Report: New gay D.C. Comics superhero is…

posted at 9:21 pm on May 24, 2012 by Allahpundit

No no no, it’s not Batman. C’mon. It doesn’t mean a man is gay just because he feels alienated from society and spends lots of time with a male companion and, er, dresses flamboyantly in a way that shows off his buff physique. Wait — are we sure it’s not Batman?

No, it’s not. Allegedly:

I’m hearing that it’s Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern.

Created by Martin Nodell, and first written with Bill Finger in 1940, Green Lantern was originally a mysticaly-based superhero, whose powers were derived from the flame of a magic lamp and he became an original member of the Justice Society Of America.

Eventually, Green Lantern would be rebooted in the sixties by DC as a science fiction superhero, Hal Jordan recruited by an alien police force to monitor the galaxy, the character that recently inspired a Hollywood movie. But in the comics, the original Green Lantern would also repeatedly reappear, often as an older man.

In the DC New 52 books, Alan Scott was reintroduced this month in Earth Two #1, as a young man, and head of GBC Productions.

Does the Green Lantern really qualify as one of “the major iconic D.C. characters”? I have only a passing knowledge of comics but my impression is that he’s the second-lamest “major” superhero there is, aside of course from you-know-who. Granted, he finally got his own movie, but that was after Hollywood completely exhausted Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man. (Well, not completely.) Even the Fantastic Four got their own movie before he did. I’m not even sure what his superpowers are. His main power now, I guess, is drumming up cheap publicity for D.C. Comics by magically transforming into a minor footnote in the culture war over gay rights.

Ah well. If nothing else, the next Green Lantern movie promises to be a little different from the usual cookie-cutter superhero flick. Expect them to get around to it sometime after the next 20 Superman/Batman/Spider-Man reboots. Exit question: Should D.C. have moved faster on this? If they had rolled out the new gay GL even a month sooner, he might have landed a cameo in this self-congratulatory new ad from a guy who spent the past decade relentlessly lying about his position on gay marriage to protect his own political viability.

Update: Ace, who does know something about comics, calls this a cop out.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Not on the list of things I give a crap about right now, sorry.

kg598301 on May 25, 2012 at 12:02 AM

So they just turned a niche character into even more of a niche character? That’s a sound business plan they got over there.

JavelinaBomb on May 25, 2012 at 12:24 AM

How about the Red/Green Lantern for colour blind aberrants?

BL@KBIRD on May 25, 2012 at 12:30 AM

I hope some jack wagon doesn’t make Charlie Brown gay. Good grief.

Big Orange on May 25, 2012 at 12:32 AM

And my annoyance grows, on several scales.

First off being, while I am not familiar with the rebooted Magic Based Green Lantern, I actually rather liked the old incarnation. He was an old gentlemanly family man who stayed active and fought crime despite his age. Granted he didn’t get all THAT much screen time, in fact he only appears in a few of the DC comics I actually own, but he was amusing and darn likeable.

I’m not annoyed that the changed the character, it sounds like he was already drastically changed during the reboot. I am annoyed however at the spastic flailing manner this was all done in however. Supposedly the decision was made to, “make somebody gay,” roughly two weeks ago, and in that time they went from loudly proclaiming it’d be somebody iconic, to using a little known niche character. That’s the equivalent of slamming the brakes at 120mph!

I think they quickly realized that changing any of their actual iconic characters like that, would be damage the value of their intellectual property horribly.

Take Batman for example, do you really think DC would’ve made him gay little over a month before The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters? A film that will supposedly contain heterosexual romantic tension, AND which is expected to make hundreds of millions of dollars? Supermans in the same boat, they aren’t going to mess up the iconic Superman-x-Lois-Lane pairing, especially when a film is coming down the pipeline.

They might have been able to get away with Wonder Woman, since the character seems doomed when it comes to Hollywood and television. However, considering the public outcry they got last year when they sexualized the heck out of Starfire and Catwoman, putting Wonder Woman into a same sex relationship would’ve been seen as yet another pervy editorial decision. Yes I know that has never stopped them before, but after making a big ole PC show out of this that would’ve blown up in their face.

So they couldn’t REALLY change any of the big characters they hoped to use in movies or television, and most of the characters they couldn’t use in films were so obscure that nobody would consider them iconic. The original Green Lantern was their old choice, but given my earlier reasoning its quite obvious that it was also the cop-out decision.

This sort of spastic flailing is no way to run a comic book company. Their job is to tell stories dangit, and thats the creative teams job. If the editorial staff wanted to make strained shallow social or political commentary, they should’ve joined the New York Times!

WolvenOne on May 25, 2012 at 12:50 AM

So they couldn’t REALLY change any of the big characters they hoped to use in movies or television, and most of the characters they couldn’t use in films were so obscure that nobody would consider them iconic. The original Green Lantern was their old choice, but given my earlier reasoning its quite obvious that it was also the cop-out decision.

This sort of spastic flailing is no way to run a comic book company. Their job is to tell stories dangit, and thats the creative teams job. If the editorial staff wanted to make strained shallow social or political commentary, they should’ve joined the New York Times!

WolvenOne on May 25, 2012 at 12:50 AM

Yep. Lot of calculation in this move. They wanted a name everyone would recognize, but a character no one would care about. So they pick Green Lantern, because they just happen to have a few Green Lantern spares.

And then they pick the most obscure one they can find.

Lame at every level. They would have done better to just refuse to play this game.

There Goes The Neighborhood on May 25, 2012 at 12:56 AM

Why can’t they just use Metamorpho or Chameleon Boy and say that they “evolved?”

The adventures of the Pink Lantern just isn’t the way to go.

MrKleenexMuscles on May 25, 2012 at 1:18 AM

In brightest day, in blackest night…

mythicknight on May 25, 2012 at 1:24 AM

So changing the Green Lantern into the Gay Lantern won’t excite the comic book fanboys. Why that’s so heterosexual, which is almost as bad as being a raaaacist! Maybe the NYT will feature the Gay Lantern in it’s newspapers as a public service.

Gladtobehere on May 25, 2012 at 2:42 AM

I predict that Gay Lantern will be thrilling, and thus, popular, only among the Gay Audience. Which means, he won’t be popular except in very limited circumstances.

But now it’s interesting that “Green is Gay.” Like we didn’t already know that.

Lourdes on May 25, 2012 at 6:52 AM

derived from the flame of a magic lamp

Really? Too easy.
And, as has been said, Alan Scott? Total cop-out.
Marvel’s Northstar came out almost 20 years ago, and is now getting married.

LtGenRob on May 25, 2012 at 7:04 AM

Yeah GL is 2nd, in terms of sales.
I got in a HUGE war with the intolerant Little Bleeders on the message boards of BLEEDING COOL over this issue. As a life long DC fan I have no problem with a gay hero just do it right, not because they may get an award from GLAAD. From that all the little hipster libs exploded calling me a homophobe and other colorful names.
It’s always those who consider themselves tolerant little do good ears who are the most intolerant and full of hate.

Jason Alexander on May 25, 2012 at 7:54 AM

In brightest day
In blackest night
No evil shall escape my sight
Especially in those shoes

Jim Treacher on May 25, 2012 at 7:57 AM

This Green Lantern’s weakness…wood.

Oh, it all makes sense now. Wood is a euphemism.

MechanicalBill on May 25, 2012 at 8:10 AM

I hear mermaid man and barnacle boy are gay.

vcferlita on May 25, 2012 at 8:17 AM

Fun bit of comic book trivia about Alan Scott.

(All preboot of course, I have no interest in the DCnU)

His son, Todd Rice (Obsidian) is gay, and has been in the books since 2006. So it looks like DC is losing one gay character for a (slightly) higher profile reboot if they go this route.

The_Livewire on May 25, 2012 at 8:37 AM

I think Green Lantern’s power was that he could use his ring to create anything he can imagine…

So I guess the Green Lantern will make some pretty disgusting things with his ring going forward… LOL.

jeffn21 on May 25, 2012 at 8:41 AM

The ambiguously gay duo were the first gay super heroes.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/285252/saturday-night-live-tv-funhouse-ambiguously-gay-duo-vs-ice-monster

jeffn21 on May 25, 2012 at 8:42 AM

I don’t follow the comics much but I like the DC TV Shows. Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series are permanently locked into my childhood awesomeness, and Justice League is great as well. I have base familiarity with most of the rest of the characters.

This is a copout for another reason: There are a theoretically unlimited number of Green Lanturns at any given moment, nevermind throughout the whole continuity of DCU time.

So they made A Green Lanturn Gay. Big Deal – the law of averages combined with the law of comic-book scifi says there’s a Green Lanturn already existant among high-intelligence hermaphroditic beings, somewhere.

A total cop-out.

BKennedy on May 25, 2012 at 8:44 AM

Obviously Allah isn’t a comics guy, so let me help him out here a bit:

1) Alan Scott is NOT the Green Lantern they made a movie about. He isn’t even “a” Green Lantern (there are a bunch of them…they’re basically super space cops in the DC continuum…though the comics focus on the ones from Earth and the primary Green Lantern has been, since the 60′s for the most part, Hal Jordan). Alan Scott is, however, the original Green Lantern. From what is often referred to as the Golden Age of comics. His ring is magical, whereas the current Green Lantern’s ring is more ‘science’ based (created by the Guardians).

2) Yes, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) is a major DC character and in the current comics the Green Lantern franchise (which includes titles like The Green Lantern Corps) has been a major focus and one of DC’s best selling properties.

3) But no, Alan Scott is NOT a major DC character and has not been since the Golden Age. He doesn’t have his own comic book…though I do think he’s had a couple of one-off limited issue series over the years. So this is even MORE of a marginal character than Allah is thinking he is.

4) In the original timeline (before DC decided to completely reboot (read totally screw up) the timeline), Alan Scott had a daughter named Jade. While she died in a recent series of books, that rarely means much in comics. I wonder how they’ll explain that if they decide to bring her back! Well…perhaps Alan didn’t come out of the closet for awhile? Hmmm.

5)Yes, I’m a comic book geek. Sue me.

D.GOOCH

DGOOCH on May 25, 2012 at 8:48 AM

This Green Lantern’s weakness…wood.

Oh, it all makes sense now. Wood is a euphemism.

MechanicalBill on May 25, 2012 at 8:10 AM

So is “rubbing a lantern”.

Lourdes on May 25, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Green Lantern’s son, Obsidian, “Manhunter.”

At least they could find a story with characters that aren’t so intensely cliche-laden.

Lourdes on May 25, 2012 at 8:56 AM

He’ll use his power ring to make a fabulous quiche.

Believe me, that was the cleanest joke I could think of.

Crusty on May 25, 2012 at 9:17 AM

I thought it might be one of the green lanterns. In recent years the types of power rings have expanded to include a rainbow of colors. Fits the narative does it not.

I was hoping it was Plastic Man. No chance of getting AIDS because he is already made of latex.

mechkiller_k on May 25, 2012 at 9:31 AM

This Green Lantern’s weakness…wood.

Oh, it all makes sense now. Wood is a euphemism.

MechanicalBill on May 25, 2012 at 8:10 AM

So is “rubbing a lantern”.

Lourdes on May 25, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Maybe, but the original GL’s “weakness” was that the powers of the ring would not work on anything made of wood. Thus, he could throw a car nearly as far as Superman could with a ray from the ring, but not a tree trunk.

(I’m talking about the originals here, BTW; in the early Action Comics, Superman’s powers were almost exactly those of the protagonist of Philip Wylie’s 1934 borderline-SF novel Gladiator. Another character whose powers, and power levels, were close to the novel’s character was… Captain America.)

Later on, when the GL character was rebooted in the Silver Age with Hal Jordan, and he became an interstellar cop instead of a magickally-based Earth-only item, the limitation of the ring was changed to anything colored yellow. I suspect to keep GL from being more powerful than the Silver Age Superman, whose powers worked under a yellow sun (like ours), but not under a red one. (I know, scientifically simplistic bordering on BS, but the writers were writing for pre-adolescent boys, and few of them were college graduates, none with Ph.Ds in Physics.) Not to mention allowing the existence of the new GL’s arch-enemy, Sinestro; dressing in yellow made him harder to hit, whereas a villain who dressed in, or was made of, wood “would” just be silly.

(Hold the Monty Python and the Holy Grail witch jokes, please. Thank you.)

As for the sexual orientation of existing characters, DC has made something of a fetish (excuse the word) of having heroines who “do” other women. In the post- Batman; Year One continuity (about two reboots back), Catwoman was a slightly-reformed prostitute who specialized in “rough trade”, and lived with (and apparently slept with) a slightly-younger “pro”, Holly. (Catwoman; Her Sister’s Keeper.) Throughout her own book, Catty made no secret of her contempt for men; whether this was sapphic “acting out” or simply trendy feminism was never explicit.

In the New 52 continuity, Batwoman (Katherine “Kate” Kane) is explicitly a lesbian. Her partner is ex-Gotham PD sergeant Renee’ Montoya, the new Question.

Going back farther, in issue 5 of the second Wonder Woman series, when reporters are allowed to visit Paradise island, Lois Lane is told by Hippolyta (WW’s mother) that yes, the Amazons do engage in same-sex relations. (Island full of eternally young, healthy women. No men. Figure. It. Out.) In this respect, WW’s thing for Steve Trevor could make her the outlier in the neighborhood.

And of course, over at Superman (modern day version), Metropolis PD Special Crime Unit CO, Captain Maggie Sawyer, has been an “out” lesbian for over three decades (real time, not comic book). She has been in a steady relationship with Gotham TV reporter Toby Raines for most of that time. (In spite of the first name, Toby is a she, not a he.)

In fact, in one episode of the WB animated Superman series, when Maggie ended up in ICU after a battle with some of Darkseid’s minions, the final scene fadeout showed Toby (who had previously appeared in the series in her professional capacity as a reporter) sitting next to Maggie’s bed, holding her hand. The writers stated that it was deliberate, to at least pay tribute to their relationship, which they of course could not mention explicitly in a show aimed at kids. (Works for me.)

PS; Maggie is a divorcee, who had a daughter with her then-husband before admitting her sexual orientation to herself. So Alan Scott being “out” does not necessarily mean Jade and Obsidian will abruptly vanish- unless the present crop of DC writers are stupider than I think they are, and that’s highly improbable. (That stupid probably cannot exist in this universe.)

The one thing you will probably never see in DC, or Marvel, comics is an explicitly same-sex villain, although Marvel came close with a woman calling herself Superia. (“The Superia Strategem” arc, Captain America.) Simply put, it would step on a few too many toes, notably in Tinseltown.

/old-time comic book geek, out.

cheers

eon

eon on May 25, 2012 at 9:40 AM

I have only a passing knowledge of comics

Wow. You’re even lame as a beta…….
(I kid ;) )

GWB on May 25, 2012 at 10:01 AM

Having briefly rubbed shoulders with those in the comics industry I can imagine that these people were patting themselves on the back for such a brilliant decision.

Rethuglican on May 25, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Green Lantern was originally a mysticaly-based superhero, whose powers were derived from the flame of a magic lamp

flame …. heh, get it.

Harpoon on May 25, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Green Lantern’s son, Obsidian, “Manhunter.”

At least they could find a story with characters that aren’t so intensely cliche-laden.

Lourdes on May 25, 2012 at 8:56 AM

Cliche-ridden characters are the point. They are PC and AC-DC, IYNWIMAITYD.

Gladtobehere on May 25, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Weird. DC made the Green Lantern their first big-name black superhero also.

Next up is Green Lantern: The first Transgendered Super Hero(ine?).

Quantus on May 25, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Weird. DC made the Green Lantern their first big-name black superhero also.

Next up is Green Lantern: The first Transgendered Super Hero(ine?).

I’m glad I never really got into comics. Not only do you need to keep track of a large cast of characters but different versions of the same character.

MechanicalBill on May 25, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Next up is Green Lantern: The first Transgendered Super Hero(ine?).

Quantus on May 25, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Nope. That would be Walter Langkowski, AKA Sasquatch of Marvel’s Alpha Flight. After dying and being revivified witth the help of a goddess (!), Langkowski was a 6’2″ woman, who called herself Wanda. (She later regained male form in one of the lamest two-panel lampshades in Marvel’s history.)

Then there was Mantra, but that’s another story entirely- that Marvel also managed to make a mess of.

DC isn’t the only comic company that makes clueless decisions about its characters.

cheers

eon

eon on May 25, 2012 at 4:16 PM

I have only a passing knowledge of comics but my impression is that he’s the second-lamest “major” superhero there is

Silver Age Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) was cool. Alan Scott… well, while Hal couldn’t afect anything yellow, Alan couldn’t affect anything made of wood. Hence the standard joke that a #2 pencil can take out both of them.

Even so, they’re nowhere near the lamest heroes. For that, you need to go to the Legion of Super Heroes (Bouncing Boy, Matter-Eater Lad) and even worse the Legion of Substitute Heroes (Chlorophyll Kid, Infectious Lass).

malclave on May 25, 2012 at 8:03 PM

Is this really important? With all due respect to my gay and lesbian friends, is this really important, or is this just another drummed up issue to avoid coverage of the busted economy, lack of jobs and drift towards socialism that has marked this completely incompetent administration.

georgeofthedesert on May 26, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Comics are for children. The fact that they’ve become a matter for Hollywood and 30 and 40 somethings is a sign of how decadent we’re becoming. We have a comic book President and it’s still a close race. We don’t deserve to survive as world leaders.

flataffect on June 12, 2012 at 12:06 AM

Comment pages: 1 2