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Green Lantern Publication History

First appearance


Golden Age

The original Green Lantern was Alan Scott, created during the Golden Age in 1940 by Martin Nodell and Bill Finger. Scott was a railroad engineer who came into possession of a magic lantern. He used this lantern to craft a ring that gave him a variety of powers, although it didn't work on wood and had to be recharged by the lantern every 24 hours.[1] DC later made him a charter member of the Justice Society, comic' first superhero team.[2] Eventually he was given his own Green Lantern series.[3] It was later cancelled several years later.[4] The popularity of superheroes declined after World War II and he made his last appearance in 1951.[5]

Silver Age

John Broome and Gil Kane updated the Green Lantern concept during the Silver Age by creating Hal Jordan in 1959. He was a test pilot given his ring and power battery by the dying alien Abin Sur who crashed to Earth in a spacecraft. Instead of wood, this ring had a weakness to the color yellow. Jordan worked at Ferris Aircraft where he was in love with the boss' daughter Carol Ferris, in love with Green Lantern but unaware of his double identity.[6] Following a three-issue stint in Showcase he was used as a founding member of the Justice League.[7] They quickly gave Jordan his own Green Lantern series, which established him as a member of the Green Lantern Corps led by the Guardians of the Universe on Oa.[8]

To give him a kid sidekick, the Eskimo mechanic Pieface was introduced as his confidante.[9] His arch-nemesis Sinestro was later created as a renegade ex-Lantern wielding a Yellow Power Ring made by the Weaponers of Qward.[10] Carol Ferris later becomes another one of his enemies when she's turned into Star Sapphire.[11]

They later introduce another Lantern of Earth named Guy Gardner, an equally qualified candidate who would've been chosen if Jordan hadn't been closer. Gardner is supposed to replace Jordan if he is ever unable to complete his duties.[12]

Bronze Age

In the Bronze Age, Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams were given the title to fight diminishing sales. They chose to politicize his adventures, teaming law-and-order hero Green Lantern with his liberal best friend Green Arrow. When Green Arrow accused the Guardians of losing perspective, a Guardian named Old Timer agreed to accompany them on a road trip across America.[13] When Guy Gardner injures himself, Hal is forced to train another potential replacement. This man is a racially sensitive black architect or "blarchitect" named John Stewart.[14]


Following the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Guardians left our dimension to partner with their mates the Zamarons.[15] This upheaval in organization allowed Lanterns to choose their own assignments based on need, and a large group assembled as the Green Lantern Corps of Earth.[16] This eventually disbanded.[17] Jordan and Stewart were moved to the title Action Comics Weekly.[18] Green Lantern was finally given his own series again headlining Jordan following the end of this run.[19]

Due to low sales, DC decided to wipe out the entire Green Lantern Corps and start over with an entirely new character. Hal Jordan went insane during the Emerald Twilight storyline and became Parallax, murdering the Guardians and destroying the Central Power Battery. Ganthet gives their final ring to an artist named Kyle Rayner as the last Green Lantern.[20] Rayner's girlfriend Alex DeWitt is killed by super-villain Major Force very early on, giving him motivation through tragedy.[21] Hal Jordan died to save the world as Parallax during Final Night.[22] His soul remained in Purgatory, and this allowed him to become the new Spectre during Day of Judgment.[23]


Hal Jordan is resurrected to become Green Lantern again during the Rebirth storyline by Geoff Johns. It's revealed that Parallax was an evil entity who possessed him, the living embodiment of fear on the emotional electromagnetic spectrum.[24] The Green Lantern Corps is rebuilt during the Recharge storyline.[25]

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