The gay demographic is not new to comic books. Marvel has had several gay heroes, including Wiccan, Hulkling and Northstar, a member of the X-men due to marry his long-time partner. DC has been known to have gay heroes and heroines in their comics for a long time. Kat Kane, the most recent Batwoman, and Apollo and the Midnighter, an enduring gay couple from the series Authority, are both examples of DC’s dedication to equality. Now a new name joins the lineup of DC’s gay heroes. It is arguably the biggest step towards the spotlight the gay community has had in comics. This newly out hero is not just some side character in an obscure comic book. He is the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott.
Many people outside of the comic book community know the name Green Lantern thanks to the recent film starring Ryan Reynolds in the role of the ever intrepid Hal Jordan. For those who did not see the film, an important point to note is that the Green Lantern is not one super hero but rather an entire corps of them. Alan Scott was the first to hold the title of Green Lantern, but since then, there have been many other Lanterns with a wide variety of personalities. Hal Jordan, John Stewart and Guy Gardner have all held the honorable title of Green Lantern, but Alan was the first.
When DC chose to do a massive reboot, it reimagined long beloved characters like the Lanterns. Alan Scott had a son, Obsidian, who was a super hero in his own right and happened to be gay. Obsidian was the first superhero to have a gay kiss in comics. When the reboot occurred, Alan was returned to be a young man, and thus his son was no longer in the mythos. DC saw this as a loss of a beloved gay role model, which sparked the decision to reintroduce Alan Scott as a gay character.
The decision to include gay comic characters has been met with hostility by some. The group One Million Moms made the following statement in response to Northstar’s wedding and Alan Scott’s coming out:
“Children desire to be just like superheroes. Children mimic superhero actions and even dress up in costumes to resemble these characters as much as possible. Can you imagine little boys saying, ‘I want a boyfriend or husband like X-Men?’ This is ridiculous! Why do adult gay men need comic superheroes as role models? They want to indoctrinate impressionable young minds by placing these gay characters on pedestals in a positive light. These companies are heavily influencing our youth by using children’s superheroes to desensitize and brainwash them into thinking that a gay lifestyle choice is normal and desirable. As Christians, we know that homosexuality is a sin.”
One Million Moms attempts at protesting gay characters have not gone well in the past. A recent issue of the comic series Archie featured Kevin Keller marrying his boyfriend. One Million Moms issued a call for a boycott. The issue then proceeded to sell out in stores across the nation in defiance to the group’s closed mindedness. As for me, I am a lesbian woman who has been a fan of comics ever since I was a little girl. All my role models in the media were straight, yet I am not. I attend comic book events dressed in the costume of a straight superhero (Supergirl), and I am not about to go out and marry a man just because one of my favorite heroines, Black Canary, did. If that does not refute One Million Moms’ claims, I don’t know what will.
Alan Scott is a character in the DC comic, Earth 2. I just hope they don’t sell out too quickly.