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Publication Date

Fall 2016

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Studies


Priya Raman


comic books, DC Comics, Fantasy theme analysis, Green Lantern, media, Superhero

Subject Areas

Communication; Art criticism; Folklore


The Green Lantern is part of the modern mythology of comic book superheroes that have become a part of the cultural fabric of millennial America. Like the mythologies and folklore of days past, the Green Lantern represents the zeitgeist and heroic ideals of the modern era and helps individuals interpret and understand cultural, individual, and sociological ideals, beliefs, and problems inherent to living. Since his conception and initial rise to fame as a Nazi-fighting do-gooder, the Green Lantern has epitomized differing era-specific cultural perceptions of heroism. Decades later the Green Lantern is still relevant, prevalent, and continues a legacy of heroic ideals that have evolved throughout the character’s life. Tracking the changes to the Green Lantern series over its 75-year publication history provides a unique perspective into how cultural perceptions of heroism, and more specifically super-heroism, evolved and changed in the 20th and early 21st century. By tracking both rhetorical fantasy themes and quantitative behavior variables, this study analyzes the changing Green Lantern rhetorical vision over time and illustrates the constant hero in quantified actions, emotions, and behavior.