Robot 6

Six by 6 | Six heroes who overshadowed their predecessors

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Green Lantern - Hal Jordan

Green Lantern: Hal Jordan replaced Alan Scott

Today, there are thousands of Green Lanterns, but from 1940 to 1959, there was just one: Alan Scott. Created by Martin Nodell, the original Green Lantern was a colorful, magic-infused superhero. Popular at first, Green Lantern withered in the aftermath of World War II, only to be revived, in name only, in 1959 as a science-themed space cop by John Broome and Gil Kane. This new Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, was a instant hit for DC, and the publisher quickly shunted off Alan Scott to an alternate universe. It wasn’t until 1986’s Crisis on Infinite Earths that the original and the replacement shared the same universe, but Scott has never been able to hold a flame to Jordan’s popularity.

Human Torch - Johnny Storm

The Human Torch: Johnny Storm replaced Jim Hammond

It’s hard to put out a flame, and it’s perhaps just as difficult to give up on a great name. In 1961, when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were dreaming up the Fantastic Four, the writer looked to the company’s past, taking inspiration from previous heroes and monsters, including the original Human Torch. Debuting in 1939’s Marvel Comics #1, the original Human Torch, Jim Hammond, is one of the company’s foundational heroes — a Pinnochio-esque android that became a superhero. Lee reused the name for Johnny Storm’s costumed identity, and he quickly became the best-known Human Torch by far. The original Human Torch reappeared intermittently in the years since.

The Flash - Barry Allen

The Flash: Barry Allen replaced Jay Garrick

No, not Flash Gordon. But there was a Flash before Barry Allen, and his name is Jay Garrick. Like his fellow Golden Ager Alan Scott, Garrick was the forerunner of the speedster whose introduction in 1956 ushered in the Silver Age of comics. Barry Allen quickly outpaced Garrick as the primary Flash, with former transitioning to be part of an older generation of heroes as seen in Justice Society of America.

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Wally West could have been on this list a few years ago.

Danny Ketch didn’t replace Carter Slade. Johnny Blaze replaced Carter Slade. More or less.

Danny Ketch replaced Johnny Blaze. Again, more or less.

But Blaze was the first of the modern, flaming-skull Ghost Riders.


Surprised that Barbara Gordon isn’t on here, to replace the similarly titled Betty Kane Bat-Girl.

Yeah, Wally West definitely. The Ray Palmer Atom replaced Al Pratt, as Katar Hol replaced Carter Hall (and Shayera Shiera too).

Kurt beat me to it! Danny Ketch was introduced way later. And there’s a GREAT Danny Ketch joke in “Marvels” when he’s the “normal” kid who gets introduced in the end.

Jerome Horwitz

May 8, 2014 at 3:05 pm

And now Ol’ Wing-Head, Captain America, has been replaced by some guy with a chin-strap who is ashamed to wear wings on his head. I think he should be demoted to Corporal America.

I would have loved to see Kathy Kane meet Kate, but geez, how hard did they drop the ball with Batwoman? Ay yi yi!

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