There was hype, there were ridiculous overblown complaints that "oh my god, Batman is gay now!" and then there was a pretty solid indication of this in rumorville, but now the New York Post has made it official that Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern who now only exists on Earth 2, is DC's big-named character that will now be depicted as gay, when he was straight before the New 52 relaunch.
"He's a type-A personality who doesn't hide in the shadows," Earth 2 writer James Robinson said. "He's very much the character he was. He's still the pinnacle of bravery and idealism. He's also gay."
Robinson is no stranger to writing gay characters given his history with Starman, and he explained that one of the major drawbacks of DC's New 52 reboot to make all the original characters younger – particularly the stalwarts of the Justice Society of America, who where the long-standing veteran mentors even to Superman and Batman – was that their descendants no longer existed.
"The only downside of his being young was we lose his son, Obsidian, who's gay. So I thought, 'Why not make Alan Scott gay?'" Robinson recalled. "That was the seed that started it."
"I hope he's a positive figure. 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," Robinson said. "We should be preaching love and tolerance."
Sure, it's not the same as making the overbearing "ladies man" Hal Jordan, the movie star, gay, but Alan Scott is the original Green Lantern, debuting in 1940. His powers worked in a different way, with a magical basis that somehow left him vulnerable to wood.
Also of note is that, since we've lost Obsidian, we've also lost his sister Jade, who was a member of the GL Corps and was Green Lantern Kyle Rayner's longtime girlfriend. We'd thought not much had changed for the GL universe pre- and post-reboot, but that's kind of a big deal.
Of course, DC revealing one of their original characters, one with a strong brand name, is gay is a bigger deal to the world at large. The fact that the very capable writer Robinson is handling it should make this a cause for some celebration. Comic books began, and thus a lot of the iconic characters were created, in a very straight-laced, white-bread world. These changes may be cheap publicity, but it's also kind of necessary.
"It's a realistic depiction of society," Robinson said. "You have to move with the times."