With the Green Lantern movie on the horizon, the character is enjoying a bit of a renaissance. You may know a lot about Green Lantern, but we're willing to bet you don't know everything about how he came to be. Here are 9 of the most surprising facts about the creation of Green Lantern.
- Green Lantern was actually created twice. There was the original Green Lantern comic in 1940 (now known as the Golden Age of comics), and then the character was rebooted in 1959. Except for their powers, the power ring, and the lantern, the two Green Lanterns are completely different.
- The inspiration for the original Green Lantern was a subway accident. In 1940, Martin Nodell was a struggling artist trying to come up with an idea for a superhero. He was riding the subway when it came to an obstruction on the tracks. He watched as a railroad engineer held up a green lantern to indicate that it was okay for the train to proceed. That was the starting point for the creation of Green Lantern, and is the reason why the green lantern was modeled after the lanterns carried by railroad engineers.
- Nodell took his inspiration for the Green Lantern's powers from the story "Aladdin" in 1001 Arabian Nights. The fact that Green Lantern can create anything he imagines is supposed to be an analogy of Aladdin's genie being able to fulfill wishes. In the original story, Aladdin contacted his genie by rubbing a magic lamp or a magic ring. That's why Green Lantern uses a ring powered by a green lantern (a.k.a. lamp).
- In real life, the original Green Latern's alter ego was Alan Scott, a railroad engineer. He survives a crash to discover a magical green flame that gives him the lantern, and instructs him on building a ring to use it with.
- He was going to be named "Alan Ladd," a play on "Aladdin," but the editors thought the name was too distracting.
- Despite his popularity, Green Lantern was discontinued in 1949 along with many other Golden Age superhero titles due to slumping sales. In 1959, the Green Lantern was rebooted by Gil Keane and John Broome.
- In the original Green Lantern series, his powers worked by simple magic. The new Green Lantern series became a science-fiction series with a test pilot named Harold "Hal" Jordan getting his power ring and lantern from a dying alien. He also joined a Galaxy-wide organization, the Green Lantern Corps.
- Hal Jordan was inspired by the exploits of real-life test pilots and astronauts like John Glenn who captured America's imagination in the 1950s.
- Hal's appearance was originally modeled after the actor Paul Newman.
Alan Kistler's Universe - History of Green Lantern Pt 1 (I know the link is broken, but it was there, I swear it)
Wikipedia - Green Lantern
This post is "G is for Green Lantern," part of the "A-Z Blogging Challenge." We'll be posting something on our blog every day in April except for Sundays. The challenge is hosted by Arlee Bird , Jeffrey Beesler, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Jen Daiker, Candace Ganger, Karen J Gowen, Talli Roland and Stephen Tremp. Visit them today and every day for the next month!