There have been many origin stories for the Green Lantern that empowered Alan Scott. Originally, it was said to have been made out of a meteor in Ancient China. Later, it was a Green Lantern Corps battery that was corrupted by the chaotic magic of the Starheart. Now, the Green Lantern of Alan Scott has been given another origin story for the Dawn of DC era.
Alan Scott: The Green Lantern #2 by Tim Sheridan, Cian Tormey, and Matt Herms relays an untold tale of Alan Scott’s past. The issue reveals that Scott spent some time as a patient in Arkham Asylum. It was here that Scott befriended a trans woman named Billie, who was also being treated for “deviancy.”
Abrasive yet kind, Billie appreciated Alan Scott’s friendship, and made him a train lantern of green metal as a gift. Billie also helped convince the self-committed Scott that there is nothing wrong with his being attracted to men. However, she went on to inspire Alan in another way.
It was Billie’s lobotomization and regression into the “Mr. Billings” her family wanted her to be that inspired Alan Scott to lead a mass escape. Fittingly, he led the way to freedom using the lantern that Billie had made for him. This foreshadowed his future as a hero who shined a light against dark evils. While Alan could have escaped Arkham alone, it was important to him that nobody be left behind to suffer the same fate as Billie.
How Billie honors Green Lantern’s first origin story
Interestingly, Billie is a minor revamp of a character from the first Green Lantern story from 1940’s All American Comics #16. Alan Scott’s original origin story revealed that his lantern was discovered outside an unnamed asylum. The guard who found it elected to give it to a patient called “Old Billings,” who enjoyed working with metal.
Billings reshaped the ancient lamp into a modern train lantern. The lantern, in turn, restored Billings’s mind as part of a prophecy that it would grant death, life, and then power. The same prophecy exists in Alan Scott; The Green Lantern, but with a dark twist on the life it gives Billie. Also, the lantern is not magic unto itself but becomes home to the Green Flame of Life for reasons yet unclear.
Alan Scott: The Green Lantern #2 is now available at comic shops everywhere.