Monday, July 14, 2008

King Solomon and the Green Lantern

In comic books, Green Lantern is a superhero who wields a magic ring that emits solid rays of green light that can be given form by the ring's bearer. The ring must be held to a green lantern once every 24 hours to be recharged.

King Solomon is a historical figure portrayed in the Christian and Jewish bible as well as the Koran. He was described as a wise king, and he is the last known Jewish king to have possession of the Ark of the Covenant as well as a vast amount of treasure.

So what does Green Lantern have in common with King Solomon? I was surprised to find out quite a bit! In Rabbinical literature, it is said that Solomon was given a magic ring which gave him control over demons as well as let him talk to animals. The Quran calls these demons "djin".

And before Sulayman were marshaled his hosts,- of Jinns and men and birds, and they were all kept in order and ranks. Quran 27:17

Green Lantern's ring that translates alien language. While the green energy is not described as Djin, it is still similar to Solomon's ring.

In the book "one thousand and one nights" Aladdin is given and magic ring and frees a Djin who was trapped in a lamp.

The first Green Lantern Alan Scott finds a lantern filled with a powerful green flame. The flame instructs him on how to construct a ring from it's metal in order to be able to control the green flame.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic Alan Scott, the first Green Lantern

Aladdin was inspired by the stories of Solomon, and Green Lantern was inspired by stories of Aladdin.

In the late fifties, it was decided to give a new character the power of the Green Lantern. Sci Fi was all the rage, so this new Green Lantern would be a more space based hero. The Slver age Green Lantern's origin was An alien Green Lantern crashed his rocket ship on Earth. Dying, he needed to find a replacement to pass on his ring of power. Asking his ring to find a bearer who was totally without fear, it brought him test pilot Hal Jordan.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic Silver age Green Lantern Hal Jordan.

Hal would eventually find that he was part of an intergalactic police force called the Green Lantern Corps, which was controlled by a race of immortal little blue men called the Guardians of the Universe. He had pretty much the same power as the original Green Lantern, but since his adventures were set in space, the ring translated the alien languages for him, just like the ring allowed Solomon to talk to animals. The likeness of the Guardians was based on the first prime minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion.King David was the father of Solomon, and Green Lantern's father figure mentor was based on the image of another "king" of Israel named David! Remarkable!
Image and video hosting by TinyPicDavid Ben Gurion

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Guardian of the Universe

I can never look at a Green Lantern comic book in the same way again.


Christopher Darrin Horn said...

LOL, wonderful. I had not read this post and just found it. Remarkable Ed, loved the history lesson on Green Lantern. Very cool.

David H. said...

dude, this is an awesome article. i'm going to make a mention of this in my blog posting friday after i see Green Lantern.