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All-American Comics

Comic Books

Publisher: DC

All-American Comics #16 was published by DC Comics in July 1940, in the early days of The Golden Age of Comics. It featured the origin and first appearance of one of the most enduring and popular superheroes of all-time – Green Lantern. In brief, Engineer Alan Scott and his associate, Jimmy are traveling across America by train. Scott is on an assignment to inspect the new Trestle Bridge. The engineer is worried that his nemesis, engineer Albert Dekker will sabotage his inspection. Unfortunately, Alan is right. A bomb explodes underneath the bridge and the train derails and crashes. Everyone aboard the train is dead, except for Scott. The lone survivor awakens and finds a mysterious green lantern near the wreckage. This lantern is known as the Green Flame of Life. The Green Flame of Life tells Scott its incredible history, teaches him how to make a ring from the lamp, and grants him its powers. The lantern also warns Scott that he needs to recharge the ring every 24 hours. Scott uses his powers to fly and travels to confront Dekker, the man who is responsible for the train derailment, even as his nemesis celebrates the success of the train derailment with his henchmen. His short-lived celebration ends with Scott swooping in, nabbing Dekker, getting a confession, then releasing the villain who falls to the ground sustaining fatal injuries! Pretty harsh stuff in the Pre-Comics Code Authority days! The incident does inspire Scott to use his powers the fight crime and to become The Green Lantern. Like Superman before him, DC spun off the superhero into his own title, even while continuing to feature him in All-American Comics for several years. All-American Comics #16 is considered more rare than many other “key” issues from the same era, which has played a part in a steady increase in collector demand and value. The influential The Photo-Journal Guide to Comic Books rates the issue a “7” or “Scarce”, meaning an estimated 21 to 50 still in existence. In 2013 Heritage Auctions sold a copy in VF 8.0 grade for just over $200,000.

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