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CSBG Archive

When We First Met #20

Each day in June you’ll get an entry showing you the first appearance of seemingly minor characters, phrases, objects or events that later became notable parts of comic book lore. Not major stuff like “the first appearance of Superman,” but rather, “the first time someone said, ‘Avengers Assemble!'” or “the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny” or “the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth” or “the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter.” Stuff like that. Here is an archive of what I’ve featured so far.

Today is a special Green Lantern edition!


First Appearance of the Guardians

The Guardians show up in the first issue of Green Lantern in 1960.

They are basically there so we can recap Green Lantern’s origin from Showcase #22. They, naturally, end up approving Hal.


First Appearance of Kilowog

Kilowog showed up in the first issue of Green Lantern Corps (1986’s #201), as he answered the call to arms…


First Appearance of Ganthet

Amazingly enough, Ganthet, who has become “the” Guardian, made his debut less than 20 years ago in the original graphic novel, Ganthet’s Tale, by Larry Niven and John Byrne. It came out in 1992. Isn’t it weird to think of Ganthet being that “new” of a character?


Feel free to send in ideas for future debuts I should feature here to bcronin@comicbookresources.com!


Heh. I’ve been sitting with the first appearance of Ganthet in my collection for years and I never even knew it. How odd.

It’s amazing how weak John Byrne’s artwork has gotten since then.

Something I’ve wondered since watching ‘X-Men: First Class’ was when did Charles Xavier first meet Mystique face to face in the comics?

What amazed me when I read those early Green Lantern adventures was that, although the Guardians appear early on, it’s a while before Hal actually meets them. He honestly has no idea about who created the ring and the Lanterns while the Guardians know all about him. This goes on for a while, surprisingly.

I love Ganthet’s tie changes from panel to panel, that’s awesome! And the gag where he looks at a girlie mag in one panel and has a scantily clad woman on his tie the next is brilliant.

“It’s amazing how weak John Byrne’s artwork has gotten since then.”

And that art is mediocre at best compared to his late ’70s and early ’80s work. He was never better than when he worked on X-Men, Iron Fist, Marvel Team-Up, etc.

In the mid-80s he would start off strong on a title, like Fantastic Four or his Superman reboot, and then gradually get looser and sloppier, to the point where it looks like he’s skipping the pencil phase and drawing the pages with a medium-thickness Sharpie.

And he should never ink himself. Almost all of his great work is inked by others.

That first one does bring up an idea for a future installment: the Guardians refer to the fact that Hal calls himself “Green Lantern” (the name he chose for himself based on the appearance of the battery). So when did the entire group become the Green Lantern Corps? (Nowadays, they’ve always been the GLC, so when did the change happen?)

Wow, I always thought Ganthet was the Guardian who travelled with Hal and Ollie during ‘Hard-Travellingg Heroes’ in the 70s. Who was that Guardian, then?

Appa Ali Apsa. He eventually became a bad guy.

The Crazed Spruce

June 19, 2011 at 8:33 am

@sipply: I dunno. I thought Byrne did a pretty damn good job inking himself on Namor. That was pretty much his peak, though.

John Trumbull

June 19, 2011 at 9:26 am

The Old Timer became a bad guy? How did that happen?

The Old Timer became a bad guy? How did that happen?

He went nuts in Gerry Jones’ Green Lantern run. His actions created the Mosaic world that was the basis for Green Lantern: Mosaic.

Oh, I totally remember Ganthet being introduced in Ganthet’s Tale. It was pretty notable at the time because Guardians had never had much individual personality.

I didn’t realize that Kilowog was such a late edition to the GL mythos. I mean, I knew that Joe Staton had designed the character, so he obviously was not around it the series’ early days. Even so, for some reason, I though Kilowog had first been introduced several years earlier, during Staton’s first run on GL circa 1980. Did not realize it was actually during Staton’s second turn drawing the book several years later.

By the way, how many times has Joe Staton been the artist on Green Lantern? I can think of three different periods: early 1980s, mid 80s, late 80s to early 90s. Any other occasions when he drew GL for an extended period?

interesting to find out the guardians appeared way back when green lantern started. plus have been wondering the exact issue when Kilowog first shows up and meets hal and the other corps members.

Travis Pelkie

June 19, 2011 at 5:25 pm

I do believe there are “precursors” to the Guardians that appeared in Captain Comet stories in the 50s (Clockwork…something), so the Guardians are sort of a recycled idea, not unlike some things Stan Lee reused from the Atlas monster mags. I read about it in the Secret Origins issue around the time of Millennium, with the Guardians and the Floronic Man’s origins.

Ganthet was the one that gave Kyle his ring, right?

And I am shocked, SHOCKED, that you didn’t feature G’Nort here. Best…Lantern…Ever. Ok, maybe not.

I’m very unhappy about how The Guardians have been used in recent times (OK, since around the ’90s): they used to be these wise, benevolent beings that you could accept as the arbiters of justice of the universe and the logical choice for the Corps’ masters. But modern writers are apparently too cynical to show trust on ANY kind of government (or religion, for that matter) and every time they do a story about the Guardians it’s to show how fallible or just plain assholes they are. Never mind how they’ve kept the universe safe for BILLIONS of years, an upstart from Earth can always shame them with words or just plain massacre them. Bah.

When was the first time Kilowog used the term “poozer” when referring to someone?

When did Kilowog first use the word “poozer”? Was it JLI?

Byrne’s Ganthet always looked too much like his Mxyzptlk.

Green Lantern has such an amazing cast of secondary characters, i wonder why some people just hate the GL mythos…

Anderson: Personally, I enjoy the GL mythos and most of the secondary characters quite a bit, but it doesn’t help that the main GL character and general focus of the franchise, Hal, is so dull by comparison.

Those Ganthet pages are pretty great, though. I would read a whole series of him just following Jordan around, dismissively cutting down everything he says or does.

Sijo, haven’t the Guardians of Oa been depicted pretty consistently as aloof, arrogant, ineffectual authoritarian jerks since the Denny O’Neil & Neal Adams issues over forty years ago?

@Paul Penna: Mystique and Xavier first met in the “Days Of Future, Past” storyline, when she used her shapeshifting powers and a device that blocked him from reading her mind to sneak up on and capture him to prevent him from interfering with her incarnation of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants’ plans to kill Senator Kelly.

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