DC has revealed that in next month’s issue of Earth 2, we’ll see a reboot of the ‘golden age’ Green Lantern character, Alan Scott.
With Kyle Rayner, Hal Jordan, and Guy Gardner all wearing green rings simultaneously, there is really no more room in the main DC universe for another Green Lantern. In the pages of Earth 2, however, we haven’t seen any green rings yet, so it’s been expected that either Alan Scott or John Stewart would show up there with the power of wills.
Earth 2 is an alternate universe story, where Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, the three most powerful super heroes in the world, have been killed off, while Supergirl and Robin have been accidentally transported to the main DC universe (their adventures on Earth 1 are followed in the pages of World’s Finest).
This leaves that world’s version of the Justice League - called the Justice Society - without its leadership or strongest members, making Scott, as Green Lantern, the most powerful, and most likely to lead the organization. Also: He’s gay.
This is how DC, and the writer of Earth 2 want the character portrayed. His homosexuality is a defining part of his character surely, but mostly, he’s a super hero, and a very important one to his world.
Other news outlets are still getting the story wrong after two weeks of talking about DC’s new gay character and guessing at who it might be. Just for clarity sake, the character is not ‘coming out’. This was never the plan, and DC’s representatives have tried to clarify that point several times in various interviews and statements. The character is openly gay, and always has been in his story. We’re seeing him for the first time in Earth 2 #2, but he was never secretly gay, so there is no closet to come out of.
It may seem a trivial distinction to some, but it’s one which makes a completely different kind of character. Scott will not be struggling with his homosexuality. He will not be fretting over how to break it to people or how to fit in afterward; it’s part of his life already, a part that he and those around him have been comfortable with for a long time.
In an inteview with the New York Post, Earth 2 writer James Robinson clarified that he’s not making a political statement or pushing an agenda. "It's a realistic depiction of society," he said. "You have to move with the times."
"He's a type-A personality who doesn't hide in the shadows," Robinson continued. "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 ... We should be preaching love and tolerance."
The writer also revealed the inspiration for his choice of sexual orientation for the character, which started with the realization that rebooting the character as a young man meant the removal of another gay character from the plot, "The only downside of his being young was we lose his son, Obsidian, who's gay,” Robinson recalled. “So I thought, 'Why not make Alan Scott gay?’ That was the seed that started it. [The editors at DC] signed off on [the idea] without hesitation." This despite a statement made last year when the major reboot began in which a DC executive announced that no major characters would be relaunched with an altered sexuality.
What hasn’t been revealed is the more important consideration of the nature of Alan Scott’s super powers. Scot was the original Green Lantern, and his power was based on a magical lantern. When Green Lantern was rebooted as Hal Jordan in the ‘silver age’ of comics, the Lantern was changed to a technological tool employed by a distant, arrogant race of small blue men called The Guardians, and every subsequent Green Lantern has stuck by that origin. Will Scott’s powers be magical or technological? I guess we’ll all find out this Wednesday.
Earth 2 #2 will go on sale June 6th wherever DC comics are available.