DC Comics revealed today that the original Green Lantern Alan Scott of alternate reality based Earth 2 is being re-imagined as one of the publishing company’s highest profile homosexual male characters.
Alan Scott will be revealed to be gay next Wednesday in Earth 2 #2 by James Robinson and Nicola Scott. Earth 2, for those unaware, is an alternate reality in the DC Comics Universe that features several characters and heroes who are slightly different than they’re main-world counterparts. Prior to the New 52 relaunch, Earth 2 was a world in which the golden age heroes from DC’s past were alive and well, and in the New 52’s Universe, while a lot of the character names are the same, each of these characters has drastically changed. For example, the power source for Earth 2’s Flash, Jay Garrick, comes from the mythological god Mercury, and Green Lantern Alan Scott appears to be an appointed member of the Green Lantern Corps by the Guardians of the Universe, as noted by his lantern emblem, instead of being granted powers through magic. Earth 2 is a much younger and more relevant take on the characters from The Golden Age.
As far as Alan Scott’s sexuality goes, ultimately it appears to be irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. When news broke from the KAPOW! comic book convention about a high profile DC Comics character being re-imagined as gay, many speculated that it would be a, y’know, actual high profile DC Comics character, which, as much as I love Alan Scott, he’s simply not. The majority of the public does not know who the Justice Society of America are, and if they know a Green Lantern, it’s most likely John Stewart or Hal Jordan, not the Golden Age Green Lantern from an alternate timeline. It’s also worth noting that if his established children, Jade and Obsidian, are being written out of the New 52’s universe, then his homosexuality is simply replacing the sexuality of his son Obsidian. So, in that regard, this is not really progress in the form of adding more LGBTQ characters in the DC Universe. DC and lots of other sites made a huge deal out of adding a high profile gay male into the new universe, but really if you look at the facts here, not much is truly changing. So, if you’re either upset or elated by this news, most likely you’re just overreacting.
Personally, I think that a more diverse comic book universe is something that everyone can benefit from as it provides role models for younger people out there who may be struggling with their own sexual identity, the media’s portrayals of different races and rampant gender issues. The most important thing about Alan Scott, or any other superhero, being gay is that he remain a likable character that is heroic and provides a good example for anyone reading, and with James Robinson at the helm, that seems like a likely thing to expect. Here’s how Robinson describes working with the re-imagined character:
I’m very proud to be introducing Alan Scott into DC COMICS-THE NEW 52,” said series writer James Robinson. “He was my favorite Golden Age character and one I’m very familiar with so I’m really excited to be updating him for a contemporary readership. However, I think old-time readers will be pleasantly surprised by how, in some ways, I’m trying to show the “˜classic’ Alan Scott at the same time. He’s still the same dynamic, heroic guy he was. He’s still the head of a media empire like he was in his prior version, but of course with the form of media changing and evolving with the times. And in many ways, his origin mirrors the original one also. Oh, and on Earth 2 there is only one Green Lantern, so Alan’s title is The Green Lantern. Alan’s sexuality is just one facet of him, along with his innate goodness, valor, charisma and skill at leadership that makes him the perfect man to wield the power of the green light in the world of Earth 2.
So, Robinson seems to be approaching this the way I would have hoped. Neither people, nor fictional characters should be defined by their sexual identity, as it’s only a small part of a whole being. Alan Scott has always been one of my favorite characters in DC’s universe, and I believe that he still will be with Robinson and Scott working on him.