5. John Stewart (DC Entertainment)
First Appearance: Green Lantern #87 (1971)
Creators: Dennis O'Neil, Neal Adams
The ‘70s was a time of great social upheaval at DC, and one of the most important books during this period was the short-lived Green Lantern/Green Arrow. For one of the first times in a mainstream comic, writers Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams brought political and social commentary to the world of superheroes by exploring topics like religion, drug use, and race. John Stewart was born of this upheaval.
Stewart was introduced as Hal Jordan’s backup as the Green Lantern of Sector 2814, but he didn’t share the same buttoned-up personality as Jordan. Stewart was a brash ex-Marine with nasty feelings about authority.
Though Stewart was created as more of a statement about race than anything else, he's since grown to become an engaging, integral part of the DC Universe.