DC Comics has been dropping hints that a “major iconic character” would come out in the pages of an upcoming book. Now the word is out, and it’s Alan Scott, the first hero in the Green Lantern legacy. DC restarted its entire comic book continuity last year to encourage new readers. Now they can pick up books without having to know decades of history. Scott and his teammates, the Justice Society of America, got moved to Earth-2. It’s in a parallel universe that has some of the same heroes we know, but a bit different.
Scott’s new character may be the biggest change yet. In his original DC universe incarnation, Scott was happily married to a woman and had kids. They entered the family business and his son became the superhero Obsidian. The son was gay, but when DC restarted the universe it made Scott so young he could not logically have an adult son. If you are not confused yet, you have successfully passed an intro course in comic book mythology: Alternate Universes 101.
As writer James Robinson talked over the restart with DC co-publisher Dan DiDio, he hated losing Obsidian. Robinson said when he suggested making Scott gay in the pages of Earth-2, DiDio didn’t hesitate. DC is already catching heat for the decision to make a character that dates back to the 1940s retroactively gay. There’s also the matter of the interesting timing. Marvel Comics’ hero Northstar, who is openly gay, is getting married in the pages of Astonishing X-Men in June. That character came out years ago, however.
In fairness to DiDio, he has been a longtime champion of diversity at DC. He noted how many White males in their early to mid 30s made up the majority of the company’s heroes. Obviously he left untouchable characters such as Superman and Batman alone. The “second tier” of DC heroes were fair game. Under DiDio’s watch, heroes including The Atom and The Blue Beetle passed the torch to younger crimefighters. Both the original heroes were White males around the comics’ perpetual age of somewhere between 30-40. The new Atom was Ryan Choi, a young man born in Hong Kong. Jamie Reyes, a Hispanic teenager from El Paso, Texas, became the new Blue Beetle.
Earth-2 issue two, which contains the reveal of Alan Scott and his new love interest, arrives on shelves June 4.
Read [Rolling Stone]