DC Comics rolled out the official announcement this morning that, yes, Golden Age Green Lantern Alan Scott is the "major iconic" character that will be reintroduced as gay, but Earth 2 writer James Robinson has already made clear that he won't be alone.
"There is another character down the line, but that character won’t be appearing for some time, so it’s probably a bit too early to talk about that," he told the gay and lesbian magazine The Advocate, "but this book will definitely have a diverse cast. Alan Scott won’t be the only gay character in Earth 2, I promise you that."
"I feel if you’re going to have a team, you need to have realistic diversity," Robinson said, explaining his rationale for including a gay member on the Justice Society. "After all, I have gay friends and straight friends and we’re all mixed together. It stands to reason, just based on the population of the world, at least one member of the team is going to be gay."
It's a sign, perhaps, of how far DC has come since 2006, when the publisher was seemingly caught off-guard by flurry of media attention that accompanied the introduction of lesbian socialite Kate Kane as the new Batwoman. This time, however, interest in an off-hand response by Co-Publisher Dan DiDio to a fan's question last weekend at Kapow! Comic Convention has been transformed into a springboard for a full-on public relations blitz. This morning Robinson can be found everywhere from The New York Times and the New York Post to Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone discussing the reinvention of the 72-year-old original Green Lantern.
"Obviously, I'm a huge fan of DC. But one of the things I felt was that if you're going to reinvent a universe, you should really go for it," Robinson told Comic Book Resources. "You should go for it the way Grant Morrison has done with Superman or how Geoff Johns has come up with a new origin for the Justice League. With that in mind, the only thing I was sad about in terms of a younger Justice League was that there wasn't going to be Jade and Obsidian – Obsidian of course being Alan Scott's gay son. And just as one idea can foster the next, from there I went, 'Why don't I just make Alan Scott gay' And to Dan DiDio's credit, there wasn't a moments hesitation on that. He just said, 'That's a great idea,' and we went with it."
While some are already debating whether the Golden Age Green Lantern qualifies as either "major" or "iconic," there's little disputing that he'll be prominent. After all, he's the leader of the Justice Society and an Internet billionaire with an A-personality whom Robinson describes as "part Mark Zuckerberg and part David Geffen."
Oh, and about that "Golden Age" label? "... On Earth 2 there is only one Green Lantern, so Alan's title is The Green Lantern," the writer told The Source. "Alan's sexuality is just one facet of him, along with his innate goodness, valor, charisma and skill at leadership that makes him the perfect man to wield the power of the green light in the world of Earth 2.”
"Before starting work on #1, the first document I had to work from was the character breakdowns for our primary players,” Earth 2 artist Nicola Scott added. “With Alan the brief was very clear. He needed to be a big, strapping, handsome man that everyone would instinctively follow and love. No short order but right up my alley. Alan strikes me as an incredibly open, honest and warm man, a natural leader and absolutely the right choice to be Guardian of the Earth. His sexuality is incidental. Every time I draw him I love him even more.”
Earth 2 #2 goes on sale Wednesday.