Green Lantern, one of DC Comics’ most enduring heroes, is being relaunched, this time as an openly gay hero. The change, just announced and ending a week of frantic speculation, is revealed in the pages of the second issue of “Earth 2” out next week. It comes hot on the heels of an amazing year for gay and lesbian characters in the pages of comic books including Archie, Marvel and others. It follows the wedding of X-Man Northstar to his boyfriend, courtesy of Marvel Comics, this week, and the marriage of Archie Comics's first gay character, Kevin Keller, to his boyfriend earlier this year. Although DC's character Batwoman came out as gay in 2006, the Green Lantern will be the publisher's most prominent homosexual superhero.
But here’s where it gets complicated: this Green Lantern is not the emerald galactic space cop Hal Jordan, who was, and is, part of the Justice League. Instead, he’s an alternate universe Green Lantern. James Robinson, who writes the new series, said Alan Scott is the retooled version of the classic Lantern whose first appearance came in the pages of “All-American Comics” No. 16 in July 1940. And his being gay is not part of some wider story line meant to be exploited or undone down the road, either.
“This was my idea,” Robinson explained this week, noting that before DC relaunched all its titles last summer, Alan Scott had a son who was gay. But given that “Earth 2” features retooled and rebooted characters, Scott is not old enough to have a grown son. “By making him younger, that son was not going to exist anymore,” Robinson said. “He doesn’t come out. He’s gay when we see him in Issue 2,” which is due out Wednesday. “He’s fearless and he’s honest to the point where he realized he was gay and he said ‘I’m gay.’ ”
DC has been a leader in incorporating gay characters into its comics – they had one of the first male gay kisses back in 1988.
Green Lantern would be the highest-profile openly gay hero – even the parallel Earth version.
The move is likely to enrage conservative elements of American society. Earlier this week the Christian mothers' group One Million Moms launched a letter-writing campaign calling on DC to cancel their plans to introduce a gay mainstream superhero. "This is ridiculous!" they wrote. "Why do adult gay men need comic superheroes as role models? They want to indoctrinate impressionable young minds by placing these gay characters on pedestals in a positive light," said the American Family Association-run organisation.
Robinson isn’t discouraged by their predictable bigotry, noting that being gay is just one aspect to Scott. “This guy, he’s a media mogul, a hero, a dynamic type-A personality and he’s gay,” Robinson said. “He’s a complex character.”
Lustralboy is deeply tempted to ask: “So it’s not Rupert Murdoch, then?” And............will Sheldon be thrilled or picky?
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