FIRST APPEARANCE (DC DIRECT)
“Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern, first shined his emerald light in 1940’s All-American Comics #16.”
1940 proved to be a rather jam-packed year for super hero comics. After the immense success of Superman and Batman in the two years prior, DC (then National Comics Publications) launched more of their own additions to the genre, but were also joined by a good number of competitors. One who was perhaps less competitor than the others was All-American Publications, whose characters had frequent crossovers with National’s, and who were themselves absorbed into what would become DC before the end of the Golden Age. Among All-American’s most prominent heroes was the first Green Lantern, Alan Scott, who arrived in July of 1940 in the 16th issue of All-American’s self-titled periodical.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Green Lantern was released in the second series of DC Direct’s First Appearance line, which hit not too long after the first. Like Jay, prior to the release of this figure, Alan’s only prior figure was the slightly less artist-specific one from the JSA line. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation. After the stripped down articulation approach they gave to the non-Batman figures in Series 1, DCD was nice enough to change things up ever so slightly for the second round, and actually gave Alan here swivels for his wrists, which is certainly nice to have for a character like GL. His posing is still somewhat limited, of course, but you can get a respectable range out of him. The figure’s sculpt is based on Marty Nodell’s interior illustrations for the character. Nodell’s work was somewhat fluid in it’s exact depiction of the character, so this sculpt tries to get the key most elements of his illustrations, worked into a cleaner overall design. It’s quite a nice looking sculpt, and probably one of the best to come out of this line-up (really, only Hawkman rivals it). These figures were mostly pretty light on detailing, but in keeping with Nodell’s tendency to put a lot of smaller detailing into his art, there’s actually quite a bit going on in this figure’s sculpt as well. The pants in particular have some really nice work on the folds and creases, and the billowy shirt even manages to look pretty decent. The head’s also got a little more character to it than most of the other sculpts in the line, with more detailing in the face and hair, and even the actual band that held his mask in place (consistent in the earliest depictions of the character). In an effort to keep with the cloth goods set-up for the line, Alan’s cape is a cloth piece. It’s not one of the line’s finest elements, being rather bulky and a little cumbersome. It’s got a wire to aid in posing, which is cool, but it has some trouble staying in place, and the yellow band across the front that’s supposed to be the chain is really goofy looking. Like most of the other figures in the set, Alan’s paint work is bright, clean, and colorful. There’s some very sharp work on the logo, as well as on the face, especially the eyes. Alan is packed with the usual stand and reprint of his first appearance, but also gets his actual Lantern power batter as well, which is quite a nice piece.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’ve always had a somewhat sentimental attachment to Alan Scott, largely due to dressing up as him for Halloween when I was 7, but this was the first Alan Scott figure I actually owned. I got it from my parents for Christmas the year it was released, and even happened to have it with me when I met Marty Nodell at Baltimore Comic Con the following year, although I didn’t have the forethought to actually get him to sign it, which probably would have been a good idea. He’s a really cool figure, and probably the best of the First Appearance figures. I don’t like the cape a ton, but that’s ultimately pretty minor.
He’s a super nice figure. DC Direct really put out some product that displayed well and has stood the test of time in the looks department. They were almost always more for show than posing, play, etc., but their stuff was exciting at the time when DC stuff other than Batman/ Superman variants was tough to find.