Tales of The Golden Age:Green Lantern's 1st story

by Jason Laframboise on May 17, 2020

Tales of the Golden Age: The Green Lantern
In Tales of the Golden Age we will look at a story, or character from the Golden Age of Comics. My favourite era of comics.

It is the 80th anniversary  of the first appearance of Alan Scott the Golden Age Green Lantern. To celebrate today we will take a look at the first story of his adventures. The character of Alan Scott(originally he was going to be called Alan Ladd....Aladdin... get it? but was changed because there was already a movie star with that name) was created by artist Martin Nodell with scripts by the great Bill Finger. Nodell after leaving comics to work in advertising was part of the team that created the Pillsbury Doughboy. Bill Finger's contribution to the world of comics of course was being the co creator of the Dark Knight. 

The first issue in the series was All American Comics 16. The Green Lantern is introduced in an action shot on the cover done beautifully by Sheldon Mayer. Our story opens with Engineer Alan Scott riding the train with his partner Jimmy. Jimmy is complaining that a competing construction company is going to do something to retaliate against Scott's company. As soon he says this of course the train derails, in the panic Alan Scott grabs a seemingly normal green train lamp. Scott is the sole survivor. The lantern start emitting a bright green light and projects a voice deep inside of Scott's brain.
With this we start the tale of Green Lantern as told by the lantern itself. A long time ago in Old China a meteor falls to Earth. The meteor is in flames and the flames seem to speak to the gathered villagers. 
"Three times Shall I Flame Green! First to bring Death, Second to Bring Life and Third to bring Power!"
So the villagers all stay away from the rock, except one. Chang the old Lamp Maker goes to the meteor, takes a piece of it to make a lamp. So Chang makes a lamp that looks like a certain wish giving lamp we all know and love. The other villagers see Chang doing this and think that he is going to bring upon them the ire of the evil one, so they attack him. This is where our Green Flame goes into action for the first time, fulfilling the first prophecy. The Green Flame kills everyone.

The lamp passes from hand to hand over the coming years. It brings good fortune to good people and to the evil...destruction. Then one day the lamp is discarded outside an insane asylum in the United States. It is given to an old man named Billings who turns it into the train lantern. Once this is completed, it is time for the second part of the prophecy, giving life. The flame fixes Billings' insanity and he heads back out into the

We are back with Alan Scott and the Green Flame finishes out its prophecy by giving power to Scott. It instructs him to take a small piece of the lantern and fashion it into a ring, and gives him the familiar instructions. The ring needs to be charged at least once every 24 hours. Scott comes too finds his dead friend's body and swears revenge against Dekker the man responsible for his death. Scott makes the ring and uses its power to fly after Dekker. Scott is able to use the ring to walk through the walls of Dekker's office. Because they assumed that Scott was killed in the train disaster Dekker and his thugs assume that Scott is a ghost, which seems to be proven true when the men start shooting at him to no effect. Stabbing and punching also do nothing, however a blow from a  wooden club does knock him down and reveals that Scott is not a ghost. The Green Lantern's original ring was unless against wood, just like the Silver Age Lantern was weak against yellow. Scott then shows that he isn't a complete waste without his ring, and manages to beat up Dekker's thugs and then turns his attention to Dekker himself, using the ring to fly him up in the air to scare him into writing a confession for his part in the train derailment. Dekker dies from a heart attack after signing. With that Alan Scott decides that he will continue his fight against evil. He thinks to himself that he wants to become "a dreaded figure!" and that he "must have a costume that is so bizarre that once he is seen, he will never be forgotten!" It is in the last panel of the story that we finally see the famous Green Lantern costume, and are told that we will continue in the next issue of All American Comics.

For today though that will be it for us. The Golden Age Green Lantern is my favourite comic book character of all time, and I have had a lot of fun revisiting his first appearance here today, and maybe in the future we will come back to Alan Scott, when we again venture back into the past and read another  of the Tales of the Golden Age.
Jason Laframboise