John Broome (writer)
|Born||May 4, 1913|
|Died||March 14, 1999
Edgar Ray Meritt
|Notable works||Flash (Barry Allen), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Elongated Man|
Early life and career 
As a youth, John Broome enjoyed reading science fiction, and began writing for science-fiction pulp magazines in the 1940s. By then he was already writing for some of the earliest American comic books to be published, beginning with a two-page "Pals and Pastimes" humor strip, illustrated by Ray Gill, in Centaur Publications' Funny Pages #7 (Dec. 1936). By 1942 he was also writing text fillers for Fawcett Comics, at least one under the pseudonym Ron Broom. When his agent, Julius Schwartz, became an editor at what would become DC Comics during the 1930-40s "Golden Age of Comic Books", Broome was recruited to write superhero stories starring the Flash, Green Lantern, Sargon the Sorceror and others. His first known script for the company was the 13-page Flash story "The City of Shifting Sand" in All-Flash #22 (May 1946). He also wrote text fillers under the pen name John Osgood.
Through the 1940s, Broome wrote primarily for Green Lantern stories the superhero team the Justice Society of America, but also contributed an occasional tale starring the Atom, Hawkman, or Dr. Mid-Nite, in titles including Sensation Comics, Comic Cavalcade, All-Star Comics, All-American Comics, and Flash Comics. His final Golden Age Green Lantern story appeared in the penultimate issue of that character's title, Green Lantern #37 (April 1949), and his final JSA story in All-Star Comics #57 (March 1951), the last before its retitling as All-Star Western. Broome and artist Irwin Hasen created the supervillian Per Degaton as a JSA antagonist in All-Star Comics #35 (July 1947).
1950s and the Silver Age 
As the new decade began, Broome wrote science-fiction stories for DC, both standalone tales—including "The Mind Robbers", in Mystery in Space #1 (May 1951), under the pseudonym Robert Stark—and continuing-character features, such as "Astra" (in Sensation Comics, one story of which teamed him with his future regular artist collaborator, Gil Kane), and "Captain Comet", which he created with penciler Carmine Infantino in Strange Adventures #9 (June 1951). For the latter he used the pen name Edgar Ray Merritt, devised by his friend and editor Julius Schwartz, as a nod to fantasy writers Poe, Bradbury and Abraham. Outside that genre, he wrote a large number of stories for the crime comics anthology Big Town, based on the radio and television shows.
During this time, Broome created many DC characters and institutions, including the whimsical simian sleuth Detective Chimp, with artist Infantino, in The Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog #4 (Aug. 1952); the Phantom Stranger, also with Infantino, in Phantom Stranger #1 (Sept. 1952); the Elongated Man, again with Infantino, in The Flash #112 (May 1960); and the post-apocalyptic heroes the Atomic Knights, with artist Murphy Anderson, in Strange Adventures #117 (June 1960).
With the dawn of what fans and historians call the Silver Age of Comic Books, Broome was instrumental in writing stories of two key characters who helped revive the moribund archetype of the superhero. Following the creation of an all new Flash, aka Barry Allen who carried the superhero name from the original Golden Age Flash, by editor-conceptualist Schwartz, scripter Robert Kanigher and penciler Infantino in Showcase #4 (Oct 1956)—considered the comic that triggered the Silver Age—Broome wrote Flash stories beginning in that very issue. He went on to write numerous Flash stories in the character's subsequent series. He went on to help create several of the character's primary supervillain antagonists. Broome himself, with penciler Kane and editor-conceptualist Schwartz, created the Silver Age Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, in Showcase #22 (Oct. 1959). He became the character's primary scripter in Green Lantern's solo series as well, and throughout the 1960s also contributed occasional stories starring Batman and others. Writer-editor Dennis Mallonee described Broome's work on Green Lantern as the only superhero series in which screwball comedy "was essentially realized", and called Broome "a genius. He wrote about Hal Jordan, not Green Lantern. Hal's total frustration with Carol's completely goofy 'independence' was the reason I got a kick out of the early silver age Green Lantern."
Later life 
In the late 1960s, Broome and his wife, Peggy, moved to Paris, France, where he continued to script for DC Comics. His final Flash story, "The Bride Cast Two Shadows", appeared in The Flash #194 (Feb. 1970), and his final Green Lantern, "The Golden Obelisk of Qward", in Green Lantern #75 (March 1970).
Broome then retired from comic-book scripting in order to travel and, eventually, teach English in Japan. He returned to the United States in 1998, attending his first comic-book convention, Comic-Con International.
Broome died March 14, 1999, at age 85, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, while swimming in a hotel pool while vacationing with his wife. His last address of record was the U.S. Consulate, Tokyo, Japan, with his death certificate issued in New York State,
Broome received a 1964 Alley Award for Best Short Story: "Doorway to the Unknown!" in Flash #148, with artist Carmine Infantino. He posthumously received the Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing in 2009.
An homage to Broome and artist Gil Kane appears in the novel In Darkest Night, which is set in the universe of the Justice League animated series. In the novel, a place in Coast City is named the "Kane/Broome Institute for Space Studies". In the direct-to-DVD film Emerald Knights the Broome Kane Galaxy is likewise named for him and Gil Kane. In the 2011 Green Lantern movie, Broome's Bar is named in honor of him. In the Green Lantern: The Animated Series episode "Steam Lantern," the eponymous character's real name is Gil Broome, Esq., in honor of the two writers.
- "United States Social Security Death Index," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JT1X-2NT : accessed 12 Mar 2013), John Broome, 14 March 1999.
- Per the Social Security Death Index listing for John Broome, Social Security Number 124-03-7328
- Gifford, Denis. "Obituary: John Broome", The Independent (UK), May 27, 1999. Accessed 2011-06-18. Note: Source erroneously gives birth year as 1914. WebCitation archive,
- "John Broome, Frank Jacobs to Receive 2009 Bill Finger Award", Comic-Con.org, 2009. WebCitation archive.
- John Broome at the Grand Comics Database
- The Flash (1956) at Don Markstein's Toonopedia
- Green Lantern (1959) at Don Markstein's Toonopedia
- Dennis, Mallonee (2013). "Foreword". Sparkplug, Volume 1. ISBN 978-0-317-91226-5.
- Waid, Mark. "Biographies: John Broome" in Green Lantern Archives Volume 4 (DC Comics : New York City, 2002), p. 216 (unnumbered)