1 Jun 2012 02:16 PM EST
-by Drew Kolar, Editor-in-Chief; Image: Alan Scott, a.k.a. the Green Lantern, kissing his boyfriend in a panel from Earth Two (Image Source: DC Comics)
DC Comics has announced that the original 1940s Green Lantern, Alan Scott, is now young, successful and gay in the new series, Earth Two.
Earth Two, by writer James Robinson and artist Nicola Scott, reintroduces the idea of parallel worlds featuring alternate takes on DC’s well-known heroes, a notion that Rolling Stone explains “fell by the wayside” during the reboot of DC’s world, dubbed the “New 52.”
With this new world comes a new look at characters like Scott, who was last seen as middle-aged and married with two kids. Now, most characters’ ages have been reduced—and for Scott, that means erasing his family, including his gay superhero son Obsidian.
To make up for the loss, Robinson decided that perhaps Scott should be gay instead.
“The logical leap that I made was, oh, why don’t we make Alan Scott gay?,” Robinson explained. “To DC’s credit, there wasn’t any hesitation. [Co-publisher] Dan DiDio was like ‘Oh, that’s a great idea, let’s do it!’”
The main twist on Scott’s sexuality, however, is the team’s approach to it: he is already gay from the get-go, with no need for a coming out party.
“He doesn’t come out. He’s gay when we see him in issue two,” Robinson said. “He’s fearless and he’s honest to the point where he realized he was gay and he said ‘I’m gay.’”
Of course, while DC was supportive of the change, not everybody is pleased with this new version of Green Lantern.
“Why do adult gay men need comic superheroes as role models? They don’t but do want to indoctrinate impressionable young minds by placing these gay characters on pedestals in a positive light,” complained conservative organization One Million Moms in a statement. “These companies are heavily influencing our youth by using children's superheroes to desensitize and brainwash them in thinking that a gay lifestyle choice is normal and desirable.”
It’s not just conservative groups who are upset about the change, however—Hollywood blog The Wrap, for example, calls Scott’s coming out a “cop-out,” mainly due to the hype surrounding it.
“Let’s just say it: Green Lantern is one of the lamest comic book characters,” they explain. “And this isn’t even the Green Lantern anyone cares about—Hal Jordan, the one Ryan Reynolds played in the movie. This is Alan Scott, a Green Lantern unknown to anyone but serious comics nerds, who debuted in the 1940s. ... DC, you should have gone with Superman. It might have finally made him interesting.”
Meanwhile, TMZ notes that Scott could simply be seen as “tokenism,” as in DC’s world, there are over 7,200 Green Lanterns. Regardless of Scott being a classic superhero, they view this as “less impressive.”
Still, with the franchising rights surrounding DC’s other huge characters like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, it is understandable that they chose an under-the-radar character and further distanced him by placing him in an alternate universe. “Cop-out” or not, it is still seen as a positive step.
“The idea that a comic book character will make young people gay is as outlandish as saying it will give them a green power ring and the ability to fly,” GLAAD told TMZ, in response to One Million Moms. “Even more outlandish is the idea that there are ‘one million moms’ who believe this hate group’s anti-gay nonsense. From Christian churches to sports fields, to now even fictional comic book worlds, our culture overwhelmingly supports gay and lesbian Americans and that’s what anti-gay groups like this are working against.”
The second issue of Earth Two, featuring an out Alan Scott, hits shelves on June 6.