EDITORIAL - GREEN LANTERN: Some Thoughts on Alan Scott Coming Out of the Closet

EDITORIAL - GREEN LANTERN: Some Thoughts on Alan Scott Coming Out of the Closet

A media company attempting to look progressive is nothing new - nor is the notion that "progress" oftentimes can turn around and bite them in the arse. Green Lantern's Alan Scott being gay could be DC Entertainment's version of New Coke.

Many years ago (1970-1975) ABC aired a sitcom called The Odd Couple, about two divorced men who share an apartment and drive each other crazy in the same way that they drove their ex-wives crazy.

It's a classic comedy based on the play by Neil Simon, and while there was nothing gay about it, the network was constantly freaking out that the audience would PERCEIVE Oscar Madison and Felix Unger as being gay. Years later that show's executive producer, Garry Marshall, would wryly comment, "Back then you couldn't have a gay character on a TV show. Now you can't have a hit without one."

Today, headlines everywhere are spreading the news that Green Lantern is gay, the context for those in the know being that the Green Lantern in question is Earth 2's Alan Scott. But for the general reader, the one who has some vague memories of Green Lantern and his power ring but is completely unaware that there are so many variations of GL out there, there's not going to be any sort of delineation. What is likely going to come out of this from being spoon-fed by the media is the general PERCEPTION that Green Lantern is gay. End of story.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to introduce a gay superhero into the mix. Indeed, DC can and should be applauded for doing so as a reflection of the times we live in. But choosing to go about it in this way feels gratuitous, not progressive. It's almost as though they're saying to convervatives who are likely to freak out over the move, "Hey, don't worry. OUR Green lantern is straight. It's the guy from EARTH 2 who's gay."

But here's a potential bottom line corporately speaking: if this news about a gay Green Lantern really gains traction, it wouldn't be surprising if the lantern symbol itself is taken as a reinforcement of the gay community - which would be completely understandable. But there are so many conservative people out there to whom being gay is simply wrong. If they'd be willing to kick out their own son or daughter for being gay, you know damn well they're not going to allow any of that "Green Lantern trash" - whether it be in the form of comics or even the animated series - into their homes.

It will be interesting to see whether or not, in the end, DC will be applauded for this move, or will have shot themselves in the foot if Alan Scott's coming out of the closet has brought the whole GL Corps out there with him.

This represents the type of image that is already spreading on the Internet.
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Nevermender - 6/3/2012, 5:47 AM
I think they should have introduced a new hero who is gay and made him badass. Makes everyone happy and gay people could have a new symbol to boast, brought to you by DC.
toco89 - 6/3/2012, 5:49 AM
I always preferred DC over Marvel because theyyre characters were basic ideals to be followed. They're personal lives and preferences were irrellevant.
dnno1 - 6/3/2012, 5:51 AM
I hope you didn't write that just to slam Green Lantern.
Xeriath - 6/3/2012, 5:54 AM
Personally, I'm a Christian guy. Do I hate gays? No. Do I not agree with their lifestyle choice? Yes. Somehow in today's world simple disagreement has turned into hate. Do I hate President Obama? No. Do I disagree with some of his policies? Yes. Same concept, except when it comes to gays it gets turned into hate. That being said, I don't agree with what DC has done with this version of Green Lantern. It seems to me like someone had an agenda, and it just feels kind of forced. Now am I going to boycott DC comics because of this and never watch/read anything Green Lantern related ever again? Absolutely not. I think anyone who does that is overreacting and stupid. It's one version of Green Lantern that came out of the closet. But as you mentioned in this article, the average person reading it (especially most right wing/Christians) will think everything Green Lantern related is gay and some will stop their kids from watching the shows, reading the comics, ect. I get that and that's the part that could potentially hurt DC and this character the most.
EdGross - 6/3/2012, 5:55 AM
dnno1: Not in the least. Major Green Lantern fan here. I'm just wondering if this was the right move on DC's part.
EdGross - 6/3/2012, 5:56 AM
AndyRoolll: Which was precisely my point.
dahamma - 6/3/2012, 5:58 AM
Its messed up that DC, solely DC would do this to one of its characters. It really is ruin the character for me. No offense to gay people but this is like totally out of ALan's character.Like others said, if they wanted a gay hero, just make a new one.

And I agree with this article in that, if word is spread far enough, although we know their are multiple humans who are Green Lanterns, the general public would just see him as a gay hero.
Xeriath - 6/3/2012, 5:58 AM
I agree with you and it'll be interesting to see how this all plays out really good article by the way.
marknjoanna - 6/3/2012, 5:59 AM
wont hurt gl at all i dont think.most everybody has known the real deal between batman and robin for years and it hasnt hurt them any.
U87Cylon - 6/3/2012, 6:00 AM
Gay? Its OK!)
marknjoanna - 6/3/2012, 6:01 AM
atleast i hope not cause i own some of the all american comics from the 40 s that gl stared in.and dont want them to lose any value.
RorMachine - 6/3/2012, 6:02 AM
This is how I see it: Who gives a flying [frick]? Alan Scott being gay now means about the same to me as it would if DC made him vegetarian. I think it's time for everyone to just grow the hell up.
AlternateNo4 - 6/3/2012, 6:04 AM
no, it's edgross; there's no bias and no way it was written as a slam.

i've been behind this move in theory: i think it's better that they chose an existing character than create a new one, which would have been seen as even MORE of a publicity stunt.

but i do also think it's a bad choice of character. at first i was thinking that it wrecked the chances of ever having obsidian and jade be his biological kids, but then i changed my mind when i remembered that i actually HAVE a gay friend that fathered his own son through a donation.

however, i'm still a little leery of the whole "gay-dads-have-gay-kids" message. and ed also makes an excellent and distressing point. i hope it doesn't play out the way you've theorized, or there won't be a sequel OR a reboot!
EdGross - 6/3/2012, 6:05 AM
Ror, but the point is people WON'T grow up; they are going to cling to their belief system like it's oxygen.
zeonsdemon - 6/3/2012, 6:07 AM
normally id agree about just make a new character, but thats when they shit out Bunker. why not just reveal a character as gayy where is wouldve been natural? oh yeah bc they did a half-assed reboot of the whole line. alan scott was happily married with two kids? kinda sounds like he wasnt hiding in a closet to me
MitchConner - 6/3/2012, 6:08 AM
I think it's good there will be comics available with pictures illustrating that life...everyone knows gay people can't read...
RorMachine - 6/3/2012, 6:09 AM
Oh I know..and it's a very well written piece by the way. I just wish people wouldn't make such a big deal of these type of things. Sure, DC are probably just looking for a bit of press with this whole thing, but maybe they are also genuinely trying to make some kind of difference. It CAN be both
BarnaclePete - 6/3/2012, 6:20 AM
I think the majority of the "public" has no idea this is even happening. I highly doubt many people will confuse Alan Scott being gay with Hal Jordan. Most people actually don't care about this stuff. It makes sense the way it was explained. His kids don't exist anymore. His son was gay in the comics, so they decided to make him gay now. I highly doubt his character will be any different, just that he is younger now and has a boyfriend. If you have a problem with him now being a gay character then just don't read it. If you are going to dislike a comic book character for being gay then I think you have much bigger things to worry about.
Helena - 6/3/2012, 6:21 AM
"The public" doesn't care. That gay community doesn't care. Those who say boycott DC aren't buying comics to begin with. The angry moms and hypocrite conservatives never cared for comics before and just want another excuse to make their stupid opinions heard. In the end, only one type of person actually cares about this, the comic reader and apart from DC making too much of a big deal about this if the story is good he will keep reading. The Green Lantern isn't going to be a gay symbol, nobody really cares about any of these except for the comic community. Now let's move along and stop wasting time with this dead horse, this is 2012 we're living in.
WelcomeBackFrank - 6/3/2012, 6:21 AM
@Andy- Dead-on points. All this is is political correctness run amok. Pandering to a specific group all because D.C. feels they can get some kind of sales' boost out of the whole thing.

Like Obama's pandering to the gays saying his view on gay marriage has "evolved", it is all in reality to buy himself some votes.

But I digress, back to the topic at hand. Batwoman is a lesbian. Pied Piper is gay. It's not like GLAAD has someone to look up to or support.

As a Christian, I don't agree with gay marriage or the gay lifestyle, but I'm not going to hate them. Same with Obama, I don't agree with him or his policies, but I don't hate the man. Hatred is what bring downs humanity and this country. I also feel that if one isn't supportive of this that shouldn't be demonized for having an opposite opinion as many pro-gay advocates and supporters do to us who disagree with the matter.

If D.C. really had cared, they would've created an entirely new superhero or... ditch this entire stupid, unnecessary New 52 reboot, and kept making stories with the same heroes. I hate this changing of origins, universes, personalities, sexualities, etc. it doesn't garner anything but desperation by a corporation to try and keep up with Marvel's sales.

jazzman - 6/3/2012, 6:24 AM
its funny that people getting upset about this. who remember their was jokes about Batman and Robin been Gay LOL.


they did make a new character who is GAY and hes name is called Bunker

jazzman - 6/3/2012, 6:29 AM

DC already made a new gay character.

also Alan Scott coming out been GAY does not surprise me at all since his son in the comics is GAY lol
edwardshiro - 6/3/2012, 6:30 AM
It seems perfect.
Now, the general public know all the Green Lantern. And parents certainly seek information.
When someone says: "Green Lantern is gay," someone refute and say, "Of all the existing Green Lanterns, one is gay, don´t be ignorant."
The public will know that there are 7 Earth´s Green Lanterns
Hawksblueyes - 6/3/2012, 6:30 AM
Ed: Great write up, as always. You should certainly write more opinion pieces. DC's decision could very well hurt everything with Green Lantern in the title in the long run or it may help.

I believe there is a huge problem in the world right now with the terms "understanding" and "acceptance," in regards to choosing what you wish to see or hear on a regular basis.

A person can understand perfectly well that being gay is not a "lifestyle choice" and accept the fact that it is a perfectly natural way of life AND STILL not be interested in watching or reading about a character that is gay (for any number of reasons.) I think that is a huge problem in the world today. Not everybody listens to the same type of music. People choose to watch different types of television shows on an hourly basis. Some subjects appeal to some people and other subjects turn those very same people off.

YET, when someone voices the opinion that they are unhappy with this change in a very long lived character, they are immediately called a "gay basher" or a "homophobe" (and I am by no means, saying that those people don't exist.)

What I'm saying is that people have different interests and that's okay. I think the maliciousness involved in almost any debate these days is getting not only repetitious, but absolutely sickening.

To each, his OR her own.
Christuffer - 6/3/2012, 6:34 AM
I'm totally on board with this article. I don't agree with homosexuality either, but it isn't like Green Lantern is dead to me or anything. DC Comics wants to be modern, so they reboot with the New 52. Okay, that's cool. But changing the sexuality of one of their landmark characters, albeit one incarnation of said character? It's a bit ridiculous. In my opinion, Marvel was always the one to step outside the box. I guess DC Comics just isn't doing things like the Super Friends anymore
XmutantX - 6/3/2012, 6:46 AM
I hav a baddass GL tatt (hal) an hav already had a few people say.."haha isnt he gay now"..i laugh it off an correct them but its getting old...i pity any straight person who has allen inked on em already lol..i think dc will lose sum fans with this move...people who say they dont giv a f**k should ask themselves what they would think if dc did this with superman or batman..would u still rock a superman/batman t-shirt?? i think not..but what do i kno :-)
Xandera - 6/3/2012, 6:58 AM
I agree completely, EdGross.
I don't think this was the right way to go about this at all.
Well written article, Ed... I enjoyed reading it...
ninjinturdle - 6/3/2012, 7:04 AM
Sounds like some sort of half assed explination for the movie's strange & unfunny attempt at spoof humor that was obviously edited out to some degree. FUČK'n GAYLORDs! The next movie needs to just be about the Corps! Perfect idea: Begin the first scene with one of their space parades!

& of course you're BEHIND it Alternatenumber4.

Gay Lantern
Alex2814 - 6/3/2012, 7:10 AM
First, I'm a DC man. But this new move seems just a gimmick and NOT anything progressive or trying to reflect the current times. A better option would have been to create a new character instead of doing this with an old one; even if it is in Earth-2.
Nevermender - 6/3/2012, 7:17 AM
@zeonsdemon and jazzman

I meant someone cooler than Bunker and an 'A' list hero. Someone who wasn't always knee-jerk happy. The fact the character is gay isn't at the forefront of the book, just another addition and set of problems we've never read and which enriches the character.
defenderofthefaith - 6/3/2012, 8:04 AM
If DC really wanted to make a statement with a gay character they shouldn't have chosen the Green Latern. Judging by the response to last years GL movie, no one outside the comic book fan base cares about this character. So no will care he is gay and it won't have the impact DC is looking for. Batman on the other hand is very popular and that impact would be enormous. So many of the characters in Batman seem gay(Robin, Riddler, Batgirl, Catwoman to name a few) that one seemed destined to come screaming out of the closet anyway. Who knows, maybe GL can hook up with Robin now.
Hellsing - 6/3/2012, 8:11 AM
@Nevermender you can't create an a-list superhero over night.

Honestly I don't really give a shit I didnt really care much about the first issue so I dropped it. The whole GL line up is bloody confusing the whole dc universe gets a half assed reboot but GL's still intact why?. Again haven't really cared about GL since Kyle Rayner was made in to a side charactet so I really dont have much og an opinion.
mctrinket - 6/3/2012, 8:33 AM

webheaded - 6/3/2012, 8:38 AM
The world is changing. Some people need to realize that. It's no longer just man and woman, and that's okay. It's not 1962 anymore.
MetropolisMarvel - 6/3/2012, 8:42 AM
It will make for sense for the general public cuz the movie was gay too.
TheRaven20 - 6/3/2012, 8:58 AM
Real great article.
@AndyRooIII I completely agree.
AGENTJAY1130 - 6/3/2012, 9:02 AM
I think they should have introduced a new hero!! A lot of people don't know about a earth 2 and further more YES they shot them selves in the foot!!! my brother is not a comic reader and he said to me "What the [frick] is up with Green Lantern being GAY"!! When i finished explaining this to him he said" are they stupid why would they turn a iconic HERO and no matter were he came from GAY Just make a new one"!! After our conversation i was left speechless...here we have a PERSON THAT DO NOT READ COMICS but knows who GL is and now Green Lantern was turning GAY!! A lot of people will not understand whats going on if they already have a solid perception of who GL really is!!! TO PUT IT SHORT WHO GIVES A [frick] ABOUT Alan Scott NO ONE CARES!! HAL JORDAN IS THE GREEN LANTERN THAT PEOPLE LOVES, ENJOYS AND KNOWS!! SO CUT THE BULL SHIT DC IT'S NOT DOING WELL. COME OUT WITH A NEW GAY HERO AND YOU MIGHT GET THE PEOPLE MORE INTERESTED!!! WERE IS THE CREATIVITY?????
Lizardking310 - 6/3/2012, 9:03 AM
Lame ... Just create a new hero dc messing with an old one is just made to create controversy
AGENTJAY1130 - 6/3/2012, 9:03 AM
Darkknightman - 6/3/2012, 9:11 AM
I can't wait until sexuality isn't an issue anymore and people just stop talking about it. No one comments on racial differences anymore, like oh there is a black superhero. Who cares whom people chose to love, as long as they love. This should be a non issue at this point. But because society is still archaic despite what people think, and religions and political parties essentially prevent people from thinking for themselves, we still have these inane prejudices and hate filled conglomerates.
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