Green Lantern is Totally Gay (No, Really!)by: Posted:
Humanitarian move, or petty rivalry? Whatever the motivation, there's big news in the comic book world today: Green Lantern is gay.
In a new, rebooted Green Lantern title, the hero from Earth-2 (DC Comics has parallel universes to explain differences in heroes' backstories) has come out as gay, embracing and kissing his boyfriend in one of the pages of the first issue. Normally this wouldn't be a big story, as there have been other gay characters in comics before. But historically, gay superheroes have been not only few and far between, but generally low-profile. Batwoman is probably the most recognized gay superhero, and she isn't even in the Justice League in most storylines.
Green Lantern, on the other hand, is one of DC's most famous heroes. He dates back to 1940 and has been running ever since, he's a major member of the Justice League (depending on the universe), and he's one of only a few DC superheroes to have his own movie, as Ryan Reynolds played him in last year's "Green Lantern."
However, it should be noted that Reynolds' Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, is a different character from this one. The newly outed Green Lantern is Alan Scott, who is the original GL from the Golden Age. In some later storylines, Scott had a gay son, another hero named Obsidian. But with this reboot, Scott is younger and doesn't have a son, so writer James Robinson decided to make Scott gay himself.
This is all well and good, and it's great to see the culture of comic books changing and providing heroes for kids of all races, sexual orientations, and backgrounds. But here's the question: is DC just doing this to one-up Marvel? The rival comic book publisher recently announced that Astonishing X-Men #50 will feature the first same-sex marriage in a comic book. That prompted a media firestorm, so it follows that DC might want to do the same.
Let's hope the intentions are pure and that sexuality isn't just being used as a publicity stunt. If you're interested in reading the new Green Lantern, pick up next Wednesday's issue of Earth 2.