Hal Jordan, known as Green Lantern, is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created in 1959 by writer John Broome and artist Gil Kane. Hal Jordan is a science fiction reinvention of a pre-existing character called Green Lantern that had appeared in 1940s comic books (Alan Scott).
Hal Jordan is a member of an intergalactic police force called the Green Lantern Corps. He fights evil across the Universe with a ring that grants him a variety of superpowers.
Recreated for the Silver Age
After achieving great success in 1956 in reviving the Golden Age character The Flash, DC editor Julius Schwartz looked toward recreating the Green Lantern from the Golden Age of Comic Books. Like The Flash, Schwartz wanted this new character to have a different secret identity, origin, and personality from his 1940s counterpart. A long time science-fiction fan and literary agent, Schwartz wanted a more sci-fi based Green Lantern, as opposed to the mystical powers of Alan Scott, the original 1940s Green Lantern. He enlisted writer John Broome and artist Gil Kane, who in 1959 would reintroduce Green Lantern to the world in Showcase #22 (September–October 1959) by creating Hal Jordan.
The character was a success, and it was quickly decided to follow-up his three issue run on Showcase with a self-titled series. Green Lantern #1 began in July–August 1960 and would continue until #84 in April–May 1972.
This creative team was responsible for introducing many of the major characters in Hal Jordan's life. First was Carol Ferris, Jordan's love interest. She was in charge of Ferris Aircraft, and as such, Hal's boss. While she preferred Green Lantern to Hal Jordan, she took an active role in trying to win him over, even going so far as to propose to him in the old Leap Year tradition. Although she gave Jordan some attention, her job and company always came first.
Second was Jordan's best friend, Tom Kalmaku, who was both Hal's mechanic and the chronicler of his super-hero adventures, after succeeding in working out his identity. An Inuit (Eskimo) from Alaska, Tom's nickname was "Pie" or "Pieface". Unlike Chop-Chop (of The Blackhawks), Tom was a competent and intelligent character with a well-rounded personality, not a stereotypical buffoon. Despite the unfortunate nickname, Tom Kalmaku was among the first minority characters to be portrayed in this manner and broke new ground for mainstream comic books.
Jordan's masters, the mysterious Guardians of the Universe, were physically based on David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, and were developed from an idea Schwartz and Broome had originally conceived years prior in a story featuring Captain Comet in Strange Adventures #22 (July 1952) entitled "Guardians of the Clockwork Universe".
Schwartz and company also allowed Jordan to have a family, which was another rare thing at this time in superhero comics. While he did not have a wife or children of his own, he had many interactions with his two older brothers, Jack, a district attorney, and Jim, a more comical figure. A reporter, Sue Williams, suspected Jim of being Green Lantern due to his appearance and his reputation of being scatterbrained.
Starting in issue #17, Gardner Fox joined the book to share writing duties with John Broome. The quartet of Schwartz, Broome, Fox, and Kane remained the core creative team until 1970.
Starting with issue #76, Dennis O'Neil took over scripting and Neal Adams, who had drawn the cover of issue #63, became the series' artist. O'Neil and Adams had already begun preparation for the classic run in the form of their re-workings of another DC superhero, the archer Green Arrow.
In an introduction to the 1983 reprinting of this O'Neil/Adams run, O'Neil explains that he wondered if he could represent his own political beliefs in comics and take on social issues of the late sixties and early seventies. O'Neil devised the idea of pitting Hal Jordan, noted for being an intergalactic cop and a crypto-fascist standing for "The Establishment's" law and order, against Oliver Queen, (Green Arrow), who O’Neil had characterized as a lusty outspoken anarchist who would stand in for the counter-culture movement. The first of these socially motivated Green Lantern/Green Arrow stories was written with Gil Kane slated to be the artist, but Kane dropped out and was replaced by Neal Adams.
The superhero duo embark on a quest in a beat-up pickup truck to "find America", along the way witnessing the problems of corruption, racism, pollution, as well as overpopulation confronting the nation. In "Snowbirds Don't Fly" issues #85 and #86, it is revealed that Green Arrow's ward, Speedy, is addicted to heroin. Speedy overcomes his addiction with the help of the Black Canary. This story prompted a massive public reaction, including a congratulatory letter from the mayor of New York, John Lindsay (printed in issue #86).
However, Green Lantern sales had been in a major decline at the time Green Arrow was brought on as co-star, and the O'Neil/Adams stories failed to revive them. Green Lantern was canceled with issue #89 (April/May 1972), and the climactic story arc of the Green Lantern/Green Arrow series was published as a back-up feature in The Flash #217 through #219. In sharp contrast to the socially relevant tales which preceded it, this story centered on emotional themes, with Green Arrow struggling to deal with the guilt of having killed a man. Green Lantern continued to appear in backup stories of Flash from 1972 until the Green Lantern title was resumed in 1976.
In Green Lantern #151 (April 1982) through #172 (January 1984), Jordan is exiled into space for a year by the Guardians in order to prove his loyalty to the Green Lantern Corps, having been accused of paying too much attention to Earth when he had an entire "sector" of the cosmos to patrol. When he returns to Earth, he finds himself embroiled in a dispute with Carol Ferris. Faced with a choice between love and the power ring, Jordan resigns from the Corps. The Guardians call Jordan's backup, John Stewart, to regular duty as his replacement.
In 1985, the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" storyline that rebooted much of DC Comics' character continuity saw Jordan again take up the mantle of Green Lantern. The new Corps, with seven members residing on Earth, included several aliens, John Stewart, and Guy Gardner. Jordan becomes romantically involved with an alien Lantern named Arisia, for which he comes under fire due to Arisia being only a teenager. The alien Lanterns take a more direct hand in human affairs, a fact not appreciated by human governments. Eventually, the Earth corps break up, several members returning to their home sectors. The Guardians soon return to this dimension, and Jordan works with them to rebuild the fractured Corps.
During this time, the character's origin story is re-told and expanded in two limited series by Keith Giffen, Gerard Jones, and James Owsley, Emerald Dawn and Emerald Dawn II. The first series expanded the role of the Corps in his origin and also provided more details about his childhood and his relationship with his father and brothers, while the sequel detailed the role of Jordan in the downfall of Sinestro.
In the 1992 prestige format graphic novel Green Lantern: Ganthet's Tale (by Larry Niven, John Byrne), Hal Jordan first encounters Ganthet, one of the Guardians of the Universe. He asks Hal to help Ganthet battle a renegade Guardian, Dawlakispokpok (or Dawly, for short) who has attempted to use a time machine to change history.
In the 1993 Reign of the Supermen! storyline, the alien tyrant Mongul and his forces destroy Coast City (Jordan's former home), murdering all of its seven million inhabitants, and replace it with Engine City, with which he plans to turn Earth into a new Warworld. Jordan was off world at the time of the attack. Angered, he flies into Engine City and attacks Mongul, eventually knocking him out with Steel's hammer. This leads into the Emerald Twilight three-part arc: Jordan uses his power ring to recreate Coast City as an instrument in the process of overcoming his grief, talking to ring created versions of his old girlfriend and parents. After his ring's power expires, a projection of a Guardian appears and admonishes him for using the ring for personal gain and summons him to Oa for disciplinary action. Angered at what he sees as the Guardians' ungrateful and callous behavior, Jordan absorbs the energy from the Guardian's projection, goes insane and attacks Oa to seize the full power of the Central Battery, defeating and severely injuring several members of the Green Lantern Corps in the process, taking their power rings as his own and leaving them to die in space. He arrives on Oa and kills Kilowog, Sinestro, and all the Guardians except for Ganthet, who was protected by the other Guardians and survived without Jordan's knowledge. He then renounces his life as Green Lantern, adopting the name Parallax after absorbing the Power Battery's vast powers.
Jordan is replaced by Kyle Rayner by Ganthet as the Green Lantern of Earth when Rayner comes into possession of the last power ring, created from the shattered remains of Jordan's. Guy Gardner has visions of the Green Lantern Corps' destruction and his yellow power ring's energy (being powered by residual Green Lantern's energy) starts to fluctuate. Soon after, Gardner goes to Oa to investigate. He brings Martian Manhunter, Darkstar (Ferrin Colos), The Ray, Wonder Woman, Captain Atom, Alan Scott and Arisia with him. Jordan uses the element of surprise, attacks, and quickly and easily defeats them, leaving Guy in a coma. After the battle Hal sends them all back to Earth warning them to leave him alone in the future. Not long afterwards, Parallax attempts to rewrite history to his own liking with the help of Extant in Zero Hour: Crisis in Time. Parallax destroys the Time Trapper and attempts to remake the universe into a perfect, peaceful place. The process causes time disruptions throughout time. Superman, Kyle Rayner and Metron call upon Earth's heroes to stop this crisis. Parallax reveals himself as the enemy by knocking out Superman with a single blow. Parallax and Exant battle the wide array of heroes. They are eventually defeated, with Green Arrow shooting an arrow into Jordan's chest after he is weakened and almost completely out of energy from using so much power to recreate time and fight Earth's heroes as Kyle Rayner holds him in a full-nelson. Later, in the 1996 Final Night miniseries/crossover storyline, Jordan returns when the Earth's sun is in danger of going out. He starts to reevaluate himself and the decisions he's made and attacks and kills the Cyborg Superman (although he is later revealed to be alive) and visits John Stewart in the hospital who was recently paralyzed in battle. Jordan talks to his old friend for a final time and uses his powers to heal his paralysis. He then uses what appears to be the last of his powers and sacrifices his life to reignite the Sun (which had been extinguished by the Sun-Eater).
During the Emerald Knights storyline, when Kyle Rayner goes on an accidental time-travelling trip, he ends up unintentionally drawing a past version of Hal into the present where Hal is shocked to learn of the crimes his future self had committed as Parallax. Although Hal briefly thought about remaining in the present to escape his actions as Parallax, the Parallax from the time when he was starting the Zero Hour event appears in the present while preparing to recreate the universe. He had been travelling back to his present from the future and became aware of his younger self existing where he should not. This Parallax from out of time tries to pass himself off as the young Hal, but after being discovered he defeats John Stewart, Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner before being confronted by his younger self. Parallax pulls himself, his younger self and Kyle into the past where Coast City is seconds away from being destroyed and freezes time to show his younger self the atrocities of his hometown's destruction while also trying to explain why he did what he did as Parallax and that his ability to play god was necessary. After a heated battle and debate between the two Hals, Kyle breaks up the fight and tells them both that they have to go back where they came from and erase their memories of recent events in order to ensure that the Sun-Eater is defeated and that time plays itself out naturally.
In the 1999 mini-series Day of Judgement, Jordan becomes the newest incarnation of the Spectre, released from Purgatory after a fallen angel attempted to take that power. Soon after assuming this mantle, Jordan chooses to bend his mission from a spirit of vengeance to one of redemption, also making other appearances through some of DC Comics' other story lines, such as advising Superman during the Emperor Joker storyline (Where the Joker steals the reality-warping power of Mister Mxyzptlk) and erases all public knowledge of Wally West's identity as the Flash after his terrible first battle with Zoom, which led to his wife miscarrying their twins. He also appeared in a 4-part story arc in the series Legends of the DC Universe (issues #33-36). A new series based on this premise, titled The Spectre (volume 4), ran for 27 issues from 2001 to 2003. In it, Hal loses his beloved brother, Jack Jordan, to a supernatural assassin. After the series ended, Jordan was forced to return, temporarily, to the Spectre's mission of vengeance, following a confrontation between the new Justice Society of America and the Spirit King- an old foe of the Spectre and Mister Terrific, who had managed to "resurrect" the ghosts of all those the Spectre had damned to Hell when Jordan's attempt to turn the Spectre's mission to redemption weakened his hold on the damned, until Hal 'accepted' his original mission of vengeance.
During the Identity Crisis storyline, Hal is visited by Green Arrow asking to exact revenge that he had might knew Sue Dibny's killer is, although Hal admits knowing the culprit's identity he refused as the Spectre to a higher purpose, and implying to Oliver that the killer would eventually be caught, thus explaining the Spectre's inaction.
Due to a decline in the Green Lantern sales, DC Comics decided to introduce the Green Lantern: Rebirth miniseries which brought Hal Jordan back to life and made him a Green Lantern once again. DC Comics subsequently began a new Green Lantern (vol. 4) series starting with issue #1 (July 2005), making Hal Jordan once again a Green Lantern and his past homicidal actions retconned to be the result of Parallax, now revealed to be caused by Hal having been infected by an ancient fear entity that had possessed him and used him as a puppet. In the Green Lantern (vol.4) it shows how in an effort to try to rebuild his life, Jordan has moved to the nearly deserted Coast City, which is slowly being rebuilt. He has been reinstated as a Captain in the United States Air Force, and works in the Test Pilot Program at Edwards Air Force Base. The series introduces new supporting characters for Hal, a man from his past, Air Force's General Jonathan "Herc" Stone, who learns his secret identity during a battle with the Manhunters and acts as his ally. He also begins to develop a romantic attraction with his fellow pilot, the beautiful Captain Jillian "Cowgirl" Pearlman. Returning characters also include Carol Ferris, Tom Kalmaku, and Jordan's younger brother James Jordan with his sister-in-law Susan and their children, Howard and Jane.
The Green Lantern Corps also has been successfully rebuilt. Despite the revelation that Hal's past villainous activity was because of the influence of Parallax, many of his fellow Corps officers are unwilling to trust him. Despite being freed from Parallax, his experience also leads him occasionally to have a lack of confidence and self-doubt. Jordan also becomes friends with Kyle Rayner after their first battle with Parallax.
In his new title, he faces revamped versions of his Silver Age foes such as Hector Hammond, The Shark and Black Hand.
Hal helps briefly with the attack of the OMACs and Brother Eye. He also fights alongside a group of heroes against the Society, defending Metropolis. Guy Gardner, leads the Green Lantern Corps attack against Superboy-Prime with Hal appearing in the group.
As part of DC's retconning of the entire universe; as of Green Lantern vol. 4, #10, the book has skipped ahead one year, bringing drastic changes to Hal Jordan's life, as with every other hero in the DC Universe. It is revealed that Jordan spent time as a P.O.W. in an unnamed conflict and has feelings of guilt from his inability to free himself and his fellow Captives.
A new account of Green Lantern's origins was released in the (2008) Green Lantern series. In this new origin Hal Jordan is working as an assistant mechanic under Tom Kalmaku, barred from flying due to his insubordination while in the USAF and his employer's lingering guilt about his father's death in the line of duty. Then Abin Sur, while fighting Atrocitus of the Five Inversion, crashes near Coast City.
Hal and the rest of the Green Lantern Corps find themselves at war with Sinestro and his army, the Sinestro Corps during the events of the Sinestro Corps War As a Green Lantern native to Earth, Hal is featured in the Final Crisis mini-series by Grant Morrison.
In the Agent Orange story arc, Jordan is briefly in command of Agent Orange's power battery after he steals it from Agent Orange in a battle. The orange light of avarice converses with Jordan, his costume changes, and he becomes the new Agent Orange. However, Larfleeze quickly takes his power battery back from Jordan.
Jordan is also a character of focus in the new Justice League of America series as a charter member of the revamped JLA. He is also involved in the first plotline of the Brave and the Bold monthly series, teaming up first with Batman and later Supergirl. When teamed with the fledgling Supergirl, Hal is very impressed with her cleverness, although he finds her flirtatious behavior somewhat unnerving.
In the Justice League: Cry for Justice mini-series, Hal leads his own Justice League with Green Arrow, Shazam, Supergirl, Congorilla, Starman, Batwoman, and the Atom in order to avenge the deaths of Martian Manhunter and Batman. Jordan eventually recruits some of the former Titans members for the League's new lineup, including Batman's successor Dick Grayson, Donna Troy, and Starfire.
During the Blackest Night event, Hal allies himself with six other Lantern Corps during The War of Light. He finds himself facing many of his deceased allies, enemies, and people he failed to save reanimated as undead Black Lanterns under the control of the Green Lantern Corps' ancient enemy Nekron. Hal finds himself not only teaming up with Barry Allen (otherwise known as The Flash), who is also resurrected from his death, but also must work with his enemies Sinestro, Atrocitus, Larfleeze, and his former lover Carol Ferris.
After the events of Brightest Day: Green Lantern, the storyline continues into War of the Green Lanterns. DC Comics revealed the covers that Hal will be joining the Sinestro Corps during "War of the Green Lanterns". Hal and Guy are captured by Krona. However, they escape from Krona's forces and reclaim their Green Lantern rings to fight him and his entity-possessed Guardians. During the final battle, Hal manages to free Carol, Sinestro and the others from the Book of the Black. During the process Sinestro becomes a Green Lantern once again. Jordan manages to defeat and kill Krona, releasing the entities from the Guardians. However, the Guardians believing Hal to be the most dangerous Green Lantern, discharge him from the Corps, strip him of his ring and return him to Earth. It is revealed that the Guardians are afraid of Jordan because they believe what happened to Krona would eventually happen to them if they allow him to continue being a Green Lantern.
During the relaunch of the Green Lantern series in The New 52, Jordan is back to his civilian life on Earth. He has been discharged from the United States Air Force. Jordan is arrested and Carol bails him out. She offers him a job, but not as a pilot. They go on a date but Carol is enraged when Jordan fails to propose marriage. He is then confronted by Sinestro who offers him a Green Lantern ring. A ring he created himself and has complete control over, telling Hal if he wants his real ring back he will help him destroy the Sinestro Corps who have enslaved Korugar during his absence. Before they leave for Korugar Green Lantern wants to say goodbye to Carol but Sinestro does not let him, stating that doing what needs to be done is more important than a failed romance. When the two arrive at Korugar,Green Lantern is tasked by Sinestro in deactivating the central yellow power battery, as he explains that only a Green Lantern can do it. However, when Green Lantern gets to the battery, it begins to disintegrate him. Before he is fully disintegrated, he expresses his belief that Sinestro set him up. The disintegration is revealed to be an opening portal to the Anti-Matter Universe, and when the battery realizes Green Lantern is not Sinestro, the transport is aborted, and an unconscious Green Lantern is deposited outside the battery, amidst a crowd of Yellow Lanterns. He is then imprisoned in a cell meant to foil escape attempts by draining power from his green ring. With his last power left in his ring Green Lantern creates an image of Carol. When Sinestro is caught and imprisoned in a nearby cell, Hal suggests using the last of Sinestro's power to split his ring into hundreds of copies to be used by the captive Korugarans. The plan works, but the Korugarans close in on Sinestro, preparing to take their revenge, before Hal convinces them to use their power against the Sinestro Corps instead. After they drain the Sinestro Corps power battery and defeat most of the Corps, Green Lantern is returned to Earth retaining the ring Sinestro gave him without any means of charging it. The next day he finds Carol and begs her to take him back, explaining that she was the last thing he wanted to see when he was absolutely certain that he was going to die. Carol accepts Hal's apology and the two reunite.
However Sinestro reactivates Green Lantern's ring, telling him that they must work together again. Green Lantern initially refuses to work with him, until Sinestro reveals that the Guardians are planning to replace the Green Lantern Corps. Suddenly, the Indigo Tribe comes to Earth and kidnaps Sinestro, forcing Green Lantern to follow them into Nok, the Indigo homeworld. However, Green Lantern is captured and meets up with Black Hand, who has been turned into an Indigo Lantern. Escaping from Black Hand, Green Lantern tries to find Sinestro, but is shocked to discover that Sinestro has been forcibly inducted into the Indigo Tribe. Green Lantern flees into Nok's forbidden jungles and meets Natromo, the founder of the Indigo Tribe. Natromo tells Hal the origins of the Indigo Tribe, revealing that the Tribe was created to fight the Guardians in case they ever became mad with power. He also says that the Indigo Tribesmen used to be some of the most dangerous criminals in the universe; Iroque, before she became Indigo-1, killed Abin Sur's daughter. When Green Lantern reveals that Abin Sur is dead, Natromo sadly destroys the Indigo Central Battery. Although Sinestro is freed from the Indigo ring, the other Indigo Lanterns are released as well, reverting them back to bloodthirsty sadists. Green Lantern manages to convince Natromo to reconstruct the Indigo Battery, with the help of Iroque, who is still capable of feeling compassion even without her ring. Although the Indigo Tribe is restored to normal, Sinestro is forced back into the Tribe as well. Indigo-1 agrees to release Sinestro from his Indigo ring, but only if Green Lantern swears to help Sinestro become a hero again.
As the Indigo Tribe releases Sinestro, Natromo inverts the link between Green Lantern's and Sinestro's ring. Now, Green Lantern can control Sinestro's ring instead of the other way around. Unfortunately, Black Hand has escaped the Indigo Tribe's control. Indigo-1 teleports the two Lanterns to Korugar, where Sinestro has hidden the Book of the Black. As they read the Book to find out more about the Guardians's plans to replace the Green Lantern Corps, they are teleported right to Black Hand's old home. Green Lantern and Sinestro pass out after running out of power in their rings. Black Hand buries Sinestro and Green Lantern alive. Green Lantern breaks free and fights against Black Hand, and is saved by Sinestro. The two of them fight Black Hand until the Guardians arrive, who command Black Hand to kill them. As their life is draining away, Green Lantern and Sinestro fuse their rings together with an unknown message, before they seemingly die. However, they are later revealed to have survived, but they are trapped in a mysterious realm surrounded by darkness.
Hal and Sinestro begin traveling through the Dead Zone, wherein they encounter a mysterious figure lurking in the zone observing them. This mysterious stranger is revealed to be Tomar-Re, who asks Hal and Sinestro to stop Volthoom (The First Lantern) before he changes reality. Hal and Sinestro are confronted by the fallen Lantern members in the Dead Zone. When new Green Lantern Simon Baz enters the Dead Zone during a fight with Black Hand, he attempts to rescue them, but is only able to split his ring once. Sinestro claims the ring by forcing Hal to experience a moment of fear when he threatens Hal with the loss of Carol. Hal contemplates committing suicide so he could harness Black Hand's ring as it is the only way to leave the Dead Zone.
When Hal makes the ultimate sacrifice and transforms into a Black Lantern, he uses the telepathy of the Indigo Tribe to open the Dead Zone portal. Green Lantern finally manages to escape and attacks Volthoom with the hordes of undead, but Volthoom effortlessly destroys the army and nearly possesses Green Lantern. After a Parallax-empowered Sinestro fails to kill Volthoom as well, Green Lantern proceeds to summon Nekron and finally destroys him. After the battle is over, Green Lantern is released from being a Black Lantern and returns to life as Green Lantern again, finally reuniting with Carol. Before departing, Sinestro reminds Green Lantern of a question he was about to ask him during their near-death back on Ysmault. Green Lantern asks if they had ever been truly friends, to which Sinestro replies that the tragedy is they always will be.
Hal Jordan is featured as a part of Justice League series relaunch as well. The initial issues of the title take place five years prior as Jordan assists Batman against a mysterious threat. It is shown he is already friends with Barry Allen and each know the other's secret identity. Hal also believes with the ring he can overcome anything by himself by sheer force of will. This leads to reckless behavior that almost gets him killed. It is only when Batman reminds him of his mortality by revealing his own identity as Bruce Wayne does Hal reconsider his approach. Five years after the team forms, Green Lantern resigns from the Justice League in an effort to keep the group functioning after his behavior put the team in peril during their fight with David Graves. Subsequently he returns to the Justice League to help Jessica Cruz learn how to control her powers. Following the event of Convergence, Hal gets a new look as he goes rogue from the Green Lantern Corps to shelter them from blame. Along the way, Jordan steals a Green Lantern prototype gauntlet and power pack from the armory.
Powers And Abilities
As a Green Lantern, Jordan is semi-invulnerable, capable of projecting hard light constructions, flight, and utilizing various other abilities through his power ring which are only limited by his imagination and willpower. Jordan, as a Green Lantern, has exceptional willpower.
As Parallax, Hal was one of the most powerful beings in all of the DC Universe. In addition to his normal Green Lantern powers, he was able to manipulate and reconfigure time-space to his will, manipulate reality at a large scale, had vast superhuman strength which he demonstrated by being able to knock out Superman with one punch, a higher sense of awareness and enhanced durability. As Parallax he still was able to be harmed nearly just as easily as a normal Green Lantern but seemed to be able to endure more physical punishment. While Hal Jordan was Parallax he was never defeated by physical force, all of his very few defeats were of a changed mental state during or after the battle, which was usually the result of dealing with his own conscience and he would just give up, leave the battle and hide himself.
Alan Scott is a fictional character, a superhero that appears in comic books published by DC Comics and the first to bear the name Green Lantern. In the stories, the character fights evil with the aid of a magic ring that grants a variety of supernatural powers.
The original Green Lantern was created by a young struggling artist named Martin Nodell. Nodell mentions Richard Wagner's opera cycle The Ring of the Nibelung and the sight of a trainman's green railway lantern as his inspiration. After seeing this opera, Nodell sought to create a superhero who wielded a variety of magical powers from a magic ring, which he regularly recharged from a green lantern. Nodell wanted a colorful and interesting costume for his character, deriving from elements of Greek mythology. As Nodell recalled in an undated, latter-day interview,
"When I sent it in, I waited into the second week before I heard the word to come in. I was ushered into Mr. [Max] Gaines' office, publisher, and after sitting a long time and flipping through the pages of my presentation, he announced, "We like it!" And then, "Get to work!" I did the first five pages of an eight-page story, and then they called in Bill Finger to help. We worked on it for seven years [through 1947]."
Nodell chose the name "Alan Scott" by flipping through New York telephone books until he got two names he liked.
The character of Alan Scott made his debut in All-American Comics #16 (July 1940), fighting crime under the masked identity of "Green Lantern". He also appeared as part of the superhero team Justice Society of America in All Star Comics #3 (Winter 1940). He served as the team's second chairman in #7, but departed following that issue and returned a few years later, remaining a regular character. His villains tended to be ordinary humans, but he did have a few paranormal ones, such as the immortal Vandal Savage and the zombie Solomon Grundy. Green Lantern proved popular and was given his own series, Green Lantern, later that year. Most of his adventures were set in New York.
In 1941, Alan Scott was paired with a sidekick named Doiby Dickles, a rotund Brooklyn taxi driver. Doiby was not a big hit with readers and stopped appearing the following year. In 1948, Alan was paired with a canine sidekick named Streak. The dog proved so popular that he starred in his own solo side-stories.
After World War 2, superheroes declined in popularity. Green Lantern was cancelled in 1949 after 38 issues and All-American Comics dropped superheroes in favor of westerns. Alan Scott's final Golden Age appearance was in All-Star Comics #57 (1951). He remained out of publication for 12 years, and even after his revival he never got another solo series.
In 1959, DC Comics editor Julius Schwartz reinvented Green Lantern as a science fiction hero. The new Green Lantern, named Hal Jordan, was empowered by alien masters to serve as an interstellar lawman and had many adventures set in outer space. His powers were similar to Alan's but he was otherwise completely unrelated - Alan Scott never existed as far as the new stories were concerned. Hal Jordan proved popular, but readers still had an interest in the old Green Lantern. Some years later, Alan Scott reappeared as a guest star in The Flash #137 (1963). To avoid continuity conflicts with the Hal Jordan character, Alan Scott and all his old stories were written as being from a parallel universe. For most of the 1960s and 1970s, Alan Scott made guest appearances in books belonging to Silver Age characters, visiting their universe through magical or technological means. In 1976, he appeared regularly alongside his Justice Society comrades in the revived All-Star Comics and later Adventure Comics in stories set in the 1970s. In 1981, DC Comics launched All-Star Squadron, which featured Alan Scott and the Justice Society in a World War 2 setting.
In 1986, the editors at DC Comics decided that all its characters should exist within the same setting and effected this change with the Crisis on Infinite Earths miniseries. Alan Scott now shared the same fictional world as Hal Jordan. DC Comics decided to write the character out of continuity in a one-shot book entitled Last Days of the Justice Society, in which he was "forever" trapped in an extra-dimensional realm. The character was brought back in the 1990s due to fan interest. Rather than update Alan Scott as a contemporary young hero as had been done with Batman and Superman, Alan Scott was instead written as a veteran of World War 2 with a magically prolonged lifespan. To distinguish Alan Scott from Hal Jordan, his superhero codename was for a time changed to "Sentinel" and he lost his magic ring, manifesting his powers through his glowing hands instead. In JSA #50 (2003) he regained his classic codename and ring, though he remained apart from Hal Jordan's Green Lantern Corps. He was a regular character in JSA and Justice Society of America.
In 2011, DC Comics again rebooted their fictional properties, and their new version of Alan Scott once again exists in a parallel universe where Hal Jordan and his Green Lantern Corps do not exist. The new Alan Scott is no longer a grizzled veteran of World War 2, but a fresh young superhero. He first appears in Earth 2 #3 (2012) with a completely redesigned sleek, solid green suit with no cape.
Fictional Character Biography
Golden And Silver Ages
Thousands of years ago, a mystical "green flame" fell to Earth in ancient China as a meteor. A voice in the flame predicted that it would act three times: once to bring death, once to bring life, and once to bring power. For the first prophecy, a lamp-maker crafted the green metal of the meteor into a lamp. In fear and as punishment for what they thought sacrilege, the local villagers killed him, only to be destroyed by a sudden burst of the green flame. For the second, in modern times, the lamp came into the hands of a patient of a mental institution who fashioned the lamp into a modern lantern. The green flame restored him to sanity and gave him a new life. For the third, by 1940, after having already fulfilled the first two-thirds of this prophecy, the lantern fashioned from the meteoric metal fell into the hands of Alan Scott, a young railroad engineer. Following a railroad bridge collapse, the flame instructs Scott in how to fashion a ring from its metal, to give him fantastic powers as the superhero Green Lantern. He adopts a colorful costume of red, purple, yellow, and brown, setting himself apart from his successors, who wear the standard green. He becomes a crimefighter in his first adventure, defeating the crooks who caused the accident. He also discovers his powers' weakness to wood when he is bludgeoned with a club. Alan is a founding member of the Justice Society of America, and is its second chairman.
Scott uses his ring to fly, walk through solid objects by "moving through the fourth dimension", paralyze or blind people temporarily, hypnotize them, create rays of energy, melt metal as with a blowtorch, and cause dangerous objects to glow, among other things. It could also allow him and others to time travel. Occasionally, he uses it to read minds or create solid objects and force fields in the manner usually associated with fellow Green Lantern Hal Jordan. His ring could protect him against any object made of metal, but would not protect him against any wood- or plant-based objects. This was said to be because the green flame was an incarnation of the strength of "green, growing things".
During the 1940s, Green Lantern seemed to alternate between serious adventure, particularly when Solomon Grundy, his nemesis, appeared and light comedy, usually involving his sidekick, Doiby Dickles. Toward the end of his Golden Age adventures, he was reduced to the role of a sidekick to Streak the Wonder Dog, a heroic canine cut from the mold of Rin-Tin-Tin and Lassie.
Justice Society Of America
A part of Scott's early history is filled out with retroactive continuity. All-Star Squadron Annual #3 states that the JSA fought a being named Ian Karkull, who imbued them with energy that retarded their aging. This allowed Scott and several other members, as well as their spouses, to remain active into the late 20th century without infirmity. The events of that incident also led Scott to take a leave of absence from the JSA, explaining why the character vanished from the roster for a time.
Scott was a member of the Justice Society of America in 1951 when the team was investigated by the "Joint Congressional Un-American Activities Committee," a fictional organization based on the real-life House Un-American Activities Committee. They were accused of possible communist sympathies and asked to reveal their identities. The members declined the offer, and many of the members retired in the 1950s.
The team re-forms in the 1960s with Scott as a member, though little is known of their adventures during this time, save for stories about their team-ups with the Justice League of America, the parallel world Earth-One, and cross-universe adventures Scott shares with Earth-One's Green Lantern, Hal Jordan.
From the late 1940s to the 1970s, Scott runs the Gotham Broadcasting Company (GBC), which ends up ruined by creditors. After this, the Psycho Pirate temporarily drives Alan mad and the rest of the JSA help him recover. Jay Garrick helps him start a new career as a scientist and he eventually regains control of the GBC, which he continues to run.
It was eventually revealed that in the late 1960s that Scott marries the woman with the dual identity Rose and Thorn. The two have a pair of children who would grow up to become the superheroes Jade and Obsidian of the team Infinity, Inc..
In the 1980s, Scott married his reformed former nemesis, Molly Mayne, also known as The Harlequin, reconciling with his son and daughter.
Post-Crisis On Infinite Earths
The Last Days of the Justice Society of America Special (1986) one-shot tells how Adolf Hitler caused a massive wave of destructive energy to erupt over the post-Crisis Earth in 1945. Scott and the JSA, fresh from burying their Earth-Two comrades Robin and Huntress, enter into a limbo dimension in order to fight an eternally recurring Ragnarok.
Through the machinations of Waverider, the JSA teammates are able to leave limbo and begin living in the post-Crisis Earth they had fought to save. The mini-series is followed by Justice Society of America (1992–1993), which shows how Alan Scott adjusts to his new world. In the short-lived series, the JSA fight the newest incarnation of the Ultra-Humanite as well as Pol St. Germain and Kulak the Sorcerer. Scott reconnects with his wife and children, stating in issue #1 that Molly "is pretty much handling things at the company..." and that Jade and Obsidian "... are fine off doing their own thing in Hollywood. Not too interested in being super-heroes." The series ends with issue #10, not with the team disbanding, but with the members gathering together at their first formal meeting after returning home.
Alan follows Guy Gardner and a small group of heroes to investigate a mysterious distress from Oa, only to be defeated by Hal Jordan, who now calls himself Parallax, having been driven mad after the destruction of his home, Coast City. After the confrontation, Alan discovers that an artist, Kyle Rayner, inherits the remaining Green Lantern ring. After meeting the young hero, he informs him of the situations with Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. During the Zero Hour event, Alan witnesses the villain Extant incapacitate and kill several of his JSA teammates. After suffering defeat by the villain, Alan gives Kyle his original ring, passing the name "Green Lantern" to him. Alan's ring was later destroyed by Parallax.
For a time, the Starheart became part of Scott's body and he adopts the name Sentinel, becoming a founding member of a new JSA. Thanks to the rejuvenative properties of the Starheart, Scott's physical body is again temporarily revitalized so that he resembles a man in his 30s or early 40s. This drives his wife Molly, who has not been affected, to sell her soul to the demon Neron in exchange for youth. Alan enters the demonic realm, with help from entities such as the Phantom Stranger and Zatanna, and, with Kyle Rayner's aid, manages to win Molly's soul back, reuniting Molly's essence with her souless being.
He has since been physically altered again so that he more closely resembles his true chronological age. He returns to using the name "Green Lantern" during the JSA's battle with Mordru. He continues to fight crime in his original costumed identity, rebuilding a ring and serving as an elder statesman to the Justice Society of America and to the superhero community in general.
In Green Lantern: Rebirth, Alan and his daughter Jade, assist the surviving members of the Green Lantern Corps, Hal Jordan, who had been possessed by the ancient fear entity Parallax, John Stewart, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, and Kilowog, in defeating the Parallax-possessed Ganthet. Alan is increasingly weakened due to Parallax's failed attempts to control him as it did with Jordan, Stewart, Gardner, and Kilowog, so it decides to kill him instead. However, Jordan, with the aid of The Spectre, breaks free from Parallax' influence, and saves Alan from the fear entity.
During the Rann-Thanagar War, Kyle Rayner's power ring revealed that Scott is an honorary member of the Green Lantern Corps.
Infinite Crisis And 52
During the Infinite Crisis, Scott and his daughter Jade, along with many others, travel with Donna Troy to the center of the universe to save it from Alexander Luthor, Jr.. Though they manage to succeed in saving the universe, Jade dies on this mission. A year later, Scott is still active and relatively youthful compared to his true age, but now wears an eyepatch having lost his eye in a Zeta beam transporter accident while returning from space. Though Scott loses his daughter, he tells Kyle Rayner that he still has family both through relations and close friendships, among which he counts Kyle.
Week 4 of the 52 maxi-series reveals that Scott lost his left eye during a period when he and several other superheroes were declared missing approximately 11 months prior to the events of Checkmate #1. The Zeta Beam that Adam Strange had hoped to use for teleporting the heroes away from the time-space ripple caused by Alexander Luthor, Jr.'s actions was splintered by the ripple itself, mutilating the heroes in various ways.
In Week 5, Alan goes to the wife and daughter of Animal Man to tell them that Animal Man is missing in space. This gives Ellen Baker more hope that her husband is alive.
In Week 29, Alan, Wildcat, and Jay Garrick (Flash) are the only members of the JSA present on Thanksgiving. They talk about the other members of the JSA and about the new Infinity Inc., which is a new version of a team of which Alan's daughter, Jade, was a member.
After being put into a comatose state during an attack by the Gentleman Ghost, Alan envisions Jade, who tells him goodbye and grants him another portion of her green energy. His missing eye is replaced by a green glowing orb that, due to its mystical origins and connection to Jade, allows him to track astral and mystical energy forms such as ghosts.
One Year Later
During the missing year, Scott has joined Checkmate at the rank of White King, with his JSA teammate Mister Terrific as his Bishop. Scott soon finds himself in a moral conflict with Black Queen Sasha Bordeaux over the violent nature of Checkmate, particularly after Bordeaux and her team slaughter dozens of Kobra operatives during a raid on a facility. Bordeaux contends that the ends justify the means, while Scott adheres to the principle that heroes should not kill unless absolutely necessary. Bordeaux responds by suggesting that Scott resign. Concurrent with this internal conflict, Scott and the White Queen (Amanda Waller) try to keep the organization from being discontinued by political forces.
After the rise of the being Gog, Alan Scott allies with the Justice Society members that oppose Gog's simplistic view of the world. However, after encountering a Justice Society from an alternate universe in which his daughter Jade is still alive, he considers asking the seemingly all powerful being to raise his daughter from the dead. Later, Sandman learns that Gog is rooting himself into the Earth, and if he remains for one more day, the Earth will no longer be able to survive without him. The rest of the JSA arrive to kill Gog by separating his head from the Earth, which is the only way to save the planet. The Society members ally with Gog in an attempt to protect him until they see him attempt to attack a Society member. All of Gog's followers, including Magog, turn on him, causing Gog's blessing on them to be undone. The JSA are able to topple Gog and send him to the Source Wall, but Alan is unable to see his daughter.
In the Final Crisis storyline, Alan led a resistance against Darkseid's forces as one of the superheroes responding to Article X. In Final Crisis #5, he is shown defending Checkmate's Switzerland HQ from the Justifiers. Though Donna Troy tries to place the Justifier helmet on him, Hawkman saves him.
In the Blackest Night crossover, Alan and the rest of the JSA battle the reanimated Kal-L and Black Lantern versions of dead Justice Society members. After Jakeem Thunder is knocked out, Alan is one of the heroes who adds his powers into a "Black Lantern Bomb" designed to mimic Jakeem's Thunderbolt abilities, destroying all of the Black Lanterns in New York. In the final battle of the event, his daughter Jade is resurrected by the power of white light.
In the beginning of the Brightest Day crossover event, Alan lies in the arms of Obsidian, convulsing and writhing as a green light pours from his body. His body possessed, Alan flies off with his JSA teammates in hot pursuit, eventually led the team to Germany. The JSA meet up with Batman's new Justice League and find that Jade, who had been staying on Oa since her resurrection, has returned to Earth inside a green meteor, later revealed to be the legendary Starheart that gave Alan his powers. Sebastian Faust tells the two teams that the Starheart has been gradually taking control of people on Earth for quite some time. Now that it is on Earth, it is growing more powerful and driving metahumans all over the world insane. Jade states that the Starheart captured her in space and purposely brought her to Earth to find Alan and that it is her fault that her father is now in danger. Just then, Alan awakens and his costume transforms into a suit of armor identical to the one he wears in Kingdom Come, and he then tells the assembled heroes that he intends on destroying the world.
Starman is sent into space to search for Alan, and finds that Alan has constructed a massive fortress on the surface of the moon. Before Starman can warn the others, Alan appears in front of him and tears his gem, the source of his abilities, from his chest, thus rendering him powerless. The Starheart uses its influence to corrupt various metahumans with magical or elemental abilities, which creates chaos across the globe. Realizing that the heroes must defeat Alan in order to end the chaos, Batman recruits Miss Martian to get a mental lock on Starman, which, in turn, provides the Justice League with Alan's location. Batman then assembles a small strikeforce consisting of himself, Jade, Hourman, Donna Troy, Jesse Quick, and Mr. America, all of whom have a low chance of being possessed by the Starheart. Mister Miracle arrives and informs the team that Alan has most likely installed Fourth World defenses in his base and offers to use his knowledge of such technology to guide them through the fortress. When they finally find him, Jade uses her powers to restore Alan to normal. With his sanity restored, Alan chooses to allow the Emerald City he created on the moon to stay, and the city becomes populated by various magical creatures from throughout the DCU.
After the events of the Brightest Day, Alan and the rest of the JSA travel to the city of Monument Point, which has been attacked by a superpowered terrorist named Scythe. Just before being defeated, Scythe snaps Alan's neck. In the subsequent story, it is revealed that Scythe is the product of Nazi genetic engineering, and that Alan and Jay had been tasked by the president with killing the experiment back when he was in infancy during World War 2. The two heroes could not agree on a course of action, and, as a result, Scythe was allowed to live. Doctor Mid-Nite discovers that the injuries Alan sustained have rendered him paralyzed, and that any attempt to heal himself could break his constant concentration, which could result in the Starheart once again regaining control of his body.
Jade visits her bed-ridden father in the Emerald City, and offers to use her abilities to help him walk again. Alan declines his daughter's offer, reasoning that if the Starheart were to once again take over his body, it could result in the deaths of everyone in the city. Eclipso attacks the city, which results in Jesse Quick having to get Alan to safety.
Later, the JSA try to take down the villain D'arken who has broken free from imprisonment beneath Monument Point and absorbed the powers of JSA members, but D'arken is too powerful. Due to this only non-superpowered and magical members fight D'arken. The JSA tells Alan that unleashing the Starheart is the only way to destroy D'arken. However, after releasing the Starheart energies, Alan's body begins to incinerate. Afterwards, the JSA attend a funeral for Alan, whom they believe to be dead.
The New 52
Following DC's September 2011 reboot of its fictional universe, Alan was reintroduced in issue 1 of Earth 2 as the young dynamic head of GBC productions on Earth 2 (a parallel world within the DC Multiverse). On June 1, 2012, DC announced that Scott would be reimagined as a gay man. In issue 3, Scott is revealed to have a boyfriend named Sam, to whom he intends to propose while on vacation in China. Before he can do so, however, the train on which the couple is travelling is suddenly wrecked. A mysterious green flame protects Scott and heals him; a disembodied voice informs him that the crash was caused by a force that threatens the whole world, and that Sam did not survive.
The grief-stricken Scott is then told that he will be given the power to avenge his love and protect the world. The flame creates a costume for him, and molds Sam's engagement ring into a power ring with which Scott can harness his power. Reborn as the Green Lantern, Scott proceeds to help the other survivors and swears vengeance for Sam. This Alan Scott is a completely different character than the Alan Scott on New Earth, as it was revealed in Earth2 #1 that this version of Green Lantern is associated with The Green, a mystical realm/entity that connects all organic life on Earth.
Powers And Abilities
Alan Scott wields a magical ring that can produce a variety of effects. The extent of the ring's ability has never been rigorously defined, but three consistent traits are that it allows him to fly, that its effects are accompanied by a green light, and that it cannot directly affect anything made of wood.
In Scott's earlier appearances, he would project a beam of green light from his ring that could do variety of things such as move objects, melt metal, shrink objects, or put out fires. He rarely used it as an actual weapon and preferred to fight with his fists like any other pulp adventure hero would do. The ring made him invulnerable to any weapon not made of wood.
In later appearances, he started conjuring solid objects. These objects could be of any shape and size such as: a sword to cut a rope, chains to bind a prisoner, a parachute to slow his fall, and a disembodied fist to beat his foe. But they were always pure green in color and would vanish as soon as he stopped concentrating on them. Alan controlled these objects telekinetically. These conjured objects, later referred to as "constructs", would become the signature power of Green Lanterns in later decades.
At the start of many stories, Alan charged his ring by touching it to a green lantern, which would give him 24 hours of power (regardless of how heavily he used it).
Alan's ring cannot affect anything made of wood or plant matter. He can conjure a green shield to block bullets, but a wooden club will pass right through it effortlessly. Solomon Grundy, a zombie whose body is partially made from swamp matter, is highly resistant to Alan's powers.
In the mid-1980s, DC merged Alan Scott and Hal Jordan into a shared setting and eliminated parallel universes from the narrative. Because these two characters were unrelated, the writers altered Alan's powers to differentiate him from Hal. Alan's constructs were now wreathed in green flame, highlighting their magical (and not technological) nature. He physically merged with his lantern, meaning he no longer needed to recharge as Hal needed to. In 1995, he lost his magical ring but learned to manifest his power through his glowing hands instead (this change was reversed in JSA #50).
In the beginning, Alan's power was vaguely connected to the mystical power of the living world; "green, as are the plants, the growing things!". Since the 2011 reboot, this has been specified as "The Green", the mystical force that connects all plant life.
July 2015 marks the 75th Anniversary of Green Lantern. Allan Scott the original Green Lantern, created by Martin Nodell, was introduced in All-American Comics #16 (July 1940). Published by All-American Publications, one of three companies that would eventually merge to form DC Comics.
Over the years there have been many more GL's with Hal Jordan becoming the most well known.
Here we will be celebrating all things Green Lantern in honor of there 75th anniversary.
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