Green Lantern
Cover of Green Lantern: Rebirth #6 (May 2005)
Pictured left to right: Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, Hal Jordan, John Stewart, and Kilowog.
Art by Ethan Van Sciver.
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceAll-American Comics #16 (July 1940)
Created byAlan Scott:
Martin Nodell
Bill Finger
Hal Jordan:
John Broome
Gil Kane
John Stewart:
Dennis O'Neil
Neal Adams
CharactersAlan Scott
Hal Jordan
Guy Gardner
John Stewart
Kyle Rayner
Simon Baz
Jessica Cruz
Sojourner Mullein
See alsoGreen Lantern Corps

Green Lantern is the name of several superheroes appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. They fight evil with the aid of rings that grant them a variety of extraordinary powers, all of which come from imagination, fearlessness, and the electromagnetic spectrum of emotional willpower.[1] The characters are typically depicted as members of the Green Lantern Corps, an intergalactic law enforcement agency.

The first Green Lantern character, Alan Scott, was created in 1940 by Martin Nodell with scripting or co-scripting of the first stories by Bill Finger[2] during the Golden Age of Comic Books and usually fought common criminals in Capitol City (and later, Gotham City) with the aid of his magic ring. For the Silver Age of Comic Books, John Broome and Gil Kane reinvented the character as Hal Jordan in 1959 and introduced the Green Lantern Corps, shifting the nature of the character from fantasy to science fiction. During the Bronze Age of Comic Books, Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams introduced John Stewart, a new member of the Corps who was one of DC's first black superheroes. Other notable Green Lanterns include Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, Simon Baz, Jessica Cruz and Jo Mullein.

The Green Lanterns are among DC Comics' longest lasting sets of characters. They have been adapted to television, video games, and motion pictures.

Publication history

See also: Green Lantern (comic book)


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Golden Age

Martin Nodell (initially using the pen-name Mart Dellon) created the first Green Lantern in collaboration with Bill Finger. He first appeared in the Golden Age of Comic Books in All-American Comics #16 (July 1940), published by All-American Publications, one of three companies that would eventually merge to form DC Comics.[3]

This Green Lantern's real name was Alan Scott, a railroad engineer who, after a railway crash, came into possession of a magic lantern which spoke to him and said it would bring power. From this, he crafted a magic ring that gave him a wide variety of powers. The limitations of the ring were that it had to be "charged" every 24 hours by touching it to the lantern for a time and that it could not directly affect objects made of wood. Alan Scott fought mostly ordinary human villains, but he did have a few paranormal ones such as the immortal Vandal Savage and the zombie Solomon Grundy. Most stories took place in New York. Green Lantern rings are made from magic.

As a popular character in the 1940s, the Green Lantern featured both in anthology books such as All-American Comics and Comic Cavalcade, as well as his own book, Green Lantern. He also appeared in All Star Comics as a member of the superhero team known as the Justice Society of America.

After World War II the popularity of superheroes in general declined. The Green Lantern comic book was cancelled with issue #38 (May–June 1949), and All Star Comics #57 (1951) was the character's last Golden Age appearance. When superheroes came back in fashion in later decades, the character Alan Scott was revived, but he was forever marginalized by the new Hal Jordan character who had been created to supplant him (see below). Initially, he made guest appearances in other superheroes' books, but eventually got regular roles in books featuring the Justice Society. He never got another solo series, although he did star in individual stories and in the single-issue 2002 comic book Brightest Day, Blackest Night.[4] Between 1995 and 2003, DC Comics changed Alan Scott's superhero codename to "Sentinel" in order to distinguish him from the newer and more popular science fictional Green Lanterns.

In 2011, the Alan Scott character was revamped. His costume was redesigned to be all green and the source of his powers was changed to that of the mystical power of nature (referred to in the stories as "the Green").

Silver Age

In 1959, Julius Schwartz reinvented the Green Lantern character as a science fiction hero named Hal Jordan. Hal Jordan's powers were more or less the same as Alan Scott's, but otherwise this character was completely different from the Green Lantern character of the 1940s. He had a new name, a redesigned costume, and a rewritten origin story. Hal Jordan received his ring from a dying alien and was commissioned as an officer of the Green Lantern Corps, an interstellar law enforcement agency overseen by the Guardians of the Universe.[5]

Hal Jordan was introduced in Showcase #22 (September–October 1959). Gil Kane and Sid Greene were the art team most notable on the title in its early years, along with writer John Broome. His initial physical appearance, according to Kane, was patterned after his one-time neighbor, actor Paul Newman.[6]

Later developments

With issue #76 (April 1970), the series made a radical stylistic departure. Editor Schwartz, in one of the company's earliest efforts to provide more than fantasy, worked with the writer-artist team of Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams to spark new interest in the comic book series and address a perceived need for social relevance. They added the character Green Arrow (with the cover, but not the official name, retitled Green Lantern Co-Starring Green Arrow) and had the pair travel through America encountering "real world" issues, to which they reacted in different ways — Green Lantern as fundamentally a lawman, Green Arrow as a liberal iconoclast. Additionally during this run, the groundbreaking "Snowbirds Don't Fly" story was published (issues #85–86) in which Green Arrow's teen sidekick Speedy (the later grown-up hero Red Arrow) developed a heroin addiction that he was forcibly made to quit. The stories were critically acclaimed, with publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek citing it as an example of how comic books were "growing up".[7] However, the O'Neil/Adams run was not a commercial success, and the series was cancelled after only 14 issues, though an additional unpublished three installments were finally published as back-ups in The Flash #217–219.[8]

The title saw a number of revivals and cancellations. It changed to Green Lantern Corps at one point as the popularity rose and waned. During a time there were two regular titles, each with a Green Lantern, and a third member in the Justice League. A new character, Kyle Rayner, was created to become the feature while Hal Jordan first became the villain Parallax, then died and came back as the Spectre.

In the wake of The New Frontier, writer Geoff Johns returned Hal Jordan as Green Lantern in Green Lantern: Rebirth (2004–05). Johns began to lay the groundwork for "Blackest Night" (released July 13, 2010)[9]), viewing it as the third part of the trilogy started by Rebirth. Expanding on the Green Lantern mythology in the second part, "Sinestro Corps War" (2007), Johns, with artist Ethan van Sciver, found wide critical acclaim and commercial success with the series, which promised the introduction of a spectrum of colored "lanterns".


The series and its creators have received several awards over the years, including the 1961 Alley Award for Best Adventure Hero/Heroine with Own Book[10] and the Academy of Comic Book Arts Shazam Award for Best Continuing Feature in 1970, for Best Individual Story ("No Evil Shall Escape My Sight", Green Lantern (vol. 2) #76 by Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams),[11] and in 1971 for Best Individual Story ("Snowbirds Don't Fly", Green Lantern (vol. 2) #85 by O'Neil and Adams).[12]

Writer O'Neil received the Shazam Award for Best Writer (Dramatic Division) in 1970 for his work on Green Lantern, Batman, Superman and other titles, while artist Adams received the Shazam for Best Artist (Dramatic Division) in 1970 for his work on Green Lantern and Batman.[11] Inker Dick Giordano received the Shazam Award for Best Inker (Dramatic Division) for his work on Green Lantern and other titles.[11]

In Judd Winick's first regular writing assignment on Green Lantern, he wrote a storyline in which an assistant of Kyle Rayner's emerged as a gay character in Green Lantern (vol. 3) #137 (June 2001). In Green Lantern (vol. 3) #154 (November 2001) the story entitled "Hate Crime" gained media recognition when his friend Terry Berg was brutally beaten in a homophobic attack. Winick was interviewed on Phil Donahue's show on MSNBC for that storyline on August 15, 2002[13] and received two GLAAD Media Awards for his Green Lantern work.[14]

In May 2011, Green Lantern placed 7th on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time.[15]

Legal disputes

DC Comics has been involved in two disputes concerning Green Lantern trade marks before the United States Patent and Trade Mark Office, the first in 2012 and the second in 2016.[16]


Golden Age Green Lantern

Silver Age Green Lantern

Bronze Age Green Lanterns

Modern Age Green Lanterns

Others who have headlined as Green Lantern in a Green Lantern comic book or related title

Powers and abilities

Main article: Power ring (DC Comics)

Each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants them a variety of abilities. The ring is powered by willpower. The full extent of the ring's abilities has never been rigorously defined in the stories, but two consistent traits are that it grants the power of flight and that all of its effects are accompanied by a green light.

Green Lantern Oath

In issue #9 of the original Alan Scott Green Lantern comic book, scriptwriter Alfred Bester, best known as a major science fiction novelist of the 1950s (and one who had included rhymed couplets in his work) introduced the trademark Green Lantern Oaths:[27]

In brightest day, in darkest night
No evil shall escape my sight!
Let those who worship evil's might
Beware my power ― Green Lantern's light!

This oath was revived for the Hal Jordan version of the character. Alan Moore and Geoff Johns introduced variants.[28] Oftentimes "darkest night" is changed to "blackest night", which inspired the name of the crossover event Blackest Night. In reference to the oath, the sequel to Blackest Night was called Brightest Day.

In other media

Main article: Green Lantern in other media


Standalone film

Hal Jordan made his live-action debut in the 2011 film of the same name, portrayed by Ryan Reynolds.[29] The film originally intended on launching a new DC Comics cinematic franchise with a sequel and an untitled Flash film, but due to the film's failure, nothing moved forward.

DC Extended Universe

Main articles: DC Extended Universe and Zack Snyder's Justice League

John Stewart was scheduled to appear in Zack Snyder's director cut of Justice League, portrayed by Wayne T. Carr, but the scene was reworked with Martian Manhunter, portrayed by Harry Lennix, at the request of Warner Bros.[30]


In the live-action television series Stargirl, Alan Scott's power battery is shown in a flashback to when the Injustice Society attacked the Justice Society of America's headquarters. JSA member Pat Dugan hid his power battery in his basement. In the second season, Alan Scott's daughter Jennie-Lynn Scott finds Alan's power battery and activates it. She absorbs the battery's energy and breaks it. She then leaves Blue Valley to find her missing brother Todd Rice.

DC Universe

A live-action Green Lantern television series was announced to be in development at HBO Max set to feature the Alan Scott, Guy Gardner, Jessica Cruz, and Simon Baz versions of Green Lantern along with an original character Bree Jarta with Finn Wittrock and Jeremy Irvine portraying Gardner and Scott respectively.[31] The series will be set in multiple time periods focusing on a separate story for each of the Green Lanterns for that time.[32] In October 2022, it was announced that the series had instead been extensively redeveloped into a solo project centered around John Stewart.[33] In December 2022, sources claimed the series was scrapped, but James Gunn say the series is still in production.[34][35] The series' title was revealed to be Lanterns in January 2023. The version with Berlanti was confirmed to have been cancelled, with this new series focusing on Stewart and Hal Jordan as part of DC Studios' new DC Universe.[36]

In academic and journalistic jargon

Some political pundits and academic political scientists use the phrase "Green Lanternism" (or "political Green Lanternism") to refer to the common tendency to demand perfection or omnipotence from political leaders, and to blame actually unsolvable or inevitable problems on political leaders' alleged weakness or malice, as if political office-holders' powers and abilities, like Green Lantern's powers and abilities, were limited only by their personal strength of will.[37][38]

See also


  1. ^ Wallace, Dan (2008), "Green Lantern's Power Ring", in Dougall, Alastair (ed.), The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 93, ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1, OCLC 213309017
  2. ^ "TwoMorrows Publishing – Alter Ego #5 – Mart Nodell Interview". Retrieved 2021-11-27.
  3. ^ Benton, Mike (1992). Superhero Comics of the Golden Age: The Illustrated History. Dallas: Taylor Publishing Company. pp. 104-105. ISBN 0-87833-808-X. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  4. ^ Seagle, Steven T; Snyder, John K III (2002). Green Lantern: Brightest Day, Blackest Night. DC Comics.
  5. ^ Albert, Aaron. "Green Lantern – Hal Jordan Profile". Archived from the original on 17 January 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  6. ^ Stowe, Dusty (3 August 2017). "15 Things You Didn't Know About Green Lantern". Screen Rant, Inc. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  7. ^ Wright, Bradford W. Comic Book Nation. Johns Hopkins, 2001. p. 227
  8. ^ Wells, John (December 2010). "Green Lantern/Green Arrow: And Through Them Change an Industry". Back Issue! (#45). TwoMorrows Publishing: 39–54.
  9. ^ Johns, Geoff (2010). Green Lantern: Blackest Night (9781401227869): Geoff Johns, Doug Mahnke: Books. DC Comics. ISBN 978-1401227869.
  10. ^ Joel Hahn (2006). "1961 Alley Awards". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  11. ^ a b c Joel Hahn (2006). "1970 Academy of Comic Book Arts Awards". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  12. ^ Joel Hahn (2006). "1971 Academy of Comic Book Arts Awards". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  13. ^ "Comics Buyer's Guide". Antique Trader. Archived from the original on May 30, 2010. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  14. ^ Jonah Weiland (13 June 2003). "Green Lantern Honored by GLAAD". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  15. ^ "Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) – #7 Top Comic Book Heroes". IGN. May 2011. Archived from the original on 10 February 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  16. ^ Stewart, DG (August 26, 2020). "Happy 80th birthday, Green Lantern". World Comic Book Review. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  17. ^ "Golden Age Green Lantern Alan Scott Returns In First Solo Book In 80 Years". ScreenRant. 2023-05-05. Retrieved 2023-05-31.
  18. ^ "Hal Jordan Is DC's Most Boring Green Lantern & That's His Greatest Strength". ScreenRant. 2023-04-16. Retrieved 2023-05-31.
  19. ^ a b "All the Different Green Lanterns of Earth, Explained". Collider. 2023-02-04. Retrieved 2023-05-31.
  20. ^ "10 Best Green Lantern Comic Book Storylines". ScreenRant. 2022-09-20. Retrieved 2023-05-31.
  21. ^ "Stargirl: Jade, the Arrowverse's Newest Green Lantern, Explained". CBR. 2021-06-16. Retrieved 2023-05-31.
  22. ^ "Green Lantern: Sinestro's Hero/Villain Origins Explained". ScreenRant. 2020-10-14. Retrieved 2023-05-31.
  23. ^ "'Threshold' showcases big, bold sci-fi concepts". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2023-05-31.
  24. ^ "Green Lantern: Legacy". Retrieved 2023-06-11.
  25. ^ "Green Lantern: Legacy".[permanent dead link]
  26. ^ "Green Lantern: Alliance".
  27. ^ Alan Cowsill, Alex Irvine, Matthew K. Manning, Michael McAvennie, Melanie Scott, Daniel Wallace (2019). DC Comics Year By Year New Edition: A Visual Chronicle. DK Publishing. p. 41. ISBN 9781465496089.((cite book)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  28. ^ Randy Duncan, Matthew J. Smith (2013). Icons of the American Comic Book: From Captain America to Wonder Woman. ABC-CLIO. p. 317. ISBN 9780313399244.
  29. ^ Fleming, Mike (July 10, 2009). "Ryan Reynolds is the 'Green Lantern'". Variety. Archived from the original on January 4, 2010. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  30. ^ Hermanns, Grant (April 28, 2021). "Justice League Green Lantern Actor Responds To Not Being in Snyder Cut". Screen Rant. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  31. ^ Petski, Denise (2022-10-26). "'Green Lantern' HBO Max Series Shifts Focus; Showrunner Seth Grahame-Smith Exits". Deadline. Retrieved 2023-03-19.
  32. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (2020-01-15). "Greg Berlanti 'Green Lantern' HBO Max Series Details Teased At TCA". Deadline. Retrieved 2022-04-03.
  33. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (2022-10-26). "Greg Berlanti's 'Green Lantern' HBO Max Series Being Redeveloped, Loses Writer (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2022-10-26.
  34. ^ "UPDATE: HBO Max's Green Lantern Series Still on Track". 26 December 2022.
  35. ^ "DC's James Gunn Debunks Claim That Green Lantern HBO Max Series Was Canceled".
  36. ^ Kit, Borys (January 31, 2023). "DC Slate Unveiled: New Batman, Supergirl Movies, a Green Lantern TV Show, and More from James Gunn, Peter Safran". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 31, 2023. Retrieved January 31, 2023.
  37. ^ ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  38. ^ "FDU Poll: "Green Lanternism" holding down Biden's approval ratings". 10 May 2022.