As you may have read previously, a stalwart DC Comics superhero will soon be reintroduced as a gay character. Rumors about this particular superhero's identity have been a-swirling over the last week, and now io9 has the details directly from the author who's penning this new origin. Some spoilers ahead.
And who is it? According to Earth Two author James Robinson — who we spoke with a few weeks back — it's Alan Scott, better known as the Green Lantern of Earth Two's Justice Society. Robinson elaborated on the decision to change the sexuality of the first Green Lantern (who debuted in 1940) for the newly rebooted DC Universe.
First off, why Alan Scott?
James Robinson: It was just a notion I had. I'm really excited to update these characters, and we've also updated their ages. One of the things I thought was a shame was that Alan Scott is now in his late twenties, so we lose Obsidian, his gay son. From there, I springboarded to another idea — why not make Alan Scott, the leader of the Justice Society, a gay man?
I presented the idea to [DC Comics editor] Dan DiDio and he thought it was a great idea. That was it. It wasn't a huge strategy on our part, it's about realistically portraying a modern-day team. Of course, I've done this before. In 1998, I wrote Mikaal Tomas, the blue Starman, as a gay character — later I had him join the Justice League.
I'm happy about this positive attention, but Alan's sexuality isn't a huge plot springboard. The second issue of Earth 2 really deals with Jay Garrick's origin and how he becomes The Flash. At the same time, we learn who Alan Scott is toward the end of issue.
And just who is Alan Scott when we meet him?
What we're striving for with Earth Two is to make everyone's origins a little more mystical than Earth One. Even The Atom's origin, which we'll go into down the line, will first appear very scientific and be revealed as much more metaphysical much later. Jay Garrick received his powers from inhaling "hard water" vapors. I always thought that was goofy, but I suppose receiving your powers from a dying god is now a little less goofy.
With Alan Scott, I wanted to take elements of his original origin and incorporate the reason behind his powers and his role as a champion into the bigger picture of Earth Two. Readers of his original origin will be surprised at how familiar it is.
Everyone's focusing on Alan's sexuality, but one of the things I'm taking pains to do is to go back to the essence of these superheroes — Alan, Jay, Al Pratt, Wildcat in the second arc — and focus on how they were when they were younger.
Fans may be hesitant that we're rebooting this, but I think they'll ultimately be relieved at how familiar these characters will remain.
Earth Two #2 hits comic stands Wednesday, June 6.