When DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio announced that a major superhero would be coming out of the closet at a convention earlier this month, it kicked off intense speculation amongst comic fans around the globe. Now we know who that character is – Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern.
EW caught up with writer James Robinson to discuss what this revelation means for fans, his Earth 2 series, and comics moving forward – here are some of the highlights.
First up, Robinson reveals that it was his idea to make Scott a gay character, telling EW:
“The original version of Alan Scott was an older man, and he had a superpowered son, Obsidian, who was gay. The fact that Scott was young now [thanks to a universe-wide reboot] meant Obsidian no longer existed. I thought it was a shame that DC was losing such a positive gay character. I said, ‘Why not make Alan Scott gay?’ To Dan DiDio’s credit, when I suggested it to him, there wasn’t a moment’s hesitation.”
Scott’s character is younger in Robinson’s new series, which is also set on an alternate Earth known as Earth 2. The writer describes him as “…a giant of the media industry. By getting involved in communication, the news, and the Internet, he’s become a billionaire. He’s kind of a cross between Mark Zuckerberg and David Geffen.”
It just also happens that he’s gay – a fact that Robinson never expected to become such a hot topic amongst fans. “When I was first putting together this version of the team eight months ago, and was making the team diverse and interesting, adding in a gay character seemed like the natural thing to do. Quite honestly, it was an offhand comment that Dan made at a panel in England that got everybody suddenly aware and excited. I’m as surprised by it as you are. This was not ever meant to be sensational. It’s meant to be about a team that’s well-rounded, that shows the diversity of the world around us.”
For those concerned that this is just a gimmick on DC’s part to be topical, Robinson assures readers that’s not the case. “The Alan Scott I’m doing now is that same dynamic, brave, honorable man. A man that you’d want guarding your welfare, your children, your life, your home. He’s willing to give his life for the world. He’s everything you want in a hero. And he happens to be gay. So really, apart from his sexuality, there isn’t that much of a difference.”
As our own resident comics expert John Gholson points out, even if the inclusion of a gay Green Lantern was an editorial mandate, the character is in good hands. Robinson has written the Alan Scott character in the past (as part of the well-received The Golden Age) and he wrote Starman, which featured one of the least gimmicky gay characters in the medium’s history, Mikaal Tomas.
Now that all has finally been revealed, what do you think? We’re intrigued by the idea of a gay Alan Scott and expect that James Robinson will handle the character in a mature and respectful way.