In the DC Comics Universe, there are different types of magic aligned with either order or chaos. And long ago, there were also forms of magical energy that were aligned to neither of these fundamental forces. The Guardians of the Universe, near-immortal beings who created the Green Lantern Corps, believed that these random, unfocused magicks were too dangerous to leave alone. So they collected the energy and imprisoned it in the heart of a star.
Years later, the Starheart developed a mind of its own and released a piece of itself into space. It landed on Earth as a meteor and the first man to discover it carved it into a lamp. It passed through many hands over the centuries, later influencing another man to carve it into a lantern, perhaps because the Starheart sought to emulate the technology of the Guardians. After granting death to some and new life for another, the Starheart lantern decided to give a human being power, to have its own Green Lantern warrior just as the Guardians did. In one account, this was due to the lantern having merged with the soul of a dead Corps member.
Alan Scott was an ordinary man who found the Starheart lantern just before a bomb meant for him wound up killing several other people. Wishing to avenge these deaths, Alan took a piece of the lantern and made a ring, as he was instructed to by the magic force that then empowered it. Calling himself Green Lantern, Alan Scott was the first Earth-born human being to use this title, even though he was not a member of the Corps. As the Emerald Crusader of Gotham City, Alan’s ring protected him from most forms of harm while allowing him to fly, phase through solid matter, deliver blasts of energy and fire, and create physical objects he imagined. It’s major weaknesses were Alan’s own concentration, the need to recharge the ring regularly with the lantern, and that the green flame had difficult with plant-matter and especially anything made of wood.
Guarding Gotham City for years, Alan Scott also became a founding member of the Justice Society of America, history’s first superhero team. As the Golden Age of Heroes ended, Earth’s first Green Lantern retired for decades along with many of his peers. He only operated on rare occasions, such as when he decided to investigate the new vigilante Batman who appeared in Gotham years later. Soon after the modern age of heroes went into full swing, Alan Scott finally returned to the fold along with many other Golden Age heroes who still had some fire in them. Along with the surviving members of the old JSA, Alan now helps to guide and train a new generation of heroes. Over the years, he’s sported quite a few different outfits. Let’s take a look then. As usual, this column is focusing on mainstream continuity.
BIZARRE MASKED HERO
Alan Scott debuted in July, 1940 in All-American Comics #16. He was created by artist Martin Nodell and writer Bill Finger, the same writer who penned most of Batman’s early stories and came up with the Dark Kngiht’s origin. When Alan Scott first went into action, he just wore his normal clothes and was surrounded by a halo of green light and flame. After taking down the criminals who had intended to kill him with a bomb, Alan Scott decided that it didn’t need to stop there.
He could become a masked vigilante, like the ones that had been showing up in the last few years. He needed a mask to protect his identity, of course. As he considered a design, he thought to himself, “I must make myself a dreaded figure! I must make a costume that is so bizarre that once I am seen I will never be forgotten!”
Well, “bizarre” is right. Alan Scott was not exactly a fashion designer and it showed. This costume looks as if he grabbed a lot of stuff from the storage room of a theater. A swashbuckling shirt, laced boots, simple canvas pants and a high collared cape. And many different colors. For a guy called Green Lantern, green doesn’t seem to be the dominant element here. (more…)