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Green Lantern, 1960 Series

Comic Book Values

Publisher: DC

Introduction to Green Lantern (Section 1)

Green Lantern began in the summer of 1940 in All-American #16 and earned his own quarterly comic book with the Fall 1941 issue of Green Lantern #1. Like Superman, Batman, and Flash before him, he was moved from the active roster to an honorary position with the Justice Society of America.

Co-creator Mart Nodell along with Irwin Hasen, Paul Reinman, and Alex Toth took up most of the art chores for stories principally written by fellow co-creator Bill Finger, Henry Kuttner, and Alfred Bester.

Through the use of ‘will power’, Green Lantern can shape the power of the lantern through their rings to do darn near anything. During the Golden Age, Green Lantern Alan Scott mainly flew, walked through walls or pushed through walls and just use the ring as a force to prop up or hold things. Alan Scott’s ring is magically based and will not work against organic matter, usually seen by some writers as simply not working against wood. The ring’s weakness was inconsistently used during the Golden Age.

Brief History of Green Lantern

When Martin Nodell first brought his idea to editor Sheldon Mayer, Mayer liked the costume except for one detail. He left the cape green on the inside but made the outside color purple, thus making GL a four-color super-hero, with his red tunic, green tights, green and purple cape and yellow accents.

The original Green Lantern is railroad engineer Alan Scott. His new train bridge is sabotaged but he in uninjured. Holding an old lantern at the time of the trestle’s destruction, the lantern explains its history and power to Alan. Popular villains who fought against GL are Solomon Grundy (All-American #61), Vandal Savage (Green Lantern #10), The Gambler (Green Lantern #12), Crusher Crock (All-American #85), who becomes Sportsmaster (Green Lantern #28), Harlequin (All-American #89) and Icicle (All-American #90). Early on, Alan switches careers and becomes a radio engineer for Apex broadcasting. Alan’s best pal is Doiby Dickles and his taxi Gertrude.

Characters from Green Lantern #1

In addition to Alan Scott, we also get his co-worker at Apex Broadcasting Irene Miller and his taxi-driving friend Doiby Dickles. The villains throughout the issue are thugs of no historic note.

Contents of Green Lantern #1

We start with a nifty 2-page origin recap of his 1st appearance from All-American Comics #16. The first story has Irene Miller inheriting a small estate with a horse track, stable and racehorse. Back taxes are owed and her struggle to keep everything is made more difficult when “Scar” Jogis shows an interest in the racehorse in “Masquerading Mare”. What follows is a two-page text piece by Dr. Wm. Moulton Marston (future creator of Wonder Woman) explaining ‘will power’. Next up, GL fights an invisible enemy, a pneumonia epidemic. “Boss” Flich has siphoned off hospital funds needed to buy more anti-pneumonia serum and Green Lantern can’t get him to confess. Green Lantern goes on the craziest fund-raising drive you’ll ever read and when Flich’s son contracts pneumonia, GL swaps a confession for getting the purchased serum to Gotham in time to save him. The third story is one of arson. Tenement owner setting fire to his buildings is in cahoots with the leading newspaper editor who is calling for the city to buy up all these fire traps. Another two pages of text follow but this time it’s a short story with GL’s All-American buddy Hop Harrigan teaming up with Green Lantern in a rare cross-over. In the last Green Lantern story, Alan is asked to go to South America to investigate what is happening with the Apex affiliate there. When Alan and Doiby arrive, they walk into a civil war that was instigated by an unnamed foreign power (with a distinctly German accent). Green Lantern puts a stop to all that. All four stories in this premiere issue are written and drawn creators Bill Finger and Mart Nodell.

How much is Green Lantern #1 worth?

According to the 2019 Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, a 9.2 copy is valued at $75,000. Green Lantern #1 is ranked 40th on Overstreet’s Top 100 Golden Age Comics.

What is the most expensive Green Lantern #1 sold at auction?

There hasn’t been a high-grade Golden Age copy sold in while. A CGC 9.0 with double cover sold in 2013 for $44,813.

What Green Lantern issues are expensive?

It’s no surprise but the top six prices paid are all from the Edgar Church (Mile High) pedigree.

Green Lantern #3

A copy of Green Lantern #3 in CGC 9.4 sold for $33,460 in 2010 making it the highest price paid for a Golden Age Green Lantern outside #1.

Green Lantern #8

A copy of Green Lantern #8 in CGC 9.6 sold for $20,315 in 2007.

Green Lantern #9

A copy of Green Lantern #9 in CGC 9.2 comes in at $19,120 in 2007.

Green Lantern #6

Selling in 2012, Green Lantern #6 sold for $17,750 with a certified grade of 9.6.

Green Lantern #10

Selling in 2007, Vandal Savage’s debut in Green Lantern #10 sold for $15,535 with a certified grade of 9.4.

Green Lantern #4

Selling in 2010, Green Lantern #4 sold for $13,145 with a certified grade of 9.2.

Green Lantern #1 Cover Art

The cover art for Green Lantern #1 is done by Howard Purcell. This art has never surfaced.

Other valuable Green Lantern art

The most expensive Golden Age Green Lantern art sold by Heritage Auctions comes from Alex Ross and his 1997 recreation of the Golden Age Green Lantern #1 selling for $17,925. The art was used by Robert Overstreet to grace the cover of his 27th edition of the Comic Book Price Guide. An unpublished Golden Age 10-page story by Carmine Infantino showed up in Green Lantern #88 and fetched $9,200 in a 2005 Heritage Auction. Paul Reinman and Sam Burlockoff provide us with a publish splash page from the Green Lantern story in All-American Comics #55. It garnered $6,572.50 in 2013.

How rare is Green Lantern #1?

Fewer than 100 unrestored copies have been certified by CGC, and none higher than 9.0.

Introduction to Green Lantern (Section 2)

Like Alan Scott before him, Hal Jordan, through the use of ‘will power’ and the power of the lantern, could do darn near anything. It wasn’t until we saw the Silver Age Green Lantern Hal Jordon use the ring in inventive ways that we understood the full breadth and scope of the ring’s power. The intergalactic Green Lantern Corp has been powered by a giant power battery on the planet OA but because of a flaw, it l not work against yellow. In recent years, Geoff Johns has written some wonderful stories and has deconstructed the whole Green Lantern Universe but we are going to stick to the Silver and Bronze Age years.

Silver Age to Bronze Age Green Lantern has been principally written by John Broome, Denny O’Neil, and Steve Englehart. Their stories have been complemented by the art of Gil Kane, Neal Adams, Mike Grell, Dave Gibbons, and Joe Staton.

Brief History of Green Lantern

Hal Jordan is a test pilot for Ferris Aircraft. Sitting in a training vehicle on the ground, he is suddenly lifted and jetted away to the crash-site of an alien spacecraft. Abin Sur provides him with the lantern and ring he’ll need to protect his space sector 2814. And so the adventure begins. Notable nefarious naughties include Hector Hammond (Green Lantern #5), Sinestro (Green Lantern #7), Sonar (Green Lantern #14), Star Sapphire (Green Lantern #16), Dr. Polaris (Green Lantern #21), Tattoo Man (Green Lantern #23), Shark (Green Lantern #24), and Black Hand (Green Lantern #29) among others. The supporting cast fluctuates from time to time but Carol Ferris (owner’s daughter and Hal’s boss at Ferris Aircraft), Thomas Kalmaku, (mechanic and friend, originally going by the nickname ‘Pieface’) and Oliver Queen (Green Arrow) have popped up throughout the Silver Age and Bronze Age run.

Throughout the Silver Age, GL was a straight arrow galactic policeman. This couldn’t be summed up any better than in Green Lantern #30. After reporting back to and being congratulated by the Guardians of the Universe, that the services of Katma Tui had been secured, Hal ponders: “Praise from the Guardians! That’s worth any effort!”

Green Lantern #76 was published in the spring of 1970. It continues to tell the story of Hal Jordan, the crime-fighting officer of the Green Lantern Corps, an interstellar law enforcement agency, but it also changes the overall themes of the series. Issue #76 signaled a change in the subject matter. The cover and interior artwork of Neal Adams and the writing of Denny O’Neil formed a powerful, highly acclaimed team that for 14 issues focused on contemporary political and social themes. Green Lantern #76 was the first issue to co-star Green Arrow, a crime-fighting archer. The liberal views of Green Arrow are at odds with Green Lantern’s rigid and conservative opinions, but together they are able to create positive change. In this issue, Green Lantern attempts to stop Green Arrow from harassing Jubal Slade, but Green Lantern changes his mind after learning that the businessman is actually a corrupt slumlord. Throughout the series, Green Arrow calls Green Lantern’s attention to the serious social issues of the present-day United States, including such subjects as drug addiction and racism. Many believe that Green Lantern #76 is the comic book that is responsible for launching the Bronze Age of comics. Due to its radical departure from previous comic book styles and the fact that it is the first issue to introduce Green Arrow as Green Lantern’s co-star, this issue is an extremely popular collector’s item. As recent television shows have popularized Green Arrow, Green Lantern #76 has become even more in-demand by fans of both super-heroes.

Green Arrow continued to co-star with Green Lantern until Green Lantern #122. Mike Grell was tapped to draw the series when revived after 4 years in 1976. Denny O’Neil continued to write. Grell liked GA well enough to draw him in back up stories when he moved elsewhere and eventually getting his own book. Back in space with Green Lantern #123, except for a brief stint by Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons, Joe Staton drew most of the issues until its demise in the late 1980s.

Characters from Green Lantern #1

The Silver Age Green Lantern #1 only features Hal Jordon and Carol Ferris and surreptitiously introduces the Guardian of the Universe.

Plot summaries of Green Lantern #1

Like the Golden Age Green Lantern, Silver Age Green Lantern #1 breaks onto the scene after having already established himself elsewhere. In Hal Jordon’s case, it’s in the pages of Showcase. In the first story, we get a clever re-capping of GL’s origin when his ‘energy duplicate’ is summoned before the heretofore unknown Guardians of the Universe. Satisfied he’s worthy, the Guardians speak to Hal through his power battery and send him on a mission to another planet. Puzzled and not sure who spoke to him through the battery, Hal nonetheless flies trillions of miles away to save the natives from the Dryg. Our second story finds lovelorn Carol Ferris daydreaming of marrying Green Lantern. Meanwhile, GL is acting like a parade balloon hoping he can spot the activity of someone pulling the strings of criminals in a rash of crimes around the city. Our scientist evil-doer is reflecting back on his use of the hypno-ray which he has used only on criminal’s minds thus far because like real hypnosis, it can’t compel someone to do something not in their nature. But now he has added a “Q” circuit to his device and wants to try it out on GL. Feeling the tugs at his arms and legs, Green Lantern decides to go with it and his plan works as he is pulled into the criminal lair where he captures the villain and marches him puppet-like to the police station. Both stories in the inaugural issue were written by John Broome and illustrated by Gil Kane.

How much is Green Lantern #1 worth?

The Silver Age Green Lantern #1 is valued at $17,500 and is ranked 22nd on Overstreet’s Top 50 Silver Age Comics.

What is the most expensive Green Lantern #1 sold at auction?

The most expensive Silver Age Green Lantern #1 was a CGC 9.4 copy selling in 2019 for $56,333.

What Green Lantern issues are expensive?

Green Lantern #76

A CGC 9.8 issue sold for the astounding price of $37,344 in 2010, making it one of the most expensive comics from the Bronze Age.

Green Lantern #7

Sinestro’s debut appearance in Green Lantern #7 CGC 9.6 brought in $27,166 in 2018.

Green Lantern #59

Nasty boy Guy Gardner bullied his way to $8,200 for a CGC 9.8 copy in 2018.

Green Lantern #8

It took $8,000 if you wanted Star Sapphire’s first appearance in Green Lantern #16 for a CGC 9.6 sold in 2016.

Green Lantern #6

GL meets his first fellow Green Lantern, Tomar-Re, in a Green Lantern #6 CGC 9.4 issue that sold for $7,597 in 2013.

Green Lantern #40

Marv Wolfman’s inspiration for the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Green Lantern #40 had a CGC 9.8 copy sell for $6,200 in 2009.

Green Lantern #1 Cover Art

The cover art for Green Lantern #1 is done by Gil Kane and Joe Giella. This art has never surfaced.

Other valuable Green Lantern art

Silver Age / Bronze Age Green Lantern takes the prize for the most expensive Green Lantern art in a Heritage Auction. Opening up the Bronze Age is the cover to Green Lantern #76 by Neal Adams selling for galaxy-spanning price of $442,150 in 2015. Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson combine to provide the art for the complete 10-page story “The Origin of Green Lantern’s Oath” from Green Lantern #10. It brought in $49,200 in 2019. Kane and Anderson strike gold again with their cover to the 1964 issue of Green Lantern #29, selling for $38,240 in 2015. Neal Adams with inker Bernie Wrightson leads the way for the most paid for a single panel page when page 6 from Green Lantern #84 sold for $31,070 in 2016.

How rare is Green Lantern #1?

Around 1,000 copies have been certified by CGC, some with grades as high as 9.6. That’s nearly twice as many as Flash #105 which came out just a year earlier.

Best known quote

“In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil’s might, beware my power - - Green Lantern’s light!” The Green Lantern oath as revised by Alfred Bester in the late 1940s and used by every Green Lantern since.

Why sell your vintage comics and original comic art with Heritage Auctions?

Our marketing reach and a huge base of members mean more bidders and higher realized prices for your collectible comics.

Reputation can make or break your sale. Heritage Auctions has a 60% market share in comics and comic art & - three times the volume of any other comic auctioneer, and our record-breaking comics and comic art auctions speak for themselves:

  • 2019 was a record year with $79 million-plus sold, topping $58 million in Comics and Comic Art sold in 2018; triple all other comic auctioneers combined!
  • World’s Most Valuable Auction of Comic Books, Comic Art, and Related Memorabilia: $15.121 million (May 2019)
  • World record for comic artist Robert Crumb - Fritz the Cat Cover, $717,000.
  • The world record for comic artist Frank Frazetta - Egyptian Queen, $5.4M
  • World record for comic artist Neal Adams – Batman #251 Cover, $600,000

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