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Green Lantern

The Green Lantern was created by artist Martin Nodell and writer Bill Finger and first appeared in All American (July 1940). Wearing a loud black, red, green, purple, brown and yellow uniform, Alan Scott, a tall blond engineer, became the Green Lantern by charging a “power ring” which gave him nearomnipotent qualities. The ring was, however, virtually useless against wood and writers continually stressed this as the theme of an adventure. Furthermore, the ring had to be re-charged every 24 hours by touching it to a green lantern. Green Lantern had a horde of interesting villains to go against, particularly the Harlequin who wore a costume as outrageous as Green Lantern’s. Solomon Grundy, a villain who was a Frankensteinlike monster, was another intriguing foe. During the Golden Age, the superhero was drawn by dozens of artists none of whom were noteworthy. He appeared in All American through the October 1948 (102nd) issue, 48 stories in All-Star Comics (as a member of the Justice Society of America) between Fall 1940 and March 1951, and Comic Cavalcade from Winter 1943 through November 1948. Green Lantern had his own magazine from the fall of 1941 through 1949.

The new Green Lantern was first seen in Showcase (October 1959) and was part of DC’s Silver Age revival of Golden Age characters. He moved into his own title in spring 1960. DC editor Julius Schwartz recalled, “When the returns started coming in on the Flash and we saw we had a hit, the natural instinct was to do something similar. That’s how we decided to go ahead with Green Lantern, and I worked out the same theory of giving him a new personality, a new costume, a new everything.”

This reincarnation of the Green Lantern was test pilot Hal Jordan, who received his ring and lantern from an alien who had crashed on earth. The dying, red-skinned spaceman explained that he was a “space-patrolman in the super-galactic system” and that the ring was to be used “against forces of evil and injustice.” Jordan took over the ring and the alien’s uniform (a more conservative green and black jumpsuit) and became the Green Lantern. John Broome was the original scriptwriter and Gil Kane the artist.

Over the next three decades the hero’s background was embellished. Schwartz and Broome invented the Guardians of the Universe, a group of immortals who established the Green Lantern Corps, “a group of living beings chosen from all parts of the universe to fight evil and given rings of power.” In the early 1970s Green Lantern went through a “relevance phase” and teamed up with Green Arrow to fight social ills. Stories handled contemporary social problems and topics like racism, politics, religion, cultism, and drug abuse. Later Green Lantern broke free of Earth’s problems and worked increasingly as part of the Green Lantern Corps, along with other Green Lanterns from other parts of the universe. He appeared as a member of the Justice League of America, DC’s Silver Age group of superheroes who replaced the earlier Justice Society.


A skilled athlete and hand-to-hand combatant, Hal Jordan’s principal weapon is the power ring he wears on the middle finger of his right hand. After absorbing energy from the emerald power battery from which the Green Lanterns take their name, the ring is charged with power for a period of 24 hours and is capable of doing almost anything its wearer can think of and force into being through the power of his own will. Thus the power ring can enable its wearer to fly, to create giant objects formed of the ring’s emerald energy, and to survive the rigors of deep space, among other uses. During this 24-hour period, the power ring has only one weakness: due to a necessary impurity in the construction of the power battery itself, the ring it utterly ineffective against anything colored yellow. At the end of the 24 hours, the ring must be recharged at the battery to renew its power.

Comics on Display

“The Green Lantern,” Flashback #30 (reprint of All-America Comics #24 from 1941) Story by Mart Dellon; art by Bill Finger

“This World is Mine!” Green Lantern 29 (June 1964)

“Once a Green Lantern, Always a Green Lantern,” 30 Green Lantern (July 1964)

“Secret Origin of the Guardians!” Green Lantern 40 (October 1965) Story by John Broome; art by Gil Kane and Sid Greene

“Prince Peril’s Power Play,” Green Lantern 45 (June 1966) Story by John Broome; art by Gil Kane and Sid Greene

“The End of a Gladiator,” Green Lantern 47 (September 1966) Story by John Broome; art by Gil Kane and Sid Greene

“The Catastrophic Weapons of Major Disaster!” Green Lantern 57 (December 1967) Story by Gardner Fox; art by Gil Kane

“Thoroughly Modern Mayhem!” Green Lantern 61 (June 1968) Story by Mike Friedrich; art by Gil Kane and Sid Greene

“Shelf Life,” Green Lantern 171 (December 1983) Story by Noel Naïve; art by Alex Toth and Terry Austin

“Challenge,” Tales of the Green Lantern Corps 1 (May 1981) Story by Len Wein; art by John Costanza and Anthony Tollin

“Defeat,” Tales of the Green Lantern Corps 2 (June 1981) Story by Len Wein; art by Ben Oda and Anthony Tollin

“Triumph,” Tales of the Green Lantern Corps 3 (July 1981) Story by Len Wein; art by Ben Oda and Anthony Tollin

“Those Who Worship Evil’s Might,” Tales of the Green Lantern Corps 1 (1985) Story by Paul Kupperberg and Len Wein; art by Gil Kane and Anthony Tollin

“Red Alert,” Tales of the Green Lantern Corps 209 (February 1987) Story by Steve Englehart; art by Joe Staton and Mark Farmer

The Green Arrow

The Green Arrow was created by writer Mort Weisinger and artist George Papp and made its first appearance in More Fun (November 1941). Over the years the character has evolved from fighting conventional crooks to social problems. Teamed with a boy sidekick, Speedy, Green Arrow had an arrow for every occasion. The character was not particularly successful and was bounced from title to title until finally moving to a supporting feature in Adventure Comics in 1946, staying there until early in 1960.

In the early 1960s, Green Arrow joined the Justice League of America and began appearing in its magazine. At the end of the decade he was redesigned by artist Neal Adams and started looking and acting “like a hip, bearded rebel.” In 1970, working with editor Julius Schwartz, Adams and writer Denny O’Neil took over the Green Lantern title and teamed the hero with Green Arrow. The magazine ushered in the era of social relevance at DC. Among the issues that O’Neil explored in his stories were racism, overpopulation, and drug addition. The drug abuse problem was dramatized in an unusual way when Speedy was revealed to be a heroin addict. The relevant stories were popular with college-age readers and won awards for both art and writing. Sales, though, were poor and the crusading ceased by the mid-1970s. Another theme instituted by O’Neil and Adams was Green Arrow’s long-running romance with Black Canary. Green Arrow got a miniseries of his own in 1983 and returned in 1988 in a regular series written and first drawn by Mike Grell.


Green Arrow is the world’s greatest archer and employs an extraordinary variety of specially designed arrows. Among many others are his explosive arrows, arrows which release smoke or knockout gas, arrows with strong, thin “arrow lines” attached, and arrows carrying nets. He does not shoot arrows to kill opponents.

The Green Arrow is also a superb hand-to-hand combatant.

Comics on Display

“The Man Who Murdered Green Lantern,” Green Lantern 107 (August 1978) Story by Robert Rozakis; art by Alex Saviuk and John Celardo

“Assault on Replikon,” Green Lantern 109 (October 1978) Story by Denny O’Neil; art by Vince Grell and Vince Colletta

“All My Sins Remembered,” Green Arrow 1 (May 1983) Story by Mike W. Barr; art by Trevor von Eeden and Dick Giordano

“A Slight Case of Vertigo!” Green Arrow 2 (June 1983) Story by Mike W. Barr; art by Trevor von Eeden and Dick Giordano

“Hexagon of Death,” Green Arrow 3 (July 1983) Story by Mike W. Barr; art by Trevor von Eeden and Dick Giordano

“Showdown at Sea,” Green Arrow 4 (August 1983) Story by Mike W. Barr; art by Trevor von Eeden and Dick Giordano

“Images,” Green Arrow 91 (November 1994) Story by Kelley Puckett; art by Jim Aparo and John Costanza

“A Kind of Loving, A Way of Death,” Green Lantern/Green Arrow 2 (November 1983) Story by Denny O’Neil; art by Neal Adams and Frank Giacoia

“Even an Immortal Can Die,” Green Lantern/Green Arrow 3 (December 1983) Story by Denny O’Neil; art by Neal Adams and Dick Giordano

“…and a Child Shall Destroy Them!” Green Lantern/Green Arrow 4 (1983) Story by Denny O’Neil; art by Neal Adams and Dick Giordano

“Snowbirds Don’t Fly,” Green Lantern/Green Arrow 5 (1983) Story by Denny O’Neil; art by Neal Adams and Dick Giordano

“They Say It’ll Kill Me…But They Won’t Say When,” and “What Can One Man Do?” Green Lantern/Green Arrow 6 (1983) Story by Denny O’Neil; art by Neal Adams

“…and Through Him Save a World,” Green Lantern/Green Arrow 7 (1983) Story by Denny O’Neil; art by Neal Adams

“How Many Times Can a Man Turn His Head?” The Brave and the Bold 4 (January 2000) Story by Mark Waid and Tom Peyer; art by Tom Grindberg and Barry Kitson

Exhibit 1: Main

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