Alan Scott is Gay! Carry On.

So, Alan Scott is gay post-new 52, and the reaction from the Trolliverse is as predictable as it is ridiculous. As our pal George put it, “I do think it’s pretty funny when people are like, “UGH ALAN SCOTT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CHARACTER IN COMICS DC YOU REALLY FUCKED UP THIS TIME ALAN SCOTT IS THE MOST CLASSIC DC CHARACTER NOW HE’S GAY WTF.”

Suffice to say that G3 is firmly on the side of diversity, and having a high profile, gay hero in a mainstream comic book is a good thing. The decision is laudable. The execution, not so much.

DC’s coy PR campaign leading up to the reveal was unnecessary and not a little bit exploitative. The company touted the identity of the “iconic” character as a “mystery” and sold it as a “big upcoming twist,” feeding weeks of press hype and prompting the trolls to place their orders for new torches and pitchforks. As publicity baiting goes, this is about as naked as it gets. I’ll be the first one to admit that it stoked my curiosity for a moment.

But.

A character’s sexual orientation shouldn’t be headline news in 2012. Yes, Archie Comics and Marvel made big announcements about the weddings of gay characters in their books, but at least those events are topical — plus, comic book nuptials are often the subjects of press releases. Those publishers didn’t do the equivalent of showing a little leg, then telling readers to come back in a few weeks for the Full Monty. How awesome would it have been for DC to have just let Alan speak for himself in his Earth 2 #2 debut, then sit back while the blogosphere went to town?

Earth 2 artist Nicola Scott hit the nail on the head by saying, “His sexuality is incidental.” Writer James Robinson said, “Alan’s sexuality is just one facet of him.” Bingo.

It’s also a stretch to claim that this particular Green Lantern is iconic. An icon is someone that the average person on the street recognizes. Let’s be real here: Alan Scott is well known to people who already read comics, but he isn’t Clark Kent. Topless Robot, in its usual hilarious way, points out that Scott isn’t even in the main DC Universe, but on Earth 2. Cop out?

Some people will pick up Earth 2 #2 just to see what the fuss is about, likely proving the old adage that all publicity is good. If that contributes to greater acceptance in some small way, then cool. If only this had played out with a little more class. Sometimes, restraint is the most powerful tool of all.

8 thoughts on “Alan Scott is Gay! Carry On.

  1. See,I think the original plan was to be all “yeah, here’s issue #2, oh and by the way, GL is gay. Whatever. Look they are fighting alternate dimension Darkseid.” Afterall, Batwoman is gay and has made headlines. Bunker in Teen Titans is openly gay (ant theoretically “flamboyant” but when you are in spandex and fighting superheroes who can tell.) But then Marvel announced Northstar was getting married (in, sorry ML, the most boring story arc ever) and DC felt the pressure to also have a press release of their own to send out, like a child jealous that their brother/sister has gotten attention. So then they said “Hey, yeah, this is a big thing. We have a gay superhero now, too. Can we have some press coverage and maybe a cookie. Thank you.”

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  2. I say, “so what, big deal, lets move on”. Another big company trying to get on the big gay wagon. Its stupid and unnecessary.

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  3. I like your approach. It’s sort of ridiculous that DC Is making a big deal about this. They are trying to get press based upon the fact that a marquee-named character is gay, however, the name is marquee (Green Lantern) not the character (Alan Scott). Even my 12 year old has heard about this. Once I explained it wasn’t the Green Lantern everyone knows and he’s not even appearing in the “Green Lantern” comic, he was pretty confused.

    Okay, now here is the other side of me. I am disappointed they made Alan Scott gay. Not because I have a problem with gay characters, I just wish they’d chosen someone else. I know this is a new continuity, but I LOVE the old-school JSA. In the previous continuity, Alan had this wonderful relationship with his wife Molly. I adored Alan and Molly’s relationship. Also, Alan fathered two children. Making him now a gay character takes all that away and suggests those relationships will never exist.

    Seems to me it might have made more sense for another JSA member to be gay. Perhaps someone without a strong marriage in their long history. Certain JSA members have long-term, well-known marriages, such as: Jay & Joan Garrick (Flash), Kent & Inza Nelson (Dr Fate), Alan & Molly Scott (Green Lantern), Ted & Doris Knight (Starman), Carter & Shiera Hall (Hawkman), and Wesley & Dian Dodds (Sandman).

    I think it would have made more sense for someone else to be gay, such as: Hourman (Rex Tyler), Al Pratt (The Atom), Ted Grant (Wildcat), Jim Corrigan (Spectre), the new Mister Terrific, or even Charles McNider (Doctor Mid-Nite). I realize many of those were also married, but their
    relationships were rarely mentioned in the past 60 years. Actually, Doctor Mid-Nite would have been a great choice. He had a history as a real playboy. That would be a great cover for someone who is gay.

    Just my two cents.

    The Irredeemable Shag

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  4. “the reaction from the Trolliverse is as predictable as it is ridiculous.” Trolliverse … meaning people who don’t agree with you? I guess that includes me, since the whole “event” seems pretty lame.

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  5. I think the problem goes beyond that, As you said in the articale Alan Scott is not as iconic as Clark Kent, and many people didn’t even knew who he was before the announcement, and there’s the reason for the real problem and what comicbook fans should be really upset about: Alan Scott didn’t ring a bell worldwide but Green Lantern is actually a well known character around the world just like Superman, Batman or the Flash, and what really happened after all this buzz on the internet and tv, was that one single and simple idea remained on the minds of the crowd: “Green Lantern is gay”. And it’s BECAUSE the general audience didn’t know who Scott was, that they’re inmediately asociating Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Kyle Rayner and all the characters that had ever donned the symbol of the Green Lantern Corp on a television show, or on a t-shirt, on a cup, or an action figure and so on. And that’s the real reason of why it really causes such a significant damage to the name itself, because that general notion (and confusion) will continue in our society in the years to come. Long story short “Green Lantern (no matter what it’s alterego is) will be always known as the gay superhero”.

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