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CSBG Archive

Top Five Comic Book Rings

Let me throw Jeremy A. Patterson a bone, and have another…TOP FIVE WEEK (check here to see an archive of all the top five lists featured so far)!!!

Today (courtesy of Matthew E’s suggestion), we’ll take a look at the top five rings in comic books!!


Honorable Mentions

Cheers to Dan Larkin for reminding me of Benji Grimm, a teen who used his magic ring to transform into the Thing (“Thing ring, do your thing!”).


Freedom Ring was interesting enough, even though it appears the idea was just to mess with the reader’s head (“Look at the new gay hero! HA! He’s DEAD! SUCKERS!”).


5. Mandarin’s rings


I think Mandarin was killed off in, like, 1994, with not many people much caring, so I can’t have him that high, right?

4. Kryptonite ring


You know an idea is a good one when, like, seven different writers all work the idea of a kryptonite ring that Superman entrusted to Batman into their stories.

3. Flash’s costume ring


It loses some points for not having a great explanation for how the costume gets back INTO the ring (and yes, I know there ARE explanations – but they are all bad)

2. Legion flight ring


You know a ring is cool when Legionnaires who don’t even need it to fly all want one!

And it was used cleverly by Dan Jurgens as how Booster Gold can fly.

1. Green Lantern ring

green lantern.jpg

The most awesome rings in comics, hands down!

I don’t count Sinestro’s rings separately, as they’re basically just a subset of Green Lantern rings.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know!


Those were my top two as well!

Actually, the Mandarin was revived sometime in the early naughty aughties during the Busiek run.

Can’t argue with any of those choices. I know I’ve personally had geeky moments when I’ve debated which would be more fun: a Green Lantern power ring or a Legion flight ring. The GL ring usually wins.

The Mandarin’s dead again, though, right? ‘Cause in Modok’s 11, his son says he’s dead.

Mandarin’s son is using the same rings, right?

So, the rings are still all good. Probably not as well liked as the rest, regardless.

Of course, Thing Ring would’ve been #1 on my list, even if it never appeared in the comics (did it?). That catch-phrase just sticks with you.

So what is the story behind the famed Kryptonite ring? When did Superman first give it to Batman? Also, in the most recent Superman issue which kicked off the “3rd Kryptonian” arc, there is a mention that Batman no longer has the ring. What happened to it?

The progression of the Kryptonite ring:

Luthor wears it, but it gives him cancer and he loses his hand.

One of Luthor’s former workers gets it (she dies, too). Superman then entrusts it to Batman (this was quite significant at the time, as the two were still in their post-Crisis “we do not talk to each other often” phase).

Batman has it, loses it, gets it back – it comes up QUITE a lot over the years, as writers really seem to be intrigued by the concept.

During Infinite Crisis, Kal-L destroys the ring.

So that’s that for now. However, with the recent surplus of Kryptonite following Supergirl landing on Earth, there is a lot more Kryptonite to go around, so the uniqueness is not there so much anymore.

I always figured the various Flashes just took a few hours scrunching the suit up REALLY small and then stuffed it back into the ring. At super speed, it would take all of .5 of a second.

I think the mandarin has just returned in the Iron Man ongoing series by the Knaufs, but I’m not sure, because I’m not familiar with his son Temugin (or such a similar name).

The Mandarin’s been appearing in Iron Man for the last few months. However, he’s come back under a different name and the world at large — including his son — is unaware of this.

Stephane Savoie

October 21, 2007 at 5:16 pm

Surprised the Culper Ring from Y The Last Man didn’t make it.
Or the Ringer.
Howzabout the Circus of Crime?

The Legion Flight rings were also cool because they were sorta like a utility belt. They’re also used for communications, tracking and activated the Legion transuits, a clear, formfitting space suit.

Sue’s (& Reed’s?) wedding ring(s).

Currently the returned Mandarin has no ends and this his rings are embedded in his spine.

I’m a little amazed how few people here have been reading Ironman. Then again I now see why so many write him off as a villain, they haven’t even been paying attention to his book.

I always thought Flash’s costume ring was dumb as hell personally. When I first started reading comics as a kid, I tried DC and Marvel equally. Three things convinced me that DC was corny and for dweebs and caused me to be exclusively Marvel for decades:

1. Terry Long
2. Superman’s shrinking suit in the inside pocket of his cape
3. Flash’s costume ring.

Seeing those three things in a comic not only allowed to exist, but apparently presented as cool things, were enough to make me drop DC books instantly. Flash must look like a total slob most of the time with his suit so damn wrinkled all the time.

Anybody else old enough to remember the Hercules cartoon? He’s a normal guy until he puts on the ring Zeus gave him, holds his fist in the air and shouts, “Olympia!” Lightning strikes the ring and he gets the power of a god.

Kick-ass theme song too.

“Hecules! Hero of song and story…”

Oh, I’ve been following Iron Man (I mean, what don’t I follow? ;)). I just mean that Iron Man’s supposed biggest nemesis was killed off in 94, and no one really seemed to care at the time.

There wasn’t exactly a clamor for his return, ya know?

Not a good sign for ol’ Mandarin.

I would’ve bet money there was going to be a joke in here somewhere. Like “The Batphone” or “The F Sharp Bell.”

Wait– the Culper Ring is in Y The Last Man? _Now_ I have to start reading that series– the Culper Ring is one of my all-time favourite historical subjects.

Actually there’s an amazing mini about the mandarin, penciled by a wonderful Canete, titled Enter the mandarin, which has just reached the second number. So there’s some rumor about the return of the mandarin in a sense.

Oh, Wow!!! Action Comics “still 75¢”.

Gotta love the good ol’e days!!!


The Superman Homepage had an article on that whole 90’s World’s Finest Un-team, that sort of traces the history of the Kryptonite Ring.

Here’s a link:


And as for my two cents…

Well, I always liked the Flash, and Kid-Flash rings the best. I never tried to figure out how they worked; I just thought they were cool.

Which its weird, on account that I never liked the Legion ring because I always though that it would rip my finger off and fly away without me.

And I always thought that the yellow impurity was kind of dumb. Plus, it was really hard to find a green ring, lying around the house, to play pretend with.

So there you have it. The mind of a child at work!
(I blame those damn comic books!)

Somewhere around here, I have my official DC replica Legion Flight Ring, and a whole bunch of the Green Lantern rings they’ve put out over the years, from the glow in the dark plastic ones that came out with Mosaic #1, to the sterling silver variety…

None of them can compare with Johnny Cash’s “Ring Of Fire”. Not even Doom’s signet ring.

Also –

Did the Wonder Twins use rings, or just touch hands.

I just realized something! The Wonder Twins invented the “fist pound”. Way cool!

What’s REALLY throwing me off is that Wally’s Flash suit is made from “condensed speed force energy” (just go with it), so there’s not really a need for the ring at all. Except the costume seems to come out of it anyway.

Best Impulse moment – when Wally gives Bart a Flash ring for his costume, Bart IMMEDIATELY bolts up to the roof to test it out, assuming it’s like a Legion flight ring.

If we’re going to mention wedding rings, I think Ralph and Sue Dibney’s wedding rings deserve honorable mention. They were kind of important in 52.

“Anybody else old enough to remember the Hercules cartoon? He’s a normal guy until he puts on the ring Zeus gave him, holds his fist in the air and shouts, “Olympia!” Lightning strikes the ring and he gets the power of a god.”

I’m old enough to remember it, but not old enough to recall any details. I sure don’t remember the ring (not that I’m doubting you — I just don’t remember it). I thought he was just, y’know, Hercules.

About all I really remember from the cartoon is Herc’s centaur sidekick, Newton.

I never been a fan of the Flash ring, and I never really understood why they bothered to bring it back since the Flash’s suit is made of speed force energy. I get it’s use as a nostalgic part of the Flash’s history, but it’s DC silver age cheese at it’s worst.

That said, I liked the brief appearance of the Flash rings on JLU, if only for the line “the hard part is getting it back into the ring”. Plus despite the fact that keeping costumes in rings makes no sense for the Flash, it totally fits with the animated version of the character.

Have a good day.
John Cage

“Flash must look like a total slob most of the time with his suit so damn wrinkled all the time. ”

Nah, he keeps an iron folded up in his other ring.

Q: Hoe does Flash get his suit back in that ring?

“Best Impulse moment – when Wally gives Bart a Flash ring for his costume, Bart IMMEDIATELY bolts up to the roof to test it out, assuming it’s like a Legion flight ring.” – Jeff Holland

Sounds like he could use some…IMPUSLE CONTROL. (You were all thinking it, I was the only one with the guts to say it!)

Shouldn’t Flash just be able to leave his costume at home? If he’s so fast, he could run home and get it any time there’s trouble.

Howzabout the Phantom’s rings? You have to like the scarred for life aftermath of slobberknocker from the “Ghost Who Walks.”

Does this establish that Marvel is completely lacking in cool rings? I’m trying to think of one, and am coming up with nothing.


Mandarin has an ice ring, Theno..that’s pretty cool.

Superspeed vortex sucks the air out of the costume, causing a special Barry Allen created chemical to shrink it so it fits in the ring.—everyone knows that, guh!

Sounds like he could use some…IMPUSLE CONTROL.

He’s gotten a lot calmer since he died.

[…] 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 […]

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