On Friday, DC announced that Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern who is now relegated to acting as Earth 2’s emerald warrior, is gay.
Since then, there has been almost as much news coverage as there has been “flaming” jokes. Most people view this as a good thing, a long overdue tip of the hat to a group of people largely ignored by mainstream comics.
But how can one describe DC’s decision? Is it a shrewd publicity manoeuvre? A cowardly cop out by a publisher struggling to keep up with the times? Or a giant step forward for mainstream comics?
It’s all three.
It’s a shrewd publicity manoeuvre
By the time Friday rolled around, it had been a while since DC made any sort of newsworthy announcement (the last being the announcement of the highly controversial “Before Watchmen” miniseries’).
Also, Marvel’s publicity machine was in its highest gear, flashing Northstar’s Big Gay New York Wedding in everyone’s face. Even the hardcore comic-reading audience of The View got to hear about it.
Yeah, that’s right, you heard noted Iraq War supporter and anti-Plan B dipshit Elisabeth Hasselbeck refer to a comic she’s likely never read or had anything to do with as “cutting edge (twice!).” That’s like a turtle looking at a telescope and calling it “cutting edge” – he has no idea what it’s for or any reason to go anywhere near it, he just wants people to think he’s informed.
Anyway, obviously DC had to do something in return and do it quick.
And yes, Scott’s outing was clearly in the works for quite some time (as comics aren’t written and pencilled and inked and couloured overnight), but it still seems like DC is trying to outgay Marvel.
The mid-November back-alley meeting probably went something like this:
Marvel: Yeah, so, Northstar’s going to totally marry Kyle.
DC: No shit?
Marvel: Yeah, no big deal. What are you going to do about it?
DC: Yeah, well, Green Lantern’s gay.
Marvel: Everyone knows that.
DC: No, but for real! He’s going to come out and kiss a dude and everything!
It’s a cop out
Alan Scott? Really? C’mon, DC, you could have picked a higher profile hero than that. They guy lives in a parallel universe. Nobody reading the comics with the regular continuity (the good stuff) cares about Earth 2.
Sure, Alan Scott was the original Green Lantern, but his profile is nowhere near as high as Hal Jordan’s, or even John Stewart, Guy Gardner or Sinestro.
And not nearly as badass as Kilowog, ya poozer.
Or the eyeball-busting badass, Bzzd.
Or most Green Lanterns, with the exception of Ch’p. As you can see from this panel, he is fighting someone he calls a “pirate.” Perhaps because they ripped off an early-twentieth century slapstick act’s name.
When DC announced that the character coming out was “established,” it was hard not to interpret that as meaning one of their major characters.
So it was a tad disappointing when they announced that it was a fourth string Green Lantern from a parallel universe. So I guess we don’t have to worry about his gayness sneaking into any main DC storylines.
Or a movie. God forbid those gays get any ideas from movies.
It’s a giant step forward for mainstream comics
Despite everything, it’s about goddamn time someone other than Batwoman was outed. And this will hopefully, one day, be looked upon as one of the major steps towards comic characters whose sexuality is merely a part of their character, not a news event.
Perhaps this will start a series of outings from all across Marvel and DC’s respective universes. I mean, have you seen some of the outfits these dudes are wearing?
Very few people will be surprised when The Martian Manhunter comes out.
As you read this, his mother is writing him a letter, telling him she loves him no matter what.