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That Time They Changed Green Lantern’s Costume and No One Cared

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
That Time They Changed Green Lantern’s Costume and No One Cared

In “When We First Met”, we spotlight the various characters, phrases, objects or events that eventually became notable parts of comic lore, like the first time someone said, “Avengers Assemble!” or the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny or the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth or the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter. Stuff like that.

Reader Allen W. had a rather specific question, but what struck me is that the answer really was “Eh, who cares?”

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps debuted in Showcase #22, with art by Gil Kane and Joe Giella and a story by John Broome.

Notice how his outfit is basically like a sort of vest, with the green one color in the middle and then his arms and shoulders and legs are all in black.

That continues in the first issue of the series that launched out of Showcase, Green Lantern #1, with art by Kane and Murphy Anderson…

A number of years later (most of DC Comics’ series in the early 1960s were not monthly books – okay, maybe not MOST, but a lot!), in Green Lantern #36 (drawn by Kane and Sid Greene), the costume remains the same…

The very next issue, though (also by Kane and Greene), Hal is suddenly wearing a different costume without any explanation!

His shoulders are now covered by the green part of the costume, which you can see in greater detail later in the issue…

And that’s the way it was for DECADES. Allen was hoping for an answer for the change, but I’m afraid it was just simply a matter of Kane and/or Greene changing it and having the change stick (Kane drew most of the issues, so that was easy).

It’s sort of like how Spider-Man’s rather prominently featured underarm webs…

Were mostly written out of the book by the artists by Amazing Spider-Man #100…

Wish I could have given you a cooler story, Allen! Thanks for the suggestion, though! If anyone ELSE has a suggestion for a comic book first that they’d like to see featured, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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