A couple of weeks ago we first learned that DC Comics is planning to reintroduce a major superhero character as gay. Today we find out which superhero DC Comics has selected. As soon as the news was first reported, fans speculated that the new gay character might be someone as big as Superman or as second tier as Robin. Today we learn that the newly reintroduced gay character is none other than Green Lantern himself. Now, those of you familiar with the character know that there are a few different Green Lanterns in the DC Comics universe (Alan Scott, Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner and John Stewart). Click below to find out with Green Lantern has been reintroduced as gay and get your first look at his reintroduction in the comic book world.
Earlier this month, DC co-publisher Dan DiDio revealed to a convention audience in England a heretofore heterosexual DC superhero would be coming out of the closet. DiDio kept mum about the hero’s identity, although he did note that it would be “one of the major iconic DC characters.” Today, DC has confirmed Internet rumors that the character in question is Alan Scott, a.k.a. the original Green Lantern, currently appearing as a lead character in DC’s Earth 2.
EW: Did you always know that you wanted a gay character at the forefront of the Earth 2 series?
JAMES ROBINSON: The original version of Alan Scott was an older man, and he had a superpowered son, Obsidian, who was gay. The fact that Scott was young now [thanks to a universe-wide reboot] meant Obsidian no longer existed. I thought it was a shame that DC was losing such a positive gay character. I said, “Why not make Alan Scott gay?” To Dan DiDio’s credit, when I suggested it to him, there wasn’t a moment’s hesitation.
Can you talk about the new Alan Scott?
He’s a giant of the media industry. By getting involved in communication, the news, and the Internet, he’s become a billionaire. He’s kind of a cross between Mark Zuckerberg and David Geffen. The original Alan Scott owned a radio station in the ’40s and ’50s, so he was a media giant then. He was this bold, heroic, brave man who took control, who would risk his life for you and be this emerald knight that was always there to protect the world. The Alan Scott I’m doing now is that same dynamic, brave, honorable man. A man that you’d want guarding your welfare, your children, your life, your home. He’s willing to give his life for the world. He’s everything you want in a hero. And he happens to be gay. So really, apart from his sexuality, there isn’t that much of a difference.
Last week, when news about Earth 2‘s Alan Scott being homosexual hit the Internet, I saw a few complaints which mostly came back to one fact: That we’re talking about a character in an alternate universe who’s a rebooted version of a character that has been outside of the mainstream comic book world for awhile now. How do you respond to charges that this story is opportunistic?
That was never the intention. When I was first putting together this version of the team eight months ago, and was making the team diverse and interesting, adding in a gay character seemed like the natural thing to do. Quite honestly, it was an offhand comment that Dan made at a panel in England that got everybody suddenly aware and excited. I’m as surprised by it as you are. This was not ever meant to be sensational. It’s meant to be about a team that’s well-rounded, that shows the diversity of the world around us.
What can we expect coming up in the comic book?
One of the good things about the book being called Earth 2 — as opposed to The Justice Society — is that I’m really setting up the world and the characters. Yes, they will be the Justice Society. But this first arc is going to introduce a few of them. Then I have a couple of single issues. Then we have the second arc. By the end of that arc, we’ll get the whole team. I can have the characters come in organically and gradually. You’re going to see this whole team come together. They’re going to meet their first villain.
Starman featured what has been referred to one of the first gay-male kisses in mainstream comics. Since that time, has it become easier to introduce a homosexual character into a superhero comic book?
I think so. It’s very gratifying to see the interest in this character and what we’re doing. But I at least hope society is moving forward sanely and rationally, where people’s diversity is accepted, not feared. I want to stress that Alan Scott is a gay man, but that’s just a part of who he is. He’s a businessman. He’s a hero. He’s a lot of different things. His sexuality is a part of him, but it isn’t his defining trait. He’s an interesting, complex character that I think people will respond to on many levels. He’s the epitome of heroism. And I hope that he’s a positive representation of a gay man.
Nice. I think Alan Scott/Green Lantern is a great choice! I’d say that Green Lantern is a pretty prominent DC Comics character so everyday folks will know him. Going with original Green Lantern Alan Scott is a way to keep the idea fresh (as opposed to going with the most famous Green Lantern, Hal Jordan). Considering how terrible the Green Lantern film turned out, I’d say that DC owes the character a fresh reboot to make us forget how horrid the movie was. I’m happy with this revelation. Here’s hoping that Alan Scott/Green Lantern and his boyfriend Sam can enjoy a long and happy life together in the DC Comcis world of Earth Two :)