Green Lantern, one of DC Comics’ oldest and enduring heroes, is serving as a beacon for the publisher again, this time as a proud, mighty and openly gay hero.
The change will be revealed in the pages of the second issue of Earth 2 which is scheduled for release on Wednesday and comes on the heels of what has been an expansive year for gay and lesbian characters in the pages of comic books.
However, purists and fans note: This Green Lantern is not the emerald galactic space cop who was, and is, part of the Justice League and has had a history rich in triumph and tragedy.
Instead, said James Robinson, who writes the new series, 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.
In addition, his being gay is not part of some wider storyline meant to be exploited or undone down the road.
“This was my idea,” Robinson explained this week, saying that prior to DC Comics relaunch of all its titles last summer, Alan Scott had a son who was gay.
However, 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 does not come out. He’s gay when we see him in issue two. He’s fearless and he’s honest to the point where he realized he was gay and he said: ‘I’m gay,’” Robinson said.
Last month, Marvel Entertainment said super speedster Northstar would marry his longtime boyfriend in the pages of Astonishing X-Men.
DC comics has other gay characters, including Kate Kane, the current Batwoman.
Some groups have protested the inclusion of gay characters, but Robinson isn’t discouraged, 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.”