After weeks of speculation, DC Comics confirmed today that the iconic superhero they would reveal as gay is none other than the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott, who will be seen kissing his boyfriend in next week’s issue of Earth 2. What’s more, Earth 2 writer James Robinson told the Advocate that the book will feature a diverse cast that includes at least one more gay character to be revealed down the road.
First introduced in 1940, the Alan Scott character has experienced one of the more complicated histories in comic books, and that’s saying something. He began as a railroad engineer who discovered a magic green lamp, which turned him into a power ring-wielding superhero called Green Lantern. Over the past 72 years, the DC universe has undergone several reboots and introduced new Green Lanterns, while also reintroducing Alan Scott as a superhero from an alternate reality trapped in our own. In the past few decades he was established as a founding member of the Justice Society as well as the father of two super-powered children, one of whom was actually a gay hero named Obsidian.
But DC has recently gone through yet another reboot and though Alan Scott still exists in another reality (appropriate called Earth 2), he is now a much younger media mogul who writer Robinson describes as “part Mark Zuckerberg and part David Geffen.” Rather than being the father of a gay son, he will actually be gay himself, and apparently in a relationship with a man named Sam as the above preview page showing their happy reunion suggest. He will also be the eventual leader of a reformed Justice Society and effectively become one of the most prominent LGBT characters in comics.
Robinson describes his revision of the character as “a brave, gallant guy who is the epitome of everything good in a human being, [who] just happens to be gay,” and the writer has some experience with LGBT characters as well. In fact it was in the pages of Robinson’s comic Starman that one of (if not the) first same-sex kisses in mainstream comics took place back in 1998.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the news that DC would reveal an iconic character as gay along with the wedding of Northstar in Marvel’s Astonishing X-Men prompted another outraged response from the anti-gay group One Million Moms, who decried that by being inclusive, these comics were trying to “indoctrinate young minds by placing these gay characters on pedestals in a positive light.”
GLAAD told TMZ that “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. 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."
For his part, Robison too is unfazed by their outrage, saying “I think you have to do the right thing and not worry about what the negative minority might say. I think it’s about time a few more big iconic characters were gay.” And while he won’t give any more details, the writer also confirms that “Alan Scott won’t be the only gay character in Earth 2, I promise you that.” With comic characters practically dominating the box office and thriving across all manner of media platforms, the timing couldn’t be better for their publishers to embrace diversity in such a public way and create even more inclusive worlds and stories. It’s a good time to be an LGBT comics fan.