Did you miss the superheroes these last few days? I missed the superheroes! Here’s another character who, like Batwoman, had a high-profile coming-out party a few years back. It was 2012, DC announced Green Lantern would be gay in Earth 2, and the news went crazy. This is gonna take some explaining, though. People misunderstood that announcement in a big way.
There are a lot of Green Lanterns, and the most famous one is Hal Jordan. He’s sort of “the” Green Lantern, a hot-tempered space cop recently played by Ryan Reynolds. After him, there were other space cops, all of whom are Green Lanterns, including a bajillion aliens and a handful more human men. I love the whole Green Lantern thing, the space opera/superhero fusion and all that, kind of like Guardians of the Galaxy… But that’s not the point. The point is, NONE of those guys were the original. That was Alan Scott, a totally different vision of a superhero named Green Lantern created in 1940, and my personal favorite. His ring created something like a green magnetic field or green force shields, and wouldn’t work on wood. Alan was later folded into the larger scifi-based Green Lantern mythos, and appeared in the absolutely amazing JSA series for years with other characters from the 40s.
DC made an effort to organize their untamed mass of conflicting stories in the 1960s and beyond, and this is where we get the term “Earth 2.” It refers to an alternate universe that homes those old 1940s heroes, which they created so the 40s and 60s heroes could interact. Okay so far? I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet in A to Z, but back in 2012 DC Comics started a big event called New 52, where they basically started their stories over again. New series titles and structures, new retellings of all the superheroes’ origins. Opinions are sharply divided about this. However, one of these new titles was Earth 2, featuring young reimaginings of the various Earth 2/JSA characters.
Back to Alan Scott. This new Alan Scott is the gay one. And, if you’re still reading after that explanation… I’m sad to lose all the history Alan had built up for this new version, but hey, it’s still there if I want to read it, and the new one is fantastic. He’s a broadcasting mogul who uses his “spin” powers to help protect the heroes. He’s a businessman, a natural leader with the ability to manage a lot of important things at once. His actual superpowers are slightly mystical as they’ve always been for Alan, but he’s an avatar of the green — chosen by the Earth as one of its protectors, associated with life and growing green things. He’s a loner, but over the course of the series he’s learning to work as a team member, too. He’s openly, confidently gay, but his powers and storylines aren’t coded that way. I said I missed superheroes, and this is a legit superhero if I’ve ever seen one. I’ve used up all my allotted words to explain how he came to be, but now you’re ready! The series is awesome, go forth and read!
Earth 2 Vol. 1: The Gathering by James Robinson and Nicola Scott (ISBN 978-14012428).
And hey, read JSA: Justice Be Done while you’re at it! 😀