The wait is finally over. Last month, comic book headz and certain members of the LGBTQ community, no doubt, were highly anticipating the unveiling of an “A List” superhero. Folks suspected it would be one of the classics, like Superman, Batman, Robin, or Wonder Woman. Well today, we now know that DC Comics has chosen to out none other but the Green Lantern.
Alan Scott, the Lantern’s alter ego, isn’t the first comic book character revealed to be non-straight. Gay characters are sprinkled throughout a growing number of graphic novels such as the Archie series and even Marvel comics. As a matter of fact it was Marvel’s Northstar who married his lover at Central Park in the latest issue of the “Astonishing X-Men.”
Back to the Green Lantern, Matt Moore from AP News reported that the lean, green super hero’s sexual identity will be revealed in the second issue of “Earth 2” which hits the stands on Wednesday. As part of a new series, or “retooling” as they call it, Alan Scott’s storyline will reflect the original version of the Green Lantern, which debuted in 1940 – but with a twist.
“He doesn’t come out. He’s gay when we see him in issue two,” says DC Comics writer James Robinson “He’s fearless and he’s honest to the point where he realized he was gay and he said `I’m gay.'”
“It was just meant to be 7/8- Alan Scott being a gay member of the team, the Justice Society, that I’ll be forming in the pages of `Earth 2,'” he said. “He’s just meant to be part of this big tapestry of characters.”
Anticipating standard knee-jerk homophobia, Rolling Stones reveals DC’s curious decision to break down barriers without actually addressing the very real resistance experienced by gay-identified folks:
Though Marvel Comics’ gay hero Northstar is set to face some intolerance from his peers following his marriage to his long term boyfriend in the pages of Astonishing X-Men, Robinson and Scott are planning on portraying an idealized world in which Alan Scott is judged only by the quality of his character. “He doesn’t come out in issue two; he is already a gay man,” Robinson says. “Alan Scott is super-heroic, he’s super gallant, he’ll die for the earth, he’ll die for its people, he’s everything you want in a hero. I imagine he’s such a Type A character that when he realized he was gay, he was like, ‘Okay, I’m gay, now I’m just gonna go on with my life.’ He’s so accepting of it himself and he’s such a compelling person that the world knows Alan Scott’s gay. He’s such a leader, he’s such a good man, that the Justice League don’t care. And that’s a healthy depiction of a team and how it should be.”
[Artist Nicola Scott] says her instructions from Robinson were to make this version of the Green Lantern as heroic as possible. “With Alan, the brief was very clear,” she says. “He needed to be a big, strapping, handsome man that everyone would instinctively follow and love. Alan strikes me as an incredibly open, honest and warm man, a natural leader and absolutely the right choice to be Guardian of the Earth. His sexuality is incidental.”
In recent years the Pepsi & Coke of the comic world have caught on to what other graphic novel creators were already hip to. When Spandex came out in ‘09, the comic chronicles of the world’s first team of gay super heroes may have seemed a comical notion indeed. The truth is, however, there’s an audience out there (straight and gay alike) who are ready for their graphic novels reflect the complexity of modern life and prove that LGBT folks are not only here, and queer but can stomp some serious ass in the process.