All-American Comics #16

    All-American Comics » All-American Comics #16 - The Origin of the Green Lantern released by DC Comics on July 1940.

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    The Origin of the Green Lantern last edited by NightFang3 on 11/28/23 07:52PM View full history

    “THE ORIGIN OF GREEN LANTERN!” Featuring the very first appearance of the Golden Age Green Lantern, Alan Scott! Engineer Alan Scott’s life is transformed forever when a mystical lantern grants him fantastic power, transforming him into Green Lantern!

    "The Origin of the Green Lantern" After a train is derailed and plummets to its destruction, young Alan Scott wakes from the wreckage as the miraculous only survivor. In his hands he holds a mysterious green miner's lantern which begins to radiate an intense light and a voice speaks to Alan, telling him of the green flame of life and the 'Tales of the Green Lantern.'

    The tale the voice begins to tell is from long ago in China, where a meteor fell from the sky and broke open, spilling out a pool of molten metal. The strange voice fills the air again, speaking a strange warning:

    "Three times shall I flame green!

    First- to bring death!

    Second- to bring life!

    Third- to bring power!"

    One of the men, Chang, is a lamp-maker and approaches the cooling metal, creating a green genie-lamp from the metal while others look on in horror, afraid his actions will cause the gods to be angry or bring wrath to their village. The villagers decide to attack Chang, burning his books and killing him. But the prophecy of the flame cannot be escaped and Chang's attackers are all suddenly struck down dead. Over time, the lantern repeatedly exchanged hands, bringing random good and bad luck to those in possession of it. The lamp made its way to an asylum for the insane in America, where the guards decide to give it to an old crazy man named Billings. When the flame glows bright again, Billings is made sane and finds new life outside of the asylum, fufilling the second prophecy of the flame.

    And so the voice finishes the 'Tales of the Green Lanterns,' telling Alan Scott that now the time has come for the third part of the prophecy to be made true and for Alan Scott to gain its power. The voice also warns that if one loses faith in themselves, they will also lose the power, because it is Will-Power. It also advises him to create a ring from the metal so he can always carry the power of the lantern with him, but he would have to touch the ring to the green lantern once every twenty-four hours. The voice disappears, leaving Alan Scott suddenly aware of his new powers, searching the wreckage for any other survivors. He begins to theorize that a man named Dekker had intended for the train to crash, vowing revenge toward Dekker to the dead body of his friend, Jimmy.

    Alan works hard and creates the ring, quickly discovering he can use its powers to fly. He speeds over to Dekker's place, using the ring to move through the walls of the building as well. Meanwhile, Dekker is congratulating some of his goons on doing a great job at blowing up the bridge as he hopes to secure a building contract from the government. Suddenly, a green light begins to come through the walls, startling the group of men who think it is the ghost of engineer Alan Scott. Dekker tries to shoot Alan, but the bullets simply deflect away and the knives the goons use break apart upon touching Alan. One of the men grabs a wooden club and beats Alan over the head with it, successfully knocking him to the ground. When Alan rises again, Dekker is left alone as his cowardly helpers flee. Alan flies him through the sky, threatening to drop Dekker unless he confesses to what he has done involving the train. Dekker agrees, terrified but certain he must confess to survive. Ironically, just as he signs his name to the confession, Dekker falls to the floor dead from the shock. Alan Scott credits destiny with the death, deciding to become a hero and tool of the lantern's intentions, creating his costume and taking on the identity of... the Green Lantern.



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    Green Lantern Begins 0

    As is always the case with digging through the comic archives, there is an array of other considerations to remember such as context. Decades ago, the first appearance of any Green Lantern occurred in this issue of All-American Comics.   I enjoyed the narrative as a simple frame which first explains the modern catastrophe of a train crash and then jumps back in time to explain the history of the Green Lantern.  Naturally, the dialog is very straight-forward and predictable, but it also manages t...

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