Alan Scott

Alan Scott

Infobox comics character

caption=Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern.
Cover art for "JSA "# 77 by Alex Ross.
character_name=Green Lantern
publisher=DC Comics
debut="All-American Comics" #16 (July 1940)
creators=Bill Finger
Martin Nodell
alter_ego = Alan Ladd Wellington Scott
species =
homeworld =
alliances=Justice Society of America Checkmate All-Star Squadron Sentinels of Magic Green Lantern Corps
aliases=Sentinel, White King
powers=Flight, solid light constructs, mystical tracking, longevity with the use of a Power ring
subcat=DC Comics
sortkey=Scott, Alan

Alan Scott is a fictional character, a superhero from the DC Comics universe and the first superhero to bear the name Green Lantern.

Publication history

The original Green Lantern was created by young struggling artist Martin Nodell, who was inspired by the sight of a New York Subway employee waving a red lantern to stop a train for track work and a green lantern once the track was clear. With the name in hand and borrowing heavily from the story of Aladdin, Nodell created a mystical crimefighter who got his powers from the flame of a strange lamp.

Nodell was teamed with writer Bill Finger, who wrote the scripts for stories, which were often drawn by Martin Nodell and sometimes by ghost artists such as Irwin Hasen.

The character made his debut in "All-American Comics" #16 (July 1940). The art was credited to Nodell via his pseudonym "Mart Dellon". Like many creators of the time, Nodell hoped to keep the stigma of comic books from tarnishing his career in commercial illustration.

According to Mordecai Richler, "there is no doubt... that The Green Lantern has its origin in Hassidic mythology" [Mordecai Richler, "The Great Comic Book Heroes", Encounter, 1965, reprinted in three different volumes of essays by Mordecai Richler: "Hunting Tigers Under Glass", 1968; "Notes on an Endangered Species and Others", 1974, and "The Great Comic Book Heroes and Other Essays", 1978] . However, Richler gives no reasons for saying this. Creator Martin Nodell has written that he originally intended to name the character Alan Ladd, after Aladdin, but changed the name to avoid confusion with the movie actor of the same name. Nodell mentions Richard Wagner's opera cycle "The Ring of the Nibelungen" and the sight of a trainman's green railway lantern as inspirations. [Martin Nodell, Preface to "The Golden Age Green Lantern Archives" volume 1, 1999]

Scott was a charter member of the Justice Society of America, beginning in "All Star Comics #3" (Winter 1940). He served as the team's second chairman, in #7, but departed following that issue and returned a few years later. He has been a key member of the group ever since, appearing in all three titles bearing the teams' name.

Fictional character biography


Thousands of years ago, a mystical "green flame" fell to Earth. The voice of the flame prophesied that it would act three times: once to bring death, once to bring life, and once to bring power. By 1940, after having already fulfilled the first two-thirds of this prophecy, the flame had been fashioned into a metal lantern, which fell into the hands of Alan Scott, a young railroad engineer. Following a railroad bridge collapse, the flame instructs Scott in how to fashion a ring from its metal, to give him fantastic powers as the superhero Green Lantern. He adopts a colorful costume (setting himself apart from his successors, as he wore both red and purple in his outfit, besides the standard green) and becomes a crimefighter.

Scott uses his ring to fly, to walk through solid objects (by "moving through the fourth dimension"), [Cite comic | Writer = Bill Finger | Artist = Martin Nodell | Story = | Title = All-American Comics | Volume = 1 | Issue = 16 | Date = July, 1940 | Publisher = DC Comics | Page = 1-8 | Panel = | ID = ] to paralyze or blind people temporarily, to create rays of energy, to melt metal as with a blowtorch, and to cause dangerous objects to glow, among other things. Occasionally uses it to create solid objects and force fields in the manner usually associated with fellow Green Lantern Hal Jordan, and to read minds. His ring could protect him against any object made of metal, but would not protect him against any wood or plant based objects. This was said to be because the green flame was an incarnation of the strength of "green, growing things".

During the 1940s, Green Lantern seemed to alternate between serious adventure - particularly when his arch-nemesis, Solomon Grundy, appeared - and light comedy, usually involving his sidekick Doiby Dickles. Toward the end of his Golden Age adventures, he was even reduced to the role of a sidekick to Streak the Wonder Dog, a heroic canine cut from the mold of Rin-Tin-Tin and Lassie.

Justice Society of America

Scott was a member of the JSA in 1951 when the team was investigated by the "Joint Congressional Un-American Activities Committee," a fictional organization based on the real-life House Un-American Activities Committee but stated to have been created after the death of Senator Joseph McCarthy on Earth-Two. They were accused of possible Communist sympathies and asked to reveal their identities. The JSA declined, and most of the membership retired in the 1950s.

One piece of retroactive continuity fills out Scott's early history: "All-Star Squadron Annual #3" states that the JSA fought a being named Ian Karkull who imbued them with energy that retarded their aging, allowing Scott and many others (as well as their spouses) to remain active into the late 20th century without infirmity. The events of that incident also led to his taking a leave of absence from the JSA, explaining why the character vanished from the roster for a time.

Also, during this period, he and his friend Jay Garrick (also known as the Flash) had an encounter with Abin Sur, the Green Lantern who preceded Hal Jordan; tracking a criminal to Earth, Sur's ring is immobilized by his foe forming a yellow barrier around the ring. Sur then secretly borrows Alan's ring after he and Jay were knocked unconscious. With the new ring, which lacks a weakness to yellow, Sur was able to take his foe by surprise and defeat him, before returning the ring to Alan and leaving Earth.

The team re-formed in the 1960s with Scott as a member, though little is known of their adventures during this time save for their team-ups with the Justice League of America, of the parallel world Earth-One, and a few cross-universe adventures Scott shared with Earth-One's Green Lantern, Hal Jordan.

From the late 1940s to the 1970s, Scott runs the Gotham Broadcasting Company (GBC). The company ends up ruined by creditors. The Psycho Pirate temporarily drives Alan mad and the rest of the JSA help him recover. Jay Garrick helps him start a new career as a scientist, although he eventually regains control of the GBC and is still running it to this day.


It was eventually revealed that in the late 1950s or early 1960s, Scott marries the woman with the dual identity Rose and Thorn, and the two had a pair of children who would grow up to become the superheroes Jade and Obsidian of the team Infinity, Inc.

In the 1980s, Scott married his longtime nemesis (now reformed) Molly Mayne, also known as The Harlequin, and reconciles with his son and daughter.

Post-Crisis and Ragnarok

Following "Crisis on Infinite Earths", which merged all parallel realities into one, the source of Scott's power would be retconned to be the mystical "Starheart", the gathered magical characteristics of the Earth-1 Universe by the Oan Guardians of the Universe. This collective force was hidden in the heart of a star and became sentient. The force also helps retard Scott's aging process. Another story implied a connection to Yalan Gur, an ancient member of the Green Lantern Corps.

Also following the Crisis was the one-shot "Last Days of the Justice Society of America Special" (1986). This told how Adolph Hitler (in 1945) causes a massive wave of destructive energy to erupt yet, time-displaced, it appears over the post-Crisis earth. Scott and the JSA, fresh from burying their Earth-Two comrades Robin and Huntress, enter into a limbo dimension in order to fight an eternally recurring Ragnarok.

The Return

Through the machinations of Waverider the JSA teammates are able to leave limbo and begin living in the post-Crisis earth which they had fought to save ("Armageddon: Inferno" 1992). That mini-series is followed by "Justice Society of America" (1992-1993) which shows how Alan Scott adjusts to his new world. In the short-lived series the JSA fight the newest incarnation of the Ultra-Humanite as well as Pol St. Germain and Kulak the Sorcerer. Scott reconnects with his wife and children, in issue #1 he states that Molly "is pretty much handling things at the company..." and of Jade and Obsidian, "They're fine -- off doing their own thing in Hollywood. Not too interested in being super-heroes." The series ends with issue #10, not with the team disbanding but with the members gathered together at their first formal meeting after returning home.

Zero Hour

The JSA continues crimefighting activity until a disastrous battle with the villain Extant, during which Scott is physically aged to a point closer to his actual age, prompting him to semi-retirement. Extant also kills three of Scott's friends, Hourman, Atom and Dr. Mid-Nite.

For a time, the Starheart became part of Scott's body and he adopts the name Sentinel, becoming a founding member of a new JSA. Thanks to the rejuvenative properties of the Starheart, Scott's physical body was again temporarily revitalized so that he resembles a man in his 30s or early 40s. This drives his wife Molly, who has not been affected, to sell her soul to the demon Neron in exchange for youth. Alan enters a demonic realm, with help from entities such as the Phantom Stranger and Zatanna. He manages to win Molly's soul back.

He has since been physically altered again so that he more closely resembles his true chronological age. He returns to using the name Green Lantern during the JSA's battle with Mordru. He continues to fight crime in his original costumed identity, using a ring again, serving as an elder statesman to the JSA and to the superhero community in general. During the Rann-Thanagar War, Kyle Rayner's power ring revealed that Scott is an honorary member of the Green Lantern Corps.

"Infinite Crisis" and "One Year Later"

During the "Infinite Crisis", Scott and his daughter Jade, along with many others, traveled with Donna Troy to the center of the universe to save the universe from an unknown threat; later revealed to be Alexander Luthor, Jr.. Jade died on that mission. One Year Later, Scott appears to be still active, still relatively youthful in comparison to his true age, but now wears an eye-patch due to losing his eye in a Zeta beam transporter accident while returning from space. Even though Scott lost his daughter he states to Kyle Rayner that he still has family both by relation and close friendship among which he counts Kyle. During the missing year, Scott has joined Checkmate at the rank of White King. Scott assigned his JSA teammate Mister Terrific as his bishop. Scott soon finds himself in a moral conflict with "Black Queen" Sasha Bordeaux over the violent nature of Checkmate, particularly after Bordeaux and her team slaughter dozens of Kobra operatives during a raid on a facility. Bordeaux contends that the ends justify the means, while Scott adheres to the principle that heroes should not kill unless absolutely necessary; Bordeaux responds to this by suggesting that Scott resign. Concurrent with this internal conflict, Scott and "White Queen" Amanda Waller are trying to keep the organization from being discontinued by political forces.

The fourth issue of the "52" maxi-series reveals that Scott lost his left eye during a period when he and several other superheroes had been declared missing (approximately 11 months prior to the events of "Checkmate" #1). The Zeta Beam that Adam Strange was hoping to use for teleporting the heroes in space away from the time-space ripple caused by Alexander Luthor, Jr. actions was splintered by the ripple itself, mutilating the heroes in various ways. His missing eye was later replaced by a portion of his daughter Jade's mystic green energy. After being put into a comatose state during an attack by the Gentleman Ghost, Jade appeared to him, told him goodbye and granted him another portion of her green energy. His missing eye is currently replaced by a green glowing orb that, due to its mystical origins and connection to Jade, allows him to track astral and mystical energy forms such as ghosts.

Scott continues to be a member of the Justice Society of America after it reforms and expands.

Other versions

Kingdom Come

In Mark Waid and Alex Ross's "Kingdom Come", Alan Scott has reclaimed the mantle of Green Lantern [cite web|url=|title=Kingdom Come #1 Annotations|accessdate=2007-06-19|date=2000-12-18] and forged green armor seemingly powered by the Starheart. Throughout the course of the story, it is revealed that Alan has established a city that orbits the Earth, which he has dubbed New Oa. Alan joins with Superman in the new Justice League and saves a number of heroes from an atomic explosion at the end of the miniseries by shielding them with his Green Lantern powers. In the epilogue of the miniseries, Alan is shown joining the United Nations as the ambassador of the sovereign nation of New Oa.

To date, the regular Alan Scott has worn the same armor on three separate occasions.

JSA: The Unholy Three

Another version of Alan Scott was seen briefly in ' as a post-WW2 agent called the Lantern"' whose use of his power ring was invaluable to the intelligence community for its ability to discern truth from lies. The ring and Alan's hand were destroyed by a Superman gone rogue.

Green Lantern: Evil's Might

In the Elseworlds tale, "", Alan Scott is depicted as the young leader of a gang called the Bowery Greens. He steals a magical green gem similar to Kyle Rayner's ring and later steals Kyle's lantern. But in a final showdown, he fatally wounds Kyle, but is absorbed into Kyle's ring.

The Golden Age

In the Elseworlds series "The Golden Age", Alan Scott finds himself under investigation from the House Un-American Activities Committee because of his refusal to turn over employees suspected of communist activities. In the final battle with Dynaman, Johnny Quick refers to him as "the big guy," implying that he may have been the most powerful hero of the era (although this is likely also a reference to Alan's large physical stature).

uperman & Batman: Generations

In , a version of Alan Scott was featured. In this storyline, it is stated that, the first time Alan used his ring, he was knocked out from behind by a man with a wooden club, causing Alan to believe the ring was weak against wood, thereby causing a mental block.


In the final issue of "52", a new Multiverse is revealed, originally consisting of 52 identical realities. Among the parallel realities shown is one designated "Earth-2". As a result of Mister Mind "eating" aspects of this reality, it takes on visual aspects similar to the pre-Crisis Earth-2, including the Green Lantern among other Justice Society of America characters. The names of the characters and the team are not mentioned in the panel in which they appear, but the Green Lantern is visually similar to Alan Scott. [Comic book reference | title=52 | issue=52 | date=May 2, 2007 | publisher=DC Comics | page=13 | panel=3 ]

Based on comments by Grant Morrison, this alternate universe is not the pre-Crisis Earth-2. [cite web
url =
accessdate = 2007-05-12
last = Brady
first = Matt
date = 2007-05-08
publisher = Newsarama

uperman: Red Son

Scott is also shown as a member of the Green Lantern Marine Corps in "".

In other media

New Frontier

Alan Scott/Green Lantern appears as a member of the JSA in the opening credits of the animated film .

Green Guardsman

In the Justice League animated series episode "Legends", the producers used characters similar to the Golden Age Justice Society of America. The character Green Guardsman was the analog of Green Lantern. Green Guardsman's real name is Scott Mason and his ring is ineffective against anything made out of aluminum.

According to Bruce Timm, there were plans to use Scott and the other Justice Society of America characters in a crossover episode of " Justice League", but copyright issues with DC prevented them from doing so (later, some characters traditionally associated with the JSA would have minor roles on the follow up series "Justice League Unlimited", one of them apparently Scott's son Obsidian). Instead, a character similar to Alan Scott, the Green Guardsman, (voiced by William Katt), meant to be both an homage and parody of Alan Scott, appears in the first season episode "Legends" as part of the Justice Guild of America (JGA).



*comicbookdb|type=character|id=49|title=Green Lantern (Alan Scott)

External links

* [ Profile on Green Lantern] - Comic book historian Alan Kistler's article detailing the history of the various Green Lanterns over the decades, with various art scans and explanations as to the differences in personalities and powers. Detailed history of Alan Scott and how he stayed vital despite the presence of so many successors.
* [ Unofficial Green Lantern Profile]
* [ History of the character, with a list of significant appearances]
* [ Comprehensive List of Golden and Silver Age Appearances]
* [ The Golden Age Green Lantern] , a critical study
* [ Alan Scott's profile on the DC Database Project]

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