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The Unfortunate Superhero Name John Stewart Was Given In a DC Magazine

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the seven hundred and twenty-third installment where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

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COMIC LEGEND:

John Stewart was once referred to as "Black Lantern" in a DC magazine.

STATUS:

True

Reader Michael M. wrote in about this little oddity.

Justice League of America #110 (by Len Wein and Dicks Dillin and Giordano) was a Christmas issue and due to Hal Jordan being incapacitated for the issue, John Stewart filled in as Green Lantern for the adventure...

Okay, so that's all well and good.

Now, fast forward a few years and DC decided to capitalize on the growing popularity of fan-driven comic book magazines like Comics Reader and Comics Feature (plus more professional magazines like Comic Buyers Guide and The Comics Journal) by doing their own company-produced "fanzine" (quotes because inherently, a company produced magazine cannot be a fan-anything). Marvel was doing FOOM at the same time, which was their version of the concept.

Called The Amazing World of DC Comics, the magazine had interviews with DC creators, promotional stuff for new DC comics, histories of DC characters and other interesting pieces of history from DC Comics' vast past.

Anyhow, the 14th issue of the series was dedicated to the Justice League...

It was guest-written by well-regarded fan columnist, Mark Gruenwald (who ran his own fanzine, Omniverse, which dealt primarily with comic book continuity), who would soon go to work for Marvel as an editor in 1978. Gruenwald had a long and respected career as a writer and editor at Marvel before his tragic death in 1996 at the far-too-young age of 43. While at Marvel, he continued his love of continuity (like the writing of The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe).

In any event, Amazing World of DC Comics #14 was a fairly typical Gruenwald affair. Lots of detailed history, just a good magazine in general. Each member of the League got a detailed write-up. Here's Martian Manhunter's...

However, when it came to detailing the list of guest stars in the history of the Justice League comic, Gruenwald noted John Stewart...

This comes from a joke that Stewart makes in his appearance...

Note, though, that Stewart later calls himself Green Lantern in that issue...

Now, Black Lightning had debuted THAT VERY MONTH, so obviously Gruenwald was familiar with the fact that that character was being introduced and Jack Kirby had introduced a Black Racer and Marvel had just done Black Goliath at the end of 1975, so it is not shocking that Gruenwald would think that perhaps DC was seriously continuing that naming pattern with John Stewart instead of it being a joke.

But that was the end of it.

So it remains just a weird little oddity from a magazine.

Thanks to Michael for suggesting this one! Thanks to reader Áctinel for pointing out the "Black Lantern" joke to me!

Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed - Was Dora the Explorer originally going to be a BUNNY?

OK, that's it for this week!

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