Space Sector 1417. Katma agreed, but had a hard road ahead of her, as the Green Lanterns were not a welcome sight on her home planet Korugar after everything Sinestro had done.
Katma fell in love with a scientist named Imi Kahn. She decided to leave the Green Lantern Corps for her love, but Hal Jordan -the Green Lantern of Earth- managed to convince her to stay. Katma chose the Green Lantern Corps over Imi Kahn.
Katma proved herself an exceptional Green Lantern on a number of occasions. She was crucial in battles against some of the Corps’ greatest threats, such as Krona, Nekron, and the Anti-Green Lantern Corps. She also went on missions to recruit Green Lanterns, such as Rot Lop Fan, a blind creature from the Obsidian Deeps with no concept of color.
Hal Jordan eventually left the Corps to be with the woman he loved, and Katma came to have strong resentment for him, due to his hypocrisy. Because of Hal’s actions, she had little faith in his successor, Earthman John Stewart. She wrote him off as a coward because he initially turned down the offer to join the Corps. It was Katma’s challenge that prompted John to become the Green Lantern of Earth.
The Green Lantern of Sector 1417, chosen by the Guardians to train John Stewart.
Ironically, she was selected to train him and she lived with him on Earth during this period. She went on several adventures with the new recruit and fell in love with him. It was a love far stronger than the one she had with Imi Kahn. As Katma came to understand the feeling of true love, she forgave Hal Jordan, understanding why he made the decision he did.
She and John stuck together through thick and thin. When the Guardians of the Universe ceased overseeing the Green Lantern Corps, she decided to continue living with John on Earth. The two were eventually married and continued serving Earth as Green Lanterns. The Corps disbanded when they executed Sinestro, which enacted a stipulation set in place that caused their rings to cease functioning. During this time, Katma was murdered in her own home by Star Sapphire, who wanted to send a message to Hal Jordan.
Katma Tui’s death was (and still is) ridiculous. I have never witnessed a comic book death as disrespectful as that for a character as important as Katma. I will go on record stating that Jim Owsley (otherwise known as Christopher Priest) is one of the worst Green Lantern writers there have been. Some of the things he did with the characters, notably John and Katma, are absurd, and Katma’s death takes the cake. It’s really such a shame, because previous writer, Steve Englehart, did so well with them.
Katma was resurrected at the end of Green Lantern: Mosaic, when John Stewart became the first mortal Guardian of the Universe. However, everything that writer Gerard Jones built in Mosaic was quickly torn down, as editorial wanted only one character to bare the name Green Lantern, who turned out being then newcomer, Kyle Rayner. As such, there was no room for John, and he lost his Guardian and Green Lantern powers. Thus, sadly, Katma was gone yet again.
Katma Tui leading Green Lanterns on Justice League.
Katma has such a polite charm to her, with such lines as, “For now, with the two of us alone in this beauty, may I hold your hand?”
She is very sophisticated, but with an element of child-like wonder to her, since she sometimes doesn’t understand simple concepts we take for granted on Earth. She truly does come across as alien, and it’s interesting seeing a man from the Detroit ghetto romantically involved with this very formal character.
I cannot bring myself to say anything bad about Katma Tui. She’s an incredibly strong character who made quite a statement when she was introduced in 1964, being the first female Green Lantern readers had seen. She was very caring and took her duties seriously.
My first encounter with her was on the Justice League episode “Hearts and Minds.” She left a very strong impression on me. She deepened John Stewart’s character considerably, had a large part in furthering the romance plot between him and Hawkgirl, and was a totally effective leader and warrior. Katma is my second favorite Green Lantern, and arguably the most important character to John Stewart.