Mark Evanier is the first to announce the death of Green Lantern creator Mart Nodell at age 91. Nodell was a fledgling cartoonist with he walked in to Sheldon Mayer’s office with the idea for a superhero with a magic ring:
He said the idea had come to him on the subway when he saw a man waving — you guessed it — a green lantern. Nodell also said he wrote and drew the first few pages of the first story…but he wasn’t a writer so Mayer brought in one of comics’ top writers, Bill Finger, to rewrite and finish the first tale. The result was that Green Lantern, by Bill Finger and “Mart Dellon,” debuted in All-American Comics #16, cover dated July of 1940. The character, which drew inspiration from the legend of Aladdin, was an immediate hit on the magnitude of the firm’s other new superstars, The Flash and Wonder Woman, and soon received his own comic. (The All-American company was later absorbed by DC Comics. A new version of Green Lantern was created in 1959 and that version remains popular today, though the original Nodell incarnation has also been known to reappear.)
Nodell left comics in the 50s, to as did so many, to devote himself to the world of illustration, but in the late 80s and 90s he became a convention staple, his beloved wife Carrie, who died in 2004, by his side.
Our condolences to his friends and family.