Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Guide To Golden Age Green Lantern Reprints

Alan Scott first picked up the green lantern that would define his life in All-American Comics #16 (July, 1940) by Bill Finger and Martin Nodell, continuing on in that title until All-American Comics #102 (October, 1948), as well as spinning off into his own 38 issues of Green Lantern from the Fall of 1941 to May-June of 1949, as well as 29 issues of Comic Cavalcade, and being a member of the Justice Society in All-Star Comics.

Let's shine a light on where to find these 1940s tales a little closer to modern times!

Green Lantern

Starting with Green Lantern's own title (but it also has that first appearance, as well as another Golden Age story...), is Green Lantern #30 (February-March, 1948) by Robert Kanigher and Alex Toth, and "The Saga of Streak" introducing a pet dog for Alan Scott, and partner to the Green Lantern!  Streak even got his own feature in Green Lantern #34 to #38, as well as Sensation Comics #91 to #93!

Though having more stories focused on Hal Jordan, Green Lantern #30 is reprinted in Green Lantern: A Celebration of 75 Years of 2015, which also features Hal's first appearance, the first appearances of Sinestro, Guy Gardner, John Stewart, Itty, Kyle Rayner (as Green Lantern) and the first solo meeting of Hal and Alan, which gives the origins of the Guardians (and the first appearance of Krona and "the cosmic hand", which could be the earliest recorded look at the DC Universe as well as a hint of how the scientific Green Lanterns of Earth-1 related to the magical Green Lantern of Earth-2!).

Next up is Green Lantern #37 (March-April, 1949) with "Too Many Suspects" by writer Robert Kanigher, penciller Alex Toth and inker Frank Giacoia.  This story has Green Lantern going into action to save his friend, Doiby Dickles from a crime he didn't commit (nor does he remember what he was doing at the time of the crime!).  Alan Scott finds six more people who are suffering the same fate and must save them all!

This story was first reprinted in Detective Comics #440 (April-May, 1974) under a Jim Aparo cover, with a new Batman story and new Manhunter story, as well as a Silver Age Hawkman and Golden Age Doll Man and Golden Age Manhunter reprint.  This story was also reprinted in the Green Lantern Annual #1 that looks like it came from 1963, but was really made in 1998 (and focuses more on Hal Jordan, and meetings with Star Sapphire, Sinestro and the Flash!).

Last, but not least, is the last story from Green Lantern #38 (May-June, 1949) where Alan Scott of Station WXYZ faces off against "The Impossible Mr. Paradox", a villain who fights Green Lantern using illusions based on scientific paradoxes in a story by Robert Kanigher with art by Irwin Hasen and inks by Frank Giacoia.

Ironic then that it should be reprinted in Green Lantern #89 (April-May, 1972), under a cover by Neal Adams, featuring the last of the Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) and Green Arrow team-ups in their own title by Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams.

But, not unlike Hal and Ollie, Alan Scott has more stories to tell (and a few more solo Green Lantern tales reprinted....though way too few!).

Comic Cavalcade

From Alan's issues that he shared with the Golden Age Flash and the Golden Age Wonder Woman, Comic Cavalcade #6 (Spring, 1944) with "They Are Invincible" by writer Alfred Bester and artist Paul Reinman, featured a story about writer Al Bester, who gave Doiby and Alan hypothetical problems to solve (and saw the creation of the more modern Green Lantern Oath).

This story was reprinted in the Green Lantern: A Celebration of 75 Years in 2015.

Green Lantern's first three stories from Comic Cavalcade #1 to #3 from 1943 can be found with rest of those issues in the Comic Cavalcade Archives #1 of March, 2005, with Green Lantern's pre-JSA solo tale from All-Star Comics #2 (Fall, 1940) facing the robot men of Baron von Zorn was reprinted with all of All-Star Comics #1 and #2 in All-Star Comics Archives #0 of March, 2006, and a story of Green Lantern and Doiby where "Heroes Are Born -- Not Made" by Alfred Bester and Paul Reinman from the Big All-American Comic Book of 1944 making into a collection of DC Comics Rarities Archives #1 of December, 2004 along with stories about Wildcat, Mr. Terrific, Johnny Thunder, Atom, and more!

All-American Comics

Back to the beginning, with All-American Comics #16 (July, 1940) and the origin of Green Lantern by writer Bill Finger and artist Mart Nodell, where train engineer Alan Scott survives a train wreck, holding onto a Green Lantern, that tells the story of how this mystical power came into his hands!

This story was reprinted in  The Great Comic Book Heroes of 1965, Secret Origins of the Super DC Heroes of 1976, and leading off Green Lantern: A Celebration of 75 Years in 2015.  Amazing how Alan was allergic to appearing on covers of his reprints!

Next up of Golden Age Green Lantern reprints is All-American Comics #61 (October, 1944) with "Fighters Never Quit" by Alfred Bester and Paul Reinman, which introduced a menace that would go beyond Green Lantern, facing the JSA, Superman, Batman, Green Arrow and more (as well as joining the Injustice Society of the World), the reanimated swamp monster called Solomon Grundy!

This tale was reprinted in Wanted, The World's Most Dangerous Villains #4 (December, 1972) under a cover by Nick Cardy (and with a reprint of Kid Eternity facing his foe, Master Man, as well).  It was in the 1970s that Solomon Grundy became more well known to the world as a member of the Legion of Doom on the Super Friends cartoon!

For all the foes the Golden Age Green Lantern had, he could have taken up all the issues of Wanted, but the tale to focus on now is All-American Comics #89 (September, 1947) with the introduction of "The Harlequin" by Robert Kanigher and Irwin Hasen.  This was the first appearance of the Harlequin, who was Alan Scott's secretary, Molly Mayne, and he used her to hype a department store over the radio.  The things we do to keep our day jobs.

This tale was reprinted in World's Finest Comics #211 (May, 1972) under a cover by Neal Adams (and an odd Superman/Batman story at a time when Superman was teaming up with everyone BUT Batman).  Sadly, this is Harlequin's only solo GL reprint (her appearance in All-Star Comics was collected), but at least you can read about where to find her original tales here!

Another foe of Green Lantern's was the Icicle, and it is his second appearance from All-American Comics #92 (December, 1947) where "The Icicle Goes South" by Robert Kanigher and Alex Toth that is the topic now.  Green Lantern has to stop the Icicle from taking over a South American country....pretty good for a guy with an ice gun.

This story has been collected twice, once in Green Lantern #86 (October-November, 1971) under a cover by Neal Adams,  and later in the Greatest Golden Age Stories Ever Told of 1990 under a Jerry Ordway cover (along with tales from Black Canary, Dr. Mid-Nite, Johnny Quick, and more).  Wouldn't it be great to see the Icicle's first tale reprinted as well?

The last of the Golden Age Green Lantern stories to get a solo reprint is All-American Comics #98 (June, 1948) with "The End Of Sports" featuring the Sportsmaster being a menace to Gotham City in a story by Robert Kanigher and Alex Toth.

This story is found in Detective Comics #443 (October-November, 1974) under a cover by Jim Aparo, with Batman and the Manhunter in battle with the Council, and reprints including the first appearance of the Creeper and a Golden Age Spectre reprint.  Sportsmaster also joined the ISW, and sadly, has Golden Age appearances not reprinted as well.

Thankfully, a few more Golden Age Green Lantern appearances have been collected as well.


Green Lantern Archives

The Golden Age Green Lantern got two Archives.  The Green Lantern stories from All-American Comics #16 to #30 (September, 1941) as well as Green Lantern #1 (Fall, 1941) were collected in the Golden Age Green Lantern Archives #1 of 1999.  The Green Lantern stories of All-American Comics #31 (October, 1941) to #38 (May, 1942), as well as Green Lantern #2 (Winter, 1941-1942) and #3 (Spring, 1942) were all in Golden Age Green Lantern Archives #2 of January, 2002.  Great stories (especially if you are a fan of Mart Nodell) but a little lacking in signature Green Lantern villains like Vandal Savage and the Gambler....

Unpublished Golden Age Green Lantern tales

There were a few Golden Age Green Lantern stories created but not published.  One tale did end up in Green Lantern #88 (February-March, 1972) under a cover by Neal Adams.  The story featured "The Menace Of The Marching Toys" with no identified writer, and art by Carmine Infantino and Bernard Sachs, had Alan Scott facing off against the Tin Soldier, who battled Green Lantern with his mechanical toys!  Four other Golden Age Green Lantern tales were reported as well, but none of them were ever collected for print.

Odder still was Green Lantern's part in an unpublished Golden Age Flash story, featuring the Thorn, of which two pages were reprinted in an issue of Lois Lane (this had a huge impact on Alan's future, as well as the life of Jade and Obsidian of Infinity, Inc.).

At least all of the Golden Age Green Lantern's appearances with the Justice Society of America were collected when all 57 Golden Age issues of All-Star Comics were collected in the multiple volumes of the All-Star Comics Archives!  Would that we get more reprints of Golden Age Green Lantern stories to shed their light on the evil of not being reprinted....

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