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Green Lantern
Alan scott-ross.jpg
Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern.
Cover art for JSA #77 by Alex Ross.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance All-American Comics #16 (July 1940)
Created by Bill Finger
Martin Nodell
In-story information
Alter ego Alan Ladd Wellington Scott
Team affiliations Justice Society of America
Checkmate
All-Star Squadron
Sentinels of Magic
Notable aliases Sentinel, White King
Abilities Flight;
Solid light constructs;
Mystical tracking;
Longevity with the use of a Power ring

Alan Scott is a fictional character, a superhero in the DC Comics Universe and the first superhero to bear the name Green Lantern.[1]

Contents

Publication history

The original Green Lantern was created by young struggling artist Martin Nodell, who was inspired by the sight of a New York Subway employee waving a red lantern to stop a train for track work and a green lantern once the track was clear.[citation needed] With the name in hand and borrowing heavily from the story of Aladdin, Nodell created a mystical crimefighter who got his powers from the flame of a strange lamp.[citation needed]

Nodell was teamed with writer Bill Finger, who wrote the scripts for stories, which were often drawn by Martin Nodell and sometimes by ghost artists such as Irwin Hasen.

The character made his debut in All-American Comics #16 (July 1940). The art was credited to Nodell via his pseudonym "Mart Dellon". Like many creators of the time, Nodell hoped to keep the stigma of comic books from tarnishing his career in commercial illustration.[citation needed]

According to Mordecai Richler, "there is no doubt... that The Green Lantern has its origin in Hassidic mythology".[2] However, Richler gives no reasons for saying this. Creator Martin Nodell has written that he originally intended to name the character Alan Ladd, after Aladdin, but changed the name to avoid confusion with the movie actor of the same name. Nodell mentions Richard Wagner's opera cycle The Ring of the Nibelungen and the sight of a trainman's green railway lantern as inspirations.[3]

Scott was a charter member of the Justice Society of America, beginning 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. He has been a key member of the group ever since, appearing in all three titles bearing the teams' name.

Fictional character biography

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Discovery

Thousands of years ago, a mystical "green flame" fell to Earth. The voice of the flame prophesied that it would act three times: once to bring death, once to bring life, and once to bring power. By 1940, after having already fulfilled the first two-thirds of this prophecy, the flame had been fashioned into a metal lantern, which 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 (setting himself apart from his successors, as he wore both red and purple in his outfit, besides the standard green) and becomes a crimefighter.[1]

Scott uses his ring to fly, to walk through solid objects (by "moving through the fourth dimension"),[4] to paralyze or blind people temporarily, to create rays of energy, to melt metal as with a blowtorch, and to cause dangerous objects to glow, among other things. Occasionally, he uses it to create solid objects and force fields in the manner usually associated with fellow Green Lantern Hal Jordan, and to read minds. His ring could protect him against any object made of metal, but would not protect him against any wood or plant based objects.[1] This was said to be because the green flame was an incarnation of the strength of "green, growing things".[citation needed]

During the 1940s, Green Lantern seemed to alternate between serious adventure - particularly when his arch-nemesis, Solomon Grundy, 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

Green Lanterns of two worlds:
The Silver Age Hal Jordan meets the Golden Age Alan Scott in Green Lantern #40 (Oct. 1965). Cover art by Gil Kane & Murphy Anderson.

Scott was a member of the JSA 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 but stated to have been created after the death of Senator Joseph McCarthy on Earth-Two.[citation needed] They were accused of possible Communist sympathies and asked to reveal their identities. The JSA declined, and most of the membership retired in the 1950s.

One piece of retroactive continuity fills out Scott's early history: All-Star Squadron Annual #3 states that the JSA fought a being named Ian Karkull who imbued them with energy that retarded their aging, allowing 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 to his taking a leave of absence from the JSA, explaining why the character vanished from the roster for a time.

Also, during this period, he and his friend Jay Garrick (the Flash) had an encounter with Abin Sur, the Green Lantern who preceded Hal Jordan; tracking a criminal to Earth, Sur's ring is immobilized by his foe forming a yellow barrier around the ring. Sur then secretly borrows Alan's ring after he and Jay were knocked unconscious.[citation needed] With the new ring, which lacks a weakness to yellow, Sur was able to take his foe by surprise and defeat him, before returning the ring to Alan and leaving Earth.

The team re-formed in the 1960s with Scott as a member, though little is known of their adventures during this time save for their team-ups with the Justice League of America, of the parallel world Earth-One, and a few cross-universe adventures Scott shared with Earth-One's Green Lantern, Hal Jordan.

From the late 1940s to the 1970s, Scott runs the Gotham Broadcasting Company (GBC). The company ends up ruined by creditors. The Psycho Pirate temporarily drives Alan mad and the rest of the JSA help him recover.[citation needed] Jay Garrick helps him start a new career as a scientist, although he eventually regains control of the GBC and is still running it to this day.[citation needed]

Progeny

It was eventually revealed that in the late 1960s, Scott marries the woman with the dual identity Rose and Thorn, and the two had a pair of children who would grow up to become the superheroes Jade and Obsidian of the team Infinity, Inc..[citation needed]

In the 1980s, Scott married his longtime nemesis (now reformed) Molly Mayne, also known as The Harlequin, and reconciles with his son and daughter.[citation needed]

Post-Crisis on Infinite Earths

The Last Days of the Justice Society of America Special (1986) one-shot told how Adolf Hitler (in 1945) caused a massive wave of destructive energy to erupt over the post-Crisis Earth. Scott and the JSA, fresh from burying their Earth-Two comrades Robin and Huntress, entered into a limbo dimension in order to fight an eternally recurring Ragnarok.

The Return

Through the machinations of Waverider the JSA teammates are able to leave limbo and begin living in the post-Crisis Earth which they had fought to save (Armageddon: Inferno 1992). That 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; in issue #1 he states that Molly "is pretty much handling things at the company..." and of Jade and Obsidian, "They're 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 gathered together at their first formal meeting after returning home.

Alan followed Guy Gardner and a small group of heroes to investigate a mysterious distress from Oa, only to be defeated by Hal Jordan, who was apparently driven mad after the destruction of his home Coast City and called himself Parallax. After the confrontation, Alan later discovered an artist, Kyle Rayner, inherited the remaining Green Lantern ring, and after meeting the young hero, informed him of the situations of Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. During the Zero Hour event, Alan witnessed the villain Extant incapacitate and kill several of his JSA teammates. After suffering defeat by the villain, Alan gave 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 adopted the name Sentinel, becoming a founding member of a new JSA.[1] Thanks to the rejuvenative properties of the Starheart, Scott's physical body was 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 a demonic realm, with help from entities such as the Phantom Stranger and Zatanna. He manages to win Molly's soul back, and with Kyle Rayner's aid, he reunited 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, assisted the surviving members of the Green Lantern Corps; Hal Jordan (who was discovered to be possessed by the ancient fear entity Parallax), John Stewart, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, and Kilowog, in defeating the Parallax-possessed Ganthet. Alan was increasingly weakening due to Parallax's failed attempts to control him as it did with Stewart, Gardner, and Kilowog, so it decided to kill him instead until Jordan, with the aid of The Spectre, breaks free from Parallax' influence, saving Alan from the fear entity.

The death of Jade. Art by Ivan Reis.

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, traveled with Donna Troy to the center of the universe to save the universe from an unknown threat; later revealed to be Alexander Luthor, Jr.. Jade died on that mission. A year later, Scott appears to be still active, still relatively youthful in comparison to his true age, but now wears an eye-patch due to losing his eye in a Zeta beam transporter accident while returning from space. Even though Scott lost his daughter he states to Kyle Rayner that he still has family both by relation and close friendship among which he counts Kyle.

Alan Scott wearing the armor of his Kingdom Come counterpart

Week 4 of the 52 maxi-series reveals that Scott lost his left eye during a period when he and several other superheroes had been declared missing (approximately 11 months prior to the events of Checkmate #1). The Zeta Beam that Adam Strange was hoping to use for teleporting the heroes in space away from the time-space ripple caused by Alexander Luthor, Jr. actions was splintered by the ripple itself, mutilating the heroes in various ways.[5]

In Week 5, he goes to the wife and daughter of Animal Man, that he is gone missing in space. This gives Ellen Baker some more hope that he is alive.[6]

In Week 29, he along with Wildcat and Jay Garrick (Flash), are the only members of the JSA to be around on Thanksgiving. They talk about the other members of the JSA and the new Infinity Inc., of which Alan's daughter, Jade was a member of the old team, before her death. Alan's son, Obsidian, arrives and becomes angry. After speaking with Obsidian, tensions cool down and they both leave.[7]

His missing eye was later replaced by a portion of his daughter Jade's mystic green energy. After being put into a comatose state during an attack by the Gentleman Ghost, Jade appeared to him, told him goodbye and granted him another portion of her green energy. His missing eye is currently 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.

Scott continues to be a member of the Justice Society of America after it reforms and expands.

"One Year Later"

During the missing year, Scott has joined Checkmate at the rank of White King. Scott assigned 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 to this by suggesting that Scott resign. Concurrent with this internal conflict, Scott and the White Queen (Amanda Waller) are trying to keep the organization from being discontinued by political forces.

After the rise of the being Gog, Alan Scott was part of the Justice Society members that opposed Gog's simplistic view of the world. However, after encountering a Justice Society from an alternate universe in which his daughter Jade was still alive, he has considered asking the seemingly all powerful being to raise his daughter from the dead.[8] Later, Sandman learned that Gog is rooting himself into the Earth, and if he remains for one more day, the Earth will die if he ever leaves. The rest of the JSA arrive to kill Gog and separate his head from the Earth, which is the only way to save the planet. The other Society members following Gog attempt to protect him, until they see him attempt to attack a Society member. All of Gog's followers, including Magog, eventually turn on him, for which Gog's blessing on them is also undone.[9] Eventually, the JSA are able to topple Gog, and send him the Source Wall, Alan is unable to see his daughter.[10]

In the Final Crisis storyline, he leads 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. When Donna Troy tries to place the Justifier helmet on him, he is saved by Hawkman.

Origins and Omens and beyond

Alan is shown in a panel in the Origins and Omens back-up story in Green Lantern (vol. 4) 38, standing in front of the Guardians next to the sorcerer Mordru and the alien magician Green Lantern Torquemada, their fingers stretched out in accusation.

In Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #5, Torquemada and Alan Scott are shown imprisoned in a wall on the Sorcerers World in the 31st Century.

Other versions

Kingdom Come

In Mark Waid and Alex Ross' Kingdom Come limited series, Alan Scott has reclaimed the mantle of Green Lantern[11] and forged green armor seemingly powered by the Starheart. Throughout the course of the story, it is revealed that Alan has established a city that orbits the Earth, which he later dubs New Oa. Alan joins with Superman in the new Justice League and saves a number of heroes from an atomic explosion at the end of the limited series by shielding them with his powers. In the limited series' epilogue, Alan is shown joining the United Nations as the ambassador of the sovereign nation of New Oa.

This version of Alan Scott makes a cameo appearance in Justice Society of America (vol. 2) #14, now hailing from Earth-22 in the new Multiverse. Earth-22 is the reality home to the characters from the Kingdom Come limited series.

To date, the regular Alan Scott has worn the same armor on three separate occasions when he uses high amounts of power.

JSA: The Unholy Three

Another version of Alan Scott was seen briefly in JSA: The Unholy Three as a post-WW2 agent called the Lantern whose use of his power ring was invaluable to the intelligence community for its ability to discern truth from lies. The ring and Alan's hand were destroyed by a Superman gone rogue.

Green Lantern: Evil's Might

In the Elseworlds tale, Green Lantern: Evil's Might, Alan Scott is depicted as the young leader of a gang called the Bowery Greens. He steals a magical green gem similar to Kyle Rayner's ring and later steals Kyle's lantern. In a final showdown, he fatally wounds Kyle, but is absorbed into Kyle's ring.

The Golden Age

In the Elseworlds series "The Golden Age", Alan Scott finds himself under investigation from the House Un-American Activities Committee because of his refusal to turn over employees suspected of communist activities. In the final battle with Dynaman, Johnny Quick refers to him as "the big guy," implying that he may have been the most powerful hero of the era (although this is likely also a reference to Alan's large physical stature).

Superman & Batman: Generations

In Superman & Batman: Generations, a version of Alan Scott was featured. In this storyline, it is stated that, the first time Alan used his ring, he was knocked out from behind by a man with a wooden club, causing Alan to believe the ring was weak against wood, thereby causing a mental block.

52

In the final issue of 52, a new Multiverse is revealed, originally consisting of 52 identical realities. Among the parallel realities shown is one designated "Earth-2". As a result of Mister Mind "eating" aspects of this reality, it takes on visual aspects similar to the pre-Crisis Earth-2, including the Green Lantern among other Justice Society of America characters. The names of the characters and the team are not mentioned in the panel in which they appear, but the Green Lantern is visually similar to Alan Scott.[12]

Based on comments by Grant Morrison, this alternate universe is not the pre-Crisis Earth-2.[13]

Superman: Red Son

Scott is also shown as a member of the Green Lantern Marine Corps in Superman: Red Son.

In other media

Powers and abilities

Following Crisis on Infinite Earths, which merged all parallel realities into one, the source of Scott's power would be revealed to be the mystical "Starheart", the magical characteristics of the Earth-One Universe gathered by the Oan Guardians of the Universe.[1] This collective force was hidden in the heart of a star and became sentient. The force also helps retard Scott's aging process. Another story implied a connection to Yalan Gur, an ancient member of the Green Lantern Corps. Considering that Scott derives his power from the Starheart, and does not need to recharge his ring as it is made of the Starheart, he is perhaps the most powerful of all the bearers of the Green Lantern mantle. Doctor Midnite has remarked that Alan Scott is perhaps more powerful than even Superman, and as such one of the most powerful beings in the universe. He has one main weaknesses: his power can be negated by anything made of wood. His physical appearance changes according to his personal health and well being; at the peak of his powers he looks like a man in his late 30's/early 40's but he shows his true age when his powers are affected by wood (he, Jay Garrick, and Ted Grant are all in the range of 90-100 years of age). His power is also limited in its application by his willpower and imagination.

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e Wallace, Dan (2008), "Green Lantern", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, pp. 144–147, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017 
  2. ^ Mordecai Richler, The Great Comic Book Heroes, Encounter, 1965, reprinted in three different volumes of essays by Mordecai Richler: Hunting Tigers Under Glass, 1968; Notes on an Endangered Species and Others, 1974, and The Great Comic Book Heroes and Other Essays, 1978
  3. ^ Martin Nodell, Preface to The Golden Age Green Lantern Archives volume 1, 1999
  4. ^ Bill Finger (w), Martin Nodell (p,i). All-American Comics 1 (16): 1-8 (July, 1940), DC Comics
  5. ^ "52" Week Four
  6. ^ "52" Week Five
  7. ^ "52" Week Twenty-Nine
  8. ^ Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #20
  9. ^ Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #21
  10. ^ Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #22
  11. ^ Jess Nevins (2000-12-18). "Kingdom Come #1 Annotations". Archived from the original on 2009-10-24. http://www.webcitation.org/5kmFL2Xe2. Retrieved 2007-06-19. 
  12. ^ 52 (52): 13/3 (May 2, 2007), DC Comics
  13. ^ Brady, Matt (2007-05-08). ""THE 52 EXIT INTERVIEWS: GRANT MORRISON"". Newsarama. http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=111900. Retrieved 2007-05-12. 

References

External links


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