One Panel #200: Enter... Green Lantern!

From "The Origin of Green Lantern" by Bill Finger and Martin Nodell, All-American Comics #16 (July 1940)

It's so very Golden Age for a story to spend all its time telling a hero's origin, and for that hero to don their iconic costume in the very last panel. Heck, the Spectre took TWO issues to get there! And so this is the only panel featuring Alan Scott Green Lantern in his colorful duds. And on that costume, it's always seemed rather silly for a character with "green" in his name to be dressed in red, yellow and purple more prominently than his basic cover. Looking at his origin, however, with the magic lantern being crafted in China, where the Mandarin types are dressed very colorfully. There's a connection there that's never really been discussed. That, and to defend Martin Nodell, I completely get that if you're character is going to be surrounded by green, you might want to give him a contrasting look. Aquaman's orange shirt serves the same purpose in the blue ocean.

Finally, All-American has a superhero of its own, and that makes 200 panels/comics. On to the next 200!


Anonymous said...

This is the Green Lantern they should have done a movie about. Could've had a real "Rocketeer" feel about it: Nazi agents, trains and sabotage, and a ferocious reanimated monster (Solomon Grundy) created through Aryan magic.

Linneman said...

Great one for the milestone 200th edition of One Panel...!

Brendoon said...

I thought it was pretty cool that the silver age re-imaginings of some of these heroes was by the character's original creator (at least in the case of Flash, Hawkman, and the Atom... I had mistakenly thought GL was from the say guy).

Because of the lack of credits in the early silver GL comics I'd assumed Gardner Fox was writing but it was actually John Broome. The writing was STELLAR at that point.

It's funny putting gold/silver/bronze labels on things in that it gives the wrong impression of value. In fact most things written in the 40's are hard going because they're aimed at a WAY younger audience. The silver aged sixties was REALLY marvel/DC's golden period which can still be read by all. Bronze, I have no thoughts on at the moment.
The modern period where we've turned much of the entire range of comics (not just one off masterpieces) to aim at the adult palate is just a little bit sad.
As the new Thunderbirds creators said to die-hard adult fans muscling their way to the front of a crowd of kids: "Hey, sit down at the back! You're welcome here but remember you're not the target audience anymore! This is STILL for the kids."

Brendoon said...

Dagnabbit. Wish I could retro spellcheck my posts!


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