For a few weeks now, DC Comics had teased fans with the upcoming development that a beloved comic book character would be revealed to be gay. Today they finally announced who it is: Green Lantern. Only not the Green Lantern that you know, if you’re more of a moviegoer than a classic comics fan. See, the moment I said that superhero’s name your mind immediately went to Ryan Reynolds, who donned a skintight CGI bodysuit and glowing green ring in last summer’s flop.
Ryan played Hal Jordan, whose name most people associate with Green Lantern. However, he’s the second Green Lantern, having been created in 1959 when the entire comics medium was being revived. He’s the one in all the cartoons and most of the modern stories. But DC has been rebooting its classic characters lately, starting with last fall’s The New 52, and that’s why they’ve decided to bring back the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott. When the actual character of Green Lantern was created in 1940, it was as Alan; now his backstory is being retooled for 2012 and beyond. (Comics Beat has a much more comprehensive explanation of the differences between the two Green Lanterns, both in the comics and the contexts in which they were created.)
io9 spoke with James Robinson, who wrote the Earth Two series that reveals Alan Scott as gay. Robinson explained his motivation for including the LGBT factor in a fairly well-known hero:
It was just a notion I had. I’m really excited to update these characters, and we’ve also updated their ages. One of the things I thought was a shame was that Alan Scott is now in his late twenties, so we lose Obsidian, his gay son. From there, I springboarded to another idea—why not make Alan Scott, the leader of the Justice Society, a gay man?
Here’s Alan coming home to his lover Sam:
Earth Two #2 will be out this Wednesday June 6th, so fans will have a chance to learn more about the changes made to Alan’s backstory. Of course, when DC first made the announcement that they were introducing a gay character, One Million Moms (blech) released a whiny statement accusing the LGBT conspiracy or whatever of trying to trick little kids into becoming gay. Thank goodness that GLAAD retaliated, in the face of today’s announcement, with this statement:
“The idea that a comic book character will make young people gay is as outlandish as saying it will give them a green power ring and the ability to fly. Even more outlandish is the idea that there are ‘one million moms’ who believe this hate group’s anti-gay nonsense. From Christian churches to sports fields, to now even fictional comic book worlds, our culture overwhelmingly supports gay and lesbian Americans and that’s what anti-gay groups like this are working against.”
“In brightest day, in darkest night…”