In honor of African-American History Month, DC Comics News presents the characters, artists, writers and actors of color that helped to shape the DC Universe. Today Staff Writer Kevin Gunn takes a look at Green Lantern reservist John Stewart.
Although Black Lightning was DC Comics’ first major black character to get his own series, their actual first black superhero was the Green Lantern John Stewart. Created in 1971 by Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams, Stewart was forged at the height of societal turmoil, a climate that was reflected prior to the run of Green Lantern/Green Arrow.
Stewart would make his debut in Green Lantern #87. Initially, he was portrayed as a brash ex-Marine who had an issue with following authority. The Guardians of the Universe handpicked him to replace Green Lantern Hal Jordan when the former substitute for Sector 2814, Guy Gardner, was seriously injured on a mission.
Jordan wasn’t an immediate fan of Stewart, but eventually, he was comfortable with the Guardians’ choice. He was married to alien and fellow Green Lantern Katma Tui, until she was killed by Star Sapphire.
It could be argued that Stewart rose to popularity in 2001, when he was chosen again to represent Sector 2814. Only this time, he would serve as the Green Lantern on the Bruce Timm produced series Justice League. He was voiced by actor Phil LaMarr.
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