I’ve been collecting comic books and action figures since I was a child. I have comic books dating to the 1960s and I’m especially proud of my collection of African-American superhero action figures: Cyborg, Steel, Luke Cage, Black Panther, Black Lightning, Falcon, Storm, and Green Lantern John Stewart (btw – if you know where I can find a Static action figure, let me know).
My son has also become a superhero fanatic. We spend hours visiting comic book stores, scouring the toy aisles for new action figures, and watching superhero TV shows and movies. That’s why he was ecstatic when I told him that I was throwing a Green Lantern party for him and a few friends.
“You mean I’m going to have a party, invite friends over, and get toys and it’s not my birthday,” he said.
“Yes,” I said.
On the day of the party, my wife, KayEm, looked a bit nervous.
“What’s wrong with you?” I asked.
“Are you sure you can handle all six boys by yourself?” KayEm asked.
“Of course I can,” I replied.
“Okay,” she said. “I’ll try not to interfere.” She kept her promise, although I did notice her checking on us periodically.
When the five boys arrived, I immediately went into character.
“I am a Guardian of the Universe,” I said in my official voice. “I have recruited you all to be members of the Green Lantern Corps. The Corps is an interstellar police force dedicated to protecting the universe. Each of you will participate in various missions that will test your skills. I will award points for each mission and the recruit with the most points will receive a special token. Let the contest begin.”
Mission # 1 – Ring Cermony and Green Lantern Motto
I presented each GL Corps recruit with an official Green Lantern Ring. We held our rings to the sky and recited the Green Lantern Motto: “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!” The boys recited the motto with enthusiasm. The Guardian was pleased.
Mission #2 – Green Energy Manipulation
The power ring allows members of the GL Corps to manipulate “green energy” into any physical shape the wearer can imagine. I asked each of my recruits to draw a picture of how they would use their rings. The boys drew the following objects: an 8-armed monster, a giant hammer, a chainsaw, a boulder, a massive claw, and a poop gun (we’re talking about 7 year old boys here).
Mission #3 – Flight Training
The rings also grant the wearer the ability to fly. In this mission, each boy had to “fly” around course I had set up in the backyard to see who could fly the fastest. My son, N, managed to win this competition and surprisingly, my 3-year-old son, X, placed higher than a couple of the older boys.
Mission #4 – Target Practice
I stacked some cups on a table in the backyard and told the boys to knock them down with the Colossal Cannon Blaster. I was worried at first because my recruits displayed poor aim in the first round. By the second round, they figured out how to properly aim the cannon and topple the cups.
Mission #5 – Find the Ring and Save the Lantern
After we finished target practiced, I gathered the recruits into a circle. “The other Guardians have informed me that Sinestro has stolen two of our power rings and has kidnapped a Green Lantern.” I said. “You must retrieve the rings and rescue the Green Lantern.” Before the party, I hid the Green Lantern action figure and rings in the back yard. I divided the boys into three teams of two. After several minutes of scrambling around, two of the teams found the rings and the other team rescued the Green Lantern.
Mission #6 – Destroy Sinestro
Back at headquarters, I told the recruits that the Guardians had located Sinestro in our sector and he’s coming to attack our training facility. Earlier in the day, I drew a target and placed a picture of Sinestro in the center. I retrieved the target from the garage and yelled, “Lanterns! It’s Sinestro. Attack!” The boys lined up and took turns trying to destroy Sinestro with the cannon.
After we completed all of the missions, I tallied the points and crowned the winner of the Green Lantern Corps Mission Challenge. The winner received his own Cannon. The rest of the recruits received two Green Lantern Action figures.
“That was the best party ever,” one of the boys said as I handed him his prizes. “I want to come to every party you ever have.”
Join the Conversation: Have you ever had a superhero themed party?