For more than a week, we've heard rumors and speculation as to which "major" DC Comics superhero is about to be re-introduced as a gay character. Now DC's confirming it. The sexuality-switching superhero is ...
As you might have been able to guess from that picture up there, it's Alan Scott, the original Golden Age Green Lantern who just made his reboot debut in DC's new Earth 2 series last month. His same-sex relationship with a partner named Sam will be revealed by writer James Robinson and artist Nicola Scott in the pages of Earth 2 #2, which will be available in comics shops everywhere Wednesday.
Scott's been a staple DC character in one form or another for decades, ever since his introduction way back in 1941. He's frequently been portrayed as an elder hero mentoring younger DC characters, as in Robinson's own run on Justice Society of America comics in the late '90s, but this time he's been reinvented as a young, handsome hero who just happens to also be gay.
Robinson's no stranger to gay heroes in comics. He's responsible for the first gay male kiss in mainstream comics in Starman #45 (August 1998), and just last year he introduced the first male same-sex relationship ever in a Justice League of America comic.
As to why he made the decision to put Scott in this particular spotlight, Robinson says it had a lot to do with DC's reboot causing the loss of Obsidian, a gay DC superhero who was also Scott's son.
"I really believe in this idea of relaunching the Justice Society and making them younger. But I thought it was a shame that we lost Jade and Obsidian, who are Alan Scott's children. Obsidian has been in the comics for years and was a positive gay character.
"And then, in the way that one idea can spring forward to the next, I thought, well, let's make Alan Scott gay. And to DC and to (co-publisher) Dan DiDio's credit, when I ran the idea past him, there wasn't a moment's hesitation. He was like, 'Yeah, that's great. Let's do it.'"
Even back when DC's reboot was just launching, many readers were wondering if there were opportunities for brand-new gay characters to emerge in the comics. That hasn't happened yet, but as to why he personally preferred reinventing an old character as gay rather than just inventing a new one, Robinson's answer seems to simply be: Why not?
"As for why not just create a new gay character, I just wanted to do this. I mean, it's one thing if you're creating a new team with new characters, but that isn't what the Justice Society is. It's me rebooting existing characters.
"I think you have to remember that this is a reboot. It isn't like I'm taking an old character and suddenly making this character gay. This is a brand new interpretation of this character."
But don't go thinking that we're about to see same-sex coupling all over every page of Earth 2. Robinson noted that he's also gone back to a part of Scott's Golden Age roots to reinvent him as a young media mogul, and he's changed his Green Lantern powers so that the green light flows through his body rather than through a ring. The character's homosexuality is just a small piece of a new age for a very old character.
"I just feel that it's realistic. It just makes sense. You know, I don't have an agenda where I like, I'll go and have gay characters or what have you. But at the same time, why not? Why can't a character be gay? You know. Bear in mind, my life, I've grown up, I've always had gay friends. I've always, you know, it's such a small aspect of who a person is, I literally don't care.
"So that's how I go about it. When I make a character gay, it's like I've decided to make a character left-handed or something. It's such a non-issue to me that I'm surprised at times."
So what do you think? Will you be buying Earth 2 #2 next week to see how this plays out? Check out two preview pages below featuring Scott and his new partner to help you make up your mind.