Blending sci-fi wonder with superhero thrills, DC’s Green Lantern mythology is everything you could want from an ongoing saga, and this week we’re celebrating its 80th anniversary. The story of the Green Lantern Corps has had many defining—and utterly unforgettable—twists and turns over the years, and today we’re looking back at twelve of its biggest moments. Whether you’re a longtime fan or one of the Green Lantern Corps’ newest recruits, it’s time to summon your will because we’re about to travel to the outer reaches of space…and beyond!
Alan Scott Lights the Lantern for the First Time
Before the Guardians and before the Corps, the Green Lantern saga began in 1940’s All-American Comics #16. Alan Scott was an engineer whose life was changed forever after a saboteur caused his train to crash. Thanks to a mysterious force known as the Green Flame of Life, which was held within a green train lantern that had fortuitously made its way into Alan’s locomotive, Alan survived the incident and gained some new abilities. Cutting a piece from the bizarre green lantern, Alan makes the first Green Lantern ring and searches for the saboteur. By the end of the story, the legend of Green Lantern had officially begun.
Later stories would expand upon the origins of the Green Flame of Life, revealing that it was a power source called the Starheart that had been created by the Guardians of the Universe.
In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night
We may be biased, but the Green Lantern oath is one of the greatest things to come out of comics. Try saying it out loud and you’ll feel like you can take on an entire army of Manhunters.
“In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil’s might, beware my power, Green Lantern’s light.”
Instant chills, right? A few different versions of the oath appeared in Alan Scott’s earliest stories, until the version we all know made its debut in 1943’s Green Lantern #9. Everything about the scene was perfect. Alan Scott stood in darkness illuminated only by the glowing green lights of his lantern, as he said those iconic words for the first time.