Question: Can you explain why on Super Friends Green Lantern is white and on Cartoon Network's Justice League he is African-American? Was this something done by the makers of the show, or was Green Lantern originally African-American from the beginning? Jeffrey, Indianapolis, Ind.
Televisionary: Well, no and no. But you're going to force me to put on my geek hat and reveal my secret past as an allowance-burning comic-book fanboy in order to answer that. (You're also exposing me to even more knowledgeable geeks who'll be sure to spank me soundly should I get a detail wrong or not explain it to their liking.)
In short, thanks a lot, Jeffrey. Anyway...
The Super Friends Green Lantern you remember was test pilot Hal Jordan, who was given his powerful ring by a dying alien when first introduced in the '60s comic. The ring made Jordan a member of the Green Lantern Corps., who were essentially the cops of the universe. John Stewart, the African-American character (who's not related to the Daily Show host, by the way), was drafted as a substitute Green Lantern to provide backup if anything ever went wrong with Jordan. Which it did, when Jordan turned evil and took out a city full of people before later redeeming himself and dying while saving the Earth's sun. The short answer: Super Friends used Jordan; Justice League uses Stewart.
I won't even get into Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern, or Kyle Rayner, who's yet another, because it'll just confuse you further. But if you want to see more on Jordan, the Super Friends version from your memory, you can do so in DC Comics' six-issue series, which brings the character back this month.