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Follow the Path – John Stewart’s Marine Background

by  in Comic News Comment
Follow the Path – John Stewart’s Marine Background

This is the first installment in a new feature where I spotlight changes made to comic book characters that are based on outside media. I’m sure you can think of other examples, so feel free to e-mail me at if you want to suggest some other examples for future installments.

We begin with the surprisingly late introduction of John Stewart’s marine background into Green Lantern comics.

NOTE: Again, I get that you can think of other examples, but please don’t post them in the comments section. Just e-mail me at if you have any suggestions for other examples.

John Stewart’s background as an architect was present right from his first appearance in Green Lantern #89 (by Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams and Dick Giordano)…

And that was the case for the rest of his comic book career, even as the 21st Century began.

In 2001, Warner Bros. launched a Justice League cartoon, and on it, the Green Lantern was John Stewart.

In October 2002’s “Metamorphosis,” we first learn that John Stewart was a member of the United States Marine Corps.

In a Season 2 episode, “Wild Cards,” even see his Marine Corps tattoo…

Even as the cartoon went on the air, John remained just a supporting character in Green Lantern. Here, in Green Lantern #147 (by Judd Winick and Dale Eaglesham), we get to see John’s history, showing no signs of a military background at all (he is being hypnotized to get over a mental block preventing him from walking)…

You’ll notice that his haircut was also not the same as the cartoon.

As the cartoon continued, though (it branched into Justice League Unlimited and ran until 2006), DC made a move to get John back to being a Green Lantern….

and then become a member of the Justice League. It was in the pages of JLA, oddly enough, that John’s haircut became the same as his cartoon counterpart…

Even when Geoff Johns brought the Green Lantern Corps back, he stuck with the architect deal with John, like in Green Lantern: Rebith #1 (art by Ethan Van Sciver and Prentiss Rollins)…

and in Green Lantern #1 (art by Carlos Pacheco and Jesus Merino)…

John’s comments there seem even odder with his future military background.

It was all the way at the end of 2007, a year after Justice League Unlimited went off the air that John’s Marine background was adopted into the comics in Green Lantern #26 (by Geoff Johns, Mike McKone and Andy Lanning)…

And it wasn’t until the end of 2009 that it was first really explored, during the Blackest Night crossover in Green Lantern #49 (by Geoff Johns and Ed Benes)…

In the years since, John’s Marine background has practically become his defining trait as a Green Lantern.

Anyhow, that’s it for this installment! If you have an idea for a future installment, drop me a line at Let me know by e-mail and not in the comments below.

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