A Tribute to the of

July of 1940 was the publication date for All-American Comics #16 [Sage #162] and it was an important issue because it featured the first appearance of Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern. A co-creation of Martin Nodell and Bill Finger (under the supervision of Editor Sheldon Mayer), this new seeker of justice was to enjoy a long run to include being a charter member of the Justice Society of America. Unfortunately Alan, along with his fellow heroes, went on hiatus when the industry came under fire. You cannot, however, keep a good idea gone for long and later Green Lantern was revamped into our Silver Age version of Hal Jordan. Best of all, the two GLís would cross paths, both in Halís book and in the legendary JLA/JSA crossovers, several of which weíve covered here at the dear olí Silver Lantern.

So, to honor Alan Scottís 75th anniversary, letís head back to the Golden Age and check out an adventure titled, ďThe End of Sports!Ē published in All-American Comics #98 from June of 1948. Cover and interior art (in fact the cover and splash are identical) were provided by Alex Toth and the writer was Robert Kanigher with editing by Sheldon Mayer. Our hero is pitted against the Sportsmaster and the Grand Comic Database tells us itís the villainís third appearance.

The story kicks off at the Gotham City Athletic Club, where Alan Scott is in attendance and a lively discussion over who will win the big hockey match that night is in progress. Abruptly the imposing figure of ďCorckĒ lays down a wager of $50,000.00 that neither team will be the victor.

That night at the arena, it appears that it just might turn out the way Corck predicted as the game has gone into overtime with no score for either competitor. Just then, as the puck is about to finally make its way to a scoring goal, it explodes. Alan then slips out of the press box and dons the garb of the Green Lantern to lend aid to the injured players, spiriting them away to medical help with a large, green hand emanating from his power ring.

After safely delivering the victims to Gotham Hospital, GL decides to investigate further, flying back to the athletic club where he learns that Corck was abducted by the Sportsmaster. Our hero recalls that the last time he saw the villain he was plunging to his death off a sheer cliff. He further learns that the Sportsmaster made the ominous remark that this was the beginning of the end of sports. They then tune in a local college basketball game just in time to witness a familiar scenario. A scoreless game that is about to see itís first basket when the ball explodes.


Making good on their word, the syndicate blackmail scheme continues in other contests, always with the same explosive results. The city is in an uproar and at a meeting being broadcast live on the radio from the Mayorís office, the citizenry is demanding action. Ultimately it is decided they must cease future events in the interest of safety, but just then Green Lantern arrives and says: ďSports are as American as apple pie! Sports teach our youngsters to fight hard and play fair! Sports provide an outlet for our men and women to release their pent-up energies in gamesónot in wars! This threat to sports is a threat to our American way of life! We must not yield!Ē When asked who can take the risk necessary he replies with an emphatic ďME!Ē A boomerang then crashes through the window carrying a note: ďWe accept Green Lanternís challenge! And dare him to meet our champion in a series of athletic contests at Gotham Stadium tomorrow at noon! This is a sports duel to the death as G.L. will see! Sports Syndicate of Crime.Ē

Talk about your quick responses. So the next day the crowds inundate the Gotham Stadium and Jean Taylor, the woman who did the broadcast from the Mayorís office is again on hand. It isnít long before the Sportsmaster arrives and the competition is on. First event: Pole vaulting. Sportsmaster takes the first run but it seems the games are rigged as his pole telescopes downward and then springs back to full length, catapulting the villain over the bar. GL takes his turn, but his pole blows up, however, the force of the blast propels him over the bar at an even greater height.

Next is the hammer throw and the Sportsmaster handily beats the world record held by Erwin Blask. (No editorís note, but Erwin Blask was a real hammer throw champ.) Again, when it comes time for Green Lanternís turn, the deck is stacked and in this case the hammer is electrified to where our hero canít let go of it. He decides to just launch himself with the hammer and once again bests the Sportsmaster. Our hero proceeds to beat the Sportsmaster at the hurdles, despite them being rigged to burst into flames and then itís time for the final competition.

Itís a unique Pacific island sport: Underwater wrestling. Would it surprise you to learn the Sportsmaster is cheating again? This time he has coated his fists with rock powder. Activated by the water, his hands are hard as bricks and he pummels GL, but our hero bounces back and lands a haymaker to the Sportsmasterís jaw, winning again. Alan Scott dives back into the pool to help the Sportsmaster out, but the criminal has escaped through a vent at the poolís bottom.

A little later, in a gathering at the Gotham Athletic Club, Corck has managed to escape the Sportsmasterís clutches and when Green Lantern arrives, he notes a mark on Corckís chin that is a match for GLís ring. Corck is the Sportsmaster! After trussing him up and turning him over to the authorities, Alan is chatting with Jean in his civilian identity when the rest of the story is unveiled: ďÖthe Sportsmaster confessed that he joined the club to raise money on the games he fixedóand to establish another identity as an alibi in case things went wrong! But Green Lantern fixed him!Ē

Twelve pages of classic Golden Age Green Lantern fun, though I must admit the idea of sports being something so vitally important seems like a stretch. Maybe the world was just a lot different in the beginning of the 1940s.

Be that as it may, the Golden Age of our favorite heroes provided the foundation for future reading enjoyment and the Green Lantern has been a stalwart in that tradition for 75 years now with no end in sight. The names may have changed, but the power ring continues on and thrilling adventure has always followed. Happy birthday, GL! Hereís to the continued success of the power of Green Lanternís light!

I shall return with the latest installment on the 15th of July and maybe at that point Iíll have something of interest to share. I donít mean to be coy, but letís just leave it at the notion that Iím in for a pretty big adventure of my own and Iím really looking forward to it. In the interim, feel free to drop me a line about whatever is on your mind. You know the address: professor_the@hotmail.com

Until thenÖ

Long live the Silver Age!

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