Religion: alien religion
Other Names: Adam I
First Appearance: Green Lantern Corps Quarterly #5 (Summer 1993): "Adam This Time"
Number of Appearances: 8
Teams/Affiliations: Green Lantern Corps
The Green Lantern known only as "Adam" was named by Orthodox Jewish writer Elliot S! Maggin after Adam of the Old Testament. This Adam is not intended to be a direct fictional analog of the Old Testament Adam, but there is enough overlap between their respective stories to safely classify the Green Lantern Adam as a character who was loosely "based on" the Biblical figure.
Adam can be considered one of the most unusual alien members of the Green Lantern Corps. His entire species consists of just one soul: him. Whenever Adam dies, he is replaced by a son, emerging from a volcano, also named "Adam.
Adam was apparently a sentient soul, but his progress was limited by the fact that as each new Adam was born, there was nobody to pass on knowledge from previous generations. It was the Oan Guardians of the Universe themselves who intervened in the development of this peculiar "species" by granting Adam a power ring which would convey previous knowledge to each newly born Adam. The Guardians thus acted like gods for this species, in a story that echoes events told in the book of Genesis, in the account of Earth's Adam, the Biblical first man.
Now each new "Adam" is taught directly by the Oan power ring, beginning with the words, "You are something called alive in a place called the universe. You are the latest descendant of a race nearly as old as life itself. You are called Adam. Your father was called Adam..."
The origin of Adam the Green Lantern was chronicled in the Book of Oa, essentially the book of sripture for the Guardians of the Universe.
Although Adam is not necessarily a member of an "organized religion" or specific congregation (perhaps inapplicable impossibilities for a species consisting of one being), his origin and nature distinguish him from the typical "science fiction alien" Green Lantern and mark him one of the most "religious" members of the Green Lantern Corps. The way the Oans elevated a soul with mere potentiality to a continually growing being with generational memory may be a rumination on the nature of knowledge, sentience, and scriptures and traditions are passed to subsequent generations. Much of the Biblical story of Adam concerns revolves around the way God encounters the naive Adam in the Garden of Eden and allows the childlike human race to begin growing and developing through the acquisition of knowledge, symbolized by the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In ironic and divergent ways, he is a cosmic version of "Adam" of the Old Testament.
Suggested links for further research about this character and the character's religious affiliation: