THE JSA FACT FILE

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Green Lantern


Alan Wellington Scott


Residence: Capitol City, Gotham City, Keystone City, Los Angeles
Occupation: Engineer, Broadcast Magnate

First Appearance (Golden Age): All-American Comics #16 (July 1940)
First Appearance (Silver Age): The Flash vol. 1 #137 (September 1963)

 


Character History

Little is known of the early life of Alan Scott. Some time after receiving an undergraduate degree, Scott pursued a medical degree for two years but abandoned it to study engineering instead (revealed in All-Star Comics #2). By 1939, Alan Scott was an engineer designing railways in the American Southwest. At the time, a man named Dekker was his company's principal business rival. Dekker sabotaged a rail bridge designed by Scott's company. Scott was testing a new locomotive, crossing the sabotaged bridge, when Dekker's explosive detonated, derailing the train and killing everyone aboard except for Scott. Scott's life was saved because he held onto train lantern made of an odd green train metal. In the wreckage, the lantern spoke to him, revealing a strange history. The metal of the lantern had been made from an ancient meteor that had crashed in China several hundred years earlier. (The lantern did not reveal that the meteor was originally part of the Starheart, a concentration of magic that the Guardians of Oa had banished from their home world of Oa in the Earth-1 universe [Green Lantern vol. 2 #111-112].) A man named Chang shaped the meteor into a Chinese lantern. The lantern spoke to Chang, saying it would flame 3 times: once to bring death; once to bring life; and once to bring power. When Chang was slain by suspicious villagers, the lamp flamed and slew his attackers. After centuries, the lamp passed into the hands of mentally ill lamp-maker at Arkham Asylum. In his hands, the lamp flamed again and restored his sanity, giving him "life" again. By unknown means, the lantern had ended up in the hands of Alan Scott on the day of the derailment.


The lantern then flamed before Scott, fulfilling its prophecy of bringing power. The lantern instructed Scott to form a ring from its metal, and to touch the ring to the lantern to "charge" it. After doing so, Scott tracked Dekker to his hideaway and confronted his men. In the course of the melee, Scott learned of the green flame's weakness when he was injured by a wooden club after metal bullets and a blackjack had failed. Scott prevailed, however, and Dekker signed a confession for his deeds. The strain was too much for Dekker, who died immediately thereafter. Alan Scott then created a costume and named himself "Green Lantern" after the source of his power (All-American Comics #16).

    
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Green Lantern took time off from his engineering work to travel and acquaint himself with his powers, stopping crimes in Metropolis (All-American Comics #17) and New York City. In New York City, he made the acquaintance of Irene Miller when she helped clear the name of her brother, Danny (All-American Comics #18). Scott eventually settled in Capitol City just in time for the murder of John Tellum, head of Apex Broadcasting. A radio engineer by training, Scott decided to investigate the murder from within. He also thought that a job in radio would serve his identity as Green Lantern by giving him fast access to breaking news. Applying to Apex, Scott learned that Irene Miller also worked for Apex, and the two struck up a friendship. Miller discovered that the assistant manager of Apex Broadcasting, Mr. Gates, had arranged for Tellum's death when Tellum tried to leave a criminal operation centered at Apex. Green Lantern brought Gates and his cohorts to justice. Since Green Lantern, as Alan Scott as well as in his heroic identity, had helped in Gates's capture, Scott was awarded a job at Apex (All-American Comics #20). Scott remained at Apex for several months and developed a relationship with Irene Miller that was likely more than professional.

Because he moved from city to city, Green Lantern was not well known at first. After he settled in Capitol City, however, his fame grew quickly. Green Lantern achieved a large degree of public notoriety after capturing gangster Elias Strake (All-American Comics #21), a feat which made him front page news for Capitol City's newspaper, the Daily Globe (All-American Comics #22). Within months, Green Lantern was a national phenomenon. In late 1940, he was selected by British intelligence agents, along with Batman and the Flash, to infiltrate Axis subversive operations in England. The trio was captured and taken to Berlin. Their later rescue led to the formation of the Justice Society of America, of which Green Lantern was a charter member and an early chairman (DC Special #29).

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In 1941, Apex Broadcasting developed a method to reduce static in broadcast radio waves. Apex sent Irene Miller to the construction site of the new towers as a courier carrying their secret plans. After hailing down a cab driven by flamboyant taxi driver "Doiby" Dickles (nicknamed for his ever-present brown derby), Miller was followed by gangsters who had been hired by a rival station. Dickles and Miller were ambushed, but Dickles fended off the thugs, allowing Miller to reach the site. When the new station was finished, the criminals again assaulted the site. Green Lantern soon arrived to battle them. When Miller and Dickles happened upon the scene, Miller was taken captive, and Green Lantern was knocked unconscious by the speeding getaway car. Taking the initiative, Doiby disguised himself in a Green Lantern costume. As the thugs laughed at the imposter, the real Green Lantern arrived, and together the two made short work of the vandals. Later, Green Lantern rewarded Dickles by making him his "man Friday" (All-American Comics #27). When Green Lantern was captured a few months later by criminals trying to break up a cab drivers' union, the criminals unmasked the hero. Not recognizing him, the thugs left Green Lantern to be dealt with later. When Doiby arrived to rescue Green Lantern, he recognized the unmasked hero as Alan Scott. Although Green Lantern had clearly mastered the ability to hypnotize people with his power ring by this point (All-American Comics #23, 33), he allowed his friend to retain the knowledge of his dual identity (All-American Comics #35).


Later that year, Green Lantern joined the rest of the JSA in fighting villains hired by Ian Karkull to assassinate President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the next nine Presidents of the United States to follow him. Unfortunately, Green Lantern failed to prevent the sorcerer Wotan from killing a young boy who would have been the ninth President to succeed Roosevelt (the President who would have been elected after Reagan). In the climactic battle against Karkull, The JSA (including Green Lantern) and several of their loved ones were exposed to chronal radiation as Karkull's shadow-form was destroyed. The heroes would eventually discover that the radiation had effectively slowed their aging. Green Lantern, haunted by his failure to save the young boy from Wotan, resigned from active duty in the JSA (All-Star Squadron #3). When American entered World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt formed the All-Star Squadron, in which Green Lantern was a member (All-Star Squadron #3). At some point after the war started, probably around 1943-44, Alan Scott left Apex to work for radio station WXYZ in Gotham City. After moving to Gotham, his relationship with Irene Miller was distant, if it existed at all.

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Throughout the war, Green Lantern was prevented from entering Axis-held territory by a "Sphere of Influence" generated from spells cast with the Holy Grail and Spear of Destiny (All-Star Squadron #4). Nonetheless, he remained busy on the home front, battling foes like the Silhouette in 1943 (All-American Comics #52) and the Gambler in 1944 (Green Lantern vol. 1 #12). In the autumn of 1944, Green Lantern encountered one of his most gruesome and formidable adversaries in the form of Solomon Grundy. Grundy would probably not be considered "alive" in any real sense of the word, being instead an animation of a corpse by vegetation and magical forces. He was named "Solomon Grundy" by a band of reprobates he found near the swamp of his origin. Grundy became the "muscle" for a crime raid that ultimately attracted the attention of Green Lantern. After several confrontations, Green Lantern finally defeated Grundy, allowing him to be crushed by a locomotive (All-American Comics #61). Grundy returned, however, confronting Green Lantern on several more occasions (Comic Cavalcade #13, 24; All-Star Comics #33).

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In the latter days of World War II, as Axis forces retreated throughout Europe, Green  After the war, Scott advanced rapidly in the ranks at Gotham Broadcasting Company, ultimately becoming a company executive (Green Lantern vol. 1 #20).  Molly Mayne became Alan Scott's secretary right after the war. A somewhat introverted girl, Mayne had been an outstanding college athlete and acrobat. She found her strength and athletic prowess intimidated men of her acquaintance, leaving her a perpetual social outcast. Mayne imagined that someone with great power, like Green Lantern, would not be intimidated. Indeed, he might even be attracted to her. Mayne adopted the criminal identity of the Harlequin and drew Green Lantern's attention in a series of small robberies (All-American Comics #89). The pair tangled on a number of occasions (All-American Comics #91, 93; Green Lantern vol. 1 #29), but the Harlequin was never captured. The Harlequin eventually used her criminal connections to oppose the criminal underworld from within, and her deception was effective enough to win her an invitation to the Injustice Society of the World, a group dedicated to the destruction of the JSA (All-Star Comics #41). She was ultimately barred when her ruse was discovered. It was later revealed that she was an undercover agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation when she helped Superman and Green Lantern capture another villain, the Sportsmaster (Superman Family #206). After the 1940s, the Harlequin dropped out of sight.


Shortly after encountering the Harlequin, Green Lantern encountered the Icicle. The Icicle was Joar Makent, a European scientist who specialized in cryonics, the technology associated with generating and maintaining extreme cold. Makent faked his own death by murdering Lanky Leeds, a petty criminal whom Makent had disguised as himself. Makent then adopted the costumed identity of the Icicle to confront Green Lantern (All-American Comics #90). Also in the late 1940s, a professional athlete-cum-criminal named Crusher Crock encountered Green Lantern (All-American Comics #85). Crock adopted the identity of the Sportsmaster (Green Lantern vol. 1 #28), a superb athlete and master of a variety of both team and combative sports. As the Sportsmaster, Crock was equipped with an arsenal of exploding baseballs, razor sharp hockey sticks, and other weaponry based on sports equipment.


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By 1951, Green Lantern was once again an active member of the JSA, and was present at the hearings of the House Un-American Activities Committee in which he and the rest of the JSA were instructed to reveal their identities and submit to questioning by the committee. Rather than do so, Green Lantern and the other JSA members retired from active service. During the following years, Alan Scott consolidated his efforts at the Gotham Broadcasting Company and rose to the chief executive office.


Green Lantern and several other JSAers were captured by Vandal Savage in the early 1960s (The Flash vol. 1 #137), only to be freed later by both the Flash he knew, and the Flash of Earth-1. When the JSA resumed regular meetings shortly thereafter, Green Lantern returned to active membership. Green Lantern soon met his Earth-1 counterpart (Justice League of America #21) and maintained contact with him over the next several years (Green Lantern vol. 2 #40, 45, 52, 61). Soon after Green Lantern's return to active duty, Doiby Dickles retired to an alien world with a new bride (Green Lantern vol. 2 #45). Many of the Golden Age enemies of Green Lantern emerged from retirement as well, including the Icicle (Justice League of America #21) and Solomon Grundy (Justice League of America #46). Over the years, Green Lantern journeyed to Earth-1 to participate in a variety of cases with the Justice League. In the mid-1960s, he joined with Hourman and Doctor Fate to battle Solomon Grundy (Showcase #55).


Sometime before 1964, Green Lantern took the Thorn, an enemy of the Flash, to Transformation Island, just off Paradise Island. By 1964, Thorn had been cured of her split personality and had returned to the outside world in her alter ego of Rose Canton. Rose had fallen in love with Green Lantern, and had discovered his identity while on Transformation Island. Creating an new alter ego for herself, "Alyx Florin" married Alan Scott; however, she died in a mysterious fire on their wedding night (Infinity Inc. Annual #1).

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In the 1970s, The Psycho-Pirate used his powers to slowly influence Alan Scott's emotional state, destabilizing his position at Gotham Broadcasting Company. Ultimately, Scott's employment there was terminated. Alan Scott did not rejoin GBC, even once the involvement of the Psycho-Pirate was revealed (Infinity Inc. Annual #1).
All-Star Comics #66-68). He instead secured employment as an engineer in Garrick Labs in Keystone City (All-Star Comics #69-70). Soon afterward, Green Lantern began experiencing a series of dysfunctions with his ring. This coincided with the Starheart's possession of another man, who became known as the Green Dragon. The dysfunctions were a result of Green Lantern's own recent abuses of power under the influence of the Psycho-Pirate. Green Lantern resolved these issues and battled the Green Dragon, during which a tree fell and crushed the Dragon, who was ignorant of the ring's weaknesses (Green Lantern vol. 2 #108-110). In the Earth-1 dimension, an alien called Zalaz had stolen the Starheart in an attempt to raise his beloved, M'La, from the dead. When confronted by both Green Lanterns as well as Green Arrow, Zalaz retreated into the Starheart itself to use its power and awaken M'La. M'La then became the guardian of the Starheart (Green Lantern vol. 2 #111-112).


In the early 1980s, two new costumed adventurers, Jade and Obsidian, petitioned for membership in the JSA, claiming to be Alan Scott's children (Infinity Inc. #1). Green Lantern was skeptical, but the issue was tabled when Green Lantern answered a call from Superman that resulted in his "drowning" in Koehaha, the Stream of Ruthlessness. His inhibitions removed by the "drowning," Green Lantern's long-suppressed resentment at losing GBC surfaced, and he attempted to take over the global communication network. As the effects of Koehaha began to wear off, Green Lantern and the other JSA members who had been affected found themselves drawn back to the stream bed. A confrontation with the Ultra-Humanite, who had masterminded the "drowning" in the first place, led to the destruction of the stream, and Green Lantern recovered from its aftereffects (Infinity Inc. #3-10). Over the next few weeks, Alan Scott negotiated a deal to restart his communications business in Los Angeles, employing his former secretary Molly Mayne (revealed in Infinity Inc. Annual #1).


During the same time period, Infinity Incorporated had visited Tashmi Island and recovered Rose Canton, the alter-ego of the Golden Age villain known as the Thorn (Infinity Inc. #13). The Thorn revealed that she, as Rose, had been Alyx Florin, the woman who had married Green Lantern in 1964. On their wedding night, Rose/Alyx placed Green Lantern's power ring on her own finger. The power of the ring somehow awakened her Thorn persona and started the fire that left Scott under the impression that Alyx was dead. When the Thorn confronted Scott and her grown children, Jade and Obsidian, in 1984, her Rose persona emerged and committed suicide, murdering the Thorn and saving her children. The Harlequin, also along on this case, (her re-emergence, in Los Angeles, was revealed in Infinity Inc. #9), revealed to Alan Scott that she was his longtime employee and confidante. The two were married shortly thereafter (Infinity Inc. Annual #1).


During the wedding reception, the JSA was swept into the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Green Lantern participated in the Crisis and returned to the newly formed Earth at the conclusion of the Crisis. The fate of the Earth-Two Green Lantern is unknown, though when the Earth-0 encountered the Earth-Two JSA, it was believed that he was dead (JSA Annual #1).

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Power and Abilities

When he first became Green Lantern, Alan Scott's powers stemmed from his power ring, carved from a piece of a green train lantern that was itself carved from a meteor that landed in China and originated in an entity called the Starheart. Green Lantern's power ring could generate and focus green-tinted mystical energy into a variety of shapes and could enable the holder to defy gravity. For example, Green Lantern could use his power ring to form solid-energy bubbles that he could use to transport objects/individuals, or he could form a giant hand to lift or crush objects. The limits of variation were constrained only by Green Lantern's imagination and will power. 

Weakness and Limitations

The single flaw in Green Lantern's power ring was that its energy was ineffective against wood. Items made of wood could not be lifted or broken by energy from the ring, nor could barriers of its emerald energy stop projectiles crafted from wood. Without his power ring, Green Lantern was merely mortal.

Golden Age Appearances of  Green Lantern
 Post-Golden Age Appearances of the Green Lantern of Earth-Two
Multiversity
Rogues Gallery