DC Reveals That Green Lantern Is Gay–well, kind of…

DC Comics has had comic readers–and the mainstream media–on a bit of a gay witch hunt to find out which of the newly relaunched characters was going to be revealed as gay. It turns out that it is Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern.

In some ways, changing his sexual preference was a safe choice.

They made Green Lantern, a franchise character, gay.

But not the Green Lantern that you know. They took  the one in the book Earth-2, which brings back DC’s old concept of multiple earths, this one which features the revamped Golden Age DC characters. It’s a big fish in a smaller tank in the aquarium basically.

Publicity wise, the only way to get attention for introducing a new LGBT character is to redefine an existing one’s orientation. If it’s a new character, unfortunately, it is much harder to get attention. Did you hear about Bunker and the other new LGBT characters in DC’s New 52 relaunch?

I didn’t think so either.

But then there’s also more confusion to the casual/non-comics reading audience. Which is the Green Lantern? There was a similar problem with last summer’s Green Lantern movie. Thanks to the awesome use of John Stewart in the Dini/Timm Justice League, there’s a whole generation that is predominately aware of him and were confused by the white guy playing Hal Jordan in the movie. Now everyone is re-aware of Hal, and on the news they see that Green Lantern is now a blonde dude named Alan.

There’s also another ripple effect with this character change for Alan Scott, partly also effected by the changed of the New 52 relaunch. Scott was married at least twice to women; one of these unions producing two children–the super heroes Jade and Obsidian,  who was gay. Before this revelation, they didn’t exist and I wonder if this will be addressed.

Personally, I think this is a great idea. This is the most relevant the character has been since his original hay-day–the 1940s. I hope writer James Robinson goes all out with the character…have him be a bigger part of the Justice Society than any of the Big Three (Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman). Allan Scott has always been an interesting character and I’m glad they’re finally doing something with him again. Earth-2 #1 debuts on comic book stands on June 6.

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Let’s Talk About LGBT Characters In Comics

With Northstar getting married and DC getting ready to reveal that one of their longrunning characters is gay, the portrayal of LGBT characters in comic books has become quite the topic of conversation. As a friendly neighborhood comics junkie, I’ll be speaking at two public libraries in New Jersey about their portrayal in super hero comics.

You can check me out at the Stafford library (129 North Main Street, Manahawkin) on Monday, June 4 and Point Pleasant Boro library (834 Beaver Dam Road) on Thursday, June 7. Both programs start at 7 pm. Check out those sites for more information.

This program came out of a pet project of mine. I’ve been researching themes of diversity in comic books for a long time for an ongoing project. After discussing it with several librarian pals, I was asked if I would be interested in leading a discussion on the topic. So I’ll be leading a presentation on the history of LGBT characters in mainstream super hero comics, from the golden age to modern-day Northstar.

Local newspaper the Sandpaper even did a quick little write up about the event here.