Green Lantern is Gay: We Help Explain DC's Big RevealJordan Hoffman |
The Internet: Green Lantern is gay!
You: Wait, the guy Ryan Reynolds played in that disaster of a movie is gay?
The Internet: No! That was Hal Jordan, the “Silver Age” Green Lantern. I'm talking about Alan Scott, the “Golden Age” Green Lantern!
You: Huh? This is confusing. No wonder that movie stunk. When's 'Avengers' coming out on Blu-ray?
The Internet's Slavishly Nerdy Friend (read: us): Not for a while, chum, so let us explain.
Alan Scott was the first Green Lantern, part of the initial wave of superhero comics now lovingly referred to as the Golden Age. He got his powers from a ring after finding the power-bestowing lantern beside railroad tracks. He didn't go to space. He didn't even wear all-green! His suit was red. He owned a radio station. His green ring constructs were similar to the ones we know today, but it was powerless against wood, which had to have been asinine even back in the 1940s. He had a best pal taxi driver named Doiby Dickles. He and the Flash founded the Justice Society of America, the first superhero team up. No Alan Scott, no 'Avengers.' For real.
Now, when the second wave of comics hit in the 1960s, the Green Lantern we know and love (Hal Jordan) was born. He was part of the Green Lantern Corps, which eventually involved flying squirrels and giant blobs and John (not Jon) Stewart. Some people in the beginning of this “Silver Age” still remembered Alan Scott (and original Flash Jay Garrick and others) so it was decided that all of that previous stuff that happened actually happened in a parallel universe called Earth-2.
Yes, this is the original sin of DC comics and something that will forever confuse newcomers. The original stories, the first characters, they all lived on Earth-2. Go figure!
Over the years the characters of Earth-2 have weaved in and out of storylines. It's always been a little difficult for noobs to get into, but for fans who can't decide if they like Superman's sexy cousin as a doe-eyed ingenue or a buxom powerhouse, you get both Kara Zor-L and Kara Zor-El. Believe me, it makes the confusion worth it.
Much like the mid-80s Crisis on Infinite Earths, last summer's New 52 reboot was devises specifically to bring a new generation of fans in, without all this multiple character confusion. Now that we've had time to let the dust settle, it is time to ease back in to the complexity. So Alan Scott is back. Only now, he's gay.
Interesting to note that DC has had a gay character before, but one that was oftentimes a villain. That was Obsidian and he was actually (drumroll) Alan Scott's son!
Alan Scott is ever-much the hero. He's a classic, chest-puffed hero. Perhaps a little too square, which is why he's been marginalized in DC lore for decades. When we was last brought back in 2006 with the relaunch of the Justice Society, there wasn't much for him to do other than be grandfatherly. Now that he's young again, it'll be great to see him be relevant in the 'Earth-2' book and probably other crossovers. Here's hoping he'll battle homophobia in this and all other universes.