After announcing at this year’s Kapow! Comic Convention they had reversed course and would be switching the sexual orientation of one of their previously established superheroes, DC Comics has finally revealed which character will be undergoing the change.
Alan Scott, the first superhero in the DC Universe to bear the Green Lantern name back in 1940, has been retooled and will be reintroduced as a gay man in the upcoming second issue of DC’s new Earth 2 series.
James Robinson, the British writer who penned the new series, says that making Alan Scott gay was his idea and is simply an example of the comic book world keeping up with the real world. The DC Comics website describes the change as Alan “getting an update for contemporary times to reflect the world we live in.”
“You have to move with the times,” Robinson told the NewNowNext blog.
Robinson says that DC decided to make Alan — who, when he’s not busy policing the universe as The Green Lantern, is the multimillionaire head of a media empire — gay about eight months ago, but makes it clear the character’s sexuality is only one aspect of his persona.
“[Alan is a] brave, heroic guy who is admired by many and the kind of guy you want to be around. It just happens that one trait that he has is that he is gay,” Robinson told NewNowNext.
The issue in which the new Alan Scott is revealed goes on sale next week, and Robinson tells The Associated Press that the character “doesn’t come out” in Earth 2‘s pages, but will be “gay when we see him.”
“He’s fearless and he’s honest to the point where he realized he was gay and he said ‘I’m gay,’” Robinson explains.
Beyond simply moving with the times, Robinson, who also wrote DC’s Starman comic which also starred a homosexual main character, says he hopes Alan Scott proves to be an inspiration to some.
“I hope he’s a positive figure,” Robinson tells the New York Post. “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.”
About the potential backlash from those who disagree with children’s characters being homosexual, Robinson — who lives in San Francisco, a city with one of the largest per capita populations of gay people in the U.S. — tells the Post he feels “that kind of negativity is stupid and outmoded.”
“We should be preaching love and tolerance,” he said.
When Archie Comics presented a same-sex wedding in Life With Archie #16 earlier this year, conservative Christian group One Million Moms called for a boycott of the issue, saying the subject was “too complicated” for young readers to understand.
For the comic purists, it should be noted that in The New 52 series of graphic novels in which the Earth 2 issue appears, Alan Scott exists on a parallel Earth separate from the one patrolled by the Hal Jordan-led Justice League. In this parallel universe, Alan is the sole Green Lantern and, according to Robinson, the world’s “strongest, most important super-powered character.”
Earth 2 goes on sale June 6th. Take a look at a preview of the issue below.