Sure, Green Lantern's a fancy movie star now, with Ryan Reynolds set to play him, but the space cop with the magic ring isn't the first person to sport some bling with amazing super-powers. Here's our list of super-powered jewelry.
Legion flight rings in Legion Of Super Heroes. The super-powered teenagers have a whole variety of powers and special gifts, but they can all fly — thanks to these gravity-negating rings. And ne'er-do-well time traveler Booster Gold also got hold of one of these rings and took it back to our time, using it to become a superhero.
Time Ring in Doctor Who, "Genesis Of The Daleks" Despite the name, it's more of a bracelet — when the Doctor gets separated rom his time machine, the TARDIS, his people give him a special bracelet that allows him to travel through time and space. That way, he can visit the birthplace of the Daleks without bringing along a conspicuous blue phone booth.
The Planeteers' rings in Captain Planet and the Planeteers. These five rings give the Planeteers control over the four elements, plus Heart. (The band, I guess.) And when you put all five rings together, you can summon Captain Planet himself.
The tiara, bracelets and girdle in Wonder Woman. Diana has many amazing powers, but chief among them is the ability to accessorize. Her bracelets can repel bullets, her lariat is the only effective lie-detector William Moulton Marston ever came up with, and her tiara can be thrown much like a Batarang. In some versions, her girdle is also superpowered.
Frodo's ring in Lord Of The Rings. Not really science fiction, but still an important piece of super-powered jewelry. It lets you turn invisible, but too bad about the "corrupting your soul" and "letting Sauron's evil minions know where you are" stuff. I'll let Flight Of The Conchords explain it to you.
Rowena Ravenclaw's diadem in Harry Potter. This tiara-like thing was supposed to increase the wisdom of the wearer, but after Helena Ravenclaw stole it, it fell into the hands of Voldemort, who used it to make one of his horcruxes. So yeah, not all that wise really.
Pancho's jewelry in The Silent War by Ben Bova. Pancho, who's a woman despite her male name, has a whole set of weaponized jewelry, including an explodng necklace she can throw at bad guys, and earrings packed with miniature instruments of death.
Eddie Murphy's ring in A Vampire In Brooklyn. Apparently it not only turned whoever wore it next into a vampire, it also gave you bigger male endowment. Which makes total sense. Sort of.
Karolina's medic alert bracelet in Runaways. The alien Karolina Dean looks quite different from her fellow adventurers — unless she wears her special alien bracelet that allows her to appear perfectly human. Eventually, she learns to live without it.
The Flash's ring in The Flash. Almost forgot this one. Wally West would be naked without this piece of jewelry, since it contains his entire costume, super-compressed. The costume expands to clothe Wally almost instantly when he presses his ring. Or something.
The Mystical Amulet of Right in Captain Britain. I guess if you're wearing something with a name like that, you'd better know what you're doing. Wearing this turns Brian Braddock into Captain Britain, and it's part of the power to reshape the Multiverse.
Congo Bill's ring, from Congorilla. Congo Bill and the gorilla known as Congorilla wear matching rings, and when Congo Bill needs a little gorilla strength, or just a little "me" time, he can transfer his brain into Congorilla's body, and vice versa, by rubbing the ring. And no, "rubbing the ring to unleash the gorilla" is not a euphemism for anything.
The brooch in Beast Master's Quest by Andre Norton and Lyn McConchie. Laris, like most people on Arzor, carries her personal communicator disguised as a brooch or pendant. This saves her from having it taken away. "Even the detestable V'a'een must have assumed the communicator to be only a brooch and chosen not to take that away from her."
The tiara in Sailor Moon. I'm not exactly sure what Sailor Moon's tiara does, but it's pretty disco-tastic, and you probably wouldn't want her to throw it at you:
The pendant in "A Little Peace And Quiet," The Twilight Zone. Harrassed housewife Penny finds a pendant that stops time whenever she screams "SHUT UP!" But then she stops time just as nuclear missiles are about to wipe out her town. What to do?
Mrs. Brisby's amulet in Secret Of N.I.M.H. The old rat named Nicodemus finds a gold amulet which has mysterious powers, and he eventually passes it on to the meek field mouse Mrs. Brisby, in this film adaptation. Eventually, she's able to use it to jack up a house.
Necklaces in The Urth Of The New Sun by Gene Wolfe. Before going on deck in one of the "ships that sail between the suns," you must put on an artificial personal atmosphere, which consists of a necklace of linked cylinders. Throughout the novel, Severian is constantly worrying about his necklace and whether it's been damaged, since it's a lifeline.
The Foxhead Medallion in The Wheel Of Time by Robert Jordan. Another fantasy one — Mat Cauthon gets this nice piece of bling after passing through the Rhuidean twisted-door ter'angreal. It protects against the One Power.
Necklaces in Ragamuffin by Tobias Buckell. Nashara has a necklace that seems pretty all purpose. You can put the pendant in your ear to use it as a communication/translation device. It also has some computer read-outs that let you know your status among the alien Gahe, and there's a remote-control function as well.
The Gem of Amara in Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel. In the big cross-over episode between Buffy and Angel, a magical ring allows Spike to become invincible, and to wander out in the daytime. Too bad it falls into the sweaty hands of an evil sadist whom Spike hires to terrorize Angel.
The Thing's ring in his 1970s cartoon. Apparently instead of being stuck as the rocky-skinned Thing, Ben Grimm had a ring that allowed him to change back and forth. He would chant, "Thing Ring, Do Your Thing!" Okay then.
The Eye Of Agamotto in Doctor Strange. That's some serious glam-booty jewelry right there. Doctor Strange sports a nice brooch holding his cloak together, which is also one of the major sources of his awesome powers. Plus it helps him blend in in Greenwich Village.
The bracelet in Dial H For H.E.R.O. It's sort of a bracelet, sort of a watch. Mostly, it's a dial that turns you into a different superpowered being every time you use it.
The quantum bands in Quasar. This superhero wears fancy bracelets (sort of like wrist braces for RSIs) with super-powered jewels on them that allow him to tap into the Quantum Zone. They're fused to his wrists, but he eventually loses them to various other characters, including Phyla-Vell. In similar fashion, Captain Marvel and Rick Jones wear "Nega-Bands" that enable them to switch places.
Freedom Ring's ring in Marvel Comics. Apparently he was a short-lived gay superhero in the Marvel Universe, who only existed long enough to get killed off and make for some yummy pathos. He gets hold of a ring that alters the very fabric of reality, which a supervillain named the Patternmaster dropped, and finds out its special abilities when he accidentally creates an ice-cream sundae. Later, he uses the ring to restore his legs after he loses them, and then to make himself stronger and faster. But then he dies. Oh well.
The Mandarin's ten rings in Iron Man. This somewhat caricaturish Asian villain has ten rings that give him absolute power, except when he's facing a guy in powered armor. I do like the "anti-technology field" though.
Lex Luthor's kryptonite ring in Superman. The bald eagle of evil makes a special ring with a kryptonite setting, so he can bring the Man of Steel to his knees. But it costs Lex his hand due to radiation exposure. Later, Batman gets hold of it, and keeps it in his belt pouch, where the radiation will only affect body areas adjacent to Batman's belt. Nothing to worry about.
Additional reporting by Alexis Brown. Thanks also to Kaila Hale-Stern, Hiya Swanhuyser, Meredith Woerner, Dorian Katz, Mathtew Cokeley, S. Bear Bergman, Rachael Parker, Morgan Johnson, Brian Williams, Rus McLaughlin, Austin Grossmna, Douglas Wolk, Kiala Kazebee, Luis Alberto Urrea, Cindy Urrea, Genevieve Valentine, and @CleverUserName, @Soapboxx, @Dahveed76 and @Nightwyrm on Twitter. And, as is always the case with these sorts of articles, I found this great round-up of comic book rings at Comics Should Be Good right when I was about to be done researching this piece. But it's great stuff.