The Green Lantern, a DC Comic book character, came to life in 1940. Created by artist Martin Nodell and writer Bill Finger, the original Green Lantern character was named Alan Scott. Scott was an engineer who finds a magic green railway lantern. The Green Lantern superhero is born after Scott crafts a supernaturally powered ring from the lantern's special metal. Alan Scott becomes the Green Lantern, using the powerful ring to stop evildoers.
There was a small decline for comic book superheroes from the 1940s through the 1950s. Alan Scott/Green Lantern faded away. In the late 1950s, some of the older comic book heroes received a revival with radical changes to their character and backstory.
In October 1959, the Green Lantern emerged anew, this time with a story written by John Broome and artwork by Gil Kane. Gone were the supernatural Green Lantern aspects. The Green Lantern was now a modern comic book hero, deeply connected to the popular science fiction genre.
Hal Jordan, a test pilot, became the Green Lantern and his story featured a Corps of Green Lantern space cops fighting evil in every corner of the universe. However, you can't have a great superhero without a catchphrase or special trait. The Green Lantern has his lantern, ring and "the oath."
The Green Lantern oath has been around since the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott. The oath first appeared in the All-American Comics #16. Alan Scott declared as he charged his all-powerful Green Lantern ring through the magical green lantern,
"...and I shall shed my light over dark evil. For the dark things cannot stand the light, the light of the Green Lantern!"
The revamped Green Lantern, the character we know today, has a slightly different oath. Hal Jordan's Green Lantern oath is the one most people associate with the comic book hero.
"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 Corps
When Hal Jordan comes upon the crashed alien pilot Abin Sur, he is asked to put on the ring and take Sur's place in the Green Lantern Corp, an intergalactic order of law enforcement. The ring has ultimate powers. According to DC Comics: "It's the universe's most powerful weapon. It can create whatever you wish out of pure energy, its might limited only by your imagination and will." Putting on the ring places Jordan with the Green Lantern Corp and catapults him into battle after battle of good versus evil.
Modern Green Lantern
Comic books have been brought to life through cinematic adaptations. The Green Lantern hit the silver screen in 2011, featuring actor Ryan Reynolds as the title character. The story followed the updated story of Hal Jordan, the test pilot who acquires super powers after receiving a Green Lantern Corps ring from the dying alien Abin Sur. The story follows the comic book plot and the Green Lantern oath is proclaimed on-screen for a new generation of fans.