Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Golden Age Creator of Green Lantern Dies
Ever since I was a young kid Green Lantern has been my favorite superhero. When asked the deep geekosophic question "Who is the best, Batman or Superman?" I would always answer with the non-sequitor Green Lantern. Much like when asked the rock-n-roll question regarding the Beatles and Stones, I answer The Who. At first my love for Green Lantern was aimed at test pilot Hal Jordan, but as time passed and my skill ranks in Geek (Comic Books) and History (Comic Books) increased I found a new (or rather old) Green Lantern to love. It all started with Roy Thomas's All-Star Squadron with its stylish and original lineup of Golden Age characters. Once I was introduced to Dr. Midnite, Doctor Fate, Starman, and the Golden Age versions of the Flash (Jay Garrick) and Green Lantern (Alan Scott) I was hooked.
The 80s were a time when the "modern" heroes were entering into dark phases where morality was grey and justice was hard to find. The stories were great, but the part of my soul which longs for fun, adventure, comedy and justice (an interesting combination to be sure) found the Bronze Age heroes lacked these traits, but the Golden Age heroes had them in abundance. The Golden Age heroes also had a kind of laissez faire attitude about where superpowers come from and how superpowers worked. The Silver Age had begun the scientification, and pseudo-physics justification, of superpowers. Heck, the Silver Age Green Lantern's powers were powered by piece of technology, and the changes from the original Green Lantern were inspired by Doc Smith's wonderful Lensman series. Bronze Age Green Lantern could "red shift" his green energy beam to inflict damage on another Green Lantern, but the Golden Age Green Lantern's powers were mystical (and his vulnerability to wood was a classic mystic weakness).
The more I read, the more I liked Alan Scott and the more I spent on Archived editions of All-Star Comics and dreaming of being able to afford All-American Comics #16.
The Los Angeles Times has an obituary dedicated to Alan Scott creator Martin Nodell. It is a solid piece, but typical of the Times the obit is provided by Newsday and not written by a Times writer. Monkeybrain Press editor Chris Roberson had a link to a nice piece by comic scholar extraordinaire (and creator of the D&D cartoon) Mark Evanier on Sunday. Boy...the Times are sure prompt aren't they?