Legendary Green Lantern #76 offered as free digital download to honor Denny O'Neil

(Image credit: DC)

To honor the legacy of comic book legend Denny O'Neil, who passed away Thursday (opens in new tab), DC is making one of his most iconic stories - Green Lantern #76 - available as a free digital download for one week beginning Tuesday, June 16 through June 23. 

Participating digital platforms include ReadDC.com, comiXology, Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, iBooks, and the DC Universe digital streaming platform.

Originally published in 1970 and illustrated by Neal Adams, Green Lantern #76 was the opening chapter of the Green Lantern/Green Arrow era, known as the 'Hard Traveling Heroes' story arc. 

"The conflict O’Neil created between Hal Jordan’s conservative space cop and Oliver Queen’s liberal protector of the people result in the pair taking a cross-country road trip to discover the 'real America,'" reads DC's description. "Along the way, Green Lantern and Green Arrow discover there are some evils that can’t be cured with a power ring or trick arrow, such as racism, poverty and drug abuse."

(Image credit: DC)
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The story arc introduced a revolutionary new approach to comic books, one concerned with social and political issues of the day - "what many people now are referring to as 'woke' culture," according to the publisher. 

From racial conflict to urban issues to the drug addiction of Oliver Queen’s young sidekick Speedy, the title didn’t shy away from difficult topics, and it influenced years of socially relevant comic books throughout the industry. 

The introductory issue features two of the most celebrated sequences in comic book history. As DC describes, "In the first, an elderly African American man confronts Hal Jordan about his ignorance when it comes to protecting people of all races, particularly Black people. 

"In another sequence, Green Arrow laments the passing of Martin Luther King Jr., President Robert Kennedy and the problems facing 70’s America as 'a hideous moral cancer,' deserving to be addressed just as much as any cosmic-level threat."

I'm not just the Newsarama founder and editor-in-chief, I'm also a reader. And that reference is just a little bit older than the beginning of my Newsarama journey. I founded what would become the comic book news site in 1996, and except for a brief sojourn at Marvel Comics as its marketing and communications manager in 2003, I've been writing about new comic book titles, creative changes, and occasionally offering my perspective on important industry events and developments for the 25 years since. Despite many changes to Newsarama, my passion for the medium of comic books and the characters makes the last quarter-century (it's crazy to see that in writing) time spent doing what I love most.