Ever since DC Comics let loose the tidbit that one of their prominent superheroes would come out as gay, speculation has been rife on which DC superhero it was. The most popular target was Batman due to his really close relationship with Robin. Another popular guess was Wonder Woman.
Well, I’ll confess that when I learned of the recent news that this gay superhero is the Green Lantern, I immediately thought, “Ryan Reynolds plays a gay character? Yay!” Unfortunately, it’s not Hal Jordan who’s gay but rather Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern from the 1940s. And it’s not actually the original Alan Scott (who married twice and had children) who is gay, but a rebooted Alan Scott who lives in a (also rebooted) parallel universe called Earth-Two. Confused?
Anyway, what I like about this “coming out” is that Alan Scott did not actually come out in the comics. He’s been out and gay right from the start of the reboot and his being homosexual and having a lover is treated as a non-issue (that’s him smooching his BF in the comic panel above). Artist Nicola Scott says of the new Alan Scott’s persona as directed by writer James Robinson: “He needed to be a big, strapping, handsome man that everyone would instinctively follow and love. Alan strikes me as an incredibly open, honest and warm man, a natural leader and absolutely the right choice to be Guardian of the Earth. His sexuality is incidental.” This Alan Scott is also an international media mogul, being the head of the fictional GBC Productions. (Think Rupert Murdoch, but younger, sexier, and fabulous.)
While this new Green Lantern is not the first gay superhero (in fact, Obsidian, the son of the original Alan Scott, was gay), many pundits say that he is the most prominent superhero to not be straight. The problem is most people already associate Hal Jordan (i.e., Ryan Reynolds) with the Green Lantern monicker, not Alan Scott, and so this new gay character would not be as revolutionary as declaring Superman gay. Time will tell if rebooting Alan Scott to be an alpha-male, confident, young gay man that is clearly meant to be a role model will have a far-reaching effect as Barack Obama’s coming out in support of gay marriage early last month.
But whatever the case, I’ll say kudos to DC Comics!