Thursday, July 23, 2009

Shock and Oa

Here is some comic book trivia to impress your friends with: In the 1960s revival of Green Lantern, the character that helped usher in the Silver Age of Comics the author of the series (Presumably John Broome) named the planet headquarters of the Green Lantern Corps as Oa, which is situated at the center of the fictional DC universe.

Why John Broome chose that combination rather than make up a silly alien barely-pronounceable word can only be speculated but it is likely that the name of Oa was created by placing together the number Zero and the letter A, with the number and letter being pronounced in the long form as "Oh-Ah".

This was probably no accident. The name is derived from the physical coordinates of the planet, being at the center of the universe, that of Zero/A. It's really clever and obvious on the part of the creative team and I feel embarrassed to realize that if I ever read about or figured out the origin of the name of the planet before this I subsequently forgot all about it.


  1. I share your embarrassment. It's only been since 1961 for me...

  2. I figure there might be a lot of fans going "Oh, yeah. Duh. I knew that all along."

    At least the ones as thick as I am.

  3. Is this meant to be a reference to van Vogt's "World of Null-A" series? 'Cause I'm lost either way.

  4. "Oz" was taken. Had to go to the beginning of the alphabet for the second letter, I guess.

  5. Also, you are ahead of the curve with the GL-related artlcle. There's going to ba hurricane of hype for the movie, I'm guessing. And I hope it lives up to it and is as good as "Iron Man".


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