A towering alien with a brutish cross of porcine and bull-doggish appearance, Kilowog is renowned throughout the Green Lantern Corps as the primary trainer of the Corps' newest recruits. The Guardians of the Universe recruited Kilowog, a gifted genetic scientist, from the planet Bolovax Vik, located in Space Sector 674. Kilowog was trained by Lantern Ermey (reference to Gunnery Sergeant R. Lee Ermey), who would often use the word "poozer", which means "useless rookie" (a word Kilowog would later adopt, albeit in a friendlier way). In the middle of a particularly arduous training session, Ermey had Kilowog and his fellow rookies help stop an attack on a group of Lanterns, one of whom was the future renegade Sinestro. Ermey, fatally wounded in battle, commended Kilowog on his abilities, telling him that he had the makings of a great leader. In addition to serving with distinction as the Green Lantern of that sector, Kilowog also began to spend extensive periods of time on the Green Lantern Corps' home planet of Oa instructing new recruits on how to handle and best utilize their power rings. In this capacity, Kilowog acted as the first trainer to a young Hal Jordan, the ring-recruited successor to the slain Abin Sur of Ungara, the Green Lantern of Space Sector 2814. Kilowog and his new recruit helped the Guardians confront Abin Sur's murderer, the hive mind interstellar malefactor known as Legion.
During the Crisis on Infinite Earths (referred to as a "great crisis"), Bolovax Vik was destroyed. This was a powerful blow to the giant Green Lantern, as his race lived a highly communal lifestyle, and to be alone was one of the worst things imaginable. Owing somehow to this genetic similarity to and affinity for each other that all Bolovax Vikians possessed, Kilowog was able to rescue the entire population of his homeworld (billions of beings) by storing their collective life essences within his ring upon that world's annihilation.
The Crisis saw the immortal Guardians ethically divided (a faction of six Guardians broke away from the majority, deciding to follow the example of their estranged brethren The Controllers and create their own Green Lanterns to directly combat the Anti-Monitor, but five of them were killed shortly after they chose their first and only recruit, Guy Gardner of Earth) and their ranks depleted for the first time in millions of years (only 22 of the 36 Guardians survived). The Corps as well suffered hundreds of casualties. The Guardians then decided to end their direct leadership of the Corps, and left for another dimension with their former mates, the Zamarons.
Before leaving, the Guardians informed the remaining GLs that the Corps was now theirs to administer; they were no longer bound by their former assignment to one particular Space Sector and could deploy themselves as they saw fit. Adrift following the destruction of his Sector and the end of his role training new GLs for the Guardians, Kilowog relocated to Earth with his former pupil Jordan and the group of GLs that had decided to make their base there. They ultimately became the Green Lantern Corps of Earth. While his appearance at first frightened most humans, Kilowog briefly became a celebrity following his defeat of the villain Black Hand on live television in a battle over Anaheim Stadium.
This goodwill was soon squandered, though, when he was approached by a KGB agent and invited to live in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as the society of Bolovax Vik was somewhat similar to a communist system. During his time in the USSR, Kilowog was instrumental in the creation of the Soviet Union's first super-powered force, the Rocket Red Brigade. Kilowog ultimately became disenchanted with the U.S.S.R. and the flawed communist nations of Earth.
While adventuring with the GLC of Earth, Kilowog found a world in Space Sector 872 which would make a suitable "Bolovax Vik II". Moved to action, he tapped into his ring and reconstituted the entire population of his world, some 16 billion beings. No sooner had he done this, though, than the world was obliterated by the renegade Green Lantern Sinestro, and all 16 billion Bolovax Vikians were permanently killed. The trauma of this drove Kilowog temporarily insane, but he was helped back to his senses by fellow GL Arisia, to whom he confessed his love. He was also supported by other Green Lanterns, who made an effort to be near him, as they knew Kilowog's race enjoyed being in crowds.
Shortly after this adventure, the Corps was finally and completely destroyed when they voted as a body to execute the captured Sinestro for crimes against the universe; this set in motion a chain of events that led to the dissolution of almost all power rings. Around this time, Kilowog is allowed to be one of the honor guard at Superman's funeral.
When the Corps began to expand again, Kilowog returned to Oa to train the new generation of Green Lanterns. During the Emerald Twilight arc, numerous Green Lanterns were sent to stop the supposedly insane Hal Jordan. The very last Green Lantern to oppose Jordan was Kilowog himself, on Oa. He attempted to prevent his old pupil from entering and absorbing the power of the Great Battery itself, which destroyed the Corps. Kilowog was disintegrated with a blast by Jordan's ring, leaving nothing but a seared skull and ashes, and a shaken but undeterred Jordan stole the energies of the Great Battery. The remaining guardians sacrificed themselves by merging their life forces into the final green lantern ring. The only Guardian left to bestow the ring was Ganthet.
The enigmatic being known as Dark Lantern seemed strangely familiar to those closely acquainted with the legacy of the Green Lantern Corps when he first made his presence known on Earth.
He was created by some of the remaining Green Lanterns who had lost their rings when Hal Jordan went mad. Based on Xudar, they called themselves the "Brotherhood of the Cold Flame". Boodikka was one of their number. They tapped into arcane forces and based on the unusual nature of the Bolovax Vik afterlife, they converted the soul of Kilowog into the Dark Lantern in order to send him after Jordan.
When Jordan became the Spectre, he convinced his old friend Tom Kalmaku to help correct his sins against the Green Lantern Corps. Kalmaku used Hal's old power ring to rebuild Oa and the Great Battery as shown in Green Lantern Legacy: The Last Will and Testament of Hal Jordan. This allowed the vengeful spirit of Kilowog to rest. Soon after this, though, his spirit was recalled to life by Kyle Rayner and Ganthet.
Recently the Guardians were reconstituted, and reformed the Corps in the wake of Hal Jordan's rebirth. Kilowog retakes the role of Green Lantern drill sergeant, training new recruits (or "poozers" as he often refers to them) for the newest incarnation of the Green Lantern Corps, once again in the service of the Guardians of the Universe. In the Infinite Crisis storyline, Kilowog (along with fellow Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, later Ion) played a key role in the Rann-Thanagar War and its aftermath.
In Superman/Batman #30 (2007) Kilowog is deeply affected by a force that has turned most of the super-powered aliens allied with Earth hostile against all humans. He, or the force controlling him, attempts to violently sway Superman into hating all humans, but a very confused Man of Steel does not fall for it. It is later revealed that Kilowog and other alien heroes are being affected by Despero and an alien armada. The threat is swiftly neutralized by Superman and Batman.
Once again, in Green Lantern Corps #11 (2007) Kilowog is pushed, apparently from a Despotellis-infected Mogo, into a xenophobic hate against the Guardians and the Corps, acting with imagery of his dead people. Kilowog fell victim to the deception.
During the Sinestro Corps War, Kilowog was on the front line during the battle of Mogo. When the conflict moved to Earth, Kilowog battled his Sinestro Corps counterpart, Arkillo. Kilowog defeated the villain and removed his ring. After the war's climax, Kilowog was seen on Mogo, eating dinner with energy constructs of his family members.
During the Blackest Night event, Oa is invaded by a swarm of black power rings, that turn all the deceased Lanterns in the Oan crypt into Black Lanterns, who promptly attack the living Lanterns. Kilowog is attacked by the reanimated Ermey, who mercilessy berates him for not preventing his death, and for saving the life of Sinestro, citing the deaths Sinestro had caused as being Kilowog's fault. He also torments Kilowog over the death of the current class of Green Lantern rookies, whom Ermey himself had just slain. Gaining the upper hand, Ermey attempts to rip out Kilowog's heart, but is interrupted by the announcement that Black Lanterns' rings have reached one hundred percent power. Subsequently, the Black Lanterns are given new instructions: to devour the Central Power Battery. Ermey departs for his new objective, joined by the rookie Lanterns he had just killed. Kilowog then joined his fellow Green Lanterns in their attempt to protect the Central Power Battery. After the Black Lantern threat is defeated Kilowog decides he does not want to be the drill instructor anymore, just a regular Green Lantern. Kilowog arranges for the robotic Lantern Stel to take over his duties.
Kilowog and Arissa accompany Guy Gardner on a mission to the 'unexplored sectors'. The three defeat a powerful telepath. They also avenge the death of several Lanterns, a concept Kilowog is becoming increasingly unable to process.
When Krona launches his attack on the Green Lantern Corps by infecting the power battery with Parallax, Kilowog is the only alien Lantern not to fall under Krona's influence due to his past experience with the entity. However, Krona quickly deduces the reasons for his greater resistance, forcibly placing a new ring on Kilowog's finger to bring him under his control.
Following the war, Kilowog briefly attempts to resign from the Corps after the Guardians discharge Hal Jordan and allow Sinestro to at least provisionally remain a Lantern, but is convinced to rethink his decision by Salaak due to the obvious upheaval the Corps will have to undergo in future due to the destruction of Mogo.
Kilowog is back to being drill instructor of the Green Lantern Corps, and is part of the team that breaks John Stewart out of prison when the Alpha Lanterns sentence him to death. He and Salaak have also uncovered the Guardians' plans regarding the Third Army.
As a Green Lantern, Kilowog possesses the same power ring and power battery used by all GLs. The Great Power Battery, located on Oa, is the repository for billions of years' worth of willpower in energy form. This energy has been harnessed and focused by the Guardians and is tapped by each GL's power battery. This in turns feeds it to their individual power rings. By applying willpower and concentration, the ring is literally able to accomplish anything of which the wielder can conceive, and is therefore as limited or limitless in abilities as the wielder. In Kilowog's case, he has shown an affinity for creating astoundingly complex machinery using the ring. In terms of combat, Kilowog tends to eschew the "giant boxing glove" fighting style of Hal Jordan and mainly uses his ring to fly and to absorb any enemy's attacks long enough for him to get close enough to batter them into unconsciousness.
According to the 2005 miniseries Green Lantern: Rebirth, Kilowog's ring is the only one that Hal Jordan knows of that makes a sound when being used. (Hal Jordan is apparently unaware of the blind Green Lantern, Rot Lop Fan, who can only make sounds with his powers).
In addition to his power ring, Kilowog possesses the natural super strength and durability of his species, as well as a powerful intellect that surpasses many of his fellow corpsmen. Under Mind Control, Kilowog even managed to combine all of these abilities to hold his own against Superman easily.
In other media
Kilowog has appeared in a few episodes of Justice League, voiced by Dennis Haysbert. This portrayal of Kilowog casts him in a more jovial light, although at no loss of his significant competence as a Lantern. The first appearance by Kilowog was "In Blackest Night", where Kilowog was one of several Green Lanterns attending the trial of John Stewart for the crime of destroying an entire planet. The Lanterns, unfortunately, were not there to support John, but rather join in the crowd's vocal abuse of Stewart. This was a wrinkle of his teammates' behavior that Kilowog believed to be wrong, but he didn't have the courage to say so until Hawkgirl confronted the Lanterns for abandoning John. Kilowog then realized that John deserved his trust and support, and went to the trial to speak in John's defense. His next - and to date, most substantial - appearance was in the episode "Hearts and Minds". After a battle with Despero's forces on Kalanor, Kilowog arrived at Earth badly injured, and when John found him, his mention of Katma Tui sent John off to find Katma. J'onn J'onzz brought Kilowog back to health, and he and Flash went to go find John's lantern battery so Kilowog could recharge (it is here that Kilowog expresses an ability - and willingness - to eat almost anything, be it ice cream still in the container or a VHS copy of Old Yeller, declaring them both "delicious!"). Kilowog brings Flash, J'onn, and Hawkgirl to Kalanor to join the fight against Despero that Katma and John have already been participating in. In determining how to fight Despero and his Flame of Py'tar, Kilowog suggests a carbon bomb, a complex explosive that he himself ends up constructing to exact perfection (leading to Flash's new title for him: Kilowog, the man of a thousand talents). The bomb ends up not being used, as the Py'tar is alive and suffering under Despero's reign, but Kilowog's actions in the episode still prove quite impressive. In this episode he and The Flash are shown to be very friendly with each other. Also, he, along with Kyle Rayner, Katma, and a few other GL's, is among the grievers at Superman's funeral in the episode "Hereafter". He has no lines. His only appearance in Justice League Unlimited has been as one of the many angry Green Lanterns in "The Return", who are enraged at Amazo for seemingly destroying Oa. He has no lines here (nor do most of the Lanterns), but he does show up to take place in the large line-up of willing executioners once the Lanterns find Amazo.
Kilowog appeared in the Duck Dodgers episode "The Green Loontern" voiced by John DiMaggio.
Kilowog appeared in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Day of the Dark Knight" voiced by Diedrich Bader. He was taking in a prisoner when Guy Gardner's antics caused that prisoner to go into rage. Thanks to him and Batman, he was caught. In "The Eyes of Despero," he was in Hal Jordan's army when he was brainwashed by Despero. He was later revealed to be alive and was in Hal's Power Ring. In "Revenge of the Reach," Kilowog was present when the Reach invade Oa.
Kilowog is a main character in Green Lantern: The Animated Series voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson, reprising his role from Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters. He travels through Frontier Space on the Interceptor with Hal Jordan and is one of the strongest agents in the fight against the Red Lantern Corps.
Michael Madsen voices Kilowog on Warner Premiere animated feature Green Lantern: First Flight. Kilowog is initially distrustful of Hal Jordan, even demanding that he return Abin Sur's ring to him, despite being given it. Kilowog is later shown to be upset that the Guardians assigned Sinestro to train Jordan, since the job usually went to Kilowog. Later Jordan saved Kilowog while chasing Kanjar Ro and starts to trust him, when they discover that Sinestro framed Jordan for Kanjar Ro's murder. After Sinestro uses the yellow battery to destroy the green battery, the now powerless Green Lanterns are ordered to give up their rings. Kilowog refuses and Sinestro holds Kilowog in front of the yellow battery saying that Kilowog "wasn't going to survive this anyway". However, Jordan saves Kilowog from Sinestro. After Jordan knocks Sinestro back to the surface, Kilowog crushes his hand and ring. Kilowog discovers that his ring still has some power left, saves Jordan from a free-fall.
In the anthology film Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, Henry Rollins provides the voice for Kilowog. His segment of the film involves his training and how he gained his current position.
Kilowog appeared in the Green Lantern live-action movie directed by Martin Campbell and released June 17, 2011. He was featured in the third trailer for the film, and his voice was performed by the late Michael Clarke Duncan. As before, Kilowog puts Hal through his training course in ring-slinging, saying he has never seen a human before and stating that Hal "smells funny". However, when Jordan defeats Parallax single-handedly, Kilowog is pleased at how well he trained the new recruit.