I was recently asked “Do you have Issue #1 of Green Lantern?”
Such a simple question, but not a simple answer.
You see, Comic Books, especially those featuring popular characters, have been around a very long time, and many characters have had multiple series, that have ended and then restarted, or been “rebooted” with a new Issue #1, more than once. Let’s take a look at the published history of my favorite character, Green Lantern, for example.
The original (“Golden Age”) Green Lantern, a railroad engineer named Alan Scott, debuted in All-American Comics #16 (published in 1940) as a man who finds a magic lantern that grants him mystical powers through a power ring he carved from the lamp:
He was then given his own self titled series, starting with Green Lantern (Volume 1) #1 (published in 1941):
Green Lantern Volume 1 ran for 38 issues. I have none of these original issues, but I have the complete set of stories reprinted in a Hardcover set – “The Golden Age Green Lantern Archives” Volumes 1 & 2:
Green Lantern was re-imagined as a test pilot turned ring slinging space cop, Hal Jordan, and this new (“Silver Age”) version appeared in Showcase #22 (published in 1959):
This version of Green Lantern was one of thousands of Green Lanterns, assigned to various space sectors, answering to the Guardians of the Universe, blue-skinned Immortals who internally generate the emerald energy that fuels the great Power Battery on Oa, from which all Green Lanterns draw their supply of Green Energy, focused through their power rings, the use of which is limited only by their willpower and imagination. Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) was then given his own self titled series, starting with Green Lantern (Volume 2) #1 (published in 1960):
Green Lantern Volume 2 ran for 224 issues. I currently have issues 89 – 224, and am slowly picking up earlier issues as I find (and can afford) them. However, I do have many of the Silver Age stories as reprints, in collected Trade Paperback books.
The series was restarted with Green Lantern (Volume 3) #1 (published in 1990):
Green Lantern Volume 3 ran for 181 issues. I have this entire run.
The series was relaunched, again, with Green Lantern (Volume 4) #1 (published in 2005):
Green Lantern Volume 4 ran for 67 issues. I have this entire run.
The series was relaunched, again, when DC tried to “reboot and re-imagine” its entire universe, known as the “New 52 DCU” with Green Lantern (Volume 5) #1 (published in 2011):
Green Lantern Volume 5 ran for 52 issues. I have this entire run.
Although their is, technically, currently, no “Green Lantern (Volume 6)” being published, their are currently 2 relaunched Green Lantern series being published, as part of DC Comics “Rebirth,” an attempt to (mostly) return to the pre-New 52 DCU status quo (which did not go over well with most DC fans):
“Green Lanterns” (Published in 2016) featuring 2 new Green Lanterns, Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz, on Earth:
and “Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corp” (published in 2016) featuring Hal Jordan and the entire Green Lantern Corps in space:
And, yes, I am collecting both of these series. There are many other Green lantern Series I did not mention, as they had different titles, so don’t qualify as a different volume of the Green Lantern titles, per se.
So, to answer the original question “Do you have Issue #1 of Green Lantern?” – yes AND no!
Green Lantern Volume 1 – No (but yes, in reprints)
Green Lantern Volume 2 – No (but yes in reprints)
Green Lantern Volume 3, Volume 4, and Volume 5 – Yes, Yes, and Yes.
Any other comic questions out there?