Black History Month – Green Lantern John Stewart

by Douglas Ohlandt

013023C-1024x536 Black History Month - Green Lantern John StewartIn celebration of Black History month, we’re going to take a look at some of the biggest and most important heroes in comics. Let’s take a look at the great Green Lantern, John Stewart.

John’s First Appearance

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John Stewart made his first appearance, and would wield the Green Lantern ring for the first time, in the pages of Green Lantern #87. Cover dated November 1971, this issue appeared in the midst of the amazing run on the title by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams. It is, like all issues in the run, a fantastic comic, particularly for its time. Letters to DC regarding this issue were generally praiseworthy if not downright laudatory.

It’s interesting to note that when Warner Bros. released the Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern film in 2011 there was some confusion. Due to his prevalence in the DC cartoons of the time, many fans who only knew the cartoons thought John Stewart was THE Green Lantern and were somewhat miffed that they were changing the race of Green Lantern for the movie.

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Regarding its status in the collectible market, there are 1,950 graded copies of Green Lantern #87 in the CGC census. There have been some recent high grade sales of this book, including a 9.8 selling in the January 16 Heritage auction for $10,500. While that’s down from two 2022 sales in this grade – a slashed $20,000 sale in November and a slashed $12,500 sale in March – it does, particularly in this down market, solidify Green Lantern #87 as a five figure book in the highest grade.

If you don’t have the money for a high-grade copy, the mid-grades are currently selling in the $420 to $520 range.

John Joins the JLA for a Christmas Adventure

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John Stewart made his second appearance in Justice League of America #110. In this issue, John was called into service when Hal Jordan was unavailable, and helped the JLA defeat The Key – a Christmas destroying villain. There are 66 graded copies of this comic in the CGC census, only three of which sold in 2022.

The highest graded copy to sell was a 9.4 going for $276 in June. The second of two 8.0 copies sold in August for just $95. If you’re a fan of John Stewart, this is a very affordable second appearance.

John Becomes the Full Time Green Lantern

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In Green Lantern #182, cover dated November 1984, John Stewart would become THE Green Lantern, replacing Hal Jordan who had quit in the issue prior. This book is considered a minor key by most collectors, and a recent sale has collectors wondering if it might be upgrading to a major key.

A 9.8 graded copy sold in an eBay best offer sale on December 20 for a slashed $375, a record for this comic. That’s more than double the $155 paid in two previous sales earlier in 2022. I would say that, should the next sale occur in the $250 range or higher, we’re in the midst of a spike for this book.

Should there be rumors of John Stewart appearing in the DCU, we could start seeing even higher prices. Keep an eye on this one.

John Stewart’s Origin

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John Stewart would have his origin story told in Green Lantern #185. If you’re looking to add some John Stewart comics to your collection, this is a nice one to pick up. It’s a pretty affordable book, with recent sales in the 9.8 grade for $110 and in the 9.4 grade for just $35.

Raw copies are plentiful as well if you’re looking for a cheaper route to owning it.

John Destroys Xanshi

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If you’re looking for a John Stewart story that would have great relevance for the character over the ensuing decades, Cosmic Odyssey #2 would have to be considered one of his most important comics.

In this issue, John inadvertently destroys the planet Xanshi and all its inhabitants, a fatal error that would affect him through multiple storylines and define his character. John’s struggles with guilt over his actions, and how he handles the trauma, help to elevate him to a fully realized superhero. Fortunately, this is a dirt-cheap comic if you’re looking for a copy.

The most recent sale of a 9.8 on January 6 was for just $22. For the price, you have to consider adding this one to your John Stewart collection.

Are you a John Stewart collector? What are some of your favorite issues? Let us know below.

000080221A_Posters_2-Footer Black History Month - Green Lantern John Stewart*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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