Who Was the Green Lantern Assigned to Protect Krypton?

Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at brianc@cbr.com).

Reader Nick H. wrote in to ask:

Who was the Green Lantern responsible for the Krypton sector when it was destroyed? Has this ever been addressed?

It HAS, Nick!

The Green Lantern in whose sector Krypton fell in was none other than Tomar-Re, the very first Green Lantern that Hal Jordan ever met (way back in Green Lantern #6).

You see, Nick, in the early 1970s, that was when the first comic book writers began to break in who were truly comic book fans. The first comic book writers obviously did not have comic books to be fans OF, since they were creating the whole medium! And those initial comic book writers were mostly the same people who continued to write comics throughout the 1940s, 1950 and 1960s. It wasn't until the mid-1960s that a new generation started to break in and these were the guys who were fans of comic books. People like Roy Thomas, Mike Friedrich, Steve Englehart, Gerry Conway and Steve Gerber (to name just a handful).

Elliot S! Maggin was also one of these guys. One of the hallmarks of fan writers (then and now) is their willingness to address things that fans think of, stuff like "Who was the Green Lantern for Krypton?"

So Maggin (based on a story idea by Neal Adams) did a back-up story in Superman #257 with art by Dicks Dillin and Giordano. In it, we learned that Tomar-Re was nearing retirement, but the Guardians wanted to make him feel better about what he considered the biggest regret in his Green Lantern career. As it turned out, the Guardians had been keeping their eye on a Kryptonian child named Kal-El as a future Green Lantern Corps leader when they noticed that Krypton was dealing with some major issues. They assigned Tomar-Re to covertly fix the problem, since Kryptonians were stand-offish to people who tried to help them.

However, when the fateful day finally arrived and Tomar-Re was set to use the element he had uncovered to help fix Krypton, he was blinded and he ended up not being able to help Krypton in time...

The Guardians explained to Tomar, though, of what happened to the baby. He grew up to become Superman, so Tomar-Re shouldn't feel quite so bad about what happened back in the day.

There ya go, Nick! Thanks for the question!

If anyone ELSE has a question they'd like to see me address, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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