Green Lantern is very, very clearly a complete and utter ripoff of the Lensmen books. Was legal action ever taken over this? The title says lawsuit as the most obvious indicator, but I'm open to other actions as well.

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    “Green Lantern is very, very clearly a complete and utter ripoff of the Lensmen books.” [citation needed] Mar 30, 2016 at 11:28
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    I...don't believe I was suggesting that I had a source but instead was stating what I perceived to be common knowledge, which I was taught didn't require sources. If anything, my question was asking for sources where this was legally addressed. So...is this a joke and I'm just not getting it?
    – Broklynite
    Mar 30, 2016 at 12:28
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    It’s kind of a joke (referencing Wikipedia’s citation needed tag), from the web comic XKCD: see Wikipedian Protestor and Citogenesis. I feel that claims like “very, very clearly a complete and utter ripoff”, which could be taken as kind of insulting to the authors of Green Lantern, shouldn’t be made without something readily available to back them up, because without that it’s difficult to distinguish such claims from plain insults and slurs. But: that’s just me. Mar 30, 2016 at 13:01
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    Also: “stating what I perceived to be common knowledge, which I was taught didn't require sources” — [citation needed]. Mar 30, 2016 at 13:02
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    You are an evil, evil person*
    – Broklynite
    Mar 30, 2016 at 13:13

2 Answers 2


Before he worked at DC,Julie Schwartz was an agent for many sci-fi authors, including one E.E. "Doc" Smith. Ray Palmer, secret identity of the silver-age Atom, was named after another Sci-Fi writer, Raymond A. Palmer. Julie deliberately made the new Silver-Age revamps of the characters more science-fiction in theme, as opposed to many of the golden-age heroes who had more magic-based powers.

The similarities between The Green Lantern Corps, a inter-galactic police force, using a super-weapon bestowed by a super-intelligent alien race, to the Lensmen, have never officially been admitted. But the hypothesis that Julie cobbled some somewhat generic concepts from his friend's work is not an unreasonable one.

Writer Mike Barr certainly thought so, when he added two new characters to the Corps in the classic mini-series Tales of the Green Lantern Corps. Arisia, a young female rookie Lantern, and Eddore of Tront were named for the good and evil super-races of the Lensmen series, respectively. A further reference is the fact that Eddore greatly resembles the descripion of Second-Stage Lensman Nadreck of Palain VII.

So was there a lawsuit? No. is there some DNA shared between the two? almost certainly.


Green Lantern isn't a rip off

Alan Scott appeared in 1940, First Lensman 1950.

The lens allows telepathy and enhanced senses. The ring allows flight, intangibility, creation of energy based objects but not telepathy or enhanced senses. The ring can speak the lens cannot.

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    Alan Scott isn't a member of the corps though. the corps do have many similarities to the lensmen
    – Recycle
    Mar 30, 2016 at 10:08
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    First Lensman is not the first Lensman book, Triplanetary was first published in 1934, as a magazine serial. I'm not sure if it actually featured Lenses, being more of a prequel, but Galactic Patrol was published from 1937 to 1938 and certainly included Lensmen.
    – Mike Scott
    Mar 30, 2016 at 10:10
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    Triplanetary was rewritten to fit into the Lensmen series, the lens did not appear until First Lensman. The Corps has some similarities to the Galactic Patrol but there are many series based around interplanetary police forces.
    – user23614
    Mar 30, 2016 at 10:20
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    Alan Scott also wasn't part of a galactic patrol--as stated in this article, Alan Scott "was, when he premiered in 1940, an updated version of Aladdin, his magic railroad lantern replacing Aladdin’s mystical oil lamp." And the article also discusses how Julius Schwartz, who created the new version of Green Lantern in 1956, was an early sci-fi buff who co-founded one of the first fanzines, and it says "Clearly, much of Lensman DNA found its way into the new Green Lantern".
    – Hypnosifl
    Mar 30, 2016 at 13:11
  • Alan Scott was originally going to be named "Alan Ladd", a close anagram of "Aladdin". But the movie star of the same name made them re-think that. Apr 5, 2016 at 21:01

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