Green Lantern Frequently Asked Questions
By Bored at 3:00AM
WHO IS GREEN LANTERN?
Along with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and The Flash, Green Lantern is one of DC Comics' most popular and longest running super-heroes.
Although many different characters have been Green Lantern, the concept is pretty much the same; a guy gets a ring that can do whatever he wishes and he fights evil with it. To power the ring, he has to charge it from a battery that looks exactly like a green lantern...hence the name.
HOW MANY GREEN LANTERNS HAVE THERE BEEN?
There are five main Green Lanterns, but there used to be thousands upon thousands of Green Lanterns in the past.
WHO WAS FIRST?
In 1940, Mart Nodel (with help from uncredited Batman co-creator Bill Finger) came up with ALAN SCOTT, a blond do-gooder who was chosen by a mysterious lantern during a train crash to fight evil with a magic ring as the "Green Lantern".
Green Lantern helped form the Justice Society of America, comics first super-team, and remained one of DC's most popular heroes until the late 1940s, when most costumed crimefighters pretty much disappeared.
WHO CAME NEXT?
In 1959, editor Julie Shwartz asked John Broome & Gil Kane to revamp Green Lantern. Adapting the old pulp space opera epic "Lensman" into a superhero, Broome & Kane created fearless test pilot HAL JORDAN, who was chosen by a dying alien to protect Space Sector 2814 as a member of the interstellar Green Lantern Corps.
Like the original GL, this new hero formed his own super-team, the Justice League of America and also became one DC's most popular characters until the late 1960s, when Marvel Comic's flawed and less idealised heroes began to dominate the comics industry.
HOLD ON, WHAT'S THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS?
Founded by the immortal Guardians of the Universe, The GLCorps was pretty much like the Jedi Knights from Star Wars or the U.S. Marshals in the Old West. They patrolled their sector of space and kept the peace. Sometimes, the Guardians would send them on a specific mission or they'd team up with other Green Lanterns from alien worlds. At one point, there were 3600 of them, one Green Lantern for every sector of space and one Guardian supervising every 100 GL. Their homebase is a planet at the center of the cosmos called Oa, where the Central Power Battery is, a giant lantern that powers all the smaller ones.
OK, HOW'D GREEN ARROW GET INVOLVED?
Facing stiff competition from Marvel, DC decided to try something different with Green Lantern in 1970 and teamed Green Lantern up with an outspoken superhero named GREEN ARROW, who bumped heads with Hal as they travelled America and dealt with the real life social issues that were brewing in America throughout the sixties and early seventies. Written by Denny O'Neil and drawn by Neal Adams, GL/GA was a turning point in comics history. However, despite great publicity and critical acclaim, the book was cancelled and GL/GA became a back-up feature in The Flash until finally getting their own book again a few years later. After that, the comic pretty much remained one of DC's best selling books for years to come.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER GREEN LANTERNS?
In 1972, O'Neil & Adams introduced a new Green Lantern named JOHN STEWART, an angry young black man who refused to wear a mask and always spoke his mind. John was chosen by the Green Lantern Corps' founders, the immortal Guardians of the Universe, to serve as Hal Jordan's back-up as Green Lantern. Eventually, John took over the gig full time when Hal quit the Corps for the love of his life. Never a perfect hero, John has made quite a few tragic mistakes in his career and has gotten a mixed reception from fans, but his popularity is growing more and more with each year.
In 1985, a fourth Green Lantern made a name for himself, GUY GARDNER. Guy was originally introduced in the mid 1960s as another man who could have been chosen to be GL instead of Hal. However, after Guy finally got his chance to be a GL when Hal was away in space, his lantern blew up and put him in a coma, causing him severe brain damage. As a result, Guy was a loose canon who's personality ranged from homocidal maniac to arrogant loudmouth to child-like boob and back again. Currently, he's a mix of all three. Guy's creation was kind of a collaborative effort by Steve Englehart, Joe Station, Keith Giffen & JM DeMatties. Some people love him, some hate him. Few ignore him.
WHO'S THE NEWEST ONE?
In a very contraversial move, DC decided to ditch all their old Green Lantern characters and create a new one in 1994. New writer Ron Marz and artist Darryl Banks were given the job of creating the new Green Lantern, KYLE RAYNER, a young hip artist living in New York City who got his ring and lantern from Ganthlet, the last Guardian of the Universe.
Just like Alan and Hal, Kyle became one of DC's most popular characters and joined the revamped JLA. Although openly despised by some fans and pros, Green Lantern, with Kyle as its star, continues to be one of DC's best selling books.
WHO'S THE GIRL WITH GREEN SKIN?
That's Jenny Hayden a.k.a. "JADE", she's the daughter of Alan Scott. Jade was born with a power pulse in her hand that gives her the same powers as her father, but without the need for a ring or lantern. Jade was created by Roy Thomas and Jerry Ordway for the Infinity Inc. comic in 1984. She is currently Kyle Rayner's girlfriend and will soon be a member of the new Outsiders team. Like most female characters in superhero comics, Jade rarely gets written well, but has still managed to develop a loyal fanbase.
WHAT DOES THE RING DO?
Pretty much anything the ring-slinger wants it to. It responds to will power though, so some things are more difficult to do than others. Mainly, it gets used to create weapons, tools and objects made of emerald light like flaming swords, giant boxing gloves, big manga robots and buxom bimbos. Each GL has a different style. Being an artist, Kyle's creations tend to be more elaborate and detailed than previous GLs.
HAS GREEN LANTERN APPEARED OUTSIDE OF COMICS?
The Hal Jordan version had his own cartoon in the sixties and was alsp part of the Justice League of America cartoon during the sixties and the Superfriends (which was basically the Justice League with a different name) during the seventies.
A Green Lantern who was a combination of both Kyle Rayner and Hal Jordan appeared in one episode of the Superman cartoon in the nineties. Basically, the character looked and acted like Hal but had Kyle's name, job and Peter Parker-style wise cracks.
And, most recently, John Stewart (also mixed with several elements from the Hal Jordan version) is currently appearing in the new Justice League cartoon. Kyle Rayner/Hal Jordan hybrid GL from the Superman cartoon was explained as John's back-up, just as, in the comics, John was for Hal during the seventies and eighties. The Kyal Jordner hybrid is currently somewhere in deep space where the writers never have to deal with him again if they don't want to. Pretty clever idea.
Alan Scott also appeared on Justice League as the Green Guardsman. Originally, the episode was to feature the Justice Society, but it was changed at the last minute to the Justice Guild. Although the costume is a little different, that *is* Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern.
There is also tons of GL merchandise out there, including T-Shirts, life-sized Power Batteries, rings and action figures.
WHY ARE SOME GREEN LANTERN FANS SO GRUMPY?
Green Lantern was the unfortunate victim of a creative tug-o-war between different editors at DC Comics during the eighties and nineties. Although it was selling well, the long-running Green Lantern comic was ended in 1988 so Hal Jordan could star in another editor's weekly comic anthology.
When this failed miserably, the old editor regained control of the character and spent the next year fixing everything the previous editor had done. Still, this relaunched Green Lantern comic was a huge hit for DC and spawned three different spin-off titles.
However, when a new editor took over the Green Lantern books, the quality took a nose dive and so did the sales. In less than two years, the Green Lantern franchise went from a best seller to moderate seller.
Trying to drum up interest in the book again, DC decided to turn Hal Jordan into a homocidal madman, killed off the Green Lantern Corps, turned Guy Gardner into a shape-shifting alien and stuck John Stewart into a team of lame GLCorps rip-offs that got cancelled within a year. Thankfully, Alan Scott was only made young, given a new costume, lost his ring and was re-named "Sentinel". He got off easy.
Since then, DC has begun back-tracking. Alan Scott now wears his original costume and has reclaimed the name Green Lantern. John Stewart is also a Green Lantern again thanks to his appearances in the Justice League cartoon. The planet Oa has been rebuilt and its only a matter of time before the Corps returns. However, Guy's status is still up in the air, as is poor ol' Hal Jordan, who was eventually killed off and then brought back as a ghost, The Spectre.
WHAT ARE THE RULES OF THE GREEN LANTERN MESSAGE BOARD?
Basically, don't be a dick. Respect the person even if you're attacking their opinion. There's generally a lot of arguing here, but we usually keep it pretty light and fun.
If you have any questions, no matter how stupid or lame, please ask. Chances are, its not nearly as stupid or lame as you think it is.