Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #18!


When speaking about the origins of the original Green Lantern, Bill Finger always recalled that his original identity was to be "Alan Ladd," based on "Aladdin," but editor Sheldon Mayer insisted that no one would believe such a name and changed it to "Alan Scott."

Well, first off, by this point in time, Alan Ladd had been acting in films for eight or so years already, but he was not very well-known, so I can reasonably believe that no one was familiar with him.

However, in Alter Ego Vol. 3 #5, Marty Nodell, creator of Green Lantern, had a much different view of the situation:

NODELL: What I had in mind was, first of all, having The Green Lantern's incantation as an oath. Now, I had to give the character a name, so I looked through the New York telephone books, and got through "Alan," which I held onto, and then I came onto "Scott." So it was Alan Scott, that's the name I gave him.

RT: You don't remember another possible name, "Alan Ladd," as various versions of the story relate?

NODELL: No, I didn't know anything about it. I came up with Alan Scott, and I kept that. The storyline would be about an engineer. He was a graduate of college. I didn't know what kind of engineering it would be, but he was an engineer in that he helped build bridges and all.

Now this is quite clearly a case of me choosing to believe one creator's recollection over another's, but in the rest of the interview, Nodell is quite specific about past events, and they all check out, so I am willing to take the leap of faith and believe that the creator of Green Lantern remembered the Alan Scott story best.

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