by Thomas ODonnell
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Green Lantern

Green Lantern

Even though Nodell had created the Green Lantern, Finger was brought on to work out the kinks!

In the winter of 1940, while waiting to break into show business. Amateur artist Martin Nodell brought samples of his artwork to ALL-AMERICAN COMICS editor Sheldon Mayer. After looking over the samples Mayer said he was looking for a new hero to add to their lineup of monthly books and was considering any good ideas.

Nodell recalled in 2000:

I picked out the name from the train man on the tracks who was waving a lantern, going from red to green…. Green meant go and I decided that was it. Then I needed a colorful and interesting costume. I was interested in Greek mythology and so the costume took on elements of that. It just all fell into place. 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, 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.

All American Comics #16

All American Comics #16

Nodell infused elements from “Richard Wagner’s operatic Ring cycle” as well as Chinese folklore and Greek mythology to create the hero.Initially Nodell used the name “Alan Ladd” after the Middle-Eastern folktale Aladdin for Green Lantern’s alter ego. But Mayer pointed out that there was an actor named Alan Ladd, so to avoid a conflict they quickly changed the name to “Alan Scott” ( Alan Ladd Wellington Scott). Mayer brought in Batman scribe Bill Finger to write scripts. Mayer felt Finger was a perfect fit for Nodell. Finger used the city of  “Metropolis” as a backdrop and changed Alan Scott’s profession from a “young construction engineer” to a “young radio engineer” for the “APEX Broadcasting Studio”. Nodell left the strip in 1947 and went on to create the “Pillsbury Doughboy”. Silver age Green Lantern villain Black Hand (William Hand) is named after Bill Finger as tribute to his DC Comics work.

The Green Lantern: Created by Martin Nodell and Bill Finger

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

The Green Lantern

The Green Lantern

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 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”.

The Green Lantern in other media:                                                                                                   

"Young Justice" Alan Scott

“Young Justice” Alan Scott

William Katt: (Voice) Green Guardsman (Scott Mason), “Justice League Unlimited”   

Tom Everett Scott: (voice) Alan Scott, “Batman: The Brave and the Bold”   

………………….: (non-speaking) Alan Scott, “Young Justice”

Jason B. Phelps: (voice) Alan Scott, “DC Universe Online”

Doug Pinton: Alan Scott, “SMALLVILLE”



Just to show how popular The Green Lantern was at the time this young man sports a Green Lantern costume!

Vintage Cosplay

Vintage Cosplay













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Source: DC Wiki, Bill Finger Appreciation Group

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