Friday, 1 June 2012

Green Lantern is gay - That's a good thing

Okay, so the gay character that DC Comics have promised isn't Superman, as I argued it should be in my last post, it's the Green Lantern of Earth 2, Alan Scott. Here are a few of my initial thoughts on the revelation:

1) Many have argued that as a gesture towards reducing the stigma and prejudice surrounding homosexuality this decision is meaningless as Alan is not the main Green Lantern of the DC Universe. He is a parallel Earth counterpart to Hal Jordan. Hal Jordan is the Green Lantern who stars in the movie, the cartoons and the adverts for milk, not Alan Scott. But Alan does at least come with the name recognition of the Green Lantern brand. Green Lantern has been trending worldwide on Twitter today so this obviously has had some impact and as a gesture it still means a hell of a lot more than if they changed the sexuality of, for example, The Ray or Black Condor or The Red Bee. And let's bear in mind that Alan Scott is the leader of one of DC Comics' big super-teams, the Justice Society of America.

2) To all those worrying about the whole "green flame" & "weakness to wood" thing; a couple of shit jokes aren't a valid reason not to do this.

3) The decision to make Alan gay hasn't erased his wife and two children from continuity. That had already happened as a result of Alan being made a younger character in the New 52 reboot. Alan's son, Obsidian was one of DC's few existing gay characters. Presumably he no longer exists as Alan is now too young to have had children who have grown to adulthood. But let's face it, if a writer wants to use Obsidian and his sister Jade for a story they can easily find a way to explain their existence. After all, this is super-hero comics, home of time travel, parallel worlds and kids who rapidly age into adults. And is anyone genuinely going to miss Alan's wife Molly? Really?

4) This may well be, as some have claimed, a desperate grab by DC Comics for sales and headlines. But even if it is, more people paying attention to DC Comics is, I believe, a good thing. More people being tempted to buy DC Comics is, I believe, a good thing.  A positive depiction of a gay superhero who has some name recognition is, I believe, a good thing.

5) Here are a collection of quotes by the man behind this decision, Earth 2 writer James Robinson. I found them here. I'll let them speak for themselves.

“This guy, he’s a media mogul, a hero, a dynamic type-A personality and he’s gay...He’s a complex character.”

“He’s fearless and he’s honest to the point where he realized he was gay and he said ‘I’m gay.’”

“What I really want to do with this character is make the fact that he’s gay to be a part of who he is and not to be the one identifying aspect of him. And have his humor and his bravery be as much or more a part of him as his sexuality.”

“The only downside of his being young was we lose his son, Obsidian, who’s gay. So I thought, ‘Why not make Alan Scott gay? That was the seed that started it.”

“He’s someone you would want to watch over your children. Presenting that kind of a heroic role model hopefully will be a good thing and help to show gays in a positive light for people who might be a little more small-minded.”

“He’s a type-A personality who doesn’t hide in the shadows.”

“I hope he’s a positive figure. If there’s some kind of kid out there who’s reading the comic and who’s worried about the person he is, maybe it will give him a positive sense of who he is. Or maybe a different kid will read it and decide I don’t need to bully some kind of kid in school.” 

6) After all that if you still consider Alan Scott being gay to be a bad thing, consider this. At least they're not still making the poor sod dress up like a giant lantern.


  1. London Elliott1 June 2012 at 23:20

    I'm happy to see what Robinson will do with Alan and all the characters of Earth-2. The Green Lantern franchise is a pretty obvious choice to introduce characters of different creeds, colors, and sexual orientation (and more high-profile than the Legion of Super-Heroes), even if Alan isn't a Corpsman.

  2. All these years of JSA stories, and how many times has Molly even showed up?

  3. I just find the cynicism that drove this promotional campaign overwhelming. After all this time, I find it impossible to accept the thoughtless 'rebootings' of characters older than those making such changes. But then, as will be this case, the changes end up temporary; remember when Superman 'died'? Can you name all the incarnations of Robin? what number Green Lantern is this? No doubt this he'll be replaced by yet another when DC finds the curiosity-driven sales dry up.

  4. I have an important question that needs to be answered .... Why is Alan Scott .... weakness wood? Kindof like being weak against small knives.

  5. I've always liked the wood weakness. It's like Achilles' heel. He's got god-like powers but something really simple can kill him. It reminds him of his mortality and keeps him humble and grounded.