DC Comics' first Asian American Green Lantern is a boy who fights racism last minute news
When the author Minh Lê began thinking of ways he could put his own spin on the story of the classic DC Comics character the Green Lantern, he suddenly recalled the jade ring his late grandmother always wore.
Lê's grandmother, Ton Nu Tuy-Nhan, had brought the ring with her when she and the rest of the family fled Vietnam as refugees during the Vietnam War. As Lê began developing the storyline for his middle-grade graphic novel "Green Lantern: Legacy," which DC Comics is set to release Tuesday, he realized that making his main character a Vietnamese American boy who is granted supernatural powers through a jade ring he inherits from an elder would be a perfect fit for the story he wanted to tell.
"There was something about that imagery and iconography of the character that felt really familiar," Lê said of the Green Lantern, who was introduced to comics readers in 1940.
"That's when I thought of that image of my grandmother and her jade ring. Once I had that picture in my head, the rest of the story kind of fell into place," he said in an interview.
"Green Lantern: Legacy" marks the first time the character has been depicted as an Asian American. The original comic introduced readers to a white New Yorker named Alan Scott, but in recent years the Green Lantern has diversified. In 2012, readers were introduced to Simon Baz, a Muslim American of Lebanese descent, and the first female Green Lantern, a Latin American woman named Jessica Cruz, was unveiled in 2013.